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A Whistle-stop Tour of Barcelona, Spain  by Anne Sewell
 
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Visiting Barcelona, with limited time?  There is so much to see in this fascinating city, which would normally take at least a week, but it is possible to see the major highlights in a couple of days too.

I would highly recommend the following:
 
The Gaudí masterpieces:

1.  Temple de la Sagrada Familia - or Temple of the Sacred Family - Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece and a must-see in Barcelona.  A fascinating combination of the original architects' vision (Martorell and De Villar), combined with the magic of Gaudí.  Unfortunately Gaudí passed away before the work was complete.  Construction still continues on this amazing building and your entry fee helps towards this.

2.  Casa Milà (La Pedrera) - in the L'Eixample neighbourhood - Antoni Gaudí was commissioned by the industrialist, Pere Milà, to construct a building on the boundary of Barcelona and Gràcia, as both a family residence and also to be leased as separate dwellings.  Owing to the way its facade appears to be carved out of rock, the Casa Milà was nicknamed "La Pedrera", which means stone quarry.  Amazing interior architecture, as well as  the famous and fascinating chimneys on the rooftop.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
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3.  Casa Battló also in the L'Eixample neighbourhood - a fairytale building.  Originally Gaudí was commissioned to demolish the building, and build from scratch, but he convinced the owner to let him completely redesign the existing building.  This was in the days when the Paseo de Gracia was undergoing a "keep up with the Jones'" battle - everyone trying to outdo each other with their architecture. Gaudí did an incredible job using tiles and scales on the exterior of the building, wonderful interior design, plus again the famous chimneys on the roof top.

4.  Parque Güell  (Güell Park) - ideal for a restful stroll after your busy days in Barcelona.  Originally planned to be a residential area, it is now a beautiful park with many wonderful Gaudí creations in tilework and stone.  The views over Barcelona to the sea are simply beautiful.

Other areas worth visiting are the following:

  • The very famous Las Ramblas - a busy street between the Plaza de Catalunya and the port with many restaurants, cafes, bars, kiosks and the famous Human Statues of Barcelona
  • Poble Español de Montjuic (the Spanish Village) - situated at the foot of Mount Montjuic.  Created in 1929 on the occasion of the Barcelona International Exhibition, the Spanish Village is the only initiative of its kind which has survived the test of time.  A collection of streets and squares, monuments and buildings, representing the different peoples and cultures of Spain.  Some might call it kitsch, but it is an attractive and interesting place to visit, full of shops selling the handicrafts of the various regions.  There are restaurants and cafes to enjoy a break and also an art gallery, Fundacio Fran Daurel.  Above the entrance is a terrace cafe with incredible views (but alas, bad service and incredibly high prices!)  However, the views were worth it!
  • The Cathedral - a Gothic creation of great beauty
  • The Palau de la Musica - a beautiful concert hall
  • The Port, Barceloneta and the beaches
Barcelona has many more attractions, too numerous to list here - so if you are only spending a couple of days in this city, plan ahead for a longer trip to Barcelona in the future - you will not regret it.

About the Author:

Anne Sewell is employed in internet travel and accommodation.  More details of the above tourist attractions, plus photo galleries, can be viewed at All Barcelona Accommodation

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Latest update: September 4, 2012