The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper

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Travel

Barcelona: The City of All Things Sun, Art and Football

With the flight time being the same as a train to London, what are you waiting for?

Memories of the Christmas holidays are far behind us, and so it is time to look ahead to the approaching holiday breaks of this year’s spring and summer. The endless opportunities to fly here, there and everywhere for that long-awaited trip is a nostalgic feeling that is known too well.

Barcelona is one of Europe’s many cities full of beauty, culture and art, making it a hot spot to visit this summer. Commonly mistaken as Spain’s capital – with the title going to Madrid – Barcelona is instead the capital of the self-spirited Catalonia.

It can be hard at times to find a destination which mixes city life with beach life, hence why Barcelona is sometimes considered the quintessential getaway break destination. And with the student budget tight on the pockets, this sun-filled city has everything to offer.

“Its brassy jazz shows even give Chicago a run for its money”

Barcelona is most notably famous for its architecture, world-class drinking scenes and of course, its legendary football team. Just a few days is needed here to get a real taste of the culture without needing to sacrifice tanning time at any one of the Spanish city’s enchanting beaches.

Barcelona is a city that is proud to engage in such cultural bound phenomena. It would be impossible to visit without witnessing the epic works of 2000-year-old architectural contemporaries which give a window into a more Roman inspired Barcelona. It is a wonderland for all art lovers with Modernism also exciting the streets of Barcelona as visitors find Gaudi’s world-wide renowned work scattered all around.

It would be criminal to leave without seeing the world famous La Sagrada Familia. It may be one of Gaudi’s unfinished masterpieces, but this does not mean it isn’t worth seeing. It combines Art Nouveau with Gothic traits and dominates the skyline. Make time to visit Park Güell as well – another of Gaudi’s inspired works which also holds the UNESCO status.

Even if sports and football aren’t your thing, a trip to the Camp Nou should be on everyone’s to do list. A guided tour explains the club’s history from its start up to its world-class crowning glory hunters of today, plus entrance to the museum. Visit www.getyourguide.co.uk to get tickets starting from just £25 per person.

“Visiting anywhere outside of school holidays is considerably easier on the bank account”

Barcelona has its art and football up to par, but what about its food and drinking scene? Stroll down the famous boulevard, but be aware of those pickpockets – one of Barcelona’s lesser well-known commodities – which aren’t overly advertised in travel brochures and holiday packages. Barcelona fames itself on its offerings of the ultimate Mediterranean banquet, which includes hearty paella, tapas and seafood. A real delight when trying the local cuisine.

As for the Barcelona nightlife, it’s full of possibilities. Whether it’s a chilled evening in a rustic beach-side bar you prefer, or a night of traditional flamenco fun when darkness falls, Barcelona is never boring. Its brassy jazz shows even give Chicago, the home of jazz and blues, a run for its money.

Consider visiting in May or June just before the usual school holidays kick in and avoid the wrath of kids and families. It also goes without saying that visiting anywhere outside of school holidays is considerably easier on the bank account.

Check out Airbnb for some of the best deals for accommodation. It’s still an up and coming venture, so make the most of it before the hype takes over. And when it comes to booking airline fares, don’t even consider taking a holdall case. Hand-luggage will do the trick for just a few days in the sunshine.

So pack the euros, sun-cream and get your camera ready for a real Mediterranean adventure.

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