Package holidays to Barcelona are a popular choice for those seeking an alternative European weekend break, or even a week of culture absorption in one of Spain's most historically profound cities. Nestled on the North East coast of Spain, Barcelona occupies a strip known as the Iberian Peninsula with frontiers toward the Balearic Sea and the island of Palma. With a population of over 2 million people, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain - many also considering it to be the most cosmopolitan.
Part of Barcelona's chronic allure for those seeking cheap package holidays in Barcelona, is her fantastical architecture, much of which draws inspiration from Gothic and Renaissance eras. The Sagrada Familia Basilica (Cathedral of The Holy Family) designed by art-nouveau architect Antoni Gaudi, is one of Barcelona's most prolific architectural achievements, yet is also famous as one of the only 19th Century buildings in the world still under construction.
Completion is estimated for 2026, however visitors can still enjoy the most spectacular panoramic views of the city, from the elevator serviced spires. The miniature city at Park Guell is also worthy of a visit; a fabulous 3km space of statues, faux houses and whimsical stone animals, again devised by Gaudi.
Art lovers will be hard-pushed to find a metropolis quite as varied and interesting as Barcelona when it comes to national and international collections. The Picasso Museum on the central Casa de Montcada boasts the largest collection of the artist's work in the world, from the early forays into modernist techniques, right up to the "Las Meninas" paintings of 1957. The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) is just ten minutes walk from the Picasso Museum, and presents a more varied collection of works from modern artists such as Miguel Barcelo and Paul Klee.
Barcelona's dynamism as a modern city stems in part from it's location beside the Balearic Sea - a fortune which has also influenced world-famous Catalan cuisine in Barcelona. Spain's love affair with food is apparent no matter where you are in Barcelona - the wafting smells of seafood paella and fish stews impossible to escape. Catalan cuisine takes things a step further with native sun-dried tomatoes, wine and green vegetable infusions - and even on a cheap package holiday you can sample such distinctive flavours. Cosy native restaurants can be found lining the many alleys and lanes off the main "La Rambla" street, with names such as "La Crema Canela" and "Quinze Nits" being some of the best.
Cheap package holidays to Barcelona realise a distinct diversity in the number of accommodation options on offer. Even within the central areas around La Rambla, one can find a multitude of guest houses and hotels with comfortable, spacious rooms and exceptional city vistas. Further North, and in close proximity to the Park Guell, there are also a number of town-house bed and breakfast conversions.
Getting around Barcelona is a cinch, largely due to the number of one-way routes and bus/ tram services operating within the centre. Taxis also present an affordable option, costing less than a Euro per kilometre.
The Catalan inhabitants of Barcelona are extremely embracing and modernist, with many semi-fluent in English due to the levels of tourism in recent years. While Catholicism still plays an inherent part in the cultures and customs of Barcelona's inhabitants, it is not impressed upon those seeking an "all-round" Barcelona experience.
As a result, visitors will find the city has a fairly liberal attitude to visitors seeking the hedonism of a thriving nightlife scene, and offers a great many entertainment options to suit. Indie bars such as Alma and Alfa are ideal for sampling a little of the local music scene, while the Antilla BCN Club is great for a taste of salsa and flamenco . Along the waterfront, a number of bars offer a relaxed contemporary alternative to the dizzying beats of up-town watering holes, many even allowing children until around 8pm. For cheap European package holidays, Barcelona really is one of most enriching cities you could ever visit.
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