Many writers have chosen Barcelona as the backdrop to their novel over the years and many have written guides to its streets, its secrets and its past. And it is true that Spain’s cultural capital lends well to the page: from historical dramas, post-war sagas and tales of the Barcelona bourgeoisie to anecdotes, ghost stories and legends.
We’ve compiled this list of 8 books for you to discover another side of Barcelona: these novels will take you back in time to the Barcelona of the past, uncover its secrets and help you get to know its people and its culture.
Perfect for enjoying a beer or coffee on a sun-drenched terrace, when topping up your tan at the beach or on your journey to Barcelona. Just sit back and enjoy this literary tour of Spain’s cultural capital with these 8 books set in Barcelona.
The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza
Set during the years between Barcelona’s Universal Expositions (1886–1926), we follow the footsteps of the protagonist Onofre Bouvil – an immigrant, deliverer of anarchist propaganda and hair-tonic seller. In a Barcelona on the cusp of cultural evolution, discover how this ordinary man’s ambition takes him to powerful heights.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
This bestselling novel and first of the Cemetery of Forgotten books trilogy is set in a 1945 Barcelona. It is in this cemetery that the novel’s protagonist finds an unusual book that is to change life as he knows it.
What’s more, fans of the saga can visit the parts of Barcelona that inspired Zafón’s stories on one of the many “Shadow of the Wind” literary tours that take place around the city.
The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
This historical drama set in 14th-century Barcelona takes readers on a journey through the construction of the city’s magnificent Santa María del Mar cathedral. A gripping tale of love, family and revenge, we’re sure you won’t be able to put it down.
The Time of the Doves by Mercè Rodoreda
Written during her time of exile from Catalonia, Mercé Rodoreda’s bestseller is written in an unusual stream of consciousness style. This powerful and incredibly moving book tells the tale of normal girl named Natalia – known as La Colometa– during the civil war and post-war in Barcelona. In Catalan the book is named after Gràcia’s “Plaça del Diamant” which can be visited today.
We Had Won the War by Esther Tusquets
This bestselling novel set in post-Civil War Barcelona uncovers a perspective that is often excluded from Spanish war narrative: that of the winners. Through the author’s own memoir, she relates her experience of growing up among the Francoist bourgeoisie and her struggle to find her own place.
I’ll Give You the Earth by Chufo Llorens
This story of a young peasant boy set within the city walls paints a picture of medieval Barcelona. Discover this story of impossible love, passion, ambition and betrayal in the 11thcentury.
Un senyor de Barcelona (A Gentleman of Barcelona) by Josep Pla
Available only in Catalan and Spanish, this biography by Josep Pla relates the life of Rafael Puget, a member of the Barcelona bourgeoisie through family portraits, anecdotes and memories.
Mysteries of Barcelona by Ernesto Milá
This non-fiction guide uncovers long-lost facts and secrets of Barcelona. Divided into three sections that cover places, people and unusual traditions, this book is perfect for those who are looking to discover the other side of Barcelona.
We love reading about this wonderful city and we hope you also enjoy discovering its long-lost stories and uncovering its many secrets. Tell us, what’s your favourite book about Barcelona?
La Mercè 2017 is the main event on Barcelona’s festival agenda, uniting all of its neighbourhoods and serving as the city’s Festa Major. This year it aims to extend further throughout the city by adding even more new venues and activities.
Every year, Barcelona invites a city from around the world to jointly celebrate the festival. This year Icelandic capital Reykjavik has been invited to be this year’s special guest city and will be honoured throughout La Mercè.
Overall, it is a religious festival that has been celebrated since the Middle Ages and observes the holy feast day of Our Lady of Mercy. It is the biggest weeklong festival in the city and an age-old tradition, but there are very up-to-date activity items as well, such as specialty markets, art displays and musical performances for example.
Gegants & Capgrossos – La Mercè 2017
Catalunya has a great tradition for processions of giants or bigheads, which are tall, hollow structures with very large papier-mâché heads, each with a unique identity and character. They are carried on top of people’s shoulders in a parade as they dance and run at the crowds. Also, there are the Bestiari – which are figures of medieval, folkloric creatures. This parade happens on the first day of the La Mercé celebrations.
Gegants Procession, September 22, Palau de la Virreina on La Rambla, 99, at 19:00h
The Correfoc – La Mercè 2017
The famous fire run is always on September 24 – the actual saint’s day for La Mercé. Performers dressed as devils and fiery dragons dance in a long procession through the city. Hordes of “diables” hoist pitchforks, or forquilles, above their heads, with spinning fireworks attached that spray in all directions. If you’re going to get a close-up photograph, then protective clothing is advised. There is also an early fire run for children.
Correfoc (Adults), September 23, Via Laietana at 20:15h
Correfoc (Children) September 23, Via Laietana at 18:30h
Castellers – La Mercè 2017
The Catalans are very good at building human structures. In fact he last few world records – 10 persons high – have been have been set in the region. Participants, or Catsellers, climb on top of each other, interlocked into a delicate balancing act to get people to reach into the sky as far as possible. The human tower is supported by a large number of people at the bottom, and then it’s a race to reach the highest point in strict formation before the structure breaks.
Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 11:30h
Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 12:30h
Barcelona Acció Musical has been running for over 20 years and hosts more contemporary rock and pop music concerts. It runs in parallel to the main festival, and as Reykjavik is the partner city for this year’s La Mercé, then a contingent of its artists will perform, as well as national and internal artists. Concerts usually take place at Plaza Real, Plaza Catalunya and at the MACBA, among many other intimate places and open-air venues around the city.
BAM, September 22-25, various venues http://lameva.barcelona.cat/bam/en
Piromusical – La Mercè 2017
This is a critically acclaimed, professional fireworks display that takes place on the last night of La Mercè 2017 on Avinguda reina Maria Cristina. You need to arrive early for the big finale, as thousands of people gather to watch this spectacular show.
Check the official agenda for more firework displays and digital light mapping events throughout the festival, at http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en.
Piromusical, September 25, Avinguda de Reina Maria Cristina (Plaça Espanya) at 22:00h
The La Mercè Festival is a great way to see Barcelona at its best. Your stay could be much more convenient with your own apartment. Check our website for an excellent selection of short-term holiday rentals so that your stay in the city is as comfortable as possible.
Barcelona is known for its grand multitude of wonderful features: delectable cuisine, beautiful beaches, and unique architecture are just a few examples. However, one quality of Barcelona that stands out from the rest is the outstanding entertainment! This city hosts some of the finest shows around, from spellbinding concerts to exciting flamenco dancing. One incredible venue here is the historic Teatro Liceu. Discover why this is one of the best performance venues in Barcelona and make plans to spend an evening there today.
Everything You Need to Know before Attending a Show at Teatro Liceu
Where is the Teatro Liceu Located?
This attraction is located on La Rambla in Barcelona. You’ll be able to spot this building right away; its classic architecture and towering appearance make it a distinguishable icon in Barcelona.
What is the History of the Teatro Liceu?
The origins of this magnificent opera house can be traced all the way back to the year 1837, when an organization of liberal, armed citizen militias (known as the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados, or Society of Theatre-Lovers) founded a music conservatory. Created as a result of Barcelona’s rapidly growing population and economy, the opera house first opened its doors to the public in 1847. With its colossal size and 4,000 seats, it was the largest opera house in all of Europe. Today, you can take guided tours of this venue to admire its beauty and characteristics.
What Kind of Shows are Performed at the Teatro Liceu?
Being an opera house, this venue primarily features a wide variety of different operas, such as Macbeth and Elektra. Some of the most famed opera singers have performed in this very venue, including Tebaldi, Domingo, and Pavarotti. However, operas are not the only Gran Teatre del Liceu events you can attend in Barcelona. This opera house also hosts concerts, symphonies, ballets, and much more. Stay up-to-date with the Liceu Opera House calendar so you don’t miss your favorite show while you’re visiting Barcelona.
How Do I Purchase Tickets for a Show at the Teatro Liceu?
There are a few different options for buying your tickets to the Gran Teatre Del Liceu events! You can buy them online, through their mobile app, at their box office, or by calling them at 902 787 397. Take a look at their box office hours before you go!
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The city of Barcelona, Spain, has countless unique qualities that distinguish it as one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world. One characteristic in particular that astounds each and every one of its many visitors is the incredible Barcelona architecture. Scattered throughout the streets of this city are numerous magnificent buildings and landmarks unlike any other. Learn more about the Barcelona famous architecture and start planning your dream getaway to Spain today!
5 Examples of Amazing Barcelona Architecture
1. Casa Batlló
The eccentric appearance of this building will catch your eye immediately. Casa Batlló, designed by Antoni Gaudí, is a masterpiece like no other. Easily recognized by its colorful mosaic exterior, this enormous house possesses other distinct qualities, like wavy shapes instead of sharp edges and swirling patterns of numerous colors.
2. La Sagrada Familia
One of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks, La Sagrada Familia is a must-see during your trip to this city. This colossal building is one-of-a-kind because, even though its construction began in the year 1882, it is still under construction today and won’t be complete until the year 2026! You will notice this Barcelona famous architecture right away due to its tall spires and exquisite adornments.
3. Park Güell
Once a high-end neighborhood for wealthy residents, Park Güell is now the perfect place to spend a day in Barcelona. This area contains multiple attractions to visit, such as the Gaudí House Museum, which is dedicated to honoring the life of Park Güell’s architect, Antoni Gaudí. You can observe Gaudí’s trademark style throughout this park; his love of Barcelona modern architecture is visible around every corner.
4. Palace of Catalan Music
Your jaw will drop the second you step inside the Palace of Catalan Music! A venue for some of the most magical musical performances in Barcelona, this gorgeous concert hall was designed in the Catalan modernista style by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the early 1900s. This is a wonderful place in Barcelona to attend an event; they host over 600 concerts per year! Take a look at their calendar of events to see when you can attend their next big show.
5. La Pedrera
Also known as Casa Milà, La Pedrera is another product of Antoni Gaudí’s talents and hard work. This is a cultural center where people come to learn more about Barcelona architecture history as well as other fascinating facts about the city. You’ll find plenty of things to do here, so add it to your vacation itinerary today!
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Barcelona, Spain, has a rich and fascinating culture. With its innumerable, timeless traditions, this city contains all kinds of unique things to do and see. If you’re planning a getaway to Barcelona, you might be wondering what to do first. There are an abundance of stunning, historic buildings and attractions, not to mention the numerous museums honoring the influential figures of the past. One activity you don’t want to skip while you’re here is attending one of the shows of the Maestros de la Guitarra. Discover everything you need to know about this popular Barcelona attraction and make your plans to attend today!
Everything You Need to Know about Maestros de la Guitarra
What Is Maestros de la Guitarra?
A grand musical event like you’ve never experienced before, Maestros de la Guitarra produces around 300 amazing concerts per year. Attend Maestros de la Guitarra and watch as talented dancers and musicians showcase their incredible skills. Each performer reflects Barcelona’s colorful culture and lifestyle through their songs and dances. Some have performed all over the world, sharing a bit this city’s vibrant and exotic environment with people in other parts of the globe. A few highlights of these performers include Grammy winner David Russell, the band Beijing Guitar Duo, Berta Rojas, and countless others.
Where Is Maestros de la Guitarra?
This music festival holds its numerous concerts in three different venues in Barcelona: Palau de la Musica, Basilica del Pi, and Sant Jaume. Each of these magnificent venues will take your breath away with their unparalleled architecture and beauty, creating the perfect setting for enjoying a magical night of entertainment in Barcelona. Experiencing one or more of these concerts is one of the best things to do in Barcelona. The historic setting and soothing music combine to create a magical evening in Spain.
When Is Maestros de la Guitarra?
The concerts of Maestros de la Guitarra begin in June and run until the end of October. You can find their entire schedule online. Take a look at each show to start choosing which ones you’d like to attend. You can even purchase your tickets online as well!
Make sure to “Like” the Maestros de la Guitarra Facebook page to receive the latest updates on what’s going on!
Where to Stay during Maestros de la Guitarra
The best way to complete your trip to the incredible city of Barcelona is to stay in the best lodging possible. After your lovely evening of enjoying Barcelona culture at Maestros de la Guitarra, take some time to unwind by settling down in the finest accommodations in the entire city. bizFlats Vacation Rentals offers luxurious lofts, villas, cottages, and apartments located throughout the most picturesque parts of this region. Whether you want to treat yourself to views of the beach or settle down in the heart of the city, we have the perfect spot for you! We know you’ll love our comfortable furnishings and incredible amenities, so check our availability online right now to book your favorite vacation rental in Barcelona!
Creating a vacation itinerary for a trip to Barcelona could be one of the most challenging tasks you’ve ever attempted! This exotic city is absolutely bursting with so many spectacular sights, restaurants, and activities. You might have trouble wondering where to start! One spot you don’t want to miss is the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar. Thousands of years old, this extraordinary cathedral is filled with wonders. Take a look at what this historic site has to offer and add it to your vacation itinerary today!
Everything You Need to Know before You Visit the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
History of the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
Construction of the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar began in the year 1329. It was completed in 55 years, which was a surprisingly short amount of time to build a cathedral of such size during this particular time period. This church was funded almost solely by local residents of its surrounding neighborhood, known today as La Ribera, a community located on the shore that specialized in shipbuilding as well as constant imports and exports.
What to See at the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
The magnificent architecture of this cathedral is enough to make your jaw drop. The Basilica Santa Maria del Mar displays the perfect example of distinctive 14th century Catalan Gothic architecture. In addition to its towering appearance, this beautiful masterpiece is also filled with incredible artwork. Gaze at the numerous, colorful stained windows that adorn this cathedral in awe. This intricate pieces are from several different time periods, some of which are originals that were created when the cathedral was first constructed. You’ll also be able to observe a Gothic structure of the Virgin Mary as well as numerous paintings and priceless relics.
Visiting the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
This attraction is open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. You can also attend Mass here every day at 7:30 p.m. Guided tours of this breathtaking cathedral are highly recommended. During a guided tour, you are led up to the rooftops of the church, the rear chapels, then all the way down to its crypts. You will also be able to learn more about its fascinating history. Take a look at their website to discover their prices, schedule, and much more.
If you want to see more of Barcelona’s finest landmarks, visit the Casa Batllo!
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Barcelona is an extraordinary city overflowing with all kinds of sights and attractions. Due to its rich and fascinating history, this destination is filled with various museums, galleries, and other historic sites that were created to honor this city’s past stories and leaders. One of the best places to explore Barcelona’s history and culture is the Parc de Montjuïc, an attraction bursting with things to do and see. Once a ceremonial place of the Romans, this mountain is now a beloved recreational area. Learn about all the activities you can enjoy here and start making plans to visit during your vacation to Barcelona!
4 of the Best Things to Do at the Parc de Montjuïc
1. Ride the Parc de Montjuïc Cable Car
One of the best parts of visiting Parc de Montjuïc is the way you get there! This mountain is accessed by way of the Montjuïc cable car, which carries you higher and higher above Barcelona, providing breathtaking views of the dramatic scenery spread below.
2. Explore the Numerous Museums and Attractions
Many museums can be found within the magnificent Palau Nacional, a spacious pavilion center. One of the best museums found in here is the Catalan National Art Museum, which contains countless, valuable works of art, spanning a wide spectrum of styles and time periods. The famous Joan Miró Foundation is another incredible museum located in the Parc de Montjuïc. You can also observe countless monuments that resulted from the 1992 Olympic Games that were held here, like the Calatrava Tower, the Olympic Stadium of Barcelona, and the Sant Jordi Palace.
3. See the Parc de Montjuïc Castle
The Montjuïc Castle is a timeless gem within Barcelona. Standing strong since 1640, this forbidding structure was once a military fortress and served as a defense point in the War of the Spanish Succession. Today, you can take a guided tour of this castle as well as receive some of the most stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
4. Other Attractions in Parc de Montjuïc
You can spend hours and hours within the Parc de Montjuïc and still not see everything it has to offer! One highlight you won’t want to skip is the Magic Fountain. Located within the Palau Nacional, this is one of the most photographed icons of Barcelona. The Montjuïc Gardens are another gorgeous feature, as well as the Poble Espanyol, a historic Spanish village.
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Although Barcelona has countless extraordinary attractions, Park Güell is one you absolutely can’t skip! Learn all about this beautiful treasure and buy your tickets today.
All the Park Güell Information You Need to Know before You Visit
Park Güell History
This colorful attraction was originally commissioned by Eusebi Güell, who desired an upscale estate for the aristocrat of Barcelona to live in. The famous Antoni Gaudí (the architectural genius behind other iconic Barcelona landmarks like the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo) was chosen to design this area; he began its construction in 1900. Güell had spotted a beautiful window display that Gaudí had created one day and decided at once that he was the right man for the job. Gaudí used his trademark style of bright colors and swirling patterns to establish a private estate that was truly unlike anything else around. He built numerous villas for the wealthy figures in the area and even moved in himself a few years later. However, this area lacked one essential thing: a good transportation system. Due to this, people started abandoning their homes here a few years later and the area transformed into a private garden for public events. It later became a public tourist attraction in 1960s so everyone could appreciate this magnificent place.
What to Do at Park Güell
You can spend hours and hours here at Park Güell. One of the main reasons why it draws so many visitors is the Gaudí House Museum located here. This building, which was once Gaudí’s home, contains countless artifacts and memorabilia that offer incredible insight into the life of this extraordinary and revolutionary architect. You can also participate in guided tours of the other buildings in this park to learn more about Gaudí, the Modernisme movement, the people who loved here, and other interesting Park Güell facts.
Park Güell Hours and Location
The Park Güell hours vary from season to season, so check online before you visit so you know when to go. This park is located off Carrer d’Olot in Barcelona. Metros, buses, and taxis are all able to access this spot; you can also arrange for a coach to pick you up if you’re arriving with a group.
How to Purchase Park Güell Tickets
You can purchase your tickets at the Park Güell ticket office or you can conveniently buy them online. Ticket purchases can be made up to three months before your visit, so start planning ahead and buy your tickets today to skip the lines!
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Complete your vacation of a lifetime by staying in the best accommodations while you’re visiting some of Barcelona’s finest attractions! bizFlats Vacation Rentals provides some of the most luxurious apartments, villas, and lofts, all located throughout the most picturesque parts of the city. Choose from staying in a beautiful spot with views of the beach or right in the heart of the bustling city. Each property is equipped with the finest furnishings and amenities so you’re bound to feel right at home. Check our availability today to find the most incredible short term rental in Barcelona to stay during your visit!