Mediterranean Spotlight: Barcelona, Spain
by Roy Witman © 2008
An ever-popular tourist spot, Barcelona, Spain is a
jewel in the crown of the Mediterranean. With
remarkable architecture, you can experience delightful
and intriguing sites as you tour the city, including
Monsterrat, legendary home of the Knights of the Holy
Grail. From art galleries and museums to elegant
shops and restaurants, there is much to explore.
Positioned on the northeastern coast of the
Iberian Peninsula and the shores of the
Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in
Spain. One of its first encounters with global fame
was as the host of the 1888 World's Fair. However,
this was not the only shining star in Barcelona's
history. The world would focus on this city once again
in 1992 as Barcelona hosted the Olympics. The
Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) is the group of sports
installations where the main events of the 1992
games were held and is still open today along with
other attractions including Olympic Marina.
Very much a walking town, Barcelona's sidewalks
are cleaned every morning. Should you decide to tour
the city by foot (and you really should!) a must-see
stop is Las Ramblas. Five separate streets strung
end to end create a noisy, bustling marketplace where
visitors can buy virtually anything. In addition to
shopping, street performers also entertain young and
old. Mimes, dancers, jugglers and more give a light
feel to the bazaar. However, Las Ramblas is also a
cultural haven, boasting an opera house and the
Monument to Columbus.
A visit to Barcelona is not complete without a tour
of the Picasso Museum. Housed in three stone
mansions, this is, without question, the most popular
museum in the city. Traveling from floor to floor, you'll
visit many periods of the artist's work from 1890
through the 1950s, including his famous Blue and
Pink Periods. In addition, architecture of magnificent
proportions can be seen throughout the city, including
many buildings designed by Barcelona's favorite son,
Looking to participate in a little local culture? Join
the natives in front of the cathedral on Sundays to
dance the Sardanas, a traditional Catalan dance.
Sightseeing and dancing aren't the only things to do in
Barcelona. This city also boasts world-renowned
After a massive cleanup effort, Barcelona now
proudly offers exceptional beaches with water that is
tested daily, disabled access, lifeguards (in season)
and showers. Nova Icaria is closest to Olympic
Marina and provides sunbathers with golden sand
beaches, several bars and popular restaurants.
Bogatell (with a beach that is twice as long as Nova
Icaria) has a raised promenade that cuts noise
considerably and also a stone walkway that attracts
joggers, skaters and cyclists.
Probably the most popular local beach is
Barceloneta. Both wide and long, this beach is
adorned with an American-style wooden boardwalk as
well as typical American-type cuisine, including pizza
Whether it's sophistication or sun, food or fun,
Barcelona is an upscale vacation that takes you far
from overcrowded theme parks. Visiting Barcelona via
cruise ship makes the experience even more
satisfying. As Cunard cruise line says, “Explore
places only the most sophisticated traveler knows
about on a fascinating voyage across Homer's 'wine-
dark sea.' ” Incorporating Barcelona into a grand
Mediterranean voyage aboard Cunard or another
cruise line will exceed the exceptional at every
Read more about the Cunard Cruise Lines.
Read more about European Cruises.
Read more about Mediterranean Cruises.