Barcelona: The Best of Both

The capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona can satisfy the desires of any holidaymaker, combining city life with a beach. Looking for sea and sun? Fantastic shopping? Inspiring architecture? A vibrant, buzzing nightlife? Sumptuous dining? Top class sport? Barcelona holidays tick every box.

The beaches in Barcelona

Barcelona has beaches – and lots of them; nine in fact, bordering the city and stretching for a total of around 4km. All of them are a high standard, awarded the blue flag of excellence. Perhaps the best known is Barcelonata, which is a mere 20 minute walk from the city. Close to the Olympic Marina (Port Olimpic) is Nova Icaria beach, which is surrounded by bars and restaurants and a great location for a range of watersports.

Barceletona Beach

Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona is perfect for people watching but the city’s buildings and architecture are a major talking point and should be a focal part of any visit. The inspired vision and creativity of the city’s iconic architect, Antoni Gaudi, can be seen all over Barcelona with his most famous creation, La Sagrada Familia, attracting almost 3 million visitors a year. But the brilliance isn’t all Gaudi, genius though he was: Frank Gehry’s Fish, the Olympic Flame by Santiago Calatrava and Jean Nouvel’s Agbar Tower are all stunning examples of design. Many of the city’s churches are also Gothic masterpieces.

An aerial view of La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona’s buzzing nightlife

You could holiday in Barcelona for six months of the year and probably never tire of the multitude of bars, restaurants and clubs on offer. From rooftop terraces – some of which also have a pool – to gin bars, cocktail bars and even craft beer alehouses, the city is packed with fantastic and welcoming venues. Of course, Barcelona also has an extensive range of eateries from humble neighbourhood tapas joints to Michelin starred restaurants. For those who like a night out to stretch into the early hours, Barcelona has an impressive club and jazz scene.

A line of cafes in Barcelona at night

Shopping in Barcelona

Barcelona is a world class shopping destination, and the districts of L’Eixample and Passeig de Gracia are particularly popular fashion hotspots. The usual big brands are there but so too are stores from Catalan designers, so visitors can buy genuinely exclusive items. Boutiques and fashion aside, Barcelona also has lively food and drink markets, and all manner of quirky antiques and crafts stores tucked away down side streets which are there to be explored and discovered.

The streets of Passeig de Gracia

 

Sport in Barcelona

Just the mention of Barcelona inevitably brings to mind the city’s celebrated football club. F.C Barcelona. It has long been one of the world’s most successful clubs and if you find yourself in the city when the team is playing, try and get a hold of tickets. If that’s not possible, a tour of the glorious Camp Nou – the club’s stadium – is a must; tickets are relatively inexpensive. Somewhat overshadowed by Barcelona is the city’s other La Liga club, Espanyol – still well worth visiting if you can!

An aerial shot of FC Barcelona

 

Award-winning beaches, the deep blue Mediterranean on its doorstep, sporting excellence, an enviable array of shopping and superb food and drink – it’s little wonder Barcelona holidays continue to be in such demand.