Tourist Information: www.spain.info
Barcelona - Full of elegance and sophistication as well as being the second largest and the most cosmopolitan city in Spain.
This vibrant Catalonian capital leads Spain with outstanding architecture, haute couture and haute cuisine, particularly in the
medieval and romantic Gothic quarter.
Here you will find street entertainers, flower-stalls and the excellent shops of the Ramblas and the majestic Romanesque courtyard of the Bishops Palace.
Places of interest in Barcelona: The Ramblas, originally the site of the ancient city walls is now the major promenade area of the city 'where one goes to be seen'. Museums worth visiting include the Picasso museum with works ranging from early sketches to later masterpieces. The Military museum reached by the funicular to the top of Montjuich from where you can enjoy excellent views across the city.
Architecture and style: The mediaeval alleyways of the Gothic Quarter provides outstanding architecture. One of Barcelona's most outstanding landmarks is the Sagrada Familia one of the worlds most extraordinary churches. The emphatic decorative art of Antonio Gaudi is much loved in Barcelona. Other examples of his work can be seen throughout this beautiful city at the Casa Battlo, Casa Mila and Parque Guell. Barcelona is not just handsome and exciting - it's also supremely civilised.
Local Tourist Transport: Barcelona can be easily explored on foot, alternatively hop on or off the Bus Turistic, which stops at 18 convenient tourist locations. You can buy tickets from the driver, the 2-day unlimited-use ticket cost around UK £12.00.
Excursions in Barcelona: From Barcelona one of the most visited excursions is to the monastery at Montserrat, located 35 miles (56km) northwest of Barcelona. Founded in 1025 and housing over 75 monks it has rapidly become one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Spain, to celebrate local visions of the Virgin Mary. The monastery sits on a mountain perch which is reached by cable car.
Nightlife in Barcelona: Authentic flamenco shows are held in the Spanish village. The Ramblas has many tapas bars, chic cafes and restaurants specialising in
Popular dining times are between nine o'clock and midnight with vibrant festivities of the bars and nightclubs open into the early hours of the morning. Beware the pick pockets.
Shopping: Barcelona is a shopping Mecca with its numerous boutiques and markets open late into the afternoons.
The main shopping streets are the Paseo de Gracia full of large boutiques, jewelers and shopping centre's. The narrow streets in and around the Gothic area are worth visiting and the Ramblas for souvenirs.
What to buy: Antiques, clothes, perfume, leather goods pottery.
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