Barcelona The Gateway to Spain

Barcelona, ​​​​in the northeast of Spain, is the capital of Catalonia. A bustling modern city on the Mediterranean Sea is considered by many to be Europe’s gateway to Spain. It is bilingual since both Catalan and Spanish are its official languages ​​and it enjoys a high degree of autonomy.

Particularly famous for the unique and radical architectural style of Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona has also produced notable great artists. Among them Pablo Casals, Josep Carreras and Joan Miro whose work is celebrated in the park that bears his name. Pablo Picasso, although a native of Malaga, spent a lot of time here and his works can be seen in the Picasso Museum to the northeast of the magnificent port. This collection focuses on his early work.

The port itself can be seen from Barcelona’s waterfront hill, Montjuic, which was also the main site of the 1992 Olympic site. Montjuic with its Magic Fountains and Amusement Park is accessible by cable car from the port. The hill attracts many visitors not only because of the far-reaching views, but the old fortress, the Catalan Art Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Miró Foundation and the Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol) are very popular.

From Montjuic you can highlight the Columbus Column at the foot of Las Ramblas. This famous mile-long tree-lined pedestrian street is the center of Barcelona. You can laze around for hours wandering past the book sellers, beautiful flower stalls, and all kinds of street vendors along the way.

La Rambla is divided into sections and has many meeting places along the way. A popular spot at the foot of the Rambla is Plaça Reial, where there is a colorful collection of cafes and bars. Enjoy a beer with a tapa of squid, brava potatoes or whatever you fancy. A word of warning, this is not a good place to spend the night and beware of thieves at all times.

Moving forward, the Rambla del Center is where the Liceu, the famous opera house, is located and opposite is another popular meeting place, the Café de l’Opera. With plenty of time on your hands, it’s worth a little detour to Plaça del Pi. The surrounding little alleys and side streets are packed with antique, arts and crafts shops. Pass the Joan Miró floor mural (it appears everywhere) and you will enter the next section of Las Ramblas.

Barcelona’s main market, the spectacular Boqueria, lines one side of this part of Rambla de las Flors, while opposite is the Palau de la Virreina. La Boqueria is a large open-air market full of life, fragrance and colour. Countless types of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables are sold daily from the packed stalls to the non-stop throng of noisy customers. This is a wonderful experience.

The Ramblas del Estudis are always popular for booksellers. Competition is intense so prices are very reasonable, but you’d be hard-pressed to find much for sale in any language other than Catalan or Spanish. The Palau Moja and the Church of Betlem are in this area and are worth reading about.

The final part of the Rambla includes the Fuente de las Canaletes, where fans gather to discuss the plight of their beloved Barcelona football team. Café Zurich at the beginning of the Rambla is a great place to rest if you walked here. The metro station is conveniently located here for your commute!