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Girona Airport - A Gateway to Barcelona
To start with a bit of geography, Barcelona is in Catalunya which is a region in the north-east of Spain. It's located right on the Mediterranean , and that means it is one of the few big, European cities where you can go shopping, you can go sightseeing and you can top up your tan on the beach all in the same day. So, we´ll start with the view you might see from your window as you fly into Barcelona. You can see some of the beaches which are located in the centre of Barcelona and are very popular throughout the year.
They were actually developed in for the Olympic Games and the whole area we are looking at now was majorly re-vamped and renamed Vila Olímpica, which means Olympic Village. In the background you can see Ciutadella Park which is one of main green spaces in the city centre and the Barcelona zoo is located there as well.
Moving down to Barceloneta and the beach, this was the old fishing area, but now it is really more famous for its tapas bars and its seafood restaurants. It's a great area to consider if you would like to be by the beach or if you are looking for a bit of luxury, take a look at the W-Hotel at the end of the stretch. On the th floor of the W you will find the Eclipse Bar and that is the first of points we recommend to get the best views of the city. Moving on from the hotel we come to the port where the big cruise liners come into dock. The main airport is in this direction too, about km south of the city. And you can get there by train, bus or taxi from the centre. Don´t confuse it with Girona or Reus, those airports are much further away. Information on how to get to and from them you can find on our blog. So we will now head up to Montjüic, which means ´Hill of the Jews´ in Medieval Catalan.
There's lots to do up here on the hill because there is so much green space, you can go for walks, bike rides or picnics. You are looking at the castle now, we recommend you take a cable car up there, as this is the second of our top viewing points. As you can see Montjüic is also the home of the Joan Miró art museum and the Olympic stadium. Again, the stadium was for the games. Moving on to Plaça Espanya, we have the National Museum of Art in Catalunya and also Poble Espanyol, with is a mini town made up of replicas of famous buildings from around Spain. This area is really great at night when there is a light, water and music show known as the Magic Fountain and if you go to our blog you can see more photos that will give you a better idea of how spectacular it is. Now we head off across the Sants area of Barcelona, over to Camp Nou and this is a true highlight for sports fans.
This stadium is massive, it really is impressive and it holds over , people. If you are not lucky enough to have a ticket, you can still take a tour round the stadium. Heading off down towards the sea with Poble Sec area on your right, and Raval on the left, we arrive at the Christpher Columbus statue. In the background there we have the Maremagnum shopping centre, the aquarium and the IMAX D cinema. The statue itself marks the end of La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona. As you see on the left there we have the Maritime museum. Heading up the Ramblas you have the Barrio Gótico to the right, and the Raval area on your left. These parts make up of the areas of the old town in Barcelona and are great places to stay if you want to be right in the centre of everything that's going on. La Rambla, or Las Ramblas as it is also called - because there are actually parts to the street – there is so much to see here including the Güell Palace; Plaza Reial on the right; the Liceu Theatre on the left which regularly has operas and ballets; there is also La Boqueria market on the left hand side as well which is a great place to buy seafood; the Joan Miro mosaic and the lots of human statues and street performers all the way along the street throughout the year. You would think that La Rambla would be the busiest street in Barcelona but that honour is actually held by Portal del Angel.
That is because it is the main shopping street in Barcelona, and it runs down from Plaza Catalunya down from the corner of El Corte Inglés. El Corte Inglés is a big department store on Plaza Catalunya. The square is a central point of Barcelona and has really good transport links. That includes the airport bus which goes to and from Plaza Catalunya out to the main international airport. Leading off the square is Passeig de Gràcia the most exclusive street in Barcelona with lots of cafes and terraces which make it fantastic for people watching. It cuts through the area of Eixample, which translates as `expansion` - this is a reference to the growth of the city at the hands of the Catalan architect Cerdà. Our offices are located here, we are happy to say as it is a fantastic location to be in. Passeig de Gràcia could be called Gaudí street because of his most famous works are located here. The first of these is Casa Batlló and the second further up is La Pedrera. Between these two buildings there are loads of great, high-end shops, like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Tiffany's.
Once you get to La Pedrera, take a look up at the roof as the chimney-tops are a particularly famous image of Barcelona. La Pedrera is also known as Casa Milà, 'casa' meaning house, and yes it was indeed designed to be lived in. Gaudi put lifts on every second floor trying to force the residents to get to know each other. People still live there. So here you can see the criss-cross layout of some of the streets in the Eixample and the octagonal shape of the buildings. These were designed specifically to make the area as spacious and light as possible. Now we are approaching the Sagrada Familia. This is without doubt the most stunning building in Barcelona. Again this is a Gaudi creation. He started work on this building in . He didn't finish unfortunately and since then other architects have stepped in to try and complete the project.
The Pope consecrated the Church recently, so it’s now known as a basilica. A climb to the top is well worth it and this makes it our third recommended viewing point of the city. Book online, book in advance because the queues can be horrendous. Back towards the water and Vila Olímpica which is where we began our tour, you can see the Monumental bullring in the foreground there. No more bullfighting will take place there because Catalunya is the first Spanish region to ban the sport. Here we are at the Torre Agbar, this is also known as the bullet, and dominates the skyline in this area, especially when it is lit up in red and blue at night as you can see in the picture there. In the distance you can see Poble Nou and Diagonal Mar, these are areas that are right beside the water. Now panning round we are going to head up to Gràcia. This area is the location of Parc Güell.
This is the last of Gaudi´s creations on our tour and is our th recommended viewing point. It is less of a park and more of a work of art it really has to be seen to be believed. You can check out our YouTube video if you want to get a quick preview. On to our final point which is Tibidabo. This is the highest point in Barcelona. It is pretty easy to spot. Check the skyline, look for the white church - the Sagrado Corazón - and you have found Tibidabo. The journey up, which includes an old-style tram ride, takes a bit of time but a trip is well worthwhile as once you are up there are lots of things to do and see like the Collserola Tower, Cosmo Caixa science museum, which has a mini rainforest inside, and there is even an Observatory up there. But, the best reason to go up is definitely for the views. The panorama of Barcelona is spectacular and that makes it our final and favourite viewing point. Which brings us to the end of our video. We hope you have enjoyed it. We hope you have found it informative.