Barcelona City Guide
First of all, let me tell you that I loved Barcelona as much as I loved Paris. Barcelona has a unique identity with its old, vintage streets, historical and art smelling buildings. Walking on its streets is a big pleasure. What a nice match of the rain and the city.. What a nice view of wet streets of the city.. All is going to be here soon, don’t worry 🙂 Now I want to talk about the city.. What is Barcelona and what is not.. Let’s flow into this beautiful city..
BARCELONA URBAN TRANSPORTATION
Actually travel gratification begins at the moment we step out from our home. For example, we have very enjoyable time in the lounge while waiting for departure. Our pleasure reaches the top while we are on board.. We say ‘cheers’ for being to see a new city on the air first 🙂 We are very excited while our Boeing Bird drifting towards to Barcelona El Prat Airport.
The first observations about the city starts as soon as we move into the city from the airport .. We are leaving the airport and flowing into the city. Yes, just flowing.. Because there is no traffic jam although it is traffic time. We compare it with Istanbul’s traffic inevitably. We are smiling..
The best way to get into the city from the airport is using Aerobus. The price is 6 euros per person. It is like Havatas in Istanbul and Havas in Izmir. This busses are comfortable also. We get off the bus in Plaça Catalunya. The central location of the city. Such as Taksim Square in Istanbul. The flat we rented is so close to the square. We are walking.. Meanwhile staring around and beautiful streets, our heads are always towards to magnificent buildings.
We came to the city from the airport by Aerobus. But we will use the subway and taxi thereafter. Subway is also very satisfactory like subways in other European cities. You can easily reach the desired location by changing the line. Subway is open weekdays to 00.00, Fridays to 2 a.m. and Saturdays is on till morning.
Taxis are another convenient alternative transportation within the city. Taxi prices are very reasonable. Opening price is 2.5 euros. If you go to a place within the city, the taxi price will not be more than 10-15 euros.
As in almost every European city, the bike is very common here also in urban transport and there are seperated bike ways on the roads. I call it civilization which we miss.. You can rent a bike.
We are walking form Catalunya Square to the flat that we will stay. We preferred a flat instead of hotel because flats are very enjoyable actually. It is more economical also if you are a group. If you find a house with a bathroom in each room you’ll be more comfortable.
Aysam had arranged our house and it was a realy nice choice. Our flat is in a historic building.. Floor tiles have even identity and the flat is with a very pleasant terrace. The apartment has an old-time elevator which was made of iron 🙂 I loved the apartment.. Of course you have many hotel alternatives in Barcelona..
I love the floor tiles of our flat..
Evimizin karolarına bayıldım..
BARCELONA AS A BIRTHDAY GIFT
We put our luggage and go out immediately. We will meet my niece who is having master’s degree in Barcelona. She and Barcelona are my birthday gifts actually. They are Aysam’s surprises to me.. Aysam, thinking of how much I missed Goknur, decides to meet us in Barcelona. I did not have any information about the surprise tickets bought . Three of our best friends joined us in this travel.. And we are in Barselona 🙂 I will say ‘hello’ to my new age with my besties and this makes me so excited…
WHOSE IS BARCELONA?
According to the inhabitants living in Barcelona, the city owners are Catalans.. Most of those who live here are Catalans.. Catalonia is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions. Barcelona is one of the most important cities in this region.. Catalonia is free in its internal affairs. This region has a very important role in the development of the Spanish economy. The most important reason of the independency will is ethnical sentiments. They also don’t want to share the economic prosperity which they produce with other regions. Catalans don’t like being called Spanish. They resent. In fact, some of them were deeper. They only speak Catalan and they deny Spanish. Catalan is a completely different language from Spanish. They have a famous slogan: Catalunia is not Spain. You can see this slogan on banners in matches especially. Some balconies in Barcelona streets have Catalan flags. This is the way to say; I am not Spanish..
CATALAN ART/ART NOUVEAU
What did you do to the city? How did you convert Barcelona to an extraordinary art temple.. I mention you with respect..
The creator of the most important artistic structures in the city is Gaudí. This crazy genious had carried his undisturbed and colorful dream world like a child to the truth.. He made the city unbelievable. He created Hansel and Gretel’s house and the cake-looking house which was made by the wicked witch to seduce children. 🙂 Be ready to see the most extraordinary structures you have seen so far. Almost the whole city is surrounded by Art Nouveau style buildings. Casa Batllo, Casa Mila (La Pedrera)…You will discover the beauty of Art Nouveau architecture in this city, be sure. It is also available to visit museums of modern art. Joan Miro, Modern Art (MACBA), Picasso Museums and more. I have visited some of them, I want to make you feel as you visited them.. We will discover the most special works of Gaudí. Of course, in the next posts..
Catalans are joyful and they care of life as needed. They talk very loud but they have very nice energy. And they are so fond of their enjoyment. I guess all Spanish are so. Siesta what they do every day proves it. Because many shops are closed in certain times daily and staff go to rest. Including also the restaurants or cafes eating and drinking places. Shops open again about 8 p.m. and everyone is coming at that time.
Some of taxi and bus drivers are women. They are well-looking like esthetician 🙂 This proves they don’t have any prejudices against women and this is a thing should be proud of..
HOW IS CATALAN CUISINE?
Very satisfactory.. The most known ones about eating and drinking in Barcelona are Paella and Tapas. Paella originated in Valencia, but this is very common here also. Catalan cuisine is of course not limited with Paella and Tapas. I will prepare a detailed post about the most specials of this kitchen, sweets you should definitely taste, sangria, the best Paella Restaurant, the best Tapas place and the best gelato shop of the city. And of course my birthday dinner.. Wait.. All of them will be here soon..
You are in the hometown of some famous brands such as Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius and Desigual. So you can find the largest collections of them. Even so I don’t prefer to spend much time at these stores. Cause I already find the fine and extensive collections in Istanbul’s stores. Instead of them, i am interested in authentic and unique vintage boutiques. If you want to visit stores of Premium brands, you must go to Passeig de Gracia very close to Plaça Catalunya. This is a spacious and pleasant street. We can say ‘Nisantasi region’ in Istanbul for Passeig De Gracia.
Portal De L’Angel is another nice and famous street for shopping next to Plaça Catalunya. It is closed to vehicle traffic. You will see a giant thermometer in a building at the entrance of a street in Plaça Catalunya,. It is called Can Cottet Building’s Thermometer. Here is Portal De L’Angel street which this thermometer is in. Meanwhile, the thermometer is one of the icons in the city. 22 meters and a full of 2 tons.
Barcelona’s most famous department store chain is El Corte Ingles. It is like Boyner and YKM in Turkey or Macys. As I said, I do not spend extra time in the place like that. Intellectual and gastoronomical discoveries attracts me more. Asos is already ready for my overseas shopping 🙂 You can stop in this department store without spending too much time.
The lower limit is 90 euros for the Tax Free. Fill in the form that you make Tax Free Shopping to get back about 12% of your purchase amount at the airport. Do not forget to go to the police office at the entrance in the airport to stamp your form before going to the Tax Free Office.
You can flow to the Barcelona’s lively nightlife if you can still feel your legs after the day sightseeing. First you must watch a Flamenco Show. It was very exciting experience for me to watch this exquisite Spanish dance live. It was really impressive. More info about this amazing dance and where we did watch a performance will be next posts. After watching flamenco, we done our nightlife as drinking cocktail in a chic place. Because we were already tired from the day and so a crowded place and high voice are the most unwanted things for us.
Nevertheless, if you say ‘I want a club’ you can go to the http://www.gatsbybarcelona.com/. This is a Restaurant-club and very trendy place where you can come across famous players of Barca and celebrities. Also CDCI (CarpeDiem Lounge Club) is a popular trendy venue. These places are at Villa Olimpica-Barceloneta region.
There is also a Casino in this region. Well, all foods and drinks are not free as Cyprus’ casinos 🙂 The entrance fee is 4.5 euros and includes only one drink, that’s all. For the ones who like casinos info…
There are also many Jazz Bars in the city. As I said, we were tired and looked for a place we can talk and listen soft music. So I liked El Nacional. On the Passeig De Gracia. I suggest. You can see some photographs of El Nacional below.
There is also an Ice Bar for fancier. Go there if you like to be in icy place wearing thick jackets, sit on the icy seats, drink a cocktail by the glasses made of ice.. We had gone to an Ice Bar in Stockholm. It is unnecessary to go once again.
Here is the city in general…
Wait for detailed posts of Barcelona…