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Barcelona Spain Guide

Barcelona Attractions

Barcelona is a city filled with history, culture, and variety. As a result, the city has a million different sites, monuments, and shows to interest a wide range of visitors. Following is a list of Barcelona attractions that every traveler should be sure to check out.

• Gothic Quarter
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, which lies at the heart of the city, is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and remnants of the past. Here visitors will find several of Barcelona’s most esteemed museums and monuments, as well as a plethora of art galleries, artisan boutiques, shops, and restaurants.

• Cathedral of Barcelona
This impressive structure is the gem of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The cathedral, which was built mostly during the 14th century (the façade is from the 19th century), lies on the remains of both Roman worship grounds, as well as an ancient basilica, and is dedicated to Saint Eulalia, patron saint of Barcelona. Its giant lacework steeples overlook a plaza, which is always filled with street performers, antique markets, and artists.

• Las Ramblas
This colourful strip of Barcelona culture, whose name comes from the Arabic word for riverbed, was originally just a path beside a stream running through the centre of the old city. Today, however, this famous avenue is a bustling centre of activity. From the early morning to the wee hours of the night, one can find nearly everything under the sun on the Ramblas. There are street performers by the dozens, baby ducks, snakes, and bunnies for sale, florists galore, as well as endless restaurants and snack shops for when you need a break from all the excitement.
Las Ramblas runs from Placa de Catalunya, a main square full of shops, restaurants, and banks, located at the centre of the city, down to the monument of Columbus on the waterfront. The avenue is broken up into five distinct sections, each with its own name and characteristics. First is La Rambla de Canaletes, named after the Font de les Canaletes. Folklore has it that whoever drinks from this fountain will forever keep returning to Barcelona. This is where you will find many, but not nearly all, of the Ramblas’ street performers.
The next section is called La Rambla dels Estudis, after the Estudi General, or Universitat. It is also known, however, as La Rambla dels Ocells, or the avenue of the birds, because of its many bird and small animal vendors. Further down is La Rambla de les Flors, where historically, and still today, a jungle of florists and their colourful stands line the streets with exotic bouquets. It is here also, where the century-old Boqueria Market is located. Inside it’s walls you can find the freshest produce, meat, fish, and dried fruit around.
La Rambla del centre comes next, followed by La Rambla de Santa Monica, which brings one directly to Barcelona’s port. At the seafront continues the pseudo-Rambla, La Rambla de Mar. On and around this pier, one can find the beach, an aquarium, restaurants, movie theatres, as well as several popular night-clubs, all overlooking the harbour.

• Montjuich
The mountain, which acts as a backdrop for much of the city, is home to exotic gardens, the Greek theatres, several of Barcelona’s museums and sculptures, as well as the Olympic stadium. At its summit sits the castle of Montjuich, an old watchtower from the late 17th and early 18th century. However, mount Montjuich’s most popular attraction is by far the Magic Fountains. This wonder of light, water, and music was constructed for the 1929 Universal Exposition. Today, the fountains’ shows awe hundreds of visitors each weekend, while providing a spectacular view of the National Palace in the background.

• Casa Batllo
Another one of Gaudi’s amazing creations, Casa Batllo was built for the private residence of a wealthy textile industrialist, Joseph Batllo. The house is a modern interpretation of Barcelona’s medieval roots, with a rainbow of dragon scale shingles on the roof, and skeleton-like railings for the balconies. The inside is open to visitors, and displays some of Gaudi’s furnishing creations as well.

• Casa Mila
Casa Mila, also called “the Quary” because of its rock-like façade, was Gaudi’s last private commission. Although the apartment building still maintains some residences, most of the structure is open to visitors. There is a special exhibition housed in the attic of the Casa Mila, which includes models and explanations of all Gaudi’s projects. Especially interesting, is the wonderland of rooftop chimneys and staircases that visitors can traverse, while circling a large opening to the building’s central courtyard.



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