One thing you should be prepared for when visiting Barcelona for the first time is that you will have to go back again. You will never be able to cram all the sights and activities into one trip, and you will be left wanting to know more about this very special area. So relax, enjoy what you can do this time and keep in mind those activities that you will want to try next time.
For art lovers, one of the must visit buildings is the museum dedicated entirely to Picasso. This is housed in a medieval mansion, and contains over three thousand pieces, the most important collection of his work in Spain today. The museum allows you to travel through the various phases of Picasso’s work, from Malaga, his home town, to Paris, then Russia, and finally to Barcelona. Not surprisingly the main focus of the exhibition is on his Barcelona phase.
The old town of Barcelona, or Ciutat Vella, is right on the harbour of Barcelona. It is made up of the gothic sector, or Barri Gotic, which houses a fascinating cathedral, the Ribera area and the harbour area or Port Vell. To find the old town you just need to take a stroll down the main avenue on Barcelona, the flower stall lined La Rambla. As you walk towards the sea you will see a towering monument, topped by the figure of Christopher Columbus, which sits at one corner of the old town. On the opposite side or east, the old town is bordered by the Parc de la Ciutadella which houses a monumental waterfall or cascade.
A sight not to be missed for many football fans is the Nou Camp stadium. If you have chance to go to a game this will beat a simple sightseeing tour as you will be able to experience the unique atmosphere of one of the most famous stadiums in the world, home to Barcelona’s football team, usually known as Barca. Football season is September to May and you need to be sure to book your tickets well in advance.
If you have had enough of culture, history and shopping in the city centre, you can hit one of the fabulous beaches along the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada. The coastline is well maintained, with clean Mediterranean waters perfect for a refreshing dip. Accommodation along this coast includes a wide variety of resort-style hotels, beachfront chalets, and self-catering apartments to rent.
Barcelona has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday, a sightseeing weekend, a romantic honeymoon or somewhere to relax for the whole summer, you will find it all on this beautiful part of Spain.