Written by Paula Jones Last updated: June 6, 2006
Explore the super‐stylish Catalonian capital… Must‐see sights, perfect places for two – plus love bites and love potions, for the most romantic wining and dining.
Explore the super‐stylish Catalonian capital
This cosmopolitan and progressive city is THE most popular destination for a weekend break, and it’s easy to see why. The city’s regeneration for the highly successful Olympic Games in 1992 added hordes of superb modern bars, restaurants and clubs ‐‐ the perfect place to retire to when you’ve had your fill of the many and varied cultural attractions.
Not that you will tire easily. Ever since its role as a bastion of the Republican cause during the Spanish Civil War, the city has developed a reputation as a centre of radical architecture and design; not least because of the architectural splendours of Antoni Gaudi, the city’s most famous son. Then there is the art of Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso, who also lived here, fine seafood to keep your energy levels high, perfect tapas and plenty of romantic places to hang out. And if the capital of Catalonia really becomes too much, why not head to the local beach and bask in the sun with a bottle of cava or two?
A traditional Catalan breakfast is a hunk of bread, rubbed with olive oil and tomato and washed down with a couple of glasses of wine, so unless you want to start the drinking really early, avoid this and go for a coffee and pastry. There are many good fish and seafood restaurants around the Barceloneta area, and paella has become something of a local dish too. Before you eat dinner, head to one of the xampanyet bars, serving local cava by the glass. They’re great for getting agreeably tipsy early on. For a romantic touch, order a few plates of tapas to share. They are also a good cheap way to line the stomach if you are really planning to stay the course.
On the top of Mountjuic, looking out at the Mediterranean Sea on a balmy evening.
Start with a viewing of Pedro Almodovar’s All About My Mother. In typical Almodovar style, the movie focuses on all manner of impossible love affairs and, on the way, shows off Barcelona at its stylish best. Get to grips with George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, an honest and forthright account of the Civil War. Then, to lighten the tone again, what better than listening to a few renditions of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe’s Olympic theme, Barcelona?
Feliç aniversari = happy anniversary
T’estimo = I love you
Felicitats = congratulations!
Vols casar‐te amb mi? = will you marry me?
Why not visit the 120,000‐seater Nou Camp stadium, where Manchester United snatched a couple of late goals to win the European Cup in 1999? The stadium is a spectacular multi‐tiered structure and the top floors are dizzyingly high. In the evening, take a trip to the Spanish village on Mountjuic for a salsa class ‐‐ it will come in useful when you hit the dance floor at the wedding.