Barcelona, a city made for walking with a lifestyle for sharing 01/9/2022
Barcelona has got something for everyone. It is a walkable city and enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, which makes it the perfect place to visit at any time of the year. This is why open-air activities are among Barcelona's unmissable attractions. If you feel like walking, we recommend the Barcelona Shopping Line, a retail district covering an area of 5 km, which begins at the southern end of the Avinguda Diagonal, passes through the Eixample district and the old town, and finishes by the sea. Here you'll find some of the city's architectural gems standing alongside original shop window displays and enticing restaurants to suit all tastes. You'll find them inside landmark buildings and hotels, with outdoor terraces, serving traditional cookery, tapas, signature dishes and Mediterranean classics made with market-to-table ingredients and paired with wines. Some of them are historic and have garnered Michelin stars. You'll be spoilt for choice!
Come and discover the true Barcelona lifestyle on the Barcelona Shopping Line. Enjoying a leisurely stroll, having a tasty tapa and a pre-lunch drink and doing some shopping becomes an alfresco experience that is an absolute must. Welcome to the shop window that is open to the world all year round.
Elegant and sophisticated with a wide variety of chic shops and boutiques, the Avinguda Diagonal is the perfect place to explore at a leisurely pace. Among the leading fashion, jewellery and interior décor brands, you'll find two landmarks by the Catalan modernista architect Puig i Cadafalch: the Palau Baró de Quadras and the Casa de les Punxes. The former is a compendium of styles – on one side, a neo-Gothic palace, and, on the other, a modernista residential block – and the latter is a triangular building that reinterprets a medieval palace. If you make your way towards Plaça Reina Maria Cristina, you'll come to the department store El Corte Inglés, where you'll find some of the best-known and most sought-after brands from Spain and around the world. And, on the way, you can stop off at the Illa Diagonal shopping centre, with its varied selection of shops, restaurants and food outlets, and cool shops like Muji, a haven for lovers of understated Japanese design.
Eixample and Passeig de Gràcia
The Eixample is known for its wide streets and avenues and boutiques selling the most prestigious brands, some of them inside landmark buildings. Don't miss the main artery, Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona's most exclusive street, where elegance coexists with some of the city's most iconic modernista buildings.
Gaudí's La Pedrera is the epitome of a building inspired by nature and showcases his endless creative skills. Nearby, the block popularly known as the Illa de la Discordia, or block of discord due to the clash of architectural styles, features a row of Barcelona's most famous modernista buildings: Domènech i Montaner's Casa Lleó Morera, which is home to the luxury fashion house Loewe, Puig i Cadafalch's Casa Amatller, where you'll find the exquisite jewellers Bagués Masriera on the ground floor. And Gaudí's Casa Batlló, which is possibly the most dreamlike and evocative façade in the world. If you want to gain an in-depth insight into these three unique buildings, the guided Walking Tours Modernisme will reveal all their secrets.
The Eixample is full of breathtaking places. Domènech i Montaner's Casa Thomas has a neo-Gothic façade and floral decorations and is currently home to the prestigious design and furniture shop, Cubiñá. The Eixample is also steeped in culture, with a huge selection of bookshops, theatres, cinemas and museums for all tastes.
The lanes and squares in the heart of the old town are a treasure trove of history and landmarks. Next to Barcelona Cathedral you'll find post-medieval buildings that are absolute gems, such as the Casa de la Convalescència, and ode to the baroque style; the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona, which is the embodiment of 18th- century splendour; and the Palau de Balmesiana, an example of the neo-Gothic style in its purest form. The Barcelona Walking Tours Gòtic will reveal the Roman and medieval history of the heart of the city. Lluís Domènech i Montaner's Palau de la Música Catalana is the crowning achievement of Catalonia's home-grown art nouveau, modernisme. It is the world's only concert hall to have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and the façade will simply take your breath away. Some of the shops dotted around the old town were founded more than a hundred years ago and are steeped in history: the Sombrerería Mil, a shop selling bespoke hats and their accessories; the Estampería San José, which specialises in religious objects; the Espai Quera, where you'll find books about climbing and travel alongside a new dining space serving tasting platters and wines; and La Colmena, which makes classic Catalan sweet treats and cakes.
El Born and La Ribera
You might be drawn to the cosmopolitan and cool spirit of El Born, in the district of La Ribera, but it also has a history dating back over a thousand years, which makes it an unmissable place to visit. It stands not far from the waterfront and its artisan past is reflected in its streets, which are named after the old medieval guilds. Nowadays, El Born is still a centre for handcrafted items, but with an innovative twist that keeps up with the latest trends. They include the designer accessories and gift items you'll find at Bornisimo, modern espadrilles at Toni Pons and the colourful, ground-breaking eyewear collections from Etnia. Did you know that, in medieval times, knights took part in jousting tournaments on Passeig del Born? This charming little avenue is also home to the splendid basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. Nearby, the majestic medieval mansions on Carrer Montcada are now home to art galleries and museums. Another highlight is the city's former economic powerhouse, the medieval commodities exchange, the Llotja de Mar, which bears witness to Barcelona's splendid past.
As you can see, if you follow the Barcelona Shopping Line, you won't miss a single detail of the city's architectural heritage and retail offering, and you'll immerse yourself in the authentic Barcelona lifestyle. Enjoy!
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