Things to Do in Barcelona - page 5
Music lover or not, you’re bound to walk away singing a satisfied tune after visiting this museum. Barcelona’s Music Museum (Museu de la Música) sets out to take visitors on an educational and sweet-sounding tour through the evolution of music across culture and time — and all via its on-display collection of some 500 instruments.
While exploring the museum’s exhibits, you’ll have the chance to check out one of the world’s most important collections of classic guitars, and even play some tunes yourself on various instruments via an interactive gallery. The experience is all the more rich given the themed itineraries, including one for the general public, another for youngsters, and others that are more specialized.
A trip to Barcelona isn’t complete without sampling some of Catalonia’s renowned wines, and Bodegas Torres—Spain’s largest winery—is the perfect place to start. A sprawling vineyard that reaches across the Penedès region, the winery is owned by the Torres family, whose winemaking legacy dates back more than 140 years.
Barcelona teems with modernist architecture, including several notable buildings by famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Fans of this architectural style can immerse themselves in it with a short trip south to Colonia Güell, a modernist industrial village commissioned by Eusebi Güell and home to a Gaudi-designed crypt.
Designed to resemble a fortified medieval castle, Torre Bellesguard is an underrated gem from modernist Antoni Gaudí. Striking features include oddly angled gabled windows, narrow walkways, crenellated walls, and a tower topped with a mosaic representing the Catalan flag. The interior is awash with Gothic and art nouveau detailing.
In a city filled with gardens, Barcelona's Labyrinth Park of Horta (Parc del Laberint d'Horta) ranks among the oldest and least known. Once a private estate, the park contains an 18th-century neoclassical garden, 19th-century romantic garden, and a popular hedge maze. Visitors can still see the original mansion, built in neo-Gothic and neo-Arabic styles.
The Barcelona Museum of Modernism (Museu del Modernisme) is the only museum in the city dedicated to displaying Catalan modernist art. It was converted from a textile factory in 2010, and exhibits some of the finest pieces of art nouveau furniture constructed in Catalunya. Most of the collection comes from two antique dealers, who have added their private collection to be shared with the public. There are over 350 works of art across several mediums, with premier modernista artists like Ramón Casas, Joan Busquets, and of course, Antoni Gaudi. A range of everything from paintings and sculptures to decorative arts and furniture can be found. The museum has become a bit of a cultural center for the city, unique to showcasing this very specific type of art created right in Catalunya.
The museum is housed in a modernista building designed by architect Enric Sagnier, with original floors kept intact. Don’t miss Gaudi’s couch designed in the shape of lips, or the exquisite stained glass on the first floor.
Tucked away among the countless alleyways and courtyards of Barcelona’s atmospheric BarrioGotico(Gothic Quarter) east of Las Ramblas, triangular George Orwell Square (Plaça de George Orwell) is named after the English author whose novel Homage to Catalonia was published in 1938 after he had spent six months fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. He lived in the square briefly and a small plaque marks his house. Formerly a grungy backwater of the Barrio, the square has been radically refurbished and cleaned up alongside much of Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (Old City), and now has a lively, Bohemian atmosphere; it is surrounded by tall, narrow townhouses decorated with wrought-iron balconies and by
cafés, bars and (many vegetarian) restaurants, whose tables spread out on to the square in sunny weather. Standing tall in the center of the square is a bizarre, swirling metal installation by Surrealist Catalan sculptor Leandre Cristòfol.
Don’t be fooled — the beach isn’t the only reason to make it to Sitges; in fact, it might not even be the top one. A visit to the city’s Cau Ferrat Museum (Museu del Cau Ferrat) will quickly prove this is to be the case given its eclectic collection of art, odds and ends that will keep your eyes dazzled for days.
Relatively small in size, the museum’s venue was originally founded in 1893 (later opened to the public in 1933) by Santiago Rusiñol as a fisherman home-turned-home workshop. What awaits visitors now is a veritable temple of Modernisme times, which includes a seemingly never-ending collection of items ranging from ceramics to medieval doorknobs and keys, colorful tile work, artwork by Rusiñol’s contemporaries (such as Picasso), and what is said to be the world’s largest collection of wrought iron — among a lot more. Between the items on display, the historic home, and the unbeatable views of the sea, you’ll be glad you found your way to this impressive treasure in Sitges.
The highest mountain in the Collserola range surrounding Barcelona, Mt. Tibidabo offers one of the city’s most magnificent view points. There are several places to take in the 360-degree vistas, including the neo-Gothic Sagrat Cor Cathedral, Torre de Collserola TV tower, and the popular Parque de Atracciones amusement park.
Experience winter on the beach and cool off at Icebarcelona, the world’s first beachfront ice bar. Located in the Port Olímpic neighborhood on the Barcelona waterfront, visitors can enjoy cocktails and dancing in this unique bar where everything is made of ice—including the walls, bar, seats, and decor, and the temperature is kept at a chilly -20ºF (-5ºC).
More Things to Do in Barcelona
Become part of the artwork at the Museum of Illusions in Barcelona, one of the first such attractions in Europe. More than 70 large-scale 3D paintings on walls and floors create eye-popping scenes that allow you to literally put yourself into the picture, using optical illusions to create a backdrop for photographs of your own.
The Gaudí House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudí) was the home of architect Antoni Gaudí for the last 20 years of his life. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1952 to celebrate the centennial of his birth year. The artist designed pieces of furniture that fill the house, and walls are covered with his drawings and other original artwork.
Discover the history of one of the world’s most well-known rum brands at Casa Bacardí Sitges, a museum in the birthplace of Casa Bacardí’s founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó. Learn about the rum production process, immerse yourself in a cocktail making class, or enjoy a drink in the Bacardí Lounge Bar.
At the Gaudí Experience (Gaudí Experiència), visitors learn more about the life and works of Barcelona’s favorite son through a series of interactive touchscreens, unpublished models, and a 4D film that takes you through the city streets to some of the Catalan architect’s most enduring masterpieces. Kids have their own area to explore Gaudí’s architecture.
Entertainment, culture, history, and even a scare — these are all things you can expect to find at the Barcelona Wax Museum. Housed in a fancy 19th-century neoclassical palace of sorts, the museum is home to over 300 characters, both real and fictitious.
Wandering the museum’s exceptionally staged galleries, you’ll come face to face with a range of noteworthy figures, such as kings and queens, politicians, and painters, singers and actors. From Albert Einstein to Catalan surrealist Salvador Dali, and frightful personalities such as Frankenstein, there’s no shortage of surprising characters that will stand in your path. The quirkiness doesn’t stop at the wax figures, either, as the museum also has two eccentric cafés — one in the theme of a forested fairytale, the other an avant-garde paradise of origami.
Located in Barcelona’s Born neighborhood, the European Museum of Modern Art (Museo Europeo de Arte Moderno, or MEAM) displays a collection of contemporary figurative art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The collection features thousands of works from artists from all five continents, with a focus on young Spanish artists.
Salt Mountain is one of the largest and most important salt mines in the world. Visitors can tour the 280-foot-deep mine to see its beautiful formations, like jagged stalactites, stalagmites, and deposits of potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Streaks of gray and reddish-brown salts add to the mountain cave’s natural beauty.
Learn all about the beer brewing process and what goes into each bottle of this popular Mediterranean beer on a guided tour of the Estrella Damm Factory in Barcelona. See the brewhouse, fermentation and lagering tanks, and the bottling plant, then sample four different beers, all made by the brewery, in a guided tasting experience.
Escape the Sitges sun and explore an artistic delight by visiting the Maricel Museum (Museu de Maricel). The museum is housed in a former seaside home that was built in the early 1900s for a wealthy American. What remains is a tribute to artistic development in Sitges and Catalonia that spans medieval art to the first half of the 20th century.
What you’ll find here is everything from paintings to sculptures and furniture, which cover artistic periods such as Romanticism, Renaissance and Baroque, Realism, Modernisme and the Luminist School. The artwork isn’t the only thing that will capture your eye, either, as it is housed in a spectacular building emblematic of Noucentisme, and which offers incredible views of the sea. Come here for the art, for the architecture, and simply to wander one of Sitges’ most rich, welcoming and intriguing connections to the past.
Set amid the lush forests and rolling vineyards of the Catalonian countryside, this former Benedictine monastery is among the region’s most impressively preserved medieval sites. The painstakingly restored complex is much more than a historic site; it’s a thriving cultural heritage center combining gastronomy, art, and leisure.
El Tablao de Carmen is one of Barcelona’s best flamenco shows, honoring one of the world’s greatest flamenco dancers, Carmen Amaya. Known for her skill, passion, technique, and fiery personality, Carmen—a native of Barcelona—performed at this very site for King Alfonso XIII of Spain during the opening of the 1929 Universal Exposition.
Explore works of contemporary Catalan art at the Fran Daurel Foundation (Fundació Fran Daurel). Located within the Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) in Montjuïc, the museum is home to a permanent collection of more than 300 works, an outdoor sculpture garden with more than 40 sculptures, and frequent temporary exhibitions.
Spanning an area of 38 square miles (98 square kilometers), Delta del Llobregat is one Catalonia’s most important wetland zones and its second largest delta. Here you will find 20 natural habitats and designated areas of conservation that support a rich biodiversity of plant species—and make it an excellent spot for bird-watching.
Situated on the banks of the Llogrebat River on the outskirts of Barcelona, RCDE Stadium is the home field of the RCD Espanyol football (soccer) club, one of the top teams in the Spanish league and the crosstown rival of FC Barcelona. Built in 2009, the 40,000-capacity stadium ranks among the best sporting venues in Spain.
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