If you’re thinking of an early summer break in the wonderful Catalan capital of Barcelona, my Guest post from Escapio Unique Hotels may give you a few ideas on what to see and do and where to eat and stay for a luxurious city break.
It is the perfect time of year for an inspiring city break in southern Europe. The Catalan capital of Barcelona offers the best of summer pleasures with its spellbinding combination of beaches, museums, shopping and cultural programs. Aside from its prime location, this thriving metropolis bridges urban life with a proximity to nature, with over 10% of its area consisting of leafy parks. Indulge your taste buds with epicurious delights, your visual senses with the numerous delightful museums and relax in exquisite luxury accommodations offering repose for the style-conscious traveller.
One of the best ways to get to know the many faces of Barcelona is to explore the distinct character of each of the neighborhoods, locally called “barri” in Catalan. In the old barri also known as Ciutat Vella, historical and architectural sights are rampant. Stroll through the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas with its medieval architecture and narrow alleyways. Take a spin through the northeast side of the Gothic quarter, El Born with its trendy galleries and creative restaurants. Port Vell and Barceloneta form the original port area of the city and now the site of an aquarium and a shopping complex. Barceloneta is an upcoming sea view district by the city’s sandy beach. Kick back at one of the seaside restaurants and enjoy the catch of the day with a view.
In the area known as New Barcelona, you can saunter around the elegant marina and structures built for the 1992 Olympics. If you are fond of 19th century Art Nouveau buildings, then a visit to The Eixample is a must. The creative brainchild of Antonio Gaudi boasts his eccentric church La Sagrada Familia, still under construction more than a century after it started. The intoxicating streets of the Gracia barri, which used to be a village outside the main city, invite you to wander and experience the innovative restaurants and spellbinding nightlife. In August enjoy the crazily decorated streets of the locals’ Festival de Gracia. To get a birds-eye panoramic view of this multi-faceted city, head up to the hill of Montjüic. The nearby Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya & the Fundació Joan Miró are flagships of artistic endeavours and should not be missed by lovers of the fine arts.
Aside from the much frequented tourist sites like the Sagrada Familia and Las Ramblas, the city offers endless opportunities to pamper yourself on a lavish city break. Gourmet lovers will be especially delighted by the plethora of exquisite dining options available. Stop by the cutting-edge ABAC Restaurant & Hotel in the cool Zona Alta district. Head chef Jordi Cruz’s creative cuisine has been awarded 2 Michelin stars and combines the delicacies of traditional fare with the extravagance of contemporary taste pleasures.
There is a plethora of Barcelona boutique hotel for recharging your batteries in style. We recommend the centrally located luxury abode Grand Hotel Central, an oasis of calm in the hustle and bustle of the city. The hotel deserves its reputation for outstanding culinary delights with its Restaurant Ávalon run by chef Ramón Freixa. Another option for discerning travellers is Gaudi-esque hospitality at the Hotel Casa Fuster. Its proximity to the Gaudi designed houses on Passeig de Gracia is reflected in its harmonious melange of overt opulence and charming clarity.
After a few days of pampering and experiencing Barcelona, you are sure to succumb to the charms of this extravagant jewel of understated elegance in Catalonia’s crown.
Thanks for this guest post to Escapio Unique hotels – I loved Barcelona when I visited a few years ago, especially all those wierd and wonderful Gaudi buildings. My family also enjoyed the Fundació Joan Miró and we discovered that audio-guides are the secret to introducing children to fine art – they were entranced.
Photo Credits: Art Nouveau buildings in Exaimple by Jaume Meneses , Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona by patrimonigencat , La Sacrada Familia in Barcelona by Wolfgang Staudt ,Gaudi’s La Pedrera in Barcelona by Jaume Meneses.