Barcelona Journals

Soaking up Barcelona, Spain

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A June 1999 trip to Barcelona by Julieta

Park Guell (Parc Güell) Photo, Barcelona, Spain More Photos
Quote: Barcelona, situated in the heart of the fiercely independent region known as Catalunya, is a city unlike any other. With its passion for seafood, conversation, and art, Barcelona is paradise. This vibrant, expressive city is one huge museum, where every building, park, and street corner stands alone as a masterpiece.

Hotel Jardi

Hotel

Quote:
Excellent location near the Ramblas, with simple, clean rooms, and the option of private baths. The square got noisy at night, but I loved the lively atmosphere. It is adjacent to a large number of shops, cafes, and bakeries. Our room had a small balcony overlooking the cathedral square. Leaving the doors to the balcony wide open during the afternoon siesta was incredibly relaxing -- this alone would make the hotel worth staying in.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Hotel Jardi
Gothic Quarter
Barcelona, Spain

Les Quinze Nits

Restaurant

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A lively, beautiful restaurant with great regional food and surprisingly reasonable prices. You’ll probably stand in line unless you get there early for dinner -- but waiters run plates of tapas (various kinds) out to those stuck in line. The line often stretches way out into the lovely Placa Reial.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Les Quinze Nits
Plaza Real 6
Barcelona, Spain 08002
(34) 9 33 17 30 75

Restaurante Pollo Rico

Restaurant | "Pollo Rico"

Quote:
Hearty, delicious food in a very basic setting -- don’t expect anything fancy here. A local favorite, this place is always packed. The food is very inexpensive and offers a truly authentic taste of Catalan cuisine. Try any of the dishes with chicken (hence, the name). They are sure to please.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Restaurante Pollo Rico
#31 Carrer De Sant Pau (el Raval Area)
Barcelona, Spain

Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso)

Attraction | "Museu Picasso"

Quote:
Extensive collection of Picasso’s work, housed in two medieval mansions. Contains mostly his early and late work -- the trademark Cubist pieces are few in number, allowing visitors to see aspects of Picasso’s style that are often overshadowed by his more famous works. The quality of the art and the uniqueness of the setting make this an essential stop on any trip to Barcelona.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso)
Montcada, 15-19
Barcelona, Spain 08003
+34 93 3196310

Fundació Joan Miró

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Attraction

Quote:
Located at the top of Montjüic, a steep hill near Barcelona’s harbor, Fundació Joan Miró features amazing views of the city plus an exceptional outdoor sculpture garden. The Fundació is a stunning museum, beautifully designed and full of exciting art by brilliant abstract artist Joan Miró. Miró’s sculptures, paintings, sketches, and more are housed here, along with pieces done by other artists in tribute to Miró. The best of these tributes is the “Mercury Fountain” by Alexander Calder -- housed in a sealed room, the fountain features shining liquid mercury instead of water.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Fundació Joan Miró
Parc de Montjuïc
Barcelona, Spain 08038
+34 93 3291908

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

Attraction | "Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona"

Quote:
A massive, stark white building, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) houses a number of rotating exhibits that highlight excellent regional works. Artists such as Joan Miró, Tapiès, and Joan Brossa can be found here. Adjacent to the Museu is the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona (CCCB), where you can see films, concerts, and other performances. The area around MACBA and CCCB is peppered with galleries well worth a glance.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Plaça Angels, 1
Barcelona, Spain 08001
+34 93 4120810

La Sardana

Attraction

Quote:
Every Sunday morning around 10am in the square in front of La Seu, crowds gather to form huge circles for the sardana, Catalunya’s national dance. Everyone is welcome to join in this simple, festive dance. And don’t miss La Seu, Barcelona’s major cathedral. The riotous Gothic façade gives way to a peaceful, 14th century cloister and garden.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

La Sardana
In front of La Seu
Barcelona, Spain

Els Quatre Gats

Attraction

Quote:
This modernist legend was the preferred hangout for Picasso and his pals. A vivid atmosphere still clings to the place, making it the perfect spot to linger over drinks or rest after a day of exploring museums. You’ll find a great selection of beers and cozy décor.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Els Quatre Gats
Calle Montsio 3
Barcelona, Spain

Paraigua

Attraction | "El Paraigua"

Quote:
El Paraigua is well-known for both its beautiful modernista interior and its wonderful atmosphere. It is an elegant little bar that serves delicious tapas as well as a variety of quality drinks. Every once and again this nightspot also features classical music performances, the perfect soundtrack for such a stylish experience.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Paraigua
Calle Pas de l’Ensenyanca 2
Barcelona, Spain

La Rambla (Las Ramblas) Pedestrian Mall

Attraction | "Las Ramblas"

Quote:
Las Ramblas stretches south from the Placa Catalunya and ends at the harbor. It is a wide, gracious, tree-lined avenue where a multitude of vendors sell flowers, newspapers, birds, artworks, and wonderful things to eat. Have a leisurely dinner in a café out on the Ramblas, then stroll the length of the street until you get to the harbor. At the harbor, there are benches where you can sit and enjoy the water under the stars.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

La Rambla (Las Ramblas) Pedestrian Mall
Central Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain

Park Guell (Parc Güell)

Attraction | "Parc Güell"

Park Guell (Parc Güell) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Designed by Antoní Gaudí, Barcelona’s most famous architect, this park’s location on a hill means it has spectacular views of the city. The surreal architecture -- disorienting tilted passageways and a giant lizard fountain -- are not to be missed. The flowers and shrubs are very beautiful, and there is a magnificent curving bench covered in mosaic tile that stretches around the entire main area of the park.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Park Guell (Parc Güell)
Montana Pelada, Gracia District
Barcelona, Catalonia

Quote:
This huge park is where all of Barcelona goes to relax and enjoy the lovely temperate weather. The Cascada, the incredible fountain designed by Josep Fontseré with his assistant, the young Gaudí, is not to be missed. Also located in the park is the Museu d’Art Modern de Catalunya, which features Catalan art dating back to the mid-19th century. The Parc Zoologic is perhaps the most visited area of the Parc de la Ciutadella.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Parc de la Ciutadella
Passeig de Pujades
Barcelona, Spain 08005

La Boqueria

Attraction

Quote:
The entrance arch to this huge market is a dazzling combination of ironwork and stained glass. The noise and stunning array of foods in the market will intoxicate you. Stalls selling fresh fish, vegetables, irresistible cheeses and tiny cups of strong coffee are jumbled together under a soaring roof. La Boqueria is the perfect place to buy items for a picnic lunch.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

La Boqueria
La Rambla, 91
Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

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Attraction | "La Sagrada Família"

Quote:
La Sagrada Família is a bizarrely beautiful unfinished cathedral designed by Antoní Gaudí. Construction has been off and on since the project began in 1882, and some think it will never be completed. The cathedral’s eight spires, which are over 100m tall, are almost always singled out as a symbol of Barcelona. A winding, narrow stone staircase, which is often photographed because of its twisting, disorienting beauty, winds its way up the inside of each spire -- visitors are free to climb up, but beware: you’ll be quite dizzy. In the crypt is a small museum which houses models and photographs chronicling Gaudí’s career and the history of the surreal cathedral.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

La Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401
Barcelona, Spain 08013
+34 93 2073031

Museu Marítim

Attraction | "Drassanes/Museo Maritim"

Quote:
Barcelona has a love affair with seafood and the sea, therefore this fascinating museum takes on added significance. The Drassanes are amazingly well-preserved medieval shipyards dating back to the 13th century. Once used to build and repair the ships of Catalunya’s war fleet, these shipyards were used right up to the 18th century. You’ll also find ancient seafaring maps and charts.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Museu Marítim
Avinguda Drassanes, 1
Barcelona, Spain 08001
+34 93 3429920

Passeig de Gracia

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Attraction

Quote:
Elegant, airy avenue lined with trees, expensive shops and cafes, and benches. The main attraction is La Manzana de la Discordia -- The Block of Discord -- where three striking buildings, unlike any other dwellings on earth, rub elbows. The three architects responsible for the wonderful discord -- Lluis Domenech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and Antoní Gaudí -- are renowned as the greatest minds of Catalan architecture. The Block of Discord symbolizes much about Barcelona -- it is imaginative, expressive, and one-of-a-kind.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 6, 2000

Passeig de Gracia
From Placa Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gracia
Barcelona, Spain

Quote:
Barcelona has a wide range of accomodation choices -- you'll find something that fits your budget no matter how little or how much you have to spend. Hostels and budget hotels are plentiful, and in my experience, clean and safe --although you'll have to book ahead in the warmer months, because the hostels fill up quickly. Some of the budget hotels even offer private bathrooms. Be sure you know the neighborhood you'll be lodging in before you make the arrangements -- the Barri Xines/El Raval area is not a safe place to be roaming at night, so think twice before booking a hotel there. For me, the best place to stay is on or near Las Ramblas -- there are hundreds of shops, restaurants, and museums.

Catalan Eats

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Catalan cuisine is extraordinary. Seafood is the main focus, and Barcelona's proximity to the ocean means you'll enjoy the freshest ingredients. You'll enjoy zarzuela, a stew made of a dizzying array of fish and shellfish; pan con tomate, a hearty and delicious preparation of bread with tomato and olive oil; churros con chocolate, fried dough strips dusted with sugar and served with a cup of thick hot chocolate; and esqueixada, a salad made from dried cod, olives, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Simplicity, fresh ingredients, and the right wine are all crucial to Catalan cooking.
La Placa Reial Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Barcelona is a beautiful, active city with abundant parks, galleries, museums, shops, and restaurants. All you have to do is go for a walk and you'll find plenty to do. Just be sure to spend as much time as possible outside -- even when the weather is warm and humid, the streets are irresistible. The city's spectacular modernista architecture is world famous, so keep your eye on the buildings as you stroll -- even the tiniest details, such as door handles, lamp posts, and mosaic sidewalks will surprise you. Barcelona is renowned as a center for fine arts, so don't miss the excellent galleries and museums.