Places I will definitely visit someday: February 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Oh, how I wish I would have been born in Barcelona! Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the second largest city in Spain, the capital of Catalonia and also a rebel city. It’s a marvel on the Mediterranean Sea! Best beach city in the world! One of the most energetic and interesting cities in Europe! The city of summer, warm sea, art, Gaudi, Dali, Picasso, festivals, fiestas and sangria…

There are two official languages spoken in Barcelona: Catalan and Castillian Spanish, however Catalan is more widely spoken by the citizens of Barcelona. You’ll never hear a Catalan say that he is Spanish, only that he is Catalan. Barcelona as a part of Catalonia has been struggling for independence from Spain for as long as Spain itself has existed.

La Rambla

La Rambla is one of the most famous boulevards in the world and the most famous street in Barcelona. Actually, it’s not only one street, but 5 boulevards (ramblas) joined together, 2 kilometer long promenade. La Rambla always stays on the top of tourists' to-do list. La Rambla is famous for its restaurants, bars, cafes, theaters, La Boqueria market, a Joan Miró mosaic, street entertainers, human statues, fortune-tellers, street musicians and dancers. It’s the best start to get acquainted with Barcelona!

Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Basílica de la Sagrada Família is one of the brilliant works of Gaudí's fairytale architecture. Gaudí dedicated more than 40 years of his life to the project, its construction began in 1882 and is still underway. It was hoped the masterpiece would be completed in 2026 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death, now it is expected to be completed in 2041. Basílica de la Sagrada Família is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is visited by five million tourists each year. It’s a breathtaking site!

Park Güell

Park Güell was built in the early 1900′s. Like Sagrada Familia it was also designed by Antoni Gaudí. It’s one of the most impressive public parks in the world, it's literally like walking through a fairytale or a Candyland. The park's attractions include its mosaic tiled benches, water fountains, dragon statues and the Hansel-and-Gretel-style houses. Park Güell is one of Gaudi’s masterpieces and one of the more important sights in Barcelona.

Casa Batlló

The next one of the most admired Gaudí's creations is Casa Batlló. Casa Batlló is the result of a total rebuilding of an old house owned by Josep Batlló. Changes made by Gaudí were drastic: Gaudí added two floors, balconies that look like human skulls with eyes and mouth, polychrome ceramics and covered the facade with mosaics. The result is astonishing!  

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà, also called by the locals La Pedrera (The Quarry) got its name because of its irregular, curved stone exterior. At the rooftop of the Casa Milà stand chimney pots shaped as medieval knights.  It’s also a true masterpiece of Gaudí.

The Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso)

While visiting Barcelona, you cannot deny yourself a visit to the museum of the famous 20th century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The Picasso Museum describes the work of Picasso before he left Barcelona to travel to Paris. This museum, in addition to the Picasso Museum in Paris, have the most extensive collection of Picasso’s works from the blue  and cubist period placed in chronological order, beginning with the earliest works of the artist. The Picasso Museum has more than 3,500 works of Picasso, such as Blanquita Suárez, Harlequin and Woman with Mantilla. Many of the artworks were donated by Picasso himself in 1970.

The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic)

The Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic is Barcelona's greatest attraction, with most of the buildings and architecture have stayed intact from the Middle Ages. It contains many narrow streets and impressively haunting architecture. Among the main attractions of the quarter are the Cathedral, stretches of the Roman walls and plenty of restaurants. Because the streets in Barcelona look like 18th century Paris, two key scenes of well-known Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” by Tom Tykwer were filmed here. The Plaça de la Mercè was used as the setting for the fish market on the Rue aux Fers in 18th-century Paris in the scenes of birth and death of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw). For decorations were used 2,5 tons of fish and 1 ton of meat. The result was so amazing that it’s almost impossible to recognise the square in the film.


Montjuïic is a mountain located near the port of Barcelona and offers a great view overlooking the city and the Mediterranean Sea. Cable cars available there are one of the best ways to gain a unique perspective on Barcelona. Here you can see the National Palace or constructions in the Olympic Ring which are a legacy of the 1992 Olympics, visit Miró Foundation or stroll through gardens with different appearances and styles. In the evening you can take a walk to see the Magic Fountain. The fountain was designed in 1929 by Carles Buigas. At night, between nine to eleven o’clock, the water of the fountain is illuminated by different colors and is dancing to the mix of 70's, 80's and classical music.

Fundació Joan Miró

Fundació Joan Miró is a modern art museum located on Montjuïic. Fundació Joan Miró is the first contemporary art museum in Spain and is included on the list of Artistic Heritage of Catalonia. The museum has a high-ceiling rooms for tall paintings or hangings and large spaces for objects that need to be viewed from a distance. It would be interesting to see something so unusual!


Tibidabo is the highest mountain of Barcelona. From here, one has a phantastic all-round panorama view down to Barcelona. There is a chirch called Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón (the Sacred Heart) at the peak of Mount Tibidabo with the statue of Jesus Christ with out-stretched arms. The chirch has an observation deck at a height of more than 540 m and is wonderfully illuminated at night. I think it feels like in Rio de Janeiro there.

Chocolate Museum (Museu De La Xocolata)

There is a place in the world for a chocaholiks like me!!! Where?? In Barcelona! The Chocolate Museum is a paradise made of chocolate. There are impressive sculptures made entirely out of chocolate in Museu de la Xocolata. You can see here chocolate windmills, a giant chariot complete with chocolate horses or a chocolate Sagrada Familia. Even the entry ticket is a chocolate bar! Also you can make your sculpture out of chocolate in the workshop. Here you can also learn the history of chocolate in Europe or see the manufacturing process of chocolate.

Barcelona Aquarium (L'Aquàrium de Barcelona)

Barcelona Aquarium is the biggest in Europe leisure and education center with 11,000 marine animals from 450 different species, showing marine habitats from Caribbean tropical seas to the Mediterranean. There is an underwater tunnel 80 meters long inside the Oceanarium where you can see sharks, ocean sunfish or rays. You can also dive with sharks or spend the night in L'Aquàrium of Barcelona.

Barcelona's Museum of Rock (Museu del Rock)

Barcelona Rock Musuem (Museu del Rock) is a place where you can learn more about such rock legends as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen. Highlights of the museum include a Rolling Stones jukebox, letters by Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, guitars once owned by Kurt Cobain, Eric Clapton and Lennon, Elton John's golden bathtub and a signed Ringo Starr bank cheque. There are themed rooms for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, section dedicated to Spanish and Catalan music and also an area called On Stage, where you can sing well-known rock songs on the stage. Great place for a rock fan!

Gràcia Festival

There are lots of festivals in Barcelona during the year, but the most colourful of them is Gràcia Festival. Gràcia is an area of up-town Barcelona that is famed for its laid-back bohemian atmosphere. Throughout the year, residents of Gràcia work together to create decorations for the festival, that’s why every street is completely different from the other. The concept of Gràcia festival is that each street in the neighbourhood competes to win the prize of being the best decorated street. Also there are various concerts and shows taking place during festival time. Make sure that you don't miss it out!

Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres

The last one attraction is in fact number one attraction for me in Barcelona. Actually it’s not in Barcelona, but more than two hours away from it. But it is worth it! As Salvador Dali, a genius of Surrealism, is my favorite painter, I admire all his works, I think The Dali Museum will be a pilgrimage place for me. The Dali Museum in Figueres is a work of art, the largest surrealistic object in the world and hosts a great collection of the artist’s paintings, sculptures and jewels from Dali’s earliest artistic experiences down to the works of the last years of his life. Everything in this building reflects the unique world view of Salvador Dali. So enter the surreal world and let imagination run wild!

Barcelona, yo me voy!