Our usual pickups then direct to Alicante train station for a transfer to the comfortable train service. Followed by a city tour by coach and transfer to a 4 star hotel.
Then there's plenty to choose from: there's Camp Nou Stadium, the cathedral, the Gaudi houses, the famous unfinished Gaudi church, the Olympic stadium, the top-notch shopping, theatres, buzzing nightlife and one of the most famous streets in the world: Las Ramblas, full of creativity and unique character. The second largest city in Spain and a must-see destination loved by travellers from all over the world.
- Dates: 16-19th March & 10-13 July 2015
- Prices: 295€
- B&B 4* CITY BREAK
Probably the most active, lively and diverse city in Spain. Sitting between 2 rivers on the shores of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Once an important part of the Roman Empire in the Iberian Peninsula. Now a bustling modern city.
Modern Barcelona offers the visitor just about everything that it is possible for a city to offer. A harbour bristling with cruise liners, and commercial tankers, sits alongside a myriad of yachts gently bobbing up and down on the waters of the 1992 Olympic port. On the romantically named Mont Juic (Mountain of the Jews) cable cars, filled with excited holiday makers drift casually over the city and port. Not far from the port, a constant stream of people thread their way along the most famous street in Spain, the Rambla, which leads to the square at the heart of the city. Plaza Catalonia. Aptly named after the fiercely independently minded people of Barcelona and surrounding areas. For this is the home of the Catalonians. Once a completely independent kingdom. Now, living within modern Spain, but proudly maintaining their own language, culture and parliament.
Close to Plaza Catalonia is the Gothic district. A treasure trove of ancient Barcelona. The highlight of this area being the impressive cathedral started in the 13th Century. From a maze of narrow cobbled streets, you suddenly find yourself in the large square at the front of the cathedral. A square often filled with buskers, many of whom add a touch of class playing classical music on instruments like violins and cellos.
On the other side of Plaza Catalonia you find yourself in Passeig de Gracia. A long tree line street, which in days gone by led from the city to the prosperous village of La Gracia. A village long since swallowed up by the growing city. In Passeig de Gracia we experience for the first time the incredibly imaginative works of one of the city's most famous inhabitants "Antonio Guadi". A mansion called the Mila house, although better known as La Pedrera (the quarry) forms the centre piece of a street filled with fabulous mansions which were created by some of the most famous names in Spanish architecture. La Pedrera is built in curves. Without any straight lines to be seen anywhere.
After this the works of Antonio Gaudi jump out at you throughout the city. Most notably in Parc de Guell and of course the world famous unfinished cathedral. The Sagrada Familia. This incredible creation, started in the late 19th century to represent the forthcoming 20th century defies any description, and is on the "must be seen list" of any visit to this city.
Many other famous artists were drawn to this colourful city. These included Salvador Dali, Picasso, Juan Miro. All of whom are represented in the city with a foundation or museum dedicated to their works.
So now we are all cultured out. What next? Barcelona has one of the finest zoos in the world. A genuinely open plan zoo with lions and tigers free to roam not behind bars, but behind moats.(Deep and wide you will be pleased to know.) Storks nest in the trees above. With a massive range of animals which are afforded the maximum possible freedom, a visit to this zoo is a memorable experience.
So you are not a zoo type? OK, how about people watching. For this we go back to the Rambla. This whole length of this street is filled with all types of entertainers. Jugglers, dancers, human statues, comedians, flower venders, painters, artists, musicians. Some acts are really clever, others absolutely zany. In the Rambla there is something for everyone. Then we can take a lift ride up the column of the Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) monument as he points meaningfully out to sea, go to Pobla Espanyol. A village created from copies of famous buildings from all over Spain, or up Mont Juic to the botanic gardens. Home to some of the world's most unique plant life. At The Maremagnum complex which overlooks the Mediterranean you can choose from a wide range of cafes and restaurants, do some shopping visit an aquarium, sports centre or cinema.
Or take a short train ride to the outskirts of the city. From here you can sit in a hillside café watching airplanes drifting across the city below you into Prat Airport. Then there is the fabulous Camp Nou football stadium. Home to Barcelona CF. But it doesn't stop there. There is also successful basketball, baseball, Volleyball and ice hockey teams operating from this famous ground. Even if you have no interest in sport, you cannot fail to be impressed by this fabulous stadium. However, don't despair ladies. If you really, really don't fancy the football stadium, just borrow the plastic card while your other half visits the stadium. The main Barcelona shopping centre has one shop for every day of the year. Cool sea breezes makes a summer visit to this city a very pleasant experience indeed.
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