Last Minute Barcelona City Break Guide 2017 – Last Minute City Breaks

Barcelona

The main attraction for short break visitors to Barcelona is the Barri Gotic (“Gothic Quarter”) in the heart of the Old City. It is located between the “Ramblas” -a famous tree-lined picturesque mall, stretching for 1.2 kilometers connecting Plaça de Catalunya with Port Vell- and the Via Laietana.

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Why Barcelona

  • Barcelona is the capital of Modernism and genuine architecture lore.
  • A wonderful, truly unique blend of cultures.
  • Relax in some of the most charming beaches in Europe.
  • Cosmopolitan atmosphere, alive with artistic and cultural events throughout the year.
  • Experience the F1 Grand Prix of Spain.
  • Lovely, mild climate the whole year round.
  • One of the most delicious editions of Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Never ending nightlife, numerous musical events and local fiestas!
  • A modern paradise of adventure sports and the capital of modern European football.

A “must visit” – and for good many reasons.

Barcelona is the major seaport on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and capital of the Catalonia, the renowned autonomous community of Spain. The city is ideally set between the majestic mountain range of Collserda and the Mediterranean Sea. Its wonderful climate encourages a vibrant street life full of outdoor cafes and restaurants, as well as short breaks and weekend breaks. It is a city steeped in history and alive with charming architecture.

Best Time for your Short Holiday

Late spring from May to June is the very best time of year for short breaks to Barcelona. The weather is perfect at about 20 – 25oC and the city is not as full of tourists as in the summer season. During these months several events take place, such as:

  • May 13th – Spanish Gran Prix car racing.
  • June 2ndPimavera Sound – a 3 day music festival.
  • June 16th – Sonar Music Festival is a 3 day event of concerts.
  • June 19thCorpus Christi religious processions take place.
  • June 23rdVerbena de St. Joan (St. John). It is the shortest day of the year and is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks and parties where the cake ‘coca’ is eaten.

Those who would prefer a city break to Barcelona in the height of summer can expect tourists, higher prices and humidity. Most Catalans take off for at least a month to escape the city heat.  Summer events include:

  • July 1st –Summer Festival (El Grec) begins a month of music, theatre and dance events which take place in the romantic setting of the Greek amphitheatre at Montjuic.
  • August 15th – 21st Festa Major de Gracia, actually a 20 minute walk from the city in the direction of the hills to the west.

From September the tourist season slows down and prices begin to fall – but short break and weekends to Barcelona remain popular. During the autumn to winter months the temperatures are from about 15 – 20 oC with some rain in October.

  • September 1st Fiesta de la Mercia (Virgin of Mercy). There is live music, parades of giant wooden figures, human pyramid contests, synchronised fireworks with music and plenty of the national drink ‘cava’.
  • September 11th Diada, Catalunya National Day and a public holiday. Various concerts are held.
  • In October/November there is a Jazz Festival, but dates are not always the same.
  • November 27th – December 23rd Fira de Santa Lucia. Christmas market takes place on the Avenida de la Catedral in the Gothic Quarter of the Old City.

Those who fancy a city break to Barcelona from January to April, find the weather a bit chilly with average temperatures at about 4 – 15 oC. On the bright side, there are not many tourists and prices are lower (except for the Easter week). Main season events and Festivals include:

  • January 5th – 3 Kings Day Festival held on the eve of the Epiphany.
  • March 20th – 26th Holy Week (Semana Santa) with Easter parades on Good Friday.

General Landscape & Climate

Barcelona is a lively city located on a plain crossed by the river of Besos, to the north, and Llobregat in the south west, with the Tibidabo mountains embracing the city in a semi-circle. The Mediterranean faces Barcelona to the southeast. Its climate is mild, although windy at times, but the mountains form a protective barrier against the harsher cold winds blowing in from the north and west. August is the warmest month of the year with an average of 24oC. According to the National Geographic, Barcelona boasts one of the most charming coasts in Europe. To enhance your stay in Barcelona pick one of the best hotels in key locations of the city!

The City’s character

Barri Gotic Barcelona

Barri Gotic (“Gothic Quarter”)

The main attraction for visitors to Barcelona is the Barri Gotic (“Gothic Quarter”) in the heart of the Old City. It is located between the “Ramblas” -a famous tree-lined picturesque mall, stretching for 1.2 kilometers connecting Plaça de Catalunya with Port Vell– and the Via Laietana. The narrow streets are alive with impressive medieval buildings. Visitors crowd the Palau de la Generalitat (the Casa de la Ciudad) which is a 14th-15th century building with Baroque and Neoclassical façades. Tree-lined boulevards are beset with stalls and kiosks which sell anything from books, flowers and newspapers to pets. The visitor can walk down to the port and Plaça Portal de la Pau and marvel a monument built to commemorate the discovery of America – an event announced in Barcelona in 1493.

Barcelona forms a unique architectural amalgam, blending its prolific history and multiple cultural layers. The most striking however is the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Familia) made by the Catalan sculptor and architect Antonio Gaudi, which has became Barcelona’s “Eiffel Tower”. The Palau de la Musica is another archtectural marvel, featuring though a modernist style.

The city also hosts a zoo in the Parc de la Ciutadella and amusement parks on Tibidabo and Monjuich – a widely popular attraction for families who prefer weekend breaks to Barcelona.

Art and history enthusiasts that consider a city break to Barcelona have plenty of options – numerous museums and art galleries invite the attention of multitudes from around the world.

Some widely popular points of cultural interest are:

  • The Maritime museum with a full-sized replica of a galley from the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
  • The Waxworks museum.
  • The National museum of Art of Catalonia (Romanesque and Gothic paintings).
  • The Federico Mares museum (12th to 18th century sculpture).
  • The Museum of Modern Art with works of contemporary Catalan artists as well as collections of Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso.
  • The Casa de Cervantes which commemorates the city’s association with the writings of Miguel de Cervantes.

The Roman Theatre (Teatro Romea) is the scene for Catalan-language drama since the 19th century. The Catalan language was officially recognised in the late 1970s and brought about a new cultural awareness for all things Catalonian. The Palau de la Musica is the home of the city’s classical symphony orchestra.

Unique City Break Feature: whenever you choose to make a short city break to Barcelona, there is plenty to see and do.

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