Entertainment in Barcelona


Tourism and Sightseeing in Barcelona


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Tourist Office

Local tourist offices provide information about the Barcelona, maps, hotel and hostel bookings, information about getting around on public transport, tours, and how to find the best deals in the Barcelona. The official site, http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/.

Offices

Main Tourist Office
Under Placa Catalunya Square
(Metro Catalunya (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1)
Address: Pl. de Catalunya 17
Open: 08:30 to 20:30
Tel: (0034) 93 285 3834
This office is the main tourist office and can help find accommodation, booking the Barcelona Bus Turistic (open air bus tour), city maps, bus and transport information and other general tourist information questions. They also have a gift shop.

Barcelona City Hall Tourist Office
ground floor, Ciutat, 2
Placa de Sant Jaume Metro: Jaume (Yellow Line, L4)
Open: Mon-Fri: 08:30 - 20:30; Sat: 09:00-19:00; Sunday and public holidays: 09:00 - 14:00

Barcelona Airport Tourist Office Information
Airport Terminals T1 and T2B Tourist offices
Open: daily: 09:00 - 21:00

When to Visit

August is a busy time in Barcelona for tourists, but many locals use this time to go on vacation. This means that more shops and restaurants are closed from mid-August to early September.

Barcelona is usually better to visit in the lower seasons of April to June and September to November, or even the off-season of January and February. The weather is fair and the city has much to see, even in inclement weather.

Sightseeing

Barcelona is a site in itself. It's architecture is legendary, and the city won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal and was the first time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect. The Placa Catalunya and the upper half of Avinguda Diagonal area holds many of the city's sights.

Gaudi Architecture
Barcelona's favorite son, Antoni Gaudi, has left his mark around the city and on the art world. Most can be seen for free from the outside, but tickets to see interiors can also be purchased at the Tourist Office. Some of the finest examples are the
Parc Güell - Collection of 7 properties in Grácia built by Gaudi. An exceptionally creative architectural feat built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia - Located in Eixample, this still unfinished cathedral commonly known as the Sagrada Familia. Designed by Gaudi, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gaudi devoted his last years to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. The basilica has divided the citizens of Barcelona on the future of the project.
Casa Mila - in Eixample, this site is better known as La Pedrera which means "The Quarry". Gaudi built it during the years 1905-1910, being considered officially completed in 1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gracia.
Casa Batllo - A key piece of modernist Barcelona architecture, it was built between 1904 and 1906.

The Barri Gotic
The "Gothic Quarter" is the center of the old city of Barcelona. Buildings date from medieval times, and a few are from the Roman settlement. Visitors can also observe Catalan modern architecture (often known as Art Nouveau) which developed between 1885 and 1950.

Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion
Designed in 1929 for the International Exposition for Germany, this iconic building symbolizes modern architecture. It is the embodiment of van der Rohe's aphorisms "less is more" and "God is in the details". It was intended as a temporary structure and was torn down in 1930, but was re-constructed in 1986.

La Rambla
This tree-lined pedestrian walkway is one of the most lively streets in the city. There are many performers, and artists. Head off into the side streets for a cheaper, more local, and authentic experience. At the bottom of La Rambla, there is Port Vell. An ultra modern area with bars, restaurants, and shops, you can take a boat ride with a golondrinas.

La Barceloneta
This area of criss crossing streets offers some of the best fish restaurants as it leads to some of the best sandy beaches.

Magic fountains of Montjuich
Designed for the Universal Exhibition of 1929, the fountains is a light, water and music show that occurs from Thurs - Sun evenings in the summer; Fri-Sat in the winter.

Tibidabo Amusement Park
Tibidabo is an 100 year old antique amusement park located on the very top of Tibidabo hill overlooking Barcelona. The park offers great views and vintage (as well as some new) rides. The park got recent world-wide notice when featured in Woody Allen's movie "Vicky Christina Barcelona".
Adult Day Ticket - 25.20 euro
Children Day Ticket (below 120cm) - 9.00 euros
Children below 90cm are free
It is also possible to pay for rides individually.

Pueblo Español
Built in 1929 for the occasion the Barcelona International Exhibition, the "Spanish village" shows off traditional Spanish architecture. It also has handicraft and souvenir shops.

Hotel Arts & Torre Mapfre - Barcelona's tallest twin skyscrapers. Both are 154 m (505 ft) high.

Tours

There is a range of tours with different focuses, price points, and modes of transportation. Many inexpensive tours start at the larger hostels, and most accommodations will have pamphlets.

Bcnjoy Party Tours - Offers fun-filled tours in different sections of the city. The price of €20 includes free welcome drinks in three different bars and entry to a club. Tel. 663917176

Barcelona City Tours - Offers extensive tours with options of walking, bus tours, bike tours, etc.

Barcelona Tour - A hop-on, hop-off bus tour with a panoramic deck and audio guide.

Festivals

Barcelona hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, many with unique Catalan flair.

April

Dia de Sant Jordi - Held on April 23rd, this holiday is similar to Valentine's Day. This is honoring St. George, the patron saint of Barcelona. Traditionally men give women roses and women give men books and there is a huge flower market and book sales.

May

Corpus - Held in late May, an egg is placed over the fountains in the churches. Flowers decorate the alters.

June

Festival de Sonar - Held in mid-June, this is a highly popular annual three-day music festival. It consists of technology fairs during the day and music events by night.

Revetlla de Sant Joan - This is the midsummer solstice celebration held on the 23rd of June. Fireworks shake the night and people celebrate.

Grec Arts Festival - Held from June to August in venues throughout the city, this is the city's largest music, dance and theater festival.

July

Monegros Desert Festival - July holds the most famous electronic music festivals in Spain. Located in the desert of Fraga 200km from Barcelona, about 40,000 people gather.

August

Festes de Gracia - A Catalan celebration, it commemorates the Assumption. Held around the 15th of August, this week-long festival offers streets decorated by it's community, live music, street food and parties.

Festes de Sants - Similar to the Gracia's event, but smaller and later in August.

September

La Diada - On September 11th, this subdued festival commemorates the fall of Barcelona during the War of Spanish Succession in 1714. This resulted in Catalonia losing it's autonomy. The holiday was officially recognized as Catalonia's national day.

Festes de la Merce - This is one of Barcelona's main festivals held around the 24th of September. Events include groups of castellers forming human tower, live music events, and fireworks. Cava, the national drink of Catalonia, is drunk heavily.

December

Fira de Santa Llucia - From December 2nd or 3rd to December 23rd, this festival commemorates Sta. Llucia. Christmas objects are sold in front of the Cathedral.

Discounts

Discounts are available to make visiting tourist destinations more economical. The best deals can save you money on hotels, sights, restaurants, and transportation.

Barcelona City Card - Available for two, three, four or five days, it features free travel on public transport and over 100 discounts and free offers at museums, cultural venues, entertainment, leisure attractions, evening venues, shops and restaurants. It includes a guidebook in Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Italian and German. This must be booked at least 24 hours in advance of travel. Cards cost:
2 days €25.00
3 days €30.00
4 days €34.00
5 days €40.00

ARQUEOticket Barcelona Discount Card - Offers free entrance to the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, the Barbier-Mueller Museum, the Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat de Barcelona, the Maritime Museum of Barcelona and the The Egyptian Museum of Barcelona. The card costs 14 euros and is valid for 1 year from date of purchase.


Update 17/10/2011

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