A guide to exploring Barcelona and its architecture

by Jules on November 30, 2013

The city of Barcelona is located in Spain, in the northeastern region of Catalonia. There are many attractions in this city, from Gaudí’s architecture to urban beaches decorated with sculptures.

Walk around the city and enjoy views towards Gaudí’s buildings.

Some of the city’s most famous landmarks are those which were built by Gaudí. These buildings include the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Casa Milá. The Sagrada Familia is the city’s symbol, a large, unfinished cathedral. Eight of the eighteen towers have been completed, and there are now four facades. The completed facades are the Apse facade, the Glory facade, the Nativity facade and the Passion facade. Each one of the facades is decorated with carved statues and sculptures.

Barcelona is a destination for a very active city break. Walking around the city center visitors will find many architectural landmarks. In the centric Eixample district, steps away from the Passeig de Gracia Street filled with boutique stores, there are two houses built by Gaudí. Casa Batlló used to be a private house. This house has a sandstone facade decorated with trencadis, pieces of colourful mosaic. There are narrow windows and skull shaped, iron wrought balconies. The nearby Casa Milá is a large building with a gray, wavy facade made of stone. The inside of the building has many arches and columns that support it, and the layout of the halls can be changed by changing the placement of the partitions. The top floor has a museum area where visitors will be able to see the initial designs of the building. Tours are organized around the inside of the building and the roof, which has chimneys and ventilators that were molded in the shape of statues. The rooftop has views towards the city center.

Explore the streets of the Gothic Quarter.

Another area known for its architecture, is the Barri Gótic. The Gothic Quarter has medieval and Gothic buildings. The Seu cathedral, a large Gothic cathedral, is one of the area’s main attractions. There is an ancient cloister next to the cathedral. The area near the cathedral is known for its many cafés and vintage shops. There are several squares in the neighbourhood, the most famous of which is the Plaça de Reial Square. This square has several terraces with views towards the cathedral.

Visit the city’s beaches and parks.

After a walk around the city visitors can explore the beaches and parks. There are several parks in the city, the most famous of which is the Gaudí designed Parc Güell. This park has many sculptures covered in trencadis and an observation deck with a tiled bench from where visitors will be able to enjoy views towards the city center and the sea. The area under the observation deck is a large porch with bony columns that can be used for events. The house where the architect used to live is now used as a museum.

There is another large park in the city, this one located near the city center. The Ciutadella Park is a park where visitors will find a lake, museums and a zoo. The main museums are the Laboratory of Nature, a museum with exhibits from the Natural History Museum, and the Martorell Museum. The lake has several rowing boats available for rent.

The city’s main beach is the Barceloneta beach. This urban beach is located close to the city center. The beach promenade is decorated with sculptures. The Homentage to Barceloneta statue is one of the most famous structures on the promenade. Visitors will be able to visit the Icària beach, which is located near the Olympic Port. A short train ride away visitors will find the town of Sitges, known for its beaches and nightlife.

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