In Europe, you have the diversity of coastal France, bustling Italy, romantic Greece right to the eastern beauties of Czechoslovakia and Romania, whilst the Catalan capital of Barcelona retains its own attitude, unlike any other Spanish city.
Art lovers will savour its excellent galleries, historical objects alongside state-of-the-art architecture, chic apartments, outstanding bars and food, all topped off by a Mediterranean climate. Be sure that that your travel plan includes visits to architecture designed by the Catalonian artist Antoni Gaudi. It's a must. A visit to Montjuic to view the city from the coastline to the encompassing mountains is also a delight.
The mountain itself is naturally wooded and also home to the Joan Miro museum, and a museum of ethnology as well as the Olympic and Sports museum. And there is also an olden castle dating back over four centuries, and the wonderful New Botanical Gardens. The yet incomplete construction of the Sagrada Familia is also a Gaudi magnum opus that has transformed architectural and engineering development, with a creation from as far back as the XIII century. Many of the splendours including the ones mentioned above are easily accessible from a myriad of accommodation choices in Barcelona, from budget rooms to first-class service.
You do not have to be an art fanatic to appreciate the creations of Gaudi. The numerous instalments exhibiting his signature style are still standing, and it is worth going to Barcelona just to discover several of his greatest works which are located in the city. Barcelona is truly blessed with his weird designs, he could be indeed, and the main reason the city draws so many tourists. This famous work by Gaudi will be the most incredible church you will ever come across.
With a more modern but similarly Catalonian flair is the Hotel W, or known as La Vela, a striking hotel located next to the sea designed by the Catalan architect, Ricardo Bofill, to resemble like an enormous boat sail. Born in Barcelona in 1939, Bofill is honoured for his architectural structures that harmonise with different cultures.
|Hotel W, Barcelona|
Another hotel, located in the 22@ District on Diagonal Avenue, is Hotel ME Barcelona, a glass structure designed by French architect Dominique Perrault. There are lots of public spaces to enjoy in the city including the beaches and gardens. Two of the best are, of course, Guell Park and Parc de la Ciutadella, a park in Ciutat Vella famous for its museums and boating lake.
There are also many more modern architectural gems in the area if you take a closer look, such as the Hotel Habitat Sky, which is also part of the ME hotel brand, Bassat Ogilvy Headquarters, which is noted for making plenty use of natural light, as well as the iconic Agbar Tower (now known as Torre GlÒries) looming at the gateway of the technological district.
In addition to architecture, Barcelona is also notable for its nightlife, where there is a variety of clubs and lounges covering practically every theme for all palates and budgets. Barri GÒtic and Las Ramblas are most popular as they are found in the heart of the city and have a vivacious atmosphere that appeals to foreigners as well as locals. The area is full of cool discotheques and pubs, and you will find and a wide selection of elegant spots that are loved by the locals but embraces tourists as well.
Maremagnum will be the perfect location for families as it is a huge waterfront mall with plenty of walkways and bars before the dark hour starts. As the families leave and the party animals arrive you will find everything here from techno clubs to Irish pubs, it is quite easy to party here till morning as some of the clubs stay open till 6am.
Life is short and is worth breaking out of a norm and doing something fun on weekends. Most European cities are a short flight away and can do a lot to bring some excitement back into your life, whether you seek to travel alone or if you are planning a surprise vacation with someone. Instead of doing what others traditionally do by saving all year around for that once a year 2 week holiday, why don't you save money with an apartment in Barcelona and spend it on 3 or 4 short breaks to different cities instead?
Author: Mathieu Quintart
Your feedback means so much to us as they help us strive to provide content that specifically meets your needs. Kindly share with us your feedback (recommendations, thoughts, compliments, criticisms, etc.). We look forward to having them.