Visit the Sagrada Familia. It...
Visit the Sagrada Familia. It is Gaudi's masterpiece and the symbol of Barcelona. A truly magnificent structure that will astound you. I loved everything about Barcelona. It is a beautiful city with many wonderful sights to see, excellent climate, friendly people, and delicious food.
When visiting Barcelona you...
When visiting Barcelona you should take your time! It's not possible to 'do' the cituy in two or three days, you better take at least one week to explore all that this city has to offer. I myself have been there so many times now, and each time i find out that there are still interesting things to discover!
The city has several intersting areas that you can visit: of course there's first the barri gotic: the old town with its small, dark little alleys, its historical buildings like the Carhedral and its beutifull placas like Placa Reial. Secondly there is the Eixamle ('extension.' It's the part of the city build during the Modernité, at the end of the 19 th. century and beginning of the 20 th. century, wich is build under influence of the city's great Modernité architects like Gaudi)In this area you can find Gaudi's famous houses like La Pedrera and of course the hughe, almost surrealistic Sagrada Familia. Third, there are two hills that you must Visit: the monthuic and the parc Güell. At the Montjuic you can find many interesting things: there's an old castle, there's a 'poble espanyol' (a little village with buildings that are exact copys of all kinds of spanisch typical architecture), you can find the Palau National at this hill, and last but not least, the estadi Olympic. The parc Güell, located on the other side of the city, is like an open air museum, containing a great deal of Gaudi's architecture style: beautifull, colourfull stutues, buildings and recreation facilities. It also gives you a magnificant view over the city of Barcelona! But there's still more to see: Near the harbour you find Barceloneta with its lovely little restaurants and pubs (where you can have tastefull 'tapas'), and the harbourdistrict offers a lot of nightlife possibilties (there are disco's and bars lying in the harbour) Near Barceloneta you can also find the Parc de Cuitadella (wich was once build for the Expo: there is f.e. a museu de Zoologia and art modern, and a zoo) and the olympic village (from the games of 1992). And, finaly you can visit the Tibidabo hill, which has a funny amusement parc at some 1000 meters above the city! There are so many great memmories of the city. The best thing to do is, when you have visited all the important sights, just to relax and hang around on one of the many placa's the city has, like f.e. the placa Reial or the placa Catalunya. Sitting there on the grass of the place Catalunya near the fontain, meeting other people there, having a drink and playing guitar, that was allright! Nowadays, though, the place Reial and Catalunya have changed a bit: there are some negative characters hanging around there, annoying others with their drugsdealing. That's a pity, but the police is starting to do something agaisnt it, so that the good atmosphere is going to return!
From all things I have visited, the most interesting one was the parc Güell. It is interesting for it's originality and for it's location: you enter the parc at a placa called 'Lesseps' and then you clim up the hill, by stairs, so that you finaly get on the top of the hill, where there's a cross, and from that point you have a splendid view over the city, while you yourself are in the middle of nature, mediteranean forrests, and the smell of Eucalyptus; a very pleasant sensation.
If you're in front of the cathedral (Catedral de la Seu) in Plaça de Sant Jaume on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning like I was, you'll see a gathering of locals doing a dance called La Sardana which has become of symbol of Catalan identity.
One-way signs from the past
During the 19th century (if my memory don't fails me) the chaos in the oldest part of the crowded and narrow city became increasingly worse. A lot of horse carriages was driving around with no structure what so ever, combine this with a lot of people, narrow streets and the imagination tells you it could have been better.
To do something about this, the city goverment put up som one-way signs in order to direct the horse carriages and bring some order in the chaos. They put up two different signs, on Entrada and one salida.
Entrada meant that you were allowed to drive your carriage down the street the man at the sign was ponting. Salida meant that carriages was coming out of this street so you are not allowed to enter it from this end. An effective and beautiful way of controlling the traffic!
Take a morning day-trip outside of the city and visit the open-air markets. On Sundays there's a huge market in the town of Canovellas. . You can find anything under the sun at this market from chickens to the latest fashions in clothing or shoes. Prices for goods are much, much cheaper than in shops. One piece of advice is not to bargain. People here don't bargain in the markets like you can in other countries Great leather shoes or sandals for about 12-20 Euro.