The capital of Catalonia is a well-known destination for travellers who wish to have a good mix of fun and culture. Get to know the city’s spectacular architecture, parks, museums and delicious local cuisine.
The fairy-tale hedge maze of Horta is the oldest garden in the city. This hidden gem of Barcelona, located on the former estate of the Desvalls family, was given over to the city in the 1960s and now it's a public park. However, only 750 visitors are allowed in daily. The access costs over €2 per person.
The tall walls of the maze create over 600 m (2000 ft) of twists and turns, so don’t forget to leave a trail of breadcrumbs so you can get out again. In the centre you'll find a statue of Eros, the ancient Greek god of love.
Photo: EQRoy, Shutterstock
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How to get there:
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We encourage you to stay at 4* Hotel Gotico has a good price and excellent reviews. This property is located at just 50 m from Barcelona’s Jaume I Metro Station and a 2-minute walk from Barcelona Cathedral. It offers a rooftop terrace, and stylish, air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV. Soundproofed rooms are heated and feature beautiful tiled floors. They have a safe and work desk, and the private bathroom comes with a hairdryer and amenities.
Pension Ciudadela with excellent reviews is the budget option. This property is 11-minute walk from the beach. Pension Ciudadela guest house is opposite Barcelona’s França Train Station and 100 m from Ciudadela Park. It offers 24-hour reception and basic air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi, and private or shared bathroom facilities. All rooms at the property are heated, and there is a TV. Most rooms have a work desk and a private balcony. There are vending machines for drinks and snacks in the guesthouse. The central location means there are many bars and restaurants within a short walk. Barcelona’s Born district is 100 m away, and Barceloneta Beach is a 10-minute walk away.
What to do:
The best way to get around the city is by walk or on the metro, which has stops located very close to the city’s major tourist attractions. You can also use Barcelona’s city bike system, called Bicing.
Discover some of the coolest hidden gems in Barcelona, like Turó de la Rovira with the abandoned bunkers of Carmel that have become one the most scenic viewpoints in Barcelona.
Go to the Parc de la Ciutadella, an idyllic, green oasis in Barcelona. Relax, take a long walk or use a rowing boat on the lake. You can also visit a zoo.
In Plaça Espanya you can enjoy great views of the monumental classical-style fountain that rises up in the centre of the square. Plaça Espanya is also a gateway to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic.
Explore the largest Art Nouveau complex in the world – Sant Pau Recinte Modernista. It is set in a hospital with a 600-year-long history.
Drink sangria in one of the beach bars and learn the basics of flamenco.
Buy a bowl of churros, Spanish doughnuts, to be dipped in hot chocolate. Don’t forget to try the vibrant, fresh tapas to be found in the backstreets. Taste paella, a Spanish dish traditionally made with rice, saffron, vegetables and a variety of meat and shellfish.
Music lovers can go to a concert in the Palau de la Musica Catalana or enjoy classical music in Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.
Camp Nou, the stadium of Barcelona FC, is unmissable for football fans.
Go shopping in the Passeig de Gràcia. In this elegant avenue there are lots of stores offering clothing, jewelery, leather goods and other items.
Visit one of the best beaches in Barcelona. The most popular include Barceloneta, Mar Bella, Nova Icaria and Bogatell.
If you like history, you should see the rediscovered pillars of the old Roman Forum and Via Sepulcral Romana – the ancient cemetery from 1st to 3rd century. Barcelona boasts the largest Roman digs outside of Rome. You can also visit Museu d’Historia de Barcelona – MUHBA.
If you prefer art, you should definately visit Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) or Museo Picasso. The second one provides a great insight into how Barcelona, where the painter spent his early years, influenced his work.
Climb up the summit of Mount Tibidabo to admire the beautiful Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, crowned by the enormous statue of Jesus.
Those in search of entertainment should head to Tibidabo Amusement Park or the Museum of Chocolate. You can also explore Aquàrium – oceanopraphic museum with all kinds of different maritime biospheres, presented in over 20 different tanks. The highlight is the tunnel out of glass, which leads through the shark tank.
Discover CosmoCaixa, a science museum that includes the Planetarium and the Flooded Forest (Bosc inundat), which recreates 1,000 m2 of an Amazonian rainforest ecosystem.
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