Four Unforgettable Days in Barcelona

posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 8:53:17 AM

Take a lively stroll along streets that are more than 2,000 years old. Admire the modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudi. See Barcelona from above with a bird’s eye view from a rooftop pool. Whatever your pleasure, this city provides you plenty of opportunity. Book one of Vacations by Marriott’s Europe getaways and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Spain.

Day One: You touch down at Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN) and are excited to begin your adventure in Spain. You collect your luggage, make your way through customs and a few minutes later arrive at the highly recommended Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel. Once in your room, you take a few moments to scan the city from your floor-to-ceiling window. There will be plenty of time to explore in coming days, but it’s warm outside and you decide a visit to the rooftop pool is in order. The views from the pool deck are even more spectacular. As the sun begins to set, you return to your room to change, then head out for dinner at Restaurante la Tabla on Calle Independencia. The duck breast with grilled nectarines, pistachios and teriyaki sauce is very flavorful, as is the red wine. The mixture of visitors and locals is just right, and you leave with a couple of great recommendations on places to see and things to do in Barcelona.

Day Two: It’s your first morning in Barcelona, and after a light breakfast you hop into a taxi for a private tour of a few of the most famous and intriguing places in the city. With a local guide, you travel first to the extraordinary Plaza de España, where you have the chance to experience Barcelona's most impressive square. You then ride through streets more than 2,000 years old and arrive in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter. From there it’s on to Passeig de Gràcia with its modernist architecture, followed by a delicious tapas lunch. And finally, you visit Antoni Gaudí's masterpiece, the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. It’s safe to say this structure – started in 1882 and only now in its final phase of construction – is one of the most astonishing creations ever undertaken by the human race. You enter the main chapel and are amazed by its incredible beauty — it’s no wonder it’s TripAdvisor’s #1 attraction in Barcelona.

Day Three: Today you’ve decided to return to the Gothic Quarter for additional exploration. You spend some time in the Cathedral in the Plaça Nova and soak in the medieval charm of the streets around the Plaça del Pi. Next, you head over to the Portal de l'Àngel for some shopping and eventually make your way to Port Vell, the city’s harbor area, for a nice lunch amid a refreshing Mediterranean Sea breeze. And later, as the sun begins to set, you visit Barcelona's legendary Tablao Cordobes, where some of the greatest names in flamenco have performed. Dinner is served while an internationally renowned group entertains, revealing the variety of passionate music, singing and dancing that makes this traditional art form so amazing. You’re pleasantly surprised to learn that communication between the artists and audience is an important part of the performance, which helps make for a very enjoyable evening in one of Europe’s truly great cities.

Day Four: It’s your final day in Barcelona, and you’re headed to another of the city’s treasures: the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. With a thousand years of art on display, the museum beautifully reflects the culture of an entire continent. From Romanesque and Gothic works to modern art, the collection is pretty stunning — and the appeal broad. You used the museum’s website to create your own personal tour by selecting the works you’re most interested in and still have time left for new discoveries. You stop for a late lunch, then depart for Park Güell on Carmel Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage site that features more beautiful architecture and gardens. You purchase tickets to the park’s monumental precinct, ascend the Dragon Stairway, enter the Hypostyle Room, check out the Greek Theatre and its portico, and admire the Austria Gardens, yet another highlight of your visit to Barcelona, the jewel of Spain’s Catalonia region.

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