Barcelona, past and present...
After a makeover lasting more than two decades, Barcelona has transformed itself into one of the most dynamic and stylish cities in the world. Summer is serious party time, but year-round the city sizzles-it's always on the biting edge of architecture, food, fashion, style, music and good times.
Of all the different cities and towns where I have travelled, the most amazing is perhaps, Barcelona. A city of past and present, full of mysterious, narrow Gothic streets and alleyways and at the same time packed with spots where you can enjoy the vibrant, buzzing nightlife of its cosmopolitan, trendy atmosphere.
Where else can one find such apparently contradictory experiences? Barcelona is a contradictory city; fascinating, chic, gorgeous, vulgar, plentiful, lively, bizarre, buoyant, sober… Whatever you’re looking for; from museums and high culture to shops to a relaxing holiday by the sea and under a most implacable sun… Barcelona is a must.
Stroll down Paseo de Gracia, a wide, handsome, stylish avenue where you’ll find all of the major names: Louis Vuitton, Armani, Gucci, Prada, Carolina Herrera… Definitely not a place for souvenirs. Looking for contrasts? Walk down all the way to Las Ramblas; possibly one of the most lively, peculiar, exhilarating, ebullient and stunning boulevards in Europe. From there, continue until you reach the Olympic Port, a classy, elegant harbor remodeled in 1992, when Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games. Sample a paella in one of the sea-front restaurants and don’t forget to wolf it down with a sangria, a bitter-sweet drink made of wine, fruit and a touch of liquor…fabulous!
Barcelona has plenty to offer by way of art, culture, museums and architecture too… Feeling mystical? Don’t miss out on Sagrada Família, the magical if slightly eccentric temple by Spain’s most brilliant architect, Antoni Gaudi. Other attractive options are the Picasso Museum, a gorgeous Renaissance villa, which hosts a varied, if rather small, permanent collection, and the MNAC, Catalonia’s National Museum of Art, Barcelona’s best kept secret. The MNAC holds a large, superb, magnificent collection of Catalan Gothic and Romanesque art as well as a minor yet sublime Modern section that includes pieces by renowned Catalan artists Fortuny, Casas and Vayreda.
Art, literature, mystery, shopping, sun... Barcelona is a city where past, present and even future, blend to create a unique, dream-like experience that no other city can match. Its multi-cultural, multi-racial, lively, exceptional streets will surely capture you.