Because our main office is located in Barcelona, Spain, first travel2study blog will be about this beautiful capital of Catalonia. Since it is one of the most popular touristic cities in the world, it is almost impossible to find a spot which is uncrowded (especially in the summer) and unmentioned in one of the top touristic guides. The aim of this blog post is to reveal to you some of those sites which are not touristic hotspots, which are more secluded but still represent trademark features of Barcelona. This type of blog posts will fall under the category ‘Hidden Gems of Barcelona’ and there’ll be more to come, so stay tuned!
To kick off, our first gem is Casa Vicens. As you can see from the link (http://www.casavicens.es/), Casa Vicens is a family residence in Barcelona designed by Antoni Gaudí and built for the industrialist Manuel Vicens. It was Gaudi’s first prominent piece of work, acknowledged by UNESCO in 2005 when it was added to “the Works of Antoni Gaudí” on its World Heritage Site. Imagine walking through an unpretentious side street in the district of Gracia (which will be described in more detail in one of our future blogs) and suddenly you look to your left and see this stunning building, the likes of which have made Barcelona one of the most visited cities in the world. Well, beside its well-known trademarks, Catalan capital has many surprises for you.
Although majority of us is still in the midst of the harsh winter conditions, in Barcelona sun is always shinning, even in February, which means you can bike to the beach and enjoy the sun and the sand. My personal favorite stop for this Bogatell&Mar Bella beaches. With good connection to the yellow line (Bogatell or Poble Nou metro stations), this area is offering more than a long sandy beach, it also has a spacious green park and special areas designed for outdoor activities, such as working out, skating, beach volley and table tennis. Even in the summer, these two beaches are more casual and quiet than the famous ones like Barceloneta. So if you don’t want to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers during your pastime, you should take the metro and explore the more chilled beaches of Barcelona. You can find all necessary information right here: (http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/English/_3Ngb8YjSpL3IOAs7oO2GTYt1nCojK1e-e8SVYz2umxpZmfjZn8c2uRj280jwmXX4rVR5M7KwyDn4fmOHCk4vtk38bUxlcUCNVb2zmeesIkCU1JIqZB2uloGT3ttMSGy-)
There is a lot more to tell about Barcelona and we will do it in the following posts, but for now here’s one last ‘Hidden Gem’ that probably won’t be hidden for much longer. It is located in an area which is getting more popular each day, Poble Sec. It is well connected to the center by metro (Green Line, Poble Sec station) and in an area where you can find many other touristic attractions such as Mountjuic and Plaza Espanya. Restaurants, bars and cafes are making this area into a true hotspot. In Parliament Street, you can find trendy cafes, crowded bars and cozy restaurants. If you go to the other side of Parallel Street, Carrer Blai will welcome you with its small cozy tapas bars and lively intersecting narrow streets. So do not hesitate, the area is yours to explore.