Barcelona Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Spain > Barcelona > History

Barcelona's 'Ciutat Vella', is made up of a network of adjoining labyrinthine neighbourhoods, full of flavour and charm, that form the heart of the city. From Plaça Catalunya if you take Les Rambles (or Las Ramblas in Spanish) towards the sea, it is easy to get your bearings: on the right-hand side we have the Raval quarter with the museum area at the top and finally the Barrio Chino (though it's called the 'Chinese Quarter' you don't see more Chinese people here than anywhere else nowadays); on the lies the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), with its cathedral and the peaceful Plaça del Pi, chocolate stalls, art rooms...and even further over to the left and separated by the Via Laietana, is the Born, within the quiet neighbourhood of la Ribera, which is becoming more and more fashionable. It is here that you find the magnificent Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar and the Museu Picasso (Picasso Museum). The old quarter has finally broken away from its gradual decline and nowadays is a place where artists, foreigners and students live alongside families and merchants who have been there all their lives. Side by side you also find the modernist bars, concert halls and restaurants which make this an attractive area for going out at night among the locals and visitors. Don't miss it, or you will have missed the chance to get to know the very heart of the ancient and cosmopolitan city.

THE EIXAMPLE
L'Eixample, or the extension, is an area of Barcelona that grew inland, restricted by coastline, and what was an urban grid has today become a central area. In these streets we find emblematic buildings situated mostly between Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla Catalunya and also many buildings that are either homes or offices. The right-hand side of the Eixample is home to the majestic Sagrada Família by Gaudí, an unfinished work but an absolute must to visit. On the left-hand side, the streets follow the block-like characteristics of this neighbourhood and north of it are other neighbourhoods, old villages that have now become part of the city. We are speaking of the charming Barri de Gràcia, of Les Corts, Sarrià and up on the hills, Hortà-Guinardò. To the left the city is flanked by the popular Barri de Sants, which is well connected in terms of transport by one of the main train stations of the city.

THE LUNGS OF THE CITY
Montjüic and Tibidabo are two of the most beautiful hills in the city. The former, situated to the south, is home to many of the buildings and installations constructed for the Olympic Games in 1992 and the Fundació Miró. On Tibidabo there are houses on the hillside with panormaic views over the city, and at the top is an amusement park and the Torre de Comunicaciones de Collserola (Communications Tower of Collserola) which separates the town from the hills of the same name. These green areas of the city are great places to practice sport, such as tennis, jogging or horse-riding. It is best to get to these places by car, although from the port there is a cable car that goes to Montjüic, and this is a year-round attraction, especially for the children. Also in the port we can get a different view of the city by taking one of the 'golondrinas' (little tour boats) that sail along the coast.

THE SEASIDE
The Mediterranean is mild in temperature and calm, it tempers the heat of the city all year round. This privileged coastal location is one of Barcelona's attractions. People of Barcelona can practice sailing and windsurfing all year round and there are plenty of places where you can do this. From the Port Olímpic (Olympic Port) to Barceloneta, there are several neighbourhoods bordering the sea. Here there are plenty of fish restaurants where you can eat excellent rice dishes and fresh fish that varies according to the time of year. The golden evenings of summer are a relaxing balm as you sit in one of the many terraces of the Maremàgnum or the Port Olímpic and by night, bronzed bodies and latin music come together in designer open-air bars. Just half an hour from the city travelling south you find Sitges, with its pretty beaches and coves, and to the north the Costa Brava awaits. Weather permitting you shouldn't miss having a swim in the Mare Nostrum.

Weather

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temp. 48° 49° 52° 55° 61° 68° 73° 73° 70° 63° 55° 50°
Avg. Precip. 1.7 in 1.4 in 1.9 in 2.0 in 2.2 in 1.5 in 0.9 in 2.6 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 2.9 in 2.0 in

Fahrenheit temperature scale is used.