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.
Barcelona's oldest residential district is a maze of narrow streets housing some fantastic examples of Gothic architecture. Lots of trendy young designers have opened up outlets here over the last few years, along with some classy but not too flashy restaurants, including tapas bars that fill up with the city's youth most nights. Alongside Gothic buildings like the imposing Cathedral of Barcelona, you can see the most concentrated remains of the Roman period here, between Plaça de la Catedral and Plaça Sant Jaume. The old Roman walls still demarcate the boundary between this and its adjacent districts. This spirited neighborhood, known locally as Barri Gòtic, is one of the city's most atmospheric and enchanting explorations serving up style in spades.
Parc de la Ciutadella is a lush attraction nestled in the Old City, known locally as the Ciutat Vella. The park was designed by Josep Fontserè and his then-unknown assistant Antoni Gaudí, who went on to pioneer Catalan modernism with such masterpieces as the Basilica de la Sagrada Família. Although it no longer bears the distinction of being the only green space in the city, the park remains an important respite for city dwelling nature lovers, as well as those looking to experience the essence of Barcelona. Within the park are several attractions for the whole family, among them the Barcelona Zoo and Catalan Parliament. Weave through the verdant park and its many cultural offerings, taking time to relax by the lake as the ornate fountain creates a peaceful melody.
Architectural icon Antoni Gaudí designed this sprawling park to create harmony among urban and natural landscapes. He began building the park system on Carmen Hill in 1910, creating an eye-catching tapestry of structures, gardens, and public institutions for citizens and visitors of Barcelona to enjoy. Gaudí finished working on the project in 1914, and although it was never completed, Park Güell stands proudly today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experience varied architectural styles in intriguing features like the columns of the Sala de las Cien Columnas, or Hall of the Hundred Column, which support a Romantic-style balcony covered in mosaic tiles.
This historic castle is perched atop the Montjuïc hill not far from the Barcelona port. The original structure was built in the mid-17th Century during the Catalan Revolt, at which time armies under King Philip IV sieged much of what is today eastern Spain, though the landmark saw significant expansion and improvement from 1751 to 1779. The building that protects the harbor today has become a symbol of centralist repression and the abolition of Catalan liberties, reminding visitors of Barcelona's complex history. Visitors can reach Montjuïc Castle by cable car and enjoy breathtaking ocean views from its scenic vantage point as well as tours of the landscaped grounds.
Marula Café is a vibrant pub and music space, hosting concerts and live gigs every night. Funk music rules, while rock, pop, country, jazz and other genres are also played here. The club is intimate though CD launches, presentations, small conferences and so on are also held. The crowd is an eclectic mix of locals and visitors, making this a great place to mingle with friends and friendly strangers. Grab a drink at the cocktail bar, known for the delicious libations served here, and groove to the music as you become oblivious to the city outside. The venue is best known for the weekly A Wamba Baluba night, every Thursday from 9:30p to 5a. The club comes alive to the sound of music as local, national and international bands take center stage. DJ sessions and theme parties often feature on the entertainment program of A Wamba Balaba as well.
From noon till late hours of night, Milano Cocktail Bar welcomes patrons into its elegant atmosphere to enjoy a drink or feast on traditional tapas. Renowned for its cocktails, do not leave this place without trying a few of their interesting concoctions. Green Almond, Gentleman Apple, Picasso, Lady Sour and the Watermelon Martini are highly recommended. In the afternoons, patrons are given a trip back in time, as the restaurant recreates a 1940s ambiance. Nights at this place are brought alive by soothing melodies strummed by Jazz musicians.
This romantic and peaceful square in the heart of the Barri Gòtic, just past the Palau Episcopal, stands on the site of what was a medieval cemetery. Its baroque church was built in 1752 and has an unfortunate history. During the Spanish Civil War, a bomb fell on it and killed the 20 children seeking shelter inside. You can still see evidence of the explosion on the church's facade.
El Paraigua will charm you with its history and character. A hidden gem where live music and DJs synchronize well to enthrall you, this place is a haunt for locals and travelers alike. Here, you can nosh on delicious tapas from the extensive menu and tipple on cocktails and Spanish wines while you reflect on this former convent's stone arches and its local arts display. Boasting of a loyal patronage, El Paraigua is an institution in itself that awaits your arrival to delight you in ways more than one.
There's a lot to recommend at Sidecar, a long-established dance club. It plays a great selection of music including funk, pop and rock which you can dance to and attracts a friendly crowd. With its central location and funky decor, you'll find a varied clientele made up of students, tourists and teenagers. The casual and laid back atmosphere sometimes gives the feel of a summer village fiesta. The bar is a cool zone to grab a drink and chat up with the other clubbers. Check the website for a list of daily line ups.
The color red dominates the interior of Los Tarantos, paying a humble tribute to the attires of the Flamenco dancers who have graced the stage of this institution since 1963. One of the longest-established and most prestigious flamenco club in town, Los Tarantos has hosted performances by some of the country's most famous singers and bailaores (flamenco dancers), including Antonio Gades, Manzanita and Fosforito. This is a great place to experience the rich Spanish culture at its best with well crafted drinks keeping patrons in high spirits. The club, albeit intimate, can seat smaller groups with ease; it has impressive acoustics and one can enjoy the show without any hindrance from its every corner.