Take a City Break and Enjoy Barcelona

290px-La_Rambla_Barcelona

It wasn’t until I moved away from the UK that I realised how brilliantly placed it is for taking city breaks in some of the world’s finest places. Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam are just a few of the best foreign city breaks that you could easily take from here.

Yet, if I had to name my best city break from the UK I would have to travel just a little bit further south and mention the name of Barcelona. This is a Spanish city that has every single thing I look for on a trip; culture, sunshine, beaches, amazing food and lots to do.

When I lived in Spain for a couple of years I was severely tempted to move to Barcelona and try living there. However, I decided in the end that there was the risk of having too much of a good thing. If I lived in this fabulous Catalan city would I eventually get too used to it? Would I barely look up as I strolled past the extraordinary Sagrada Familia church and would I get fed up eating crema catalana and drinking cava every single day? It seems frankly unlikely but why take the chance? So what’s worth doing here? Quite a lot actually.

See the Architecture

imagesI’m not one of those bores who stands and looks at columns for several hours while nodding his head seriously. Honest. Usually interesting pieces of architecture hold my attention for just long enough for me not to appear rude. However, Barcelona is quite simply an amazing place to walk around while staring at the buildings. I have already mentioned the Sagrada Familia and this is probably my favourite church in the world. What a weird and utterly inspiring looking thing this is. Incredibly, they started building it in 1882 and it still isn’t finished yet. Will the work ever be completed? This is the work of the bonkers architect Antoni Gaudí and there’s more to check out from his insane portfolio as you wander about. The unusual Casa Milá is known as La Pedrera and it is another stunner. I can also highly recommend a trip to the fantastically surreal Park Güell. Even if you aren’t normally a big fan of architecture you will love looking at the famous buildings round here.

Enjoy the Food

Barcelona is regularly named among the best cites on the planet for eating in and it is easy to see why. While it has some of the most exclusive restaurants around, it can be just as much fun to eat on a smaller budget. A quick look online will give you a range of options to choose from but just wandering around the city looking for somewhere that takes your fancy is even better fun. You will find tapas on offer in plenty of atmospheric places, while international cuisine is on offer from a huge number of countries. The local cuisine is varied, with a lot of seafood, fresh vegetables, pork sausage and other ingredients commonly used.

The Places to Stay

The massive popularity of Barcelona as a tourist destination means that there is everything here that a visitor could ask for. Of course, that includes a range of hotels, from top class places with luxury prices to cheap hostels. Personally, I have never found location to be as big an issue here as in other big cities. The fact that the public transportation system is so good and it is such a glorious city for walking around means that staying centrally isn’t as vital as you might think. Being able to look a bit further afield means that you have a lot of good value options but there are also some great hotels that are centrally located. For example, the Chic&Basic Born Hotel is a good value choice. If you want to splash a bit more cash then the Neri Hotel in the Gothic quarter has as much charm as you would expect from a converted palace.

What is your favourite place for a city break?

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