Not Sure What to See in Barcelona? Check Out Our Awesome Guide

Not Sure What to See in Barcelona? Check Out Our Awesome Guide

The eyes work tirelessly while exploring new places, constantly darting from side to side and up and down, trying to take in all the dazzling sights and scenery.  Maybe you’re a history buff who gazes in awe of ancient buildings or an art connoisseur who stares diligently at art displays to interpret their meaning.  Perhaps you’re an outdoors expert who is constantly gaping at the sight of breathtaking mountains… or you prefer to bask in the sun and watch the waves roll onto the beach.  Whatever you like to see, Barcelona has the perfect attraction for you!  Investigate sights that interest you or discover a new passion within the vast list of what to see in Barcelona!

Arts, Architecture, and History

As a region that can be traced back to the 2nd century, Barcelona has a rich history as well as spectacular art and architecture that developed throughout the years.  These are just a few highlights of Barcelona’s most famous museums and monuments.  (Also something to keep in mind: all city-run Barcelona museums are free on Sundays!)

Joan Miro´ Museum: Learn about the famous Joan Miro´ and observe rare paintings and exhibits in this unique museum.

Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA): Study ancient artifacts as you discover more about Barcelona’s history and how it has developed since its founding.

Modernista Art and Architecture: Many modernista architects, such as Antoní Gaudi, have left their mark in Barcelona in the form of countless, breathtaking buildings all across the city for the public to admire.

Barcelona Ramblas: Once a rushing river, this significant part of Barcelona is now the most famous street in the city, filled with businesses, historical sites, restaurants, markets, and more!

Hiking

Since it is a city surrounded by hills, Barcelona is home to many beautiful hiking trails.  If you love the outdoors, lace up your hiking boots and investigate these magnificent scenes of nature.  

Montjuïc mountain: This towering hill, which historically served as a defense for the city, now contains gardens, parks, hiking trails, and even cable car rides to view the city from above!

Collserola Park: An ideal area for biking, this park has picturesque views of the city, the Mediterranean, and the countryside.

Montserrat: View the famous Montserrat monastery before hiking the peak of this mountain, which is known for possessing the best view of Catalonia.

Pyrenees & Montseny Mountains: You should reserve an entire day trip to fully appreciate what these mountains have to offer; you’ll find countless parks, trails, and views of the mountains as well as ancient towns and buildings.

Beaches

The beaches of Barcelona are truly a sight to behold.  Over four kilometers long, these beautiful beaches are spread along the Mediterranean and include multiple coastal towns and marketplaces to explore.  Many of these areas have a thriving nightlife as well, making these beaches a must on the list of what to see in Barcelona!

Sant Sebastià: The longest and arguably the most popular beach in Barcelona, Sant Sebastià stretches 1,100 meters long and possesses many sporting clubs for sea-related activities.

Nova Icària: Closeby to the Olympic Marina, this beach has a wide variety of restaurants in its adjoining town, offering some of the best Barcelona cuisine.

Mar Bella: This active and bustling beach is best known for its watersports.  Visitors and locals alike here can be seen windsurfing or kayaking; there’s also a perfect area for joggers and cyclists.

Barceloneta: The oldest beach in the area, Barceloneta is known as Barcelona’s classic neighborhood by the sea, where people from far and wide come to enjoy seafood in this traditional fishing district. 

Come and Stay with Us at bizFlats!

Now that you know all about what to see in Barcelona, check our availability and book a vacation with us today!  We offer a variety of different penthouses, studios, apartments, lofts, and villas, all designed for you to get more living space for less money than a hotel.

Photo by Rick Ligthelm / Flickr

 

8 Important Catalan Traditions

8 Important Catalan Traditions

Many Catalan traditions have been born of these centuries of intriguing culture and are still practiced today. People visiting Barcelona are often in search of these traditions, whether around holidays, food, or are just looking for the unexpected experience. A city of friendly people, you can easily ask around and get a feel for where to find these wonderful flourishes of Catalan culture. Here are the ones that are most well known and frequented by visitors to the area.

8 Catalan Traditions

  1. Castellers – Meaning “towers” in English, the Catalan Castellers are certainly one of the most famous Catalan traditions around. If you are visiting Barcelona during any national holiday, head to a public square where you may catch a glimpse of these agile natives making human towers reaching as high as three stories in the air. There is also an annual competition on the first Sunday of October in Tarragona that is bound to be breathtaking.
  2. Correfocs – Another wondrous, though a little scary, of the Catalan traditions, is the Correfocs festivals during which there are huge street parades. People run around dressed as devils. Though they aren’t partaking in evil perse, it is certainly tomfoolery involving drums, firecrackers and other wonders you’ll enjoy.
  3. Els Segadors – The national anthem, Els Segadors was written in 1693 when Catalonia fought for its freedom against the Spanish King. You’re bound to hear it sung if you’re around for any holidays, and give it a listen beforehand if you want to be able to sing along.
  4. The Catalan Donkey – The symbol of Catalonia, the donkey became important to the people of this region after nearly going extinct. Two natives circulated donkey silhouette stickers in defense of these animals and saved the species.
  5. Pa amb Tomàquet – Meaning, literally, bread with tomato, this is traditional tapas treat that can be found virtually anywhere in Barcelona.
  6. Calçotada – There is a harvest party each year celebrated mainly this leek-like vegetable. The celebration consists mainly of eating these onions in the traditional manner of roasting them over an open fire and until charred, peeling back the burnt leaves and eating the soft, sweet inner layers.
  7. Tió de Nadal – This Christmas tradition is an odd way that Catalonian children are accustomed to getting gifts in the form of sweets and goodies leading up to the holiday. In every home, you’ll find a hollow tree stump that is filled with little presents and on Christmas eve they take a stick to it and beat all the goodies out.
  8. Caganer – If you are here during Christmas, be prepared to see an odd figure as part of their nativity scene. Caganer is a little boy you’ll see in the manger, with his pants down, taking a poop and so fertilizing the earth for the coming years.

These are a just a taste of the great Catalan traditions you’ll find while visiting the area. Any meal will reveal a number of habits of the region that date back farther than you would imagine. A walk through the Gothic Quarter will likewise bring you right back to Medieval times. It’s a treat to visit this region any time of year!

 

Avinguda Diagonal – Barcelona Diagonal Avenue… Take a Walk on the Wild Side

20150621_123235

On this last weekend of August in Barcelona… today, a unique sun is my ally, my best spotlight… a great part of Avinguda Diagonal is closed to traffic, so I get my phone and a pair of sneakers and invite you to join me in the adventure of finding unique buildings, hidden places and relaxing corners.  So sew your shadow to my feet Peter, and up we go “second to the right and straight on till morning”.

20150621_12331020150621_123325

20150621_123440

20150621_123459

Let’s start our journey at Plaça Francesc Macià.  I follow the characteristic pavement pattern, onto this urban catwalk.  I have to be careful not to miss a thing… sleek modern buildings next to old classics and Gaudi’s trademarks, make for beautiful patchwork.  The awesome Casa Sayrach (Avinguda Diagonal corner with Enric Granados), stands so elegant, as one of the last buildings of Barcelona modernism. Curved shapes characterize its façade.

20150621_123619

20150621_12363320150621_12422120150621_124604

Back to the avenue, amongst luxury shops and nice cafés and restaurants, I get to the terrace, of José Luis, a classic in Barcelona, the restaurant with posssibly the best “tortilla de patata” in town.  Next to it, “Ajo Blanco” (Carrer de Tusset), the other side of the coin, a cool new designer restaurant.  Diagonal-Tusset-Granados… the most interesting edge, an explosion of architecture … La Casa Mas de Miquel, La Casa Sayrach, and the stunning Metro 3 building, where the Habitat store (designer furniture) is located.

20150621_123731

20150621_12424120150621_124021

20150621_124435

20150621_12441720150621_12445820150621_12452120150621_124656

Now I run into the “Barcelona Equestrian circle” (Diagonal corner with Balmes) – SPOTTED:  I’ve heard that you can belong to this select club for a small fee of 12,000 euros, plus the endorsement of four partners and, of course, you must pass a test prior to admission.  Then the doors of the Barcelona Equestrian Circle will never be closed to you.  You can get together with the economic and social elite of Barcelona, enjoy an exquisite coffee or a drink until the wee hours of the morning… but yes, YOU HAVE to wear a tie [at least of you’re a gentleman]. The Circle completely renovated the interior in 1992, including a full gym, a rooftop pool & café and 16 rooms for members and guests.

The club is hosted in the palace “Casa Perez Samanillo” built in 1910, and what catches the eye is one of the most striking elements of the building, a huge oval window overlooking Diagonal… locals call it the “fishbowl of Barcelona”.

20150621_12472720150621_124801

20150621_12463820150621_12495720150621_12500820150621_125114

20150621_125128

This is amazing!!! No traffic and I’m walking in the middle of the street!!!  I’m arriving at Pilma, one of my favourites deco shops. Not far in distance, now I can see the obelisk marking the cross between Diagonal and Passeig the Gràcia.  To my right, the building of the Barcelona Provincial Council, advising the beginning of another great promenade, the boulevard of Rambla de Catalunya.

20150621_12424120150621_12523620150621_125316

A little further along are the Jardins del Palau Robert and in front of it, on the other side of the avenue, between two glass monsters, the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and Deutsche Bank respectively, the Pompeya Church, a jewel of Neo Gothic contemplates the passage of time, unperturbed by it’s big neighbours.

20150621_12542720150621_12553020150621_12564620150621_125754

Those deck chairs are so inviting… I’m done, hope you found it so appealing that you are eager to get your ass away from La Rambla, and discover an atractive brand new world!

20150621_125619

20150621_125923

20150621_125942

 

 

FC Barcelona Legendary Players

FC Barcelona Legendary Players

In 1899 a new modern culture of leisure was born by a group of largely non native men living in Barcelona who were interested in starting a sports club and playing what were then largely British sports like football. Thus, FC Barcelona was born, and its roots are strong in the club’s culture today, who loves to celebrate international talent, but has also built a extensive Catalonian culture. Founder, Joan Gamper, was undoubtedly one of the first FC Barcelona legendary players, and not just for his skill on the pitch, but for his devotion to the growth and legacy of the club. Without Gamper, there would be no further FC Barcelona legendary players to celebrate.

FC Barcelona Legendary Players

  • Carles Comamala – Another one of the club’s founding players, Comamala was a friend and teammate of Gamper. Born to a Basque mother and a father from the Canaries, Comamala was actually from Madrid and brought up in Catalonia, making him a perfect fit for Barcelona’s early days when it was mostly made up of expats. And of course, the fact that he was a prolific striker.
  • Emili Sagi-Barba – Born in Argentina to Catalan parents, Sagi-Barba is considered one of the best FC Barcelona legendary players from the pre-Civil War era. Playing left wing, he was one of the first players to ever rock this side of the field, and become an expert in penalty and corner kicks.
  • Àngel Arocha – Considered one of the leading goal scorers in the Club’s entire history, Arocha’s record was 215 goals in just 207 games. He started his career as one of the FC Barcelona legendary players in 1927 and, from Santa Cruz, was an undoubted first choice striker for the club.
  • César Rodríguez – Yet another of the FC Barcelona legendary players, Rodríguez was a  fantastic goal scorer during his career from 1944 – 1951, and was part of the all star forward line of the 1950s. His best season was 1947 -48 when he scored 27 goals in 24 games, and was known for his powerful headers.
  • Ramón Villaverde – One of the best known South American imports, hailing from Uruguay, among the FC Barcelona legendary players, Villaverde’s career with the club ran throughout the 1950s and 60s. Not only was he a man of astounding endurance, playing center midfield, he was also known for his great humility. Having been loaned out from FB Barcelona for his last year on contract, he reportedly said, “I’m not too old for football yet, but I am too old to play for Barça.”
  • Sergi Barjuan – A Barcelona native, Barjuan is a product of the club’s youth soccer program and made his debut with the pros in 1993 as a first choice starter. He went on to play in the 1994 World Cup in the USA in his prized fullback position.

These FC Barcelona legendary players are just a small selection of the many team members over the years that have given this club such a successful history and loyal following. These men, especially from the early years, are even responsible for creating the rich and lively culture around football in Barcelona, something it would be hard to imagine this city without. Be sure to catch a game at Camp Nou the next time you’re in town during the season!

 

Experience Catalan Cuisine

Experience Catalan Cuisine

Catalunya has long been known for its cuisine, but until you’ve gone and eaten your way through Barcelona you won’t quite understand just how ingrained food is into this independent Spanish region’s daily life and priorities. There is much more to Catalan cuisine than giant paella pans full of fishy goodness, or tapas bars with a million bite-sized options to choose from – though both of these could probably keep you occupied for your entire stay.

Much more than just the unique tastes, smells, and textures, experiencing Catalan cuisine is as much about the ambiance of time, place, and form. There’s really no way to miss out on authentic Catalan cuisine moments while visiting as the locals take their food and dining seriously. Here are some ways to enjoy Catalan cuisine.

Tapas Bars

A Catalan cuisine all their own, tapas are as much a style of eating as they are a style of food. Offering two or three-bite snacks in different shapes, sizes and colors, any of Barcelona’s tapas restaurants promise an explosion of different flavors that there’s simply no way to prepare for. Another wonderful thing about tapas is that they are an inherently social food. Made for sharing, lingering over, and to accompany carafes of wine or bottles of beer, locals will typically spend hours at a restaurant chatting and nibbling late into the night.

Seafood Sampling

Being that Barcelona is right on the beautiful Mediterranean sea – yes it is actually a beach town within a metropolitan city! – there is very little chance that you’ll miss the opportunity to munch something fresh off the boat. If you’re not a huge fan of seafood, try a little nibble when out for tapas. If you love seafood then go to virtually any Catalan cuisine restaurant and sit down to order either paella or another local dish, esqueixada, which is salted cod with tomato and onion.

The Market

If you’ve traveled around Europe before, assuming you aren’t from there, you already have an understanding for the fact that they do food and shopping a little differently. If you’re staying in a flat in the city and need provisions for the week, there is no better place to go than one of the city’s famous markets. La Boqueria and Santa Caterina Market both offer photo worthy displays of everything fresh. The Mediterranean climate promises year-round fresh produce, so prepare to be spoiled, and don’t be afraid to make a trip to the market a daily habit while visiting the city. That’s how the locals do it!

Take a Tour

If you like to nerd out about food science, then you don’t want to miss the chance to tour one of the local wineries or dairies. Wine and cheese are staples in Catalan cuisine, and not only will tours afford you the opportunity to learn more about them culturally and historically, but you’ll certainly have a chance to taste some real rarities.

Catalan cuisine is one of the best parts of visiting Barcelona. Cooking classes, eating with the locals and visiting a famous restaurant are other wonderful ways to fill out your meal time here in the city. No matter how you choose to line up your foodie experience, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Corporate Relocation in Barcelona

Corporate Relocation in Barcelona

Sometimes business requires a change of scenery, be it for a conference, collaboration with a partner, or just a few long days of meetings. Whatever it may be, and no matter how many people or departments are involved in your company’s next corporate relocation to Barcelona, bizFlats makes staying in the city both laid back and luxurious. Corporate relocation, be it for a week or a month, can be a constant hassle of finding accommodations and workspaces, and end in a pile of unforeseen expenses between food, lodging and airfare. Our corporate flats provide the perfect spaces for both living, and working, and are much more affordable than luxury hotels in the city.

Our Corporate Flats are Multi Purpose Spaces

With free WiFi, plenty of plugin spaces and incredibly professional, spacious and wonderfully furnished meeting space, our corporate flats work well for both living and working. This means that your corporate relocation expenses can be cut more than in half without having to spend on conference rooms as well as hotel rooms. Staying in these posh flats in the heart of the city is sure to motivate your employees and whoever else you may be working alongside in Barcelona, as they are truly a treat to both hang out and work in. Without having to worry about traveling through a city they may not know, employees are likely to get more done as well!

Full-Service Flats

Our team is very experienced in corporate relocation services in regards to helping you get organized for working in these beautiful apartments. Whether you need technical equipment, housekeeping, or restaurant and masseur recommendations to impress your clients, we are happy to help you in any way that we can. All of our flats have state of the art kitchens as well, meaning you can both get catered meals, or have a fun team building cooking session to unwind from a busy day. This is yet another way that will help your company save money on your next corporate relocation.

Enjoy Convenience

All of our corporate flats are centrally located throughout the city, with multiple flats in the same buildings as well. This ensures the utmost convenience, not just for work hours, but also for play hours. When visiting Barcelona on business, you’ll have ample opportunities to explore this gorgeous city, and what better way to do it than on foot from your own private downtown apartment? Get outside for lunch in the park, or take a stroll through the Gothic Quarter to stretch your legs when that two o’clock drag starts to hit. When cocktail hour rolls around, you won’t be far from a great place for tapas and drinks either. It’s the best of both worlds!

Not only will your company save loads of money on your next corporate relocation with bizFlats, but your employees are bound to enjoy the experience more as well. Hotels can feel so impersonal, which makes being away from home more of a distraction than a reason to celebrate. Treat them right and save some money at the same time with these gorgeous apartments in Barcelona.

 

Barcelona Limo Service

Barcelona Limo Service

When visiting a big city like Barcelona, be it for business, pleasure or a big special event, it’s a good idea to have a list of car services handy before you arrive to be sure that, no matter the occasion, you know who to call for a ride. Even if all you need is a ride from the airport after a long flight overseas, there is a Barcelona limo service that can serve your needs. There really is no better way to travel through a foreign land than in your own private car with few distractions and a chauffeur who is there to serve you and you alone.

Here are some Barcelona limo services to check out while planning your trip to the city.

  1. HummerBCN – If you will be visiting for a special occasion and want a fancy ride around town in a stretch hummer or party bus, HummerBCN is your best shot. These vehicles are all completely stocked with party lights, comfy seats, plenty of bar space for your festivities, and great windows through which to see the sights while you cruise through town, either to your destination, or just to see the city lights.
  2. Barcelona Airport Transfer – Offering the standard Barcelona limo service to and from the airport, Barcelona Airport Transfer has easy online booking that will make your trip go all the more smoothly. Taking special care to always be safe, punctual and providing the utmost comfort in their line of Mercedes limos ranging from sedans to ten passenger vans, you’ll love how easy these guys make it.
  3. Diagonal Mar Limousines – While they are happy to provide the typical airport transportation, Diagonal Mar is especially well known for their private tours of the city. You can either take a comprehensive sightseeing trip consisting of about four hours of visiting some of the city’s most famous sites, or you can choose to take more detailed tours of certain destinations like Montserrat or Penedés. Can you imagine a more relaxing way to see the sites than to be chauffeured through the city’s busy streets in a luxury vehicle by a friendly, English-speaking local? We can’t! This is an outstanding Barcelona limo service that also does private shuttling to and from big sporting events.
  4. Chofer-Car – This is a global company known for excellence, and is therefore a great option as a Barcelona limo service. While they are pleased to provide basic transportation needs, they too specialize in private tours, special events, and customized transportation needs. Whether you’re in need of a chauffeur for an extended business trip, or to rent a coach bus for a tour or special occasion in the city, Chofer-Car is the place to call.

Barcelona is a great place to explore on foot, bicycle, or public transportation, but sometimes your trips to the city won’t allow for these leisurely luxuries. When in town on business or for a busy special occasion, be sure to use a Barcelona limo service for the most convenient, comfortable, and dependable mode of transportation around town. Let someone else do the driving, so you can focus on the task ahead!

 

August in Barcelona

August in Barcelona

August in Barcelona is one of the busiest months of the year ensuring many exciting activities, beautifully warm Mediterranean weather, and visitors from around the world with whom to mingle. Between the beaches, festivals, and arts to enjoy, the end of the summer ends up being an ideal time to visit this Spanish city and take in the sites and culture, be it on a European family adventure, or the backpacking trip of a lifetime.

Though Catalonians have long been known to take month long vacations during the month of August, visitors can be sure to find most of the businesses open. About 10 percent of the shops and restaurants will be closed as various families head out of town during the warmest and busiest month of the year – a tradition that undoubtedly adds to the charming and hospitable nature of the city’s many family-owned businesses.

Here are some of the things to look forward to during August in Barcelona this year.

  1. Festa Major de Sants
    This little-known festival takes place throughout the Sants neighborhood, featuring unique cultural attractions that celebrate the history of the families who settled this neighborhood centuries ago.
  2. San Miguel Mas i Mas Festival
    This summer concert series takes place throughout the city at different venues, featuring many Latin musicians along with a mix of many other genres. Starting in July and continuing through early September, San Miguel Mas i Mas concerts make for a great evening out on the town.
  3. Gandules
    Throughout the month of August on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, a series of films are screened on the rooftop patio. This great space has both a restaurant and bar and the movie nights tend to fill up quickly so be sure to get there early for a seat.
  4. Circuit Festival
    The Circuit Festival is one of the largest LGBT gatherings in all of Europe. It offers 12 days of incredible parties and events throughout the city including a day at the water park, beach parties, documentary film festivals and tons of sporty fun like longboard outings and yoga sessions. Thousands of people from around the world come out for this wonderful celebration of LGBT culture!
  5. Festa Major de Gracia
    This neighborhood festival is one of the oldest in the city, with residents working year round to plan a fun festival in which locals and visitors alike come to appreciate age old Catalan culture. The main attraction are the streets and shops that get transformed by residents in a decorating competition that will shock you as you enter imaginary worlds like outer space and Jurassic Park. Be sure to check out Festa Major de Gracia in the evening to see these transformed worlds all lit up.

August in Barcelona is bound to be a great time, whether you’re looking for a relaxing time or a great party. While the end of the summer is typically a busy time for tourists, it  also ensures that there is plenty to do for all interests. If you’re considering a European vacation this summer, make it August in Barcelona!