Located in the northeastern region of Catalonia in Spain, Barcelona is a city known for its architecture. The city's architectural attractions pale in comparison to its food scene.
How to get there?
Barcelona has a large international airport close to the city and a regional airport for low-cost carriers farther away from the city. The international airport is connected to the city by several roads and a shuttle bus that arrives at Catalonia square. If you are on a budget, book your hotel and flight in advance to avoid high prices.
Where to stay?
There are many accommodation options for those who want to visit this city. There are many youth hostels near the Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter, near the city's famous bar and clubs. If you want a designer hotel out of the city center, stay at one of the many boutique hotels in the Eixample district.
What to visit?
The Sagrada Familia is the city's main symbol. This unfinished cathedral is known for its carved facades, each facade representing a scene, including Nativity facade, which was the first facade to be completed. The inside of the cathedral has bony columns and large murals. Climb up one of the two completed towers in order to enjoy views towards the city from the top.
Do not miss the chance to enjoy a walk around the Eixample district. In this neighbourhood you will find two other buildings designed by Gaudí. Casa Batlló used to be a private residence. This building is known for its sandstone facade decorated with colourful pieces of trencadis, traditional Catalonian mosaics. There are narrow windows and iron-wrought balconies in the shapes of skulls. Nearby is Casa Milá, a large building with a limestone, wavy facade. Guided tours are organized around part of the building and one of the patios. This building was built without any straight lines and has curved rooms. The top floor holds an exhibition space dedicated to the architect's designs. This space leads to the rooftops, which are decorated with chimneys resembling large stone statues. From here you can enjoy views towards the city center.
Where to eat?
You cannot travel to Barcelona and not taste its local cuisine. Most regional dishes are surf'n'turf dishes, with ingredients from the mountains and the sea. Try chicken with shrimps served in a thick sauce. Escalivada is another typical tapa dish, an aperitif from roasted eggplant, onion, pepper and tomato served on a potato slice and covered by an anchovy. Another typical dish are piquillo peppers stuffed with cod.
If you do not want to spend most of your budget on food, a more affordable and even more authentic option is to buy ingredients at one of the local markets. The most famous markets are the Sant Antoni and Boquería markets. Sant Antoni is located close to El Raval district, a very traditional area that has been transformed into a hip district, and Boquería is located off Las Ramblas, a set of main streets that connect the Catalonia square to the seaside. The markets are filled with stalls selling fresh fruit, seasonal vegetables, a selection of poultry, fish and meat. There are bright, fruity granizados icy drinks and many bakeries nearby.