EXPLORE MERCAT DE SANTA CATERINA
Head to the Market of Saint Catherine (Mercat de Santa Caterina) which is virtually a museum of Barcelona’s past. Filled with bustling market stalls, tapas bars and restaurants the market is sheltered under a truly amazing multicolored ceramic roof.
DISCOVER BARCELONA’S ROMAN WALLS
Located just a few blocks away from the Mercat de Santa Caterina, the Roman Walls are an impressive relic of Barcelona’s past. The two best preserved sections of the walls are located at the southeast side of Ramon de Berenguer Square and at the northern end of Carrer del Sotstinent Navarro. The Chapel of Saint Agatha on the Placa del Rei is of particular interest, as much of this 14th century chapel was built using stone from the Roman walls.
PLACA SANT JAUME
Saint James’ square (Placa Sant Jaume) is located at the very place where the main streets of the ancient city of Barcino converged and where the Temple of Augustus once stood. Today, the square is the site of Barcelona’s City Hall and the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia – Catalonia’s own government headquarters. Because of its role in Catalonia’s history, it is sometimes known as Constitution Square and it is where many Catalonians gather on Sunday mornings to dance the sardana. Furthermore, if you’re lucky you might come across Barcelona’s Castellers forming human towers; a tradition where levels of people stand on each other’s shoulders until, eventually one man reaches the top.
STROLL ALONG LA RAMBLA
Stroll along La Rambla, one of the most famous streets in the world, which offers so many sites and sights that one can spend many hours walking from one end to the other. Now primarily a pedestrian walkway, it is crowded with both locals and visitors enjoying street performances such as living statues and mimes, artists and musicians, or sampling local delicacies at
the numerous cafes and restaurants.
Completely revamped for the 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona’s waterfront is exciting and refreshing. The long sandy beaches, trendy bars and restaurants, and the Barceloneta neighbourhood attract locals and visitors alike, all year round.
Walking down La Rambla, you’ll find the Teatre Poliorama, a venue for many types of theatrical productions. The theater was built in 1894 as the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Sciences & Arts and during the Spanish Civil War it served as the base for a communist group. George Orwell, the British author who was reporting on the war, was trapped in the theater for several days and describes the violence he witnessed in his Homage to Catalonia.
GRAN TEATRE DEL LICEU
Take a sneak peek into what was once the largest opera house in Europe. Over the many decades of its existence, the Gran Teatre Del Liceu has hosted countless notable opera singers, dance companies, and famous symphony orchestras; enthusiasts of such should consider attending a performance in this wonderful venue!
MERCAT DE SANT JOSEP DE LA BOQUERIA
Stop by the Mercat De Sant Josep De La Boqueria, a large market full for fresh produce, and foods of all kinds. Even though open-air markets have existed on this site since the 15th century, it was not until 1840 that construction of an enclosure began. The building has been modified over the years and the metal roof dates from 1914. Enter market and prepare to be overwhelmed by its plenitude!
Known in Spanish as the Mirador de Colom because of its location overlooking the sea, the monument was constructed between 1882 and 1888. The column is 40 meters high and at its top stands the 7-meter high bronze statue of Chistopher Columbus. There is a small elevator inside the column that allows a few people at a time to ascend to a stunning lookout.
VISIT THE COSMO CAIXA FORUM
Spend a fun family afternoon at Cosmo Caixa Forum, a former textile factory, located at the foot of Montjuic, now restored into an industrial cultural, social and educational center. Look out for the 3D Planetarium and the scaled version of the solar system.
VISIT PARK GUELL
Head to the iconic Park Guell in Raval, the park was built between 1900 and 1914 and has been used as a public park since 1926. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site. under “Works of Antoni Gaudi”. The Hall of the Hundred Columns, the mosaic bench in the form of a serpent, and the salamander on the main steps are just a few of the park’s important architectural elements.
EXPLORE CATALONIA SQUARE
Occupying some 50,000 square meters, Catalonia Square (Placa De Catalunya) is a central square where locals gather. The square’s most impressive monument is the large memorial of Francesc Macia, the 122nd president of Catalonia. As you leave the square be sure to observe a bizarre lamppost with a fountain at its base; the Font de Canaletes is where football fans gather to celebrate victories, although visitors prefer to hear the legend that if you drink from this fountain, you will definitely return to Barcelona.
PLACA SANT FELIP NERI
The romantic Placa Sant Felip Neri is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful squares and an unmissable spot in the Gothic Quarter. Look closely at the façade of the Sant Felip Neri church, and you’ll notice the shrapnel scars from a bomb that was dropped on the square during the Civil War.
VISIT CAMP NOU
Camp Nou is Europe’s biggest stadium and home to FC Barcelona. Take a tour of the stadium to discover the history of the club, enter the field through the tunnel, and visit the impressive trophy room. In order to avoid the queues we recommend booking your tickets in advance through the FC Barcelona website.
DISCOVER CIUTADELLA PARK
Spend a relaxing afternoon at the Ciutadella Park where, within its 17 hectares, there is much to see including the Barcelona Zoo. There are also fun activities, from markets and fairs to sporting events, concerts, DJ sessions, children’s parties and charity events.
HAVE FUN AT THE TIBIDABO FUNFAIR
Hike up the hill to the Tibidabo Funfair, the only amusement park in Barcelona, and one of the oldest in the world. There are more than 25 attractions for all ages, from the newest to the more ‘classic’ that add a bit of vintage feel to the park. Take the Blau tram or the funicular to reach the park for stunning views of Barcelona.
HIKE THE MONTJUIC HILL
Hike the Montjuic Hill for extraordinary views of Barcelona. If you are a Joan Miro aficionado, then visit the modern Joan Miro Foundation, which is home to some of the artist’s most famous works and hosts various cultural events. Also, check out the Magic fountain by Carles Buigas for a display of music, water and lights.