Barcelona, Spain Vacations


Our Opinion of Barcelona

Vibrant, exciting and bursting with energy, Barcelona has quickly established itself as one of Europe's favourite destinations. Unique architecture, artistic masterpieces, cutting-edge design, great shopping, mouth watering cuisine, superb wines, an electrifying nightlife, and wonderful beaches - the city has it all!

Las Ramblas is the backbone of Barcelona's downtown area. A large commercial avenue whose median strip is lined with trees, it stretches from Catalonia Square to the north, to Plaza de la Paz to the south. East of Las Ramblas is the superb historic city centre (Barrio Gótico). Narrow lanes lined with venerable palaces and small churches make way for its spire-topped cathedral. The old town is renowned for its numerous historical monuments, alleys and bohemian atmosphere: it's the ideal spot for a stroll.
 
The emblem of Barcelona lies in the northern part of the city, in the Eixample district: the Sagrada Familia basilica. Its construction was undertaken in 1884 and it remains unfinished. This stunning testament to the genius of its architect, Gaudí, is topped with spindle-shaped towers and bears witness to its creator's taste for outlandish symbolism and the exuberant shapes of nature. Further north is Güell Park, which was also designed by Gaudí. Declared a historical and artistic national monument in 1969, it is the city's best-known park and another good example of the creativity of its Catalonian architect.

Things to know about Barcelona, Spain Vacations

Dining and Nightlife
The Catalan capital has gained a truly international profile thanks to its restaurants and highly acclaimed chefs. The choice of dining options is so wide that you will find it difficult to make a decision. Àbac and Ca l'Isidre are considered two of the finest restaurants. For a more affordable option look for the 'Menu del Dia,' a fixed price menu featured weekdays at lunch. It is an economic way to try traditional Catalan cuisine. 
 
Barcelona has more bars, cafés and late night haunts per capita than any other city in the world. Ranging from colourful tapas bars, outdoor cafés, chocolaterias, it also has a uniquely wide range of bars: coctelerías (cocktail bars), whiskerias (often singles bars with professional escorts), xampanyerias (Catalan cava, sparkling wine bars), and beer halls. Most stay open until about 2:30am, some even later.
 
Shopping
The city's extensive shopping choices extend from designer clothing to artisan workshops to galleries. Pl. de Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, and Av. Diagonal comprise the largest of Barcelona's shopping districts. Located centrally, these three main avenues provide an endless number of mainstream clothing, shoe, and accessory stores. Barcelona also has several open flea markets that offer a wide variety of books, antiques, jewelry, and other curiosities, old and new.
 
Flying time from:
Toronto: Approximately 13hrs.
Montreal: Approximately 11hrs.
Calgary: Approximately 15hrs.
Vancouver: Approximately 18hrs.
 
Languages: Spanish but most people in the tourist industry will speak English.
Currency: Euros.
Climate: Mediterranean Climate - hot and humid summers (peaking around 30C in August) and cooler winters, averaging 12C with occassional rain. Ideal conditions are from May to July.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin plugs are standard.
 
Documents
A passport is mandatory for Canadian Citizens, although no visa is required. For other countries, please check the Spanish Tourist Office to get a complete list and other details.
 
Note:
Hellenic Tourism Organisation website - http://www.spain.info/ca/tourspain

Spanish Tourist Office
2 Bloor Street West, Suite 3402
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 3E2
Tel: (416) 961-3131 / (416) 961-4079
Fax: (416) 961-1992

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