It’s already common knowledge that Barcelona is number four among the most visited cities in Europe. And that more than 30 million tourists come here every year, while the local population is only about 1,6 million people.
In fact, there are quite a few factors that explain the huge pull of the Catalan capital. In addition to combining sea and mountain landscapes on its 99 km2 — the municipality can boast of the natural park of Sierra de Collserola and about 5 km of Mediterranean beaches spread along ten bathing areas. On top of that, Barcelona is famous for its inexhaustible fantastic monumental, cultural, gastronomic and its leisure offers.
To help you see and live all those great experiences we open the doors of the Iberostar Selection Paseo de Gracia, our new hotel in the centre of Barcelona. It is located in one of the hot spots of the city — the confluence of Passeig de Gràcia with Catalunya Square. This is an ideal place to start discovering the heart of Barcelona on foot, or to travel by public transport (train, metro, bus or coach) to nearby towns of great interest. Here come some tips for visiting Barcelona – where to stay, what to buy, places to visit and things to do.
During a little more than 2.000 years of its history, Barcelona has accumulated an unparalleled architectural heritage. Its Roman vestiges, an urban layout that can be seen in the subsoil at Plaza del Rei, the columns of the temple of Augustus or the necropolis at Vila de Madrid Square, and other magnificent medieval buildings. Among others, it is possible to visit Sant Pau del Camp in Romanesque style, or three Gothic buildings of undeniable beauty: the cathedral, the church of Santa Maria del Pi and, above all, the imposing Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, one of the masterpieces of Catalan Gothic style and the principal location in the successful novel The Cathedral of the Sea (La catedral del mar).
However, it is its modernist style that is a must see in Barcelona and makes the city unique. Some of its streets still expose the talents of the famous architects such as Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the architect of the old hospital of Sant Pau and the Palau de la Música Catalana; Josep Puig y Cadafalch and, above all, the unforgettable Antoni Gaudí, who brought to life such masterpieces as Sagrada Família, Casa Vicens, Park Güell, Palau Güell, each of them declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Likewise, he constructed two more showpieces in Passeig de Gràcia which are permanently open to the public: Casa Batlló, located next to Casa Amatller de Puig y Cadafalch, and Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera.
Other places that you can’t miss in Barcelona are attractions as the old Jewish quarter (Call), where the evocative Sant Felip Neri Square is located; the El Born neighbourhood, one of the most fashionable areas with ruins of the eighteenth-century city and a wide range of bars and restaurants; the streets of L'Eixample, the picturesque Ramblas, the seaside neighbourhood La Barceloneta, the top of Tibidabo hosting an amusement park, and the mountain area of Montjuïc with its impressive Magic Fountains, the fairgrounds, the Olympic ring and the castle that offers extraordinary views over the city.
As for the numerous museums in Barcelona, it is worth mentioning the Joan Miró Foundation, the Picasso Museum, with juvenile oil paintings of the famous artist from Malaga and the Las Meninas series, or the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), which brings together the most important collection of Romanesque paintings in the world.
Finally, we should mention the busy calendar of festivities and events in Barcelona, which includes music festivals such as Primavera Sound or Sònar, the Fiestas de Gràcia and Sants, the Fiestas de la Mercè dedicated to the patron saint of the city, or the Mobile World Congress, the world's leading mobile telephony event.
Are you looking for more ideas? In that case all you should do is to ask the staff of our hotel in Barcelona. We will be more than happy to help you organize your trip to Barcelona.
Although the city of Barcelona is short of arable land and livestock farms, the metropolis is abundant with food and ingredients of excellent quality, such as the chicken or the artichoke of El Prat de Llobregat and the well-known Maresme strawberries. These and other food products make the basis of the renowned Catalan gastronomy, inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine. In brief, the exquisite cuisine will surround you everywhere, so there will be no doubts as to where to eat in Barcelona.
Among the most typical dishes in Catalan cuisine it is recommended to start with Rossini cannelloni elaborated with foie, that have been present in Catalan cookbooks since the 19th century; la escudella y la carn d’olla – a time-honoured traditional dish cooked for Christmas, or the cod-based stews with specialties such as esqueixada or el bacalao en sanfaina.
And for dessert, there is nothing better than the delicious crema catalana (Catalan cream, also known as cream of Sant Josep) or mató de Pedralbes, made of fresh soft cheese most likely coming from the homonymous monastery, located in uptown Barcelona. Likewise, this city also stands out for its confectionery, that includes the tortell de Reis (also called roscón de Reyes), panellets (small marzipans that are savoured on the day of All Saints accompanied with Moscatel) or crispy coca de Montserrat, that presumably originated on the homonymous mountain in the province of Barcelona.
If you are looking for best restaurants in Barcelona with the aim to partake the best of genuine Catalan cuisine, make a reservation in the hotel restaurant. It is located on the first floor of our hotel, which allows you to enjoy splendid views over the city centre and, of course, to plunge into the paradise of sensations. But if you feel like chilling out in an even more relaxed atmosphere, go have a drink in the bar at our hotel terrace with pool ... or in one of our comfortable rooms with a balcony.
If you are looking for hotels in Barcelona, the Iberostar Selection Paseo de Gracia will be the right choice as this central four-star hotel that doesn’t lack a thing. Make your reservation, and get ready to have the Mediterranean holiday of your dreams.
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