You may be just starting to plan out your next European vacation or just finishing your previous trip and now eager to see what else is out there for you to explore. Many different passions and interests may guide you when thinking about travel – have you considered the beautiful Catalonia, with its largest city, Barcelona? Spain offers a wide variety of spectacular gems, but it is Barcelona in particular that many tourist guides will point out as the place to go. Why? Many reasons exist to fit your lifestyle – and any budget under the sun.
Barcelona is a lot of things at the same time
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Barcelona’? Is it the Olympics and a great sports tradition in football (or soccer, if you prefer) and other fields? Are you thinking of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia and all the other phenomenal cultural landmarks with which this city is filled? Would you also perhaps think about learning Spanish here, and having a deep immersion experience into this unique region of one of the most exciting places in the world? You may have other associations as well, as Barcelona, throughout its history, has become the place that raises eyebrows, draws attention, calls inquisitive minds, inspires creativity and fosters innovation. Everyone knows Barcelona, and all for good reasons.
Vibrant and deep arts scene
Salvador Dali, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, among other world-famous artists, were definitely attracted by what Barcelona had to offer to those with a unique vision of people, life, society and historical events. Catalan art is in a category by itself – when you are in Barcelona, be sure to visit the National Arts Museum of Catalonia for a deep dive into its treasures. Each of the big names above is associated with at least one major museum and cultural hub in the city – and, importantly, there are discounted cards available that provide you with access to all or many of these at a reduced price. Basically, all you need to do to start your Barcelona arts scene adventure is to pick where to start and you are your own tourist guide.
All the good fun in the open air
Barcelona’s climate and weather patterns make for a comfortable stay outside – but you shouldn’t just ‘stay’, of course. The city has so much to offer to the active visitor that simply listing the parks, gardens and other green areas would take us a few pages. A tourist guide would also mention the labyrinth in the village of Horta, the stadiums and fields prepared for the 1992 Olympic Games, the Poble Espanyol exhibition of Spanish culture, the Forum of Cultures with its enormous recreational area, and the yacht tours and horse riding excursions available – and you get one of Europe’s and, indeed, one of the world’s most active and green cities. It is the choice destination for everyone with a love for architecture, sports and just being out in the open air.
What about the food and the hotels?
Well, yes, it is true that in addition to taking in the arts and enjoying the beautiful weather, people need to eat and have a good place to rest after an eventful day. On this front as well, Catalonia does not disappoint in any way. Some of the best restaurants, cafes and cooking classes are to be had here in Barcelona – you will quickly notice how popular and diverse the local food scene is. You could hire a tourist guide just for a culinary experience, with mouth-watering tapas, famous wine, prize-winning ham, paella, and constantly changing seasonal dishes of all kinds – the list goes on and on. In other words, you will never go hungry or be dissatisfied with your food here, we promise.
Still not convinced?
One of the best marketing tools for Barcelona has always been the word of mouth of those that have visited this great city and instantly fallen in love with it. If one makes the list of reasons to travel, it would be very hard to find a craving or passion that Catalonia’s capital doesn’t cover or cater to. Excellent food? Check. Comfortable hotels? Check. An unbelievable arts and music scene? Check. Architecture? History? Leisure? Sports? Nature? A confident check in the box for all of the above. To sum it up – Barcelona is waiting. You don’t need tourist guides to enjoy this trip – although there are many you could use! Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Because that’s how long your passion for Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain is going to be around. See you here very soon!