Watch our city guide video of Barcelona to find out what are its top sights and much more.
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- 1. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia
- Barcelona is the capital of a state known as Catalonia. It has its very own flag and a language called Catalunyan which you see on the street signs. One of the most important buildings here, is Parliament de Catalunya in Parc de la Ciutadella. This is the building where the regional parliament sits.
- 2. The best way to get around is by using the metro
- While you'll do lots of walking in Barcelona, you will need to use the city's metro at some stage. There are stations all over the city and the lines are distinguishable by both number and colour. A single ticket on Barcelona's metro will cost you around €1.50 but rather than buying individual tickets for each journey, buy yourself a T-10 which costs around €8 and will give you ten journeys.
- 3. One person is responsible for many of the main attractions
- Many of Barcelona's most famous attractions are building designed by the same person - Antoni Gaudi. The best known include Casa Batlo on Passige de Gracia and La Predrera which is just across the road from it, while the main lamppost in Placa Reial was also designed by him. Ironically though, Gaudi never got to finish his most famous work - La Sagrada Familia. Work began on it in 1882, and the following year Gaudi was commissioned to finish it. Sadly though, he passed away before it was complete. And when will it be finished? That is the most asked question in the whole of Barcelona.
- 4. There are lots of other attractions also
- Along with the works of Antoni Gaudi there is lots more to see in Barcelona. These include the Picasso Museum which documents the work of the famous artist, the city's cathedral which dates back to the 13th century, and Museu d'Historia de Catalunya which tells the history of the state. Another thing you can't miss is Font Magica de Montjuic which takes place at the fountain here at Plaza Carles Buigas, near Plaza de Espana in Montjuic. The show goes on for two hours so you should try to catch at least some of it when you're there.
- 5. You should try to visit its two best-known parks
- Barcelona has two parks which are perfect for visiting when you want to get away from it all. The first of these is Parc de la Ciutadella which can be found about ten minutes east of La Rambla. It is here you will find paths for walking and the famous fountain known as the Cascada. The other is Gaudi's Parc Guell which is just north of the city centre. This huge park is full of beautifully landscaped gardens, and Gaudi's trademark curves, like on the park's famous tiled bench, Banc de Trencadis. It is in this park that you will also find the much photographed mosaic dragon.
- 6. You have to try tapas
- All over Barcelona you will see restaurants advertising 'tapas' which is a Spanish delicacy where the food is served in small portions. If you're on a tight budget, a great place to go for tapas is Can Paixano down in Carrer de la Reina Cristiana in the La Barceloneta area of the city. The quality of tapas might not be as good as in other places, but that's not why people come here. They come here for bottles of rosé cava which will cost you only €4, once you buy a portion of tapas.
- 7. Here you'll find one of Europe's most famous streets
- Barcelona is where you will find one of Europe's most famous streets known as La Rambla. Broken up into five different sections, attractions along it include the famous Teatre del Liceu which dates back to 1847, and the colourful Mercat de St Josep de La Boqueria. Another thing you will find along La Rambla are lots and lots of street performers. Throughout the day you can see human statues and street performers of all kinds on this famous street.
- 8. Locals are very passionate about a particular football team
- Locals are extremely passionate about their football club FC Barcelona, known locally as simply Barca. The home of Barcelona Football Club is Camp Nou, or in English the Nou Camp. When it's full it seats over 95,000 people. Football greats who have played here in the past include Holland's Johann Cruyff, Brazil's Romario, and arguably the most famous player the world has ever seen, Argentina's Diego Maradonna.
- 9. This is a city located on the water
- If you are in Barcelona and the weather is as good as it is today, don't forget that the beach is only 15 minutes walk from La Rambla. Thousands flock here every day during the summer months. The city also has its own port and you'll find a famous shopping centre on the water known as Maremagnum.
- 10. Try to explore its neighbourhoods
- Barcelona has lots of intriguing neighbourhoods. The Barri Gotic is the city's old town and is full of narrow lanes to explore. North of the city you'll find Gracia which is where to go to get away from the tourists, while Eixample is a huge neighbourhood known for its architecture and busy boulevards. Passeig El Born which is the heart and soul of the El Born district. It's found just east of La Rambla and is famously one of the best areas for nightlife in Barcelona. So if you go there, make sure it's after dark. Another neighbourhood worth visiting after dark is Port Olimpic where you'll find lots of bars and restaurants.