• the sunday guide to // barcelona

barcelona // mahabis journalphoto: jarmoluk

 

Continuing our series of relaxing city guides, we are visiting Barcelona to discover the tranquillity away from the crowds that gather at the Ramblas.

 

Barcelona //

Spain’s second city is renowned for being a throbbing cultural hub, filled to the brim with dramatic architecture, exciting contemporary art and an uncountable amount of restaurants and bars. The majority of visitors flock to the Ramblas, fighting the crowds to glimpse the cafes, restaurants and colourful market stalls that line the infamous street, before exploring the Gothic quarter and queuing up to experience the awe-inspiring creations of Gaudi. We recommend taking in Barcelona at a much slower pace, slowly ambling down hidden alleyways in search of quiet tapas bars and avoiding the crowds.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: paulina jadeszko

 

Visit //

When visiting Barcelona, you’ll no doubt want to experience the instantly recognisable buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell are the two most famous locations that most tourists will have heard of – a fact which reveals itself in the winding queues that you will have to face in order to gain entry. Avoid the crowds and get your Gaudi fix at one of the architect’s lesser-known projects, such as Colonia Güell or Caso Batllo. For a unique perspective of Gaudi’s work, visit the residential building, La Pedrera which is more akin to an intricate sculpture than an apartment block.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: tyler hendy
 

Relax //

One of the highlights of visiting Barcelona is that you can have a city break and a beach getaway all in one trip. Perfectly located right by the coast, you’re never far away from a sandy beach to relax on. If you’re heading to the beach in search of a peaceful spot to lie back and unwind, avoid Barceloneta and head half an hour north of the city to discover the tranquillity of Ocata beach. This long beach attracts far less tourists than the beaches situated within the city, providing more of a peaceful getaway from the busy city streets.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: ornella binni

 

View //

There are so many galleries in Barcelona that it can be quite overwhelming deciding which to visit. Whether to peruse the works of Pablo Picasso or browse contemporary art at Marlborough, there is plenty to choose from. If you only have time to visit one gallery, rather than rushing around the city, head to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA). On the ground floor, you will find a permanent collection of contemporary Spanish and Catalan art, whilst the gallery floors are dedicated to visiting exhibitions that aim at challenging the viewer’s perceptions of art. Talks, events and concerts are regularly scheduled to complement the current exhibits.

 the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: kimforsure, own work, cc by-sa 3.0 

  

Unwind //

After exploring the streets of Barcelona, there is no better way to unwind than to book an afternoon at Aire de Barcelona Arabic Baths. Dark lighting and ancient stone walls help to create a serene ambience inside the spa, allowing visitors to forget that they are in the heart of a bustling city. Experience the thermal baths, therapeutic showers, aromatherapy treatments and diverse range of massages for a relaxing afternoon dedicated to your well-being.

  

Explore //

If you have the chance to leave Barcelona behind for a day, take the one hour train journey to Montserrat to explore the natural beauty of the mountain and the serenity of the Benedictine monastery. Admire the views of the surrounding area from the top of the mountain, before entering the Basilica to sit in silence and listen to the daily choir boy performances of Gregorian chants. From the monastery, you can take a funicular railway to the peak of the mountain, or spend the remainder of your day hiking around the ravines.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: mark strobl, via flickr

  

Drink //

When in Catalonia, you should acquire a taste for the region’s popular sparkling wine, produced with the same methods as for making champagne. There are plenty of cava bars (xampanyerias) within the city itself, but to taste the local cava in a more relaxing atmosphere, head outside the city to one of the many vineyards within easy reach of Barcelona. The tranquil and elegant setting of Cavas Codorniu is the perfect location to explore the underground wine cellars and taste a selection of cavas.

 

 

the sunday guide to // barcelona

barcelona // mahabis journalphoto: jarmoluk

 

Continuing our series of relaxing city guides, we are visiting Barcelona to discover the tranquillity away from the crowds that gather at the Ramblas.

 

Barcelona //

Spain’s second city is renowned for being a throbbing cultural hub, filled to the brim with dramatic architecture, exciting contemporary art and an uncountable amount of restaurants and bars. The majority of visitors flock to the Ramblas, fighting the crowds to glimpse the cafes, restaurants and colourful market stalls that line the infamous street, before exploring the Gothic quarter and queuing up to experience the awe-inspiring creations of Gaudi. We recommend taking in Barcelona at a much slower pace, slowly ambling down hidden alleyways in search of quiet tapas bars and avoiding the crowds.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: paulina jadeszko

 

Visit //

When visiting Barcelona, you’ll no doubt want to experience the instantly recognisable buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell are the two most famous locations that most tourists will have heard of – a fact which reveals itself in the winding queues that you will have to face in order to gain entry. Avoid the crowds and get your Gaudi fix at one of the architect’s lesser-known projects, such as Colonia Güell or Caso Batllo. For a unique perspective of Gaudi’s work, visit the residential building, La Pedrera which is more akin to an intricate sculpture than an apartment block.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: tyler hendy
 

Relax //

One of the highlights of visiting Barcelona is that you can have a city break and a beach getaway all in one trip. Perfectly located right by the coast, you’re never far away from a sandy beach to relax on. If you’re heading to the beach in search of a peaceful spot to lie back and unwind, avoid Barceloneta and head half an hour north of the city to discover the tranquillity of Ocata beach. This long beach attracts far less tourists than the beaches situated within the city, providing more of a peaceful getaway from the busy city streets.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: ornella binni

 

View //

There are so many galleries in Barcelona that it can be quite overwhelming deciding which to visit. Whether to peruse the works of Pablo Picasso or browse contemporary art at Marlborough, there is plenty to choose from. If you only have time to visit one gallery, rather than rushing around the city, head to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA). On the ground floor, you will find a permanent collection of contemporary Spanish and Catalan art, whilst the gallery floors are dedicated to visiting exhibitions that aim at challenging the viewer’s perceptions of art. Talks, events and concerts are regularly scheduled to complement the current exhibits.

 the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: kimforsure, own work, cc by-sa 3.0 

  

Unwind //

After exploring the streets of Barcelona, there is no better way to unwind than to book an afternoon at Aire de Barcelona Arabic Baths. Dark lighting and ancient stone walls help to create a serene ambience inside the spa, allowing visitors to forget that they are in the heart of a bustling city. Experience the thermal baths, therapeutic showers, aromatherapy treatments and diverse range of massages for a relaxing afternoon dedicated to your well-being.

  

Explore //

If you have the chance to leave Barcelona behind for a day, take the one hour train journey to Montserrat to explore the natural beauty of the mountain and the serenity of the Benedictine monastery. Admire the views of the surrounding area from the top of the mountain, before entering the Basilica to sit in silence and listen to the daily choir boy performances of Gregorian chants. From the monastery, you can take a funicular railway to the peak of the mountain, or spend the remainder of your day hiking around the ravines.

 

the sunday guide to // barcelonaphoto: mark strobl, via flickr

  

Drink //

When in Catalonia, you should acquire a taste for the region’s popular sparkling wine, produced with the same methods as for making champagne. There are plenty of cava bars (xampanyerias) within the city itself, but to taste the local cava in a more relaxing atmosphere, head outside the city to one of the many vineyards within easy reach of Barcelona. The tranquil and elegant setting of Cavas Codorniu is the perfect location to explore the underground wine cellars and taste a selection of cavas.

 

 

  • Emma Lavelle
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