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Armchair travel – Barcelona Bests

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Spain’s second city comes first in more ways than one. Good Gaudi, we can’t wait to get back there! PHOTOS COURTESY OF Unsplash & Debby Meyers

THE GOTHIC QUARTER LIVES UP TO ITS NAME – all stone arches and narrow, winding streets. Some parts are reminiscent of Venice, and other sections look as if they could be movie sets for a Hammer House of Horror production. Trendy shops, restaurants and bars are tucked away throughout.


PART CONFECTION, PART FOLLY, PARC GUELL is where Gaudi first tried his hand at landscape design. The pleasure gardens are glorious, but it’s the architecture that really wows – Gaudi lived in one of the fantastical buildings at the entrance, now the Gaudi House Museum, from 1906.

THE TREE-LINED CENTRAL PROMENADE OF LA RAMBLA is busy with tourists and locals until late at night. You’ll find street performers, buskers and portraits painters as you explore the pavement cafés, bars and shops.

A MUST FOR GAUDI FANS, LA SAGRADA FAMILIA has to be the strangest-looking cathedral in Europe. It’s arts and crafts + art nouveau + steroids. The building looks like iced gingerbread, laden with sculpture, secret code, verbiage, towering spires and tiny windows. Inside, the columns twist like muscle sinew as they stretch to the heavens.


STRANGELY FAMILIAR LANDMARKS include Barcelona’s own version of the Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomf) and of the Gherkin (Torre Agbar), plus the large Trafalgar Square like Catalunya Square. Barcelona’s Fifth Avenue? Look no further than Passeig de Gracia.

MERCAT DE LA BOQUERIA DAZZLES with its colourful displays of fruit, vegetables, sweets and snacks. A great place to eat as well as shop, you can sample delicious Spanish mainstays like paella and gelati.

THE MAGIC FOUNTAIN OF MONTJUIC is a great looking fountain by day but by night, it transforms into a wonderful spectacle of light, music and water. The dancing jets of illuminated water are 50 metres high, and the fountain sprays 700 gallons of water a second through 3,620 jets.

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