Category Archives: Barcelona

Relax at Parc de la Ciutadella

Pass the Arc de Triomf and through Passeig de Lluís Companys, lays a spectacular park. Ciutadella Park is one of the main public parks in Barcelona, Spain. The park is filled with history. The abundant amounts of attractions make it appealing to locals, as well as tourists.

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Tourists sometimes overlook the park. Compared to the other sites in Barcelona, the park doesn’t always get enough credit. However, having fewer tourists is what makes the park peaceful. This way, it isn’t too crowded. Ciutadella Park is a calm park in a busy city.

barcelona97-620x413In 1888, Spain hosted its first International World’s Fair. The fair was to celebrate the removal of the despised, military citadel. The 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition took place at Ciutadella Park. Over two million people were present. Most of the park was designed specifically for the fair. All the buildings had specific purpose. Since the fair, the park’s layout has been modified.

At 70 acres, Ciutadella Park is bigger than ordinary parks. There is much more going on. Individuals spend their time wondering the trails or walking their dogs. It is a great place to get exercise. People will go jogging or ride their bikes through the park. There are plenty of things to do and see.

Parc Zoologic is known to be the main attraction in the park. Housing over 7,000 animals, the zoo attracts many tourists. In the past, many individuals would visit the zoo to see Snowflake, the famous, albino gorilla. Sadly, Snowflake passed away in 2004. Located at the end of the park, the zoo is still the most popular aspect.

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In the center of the park stands Parliament de Cataluña. This is the original building for the military of the citadel. Parliament de Cataluña is the oldest building in the park. Even though the public isn’t allowed inside, it is still admired. Occasionally, there are private tours provided.

The Cascada is a large fountain located in the corner of the park. Built by Josep Fontsère in 1888, the fountain was another addition for the Universal Exposition. Antoni Gaudí was said to have many contributions to the architecture. Two staircases on either side of the fountain are available to climb for a better view of the park. For drinks or a snack, a small café sits in front of the fountain. Many individuals relax on the benches and listen to the waterfall.

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Fontsere
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Gaudi

One of the most scenic sites of the park is the lake. The palm trees surround the lake makes the area more picturesque. The lake is known to be a romantic spot for the visitors. Boats are available to the public to ride. Many families and couples are seen rowing boats on the lake. Next to the lake is one of the thickest vegetation. There is a variety of vegetation that grows here that is picketed with signs.

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The park also offers a few museums. The Laboratory of Nature holds a museum of zoology and geology. There are exhibits for all ages. The museum of zoology holds exhibits for minerals, animals, and birds. The original building for the museum of zoology was used in the Universal Exposition. Francisco Martorell i Peña donated his collection of artifacts to the museum of geology. The building was constructed for the purpose of storing his artifacts. This was the first museum in Barcelona.

In between the building of the two museums, stands the Umbracle. This is another building built for the fair. The building is now used for a green house. Inside, palm trees and tropical plants cover the area. The roof is made of transparent to allow the light to shine through.

The park is a great place for families and kids. Parents take their children to play on the playgrounds at the park. There is an enormous statue of a mammoth that kids are free to climb on. Many schools lead their students on field trips to the park during the day.

This is a great recommendation for a place to visit in Barcelona, Spain. Parc de la Ciutadella has something for everyone. It has activities and history. The park is peaceful and active. For locals or tourists, the park is a great place to spend time. Whether someone wants visit the zoo or unwind, it is beautiful.

As for myself, I love to visit the park. It lived up to my expectations. Click below to hear and see my personal experiences at the park!

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Guide to Being a “Tour Guide”

Organizing a trip for someone else can be difficult. A visitor has a limited amount of time he or she is in a city. It is important to show them the main aspects. When showing someone Barcelona, it can sometimes be hard to chose where to take him or her. There are so many attractions.

When a visitor is coming for a short period of time, it is important be a “tour guide”. Before he or she arrives in Barcelona, these four steps are important to do:

  1. Plan the events ahead of time. A guest will appreciate that the trip has already been organized and thought through.
  2. Schedule any tours ahead of time. Booking tours online can avoid long lines and possibly offer a cheaper price.
  3. Map out an easy route to a destination before going. It is easy to get lost and it will save time to know how to get somewhere.
  4. Do the research. Make sure the site is worth taking a visitor. Their time is valuable.

Take Mary and Malinda for example. Mary has been studying abroad in Barcelona for almost three months. A few days ago, her best friend from home arrived from Chicago. Malinda will be staying with her for one week. Mary revealed how she showed Malinda Barcelona in a few days.

Putting together Mary and Malinda’s experiences, here is an ultimate guide when it comes to being a “tour guide” in Barcelona.

Montjuïc

Montjuïc is a large hill overlooking the city of Barcelona. The hill has few main elements to show your visitor.  The metro stop Espanya can be taken to the Magic Fountain. Built in the 1920’s, fountain has become a popular site among tourists.IMG_4563IMG_4577

After passing the Magic Fountain, there are many stairs leading to Palau Nacional. This is the national museum of Catalan art. Inside the massive building is art from the early 1900’s.

Pass the museum and farther up the hill are venues that held the 1992 Summer Olympics. Occasionally, Estadi Olímpic Lluís Company will be open to take pictures. This stadium held the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Olympics. Originally, each of the buildings were built in 1927 as Olympic arenas, but this was cancelled due to the Spanish Civil War.

Lastly, a guest may want to visit the Montjuïc Castle. The cable car to castle is highly recommended. The cable car costs around 12.50 euro. It comes with a ride above high views of the city of Barcelona. It is only 2.50 euro to enter the castle. At the top, more views of the ocean and the city are available. The castle was originally built in 1640 but was renovated many times due to certain events that happened.

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Tibidado is the tallest mountain to overlook the area. The mountain has two impressive features. First, the mountain has an amusement park placed on top. This amusement park is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1899. A ferris wheel, roller-coaster, and a red airplane ride are just a few of the rides that are available.

Second, is the Sagrat Cor church built in the late 1900’s. It is free to step inside but costs to go to the top. An elevator can be taken to the top of the church. Though, that is not the highest you can go. Two separate, spiral staircase can be climbed to get to the next levels. The views at the top are the highest point of Barcelona.

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Sagrada Famillia

The most popular church in Barcelona is Sagrada Famillia. The creator of the church is Antoni Gaudí, who has designed many of the buildings in Barcelona. The church began in 1882 and is still undergoing construction. The building is hoping to be finished by 2030. Planned tours with a guide or audio is also available. The long lines can be avoided by purchasing the tickets ahead of time online.

Food

The guest has to eat. From Spanish food to American food, Barcelona has great options. Spain is known for their tapas and paella. There are many restaurants that serve both. The beach is said to have some of the best restaurants and also has a nice view of the ocean while eating. Popular tapas can be patatas bravas, tomato bread, or croquettes. Sangria is usually added to any tapas meal.

Nightlife

It is important to show your guest a good time. Barcelona is known for having the best nightlife in all of Europe. Here are a few suggestions of where to bring a guest at night in Barcelona.

Clubs: Opium, Sutton, Shoko

Bars: The Room, The W Hotel, Chupitos

Last week, Lillie came from Chicago to visit her friend, Kara, who is studying in Barcelona. Kara played “tour guide” for Lillie and documented one of their days. Here is a sample of a day that could be spent by someone and his or her guest.

Have more time? Here are a few more recommendations to bring a visitor in Barcelona.

Birthday in Barca

March 16th

In the United States, turning 21 is suppose to be the biggest birthday you’ve ever had. Finally, you are legal to have your first drink of alcohol and get into any bar you want. You want to make sure it is epic. Even though I would be celebrating my 21st birthday in Barcelona and I am already technically legal, I wanted it to be just as epic. My friends made sure to make it the best birthday. They definitely succeeded.

My alarm was set for 6am. My best friend, Lillie was flying in from Chicago to help me celebrate. I’ve missed her so much. This was already a great birthday present. She arrived at my apartment and I couldn’t have been happier. It was early but I had no desire to sleep anymore. We talked on our balcony until I had class. My other roommates surprised me with candy from Happy Pills. 

Luckily, my first two classes let us out early. Lillie met me on La Rambla for a birthday lunch. She was pleased with her first meal of tapas. I was so excited to show her my new city. After lunch, we went shopping in the area. Lillie bought a few souvenirs from street vendors. We made sure to stop by Pull & Bear and H&M. We also visited the biggest supermarket, Boqueria on La Rambla for treats. Lillie loves chocolate and any time of sweets, just like me. One more class and it was back to the apartment to get ready for the night.

My three roommates had already got the music started. “Kara’s 21st” Playlist was blasting the room and everyone was singing to me. The night started with all of my best friends and eating dinner at CDLC along the beach. Everyone loved the elegant atmosphere. After dinner, we met more of my friends at The Room. My new friends from Valencia made sure to stop by. A club promoter in the area set us up with a table and free drinks for the whole night. It was so nice to have all of my new and old friends all in one place.

Around midnight, everyone made their way over to the club, Shoko. The promoter provided us with bottle service, VIP, and sparklers for all of my friends. Everyone loved it. Ending the night at Opium, we danced and were lucky enough to receive another VIP table. It was the perfect night.

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So, even though I wasn’t in the states, it was the best birthday I have ever had. With a great group of friends, the location hardly matters. If you are celebrating your birthday in Barcelona, I have a few tips!

  • Contact a club promotor
    • You can do this via Facebook. Add them as friends and send one a message. They are happy to help!
  • Have a nice dinner with your closed pals
    • CDLC was a great choice for dinner. It was perfect with the amount of people I invited so it wasn’t too overwhelming.
  • Have no worries!
    • This is your day! Make the most of it by letting lose and having a great time.