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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.
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.
Few parks in Barcelona offer such sweeping views of the beautiful city from a green hilltop. Like most of the parks on Montjuïc hill which have a name from a local benefactor, this one is named after a renowned Catalan poet. The park offers picnic spots, playgrounds and other facilities to entertain yourself. There are also statues on the grounds that commemorate other famous personalities such as Charlie Chaplin and flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya.
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.
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 of and visitors to 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.
If you're in Barcelona for a vacation, don't miss out on a visit to the Bunkers del Carmel, a place known as a romantic tourist destination. Housed on the Hill of the Rovira, this heritage site offers outstanding panoramic views of the Catalonian city and is the perfect place to watch the sun rise and set. Take a look at impressive Spanish Civil War bunkers where anti-aircraft guns were assembled during the 1930's. There are numerous guided tours available at different levels where you can learn about the war period and how the place was used to defend the city. This is a must-see tourist attraction for any visiting traveler.
The only official nude beach in Barcelona, this sandy stretch is also home to the Base Nàutica de la Mar Bella where visitors can rent water sports equipment and take lessons in a wide range of activities on the sea. De la Mar Bella Beach generally attracts a friendly crowd of sunbathers, happy to relax with newcomers and share their golden rays. Facilities at De la Mar Bella Beach include showers, toilets, garbage collection, children's play areas, parking, disabled access, lifeguards, and safe drinking water fountains. Note that visitors are advised not to swim near the breakwater, not to bring domestic pets, and not to use soap in the sea.
Towering over 400 meters (1312 feet) above the city, Observatori Fabra has occupied its strategic position since 1904. One of the oldest of its kind in the world, a visit to this marvelous sight should feature on every travelers itinerary while touring Barcelona. A perfect way to soak in panoramic views of the city as well as the majestic skies above it, Observatori Fabra is perfect for science aficionados for its exhibits detailing astronomy, meteorology and seismology. Additionally, its incomparably romantic location that allows you to dine under a canopy of stars makes this place perfect for couples visiting the city.