Barcelona Weekends

everything you need for an eco weekend break in Barcelona.

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Barcelona

The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is a vibrant city on the Mediterranean with an amazing amount to see -Gaudi's spectacular Sagrada Familia, Miro and Picasso Museums, the Ramblas and the harbour with their shops, bars and restaurants and much more.......

Transport -getting there and getting around:

Flights to the city are available with the national airline, Iberia, along with a range of budget airlines who serve the City at two Airports -El Prat de Llobregat (BCN), 10 miles southwest of the centre, or Girona (GRO) a massive 60 miles away! If you are after cheap tickets, the journey from Girona may not make it so cheap after all. See Aeropuertos Españoles y Navigacion Area (www.aena.es) for more information.

Rail Europe
For a more sustainable way to get there, consider the train -Eurostar to Paris then the Ellipsios (www.elipsos.com) trainhotel all the way to the city -accommodation ranges from reclining seats to private double rooms with a first class restaurant on board.
 
Information on the Spanish railways can be found with the national rail company Renfe (www.renfe.es) and local railways with Ferrocarrils de Generalitat de Catalunya (www.fgc.es). Within the city, there is a good underground and bus system run by TMB -Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (www.tmb.net).
 
You can hire bicycles at Green Bikes Barcelona (www.greenbikesbarcelona.com), located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, who also offer a 3.5 hour tour of the city by bike.
 
The city has a bustling port -for information see Autoritat Portuaria de Barcelona (www.portdebarcelona.es). There are two terminals, Drassanes and Ferry de Barcelona, which are served by a good number of ferries and cruise liners. Grimaldi Ferries (www.grimaldi-ferries.com) ply routes to Italy, Sardinia, Malta and Tunisia, Grandi Navi Velooci (www3.gnv.it) run to Genoa and Tangiers, Trasmediterranea (www.trasmediterranea.es) run routes to Tangier, Mallorca and destinations in Italy.
 
With Live Barcelona (www.livebarcelona.cat) the City is running a significant initiative to promote the electric car with the planned installation of more than 250 charging stations around the city.

Sightseeing, events and tours:

The Forum Esplanade from 2004 is the city's grand gesture to sustainability. -the project integrated the Besòs sewage treatment plant with a massive solar pergola and shade structure that together will yield 1.3 Mw of power, alongside buildings by architects Herzog and De Meuron.

The city has a number of classic modern buildings. See Fundació Mies van der Rohe (www.miesbcn.com) who care for the German Pavilion designed by Mies for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition, For Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia (www.sagradafamilia.cat) is a must see, if you can live with the queues. See Gaudi Club (www.gaudiclub.com) for information on his other buildings in the city, including Parc Guell and Casa Mila.

Private group tours around the City can be arranged with City Tours Barcelona (www.citytoursbarcelona.com) whose list includes the Gothic Quarter, Gaudi and Modernism or Modern Architecture.

There are some great galleries in the city. Most famously, the Museo Picasso de Barcelona
(www.museupicasso.bcn.es) features the work of Spain's best kmown artist, who lived in the city for many years. Also worth a visit is Joan Miró Foundation (www.bcn.fjmiro.es) whose exhibition center aims to foster research into Joan Miró's work and bring it to a wider audience.

For sports enthusiasts, a vist to Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona (www.fcbarcelona.com) is a must -they offer a tour of the history of the club -photographs, trophies, commemorative posters and a contemporary art collection related to sport and the club. Also the outdoor pools in Montjuic Park built for the 1992 Olympics enjoy fabulous views over the city.

Air de Barcelona Arab Baths (www.airedebarcelona.com)

Music lovers might like to refer to Barcelona Rocks (www.barcelonarocks.com), a concert and live music guide to Barcelona, while Le Cool (www.lecool.com/barcelona/es/today) presents a Spanish language listing of arts events, theatre, poetry and and other random events in the city.

Hotels:

Casa Camper (www.casacamper.com) -a boutique design hotel in a C19th gothic tenement in the heart of the Raval area, that espouses principles of simple healthy living. They show a strong commitment to the environment -a water recycling system cleans shower and bath water purely biomechanically, solar energy heats the water, and the use of clean transportation systems such as public transport, walking or our bicycles is encouraged.
 
Omm Hotel (www.hotelomm.es) architect designed boutique spa hotel with the Moo michelin starred restaurant at Passeig de Gracia and Diagonal.

Apartments:

Apartments Eric Vogel (www.ericvokel.com) offer a range of boutique apartments not far from Sagrada Familia. Either new or refurbished, the apartments have been individually designed by Danish architect Eric Vogel, and the high specification includes solar hot water along with wifi internet.
 
DestinationBCN-Barcelona Apartments (www.destinationbcn.com) offer stylish and comfortable holiday accommodation in the city center of Barcelona. Ideally located near the Beach and Las Ramblas.

Hostels and budget accommodation:

Mellow Eco Hostel, part of the Feetup Network (www.feetuphostels.com) sets out to reduce its environmental impact with the use of renewable solar energy, recycling facilities, biodegradable cleaning products and restricting air conditioning to the common area by taking advantage of orientation to facilitate natural ventilation.

One of Barcelona's newer backpacker establishments, Urbany Hostel (www.barcelonaurbany.com) offers all the usual necessities and even a pool. The hostel claims to be the first eco-friendly hostel in Barcelona, featuring rainwater harvesting, recycling containers, low consumption light bulbs and low consumption showers.

Restaurants, Bars and Clubs:

  • CDLC Barcelona -Carpe Diem Lounge Club is a unique venue for food and music on the sea front.
  • DAF Restaurant Chef Lab -unique restaurant in the heart of the gothic quarter, which offers healthy experimental cuisine by chef Martín Lippo: natural breakfasts, lunch menus and also more sophisticated dining after 9pm; live music from midnight.
  • El Mirador -Salones para celebraciones de bodas, banquetes y comuniones en la Sierra de Collcerola.
  • Flamenco en Barcelona El Tablao de Carmen Amaya -describes itself as the best flamenco show in Barcelona.
  • Jaime de Provenza -mixes traditional with modern menus.
  • The Loft -casual nightclub featuring Barcelona's most avant garde DJ line up.
  • Rincon de Aragon -Aragonese roast and tapas in Ciutat Vella.
  • Torre de Alta Mar -luxury restaurant located 75m up in the tower overlooking the Barceloneta. Stunning views but not cheap.


Guided cycling tour in Catalonia, for food lovers

Responsible Travel offer a guided cycling tour through the Baix Emporda province of Catalonia giving the opportunity to experience some fantastic scenery and great food and wine. The tour includes a cookery class, visits to producers, tastings and a half day guided cycle tour of the city of Barcelona.


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Featured book:
Lonely Planet: Barcelona (City Guides)
Damien Simonis
Paperback
Lonely Planet Publications
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A Great Weekend in Barcelona
Marie-Ange Demory
Hachette Travel Guides
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Barcelona Popout Map


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