Barcelona – Places to visit
Ajuntament – City Hall
This former seat of the Consell de Cent (Council of the One Hundred), represents a collection of varying styles. Inside, the most attractive features include the Saló de Cròniques, decorated by Josep Mª Sert, and the Saló de Cent. One of Turisme de Barcelona’s information offices is located on the ground floor, in the Sala de les Quatre Estacions, decorated by Ràfols Casamada.
The Cathedral is located on the site of a 4th century Christian basilica. Its foundations were laid at the end of the 13th century and construction ended 600 years later. The doorway of Sant Iu, is the oldest part of the Cathedral which was completed in 1890, and the façade is the most recent. Important features include the high altar, the 15th-century bell tower and cloisters, the choir stalls, the pulpit, the crypt of Santa Eulàlia, and the doorway of La Pietat.
Museu d’Història de la Ciutat
Telling the story of Barcelona’s two-thousand-year history the museum features a multimedia presentation, which makes finding out about the city’s history fun and entertaining. A closer look at Barceino (Roman Barcelona) is available on the route through the underground archaeological excavations. It includes the remains of the first city wall, its streets, craft workshops and the Episcopal buildings of Barcino, one of the most important in Europe.
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Opened in 1847, The Gran Teatre del Liceu has been Spain’s foremost opera house for over 150 years. It has always been the focus of opera in Catalonia featuring all its trends and styles, from the romantic to the contemporary. The Liceu has also provided a privileged springboard for Spain’s finest operatic voices of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Plaça del Rei
In the heart of the Gothic Quarter, the Plaça del Rei is the site of important Gothic buildings such as the Saló del Tinell, the chapel of Santa Àgata and the Palau del Lloctinent, which is located next to the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat.
The Boqueria is also known as the Mercat de Sant Josep (Saint Joseph’s market) and is famous for the quality and diversity of its international produce. It derives its second name from the fact that it is located on a site originally intended to be used as the courtyard of the church of Sant Josep.
Built on the site of a Capuchin convent, the Plaça Reial is a popular meeting point for locals and tourists alike. It features the fountain of the Three Graces and two street lamps designed by Gaudí and is surrounded by pavement cafés.
The museum is housed in a series of medieval mansions and has recently been extended. It boasts an outstanding collection of prints by Picasso from 1904 to 1972 and constitutes the most complete collection of works known to date from his youth. There are also forty-one ceramic pieces on display, made between 1947 and 1972. The collection includes the Blue Period – (1901-1904), and from the Rose Period visitors will find his splendid portrait of Senyora Canals. Other highlights include the series of works he did in Barcelona in 1917 and his studies of Velazquez´s Las Meninas dating from 1957.
Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Opened in November 1995, the MACBA brings contemporary art to a wider public, with a collection that focuses on artistic creation in the second half of the century and offering seasonal exhibitions and associated events. The American architect Richard Meier designed the building.
Parc Zoològic de Barcelona – Barcelona Zoo
The zoo features over 7,000 animals in 500 species. Visitors can enjoy the dolphin show and see tropical birds, reptiles, felines and other species. The petting zoo is the perfect opportunity for little ones to come into contact with farm animals.
Located in the Parc Güell, the Casa-Museu Gaudí was one of the three buildings built as an incentive for new settlements. Francesc Berenguer, one of Gaudí’s assistant architects on la Sagrada Família, designed this house. It was completed in 1905 and in 1906 was occupied by Gaudí where he lived until a few months before his death. The house has many of its original features including some of the original furniture and has been a museum of the architect’s life and work since 1963.
Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família
The synthesis of Gaudí’s architectural theory and practice, the first stone of the Sagrada Família is was laid in 1882. The architect worked on the project for over 40 years. During his lifetime, Gaudí completed the four towers of the Nativity façade. He left an overall plan of the project and his surviving drawings have enabled building work to continue. For the last 15 years of his life, Gaudí lived in his workshop studio in the church. Admission includes the building work in progress; the museum showing the past, present and future of the church through maquettes, photographs, plans and decorative objects and the life of the architect; the Nativity and Passion façades. Inside the naves visitors can go up the towers, either on foot or by lift, and enjoy magnificent views of the city.
One of Gaudi’s most charismatic works, the Casa Batlló is outstanding. Refurbishment of the previous building called for a new concept of ornamentation, which gave precedence to colour and light. The façade features distinctive decorative motifs and the interior reveals Gaudí’s interest in the functional nature of handcrafted work.
The Casa Vicens
Gaudí’s first major assignment, the Casa Vicens was built in the historic Moorish style of stone and brick with elaborate ceramic decorations and was the first of his buildings to use the parabolic arch.
Pavellons de la Finca Güell
The gatehouses marked the entrance to the former holiday estate owned by the family of the financier, Eusebi Güell, Gaudí’s great patron and protector. They represent the first synthesis between technological innovation and decorative craftsmanship. The gate at the entrance is a large sculpture depicting a dragon, which evokes Hercules’ feats in the Garden of the Hesperides.
Col.legi de les Teresianes
From an architectural viewpoint, Col.legi de les Teresianes is an example of the way in which a series of parabolic arches can replace the need for beams on ceilings and floors. The building was designed as a school and is imbued with rationality, which is somewhat uncharacteristic of Gaudí’s work.
Museu Nacional D’art De Catalunya (MNAC)
Take an uninterrupted journey through a thousand years of Catalan art, spanning the 10th to the 20th centuries. The MNAC is one of the country’s foremost museums as it showcases a rich and varied collection of medieval art (Romanesque and Gothic).
The exhibits of Renaissance and baroque art include, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, formerly displayed in Pedralbes Monastery. Highlights of the modern art collection include works from such important movements as modernisme, Catalonia’s homegrown art nouveau, and the sculptural avant-garde. Other features include part of the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of 19th and 20th century art. The coin collection traces the history of coinage from Classical Greek times onwards.
Thanks to a €100-million refurbishment La Caixa Foundation’s Science Museum has transformed into CosmoCaixa, a totally new concept in museum design which seeks to make science an accessible and appealing discipline. CosmoCaixa provides a fascinating museum experience, educational, interactive and attractive to look at.
From Plaça de Catalunya to the port is a twisting mess of narrow winding streets, but the modern part of the city is built on a simple grid system. Visitors can explore many of the Barcelona sights on foot or choose one of the many other possibilities, such as the metro, taxi or cable car. The fastest and cheapest way to get around is the subway is and it is also the easiest to use.
By Metro and FGC
Barcelona has a quick, cheap, and very reliable public transportation system. The Guia d’Autobuses Urbans de Barcelona maps out the city’s bus routes and the five Metro lines and is free at tourist offices and in Metro stations. The Guia Facil del Bus per Mour’t per Barcelona 6, describes the routes in even more detail and is also free.
Consider buying one of the several abonos (passes) available, particularly if you plan to use public transportation extensively. All work interchangeably for the Metro, bus, urban lines of the FGC commuter trains, and the Nitbus.
The T-1 Pass, €5.60: valid for 10 rides and saves almost 50% on the cost of single tickets.
The T-Día Pass, €4.20: provides a full day of unlimited travel
T-Mes, €36.30, T-Trisemestre, €100: for longer stays, these options offer unlimited travel for one month and 90 days respectively.
T-50/30, €23.40: provides 50 trips to be used in a 30-day period.
3 Dies, €10.80, 5 Dies, €16.50: provides three and five days of unlimited travel respectively.
City buses run daily from 5:30am to 11:30pm and the route maps are displayed at the bus stops. The buses with a red band always have a stop at a central square and those with blue bands are night buses.
Taxi stands can be found all over town and getting a ride is not a problem. They are priced reasonably, especially multiple passenger trips with the maximum being four persons.
Short harbour trips are available from the Portal de la Pau, near the Columbus Monument.