Balmy Barcelona!

There hasn't been a single article of "top city destinations" compiled in the travel press in the last decade that didn't include Barcelona somewhere near the top - and it's easy to see why! Thanks to the winding and picturesque narrow streets of its Gothic Quarter, the mind-boggling Modernista architecture of Gaudi and friends, and its enviable position wedged between forested mountains and a sweeping expanse of Mediterranean sea, Barcelona has long been beautiful... whilst the 1992 Olympic Games helped pay for a sparkling, revamped marina and a glut of artificial beaches and street sculptures, enabling the city to transform from provincial port into a glamorous and cosmopolitan coastal resort. Whether you enjoy swanning around by the seafront sipping mojitos and sunbathing on the beach, or prefer to knock back a cerveza on one of the Old Town's scenic plazas before checking out world renowned sights such as La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell or the Picasso Museum you'll definitely find yourself falling in love with Barcelona. When the sun goes down things only get hotter as the city's life-giving arteries, Las Ramblas, throng with merry-makers keen to sample the legendary nightlife!

Did you know?

Despite being universally admired in the 21st Century, Antoni Gaudi didn't always enjoy such widespread praise. Amongst his famous detractors were George Orwell who described La Sagrada Familia as "one of the most hideous buildings in the world", whilst Pablo Picasso also derided the architect and Salvador Dali's comment that he possessed "superbly creative bad taste," will hardly have warmed his soul. Even his patron Eusebi Guell is said to have quipped: "I don't like your work, I respect it". Nonetheless thousands turned out to mourn for the controversial artist during his public funeral in 1926; he died after being hit by a tram.

Perhaps you're heading here on holiday, or perhaps you already call this wonderful and beguiling city your home? Whatever the reason for you dropping by our (virtual) home, the knowledgeable team of travel experts and writers at Barcelona Life are here to help you make the most of the Catalan capital. We've got tonnes of great suggestions on luxury and value-for-money hotels, gorgeous apartments, top-notch restaurants (check out our article on local tapas dishes and traditions!), reviews of hip bars and happening nightclubs, as well as a full report on shops and shopping, some great ideas for entertainment, tours and things to do and a round-up of all the greatest cultural attractions in the city - from the grand Gothic Cathedral to the Chocolate Museum and everything in between. We also aim to keep things current on Barcelona Life and that's why we bring you the latest city news and a monthly events calendar - as well as a guide to the biggest festivals, such as Sonar and Primavera Sound.

Is there anything we've forgotten? Not once you factor in our practical information on arriving and getting around the city, our miscellaneous travel advice and tips (including how to avoid those pesky pick-pockets!), our reliable weather report and our fully interactive online map - plus a guide to the Catalan language (which is quite different to Spanish, so best brush up!). If after all that you can't find what you're looking for please do drop us a line, or post a message on our forum. Don't forget there's also a search box (top right) and an articles directory (left hand side) and you can keep up-to-date with the latest comments and quips about BCN by following us on Facebook and Twitter. Just click on the icons on the top right of the page to connect.

Sick of balmy Barcelona? Impossible! But if for some reason you can't take any more of the sunshine, great food and non-stop fiestas, and instead you have an insatiable hankering for cold climes, a cheap bottle of vodka and a faint whiff of Communist nostalgia, then why not pay a call on some close friends of ours in Berlin, Krakow and Prague? Just three great cities in the old Eastern bloc that we know and love. For now though we suggest you pay homage to Catalonia!

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