Are you looking for a holiday that will offer something more than the usual package of a hotel with a beach in the middle of anywhere? Perhaps you're looking for a summer getaway that will also include some cultural highlights and good food. If so, look no further than Spain's metropolitan Barcelona.
The beauty of Barcelona is that whilst it offers one of Europe's top city break destinations, it also has a beach, making it a perfect choice for a cultural summer sun break. You can easily spend a week or more there, and there's something for all age ranges to do.
For most visitors, one of the city's main draws is the food. You will find a plethora of tapas bars and restaurants ranging from pinxto
(small, bite-size snacks on cocktail sticks) bars to fine dining restaurants. The pinxto bars have delectable delights laid out across the bar for you to help yourself to whilst ordering a glass of wine or sherry. Whilst some have restaurant areas towards the back, the best and most popular way to eat is around high bar tables, standing or on high stools. Always busy, the norm is to take in a few bars in an evening, moving from one to the other with a few snacks along the way. You'll find these all over the city; there's a great selection in close proximity to one another in the Barri Gotic. Most famous of these is Cal Pep, also recommended is buzzing El Xampanyet
In addition to the famed gastronomic experience, Barcelona has a great artistic and cultural scene. From one of its most famous residents, you can see much of Picasso's work at the Picasso Museum, handily located in the Barri Gotic. You will also see much of Miro's work scattered throughout the city; making a great game for the children to try and spot them all. Of course, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without taking in Gaudi's formidable Sagrada Familia or his Park Guell on the outskirts. The panoramic views of the city are incredible; also offering a scenic outdoor space for the kids to run around in if they need a break from city sightseeing.
For families, there is always plenty to see and do. The zoo is easily accessible by metro hosting a vast array of animals, filling up a memorable day of your trip. Additionally there are loads of play parks in the city, often conveniently located next to places to eat and shop – giving you the perfect excuse to mix playtime for both parents and kids!
The beach itself is spectacular, with golden sand stretching right up the famed eateries around the promenade. If you would prefer to get out of the city altogether however, the beach resort of Sitges is a mere 40 minutes away by train.
Whatever your needs and whatever your length of stay, Barcelona is sure to captivate you and have you returning again and again.