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Things to do in Barcelona

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Barcelona Attractions and things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital and most populous city of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain. Barcelona is the subject of two different legends; the first attributes the founding of the city to Hercules 400 years before Rome, and rebuilt by Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca - father of Hannibal - who named the city Barcino after his family. The second legend attributes the foundation to Hamilcar Barca.

The La Sagrada Família - perhaps Barcelona's most famous landmark - was originally designed by Antoni Gaudi, and this Church of the Holy Family remains unfinished. Gaudi worked on the bizarre church from 1882 until his death in 1926 and his work is considered as a masterpiece.

Other major attractions are the site of the 1992 Olympics; the Poble Espanyol - a replica of a Spanish village displaying art and architecture; the Joan Miro Museum, and the National Art Museum of Catalonia. The magical fountains of Montjuic are popular, and attract many visitors with their displays of light, colour and music by evening. They are accessible by cable car.

There is plenty to see and do whilst in Barcelona and we have listed a few ideas below. Several of these attractions can be booked at discounted rates to our customers who use our Flight & Hotel search option. If you're only booking the hotel with us then most attractions can be booked from your hotel or via a local agency but the cost may be higher

Illa Fantasia Water Park Illa Fantasia is one of Europe's largest water parks. It is located a 30 minute train ride from the city centre. Open only in the summer months it is a viable option for a sunny day during your holiday. Bring all the family and the grown-ups can relax in the picnic area whilst the kids take to the slides. The Illa Fantasia water park offers three different pools and a choice from over 20 water slides, it is the ideal way to cool off in the heat. There are attractions suitable for all members of the family, from the adrenalin junkie thrill seeker to the tiny tot. Directions to the water park: By Train from Barcelona: For the little ones the park has the "Splash n Slide" activities that are safe for the younger members of your family. The station to get off at for the water park is Premia de Mar train station. Once you arrive at the train station a free shuttle bus service operated by the park will take you to the aqua park. The journey time from the train station to the water park is only 5 minutes. You can catch a train from Plaza Catalunya, Arc del Triomf, El Clot or Barcelona Sants Estacio. The journey time is approximately 30 minutes. By Road: If you are coming from Barcelona the park is a 25km drive away. It is necessary to take the C-32 road towards Mataró and turn off at exit 92. The park is in Premia de Mar.Click on the name to see more details and pictures of the Illa Fantasia Water Park

Aquarium Barcelona > Located in Barcelona, it is one of the biggest aquariums in Europe and the most important when it comes to Mediterranean species. The Aquarium is the most visited in Barcelona since it opened to the public. The centre offers special programs for university students and scholars motivating them to develop their own research projects. Apart from the gigantic Oceanary (more than 4.5 million litres of water) with a transparent tunnel 80 metres in length, the Aquarium has diverse themed tanks, with special focus on different Mediterranean and tropical biotopes. Visitors will be able to discover more than 11.000 living organisms of more than 450 different species. Not only the sharks will draw attention with their grandeur, but visitors may marvel at the beauty of the sea horses, the elegance of sea eagles and the colourful coral reefs, as well as the strange penguins, the odd moon fish, the piranhas and the squid.

Barcelona Zoo Have a great day out with all the family at Barcelona Zoo, located in the heart of the city in the Parc de la Ciutadella. Barcelona Zoo is one of the most modern zoos of the its kind in the world as well as being Spain's oldest, open to the public since 1882. It is spread out over 13 acres of parkland with different enclosures reproducing the natural habitats of the animals. You'll be able to see over 450 species of animals, housed in different enclosures for mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Kids will love the children's corner where they can get up close to the tamer animals and all the family will enjoy the Dolphinarium where the dolphins perform their amazing tricks. One of the most famous inhabitants of the Zoo was Copito de Nieve, an albino gorilla who passed away in 1992. Visitors will still be able to view his descendants today. Other attractions include all the big names including lions, tigers, hippos as well as animals native to Spain such as the Iberian wolf. There is also a wide selection of shady picnic areas, bars, cafés and restaurants for you to relax and have lunch (at your own expense). Other attractions include a mini train, souvenir shops, a mini funfair and information panels and interactive zones for you to learn all about the zoo's denizens. The zoo is situated in the Parc de la Ciutadella and opens every day at 10am, closing in the summer at 7pm and in the winter at 5pm.

Camp Nou Experience Visit the first and second floors of the modern museum with interactive wall, the Multimedia area and an extensive collection of objects that allow you to know the history of FC Barcelona and understand the values that make Barça “more than a club”. Discover the Camp Nou visit the most emblematic areas: the visiting team locker room and the tunnel to the field, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the stadium and realize the dream of every fan, feel for instance, a Barça player. The visit is not guided although there is possibility of hiring in advance the services of a private guide. Start or opening time: From Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:30 hours (Extended in Summer from 02/04 to 07/10, from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 hours). Sundays, holidays and Dec 31 from 10:00 to 14:30 hours. (Camp Nou will allowed the last entrance 1 hour before the venue closes). End or closing time: Not available on 01/01, 06/01 and 25/12. On match days closes at 17:15 hours before the start of the match. Camp Nou visit is not available on Champions League days, during these days only the visit to the museum can be carried out and it will closes at 15:00 hours. On match days at the Camp Nou, the museum can be visited without the stadium until 1 hour and a half before the start of the match.

Tibidabo Amusement Park Do the same as generations of Barcelonans have been doing for over a century and make the climb to the Tibidado, Barcelona’s city mountain and one of the oldest funfairs still surviving in the world. In addition to great views over the city and port (on a clear day you may even be able to make out Mallorca and Ibiza ) you'll find a fascinating old school amusement park with original as well as modern attractions. The Tibidabo is a 551m hill overlooking Barcelona with great views over the city, port and Mediterranean. On clear days you may even be able to see as far as Mallorca and Ibiza. The Tibidabo amusement park has a special place in the hearts of the inhabitants of Barcelona, first opening its doors in 1901. Now this charming park and symbol of the city is a place where you can find the best of both worlds. You can still find original attractions such as the Talaia dating from 1921 and the Aeronautic from 1915. You can also visit the fascinating Museum of Automata where the oldest exhibit dates back to 1880. At the same time the park is home to state of the art rides such as Freefall and Hurricane.

Excursion to Montserrat Take a trip out of Barcelona and discover the beautiful and unusual mountains and famous monastery at Montserrat. Just an hour and a half journey from the city centre, Montserrat has long drawn pilgrims from all over the world and is well worth a trip during your stay in Barcelona. Marvel at the rock formations that give this mountain its unique appearance and tour the basilica and cloisters of the spectacular monastery. One of the highlights of the trip is definitely listening to the resident pupils singing in the daily choir practice. Take the Montserrat Express service from the centre of Barcelona and travel through the rolling hills and mountains of Catalonia until you arrive at Montserrat. A brief rack railway ride will then take you directly into the centre of the small settlement. Take in the stunning views of Spain’s very first National Park and admire the visual effect of the pink conglomerate sedimentary rock that gives the mountainside its distinct character. Then enter the monastery itself and explore the Gothic cloisters dating back to the 15th century. Your audio guide will explain the fascinating history behind all the buildings you enter. Head to the basilica, built slightly later in the 16th century and discover the “Mare de Déu”, image of the Virgin Mary that attracts Catholic pilgrims from far and wide. Made out of carved polychrome and golden wood around the turn of the 13th century, it is affectionately known as the “Moreneta” as both the Virgin Mary's and Baby Jesus' hands and face are dark. Montserrat Express leaves from FGC Barcelona-Plaza España railway station at 8.55am every day. Clients get off at Monistrol de Montserrat station and then transfer to the rack railway, which will drop them off in the center of Montserrat.

La Roca Outlet Excursion Enjoy a luxury shopping experience at La Roca Village Outlet Shopping. Enjoy a day's shopping at this purpose-built mall just 40 minutes from the Costa Brava. You'll find all the top Spanish and international brands at great prices all year round. You'll also find plenty of restaurants and cafés for all tastes and pockets, a play area for children and tax-free shopping for non-EU citizens. A great day's retail therapy and easy on your pocket too! At La Roca Village Outlet you will find over 100 national and international fashion boutiques and outlets. Some of the shops you'll find include Armani, Bally, Bulgari, Burberry, Calvin Klein Jeans, Camper, CH Carolina Herrera, Custo Barcelona, Desigual, Diesel, Escada Sport, Furla, Gant, Lacoste, La Perla, L’Occitaine, Hackett, Hoss Intropia, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Munich, Pretty Ballerinas, Samsonite, Spazio Dolce Gabanna, Swarovski, TCN, Tommy Hilfiger, TOUS, Versace Company Store and Zegna. You'll also find a great variety of restaurants and cafés in this Catalan style village, a playground area for the youngsters and 24-hour surveillance, offering you a safe and secure place to enjoy your shopping experience. If you are a bargain hunter, you will be delighted to find that many of the boutiques offer discounts up to 60% all year round. If you are a non-European Union citizen, shopping is tax free. Gift cards are also available upon request.

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