Individuals wondering where to go in Spain may wish to consider planning their upcoming European vacations around the wonderous Barcelona. This metropolis is the nation’s second largest city and a very popular tourist destination, due to the incredible amount of fun attractions, upscale dining establishments and cultural sites available. Travelers are sure to have a wonderful time exploring this 2,000-year old city, which was once ruled by the Romans and went by the name Barcino.
Barcelona first became a popular destination for tourists in the early 1990s. In 1992, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games, and as a result, went through a period of gentrification and renovation that brought a very modern and upscale feel to most neighborhoods. What travelers to Barcelona may find interesting and attractive is that the city still retains an old, and in some places ancient, vibe to it. For instance, when exploring the area, one may encounter a high fashion designer shop right next to a thousand-year-old church, or a fast food restaurant adjacent to a relic from Roman times. Individuals may enjoy making their way through the city, discovering and exploring new and old attractions.
While Barcelona is a very large city, it is only divided into five districts. However, tourists to the area are typically only attracted to two of them, Ciutat Vella, or the Old Town, and Eixample, the Modernists Quarter. These two neighborhoods are where individuals will find many of the sites that they came to Barcelona to see, including Palau de la Musica Catalana, an architectural masterpiece and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, a fantastic example of Gothic design; and La Pedrera Casa Mila, a tall and eccentric Gaudi creation. Additionally, the Picasso Museum, Sagrada Familia and Barcelona Harbour are located in this area as well.
Travelers who have an interest in embarking on a day-long excursion through Barcelona may want to begin at Las Ramblas. This is the central street that cuts through the heart of the city, and boasts a variety of shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions. Individuals can spend a lazy afternoon exploring this famous boulevard, sampling local cuisine and enjoying shows and dances put on by street performers. After travelers have gotten their fill of this busy road, they can take a quick walk over to La Boqueria, a gigantic open air market.