Barcelona's Highlight Sights
Of all the wonderful sights and places Barcelona has to offer, we'd like to recommend a few highlights that most visitors wouldn't want to miss.
Probably the most iconic symbol of Barcelona is Sagrada Família, the Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family. Construction on it began in 1882 and is still unfinished today. According to current plans, this large Roman Catholic church will be completed in 2016, the 100th anniversary of the death of its architect Antoni Gaudí. He took over the project in 1883 and continued working on this monument creation until his death in 1926. The renowned architect combined already existing Gothic elements with curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. The impressive richness of detail makes this church a majestic place for everyone who walks through its portals. Take a closer look at the magnificent facades: they contain many hidden messages and biblical stories. Unmistakably Gaudí, who took his inspiration from Mother Nature, are the columns inside the church. Modeled on trees, they branch out as they reach toward the roof.
How to get there: Take the blue or purple Metro line to the Sagrada Família stop.
Entrance: €19.50 (guided tour included)
For more information, visit the official Sagrada Família site.
As Barcelona is the city of Antoni Gaudí, you shouldn't miss out on another significant work of this famous architect – Park Güell. Gaudí designed this park on behalf of the industrialist Eusebi Güell between 1900 and 1914. Güell was very impressed by English-style gardens and wanted to have one in Barcelona. Gaudí designed a complete "garden city" with more than 60 villas. But in the end, just three houses were built: one for the Güell family to live in, one for Gaudí to live in and one for the family of an architect friend. Today, the former home of Gaudí is a museum – the Casa Museu Gaudí.
Gaudí took an environmental-friendly approach to the construction. His tailored his plans to the natural landscape, incorporating little hills into his designs, and hardly moved any earth for the project. Gaudí instead devised small retaining walls that reflected his characteristic style. He also used discarded pieces of pottery from a nearby factory for many of the mosaics. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site.
La Plaça, a 3,000-square-meter oval terrace, marks the center of the park. Not only is the view over the city phenomenal, but the terrace itself is also magnificent. A long bench snakes along the edge of the terrace and is covered with mosaic decorations. If you take a closer look, you'll discover many abstract motifs and figurative forms.
How to get there: Take the green Metro line to the Vallorca or Lesseps stop.
Please note: From the Metro stop you can expect a 20-minute walk. Around 200 meters are a rather steep uphill path.
Entrance: €8 (online €7)
For more information, visit Park Güell's official site.
Parc de Montjuïc
Another great opportunity to enjoy a stunning view over Barcelona and its harbor, while also learning about the city's rich history, is a visit to Parc de Montjuïc. The 170-meter-high hill is located in the southern part of the city and has been the venue of events of major international significance. Discover the place where both the 1929 World Exhibition and the 1992 Summer Olympics took place. What's more, the park was previously the site of Formula One and motorcycle races.
The Parc de Montjuïc is a popular place for tourists and locals to take a stroll, find inspiration or simply relax. On top of the hill there are several museums, among them the Fundació Joan Miró. On the southern slope of the hill there is the municipal cemetery, the Cementiri de Montjuïc. There you'll find the graves of Joan Miró, Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, Francisco Ascaso and Buenaventura Durruti.
Special tip: Go there in the evening and visit Fon Màgica, Barcelona's most popular fountain that offers a spectacular display of music, water acrobatics and lights.
How to get there: Take the green or red Metro line to the Plaça Espanya stop.
For more information, visit Barcelona Tourism's official site.
Camp Nou is a must-see for every fan of the FC Barcelona football club. It's the largest stadium in Europe, seating some 100,000 people. Only club members get the chance to buy season tickets. If you signed up for tickets today, your waiting period would last for approximately 42 years. But don't worry: thanks to the "Camp Nou Experience" everybody can take a guided tour of the stadium and get a glimpse behind the scenes, from the changing rooms and press room to the player's entrance and the club's museum. The price of the tour includes entrance to the museum.
How to get there: Take the green Metro line to the Les Corts stop or take the blue Metro line to the Collblanc stop.
Entrance: €23 (entrance to museum included)
For more information, visit FC Barcelona's official site.
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From historic paintings to stunning modern architecture
Such a diverse city as Barcelona has many museums to discover. No matter what your taste, you will surely find some interesting places to visit. During the last few centuries many famous artists and architects have lived in Barcelona – such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and, of course, Antoni Gaudí.
If you want to visit the six most important museums, consider buying the Art Pass for €30. The price includes the entrance fee to Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Fundació Joan Miró, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and Museu Picasso.
The Catalan culture can also be found in the local cuisine. Read about the culinary specialties and try them during your stay.