Barcelona is a city open to the sea. The broad beaches of the Catalan capital, which extend for 4.5 km, are blessed with fine golden sand and shallow waters for bathing. They constitute one of the largest areas of leisure available to locals and visitors in Barcelona alike. They are never more than just a few minutes away from any point in the city, since they are easily reached by public transport or by bicycle. Equipped with all the necessary facilities and services, every year they are visited by around seven million people.
*from Carrer del Trobador metroline L4 (yellow), Dir. La Pau stops; Barceloneta, Villa Olympica, Bogatell, Llacuna.
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
The Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul is one of Barcelona's landmarks. Building work on the new hospital (the old one in Raval dated back to 1401) started in 1902, coinciding with the city's industrialisation and new ideas on hygiene and public health, which were applied to town planning.
Opened in March 2014 after renovation, for visits and opening hours;
*300 meters to your left
The Camp Nou Stadium barça’s stadium is one of the biggest in Europe and a world famous venue. It currently holds up to 99,354 spectators, and the recent successes of the team, the equip blaugrana, have made it so admired throughout the world that the stadium has become one of the main places to visit in Barcelona.
Its name, meaning "new pitch", comes from the fact that before this stadium was inaugurated in 1957, Barça played on the old pitch in Les Corts, which was much smaller and simpler. The need to build this new stadium principally came about in the 1950s with the massive popularisation of football in Spain and the arrival of Ladislao Kubala at the club in 1951.
Much more than a football club
Inside theCamp Nou facilities are the official headquarters of Futbol Club Barcelona, the administrative offices and the Museu del FC Barcelona, the club's museum, which is the most visited in Catalonia. Additionally, Camp Nou is the main building in a complex which houses other facilities, such as the smaller stadium, the Mini Estadi, the Masia, the residence were the club's youngest footballers were raised, and the Palau Blaugrana, a sports hall where the club's basketball, handball, roller hockey and indoor football teams train and play. The Camp Nou stadium is one of the city's icons, a place to enjoy football and live the emotions of this most passionate of sports.
*L5 (blue) Dir. Cornella Stop; Collblanc
You will not find a church like it in the world! The Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Família), Antoni Gaudí's best known work, is still unfinished but work continues with donations from private individuals as well as public bodies.
Visitors to the Sagrada Família Museum can see the whole project, with Gaudí's plans and models, and it is interesting to see how it will look when finished. In recent years, building work has advanced at a good pace, so Gaudí's dream should soon finally be realised. He was unable to continue working on it because he died, on 10 June 1926, from injuries he received when he was knocked down by a tram at the junction between Gran Via and Carrer de Bailèn. During his lifetime, the Passion façade was completed and he left sketches for the rest of the cathedral.
In recent years, sculptures by Josep Maria Subirachs have been added to the Passion façade and work has progressed on the naves and transept, including the columns, choir stalls and upper windows, which provide the light.
*from Carrer del Trobador, passing av. de Gaudi about 1500 meters.
You will not find a park like it in the world! This architectural marvel, created by Antoni Gaudí in the middle of nature, was commissioned by Count Güell, who wanted him to design an elegant estate with family homes. Now it is a public park and part of the city's heritage, another marvel that awaits you on your visit to Barcelona. Don't miss Parc Güell: it will really surprise you!
When you go to Parc Güell, you should enter by the big staircase dominated by the dragon decorated with mosaic of ceramic tiles, the Catalan style known as trencadís, one of the most characteristic images of Barcelona. Originally written Park Güell (using the English spelling), it is arranged around a large central square bordered by a snaking, trencadís-covered bench. Below the square, the roof is supported by 86 Doric columns, like trees, with paths between them, and viaducts on sloping columns: Gaudí's work unites nature and architecture.
*Metro L5 Dir. Cornella (blue) Vall d'Hebron L3 (green) Vallcarca
*metro L4 (yellow) Dir. Trinitat Nova L3 (green) Vallcarca
Casa Batlló is one of the most visited houses (cases) in Barcelona, a really original building in terms of shape, colours and decoration. What was supposed to be a renovation of the Batlló family home ended up being the most poetic and sensitive of Gaudí's work. He expanded the project to include the double loft, the staircase and interior decoration. The result was the architectural smile that is always associated with Barcelona.
You will find all the information you need to prepare your visit on the Casa Batlló website. The house is located in an area known as the <i>Illa de la Discòrdia</i> (Block of Discord), where the most famous architects wanted to leave their mark with their own styles.
*from Carrer del Trobador metroline L4 (yellow), Dir. La Pau Stop; Passeig de Gracia.
Plaça d'Espanya, at the foot of Montjuïc, is one of the most important squares in Barcelona, and the gateway to the city centre from the Llobregat. Major roads meet at the square, such as Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Avinguda del Paral·lel and Carrer de Tarragona. There are very good underground communications (Metro lines 1 and 3), the local Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya trains, and the central Sants station is also very nearby.
The square is the centre for the Fira de Barcelona, the trade fair site, with several pavilions on both sides of Avinguda de Maria Cristina. This road, flanked by the Torres Venecianes, two towers by Ramón Raventós, is the access to the pavilions and the mountain of Montjuïc. At the end of the avenue there is the Magic Fountain, internationally known for its musical and light spectaculars. Presiding over the fountain, you will find the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, one of the best museums in the city, at the Palau Nacional, which has a major collection of Romanesque art, among other major collections. If you go up Montjuïc along Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, you will find CaixaForum, a cultural centre in an old Modernista factory. Opposite there is the Mies van der Rohe pavilion, built for the 1929 International Exhibition, marking a major architectural milestone; this is where the famous Barcelona Chair is.
Plaça d'Espanya was built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition, based on the design for a circular plaza by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. In the centre there is a large fountain, by Josep Maria Jujol (a student of Antoni Gaudí) adorned with marble and bronze sculptures by Miquel Blay. The group of buildings with exposed brickwork by the Hotel Plaza was designed as a hotel for visitors to the International Exhibition.
*Metro L5 (blue) Dir. Cornella; Stop Sagrada Familia L2 (purple) Espanya
Palau de la Música Catalana
This theatre, or concert hall, is one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of the Modernista movement, a must see if you are in Barcelona.
The Palau de la Música Catalana was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. It is the work of the great Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (1850-1923).
This Modernista building celebrated its first centenary in 2008, after a recent restoration and expansion, bright and as freshly polished as the day it first opened its doors, but with more halls for concerts and renovated and enlarged installations.
There is no rival to the fantastic decor you will find in the Palau's historic concert hall. You will be enchanted with its exquisiteness. In fact, artists are awestruck when they perform here. If you take a guided tour of the auditorium, you are bound to take great pleasure in all the decorative details.
Metro L4 (yellow) Dir. La Pau; Stop Jaume I
Plaça Reial is one of the most distinguished squares in Barcelona. To get there, walk down the Rambla from Plaça de Catalunya and turn into Carrer de Ferran. There, opening up before you on your right, is the square, very traditional and interesting for its style and design and for the life which goes on there.
It has always been a very popular square, right from its beginnings in the mid-19th century. Here locals and foreigners mix and meet, to enjoy the sun or have something to drink in one of the bars under the porches which are so characteristic of the square. At night, the clubs and bars there are also very lively.
The rectangular Plaça Reial, which has been through many renovations, is on the plot of the old Capuchin monastery, and was designed in 1848 by the architect and urban planner Francesc Daniel Molina. Round the perimeter of the plaza there are royal palms, in the centre there is a fountain called the Font de les Tres Gràcies, and there are two lampposts which are the work of the young Antoni Gaudí.
*Metro L4 (yellow) Dir. La Pau; Stop Barceloneta, then on foot through Ramblas
The Columbus Monument is in Plaça del Portal de la Pau, where the south end of the Rambla meets Passeig de Colom, facing Barcelona's port. The statue of the famous explorer, which welcomes visitors to the city arriving via the coastal ring road, the Ronda Litoral, stands on an iron column. Together they reach a height of 60 metres.
The monument is a tribute to Christopher Columbus, although the index finger on the outstretched arm points to the sea and not America, which is in the opposite direction. Its location has always been very controversial and there are various trends of thought offering an explanation. One is that is should be understood as a metaphor, as in order to point the right way to America it would have to point towards the Rambla and that would not be understood. Another theory that says the finger is pointing to the path towards the New Continent, that is the mouth of the port, which leads to the sea and Columbus' destination.
*Metro L4 (yellow) Dir. La Pau, Stop Barceloneta
Casa Milà - La Pedrera
You will not find a house like it in the world! This is the landmark Modernista civic building, criticised when it was built but today one of the city's most admired buildings.
At the Casa Milà, also known as the Pedrera (Quarry), you can take a close look at Antoni Gaudí's interior design. This is a gem of a building that imitates the shapes found in nature. Its façades, windows, doors, stairs, walls and living rooms, with their original furniture, create a dream world.
*Metro L5 (blue) Dir. Cornella Stop; Diagonal
*Metro L4 (yellow) Dir. La Pau; Stop; Passeig de gracia
This mansion was commissioned by Eusebi Güell and is the only building Gaudi really completed. Off the Rambla, Palau Güell (not to be confused with Parc Güell), has been labelled by many as one of the most extravagant in Barcelona. Some specialists maintain it was was the brilliant architect's first masterpiece and a project he had let all his imagination run wild on, above all, by solving construction problems using more rational and yet fully decorational methods. The building reopened in May 2011 following significant restoration work. For more details and information on visits, please go to: www.palauguell.cat
*Metro L4 (yellow) Dir. La Pau, Stop; Jaume I
Address: carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5
L’Aquàrium de Barcelona
is the largest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world. To find out more about it without needing to get wet, we suggest that you delve deeper and deeper into discovering the 14 aquariums that represent the Mediterranean’s different marine communities.
In each aquarium, you can learn about the most characteristic species. You will also be able to observe two recreations of protected areas on Spain’s coastline: the Ebro Delta and the Medes Islands, and take a walk through the acrylic tunnel that runs the length of the Oceanarium, which gives you the feeling that you are swimming with the sharks.
*Metro L4 (yellow) Dir.La pau, Stop Barceloneta