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Destination of the Week: Barcelona

Posted by Maria Inês Pinto on 05/12/2014
Destination of the Week: Barcelona

The lively capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is a city with plenty to offer to its visitors. Its exquisite art, culture and beauty constantly awe tourists year after year. Just the fact that it is the only city in the world to have 9 UNESCO World Heritage buildings is enough of a reason to visit it. So whether you are a sports fanatics, a history buff, an architecture lover or you simply like to have a wild time, Barcelona has something great to offer you.

What to do

Barcelona has something for everyone. Sports fans will love the guided tours of Camp Nou, the numerous museums dedicated to sporting achievements, and the wide range of venues available to practice sports such as tennis, golf, riding, and sailing, among others.

Arts and culture lovers will be amazed by the splendid architecture in the Gothic Quarter, the La Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum, Casa Museu Gaúdi, Juan Miró Foundation, and many other museums and galleries.

Other widely known landmarks include Las Ramblas street where all the best restaurants and live music and entertainment can be found; Park Guell by Gaúdi; the Modernist buildings on Passeig de Gracia; Montjuic hill, which features a number of parks and attractions as well as a great view of the city; and Tibidabo Hill, perfect if you are travelling with kids.

Where to stay

Barcelona receives an enormous amount of visitors every year, meaning it’s excellently prepared for every kind of taste, preference and budget. With thousands of hotels, guesthouses and hostels lining its streets, it won’t be hard to find accommodation in this lively city that is perfect for you. Take a look at some of our suggestions below.

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona (£££)

Located right on Passeig de Gracia, just steps away from two of Gaudi’s architectural gems, this luxurious hotel boasts a tranquil vibe that is hard to find elsewhere. On site, choose from 5 incredible dining options serving all kinds of international and local dishes and enjoy one of the city’s heartiest breakfasts. On a pleasant day, you can always take a dip in the rooftop pool to enjoy stunning views of the city. From approximately £280 per night, you can enjoy the sumptuous rooms which are all flawlessly decorated and feature luxury toiletries.

Claris Hotel (££)

Also located on the prestigious Passeig de Gracia, Claris Hotel is a luxurious 5 star hotel that offers magnificent amenities at a more affordable price. From roughly £100, spend a night in one of the hotel’s stylish and soundproofed rooms. You will also be able to enjoy spectacular city views from the rooftop pool, enjoy a delicious Mediterranean meal on the roof terrace, or grab a bite at the tapas bar.

Hotel Market (£)

Need a more budget-friendly accommodation? Hotel Market, set near Barcelona’s Gothic quarter, is your ideal choice. Matching affordable prices with quality-conscious design, this charming hotel is also home to a popular restaurant serving local cuisine. Some rooms have a private terrace or balcony and all have free Wi-Fi access.

Where to eat

Whilst all kinds of international dishes are available at your disposal in this great city, you simply can’t leave Barcelona without trying some of the local and regional Catalan cuisine. This type of cuisine uses mostly ingredients found along the Mediterranean coast including fresh vegetables, wheat products, all kinds of fish, various pork preparations as well as cheese and poultry. Typical dishes include Catalan-style cod, escudella (a type of stew), and cargols a la llauna (cooked snails). A popular dessert is crema catalana, a yellow cream made with egg yolk, milk and sugar. Yum!

Freixa Tradició (£££)

Serving delicious Catalan cuisine, this restaurant run by a talented couple is one of your safest bets for an evening well spent in Barcelona. The sophisticated atmosphere, the minimalist interior design and the exceptional dishes all combine to make your meal as enjoyable as you could imagine it to be.

Agut (££)

Arguably one of Barcelona’s best restaurants for some years now, Agut is undeniably one of the city’s most emblematic establishments. Founded in the 1920s, Agut is still leaving its guests plenty satisfied with delicious traditional dishes and an extremely inviting atmosphere.

Can Vilaró (£)

Just because you are on a budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a hearty meal. The traditional eating house at Can Vilaró serves delicious homemade cuisine in a unique setting.

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