If you’re booking a cruise of the Western Mediterranean, it’s a great opportunity to get to know the city where your cruise begins or ends. If you’re flying to Europe and back, it simply makes sense to spend a few extra days in one of the region’s beautiful, historic cities.
Barcelona, capitol of the Catalonia region of Spain, is a home port for several cruise lines. This enchanting city is full of wonderful art, culture, food, architecture and sports, all at the edge of the sparkling Mediterranean.
You can spend hours strolling La Rambla, Barcelona’s busiest and most famous boulevard. It starts at Plaça de Catalunya, a lovely square that’s considered the center of the city: this is where delirious FC Barcelona fans celebrate when the beloved soccer team wins yet another cup. The tree-lined boulevard proceeds toward the Mediterranean, threading between the Gothic Quarter, the center of the old city, and the El Raval neighborhood, known for its nightlife. Along the way, you’ll see mosaics by artists Joan Miro, the Liceu opera house, the bustling La Bouqueria market, and the Font de Canaletes, a popular meeting spot. La Rambla ends at the old city port, graced with an impressive statue of Christopher Columbus.
If you stay in or near the Gothic Quarter, you’ll easily be able to explore its maze of narrow streets. Here, you can see remnants of the old Roman wall, stroll around and through medieval churches, tour the old Jewish quarter and visit the Picasso Museum. Many old buildings now house delightful boutiques and cozy places to enjoy some tapas. It’s also an easy walk to La Barceloneta, the city’s lovely beachfront neighborhood.
Barcelona is full of fabulous architecture, including buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. His organic and playful style is best seen in beautiful Park Guell: you’ll be amazed by the mosaic work on the main terrace, the colonnaded pathways, and the whimsical entrance buildings. Not far away, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Basilica is the best-known symbol of Barcelona, despite having been continuously under construction since 1882. It’s spectacular, both inside and out.
Indulge in the cuisine of Catalonia, which favors fresh vegetables, seafood and pork. Sample some of the sweet and savory cocas (something like a flatbread pizza), with crema catalana for dessert and some sparkling cava wine.
For more ideas for spending time in Barcelona, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.