Architecture and Culture – Find it all in Barcelona

Travel & LeisureTravel Spot

  • Author Mathieu Quintart
  • Published December 6, 2011
  • Word count 740

The most populated city in Catalonia, Barcelona always fascinates due to the exciting atmosphere and the ability to satisfy all kinds of visitors. Amble around the Roman remains before stopping off for some gourmet coffee in one of the alfresco cafes in the Gothic city, and then venture further to discover even more picturesque walking routes in the area. Also worth a visit, as it's home to the best football team ever, is Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe and home to FC Barcelona.

Barcelona has always attracted talented painters and sculptors who chose the city to live in, many of whom have left their presence in the form of the architecture and museums. Pablo Picasso and Tapies have museums displaying their creations and it would take many trips to see everything there is to see, don't miss the Picasso Museum where his brilliance is revealed in more than three thousand artworks.

The Sagrada Familia was initially promoted by Catalan publisher Joseph Bocabella who aimed to achieve a masterpiece for the Catholic Church, this mammoth task eventually fell in the hands of Gaudi when he was just 31 years old. Since the conception of the project more than 125 years ago it has depended on privately donated funds, but now visitors fees are used to pay for the work on top of the donations.

La Pedrera and Casa Batlló are two of the most impressive buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. Located on Passeig de Gracia, the exterior of Casa Batllo is sculpted to resemble skulls and bones; the skulls are actually balconies, whilst the bones are supporting pillars. When you see the interior you realize the attention to detail Gaudi spent on his designs and every little part has had a lot of thought put into it.

An installation that even Gaudi himself will approve of is Frank Gehry's 'Golden Fish' commissioned for the 1992 Olympics. The fish and the Hotel Arts were both designed by American Frank O. Gehry, known to be one of the most artistic and imaginative architects who produces buildings celebrating open spaces, and uses materials and shapes in his extraordinarily, energetic art. The Hotel Arts makes the most of the city views with a design combining the ultra modern with the Victorian era using vintage decorations and furniture. Crystal chandeliers personally selected by Pete Wentz have resulted in a modern, romantic ambiance.

In addition to architecture, Barcelona is also notable for its art of partying, with a variety of clubs and lounges covering virtually every theme there is to cater for every palate and budget. The areas of the Barri Gothic and Las Ramblas are popular as they're located right in the heart of the city and have a vivacious ambiance that appeals to tourists as well as locals. Full of fashionable clubs and dining spots, the chic venues are loved by the locals and holiday-makers. Clubs stay open 'till 5 or later, and there's more opportunity to party for longer - if you watch out for the PR crews handing out leaflets you can find the clubs open 'til late afternoon. Head back to the bedroom in your apartment for a few hours sleep and you're ready to go again. If you want to taste some of the local culture then there are always the local hang outs to check out, tourists like to drink at these places too as they're quiet but atmospheric.

Spice up your life this year by booking a few short breaks away, with a well-established network of regional airlines and travel agents it's surprising how inexpensive it can be to inject some adventure into your life, be impulsive by booking a short break for the one you love. The other advantage to a few days away is that they're affordable both for the transport, accommodation and spending money needed. Change your saving habits and instead of going away for only 2 weeks a year, save for a short time then spend it on 3 or 4 weekend breaks to different cities.

Rental apartments in Barcelona are available for any number of people and come with luxury lounges, single or double rooms, kitchens with all mod cons and outdoor facilities. Most have everything you need, just like being at home, including bed linen, satellite TV and WIFI internet access. The holiday apartment market in the city has been established for some time so check out the options carefully before making any decision on where to stay.

Mathieu writes aboutbudget apartments and gothic quarter apartment.

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