Guest Post: Why Everyone Loves Barcelona

Everyone who has ever been to Barcelona has come back raving and singing the city’s praises. But why? Okay, it’s got good weather, great beaches and hundreds of famous tourist attractions, but what makes Barcelona holidays any different from all the other Mediterranean paradises?

1. Old meets new

Part of Europe’s charm is the crumbling churches, centuries-old streets and long-gone architectural styles. While this is still true in parts of Barcelona, a lot of the city is vastly modern and heavily design-based. Gaudi may be what the guidebooks go on about, but just by looking at the Barcelona skyline, you’ll see a lot more than just Park Guell. From the sleek sail-shaped silhouette of the W Hotel, to Frank Gehry’s Fish, there’s a surprising clash of styles that works in the city’s favour. And it’s not just the shore that boasts this unusual mix – just take the iconic Sagrada Familia for example. Designed by Gaudi in 1883, the church still remains largely unfinished to this day. Each following architect has added his own personal style, leaving a mish-mash of Gothic, Catalan Modernism and Art Nouveau influences.

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2. We like to party

The Spanish are famous for their wild parties, and it doesn’t ring any truer than in Barcelona. Beach-front nightclubs host some of the world’s best-known DJs, with most bars and clubs open until at least 6am. And given that it’s only a boat ride away from Ibiza, there’s no shortage of party animals over the summer season. You’ll have to buy tickets to get into most of the big clubs, but it’s definitely worth the fee. And because of the heat, most Barcelonaians don’t eat until the sun goes down… and a few hours after. It’s quite normal to start dinner from midnight onwards, so a late lunch is definitely recommended!

3. Food, glorious food!

France may have their cheeses and wine, but Spain has their tapas and their sangria… And that’s saying something! The Spanish love their food and take great pride in savoring every single bite. Head down the city’s main thoroughfare, La Rambla and you’ll be overwhelmed with tasty treats lining the streets. Delicacies include black paella (covered in squid ink), jamon iberico and la crema catalana, a pastry dessert covered in crunch caramel. For a real eye-opener, get up early to watch the Mercat de La Boqueria come alive with some of the freshest produce you’ll ever see. Be warned: there are also cuts of meat you might not be prepared for… Lambs’ heads, skinned rabbits, brains and tongues are just a few of the fresh goods on display.

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4. Sporty stuff

If you’re a football fanatic, then you have to visit the home ground of Barcelona FC. Take a tour to see the stadium, the President’s Box, the players’ benches, even the changing rooms! And if that’s not enough, you can spend the rest of the day immersed in everything football-related at the Barcelona FC Museum.

However, if football isn’t your favourite sport, the Olympic Park is also a great tourist trip. Situated on Park Monjuic, most of the facilities have been left untouched for you to relive the 1992 Games.

5. It’s cheap

There’s no denying the Spanish economy has taken a beating in the last few years, so take advantage of the cheap holidays and do your bit to support Spain (and their sangria)!

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