Top 5 places to see in Barcelona on your Mediterranean cruise
Barcelona, Spain, is a favorite port of call on any Mediterranean cruise. Southern Europe is steeped in history, and Barcelona is no exception. It’s nearly impossible to fit everything there is to see in this beautiful Spanish city nestled on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, which is why we have created this quick guide to five of our favorite places to visit on this stop.
As the second largest city in Spain and one of the world’s most important tourism, economic, trade and cultural centers, Barcelona has something for everyone. The city is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, and so many attractions you’ll want to extend your visit. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia – Often cited as the first place any visitor to Barcelona should see, the Basilica towers over much of the city and is difficult to miss. Begun in the late 1800s, parts of the Basilica are still unfinished today, with an anticipated completion date of 2026. This massive stone and mortar structure has a planned 18 spires, expected to reach 560 feet when completed. The design, by Antoni Gaudí, is said to be unrivaled by any other church building in the world.
Afternoon trip to Montserrat – Schedule an afternoon trip to Montserrat and see Spain’s famed natural park and mountain. Visitors can hike or climb the hillside, enjoy a picnic in the mountain’s shadow or visit the Benedictine monastery by cable car – a beautiful way to take in the surrounding valleys while traveling to the mountain’s peak.
Walk the Gothic Quarter – Barcelona is known for varying architectural styles, none so prominent as in the Gothic Quarter. This section of the city is a historic walking area, with beautiful architecture to take in while visiting the many shops and restaurants. You could get lost wandering the many streets, alongside the centuries old buildings, churches and alleys that line its corridors.
Visit Barcelona’s many museums – The city’s science museum offers a unique look into natural sciences, from its recreated flooded Amazon jungle to the planetarium. Visitors can tour rock formations cut from the earth to view the effects of volcanism and erosion of the ages, or learn about the evolution of the universe in The Hall of Matter. For those more interested in art, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) offers a wide collection of paintings, sculpture and murals from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Modern periods.
Tour the UNESCO World Heritage sites – Guell Palace is a historic building also designed by Antoni Gaudí. Originally a mansion commissioned by industrialist Eusebi Güell, the building is now a UNESCO World Heritage site open to the public for touring. Another breathtaking building visitors should see is the Palau de la Música Catalana, or Palace of Catalan Music, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. This UNESCO World Heritage site still serves as a concert hall, as well as a historic landmark heralding to the age of the Catalan cultural movement. (For more information on UNESCO, check out our previous blog, “What is UNESCO World Heritage?”)
There are many more sites to see in Barcelona, but these are a few of our favorites. Book your Mediterranean cruise today and explore the city to discover your favorite locations.
Call a CruiseExperts.com agent today to get started on planning your Mediterranean journey. Not only can we coordinate your travel arrangements, we’re also here to provide tips on fun things to do in places like Barcelona. Call 1-888-804-CRUISE (2784), visit our website at www.CruiseExperts.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Brandt joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in November 2011. She has been working with the marketing team in many capacities. Her new role is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. She studied journalism and writing in college and was a writer for The Campus newspaper for two years at the College of the Sequoias. She is also currently working on her Bachelor’s degree.