Thu 16 September 2021
Spain News | Barcelona baby! City break within easy reach.
Barcelona- City break within easy reach
“Just close your eyes and let’s pretend we’re dancing in the street in Barcelona.” — Ed Sheeran
Here at Jacaranda Spain we are in the business of helping people, every day, to pursue their dream of a new life. Buying a house is so much more than just choosing a place to call home. It is a new life with new experiences and adventures. When the wanderlust strikes and you want a change of scenery, a long weekend in the Catalonian capital is a must.
Barcelona is an awesome city! It has jaw dropping buildings and monuments, not to mention an incredibly laid back, bohemian vibe that will bring you back for more, time and time again. The great news for us, in the Marina Alta, is- it is easy to get there!
If you like a road trip, it is a journey of just under 5 hours. The roads are some of the best in Europe and they are all toll free now, with Catalunya joining the rest of Spain in getting rid of the toll stations. It has to be said, that the service stations, on the main motorways, are not to be recommended. Fill up with fuel before you leave and take your own refreshments/snacks or plan to leave the beaten track for a lunch stop. The services are expensive and the standard is poor, although the bocadillos (a sandwich in a baguette) are fresh if you dont mind paying 8 euros!
By train- Rail tickets are relatively cheap in Spain, as is most public transport. The best way to do it from the Marina Alta is; drive to Xeraco and park free of charge indefinitely. From here you get a cercania train ( metro ) to Valencia Nord. This ticket is included in the price of your Valencia-Barcelona Sants ticket. You may have to change to from Valencia Nord station to Valencia JS (Joaquin Soralla), which is a 10 minute walk, but there is a free shuttle bus every 5 mins between the two stations. To buy a ticket go to the RENFE website, enter Valencia (all) in origen and Barcelona Sants in destination. Prices vary but the general rule is- book in advance for availability and cheaper tariffs.
By air- It is often cheaper to fly than go by train, and with both Alicante and Valencia airports a mere hour away, it is worth checking out.
5 Best things to do in Barcelona
1. Experience Gaudi- Antoní Gaudi is the worlds most famous, modernist architect. Barcelona is Gaudi´s city, with his beautiful works everywhere. He constructed with ceramics, glass, ironwork, carpentry and he made "trencadis" (waste ceramic) his signature medium! Visit the magnificent, Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Batlló house, to name but a few! Indeed, just a stroll around the city and you will see his work everywhere (even some of the lamposts and news stands are his designs!) Stunning and unforgettable examples of his individual style of organic art and design.
2. Paseo de Gracia- This elegant, tree lined avenue runs through the commercial center of the city. It is 1.6 kms long and home to a multitude of shops, restaurants and businesses. One of the most expensive streets in Spain, it is stunning at christmas time, with millions spent each year on a magnificent display of lights.
3. Gothic quarter- This district (Barrio) is the historic part of the city. You will find the remains of the Roman walls and some of the buildings date back to medieval times. It is a wonderful way to spend the day, just wandering through the streets, browsing the tiny shops and boutiques. It is also where you will find the original, neo-gothic Barcelona cathedral.
4. F.C.Barça, The Camp Nou- If you are a football fan , a guided tour of this, the biggest football stadium in Europe, is a must. This stadium is home to one of the worlds most famous football teams and the stadium has hosted some of the biggest matches of recent years. It has a capacity of 99,354 although it has played host to more than 121,000 for music concerts and even catholic mass with the pope. The Camp is also a training camp with smaller training pitches and it houses a museum that attracts 1.2 million visitors a year.
5. The beach- If you have more than a few days, you should plan an afternoon at the beach. La Barceloneta is the district closest to the centre and easily accessible by metro. The beaches here are always busy, but you can always find a comfortable space to relax and forget you are in the city. There are many beach bars, restaurants, the Port Vell and the aquarium.There is also a cable car up to Montjuic, where you will find the best views of the city and the Magic Fountains of Montjuic.
When you arrive you will want to ditch your car, so make sure your accommodation has parking. There is really no need to drive, walking is the best way to experience Barcelona and the metro system is very easy to navigate. A word of caution, there are pick pockets, so make sure your belongings are safely out of reach, especially on public transport and in and around tourist attractions.
Barcelona is a magical city with a multitude of things to do and see. Whether you like history and romance, shopping and eating out or just experiencing a culture that is known for it´s passion and diversity, "Barça has it all"!