Barcelona is the avant-garde capital of the Mediterranean, let there be no doubt about it!
This is the city where art, music, culture, architecture, dance and technology thrive. Where the sun shines almost every day, and its gourmet cuisine lures millions of visitors year after year. Bask on its sandy beaches and turquoise sea under the sun, and put on your best outfit under the moon as you stroll down to its cafes, shops and chic clubs!
A Little Bit of History
Barcelona is more than 2,000 years old, and in that long period it has seen many ups and downs, but evidently the ups greatly outnumbered the downs.
Park Guell in Barcelona
One of many legends has it that the Carthaginian emperor conquered it in the 3rd century BC and non-selfishly named the settlement upon himself – Barca.
However, Romans started developing the city in the first centuries AD, and their name – Barcino – somehow stuck.
So many other angry and greedy armies came and went in subsequent centuries, such as Visigoths and Moors, all leaving their traces.
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Since the 12th century AD Barcelona was under the Aragon and Spanish monarchies, and during those centuries it rose to greater importance, as it was the largest settlement in Catalonia and the biggest port in Iberian peninsula, earning a lot of income and wealth.
18th and 19th centuries were the boom times for Barcelona.
Casa Mila in Barcelona
It jumped on the wave of Industrial Revolution, something which entered irreversibly into the genes of its people and is evident very much today as well.
It was even included in the exercise of measuring the distance between Dunkirk, Paris and itself in order to establish the unit of “Meter”.
It hosted the great Barcelona Exhibition right after Napoleon’s fall, and that had a spectacular effect on its architecture.
The Port of Barcelona
Barcelona was the birthplace of Modernistas, the artist-architects who were its equivalent of the Art Nuveau movement elsewhere in Europe. The most prominent Modernista was, of course, none other than Antoni Gaudi!
Walking today through this city makes you stand in awe when you come across the crazy, crooked, extraordinary buildings designed by Gaudi.
From Sagrada Familia, the unbelievable church started in 1888, to Casa Mila with no straight walls, to Casa Batllo’s intricate facade, Gaudi pushed this capital of Catalonia far, far beyond a conventional city that loves art.
Casa Batllo in Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the most interesting and lively cities in the world, which even survived 40 years of Franko’s dictatorship, bombing by Italian forces during Spanish Civil War, and even the Great Plague in 17th century, and has emerged victorious.
Since hosting 1992 Olympic Games it has developed unstoppably, and today with its beaches, cuisine, art, love of life and fantastic setting on the Mediterranean Sea – it is an absolute must-see!
Where is Barcelona?
- 308.9 milies/ 613 km from Madrid, Spain
- 218.7 miles/ 352 km from Valencia, Spain
- 166.5 miles/268 km from Palma de Mallorca, Spain
- 328 miles/ 528 km from Alicante, Spain
- 9.9 miles/ 16 km from Barcelona-El Prat Airport, Spain
- 219.9 miles/ 354 km from Valencia Manises Airport, Spain
- 332.4 miles/ 535 km from Alicante-Elche Airport, Spain
Things to See
- Antoni Gaudi’s architectural wonders – Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila (or Pedrera), Casa Batllo, Casa Vicens, Park Guell, Palau Guell
- La Rambla
- Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter)
- Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat
- Picasso and Juan Miro Museums
- Museu Maritim
- Port Vell
- Monument a Colom
- Castel de Montjuic
Palau National (National Palace) in Barcelona
- Sant Sebastia
- Montserrat Monastery
Casa Batllo at Night in Barcelona
Cruise And Stay Holidays – Barcelona
If you’re cruising the Mediterranean by ship, this city is the departure port or a must-see port of call for many cruise ships.
As such it is a prime destination for cruise and stay holidays, either before or after your Mediterranean cruise.
As it is true for other great cities on the Mediterranean coast – you’ll do yourself a great disservice if you just fly in, embark, disembark 10 days later, and fly out. Don’t do that, please! 🙁
There are so many hotels in Barcelona to choose from – book one for at least a couple of days in this fantastic, beautiful city, either before or after your cruise – you will not regret it.
Save on your hotel and spend on yourself – there is so much to see, do, enjoy, shop, visit, you’ll be amazed. You’ll take so many memories with you, and will feel changed by this city from another planet.
It’s absolutely worth it!
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!