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Photo by Tashoma Lemard
Show your friends a different part of Barcelona with a 'gallery opening trawl'
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Photo by Tashoma Lemard
See Barcelona by bus
Avoid the expensive tourist buses and take one of the regular services instead, like the number 59
We look at how you can entertain your guests in Barcelona without breaking the bank
1. For cool friends: Art show openings Barcelona has become one of Europe’s most artistic cities thanks to its enthusiasm for the arts and captivating juxtaposition of ancient and modern architecture. So if you’ve got visitors coming who’ve seen all the usual sights, why not let them feel like a real part of the city by enjoying a night of exhibition inaugurations? On most Thursday evenings, from around 8pm, if you head to the galleries that dot the streets of Enric Granados, Consell de Cent and Aragó, you’re likely to find a plethora of openings taking place, which are free and often offer complimentary drinks. You may even find yourself rubbing shoulders with the artist and you never know, if they’re taken with what they see, your guest may end up taking home a more original souvenir than a Meixcan sombrero.
2. For parents: Explore Les Corts Take mum and dad away from the city centre crowds to one of Barcelona’s least visited neighbourhoods, Les Corts, and show them its gardens. At the far end of Avinguda Diagonal, Parc de Cervantes is home to a blossoming range of over 245 varieties of colourful flowers and is famous for its international rose show, which takes place every May. Parc de Pedralbes is a wonderful picnic spot with its lush greenery and impressive array of sculptures and fountains, as well as the Palau Reial, a majestic mansion surrounded by Mediterranean plants. Finally, take them to one of Gaudi’s lesser-known creations, the Finca Güell, which he designed in 1883; although little remains of his original project, the dragon in the elaborate iron gate alone is worth the trip.
3. For first-timers: BCN by bus If you have visitors coming who have yet to see the key sights, but don’t have much time or cash to spare, forget the pricey tourist buses and head for normal bus services instead. With a trusty T-10 ticket in hand (at the time of writing, they cost €8.95, although a price hike is expected for this month), you can personalise your itinerary to fit the pace and interests of your guests. For example, the number 59 starts just next to the Hotel Arts and heads along the Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta (sea views, tick; beach life, tick), later slowly winds its way up La Rambla (statues and pickpockets, tick), traverses the Eixample Esquerra (architecture, tick), and finishes up a short walk from the Camp Nou (footballing geniuses, tick).