If, like me, you are a fan of all things Spanish, you will be pleased to hear that Monarch have added new direct flights from London Gatwick to Barcelona, one of the UK’s most popular short break destinations. In addition to the airlines existing direct flight service from Manchester, flights now leave Gatwick for the Spanish city 11 times per week. Customers are able to tailor their flight to their own needs when booking and are offered various options concerning extra leg room, pre-ordered meals and seating arrangements.
Barcelona is perfect for city breaks. It’s also a fantastic destination for those wanting a cosmopolitan beach holiday and an exciting gateway to the pyrenees and its ski resorts during the winter months. Rich in culture, stunning scenery, exciting entertainment and some of the best Spanish food and wine available; Barcelona has something for everyone.
One of the highlights during a trip to Barcelona has to be a leisurely stroll down La Rambla, a mile long wide avenue that cuts through the heart of the city and is lined by cafes, restaurants and stalls. Musicians, dancers, artists and human statues line the route and entertain those passing by. Stopping for a drink in one of the cafes lining the avenue for some people watching is highly recommended.
The Segrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s most striking attractions and part of the legacy the well known architect Gaudi left the city. This unfinished Cathedral looks as though hot wax has been poured over a gothic building and is like something out of a fairytale. The view from the top is stunning and visitors only pay 8 euros to climb to the top of the cathedral’s towers. Gaudi’s work is also on display at Park Guell, home to the Gaudi Museum. The park has a panoramic view over Barcelona’s rooftops and a selection of cafes, bars and restaurants where visitors can make the most of their surroundings.
A visit to a Pintxo Bar is a must to sample some of the city’s most popular food. Here, bite sized food (the Basque version of tapas) is served on bread platters which customers are encouraged to try using a toothpick. Your food bill is calculated by adding up the number of toothpicks you have used.
Barcelona is a great place to visit at any time of the year but if you like to party September is when the city really comes alive during the Festes De La Mercel. This festival started out as a small religious parade and has become a week long party celebrating Catalan culture. Performances, free concerts, fireworks, an air show, exhibitons and children’s activities all take place over the week.
There are plenty of hotels to choose from in the city and one of your favourites is the four star Barcelona Princess Hotel, which is close to the city’s attractions and a beautiful beach. The hotel has two outdoor pools and a spa and offers great value for money. The three star Hotel Condado, in the centre of Barcelona, is just a short stroll away from some of the best examples of Gaudi’s work and has double rooms available from £35.