Discover the amazing city of Barcelona

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Barcelona is the 10th-most-visited city in the world and the third most visited in Europe after London and Paris, with several million tourists every year. With its Rambles, Barcelona is ranked the most popular city to visit in Spain.
Barcelona as internationally renowned a tourist destination, with numerous recreational areas, one of the best beaches in the world, mild and warm climate, historical monuments, including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and developed tourist infrastructure.

Find out more about the sights of the city and its history.

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Although the hospital’s current building date from the 20th century, the Hospital de la Santa Creu (the last part of its name, “Sant Pau”, was added in honour of the banker, Pau Gil, who paid the new buildings in the twentieth century) was founded in 1401 when six small medieval hospitals merged. The hospital’s former buildings near the center of Barcelona date from the 15th century, and now house an art school (Escola Massana) and Biblioteca de Catalunya (National Library of Catalonia). This is no longer a hospital as it was closed in 2009.

In 1991 was awarded with the “Creu de Sant Jordi” by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

In 2003 a new hospital building was erected to the north of the Domènech i Montaner’s Modernista pavilions.

Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

The Basilica of the Sagrada Família was the inspiration of a bookseller, Josep Maria Bocabella, founder of Asociación Espiritual de Devotos de San José (Spiritual Association of Devotees of St. Joseph). After a visit to the Vatican in 1872, Bocabella returned from Italy with the intention of building a church inspired by that at Loret.  The apse crypt of the church, funded by donations, was begun 19 March 1882, on the festival of St. Joseph, to the design of the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, whose plan was for a Gothic revival church of a standard form. The apse crypt was completed before Villar’s resignation on 18 March 1883, when Gaudí assumed responsibility for its design, which he changed radically. Antoni Gaudí began work on the church in 1883 but was not appointed Architect Director until 1884.

Parc Güell

Parc Güell

Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district. It was designed by the Catalan architect Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It has an extension of 17.18 ha (0.1718 km²), which makes it one of the largest architectural works in south Europe. 

The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, the idea of Count Eusebi Güell, after whom the park was named. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí. One was intended to be a show house, but on being completed in 1904 was put up for sale, and as no buyers came forward, Gaudí, at Güell’s suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in with his family and his father in 1906.

Park Güell is skillfully designed and composed to bring the peace and calm that one would expect from a park. The buildings flanking the entrance, though very original and remarkable with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens and seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when one considers the flamboyance of other buildings designed by Gaudí.

Roadways around the park to service the intended houses were designed by Gaudí as structures jutting out from the steep hillside or running on viaducts, with separate footpaths in arcades formed under these structures. This minimized the intrusion of the roads, and Gaudí designed them using local stone in a way that integrates them closely into the landscape.

Plaça de Catalunya

Plaça de Catalunya

Some of the city’s most important streets and avenues meet at Plaça de Catalunya: Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla, or Portal de l’Àngel, in addition to  Ronda de Sant Pere, Career de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai. The plaza occupies an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona’s most popular attractions, and for the flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre.

You can reach Plaça Catalunya from the hotel, taking the L5 Metro line.

La Rambla

La Rambla

The tree lined central promenade of the Rambla is crowded during the day and until late in the night. Its origins as a watercourse are reflected in the paving design, which appears to ripple like water. Along the promenade’s length are kiosks that sell newspapers and souvenirs, other kiosks selling flowers, street traders, performers, and pavement cafes and bars. Several notable sights are also located within the promenade, including a mosaic by Joan Miró, and the Font de Canaletes, a famous fountain and popular meeting point.

Strolling along La Rambla one can see such historic buildings as the Palacio de la Virreina and the famous Teatre del Liceu, in which operas and ballets are staged. The la Boquería market opens off the Rambla and is one of the city’s foremost tourist landmarks, housing a very diverse selection of goods.

One of the side streets, only a few metres long, leads to the Plaça Reial, a plaza with palm trees and porticoed buildings containing many pubs and restaurants, and in which stamp and coin collectors gather on the weekends.

Mercat de la Boquería

Mercat de la Boquería

The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, often simply referred to as La Boqueria, is a large public market and one of the city’s foremost tourist, with an entrance from La Rambla, not far from the Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house. The market has a very diverse selection of goods.

The first mention of the Boqueria market in Barcelona dates from 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470 onwards, a pig market was held at this site; at this time, it was known as Mercat Bornet. Later, until 1794, it was known simply as Mercat de la Palla, or straw market. In the beginning, the market was not enclosed and had no official status, being regarded simply as an extension of the Plaça Nova market, which extended to the Plaça del Pi.

Later, the authorities decided to construct a separate market on La Rambla, housing mainly fishmongers and butchers. It was not until 1826 that the market was legally recognized, and a convention held in 1835 decided to build an official structure. Construction began on March 19, 1840 under the direction of the architect Mas Vilà. The market officially opened in the same year, but the plans for the building were modified many times. The inauguration of the structure finally took place in 1853. A new fish market opened in 1911, and the metal roof that still exists today was constructed in 1914.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló is a renowned building located in the center of Barcelona and is one of Antonio Gaudi´s masterpieces. A remodel of a previously built house, it was redesigned in 1904 by Gaudí and has been refurbished several times after that.

Like everything Gaudí designed, only identifiable as Modernism or Art Noveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, has unusual tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work. There are few straight lines, and much of the façade is decorated with a colorful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís). The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Sant Jordi (Saint George patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudí’s home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.

F.C. Barcelona (Barça)

F.C. Barcelona (Barça)

Fútbol Club Barcelona (Barça) is one of the most supported teams in the world, and has the largest fan base among all sports teams on all major social networks. Barcelona’s players have won a record number of Ballon d’Or awards (10), as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards (7). In 2010, the club created history when three players who came through its youth academy (Messi, Iniesta & Xavi) were chosen as the three best players in the world, having bagged the top spots at the FIFA Ballon d’Or, an unprecedented feat for players from the same football school.

As August 2014, Barcelona has won 22 La Liga, 26 Copa del Rey, 11 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies, as well as being the record holder for the latter four competitions. They have also won 4 UEFA Championship League, a record 4 UEFA Cup Winners’s Cup, 4 UEFA Super Cup and a record 2 FIFA Club World Cup trophies. They also won a record 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup trophies, considered the predecessor to the UEFA Cup-Europa League.

Barcelona is the only European club to have played continental football every season since 1955, and one of three clubs to have never been relegated from La Liga, along with Athletic and Real Madrid. In 2009, Barcelona became the first club in Spain to win the treble consisting of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the Champions League. That same year, it also became the first football club ever to win six out of six competitions in a single year, thus completing the sextuple, comprising the aforementioned treble and the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

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