Top 10 Barcelona sights and experiences
Barcelona has a reputation as one of Europe's liveliest cities, famous for its architecture, art and avant-garde culture, cuisine and creativity. With a rich and varied history, reflected in its barrios and their buildings, Barcelona was conquered and colonized by the Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, Castilians and the French, among many others who migrated and found a home in its sunny streets. It's a great stop-over pre or post a luxury charter in the Balearics.
Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain after Madrid with a population of 1,700,000, while five million people live in the broader Barcelona metropolitan area. Barcelona is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea and the fourth economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union. Catalan and Spanish are both the official languages.
Barcelona's name is sometimes abbreviated as 'Barna'. 'Barça' is another name, most often used by foreigners as it's known as the popular name of the FC Barcelona football team.
Here's the LCG top 10 places of interest in Barcelona we can recommend you include during your Spanish-Balearic charter vacation.
La Sagrada Família
La Sagrada Familia is one of the artist, Antoni Gaudí's most famous works in Barcelona. The extravagant Basilica has been under construction since 1882 and it's still a work in progress! Avoid the queues and rely on your charter professional to arrange tickets for you well in advance.
Another work of art by Gaudi, Park Guell is a beautiful oasis of greenery, with modernist art works all around. There is a children's play area, fountains, bar, library, museum, space for dogs and other amenities.
Also known as 'Las Ramblas', this main promenade is generally the first landmark that most tourists encounter. It is the central boulevard which cuts through the heart of the city centre and is vibrant and lively at all hours of the day and night.
Mercat de la Boqueria
Located on Last Ramblas is one of Europe's largest and most famous food markets. The Boqueria's grand iron entrance opens to reveal produce and products of all varieties and nationalities under one roof – seafood, snacks, tapas, meat, fruit and bounty of all types, plus booths for a quick bite or restaurants suited to a grand celebration.
Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera or 'open quarry', a reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance, is a modernist building in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and was built between 1906 and 1910, remarkable for its undulating stone facade, twisting wrought iron balconies and windows designed by Josep Maria Jujol. In 1984, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Picasso museum is dedicated to the genius of Pablo Picasso, revealed through the 4,251 works that make up the permanent collection. Opened in 1963, the museum also reveals his deep relationship with Barcelona: shaped in his adolescence and youth, and continued until his death.
In a city where significant artists have their own dedicated galleries, the city's foremost contemporary art centre, MACBA is well worth a visit, or a couple of visits. MACBA houses important works of international artists, sculptors and filmmakers in changing exhibitions, with emphasis on the second half of the 20th Century. Since the exhibitions every 3-6 months change and it is worth being informed about the current exhibitions and workshops before a visit.
This little temple to soap and perfume in the centre of Raval is a firm favourite with the city's fashion set, prized for its collection of international brands displayed so delectably. Conceieved by a young couple as a haven of personal care, Les Topettes is a fascinating boutique dedicated to pampering.
Filmoteca de Catalunya
For the cinefile, the government-funded Filmoteca presents seasons of cinema's classics as well as lesser known films. The 'Filmo', as it's known, also runs an excellent library of film-related books, videos and magazines.
The mighty Gothic shipyards of Drasannes, located at the end of La Rambla, shelter the Museu Marítim, a remarkable relic from Barcelona's days as the seat of a seafaring empire.
Highlights include the faithful reproduction of a 60m galley from the 16th Century, simple wooden fishing boats, a wooden submarine and various race boats. On-water in Port Vell, about 500m from the museum, is the three-mast schooner Santa Eulàlia, which is also open to visitors.
+ Something extra
Labyrinth Park in Horta (Parc de Labirint d'Horta)
Just outside of the tourist radius, Labyrinth Park – the oldest in Barcelona – is somewhat of a hidden treasure. Located in the district of Horta to the north, it extends over 9 hectares and is divided into two gardens: the older garden in a neoclassical style and the younger garden in a romantic style. Entry is limited to 750 visitors per day to preserve its tranquility.
For details about the luxury charter yachts available in Spain please contact the experts at the Luxury Charter Group.
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