Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jetsetter Destination: Barcelona

Barcelona, known for its classic Gaudi architecture, summer sangria and tapas, is one of the top destinations for people from all over the world. Especially popular in the summer, it can also be equally as popular in the winter due to its location in the south of Spain. We've put together a guide of classic things to see, chic restaurants and bars, luxurious places to stay and what to do in this history filled Catalonian city. 
La Rambla
One of the most famous boulevards in the world, La Rambla is worth a stroll down. A gateway to rural Catalonia, the mile-long road bustles with tourists, artists, human statues, fortune-tellers, dancers and musicians. Vibrant flower stalls, the superb La Boqueria market, and cafés line the street.

Get a Close up of Guadi's Work
In Barcelona, you can gaze in wonder at Gaudí's fairytale architecture. The Sagrada Familia is breathtaking and grotesque by turns. At first glance, it seems as though some has dripped sand over a Gothic cathedral but a closer look reveals that it creates a stone tapestry of Christ's life. Take the lift to the top for a breathtaking view. 

Park Güell is a magical place that emulates an English garden city. After seeing the gatehouses, based on designs for the opera Hansel and Gretel, you can walk up a splendid staircase, past a mosaic lizard to what once was a marketplace. Outside, climb to the heights of the park to gaze down at the magnificent panorama view of Barcelona. 

Plaza del Rei
This wholly preserved medieval courtyard of the Palau Reial (Royal Palace) is where Ferdinand and Isabella are supposed to have received Columbus on his return from the New World.

Parc del a Ciutadella
After the War of the Spanish Succession ended in 1714, a large fort was constructed on this site to keep the city in line. The fortress was demolished in 1869 and redesigned as a park containing a zoo, a boating lake, gardens and a large fountain worked on by the young Gaudí.

Barceloneta Beach
The most famous beach in Barcelona, known for it's summer time fun. With a bundle of beach side cafes and tapas restaurants, you can lounge on a beach chair with sangria, tapas and friends.

Explore Your Inner Artist
In Barcelona, a walk in the park is not just a relaxing experience for the locals but an artistic journey as well. Stroll through the leafy gardens of the Teatre Grec and then head to the Fundacio Joan Miro, one of the greatest museums in the world. It is home to a collectin of over 225 paintings, 150 sculptures and pieces by the the Spanish surrealist artist, along with his contemporaries. Wander over to the Jardins Laribal, designed by the French landscape artist Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier.

Become Picasso for the Day
Picasso remembered Barcelona as beautiful and bright, a city where he spent his early years. Follow in the footsteps of him by visiting the landmarks that shaped his youth. Stroll along the Calle Reina Christina and then cross over to 3 Carrer de la Merce to see where his family lived, though the original building was later destroyed. For an artistic break, stop by the Els Quatre Gats, a cafe frequented by Catalonia's fin-de-siecle avant-garde. Then head to the Museu Picasso, a gallery that records Picasso's formative years.

Plaça de la Rosa del Vents, 1 · Barcelona 08039
Pasatge de Sant Antoni Abad, 10, Barcelona 08015
La Rambla, 105 Barcelona 08002
La Rambla, 109, Barcelona 08002
C/Aribau 54, Barcelona
Via Laietana, 30, Barcelona 08003

A great hidden little Pinxtos bar, these tapas are served on fresh bread with tookpicks. Save your toothpicks until the end of your meal and the server will add them up for your total. Enjoy a glass of Sangria while you sit outside on the patio or at the bar. Reservations are recommended for those who want to sit at an actual table.
c/ Argenteria, 62 _ 08003 Barcelona

This unique seafood restaurant is situated in the heart of the Eixample district. When you walk through the door you are greeted with the fish counter where you choose your own fresh fish or seafood. Let the chefs behind the counter know how you want it to be prepared and cooked and they then take it to the open kitchen. Sit back, relax and wait for your food. The decor and atmosphere are exquisite. It is an experience that is a must in Barcelona.
Two locations: MariscCo. Corsega c/ Corsega 272 and MariscCo. Placa Reial Pl. Reial 8

Xurreria, the Catalan spelling of Churreria, and La Granja go hand in hand. The churro and "milk" bar are located just a few doors down from each other. It is tradition to buy your churros dripping in chocolate served in a paper bag and walk to La Granja and get yourself a hot chocolate or a different milk drink.
Carrer de Cartagena, 314 08025

Photos: One, Two, Three, Four