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Casa Amatller is one of Barcelona's most famous and recognizable landmarks. The structure belongs to the Manzana de la Discordia, or Block of Discord, which features famous architecture designed by the fathers of modernista architecture: Gaudí, Domènech i Muntaner, and the designer of Casa Amatller, Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Upon visiting the house, visitors will get to enjoy the preserved modernist interior, complete with original furniture. Please note that visitors must make reservations to enter and tour the exquisite house.
Aside from being one of the best places to view Catalan Modernist architecture, Passeig de Gràcia is also the city's elegant shopping area par excellence. Foreign brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, MaxMara, Escada, and Armand Bassi stand beside Spanish labels such as Purificación García, Camper, and Loewe. The exclusivity of Vogue, Bally, and Yanko are offset by more accessible shops like Mango, Globe, Benetton, and Laura Ashley. This street also boasts the Bulevard dels Antiquaris, which is excellent for antiques, as well as many restaurants and outdoor cafés, bookshops, and jewelers. At number 55, Boulevard Rosa also offers more than 50 small, elegant shops under one roof. Above all else, Passeig de Gràcia offers passerby boundless style and energy.
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.
Located in Barcelona's traditional fishing quarter of the same name, Barceloneta Beach runs parallel to the esplanade to one side of the Port Olympic. Spanning a length of 422 meters, the beach's soft sand set against shimmering turquoise waters fringed by swaying palms is the ideal sun-drenched retreat. Thronged by tourists looking to soak up some Mediterranean warmth under the shade of striped umbrellas, the beach also has a variety of useful facilities as well as a lifeguard on site. A few meters from the beach, the seafood eateries tucked into Barcelonata's bylanes serve authentic Catalan seafood and are a local favorite.
Caldetes is one of the most popular beaches in Barcelona, a great picnic spot and an even better place for water sports. This beach has a kids playground, a volleyball court for all those beach volleyball enthusiasts, beach umbrellas, changing rooms and other facilitates for a perfect beach outing experience. Whether you are relaxing under the cool shades of the colorful umbrellas, or enjoying kayaking, surfing or swimming, you will love the inviting stretch of white sand and the beautiful, clear water. For refreshments there are a lot of bars and restaurants nearby or along the beach.
Nova Icària Beach is one of the best beaches in Barcelona. Located near the Olympic Port, this stretch of seaside is fun for the whole family. Play a game of volleyball, swim in the ocean, have the kids play at the playground, or simply relax and enjoy the sun. If you get hungry, there are a lot of nearby cafes and restaurants. Calmer than some of the other beaches in Barcelona, Nova Icària also makes a great romantic outing for couples or quiet getaway for serenity seekers.
Start at Plaça Francesc Macià with a branch of El Corte Inglés, a quality department store that has become a national institution. Just next door is Pedralbes Centre, an exclusive shopping mall with brand-name shops, shoe stores, jewelers, perfumeries, and high-quality accessories, as well as shops such as Pepa Paper and Items d'Ho, which sell arts, crafts and plenty of great gifts. Further down stands L'Illa del Diagonal, a huge shopping mall with an entire floor dedicated to gastronomic delicacies. As well as numerous shops, the avant-garde building houses a hotel, offices and several restaurants; Moncho's seafood cocktails are a favorite amongst their business clients. Head down to Les Glòries roundabout for Centre de Les Glòries, the largest in the city, popular with Barcelonians, who appreciate the wide range of goods and affordable prices, not to mention the free parking.