Barcelona Weekend City Breaks - Short and Cheap Getaways
Spontaneous Barcelona weekend city breaks are a wonderful way to take in the best that the ancient city has to offer without even needing to take a day's leave. The year round temperate climate and friendly atmosphere of Barcelona ensure that even the clutches of winter cannot dampen the vibrant atmosphere of this colourful Spanish city.
Map of Barcelona
Barcelona is a fascinating mix of old and new, where the treasures of the past meet the wonders of the future. The old part of the city incorporates areas such as the Barri Gotic, La Rambla, Raval, La Ribera and Born. In these parts, the labyrinthine of narrow streets weave their way between ancient Catalan Gothic structures and palm fringed medieval squares. It is here that you will be able to sit on the edge of tumbling stone fountains, dissect the cubist masterpieces of Picasso and gaze in wonder at the intricate ceilings of ancient churches such as the Catedral de Barcelona and Santa Maria del Mar.
The newer parts of the city are testament to the modernist movement which swept through Spain in the late 19th century. In Eixample the four spires of Gaudi's last masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, stretch towards the Spanish sky as though imploring those on the ground to follow their pointed tips towards the heavens. Shady parks such as Parc Guell and Parc del Laberint provide a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, while along the shoreline the beaches and marinas are packed full of bars and restaurants serving colourful cocktails and scrumptious seafood dishes.
Flights to Barcelona are usually easy to come by and relatively cheap. In the more popular summer months it may be necessary to book further in advance, as flights tend to fill up pretty quickly. British, Irish and Scottish citizens as well as European Union nationals are exempted from needing a visa to enter Spain and need only to present their passports upon landing. While there are a number of other nationals who also do not need a visa to enter Spain, regulations are constantly changing so it is best to check before you book your weekend break. Those who do need a Schengen visa can obtain it with relative ease from Spanish embassies and consulates either in their home country or in other Schengen countries.
While it may not be possible to see all that Barcelona has to offer in a single on a short weekend break, you will definitely be able to get at least a taste of the flamboyant culture that makes up one of Europe's most fascinating cities. The best way to approach these Barcelona weekend breaks is to determine which sites or experiences interest you most in the city and take those in first. Make sure that you don't wear yourself out too much during the day because nighttime in the city is nothing short of magical. From Flamenco dancers to concertos in the street and theater on the sidewalk - Barcelona is a city that vibrates with life and rarely ever sleeps. So pack your party pants and a pair of good walking shoes and say adéu to the world. Chances are good that once you have wet your appetite you'll soon be back for more of Barcelona!
http://www.barcelonaturisme.cat/ - Official tourism site for Barcelona (click the link at the top for the english translation)