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Barcelona Things to Do: 4,023 reviews and 7,976 photos

L'Aquàrium, largest aquarium in Europe. - Barcelona

L'Aquàrium, largest aquarium in Europe.

L'Aquàrium L'Aquàrium Review

After wandering through the Maremàgnum, head towards the aquarium (named L'Aquàrium). Actually, you may want to start with this as it gets a bit crowded as the day progresses. The ultra-modern aquarium hold over 5 million liters of water and is according to my guidebook, the largest aquarium in Europe. It opened in 1995 and had been a crowd favorite since, even more popular than the Sagrada Familia (in terms of paid entrances of course). As a student of marine biology, I can tell you that they do have some excellent exhibits and take very good care of their animals. Unfortunately, I've seen better aquariums in Baltimore, Maryland, Maalea, Maui, and Camden, New Jersey. However, for European standards, it's an amazing aquarium!

Address: Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, 08039 Barcelona

Directions: Port Vell

Other Contact: [email protected]

Phone: +34 93 221 74 74

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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The splendid facade of Casa Batlló. - Barcelona

The splendid facade of Casa Batlló.

Illa de la Discòrdia (Mançana de Discòrdia) Passeig De Gracia Review

Illa de la Discòrdia (formerly known as Mançana de Discòrdia), which means Block of Discord, refers to the most famous, no doubt most visited, block on Passeig de Gràcia. It gained its name because of the close juxtaposition of three outstanding buildings, each of which is in a conflicting style, although they are all categorized as modernist.

Casa Lleó Morera, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and decorated with the sculptures of Eusebi Arnau, is on the corner and has the beautiful round window that is hard to miss. Slightly further up is the Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and next door to it is the most famous Casa Batlló, which was remodelled by Gaudí in 1906 (pictured here).

The Casa Batlló is more than a building. It became a legend of art and architecture for all time. Today, the First Floor (the former home of the Batlló family), the Attic and its famous chimneys are all open to visitors. You can also be just as content admiring the splendid facades from the sidewalk. Lastly, this building also looks quite beautiful at night. So try to come back and see it then.

Address: 35, 41 & 43 Passeig de Gràcia

Directions: On on Passeig de Gràcia between Consell de Cent and Aragó.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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The famous lizard by Gaudí near the park entrance. - Barcelona

The famous lizard by Gaudí near the park entrance.

Parc Güell by Gaudí Parc Guell Review

One of the star attractions of Barcelona is the Parc Güell, the second most visited park after the Ciutadella. Probably only because of its location in the north of the city. The park owes its magnetic attraction to th fact that it was designed by Gaudí.

In creating the park, Gaudí used shapes which harmonized with the landscape. Always aware of the struggle betwen man and nature, he built a complex garden of staircases, animalike sculptures, curvy ramps, and viaducts.

Today, the park is declared a monument of world interest by UNESCO and has had this status since 1984.

Lastly, expect a climb regardless of how you get to the park (well perhaps unless you drive). I think the best way to get there though was with the Bus Turístic. The Metro is a much longer walk away from the park. Admission to the park is free!

See my travelogue on this park.

Address: Nou de la Rambla, 3-5

Directions: Metro; line 3. Lesseps Station, then follow the street signs.

Phone: +34 93 317 39 74

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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The grand Palau Nacional - Barcelona

The grand Palau Nacional

Palau Nacional/Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya Montjuic - Palau Nacional Review

Since 1934 the Palau Nacional has housed the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catanlunya which is the most important Romanesque art collection in the world. It includes murals peeled off the walls of tiny churches in the Pyrenees in the province of Lleida and brought down by donkey. Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque art can also be found here.

From the Plaça d'Espanya, the view up to the Palau Nacional is breathtaking. I suggest taking the walk up (escalators make it easier).

The Palau Nacional is home to a series of fountains that are located on the steps leading down towards the Plaça d'Espanya. When these fountains are turned on and the light glows through them it's quite a site. See my tip on the fountains of Palau Nacional and my travelogue with more pictures of the Weekly water show.

Address: Palau Nacional. Parc de Montjuïc

Directions: Monjuïc district. Metro 'Espanya'

Other Contact: [email protected]

Phone: 00 34 93 426 53 86

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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The Sagrada Familia, Gaudí's masterpiece. - Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia, Gaudí's masterpiece.

The Temple of the Sagrada Familia Sagrada Familia Review

This majestic Temple of the Sagrada Famila is the symbol of Barcelona to many, and quite arguably, the reason the name Gaudí spread around the world. Here, in the center of this bustling, quite ordinary neighborhood, it is a staggering sight. It is visited by more than a million people annually, and this doesn't take into account those who stand outside and simply gasp on the sidewalks.

After taking on this project, Antoni Gaudí's enormously ambitious undertaking became the main project for the rest of his life. According to my guidebook, at the time of his death in 1926, only the crypt, apse and part of the Nacimiento (Nativity) facade and one tower had been completed. As a mark of respect, Antoni Gaudí's body is entombed in the crypt.

One of the main projects being considered is the construction of the central tower, which is planned to soar way above the existing ones.

There has been much debate about completing the massive temple which has acquired almost an iconic status. Some feel it should be left unfinished and others want to see it done. (I would sure love to see it's completion in my lifetime!). Fortunately Barcelona's commitement to the temple has continued construction for more than 70 years after his death.

I strongly recommend tackling this extraordinary building early in the morning rather than at the end of a long walk or in the afternoon. For one, there is much to see, and second it gets crowded fast!

It is well connected by the Metro and bus lines. I strongly feel that whether you love or hate this building, you will never forget the first time you set eyes on it.

You can take a virtual tour on their webpage (see below).

Address: Carrer de Mallorca 401

Directions: Metro: Line 2 or 5 Station: SagradaFamilia

Phone: 00 34 93 207 30 31

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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Courtyard of the Plaça del Rei - Barcelona

Courtyard of the Plaça del Rei

Plaça del Rei Plaça del Rei Review

This fine medieval square is a living testimony to the nobility of the ancient city of Barcelona. It was a cattle fodder market for three centuries. It was also here that all the flour brought into the city in payment of taxes was collected. Hmm, cattle fodder and flour side by side. It's now wonder people got so sick back in the day! The Plaça del Rei is flanked by the Palau Reial Major, the Palau del Lloctinent, and the Santa Agatha chapel.

Address: Plaça Reial

Directions: Barri Gotic east of La Rambla. Metro: Liceu

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 2, 2005
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Font de Canaletes - Barcelona

Font de Canaletes

Font de Canaletes, can the legend be true? Font de Canaletes - Canaletes Fountain Review

The Font de Canaletes is one of the 'symbols' of Barcelona. There's not much to say other than there is a small brass plaque at the foot of this 19th-century cast-iron fountain that confirms the legend that all those who drink its waters will be enamoured with Barcelona and always return. I don't know if the legend is true, but at the time of this post, I already went back for a second trip. Must be true I guess!

Directions: Located at the northern end of La Rambla just by the metro stop.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 2, 2005
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People pass one of many flower shops on La Rambla - Barcelona

People pass one of many flower shops on La Rambla

La Rambla, the busiest Avenue in Barcelona Las Ramblas Review

I recommend that any trip to walk down La Rambla begin up at the northern end by the Plaça de Catalunya. From there you can embark on that flow of humanity down to the sea (no joke, it's crowded!). The best advice is to plunge in, go with the flow and enjoy the constant weird and wonderful activities taking place around you. Let yourself be carried past lottery ticket booths, shoe shiners, cheap pensions, human statues (performers), and people of all types. Let your senses be assailed by the squawking of caged birds, the perfumed air of the flower stalls, the chatter of the gossips and the shrieks of the fruit markets.

There are a number of things to see both on La Rambla and off. So if you're really looking to get to know it, expect to spend some time there. La Rambla is broken down to the Rambla de Catalunya, Rambla de Canaletes (which by the way gets it's name from the Font de Canaletes), Rambla dels Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla dels Caputxins, Rambla de Santa Mònica., down to the Monument a Colom and the waterfront.

Oh and please, please be aware of pickpockets. With such large groups of people, they inevitably prey on such a bountiful crowd. As should be a norm anywhere you go, being aware and strapping cameras and bags tightly to your body is usually enough to deter thieves.

Directions: Find the Plaça de Catalunya on any map and it is the avenue heading south of it. Hard to miss.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 2, 2005
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The Passion facade of the Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

The Passion facade of the Sagrada Familia.

The Passion Facade of the Sagrada Famila Sagrada Familia Review

The restoration and continuation of the work on the Pasión (Passion) facade has been undertaken by local artist Josep M. Subirachs. Unfortuanetly, this side has aroused less enthusiasm but I think it is still quite beautiful. While is work is less like Gaudí's original plans, it's modernistic approach is also quite impressive.

This is the side on Carrer de Sardenya. See Travelogues for more detail of this side.

Address: Carrer de Mallorca 401

Directions: Metro: Line 2 or 5 Station: SagradaFamilia

Phone: 93 207 30 31

Website: http://www.sagradafamilia.org

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 11, 2005
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Plaça de Gaudí - Barcelona

Plaça de Gaudí

Plaça de Gaudí Sagrada Familia Review

Not much to say about this little park except that it offers great views of the Nativity Façade of the Sagrada Familia. Most visitors to the Sagrada Familia will visit this park and Plaça de la Sagrada Familia. Also, the pond was recently cleaned. On my first trip, this lake was a putrid green color. This time it was quite clean.

Address: Carrer de Mallorca 401

Directions: Metro: Line 2 or 5 Station: SagradaFamilia

Phone: +34 93 207 30 31

Website: http://www.sagradafamilia.org

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 20, 2004
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