The Catalan capital, Barcelona, is one of the world’s most popular tourist hotspots – charming visitors for hundreds of years. With an array of beautiful, relaxed criss-crossing streets running through the city – offering an authentic taste of Catalan life; the city manages to retain a charming old world aesthetic whilst remaining decidedly modern.
Perhaps the greatest draw of Barcelona is the complete freedom to do as much or as little as you choose, without feeling like you’ve wasted an opportunity. Whether you choose to take in the city’s stunning sights such as Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia or simply tour the city on foot, sampling tapas as you go, Barcelona offers something for all paces and all purposes.
But if you’ve just got one night in Barcelona as part of a cruise trip around the Mediterranean, how do you really make the most of the opportunity? How do you choose just what to eat, what to see and where to stay? Not to toot our horn, but we reckon we can shed a little light, and help you enjoy one perfect night in Barcelona.
As mentioned above, first-time visitors really have to take in the incomparable majesty of the Sagrada Familia. Despite being incomplete almost 100 years after the death of the architect Antoni Gaudi, the Roman Catholic church has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – considered to be completely unique in the history of art and architecture.
The façade of the church creates a stunning spectacle, towering above the Barcelona skyline with a honeycomb-esque design. Visitors will be charmed inside where they will be able to bask in the beautiful halls with pillars designed to mimic trees climbing up to the heavens above.
We’ve already alluded to this, but why restrict yourself to just one restaurant or bar when searching for food in the Catalan city. Take in as many restaurants in the El Poble-sec neighbourhood of the city as possible – stopping for tapas dishes and the odd glass of wine.
Despite being bang in the middle of the city, El Poble-sec manages to retain an authentic charm unspoilt by the modern world. Additionally, many of the bars have kept their prices down even amidst the massive popularity of the city with tourists.
The fact that Timeout magazine managed to list their 100 top bars in the city, suggests you won’t be struggling to find a beautiful spot to enjoy a well-earned glass of red wine (or something stronger) after exploring the city.
The city is rich with exceptional wine cellars, providing visitors and locals the chance to sample the local tipple in cool and authentic surroundings. If you manage to time your visit when Celler Can Dani holds one of their charming wine tasting evenings – you are truly in for a treat.
Located in the trendy La Rambla region, the Hotel 1898 is located in a 19th century building – mixing historical and modern facilities. If you are visiting during the warmer or milder months of the year, the heated wood-deck rooftop terrace is the perfect place to watch the sun go down.
The hotel is conveniently located close to a number of major sights and hotspots – ideal for a whirlwind one night stay in the city.
If you’ve got time to fit a quick feed in before you are due to get back on the ship – Barcelona’s tapas bars and restaurants are teeming with exceptional brunch dishes. Mixing traditional Catalan tastes with breakfast standards, Picnic is one of the city’s best locations for a laid back brunch at the start of the day.
Located on the Carrer del Comerç, highlights of Picnic’s brunch menu include breakfast tapas and the stunning Salmon Gravlax – salmon cured in salt and dill, served on rye toast.
Whether you’re looking for a trip to Barcelona or any other port city all around the world – Cruise1st offer a huge selection of deals aboard all of the world’s best-loved cruise lines. Visit our homepage, or call us now on 0800 230 0655, for a full range of deals.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Jesus Solana, jhiker, claire rowland, Miguel Checa