Palau Nacional is one of the most spectacular buildings in Plaça Espanya and was built for the 1929 Universal Exposition, as were a lot of buildings in Montjuïc. The brainchild of architects Eugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà, the aim was to build a monumental, grandiose structure but the duo managed to surpass expectations. The Palace was restored by Italian architect Gae Aulenti and now houses the Museu Nacional de Arte de Catalunya (MNAC).
Gaudi's masterpiece, the Casa Batlló is one of the most unique residential buildings ever constructed in the Modernista style. Its facade bedecked with a rainbow of colored tiles gives way to the entrance hall that evokes an underwater sojourn complete with wave-like walls, turtle-shaped skylights, and a staircase that resembles the spine of a mythical creature. The upper level Noble Floor features windows that open out onto Passeig de Gràcia and are flooded with natural light and the connected outdoor patio is a kaleidoscope of hues wrought in glass and tile. From the terrace, it's easy to understand why the house is called casa del drac locally, as the roof tiles resemble Sant Jordi's dragon. A marvelous expression of both creativity and architectural acumen, the Casa Batlló stands as a testament to Gaudi's psychedelic genius.
Antoni Gaudí, the architect who built this jewel of Catalan modernism, wanted the facade to reflect his romantic and anti-classical ideas about design. It was built for the Milà family between 1906 and 1910. Neither the family nor the public were much impressed, and it was dubbed La Pedrera (stone quarry) as an insult. Only later in 1984 did it win great acclaim when the UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. Now internationally celebrated, Casa Milà is a prime example of Gaudí's civil architecture; it is aesthetically interesting and unique as well as outstandingly practical. Call +34 90 220 2138 for more details.
An eye-catching fixture of downtown Barcelona, the Palau de la Música Catalana boasts a striking modernist design. It was built in the early-20th century by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who designed the now-iconic exterior to feature intricate carvings, red brick arches, and exquisite Spanish and Arabic architectural details. Inside, the concert hall is even more breathtaking with its gold accents, floral patterns, and exceptional stained-glass elements. Visitors to the Palau de la Música Catalana will be awed by the kaleidoscopic skylight whether they take in a show or simply tour this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the past, the Palau de la Música Catalana has hosted such quality performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Paco de Lucía, Woody Allen, Ángel Corella, and Duke Ellington.
CosmoCaixa Barcelona is one of Barcelona's main visitor attractions, an interactive and educational experience for adults and children alike. There are special children's activities that are designed to stimulate young minds and encourage interests in science. Regular educational workshops take place where children can experiment with scientific phenomena like heat, electricity, atmospheric pressure, and sound. Each of its rooms explores a specific field, including mechanics, optics, meteorology, and computer science. There is also a planetarium onsite that explains aspects of astronomy. Leave it to the research time at CosmoCaixa Barcelona to put together fun and educational temporary exhibits. All you have to do is drop by.
One of the most popular museums for its figurative art collection, The European Museum of Modern Art (Museu Europeu d'Art Modern) is a must visit. On show is a collection of modern art pieces that date back to the 20th Century. One can find exhibits of photo-realism, life-size sculptures and other works of art. It has a souvenir shop too, where one might pick up attractive collectibles. The cafe also contains some good art pieces, giving one the feel of being surrounded by art. The venue also offers space for concerts and events to give local artists a chance to exhibit their skills.
Catalonia Square, also known as Plaza de Cataluña once stood outside the city walls, between what is now Eixample and Ciutat Vella, or the Old City. This square, considered the city center, is the meeting place of many important streets, and you will find many hotels and shopping centers here. You'll also find wonderful sculptures like Joseph Clarà's Deessa and Pablo Gargallo's Pastor de Pau. If you're not a fan of pigeons, steer clear. Visit in the spring, and you'll find concerts taking place for the Festival Internacional de Jazz Terrassa in this lovely plaza.
Nestled in the heart of the city is the Plaça de Catalunya, an upbeat and animated public square that you cannot miss on your visit to the city. The generous square with grassy lawns, shady trees, fountains that light up after dark, is surrounded by an abundance of bars, restaurants, and cafes. The square, because of its central location, is close to numerous city attractions making it the perfect spot for a midday meal or to people watch as you sip on a cup of joe.
In this technologically advanced age, mobiles are a norm and a part of one's lifestyle. The Mobile World Centre gives a glimpse of how the internet and mobile telephony has transformed the lives of people in the 21st Century. Set in the former building of the first telephone exchange of the city, the landmark building from the 1920s with its distinct architecture is a sight to behold. It is then befitting that this museum and event space is set inside this structure. Spanning across three floors, each exhibit and area is different than the other. Head to Espacio Movistar for an insight of the latest smartphones and gadgets. You can play games, take part in promotions and activities at this space. Get to know the advent of mobile technology, internet and evolution across the world at level one. There are 10 rooms to explore on this floor, telling the story of the mobile. The Movistar Auditorium is used for a variety of digital events, conferences, workshops and more.
Parròquia de Santa Anna is a parish affiliated to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Founded in 1141, this former convent illustrates the Romanesque school of architecture, while its later refurbishments display the Gothic style. Renowned for this very architectural blend, it is replete with splendid archways, bare bricks, Renaissance accents, chandeliers and a rustic chapel. It is a recognized National Heritage Monument and popular tourist attraction. It hosts regular mass, as well as special Holy Sacraments.
Immerse in the Catalan spirit at the Rambla de Canaletes, the first walkway you'll encounter while strolling down Las Ramblas. The landmark takes its name from the iconic Font de Canaletes, a small fountain where Barça soccer fans gather to celebrate victories. According to legend, if you drink from this fountain, you're guaranteed a return to Barcelona one day. Visitors are also likely to come across performers playing rock or Andean music surrounded by crowds of entertained bystanders. At once charming and energetic, the Rambla de Canaletes is a cosmopolitan area that can't be missed.
This quarter of medieval origin is found below Plaza Urquinaona and on the left side of Via Laietana. It is called Sant Pere because the area grew around the Monastery of Sant Pere de les Puelles, and you can still see some of the monastery's ruins in the Sant Pere square. Traditionally, this quarter was the center of textile production in Barcelona and you can still find a large number of fabric and cloth shops. One of its more marvelous non-garment-related attractions is the Palau de la Música Catalana, built by Domènech i Muntaner, with sculptures of Miquel Blay. It's a nice area to spend time in, to get a feel of the old, pre-shopping mall Barcelona.