6 Top Attractions in Barcelona Not To Be Missed

The capital of Catalonia is Barcelona, located on the coast of northeastern Spain. If you have a passion for art and architecture, Barcelona is your dream destination. Best of all, it is a destination that enables you to combine both fun and culture.

Gaudi Architecture

Barcelona is famous for the outstanding architectural works of Antoni Gaudi, an architect whose distinctive style embodies color, free-flowing form, and texture. He was part of the Catalan Modernista movement. A stay in Barcelona is incomplete without visits to some of his famous buildings such as:

Casa Vicens

This fine Art Nouveau building contains spectacular ceramic decorations in the façade. Gaudi’s residential project which is now a museum combines oriental and neoclassical designs which is a unique departure from tradition.

Park Güell 

A huge urban park abounding in lovely landscaped gardens, this complex was built between 1900 and 1914. Gaudi lived here for almost 20 years, and it is one of the largest green spaces in Barcelona. You can take a stroll through the gardens as you study Gaudi’s artwork; there is an abundance of sculptures, mosaics, and colorful tiling to admire. Venture to the highest point of the site for amazing views of Barcelona.

La Sagrada Familia Church

A famous landmark, this is a vast, unfinished basilica with a lavish exterior. It was designed by Anton Gaudi and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The architect worked on this immense project until his death.

The reason the construction took so long is due to the fact that this expensive project was funded by donations. Therefore the builders had to pause as they waited for the money to come in. When it is finally completed, the basilica will have a total of 18 towers.

If you need a break from culture, here are some fun activities for you:

Visit the Beach

Endowed with 60 miles of coastline, beach-lovers will be in their element. Apart from the famous Barceloneta beach, there are other gems to be discovered such as:

Nova Icària Beach

This is one of Barcelona’s best beaches for watersports. It’s a venue that attracts visitors of all ages, teens, families, as well as young adults. Nova Icaria is a laid-back, peaceful beach with a great selection of bars and restaurants that are within easy reach.

Bogatell Beach

Popular with locals, Bogatell beach has good water quality and is the place to go for both sunbathing and sports enthusiasts alike. The beach is away from the crowds of Barceloneta, has a friendly relaxed atmosphere, and offers amazing eateries. Why not sample the traditional paella, or squid fried the Andalusian style. Alternatively, check out one of the trendy beach bars that serve delicious specialty cocktails.

After a visit to the buzzing Mediterranean seaside, you may choose to pay a visit to Barcelona’s famous market:

La Boqueria

Possibly one of Barcelona’s oldest markets, La Boqueria has a vibrant and intoxicating atmosphere. The ocean smell permeating the air mingles with the smell of frying fish. There are over 200 stalls here, and the market is one of the city’s leading tourist landmarks.

You will find an amazing selection of fruits, fish, candy, spices, vegetables, and a host of other items. The market is also considered a culinary icon. You must visit one of the tapa bars and sample their garbanzo beans. Alternatively hit one of the fruit stands for unique blends of juice.

Barcelona is a favorite destination for people from all parts of the world; and for good reason too. Its diverse attractions, history, architecture, and cuisine should guarantee it a slot on your list of unmissable places to visit.

 

The Ultimate Travel Guide for First Time Travelers to Vancouver

Vancouver is a beautiful seaport city in Western Canada. In addition to being the third-largest city in Canada, Vancouver is also North America’s third-largest film production center. The city is unique in that it is an urban center surrounded by sea and mountains; hence it offers the best of both worlds.

When to visit 

The city of Vancouver has a reputation for having unceasing rain, hence, a good month to plan a visit is in August. This guarantees you long warm sunny days, and in addition, this is the month that records the least rainfall.

Where to Stay

You have a choice of several neighborhoods, each with unique attributes:

Downtown Vancouver

This is the center of the action and an excellent location for first-time visitors. The top sights and activities are within reach, in addition to which there is an efficient public transport system.

Yaletown 

Known as the trendy area of downtown Vancouver, it is recommended for upscale accommodation. This is a waterfront neighborhood, with marinas, the seawall, and a high concentration of excellent eateries. There are several green spaces in the vicinity including David Lam Park, one of the biggest parks in Vancouver.

Coal Harbour 

An area situated downtown right on the water, this is a laid back area with neighborhood cafes, lots of pubs serving a great selection of local craft brews, and a vibrant night-life.

The West End

If you want to get a taste of how the locals live, the West End is the place to stay. The main attractions here are its parks and beaches. The West End is surrounded by water on three sides, hence you can spend enjoyable hours visiting the beaches. Alternatively, you can choose to explore Stanley Park which is nearby.

Where to Go

Stanley Park

This popular park borders the downtown area of Vancouver. Situated on a peninsular, it is a leading tourist attraction with beautiful beaches and blooming gardens. In addition, it is estimated that there are 500,000 firs, hemlock, and cedar trees here. There is no shortage of things to do here. In addition to great walking trails, there is also the option of walking or biking the seawall. Alternatively, you can visit the aquarium or the Brockton Point totem poles.

Granville Island

This island water park is a great favorite, packed with history and art. Visitors particularly enjoy a visit to the vibrant market. Stall owners display their handmade crafts here, and farmers and butchers sell their produce.

While on the island, you can watch a live show, or have a meal at one of the numerous excellent restaurants that are found here. The culturally inclined can browse the art exhibits to their heart’s content.

Pay a visit to Gastown

Famous for its beautiful Victorian-style architecture, Gastown is Vancouver’s most historic neighborhood. It has charming cobbled streets and landmarks such as the steam-powered clock at the junction of Cambie and Water street. Gastown is also home to the best restaurants in the city.

If you fancy a spot of shopping, you will find numerous boutiques that feature local designers, furniture and interior design stores as well as men’s fashion outlets.

The above are but a drop in the ocean of the available activities you can indulge in when you visit Vancouver. You will no doubt make it a goal to pay another visit to this beautiful part of Canada.