Author: Jasna Veljanovska
Ah, Barcelona! – Words that are often heard from people who had the opportunity to visit this city. Barcelona will literally take your breath away. You will want to go there again and again. As soon as you arrive in Barcelona, you will be pleasantly impressed by the beauty of the city, especially if you decide to have a walk during the day. The sun gives the city a special charm and portrays the spirit of the typical Catalonian buildings and monuments. What is more interesting is the fact that the sun in Barcelona usually sets at 9 o’clock or even at 10 o’clock in the evening. However, I must point out that even during the night, street lights give one-of-a-kind charm to the city, something that cannot be noticed during daylight.
Let’s start with the city transport. Barcelona’s transport is very well organized. Traffic lights are placed in appropriate places and they ease jams. Of course, sometimes there is a traffic jam due to the great number of tourists who come to Barcelona either with their own vehicle or with sightseeing busses that offer a panoramic view of the city. You will notice that local people frequently use a bicycle to get to desired destinations.
Besides, Barcelona has a huge harbor. It is one of the biggest harbors in Europe which has been increasing the number of tourists throughout the years. Near the harbor, there is a vast monument of Christopher Columbus who points to the sea. The harbor is divided in three zones, the Port Vell zone being the most popular one where only small ships, yachts and boats anchor. Port Vell is well-known for having the biggest aquarium in Europe with about 9.000 different fish species.
Moreover, there is Maremagnum, a huge mall that is, in fact, the only mall working on holidays and on Sundays due to the great turnout of people. There, you can find many brand shops, such as Leftie’s, Bershka, Stradivarius, H&M, Pull & Bear, Skater Shop, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Barcelona FC fan shop, souvenir shops etc. Right near the aquarium and Maremagnum, there is a huge IMAX 3D cinema where you can enjoy yourself watching movies. When getting to this Maremagnum complex, you will cross a bridge that is overcrowded with tourists who either take photos or sit on the benches and take pleasure in the amazing view of the sea. In case you decide to get to the city center walking, you will come across the most famous street, La Ramblas.
There are many different boutiques, restaurants, cafeterias and souvenir shops on both sides of La Ramblas. Just bear in mind that you should be very careful when passing through this street because it is a big target for thieves. Although there are many policemen, they cannot always help you if you get robbed. Barcelona is widely known as a city where tourists are constantly thieves’ target. So, I’d advise you to wear a small purse rather than a rucksack as you won’t notice if someone cuts your rucksack and slowly and professionally “empties” it. The thieves usually operate near the monuments and in the metro so keep your eyes open. You won’t recognize them since everyone can be a thief, from teenagers to elder people. Be careful when asking local people for directions because one of them might be a thief. However, you shouldn’t be afraid too much. Without a doubt, there are many nice and polite people who will gladly help you. Anyways, if you get in touch with the local people, avoid saying that Barcelona is one of the most beautiful Spanish cities. Namely, Barcelona is the capital of the few Catalonian provinces, so locals regard themselves as Catalonians, not Spanish.
Among the other places you must visit is the famous basilica La Sagrada Familia which is a work of the well-known architect Antonio Gaudi. The basilica is a Roman Catholic Church built in a gothic style. It is not finished yet because it is still in the process of construction. Also, when in Barcelona, you must see the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Its beauty is not only in its hugeness and glamour but also in the delivery of a spectacular display of colors and lights with a musical accompaniment during nights on certain days of the week. This is a wonderful experience. Try not to miss this sensation. Then, continue going up the hill Montjuic where you can see a typical Spanish village, the Olympic Stadium where the summer Olympic games are held and the renowned football stadium Camp Nou which is number one in the world in seating capacity and former number one in greatness. Here, you can visit the football team’s museum where you can find many trophies, pictures and football stuff which are part of the history of FC Barcelona. When on Montjuic, don’t forget to take a splendid panorama photo of the city.
If you want to eat or shop, Barcelona is a perfect place for that. Not only there is a variety of things, but the prices are suitable, too. The prices in the boutiques are the same almost everywhere; however, if there is a discount, you will surely leave the shop with lots of new stuff. Also, don’t buy souvenirs in the first souvenir shop you see. Go to souvenir shops that are placed far from the momentums or in some mall so that you will get souvenirs for a cheap price. Plus, don’t panic if you didn’t buy that amazing souvenir in the first shop because you can find the same one in all other shops. Last but certainly not least, don’t miss the opportunity to attend a Flamenco show. You will be part of a tow-hour wonderful show with an original Spanish dance and music. Besides, you will have the opportunity to drink as much Sangria (a fruit wine) as you want. But don’t drink too much because the sweet taste can blur your mind so grabbing a taxi will be the only way to get to your place.