Barcelona is not only home to one of the greatest football team (if not the greatest!) in the world, FB Barcelona or Barça (bar-sa), it is also Europe’s culture hub. The city prides itself of celebrating cultural diversity while keeping its Catalonia identity intact. This impressive balance is tasted in food, reflective in its wondrous architecture and experienced in everyday life. The Catalans- although still demanding for independence from Spain, remained steadfast in preserving their culture by making sure it continues to play a significant part in every activity in the region.
For Filipinos who are thinking of visiting Europe, Barcelona is a great choice because there are activities for everyone. Art enthusiasts will not run out of museums to visit. In fact, the whole city is a museum! Walk along Passeig de Gracia and you can find Casa Batllo and Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera); both were designed by the famous son of Barcelona, Antonio Gaudi. He is also the most popular architect of Sagrada Familia, the most famous landmark of Barcelona which is also a UNESCO Heritage site. Gaudi is a huge part of the Art Nouveau movement in Spain and his works are scattered all over the city that makes every turn a surprise. Picasso Museum is also a huge hit for the tourist as well as Joan-Miro Foundation, Museu National d’Art de Catalonia just to name a few.
For those who are attracted to churches and cathedrals, visit Tibidabo, a church located on top of the mountain overlooking the entire city. One of the glass stained windows of this magnificent structure represents an image of the Virgin Mother from the Philippines. A few minutes outside of Barcelona is Montserrat Monastery and Cathedral, home of the Black Madonna and the Patron Saint of Catalonia. Gregorian chant is sang by its famous boys choir everyday to honor the Holy Mother.
Walking through the stretch of Las Ramblas until the Port Area, you can see hundreds of tourist appreciating the beautiful chaos of life in Catalonia. Side stepping into La Boqueria- the most visited market in Barcelona, you will be transported into the colorful world of fruits and vegetables and the bounty harvest of the sea so artistically arranged that is became an enticing feast of the senses.
On top of it all, Barcelona is a city rich in culture, history and promise of the future. Explore its labyrinth with a bike, take advantage of the ever efficient metro system and buses or simply walk, you can always find something mesmerizing. If you want to know more on how to explore the city, allow a local Filipino guide to assist you. Simply visit www.bcnmtpoint.com.