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  • Quay & Maremàgnum

  • The Drassanes (Dockyards) of Barcelona were built in the Middle Ages, and they stand out for their spaciousness and conservation. To one side, you can see a piece of the original Medieval walls, as well as the Columbus monument at the foot of the Rambla.

    On the other side of the Rambla del Mar, we find the Golondrinas, the ferries that sail from the port of Barcelona to the breakwater. We can also explore Maremàgnum, an entertainment hub and commercial center, also home to the city’s Aquarium.

    The Moll de la Fusta is another emblematic area of Barcelona’s waterfront. It has been converted into a cultural area and is well frequented by residents and tourists alike.

  • Beaches of Barcelona

  • The history of the city has always been closely tied to the sea, and its beaches have now become the chosen rest and relaxation spots for residents and tourists alike. Among the most popular are the Sant Sebastià, Mar Bella, Barceloneta

    Outdoor showers, fountains, handicap-accessible walkways, playgrounds, and lifeguards are just some of the services the city’s beaches offer. Best of all, they’re easily accessible on public transportation (subway and bus).

  • Dining: Tapas

  • Catalonian cuisine holds a special place in the international culinary panorama, thanks to the renewed popularity of the Mediterranean diet. The district of Poble Sec is home to classic, old-timey restaurants, new eating spots for all taste buds, and a vibrant multi-cultural ambiance.

    The Ruta de tapas offers a tapa and beer for 2 euros, every Thursday from 7-11 p.m. A full evening course, including dinner, coffee, and a drink, will often cost no more than 20 euros…. which means that the small restaurants in this part of the city packed most of the time.

    The Ruta is a socially conscious program and dedicates 10% of profits from the first Thursday of each month to the N.G.O. Bona Voluntat en Acció (Good Will in Action), an organization that works to promote social integration and employment services for low-income residents.

  • History of El Paral·lel

  • Avinguda del Paral·lel is one of Barcelona’s most popular and best-known streets. Designed by Ildefons Cerdà, as part of his plan for the city’s expansion, Paral·lel links the port with the iconic Plaza Espanya. Paral·lel was officially opened in 1894, shortly after the demolition of the city’s medieval walls. Interestingly, a piece of the wall, and the gate at Portal de la Santa Madrona, built in the 15th century, can still be observed at the foot of the avenue.
     
    While the city’s residents have always referred to the street as “el Paral·lel” because of its geographic trajectory coincident with the Circles of Latitude, the avenue has had various official names throughout history. Initially, it was called Avenida del Marqués del Duero, in homage to the military hero and political figure Manuel Gutiérrez, for his crucial role in the House of Bourbon Restoration. During the Second Spanish Republic, in 1932, it was renamed Avinguda de Francesc Layret, for the Catalanist politician assassinated in 1920. Upon the conclusion of the Spanish Civil War, in 1939, the avenue recovered its original name once again. Then, in 1979, the City Hall approved the name Avinguda del Paral·lel, which it continues to go by today.
     
    One of the Paral·lel’s defining characteristics is its plethora of theatres and entertainment venues. In the early 20th century, el Paral·lel was to Barcelona what Montmartre is to Paris; or the West End to London; or Broadway to New York. El Molino, an emulation of Paris’s Moulin Rouge, opened in 1910. The parisian cabaret was owned, oddly enough, by Josep Oller, a Catalan then living in the French capital. The avenue’s other major landmarks include the three imposing chimneys still standing from a long-defunct power plant, which has now been converted into a playground and office building.

  • Cable Car

  • When you stay at Hotel Barcelona Universal, you have a truly unforgettable way of going up the mountain of Montjuïc.

    The Montjuïc Cable Car – the city’s only public cable car – sits just opposite the hotel. Built by the engineer Emilio Echevarría, in preparation for the 1929 International Exposition, the route has a 76 meter incline.

    Inaugurated in 1970, technically it’s not a cable car but a cable compartment that connects the city to the top of the mountain of Montjuïc (84.5m elevation). On the ride up, you can see the entirety of the valley of Barcelona, from the Collserola mountains to the Mediterranean Sea.

    The first stop is the Mirador or Miramar, surrounded by one of the city’s most impressive green spaces. The second stop is the Castle of Montjuïc. This 17th century military fortress was originally the site of a watchtower and maritime signaling post. Since 2009, it’s been under construction, as it is being remodeled into a city facility and a Center for Peace.

    The Castle delivers truly unrivaled panoramic views over the city: you can spot the Plaza Cataluña, the Cathedral, the Sagrada Família, the cruise ships docked at the port, the Olympic Village, the Agbar Torre, the Forum… let the city’s sights seduce you!

  • Cruises

  • The port of Barcelona has become one of Europe’s leading ports for cruise ships, and serves as the home base for the principal cruise companies navigating the Mediterranean. A member of MedCruise (The Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports), it boasts 7 international terminals and welcomes over 2.6 million passengers annually.

    Barcelona is the fifth largest cruise port in the world, and you’ll often see some of the most luxurious ships wading in its port, such as the Epic & Liberty of the Seas, the Carnival Dream, the Splendia MSC, the Norwegian Epic, or the largest ships on the waters: the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas.

    The Blue Bus (T-Cruiser) shuttles between the port terminals to the Columbus monument at the foot of the Rambla. From there, it’s just one minute to the closest subway, Drassanes, on L3 (the green line).

    The recent announcement of the construction of a new cruise terminal is pretty much a sure-fire bet on the city’s steady status as a favorite cruise destination.

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