Short Break to Barelona - Sights not to be Missed

Unlike many other city breaks, short breaks in Barcelona can be taken almost any time of year. The temperate climate of the region means that outdoor activities and travel are never a problem, and as a result the city is continually alive with local concerts, parades, festivals and street theatre. If your plan is to experience as much as you can of Barcelona in the shortest time frame possible, then there are a few must sees in the city that you simply cannot afford not to take in.

The Old section of Barcelona dates back to the early fourteenth century and encompasses areas such as the Bari Gotic, Raval, La Ramba and Born. Wandering through the Barri Gotic with its winding narrow streets and ancient buildings will give you some idea of what the city may have been like in medieval times, when splendor and opulence were the order of the day.

As you meander past the cozy street cafes and ancient stone fountains, you may catch a glimpse every now and then of the remains of the ancient Roman wall which ran through the city centuries ago. Visit the impressive City Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat before settling down for a cool drink and delicious meal in the shade of a giant palm tree at the Placa Reial, one of the regions many shady squares. Whatever you do, make sure that you set aside some time during your short break in Barcelona to take in the magnificent Catedral de Barcelona, an architectural wonder that houses some of the most spectacular examples of gothic art and sculpture known to man.

The Museu Picasso and the MACBA

Two of Barcelona's most noteworthy galleries, the MACBA and the Museu Picasso are also located in the old section of the city. Richard Meire's Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) can be found in Raval, while the recently renovated Museu Picasso is located nearby in Born. The sharp lines and stark white walls of the MACBA contain house within them endless displays of contemporary and modern art, separated by spacious passageways and unusual architecture. By contrast, the treasures created by Pablo Picasso are housed in a row of Gothic palaces and mansions which are flanked by an enormous medieval courtyard, a far cry from the glass and plaster of the MACBA. The Museu Picasso feature over 3000 paintings and drawings created by the artist, from minimalist sketches to impressions of the Spanish countryside to the cubist masterpieces painted later in his career.

Santa Maria del Mar and Gaudi's Sagrada Familia

If you have an interest in religious architecture, there are two structures that are likely to take your breath away. Indeed, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without visiting the architectural masterpieces of Santa Maria del Mar and Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in Born was built in the mid 14th century, and is an example of Gothic architecture at its finest. The aisles and columns of the basilica are perfectly proportioned, as is the beautiful rose stained glass window at its entrance. The Sagrada Familia is situated just north of L'Eixample and features four giant, engraved spires which stretch into the bright blue Barcelona sky. The cathedral is the unfinished masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi's and is a perfect testament to the Modernist movement which swept through Barcelona in the 19th century.

Parc Guell

After taking in all the mammoth architectural delights of the city, you may very well feel the need to escape to nature and wide open spaces for a while. Parc Guell is situated on a hill on the outskirts of the city and features winding pathways, and large shady trees. The park is also known for its mosaics which include a giant dragon and an enormous bench designed by Gaudi's assistant Josep Maria Jujol. Parc del Laberint, also situated on the outskirts of Barcelona is one of the city's most beautiful and abundant parks. The park features pine forests, waterfalls and a challenging, seemingly never-ending labyrinth.

Replenish your energy supplies by enjoying a delicious seafood meal at one of the many seafood restaurants on the Port Olimpic Marina, before finishing the day's sightseeing with a trip to the Montejuic hilltop. Here you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the city and witness the magic dancing fountain, an entertaining feature incorporating a unique combination of water, light, movement and music.

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