Barcelona is fast establishing itself as the leading cruise port in the Mediterranean, thanks to its massive cruise terminal, modern international airport and, of course, the appeal of the city itself.
A short hop from the Balearic Islands, it’s a well-placed hub for cruises around the Western Mediterranean to Spanish, French and Italian ports, whilst some itineraries go as far east as Greece, Turkey and the Adriatic.
The most important city of Catalonia as well as being the administrative capital, Barcelona has a population of around 1.6 million, and is the second largest city in Spain and the largest on the Mediterranean coast. Nestled between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, Barcelona enjoys a mild sunny climate. The people are lively and active, immensely proud of their Catalonian culture, as seen by the use of their own Catalonian language in books and newspapers and on television and radio.
Plenty to see and do in Barcelona
As well as the perfect place to stay for a couple of days either before or after your cruise, Barcelona is a popular port of call with many. Filled with art, culture and beauty, it’s certainly not hard to see why.
Whilst you’re there stroll along the narrow streets of the Gothic quarter which dates back to Roman times; marvel at the street performers, living statues, painters, hustlers and just plain loonies along ‘Las Ramblas’ (one of the most famous streets in Europe) or spend your time admiring Antoní Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces.
One of Gaudí’s major works – and Barcelona’s No.1 Tourist Attraction – is ‘La Sagrada Familia’, which has been under construction since 1882. A truly magnificent building, it’s an absolute must-see. Gaudí’s other works include the ‘Church of Colònia Güell’, ‘Casa Calvet’ and ‘Casa Milà’ or La Pedrera as it’s known, an impressive wavy building at the Passeig de Gracia. It goes without saying; Barcelona really is a visual delight.
That’s not all. There’s plenty more to see too, all in a compact space. From the ‘Picasso Museum’ and ‘City History Museum’ to the magnificent ‘Camp Nou football stadium’ (the behind the scenes tour is a must), Barcelona really does offer something for everyone. For the most amazing views, take a scenic cable car from the train station to the top of ‘Montserrat’, the holy mountain just outside of Barcelona.
Filled with numerous boutiques and markets, Barcelona is also a shopping Mecca – avid shoppers will not be disappointed. ‘Passeig de Gracia’ is one of the major streets for shopping in Barcelona. Selling everything from food to art, Barcelona’s markets are definitely worth a visit too. After you’ve had your shopping fix, be sure to stop for tapas– it’s delicious.
Most visitors to the city use Barcelona’s reliable Metro system – it offers a quick and convenient way to get around the city. Metro tickets can be bought on the day of journey or beforehand inside the station. During the summer months, the hop-on hop-off tourist ‘Bus Turistic’ links all main sights and tourist destinations offering a great way to see Barcelona’s popular attractions. When it comes to taxis, they’re plentiful and not too pricey – a good option late at night.
The perfect port of call
Barcelona is for everyone and anyone seeking sunshine, delicious food, excellent shopping and, of course, awe inspiring architecture. A destination that wows, fascinates and entertains, Barcelona is all you could possibly want from a destination and so much more.
By Ian Lewis