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Barcelona, Spain: Travel Guide

All the things to do in Spain's most cosmopolitan city.
Spain's most cosmopolitan city has much to offer -- from striking architecture; beautiful beaches; historic cobbled streets; top museums; and world-famous football club. So much so that you could easily spend a week admiring the attractions and still not feel that you've seen everything.

Weather/ when to go:

Being relatively close to the Pyrenees means that the weather can be changeable. May can be a great month to visit but even January and February can be sunny, though not particularly warm. Rain is more likely in the autumn and winter, and you may be on the receiving end of some thunderstorms in September and October.

Do & see:

La Sagrada Familia

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without seeing La Sagrada Familia, or Holy Family Church. Built by famous architect Antoni Gaudi, and arguably his most famous work, construction has been in progress since 1882 and is anticipated to be completed in 2026 -- 100 years on from his death. Despite being incomplete, it has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and not without good reason: The basilica is a stunning example of Gothic-inspired architecture even with the constant presence of construction cranes.
Address: Carrer de Mallorca 401


Park GŘell

This municipal garden was also designed by Antoni Gaudi, and was originally intended to be a miniature garden city of houses for the wealthy. Entry is free but there is a fee to visit Gaudi's house. Within the park is the main terrace and the multicolored mosaic fountain at the entrance.
Address: Carrer d'Olot 7


La Rambla

This is the central boulevard cutting through the heart of Barcelona. It is mostly a pedestrian area with a concerted effort to minimize traffic in the area. It's a great place to soak up the atmosphere of the city -- just beware of pickpockets who try to prey on unsuspecting tourists and the more seedy areas (such as the south end, which can become a red light district at night). There are shops and restaurants aplenty on Las Ramblas but expect to pay dearly for these compared to more touristy areas.
Address: La Rambla


Montserrat

This is outside of the city itself but its awesome scenery is definitely worth a visit. Located 50km northwest of Barcelona, Montserrat means 'serrated' or 'jagged', which is an accurate description of the mountain's appearance and its multiple peaks can be seen from some distance away. Here you will find strange rocky crags and caves, and a Benedictine Abbey.

Museu d'Hist˛ria de la Ciutat

Step back in time in this museum dedicated to Barcelona's history. The building was formerly the Palau PadellÓs and was painstakingly relocated brick-by-brick to its current location, which was revealed to be on top of one of one of Europe's biggest Roman settlements. Some of the objects discovered in the subsequent excavation can now be found in the entrance to the museum. What follows is a fascinating insight into life in Roman times (when the city was known as Barcino) and Barcelona's rich history in general.
Address: Placa del Rei


Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

If you're an art lover, don't miss out on a trip to this museum. Here, you'll find art from the Renaissance, Baroque, Romanesque and Gothic periods plus 19th and 20th century art. Further down the hill is the impressive Font MÓgica fountain, which plays host to fountain shows (which incorporate music and light) every half an hour from October to April and May to September.
Address: Mirador del Palau Nacional


Museu Picasso

This museum features a large collection of work by Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, who had strong connections with Barcelona. It first opened in 1963 and contained paintings donated by the artist's close friend, Jaume SabartÚs. Picasso also donated some of his early work to the museum after SabartÚs' death in 1968. In total, there are over 3,500 pieces in the permanent collection.
Address: Carrer de Montcada 15-23


Manzana de la Disc˛rdia

Roughly translated as 'block of discord', here you'll find eye-catching houses built by some of Barcelona's most prominent architects. Their designs were wildly different from one another so these were no ordinary houses, hence the area's status as a tourist attraction.
Address: 35-43 Pg de GrÓcia L'eixample


Camp Nou

Love football? Be sure to pay a visit to the Camp Nou stadium, home to world famous Barcelona FC. Tours of the ground are available throughout the year and include access to places like opposition changing rooms and the press area. You'll also see the club museum, where you can see various trophies that the club has won over the years. There are plenty of photo opportunities so don't forget your camera!
Address: Carrer dĺAristides Maillol


Barcelona Beaches

You may be in a city but you're not far from the beach either. There are seven in total, although Barceloneta and Sant SebastiÓ tend to be the most popular.

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