This past weekend we celebrated my friends twenty first birthday. Since we weren’t traveling this weekend we decided to get a room at the Hotel Arts. Hotel Arts is a chain from the Ritz-Carlton. The hotel was gorgeous and very accommodating. You choose whether you want a water front or city view. Our hotel overlooked the city and was right in front of La Sagrada Familia. Before going out to celebrate her birthday, we made use of the hotels facilities. They offer a fitness center, casino, massages, a jacuzzi, Turkish/steam bath, and an outdoor swimming pool. As for rooms, you can get a standard room, a suite, or rent the apartments. We got a suite which had an extra living room because we wanted to be able to have people over. The hotel was very obliging to all of us. In the morning they offer room service or you can go downstairs for breakfast. We had the American breakfast which was delicious. When choosing somewhere to stay in Barcelona, I would certainly recommend considering Hotel Arts!
Archive for the ‘Making your way around Barcelona’ Category
This past weekend, we experienced beautiful weather in Barcelona. As a result, the ports and beaches were swarmed with tourists, families, and people just trying to enjoy the day. I had many friends visiting me this weekend and knew it was a perfect day to have lunch on the water. We went to el Bestial on the port for lunch and just enjoyed the fresh air and the view. After that we walked along the beach and then the port. As you approach the Olympic port, a giant bronze whale is positioned. This area of Barcelona is very modern and beautiful. There are superb restaurants and fun bars and clubs to check out. Later on we walked near Barceloneta. This is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and a beautiful beach. It’s very fun to walk in this region and see all the excitement that goes on around here when the sun comes out! Around here there are great sea food restaurants and places where you can eat the catch of the day! If you walk all the way along the Barceloneta beach, you reach Icaria beach, which is just as beautiful yet less crowded if you are looking to escape for the day. This area of Barcelona is definitely one of the most attractive and pleasant to just kick back and relax and enjoy the view!
Barcelona is definitely known for its nightlife. Whether it be going to a bar, a club, or a hole in the wall place that you’re not sure how to define, there is always something to do. Barcelona has hundred of bars throughout the city that are fun to just hang out at, and it has its most famous “you have to go here if you’re in Barcelona” bars. You can easily walk into any bar on the street and you’ll still encounter a good time or you can try some of the well-known ones. Some of the bars that I have been to and loved are George Payne, Dow Jones, Pippermints, and Chupitos. These bars are a very fun place to start out your night, or just to hang out with friends. George Payne Irish bar is definitely a fun spot to meet up with friends or to meet new people. It has good drinks, tables to order food at, and the best, karaoke. Dow Jones is a fun bar because it has a unique “stock exchange” pricing system. Every half hour the prices change between 30-50 percent so be careful what you order! Pippermints is a good time for many reasons. It’s a fun place to get drinks and watch a game with friends, or to order a huge drink to share with everybody and let the good times roll. Chupitos which means shots in Spanish is a fun bar with over five hundred shots to offer and very exclusive ones at that! Another fun bar I have gone to is Ice Bar. I loved the atmosphere, although a little cold! This is a bar that I would tell people to go to once. I had a great experience and loved seeing a bar made out of ice because of the concept and who wouldn’t! So when planning your nights in Barcelona, be sure to hit up the bars for some real entertainment!
Antoni Gaudi was born in 1852. In 1868, Gaudi moved to Barcelona, Spain to pursue work in architecture. Gaudi went to school at the Escola Técnica Superior d´Arquitectura in Barcelona from 1873 to 1877. When Gaudi received his title, Elies Rogent declared, “Qui sap si hem donat el diploma a un boig o a un geni: el temps ens ho dirà” (“Who knows if we have given this diploma to a nut or to a genius. Time will tell.”) In school, Gaudi was an average student who produced prestigous ´trial drawings and projects.´ Nobody knew what would come of Antoni Gaudi and he impressed everyone who has ever laid eyes on his work.
At the turn on the century, when Barcelona began to flourish, so did Gaudi and his works. Although Gaudi had outstanding achievements, he created more than just his great works of art. Gaudi’s major works would be considered Casa Vicens, Palau Güell, College of the Teresianas, Crypt of the Church of Colónia Güell, Casa Calvet, Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, Park Güell, and Sagrada Família. Gaudi´s designs were almost always Modernisme or Art Nouveau.
As far as viewing Gaudi´s works, they are incredible. Each architectural work is its own masterpiece. I have seen a few of them several times, and each time, you find something different and see more detail. My favorites would definitely be Park Güell and Temple Sagrada Familia. They are both beautiful and different. The architecture of the temple and park are incredible. Sagrada Familia is an overwhelming experience where you just want to take in all that it has to offer. When I visited the Park, I felt tranquil and relaxed. There were little trinket type items to buy, and places to grab a snack or drink. You could sit anywhere or walk through the park and see something beautiful from every angle. Throughout Barcelona, is where most of Gaudi´s works are, you can even take a ´Gaudi Tour.´ A Gaudi Tour consists of La Padrera, Casa Batlló, Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell. This tour runs from Monday to Sunday and lasts around four hours.
This past weekend, I had friends visiting Barcelona from Florence. Due to the fact that they only had two days to see everything in Barcelona, we made an itinerary and tried to see as much as possible in those two days. We started out Friday morning and began on Passeig de Gracia. On this street there are hundred of interesting things to see, shops to browse in, and food to eat. First we headed towards the Gaudi Apartments. We took the inside tour through the white apartments. After that we went to see the blue although we did not go inside. After strolling on Passeig de Gracia for a couple of hours, we took the metro to La Sagrada Familia. It was a beautiful site with tons of people surrounding in, trying to take in all that it has to offer. After viewing that, we went towards Las Ramblas and Plaça de Catalunya. We did some shopping around there and visited the Erotica Museum. Before it got dark, we visited the Arc de Triomf and walked through the park.
The next day we decided to start out taking the bus tour around Barcelona. We saw beautiful buildings, architecture, and streets despite the cold wind that was blowing in our faces. We finally decided to get off when we approached the stop for the Olympic Stadium. Interestingly enough, the stadium was built to hold the Olympics in 1936, but a civil war broke out in Spain postponing that from happening. At last, in 1992 Barcelona held the Olympics at this site. After viewing this, we went back on the bus and got off by the cable cars. This was one of my favorite stops because it was more scenic and less city in Barcelona. When we got on the cable car, we had a view of the Port and the water was beautiful. We took the cable car one was, and took the elevator down heading towards the Port to have lunch. Before we settled down to eat, we walked around the mall and walked outside as well. After a satisfying lunch at Gino’s, we walked to the aquarium. There we saw all types of fish, including several types of sharks. The aquarium was a nice relaxing walk inside which we all greatly enjoyed. After all of this, we headed for our last stop, Parc Guell, another one of Antoni Gaudi’s works. The view from the park was inexplicable and overwhelming (in a good way). This park is huge and is not just a park. You could have lunch, a pitcher of Sangria, or just walk up and down around the park which can certainly take hours. After such a long day we decided to go home and get ready for dinner. For dinner we chose Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem is located on the beach overlooking the water. You can eat at a regular table, or on a bed. The food was exquisite; we had appetizers, salad, and sushi. All in all, what I have done this weekend was more than I have done since I have been here in Barcelona. Every stop we made we would all recommend!
If you have plans to be in Barcelona, you must have plans to visit Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is full of street theaters, cafes, and market stalls. Although the downside to Las Ramblas would its notorious reputation for pickpocketers and the tendency for it to get sketchy at night. During the day you can walk around the fresh markets, go to Gothic Quarter, or just meaninglessly explore. Hot spots that I visited on Las Ramblas are Wax Museum, Erotica Museum, (be prepared to see some interesting toys), Christopher Columbus monument and Modernist Boqueria Market. The market is great for picking up a bag of candy or bringing home dinner to cook! The museums are interesting and definitely fun to see, everyone will get a kick out of them. The best part about Las Ramblas is that once you’ve spent an hour or so exploring, you can move on to any other part of the town. Las Ramblas is in a central spot of Barcelona, allowing its visitors to see more than is possible to take in.