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Barcelona City Trip - Gaudí's Park Güell

Ceiling mosaic at Antoni Gaudí's Park Güell



DAY 3: Picasso Museum, Park Güell and the Magic Fountains

Start off the morning by traveling back in history. The Museo d'Història de la Ciutat, located in the Plaça del Rei on the outskirts of the Bari Gòtic, is a hidden gem among Barcelona's historic sites. Take the elevator down to the long buried Roman city dating back 2,000 years. Here the unearthed city streets, wine making rooms, and drainage ditches are all on display as you walk on elevated pathways amongst the excavation. An early Christian church and family home depict how domestic life was experienced by the ancestors of modern day Barcelona.

Picasso Museum

For lunch stop into Euskal Extea, a cozy bar for Basque tapas, also known as pintxos. All the pintxos are flagged with different color toothpicks and your bill is added up by the amount of toothpicks left on your plate and the number of glasses in front of it.
Next door to Euskal Extea is the spacious Picasso Museum, dedicated to the life of Barcelona's most famous artistic son. A timeline of his life with photos begins the exhibit and a huge collection of his early work dominates the collection.

Any extra time on your three-day tour of Barcelona should be spent outdoors. Take the bus over to Park Güell, which includes a small Gaudí museum. But the best way to experience the grounds is just to walk around the sculptures and staircases taking in the fresh air and greenery.

Fonts de Montjuïc - Magic Fountains

Or, travel by bus and take the funicular up to Montjuïc. The castle offers great views of the city, as well as a military museum. And the best way to spend some free twilight hours would be watching the colored lights reflect off the water at the spectacular Magic Fountains.

For dinner, head toward the bottom of the Rambla de Catalunya to Ciutat Comtal. Inside, high-energy locals pack in three-deep at the tapas bar chatting a mile a minute. The outdoor tables, under the trees, are a perfect spot to linger over tapas and cold pints of artisan beer, watch the local walk by, and recount your visit to lovely Barcelona.

Day 1: La Boqueria Market & Day 2: Gràcia

 

A Spanish Institution: The Siesta

While Barcelona is not Spain's center for bull fighting or Flamenco dancing, it still participates in the other Spanish institution—the siesta. This means business is conducted 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Lunch occurs during siesta and dinner doesn't start until 9 p.m. The action really begins at 10 p.m. or 11p.m. The most popular tourist locations, though, tend to stay open through the siesta. It is easier than you may think to adapt to the unique dinner hour. Simply eat a late lunch, get an afternoon snack, and be sure to nap either during siesta (when it is possibly too hot to be walking around the city) or before dressing to go out to dinner.

The Language: Catalan vs. Castillian

Barcelona is the capital of the Catalunya region, and one of Spain's most vibrant, modern, and cultured cities. Proud of its heritage, most Barcelona residents speak Catalan instead of Castillian. This means that locals use si us plau (see oos plow) instead of por favor and adeu (ah day oo) instead of adios. In fact, the children of Catalunya learn Catalan Spanish in school before learning Castillian Spanish. Still, most residents will, after a brief pause, understand Castillian Spanish, and, for that matter, English. Most menus are printed in both Catalan and Castillian Spanish, as are placards in museums, and informational handouts at cultural sites.

© Fountain image by Barcelona City Council


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(Updated: 01/30/13 BA)


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