Barcelona - what a fantastic city! It has something for everyone from culture, architecture, food and around 7 miles of beaches ( man-made for the 1992 Olympics, did you know?
Probably one of its most famous and influential residents, certainly as regards the architecture, was Antoni Guadi The influence of his Catalan Modernism style can be seen all over the city.  There are numerous examples of his work, which you will see in the gallery, with the pinnacle undoubtedly the Sagrada Familia.  The Basilica is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Construction started in the late 19th Century and, as you'll see, was ongoing at the time of our visit in 2016.  There was a story at the time that it would never actually be finished since this would trigger significant back taxes to the city in lieu of planning permission although I have subsequently seen reports that an agreement was reached recently with a " token" payment from the Church to settle the claims.  Despite the fact that construction is ongoing, the Basilica was consecrated in 2010 and so is a functioning church, as well as a tourist site.  As you'll see from the shots, the external detailing, particularly for such a large building is both fabulous and intricate and gives the overall building a magical feel - almost like something out of a Disney production.  Unfortunately, we didn't manage to get inside as we hadn't booked ahead and the "on spec" queues were lengthy but I understand from friends, it's as impressive inside as out ( another reason to go back  again, of course.
Food is a big part of the city; both at consumer level and also in market, the most famous of which is probably La Boqueria, just off the world famous "Las Ramblas", There was a vibrancy to this market like no other that I've ever experienced with stalls brimming with local produce.  If it's restaurants & Cafes that you'r looking for, there's absolutely no shortage.  Las Ramblas is line with numerous, where you can sit & watch the world go by whilst sipping Sangria, Estrella, or whatever tipple is your fancy.  There are countless squares with restaurants on every side and, given the city's location, it'll be no surprise that seafood features high on the menus of many, and rightly so as it's outstanding.
The city is also home to a major port for the usual commercial trade, as a regular stop for the Cruise liners of the Med, but also for a significant marina stocked with a wide range of luxury yachts.  We hadn't appreciated when we booked the trip that we would be there the week before the Spanish Grand Prix, which perhaps explained the  volume of luxury.  One particularly took my eye, berthed along the quay, and painted in an unusual (for the luxury Yacht market) battleship grey.  So taken by it, I did some research when we got back to our apartment & found that it had only recently been launched.  Notwithstanding that, a sister ship had already been commissioned, destined to be even longer that the 107 metres of the Ulysses! The ultimate in luxury for its 36 passengers.  At the time of our visit to Barcelona it was owned by A New Zealand Billionaire but fact checking for this piece, I see that it's now owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
To get the best of the port, a trip on the cable cars which run above it is essential; not only to give you a true sense of the size of the port but also for the aerial view of the city.
Last but by no means least in the facets of this city is the beach, or more accurately beaches since the roughly 7 miles of the city's beach is divided up into numerous smaller ones.  Built for the 1992 Olympics, the beaches offer wide promenades, plenty of beach cafes for refreshments along the way, some stunning restaurants serving amazing Paellas and even a nudist section!
In summary, we felt it was a magical city with great transport routes.   Easy Taxi or train routes from the airport and an extensive metro system ( although we didn't use it; preferring to walk everywhere).  It's definitely a city on our return visit list since, even being there fore almost a week, we still only Felt as if we'd scratched its surface!
Great Architectural design in Barcelona
Great Architectural design in Barcelona
Are we in Disneyland?  No, Barcelona!
Are we in Disneyland? No, Barcelona!
More magical facades
More magical facades
Detail even on Window Pillars
Detail even on Window Pillars
Traditional & Modern art working together
Traditional & Modern art working together
Stunning produce at La Boqueria Market
Stunning produce at La Boqueria Market
Anyone for a lolly? La Boqueria
Anyone for a lolly? La Boqueria
Traditional Hams at La Boqueria Market
Traditional Hams at La Boqueria Market
Fruit & Veg beautifully displayed at La Boqueria
Fruit & Veg beautifully displayed at La Boqueria
Spires of the Sagrada Familia
Spires of the Sagrada Familia
Pictoral detail on the Sagrada Familia
Pictoral detail on the Sagrada Familia
Almost Gothic  effect of the Sagrada Famila's Spires
Almost Gothic effect of the Sagrada Famila's Spires
Beautiful tableaux tucked into the spires of the Sagrada Familia
Beautiful tableaux tucked into the spires of the Sagrada Familia
Old & new blended seamlessly at the SAgrada Familia
Old & new blended seamlessly at the SAgrada Familia
And if you can't incorporate detail into the building design, you can just paint it on!
And if you can't incorporate detail into the building design, you can just paint it on!
An elevated view of Barcelona as we clime to visit the Gaudi Park
An elevated view of Barcelona as we clime to visit the Gaudi Park
Guaid's design inspiration again, around the Gaudi Park
Guaid's design inspiration again, around the Gaudi Park
The City below the park in Barcelona
The City below the park in Barcelona
The magical  Gaudi design with "ordinary Barcelona behind
The magical Gaudi design with "ordinary Barcelona behind
Window detail on Gaudi's house
Window detail on Gaudi's house
Design detail isn't restricted to the exterior of Gaudi's house!
Design detail isn't restricted to the exterior of Gaudi's house!
Gaudi's house - such detailing on the windows and corners
Gaudi's house - such detailing on the windows and corners
Sagrada Familia rising above the city
Sagrada Familia rising above the city
Even lesser Architects incorporate fine detailing in their apartment blocks in this city
Even lesser Architects incorporate fine detailing in their apartment blocks in this city
The old merging seamlessly with new architecture in Barcelona
The old merging seamlessly with new architecture in Barcelona
Continuing variety in the architectural detailing
Continuing variety in the architectural detailing
Even the street fixtures have been carefully considered
Even the street fixtures have been carefully considered
The continued attention to detail  on buildings in Barcelona is fantastic!
The continued attention to detail on buildings in Barcelona is fantastic!
Beautiful Gothic arches
Beautiful Gothic arches
Gothic Arches make for a great monochrome!
Gothic Arches make for a great monochrome!
Columns, Gothic Arches and Stained Glass windows - the fabric of a great cathedral
Columns, Gothic Arches and Stained Glass windows - the fabric of a great cathedral
And access to the Cathedral roof makes for a great pan of Barcelona
And access to the Cathedral roof makes for a great pan of Barcelona
Beautiful Stonework Facades
Beautiful Stonework Facades
The Sagrada Familia dominates almost every view in Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia dominates almost every view in Barcelona
Even the parks have great architecture!
Even the parks have great architecture!
Cloisters in Barcelona
Cloisters in Barcelona
Even the "ordinary" churches are stunning architecturally in Barcelona
Even the "ordinary" churches are stunning architecturally in Barcelona
No, we haven't skipped to Paris and the Arc de Triumphe
No, we haven't skipped to Paris and the Arc de Triumphe
The Ulysses, berthed in Barcelona
The Ulysses, berthed in Barcelona
"Ordinary" Super Yachts see from under the bow of the Ulysses
"Ordinary" Super Yachts see from under the bow of the Ulysses
Cable car above the harbour
Cable car above the harbour
Super Yachts a plenty!
Super Yachts a plenty!
Beaches, City & Shipyards from the cable car, Barcelona
Beaches, City & Shipyards from the cable car, Barcelona
Passing Cable Car Traffic!
Passing Cable Car Traffic!
Barcelona has a substantial commercial port too!
Barcelona has a substantial commercial port too!
THere's even a place for the more ordinary yachts in the Marina
THere's even a place for the more ordinary yachts in the Marina
Grafiti to a new level in Barcelona
Grafiti to a new level in Barcelona
And at night, the architecture looks even more magical!
And at night, the architecture looks even more magical!
Just a little of the 7 miles of Barcelona beaches
Just a little of the 7 miles of Barcelona beaches
The combination of bizarre & stunning isn't restricted to the city.  This artwork ( is it the head of a driver from the gold course?) marks the start of the Barceloneta section of beach
The combination of bizarre & stunning isn't restricted to the city. This artwork ( is it the head of a driver from the gold course?) marks the start of the Barceloneta section of beach

You may also like

Back to Top