As most Americans and Europeans know, Barcelona, Spain is soaked in history that has been beautifully preserved. In addition, there are many twentieth century wonders to enjoy. For many, in the four regions of Catalunya, the area encompassing Barcelona, the modern attractions are really the thing to see. Barcelona is a busy, thriving city, and with so many attractions, it is a big tourist destination. To be able to see and enjoy all that Barcelona has to offer, be sure you plan your trip well by using guides and maps. There is so much to see in the way of entertainment, celebrations and exhibitions, that you must be well prepared in order to take advantage of as much as possible.
If you are interested in seeing some examples of the modern art movement, be sure to visit Guell Park. The works of the famous architect, Antonio Gaudi are the prime focus of this park. Just about every one of the benches, balconies, walls and, of course, buildings are works of art in the hands of this artistic genius. You will find no end to the interesting things you will want to photograph, so be sure you have plenty of film on hand. Next, see Gaudi’s chef d’oeuvre in the fantastic Sagrada Familia Church. Though this monument has an antique look about it, it was only started in 1883, and it has been continually added onto and developed throughout the twentieth century.
Another interesting spot you must put on your agenda in Barcelona is the Barcelona Zoo. Founded in 1892, it is the home of some of the most exotic species in the world. The setting is stunning since a private collection was donated to the city in the very center of the city, near the port area of La Ciutat Vella (Beautiful City). More than 7,500 different animals live in the Barcelona Zoo, and include a small pygmy hippopotamus, an odd anteater, tortoises with colored shells, pelicans, American buffalos and a red kangaroo as the most popular attractions. An extensive primate collection is a source of pride for this Zoo. You can get a nice closeup of each of these residents, and the zoo is pleasant to visit all year round, since the climate in the Catalunya area that includes Barcelona is never extremely cold. If you want to visit the Aquarama Barcelona (an aquatic park within the zoo), however, you will have to do it during the warm months. This lovely aquatic park shows many marine animals, and there are daily shows of the bottlenose dolphins. The Barcelona Zoo is not just for fun, however. It also has a highly respected research program that breeds many species in captivity and is instrumental in protecting endangered species.
Be sure to make time to visit Las Ramblas promenade, in the heart of the Ciutat Vella. It is a constant, colorful street show, that is a symbol of lively Barcelona. Flowers abound in the streets, and the floral displays are living art. It also boasts one of the best food markets, “Bouqueria”. A visit to this market is a do not miss event.
When Spain hosted the Olymics in 1992, the entire port area was renovated into a beautiful park where the Olympics took place. In this new Coastal Park, you will find such fine hotels as the Arts Hotel, Mapfre Towers and Nova Icaria Square. The twin towers of Nova Icaria Square marked the Olypic village and is still a site to be visited today. It is also here that the Olympic torch was lit before it moved on to the Olympic games in Greece in 2004. The year 2004 also marked the advent of the Barcelona Forum, which welcomes travelers from all over the world to this stunning European city.