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Visiting Barcelona

La Rambla Ciutat Vella The Sea Front Barri Gòtic Paral·lel Montjuïc
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La Rambla

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Barcelona's old city is, without doubt, one of the nicest and most romantic of Europe. Its small streets, shops, the air you breathe, everything invites you to wander around, getting to know every place of this charming area.

Even if we propose you a route, our best tip is to walk haphazardly around, without rushing, guided by what you see.

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The RAMBLA is, of course, the best known landmark of Barcelona, and deservedly so. Meandering down from the Pl. de Catalunya to the Columbus statue, filled with newspaper kiosks, flower and animal stalls, and all sorts of artists, it is undoubtedly the place where everyone comes together, both tourists and locals, from the most inconspicuous to the most exaggerated representative of all sorts of urban tribes.

Of interest is the Mirˇ Mosaic, the Liceu (Opera house), the Mercat de la Boqueria or exhibition centres such as the Palau de la Virreina and the Centre d'Art Santa M˛nica.

When you feel tired, have a drink at one of the many terraces, try your luck at the CafÚ de la Ëpera.

Strolling down the Rambla, on your right is the Barri del Raval, formerly known as the "barrio chino", the red-light district of the city. This area no longer has a bad reputation. In the Raval you will find many small restaurants and night bars where you can spend a very pleasant evening.

In Calle Montalegre you'll find the Centre de Cultura ContemporÓnia de Barcelona, which houses various exhibitions and the restored Museu d'Art Contemporani.

Further down the Ramblas, in Calle Nou de la Rambla, is the Palau GŘell, by GaudÝ. You should not miss Pl. Reial, on your left, with its archway and palm trees (some say the tallest of Europe). It used to have a bad reputation, but has now become one of the safest places in the city. From this square go to Calle Ferran, which leads to Pl. Sant Jaume, where the Palau de la Generalitat and the Town Hall can be found.

Once in the Barri G˛tic, the best thing to do is to wander round the small streets, exploring them for yourself. But don't miss the Pl. de Sant Josep Oriol, with its afternoon concerts. Pl. de Sant Felip Neri, the most romantic of the city, the Cathedral with its fine cloister, the Calle del Bisbe and the Pl. del Rei.

If you're not too tired, it's time to go shopping around Portaferrissa and Portal de l'└ngel.

You're not through with Ciutat Vella yet: you still have to visit the Barri de la Ribera, which is down to the right of Via Laietana, and where, among many others, you can find the Museu Picasso and the church of Santa Maria del Mar, the most representative example of the austere Catalan gothic style. This area, and that of the Pg. del Born, are rich in restaurants and bars where you can have a drink late at night.

Las Ramblas - Plaça de Catalunya

Rambla Canaletes
Rambla dels Estudis
Rambla de les Flors
Rambla Caputxins
Rambla Sta. Mònica

PLAăA DE CATALUNYA
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PLAăA DE CATALUNYA

This is the nerve centre par excellence of Barcelona, both for its social life and its metropolitan communications network. The Plaša de Catalunya was built in 1927 by the architect Francesc Nebot. It has a surface area of 50,000 m2, comparable with other important squares such as Saint Peter's in Rome. The fountains and the gardens are outstanding, but certain sculptures are also worth mentioning, such as the monument to Francesc MaciÓ and its curious inverted stairs shape. The Plaša de Catalunya is the beginning of the Ramblas.

LAS RAMBLAS

This is undoubtedly the most cosmopolitan street of Barcelona, with the greatest diversity of people, passers-by, shoppers, tourists, civil servants, big shots, comedians, street musicians, night-birds, vagrants, prostitutes... The Rambla was originally just a torrent (Rambla comes from the Arabic "ramla", torrent). The plane trees, the most common species of tree in the city (introduced in 1859) stand out in this street. The historical evolution of this street has divided it into five sections, the Ramblas de Canaletes, dels Estudis, de Sant Josep, dels Caputxins and de Santa Mˇnica.

 
 
   
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