The sites and sounds of Barcelona

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Barcelona is one of the most popular ports in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The Capital and cultural heart of Catalonia, this beloved city in southern Spain is home to the works of Antoni Gaudi, the Gothic Quarter, and so much more. Here are our recommendations for what you should be doing in Barcelona.

Where to Stay

If you are beginning or ending your cruise in Barcelona, We highly recommend staying in the Gothic Quarter. It is the oldest neighborhood in the old city. Right in the middle of the action it is a great place to wander, eat, shop, and explore. Take a moment to see the remains of the Roman Aquaduct and ancient city walls.

Be ready to walk as you explore the 2,000 years of history because these small streets and alleyways are largely inaccessible to vehicles. Make sure to visit the Cathedral of Barcelona. Built on the foundations of a Visigoth church, marvel at the cavernous vaulted ceilings and incredible architecture. Make sure to ask about the 13 white geese that live on-site and keep your eyes peeled for a unicorn among the gargoyles that adorn the church’s facade.

See the Works of Gaudi

The master of Catalonian Modernism, Antoni Gaudi designed and built many of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks. No visit to the city is complete without exploring these iconic sites. The most famous of Gaudi’s works is La Catedral de Segrada Familia, this unfinished cathedral is designed to evolve as construction nears its completion. We recommend that you buy tickets online and arrive early if you want to go inside.

Another must-see work of Barcelona’s favorite son, Park Guell is a whimsical garden where Gaudi’s mixed art nouveau, middle-eastern, and gothic styles are on full display. Enjoy the many mosaics, the multi-colored lizard statue, and the colorfully tiled spires on your way to the viewing deck for a panoramic view of the city.

There are a total of seven iconic works of Gaudi on display in Barcelona if you want to see more. There are apartment blocks and mansions of prominent Catalonians sprinkled around the city for a deeper dive into this fascinating artist. Here is a list of UNESCO- recognized Gaudi landmarks:

  • La Segrada Familia
  • Park Guell
  • Church of Colonia Guel
  • Palau Guell
  • El Capricho de Gaudi Barrio de Sobrellano
  • Casa Mila
  • Casa Vicens

What to Eat

It is our recommendation that you eat early and often. Barcelona is a fantastic culinary destination. Head to La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous marketplace for a maze of stalls full of Jamon, seafood, tapas, and so much more. Directly accessible from Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous pedestrian walking mall. If the salt from the cured Jamon dries you out, we suggest a quick drink at La Cervecaria Catalan, just a short walk away. Take our word for it and keep your belongings close. Pickpockets are a nuisance to unprepared tourists.

Best Souvenirs

If you have people waiting for gifts, we have you covered. Catalonia is famous for its food and wine. A cookbook full of local recipes, a can of local olive oil, a local bottle of wine, and turron de crema Catalan all make excellent souvenirs but if you don’t like the idea of hauling groceries home you can always go with a replica of Gaudi’s Lizard.

These are just a few of the charms of Barcelona. This city is full of surprises and never ceases to surprise and impress me when I visit. There is always something to do and something new to see. Even La Segrada Familia has completely transformed since I first laid eyes on it in 2006. Some cities you visit once and others you come back to again and again. Barcelona is the latter.

For more personalized recommendations to fully explore all that Barcelona has to offer, Luxury Cruise Connections Agents and Concierge Team are a valuable asset. With over 30 years of travel experience and local knowledge of the most popular destinations in the world, we can tailor make a destination experience for any occasion or interest based on your preferences and budget. Let us introduce you to a new city or reacquaint you with a port that you thought you knew.

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