Barcelona has many venues for live music and theatre, including the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house, the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Teatre Lliure and the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall. Barcelona is also home to the Barcelona and Catalonia National Symphonic Orchestra (Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, usually known as OBC), the largest symphonic orchestra in Catalonia. The major thoroughfare, Las Ramblas is home to mime artists and street performers. Two major pop music festivals take place in the city every year, the Sónar Festival and the Primavera Sound Festival. The city also has a thriving alternative music scene.
Les Rambles is a kilometer long tree-lined pedestrian street in the Barri Gòtic, it connects Plaça de Catalunya in the city center with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell. Full of street performers, cafés and market stalls.
The Sagrada Familia Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family (Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) is a Roman Catholic church designed by Antoni Gaudí, under construction for over 100 years. Construction commenced in 1882.
Casa Batllò, one of Antonio Gaudi’s creations, is located in the centre of Barcelona. A remodel of a previously built house, it was redesigned in 1904. The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), due to its skeletal appearance.
Casa Milà, more commonly known as La Pedrera (The Quarry), was designed by Antoni Gaudí, and built from 1906 to 1912. The building was commissioned in 1906 by businessman Pere Milà i Camps and his wife Roser Segimon i Artells.
Park Güell is a public park composed of gardens and architectural elements located on Carmel Hill, in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. The park was designed by Antoni Gaudí and built between 1900 and 1914. It was officially opened as a public park in 1926.
The Magic Fountain is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics. It is a must see when you come to Barcelona.
The first performance of Montjuic’s magic fountain was on May 19th 1929 during the great Universal Exhibition, for which it was built.
Port Vell (Old Harbor) is part of the Port of Barcelona. It is a focal point of the city and a top tourist attraction, containing the Maremàgnum, a mall containing shops, a multiplex cinema, bars and restaurants, IMAX Port Vell and Europe’s largest aquarium, L’Aquarium de Barcelona.
L’Aquàrium de Barcelona is the most important marine leisure and education centre in the world concerning the Mediterranean. A series of 35 tanks, 11,000 animals and 450 different species, an underwater tunnel 80 metres long, six million litres of water and an immense Oceanarium.
Torre de Collserola is a uniquely designed tower located on the Tibidabo hill in Barcelona. It was built in 1992 for the 1992 Summer Olympics. It features a pod for floor space like many towers but uses guide lines for lateral support like a mast. The tenth floor of the pod is open to the public.
Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) is the old city of Barcelona, on the east side of Les Rambles. It was built primarily in the late 19th and early 20th century, though several buildings date from medieval times. Remains of the squared Roman Wall can be seen at various locations.
In the Barri Gòtic, an often overlooked, yet stunning piece of architecture, especially inside, with regular concerts still held in the auditorium. The Palau Música Catalana is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is indispensable for understanding the formative years of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. The genius of the young artist is revealed through the more than 3,500 works that make up the permanent collection.
Throughout his life, Joan Miró took a particular interest in the diversity of materials, forms and colours. It led him to explore and experiment with different art forms such as painting, sculpture, printing techniques, ceramics, the theatre, and tapestry.
The Palau Nacional was the main site of the 1929 International Exhibition. Since 1934 it has been home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Between 1996 and 2004, the palace was extended to accommodate the National Art Museum’s entire collection of over 5,000 artworks.
Highlights of exhibitions include the Flooded Forest (Bosc inundat), which recreates 1,000 m2 of an Amazonian rainforest ecosystem and features piranhas, crocodiles and other animal and plant species typical to the zone. The Geological Wall and the Room of Matter.
If you visit Barcelona you must take at least a day trip to the beautiful seaside town of Sitges. A gay mecca with stunning beaches and over 40 gay establishments all crammed into a town you walk across in 10 minutes. 35 minute train ride from Passeig de Gracia or Sants train stations.
Train: Renfe train from Passeig de Gracia or Sants stations.
Full details are at GaySitges.com