Guidebook: Introduction

Welcome To Barcelona!

The capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona really does have it all; world-class museums, shopping, historical architecture, culinary delights, peerless nightlife and some of the best urban beaches on the Mediterranean!

Central Barcelona is divided into several unique, must-see districts which reflect the city’s fascinating history and diverse character:

The Rambla Poblenou Retreat is located in the residential Poble Nou district, within walking distance from the beach front and a short transport ride to the touristic center of the city. Poble Nou came to fame in the 90s as the host neighborhood for the athletes of the 1992 Olympic Games, which brought investment and development into the area, making it one of the most popular areas of the city to reside. Nowadays, the neighborhood is brimming with local charm; filled with typical tree-lined avenues, tapas restaurants, cafés, bars and shops. Poble Nou is an excellent base to explore all that Barcelona has to offer, with excellent transport connections to city highlights such as las Ramblas and the gothic old town, the beaches and boardwalks of Barceloneta, Gaudí’s famous Parc Güell and Montjuïc hill, home of the National Palace art museum and the Spanish Village cultural park.

Other districts of note include Eixample, where you will find luxury shopping on the famous Paseo de Gràcia avenue and some of the finest examples of modernist architecture, such as Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família basilica and the Casa Batlló building.

The Ciudad Vella district (Old Town) is home to the large Gothic area, dissected by the famous Ramblas avenue and originally surrounded by city walls. Authentic markets such as la Boqueria, the most famous cathedrals and unique museums such as the MACBA and the Picasso Muesum are all located in this district, and the Born area features some of the best tapas restaurants, wine bars, ice cream makers and beautiful restaurant terraces.

The Old Marina, Barceloneta and Villa Olimpica Area are the perfect route to discover the Barcelona seafront and the new and modern face of the city built for the 1992 Olympic Games. At the bottom of las Ramblas, the old Marina and the docks have been transformed into a beautiful boardwalk featuring museums, activity centers and some of the city’s best outdoor restaurants. Barceloneta, an old fishers village, is home to beautiful beaches and the city’s noted beach clubs and lounge bars.

With so much to see, the services of a licensed Barcelona Tour Guide can be invaluable to bring the city’s rich history to life on a walking or driving tour, and there are also a number of self-guided car tours or audio-guided bus tours to help first-time visitors get to know this fantastic location.

Barcelona also hosts an impressive calendar of annual special events, such as the Mύsica als Parcs summer series of open air concerts, the Festes de la Mercè patron saint festival in September, the Els Grans del Gospel international gospel music festival in December and the internationally renowned Festival Guitarra guitar festival in Spring.

Five more fun things you may not have tried:

  • Take a helicopter ride over the Barcelona coast and enjoy the ultimate view of the city!
  • Challenge your perception of modern art at the cutting edge Angels Barcelona Art Gallery in the Raval district.
  • Teach the kids some magic at a wizarding workshop at El Rey de la Magia (the King of Magic), one of the world’s oldest magic shops and museums!
  • Treat yourself to some pampering at the Aire de Barcelona Arabic baths and spa!
  • Attend a unique wine tasting and tour at the famous Freixenet Cava winery!