Barcelona – City of Culture, City of Beauty


Winter is custom made for city breaks. Walking around a packed-out city in the heat of summer is never fun, yet winter, with its chilly days, is perfect for getting wrapped up and exploring. There’s even something quite romantic about it all.

We’re lucky to say we have many fantastic cities on our doorstep, just a short hop over into Europe, yet one of my favourites has to be Barcelona.

Barcelona is surprisingly easy to get to, with many low cost airlines heading in that direction, meaning low cost fares to boot. In these times of belt-tightening, it’s always good to save as many pounds as possible, and one way I’ve found to do this, whilst getting a great service at the same time, is to pre-book airport parking. This godsend cuts out the need for expensive airport taxis and adds a world of convenience to travel plans. Most UK airports offer a service, and I recently used Gatwick parking and found a great deal. Great deals can be found all over the country with Bristol airport parking one of the cheapest available.

One of the great things about Barcelona I think, is that it’s easy to get around on foot, which means you’re more likely to stumble upon something wonderful when you least expect it. The city is full of wonderful architecture, and one place you certainly must check out is the beautiful cathedral. If I give one recommendation, it’s to remember that camera!

The famous La Rambla area is a must visit, with its colourful markets and street entertainment, all entwined with a wonderful upbeat atmosphere. This part of the city can get very busy, so be aware of your bags at all times, as pickpockets are on the loose.

If shopping is what you’re wanting, and for me it would certainly be high up on the list, it all depends on your price bracket. For designer gear, you’ll find gorgeous clothes with a price tag to make your eyes water, however if you’re more like me and a little more on a budget, you’ll find plenty of high street stores around the city.

If shopping isn’t for you, a walk around the city’s museums probably is, and there’s plenty to check out, including many galleries with examples of work from such greats as Picasso. Fancy something a little more natural? Well, Barcelona Zoo is a fun day out for everyone.

When the stars come out, Barcelona is a modern-day, colourful city, with a happening night-life to match. Whatever you fancy doing of an evening, you’ll find it – clubbing? Bars? Restaurants? Cinema? You’re catered for.

Food-wise, you must try some traditional cuisine whilst you’re in this part of the world. Paella is of course the famous Spanish dish, and seafood in this part of the world is particularly delicious.

As you can see, Barcelona is a classy, beautiful choice of city break, and in my opinion, that deserves a classy start, not one that involves much yawning and stress. I recently discovered the wonderful world of airport hotels. For early flights, this is a godsend. My experience of it was wholly positive, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use one again. Most large UK airports have a selection of hotels to choose from, with Gatwick offering several, including the Courtyard Marriott Gatwick, and Sofitel Gatwick, which I stayed at and would definitely recommend booking airport parking parking in advance, to save on those pennies!

City breaks are a fantastic way to break up the gloom of winter, and I can’t think of many places that could rival Barcelona for grandeur and beauty.

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