Once in a lifetime

Barcelona city guide

by Lenita Carpinello

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region within Spain, and the second largest city in the country. Barcelona is the fourth most visited city in Europe, a status which is partly explained by its prime location on the Mediterranean coast, its vibrant atmosphere, rich culture, and the beautiful surroundings you'll find yourself in as you walk through its streets. Here is a guide to a few of the best bits of this incredible city.

One of the best things about Barcelona is how easy it is to get around. When it comes to travelling you have several options: taxis, bus, train, two separate modern tram networks and several aerial cable-cars (which incidentally offer a great view of the city). Having such great accessibility opens up the entire city, meaning you can take advantage of the full range of delights this city has to offer.

While this takes some of the pressure off choosing the location of your Barcelona hotel it's still important to think carefully about it. If you're looking for a quiet holiday you don't want to be in an area famed for its buzzy night-life; equally if you enjoy being able to go from your room to a night-club in under five minutes you want to choose somewhere which will allow you to do that.

If you're working to a budget then it's a good idea to take advantage of one of Barcelona's numerous hostels. Ones like the originally titled Hostel Barcelona offer cheap, centrally located accommodation. If luxury is more your thing though then the traditional Hotel Casa Fuster G L Barcelona might be more up your street; for people looking for a more modern hotel then try Melia Barcelona.

Even if you aren't particularly interested in architecture then you can't fail to be impressed by Barcelona's beautiful buildings. A particular highlight is Antoni Gaudi's "Sagrada Familia? cathedral. A district which mixes some of the most beautiful aspects of Barcelona's architecture with a fantastic atmosphere is the Barri Gotic ("Gothic Quarter), this is well-worth a visit.

If museums are more your thing then 'The National Museum of Art of Catalonia' or the more modern 'Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art' might be worth checking out. Alternatively, for something a little more risqu? then try the Museu de l'Erotica (Museum of the Erotic).

If you are a fan of live classical music then Barcelona is home to the Orquestra Simf?nica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya (OBC) which puts on around 75 shows a season. Fantastic opera shows are regularly put on by the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

For a truly unique way to see the city go to the bottom of Les Ramblas street; there you can normally rent a horse and carriage which will take you on a tour of the city. If you want to escape the urban life for a bit then there are several beautiful parks dotted around Barcelona ? try Parc Ciutadella if you fancy a pedaloe ride, or for a truly eye-popping place look at Parc Guell which was designed by Gaudi himself.

Lenita Carpinello is a Spanish travel expert and freelance writer. They recommend Octopus travel for Barcelona hotels.

Source: http://www.PopularArticles.com/article212464.html