Gaudí Architecture

Gaudí Architecture


Antoni Gaudí was inspired by nature, a genius architect, a creative artist, and far ahead of his time. He made his mark on the world never-before-seen building systems that were as brilliant as they were unique. For 43 years Gaudí would make unprecedented and symbolic buildings that would define the streets of Barcelona.


La Sagrada Familia



La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia


La Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudí's best-known work and is hands-down an undisputed symbol of Barcelona. Although the building of this church began in 1882 with the laying of its foundation, Gaudí didn’t assume commission of the project until 1883. His new vision was far more ambitious than his predecessor’s, including the construction of a temple with 5 naves, a transept, an apse, an exterior ambulatory, 3 façades, and 18 towers; as well as making it both the tallest building in Barcelona and church in the world.


La Sagrada Familia would be Gaudí ’s greatest project and he would work on it until his death in 1926, although he would not make it his sole obsession until 1914 when he ceased his work on civil projects. Since his death the construction has continued under the leadership of six other architects and is expected to finish in 2026. La Sagrada Familia is now one of seven Guadi constructions that are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is truly a site to be seen.


Cost: €26/$30.95 (must be bought online)
Hours: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 am – 6 pm


Parc Güell


Parc Güell
Parc Güell


Parc Güell, in truth, is a failed project by Antoni Gaudí turned UNESCO World Heritage Site. Commissioned in 1900 by Eusebi Güell to be a “garden city” of 60 villas, it was soon realized that most of the terrain was not suitable for building villas. Even though this was the case. Both Güell (from 1907) and Gaudí (from 1906) lived in the park until their deaths. At the time of Güell’s, death his descendants decided to stop work on the park and after Gaudí’s death the park was opened as a public park for Barcelona.


The park is a true marvel to see. Here Antoni Gaudí was both a building and garden architect, melding his inspiration of nature into nature itself. Throughout the park his building designs blend with the movement of the landscape. This is all empathized by colorful sculptures of animals both real and fictional. Parc Güell is now one of seven Guadi constructions that are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Cost: (much of the park is free) Adult: €10/$11.89, 7-12 yr: €7/$8.33, Under 7: Free
Hours: 9:30 am - 7:30 pm


Casa Milà


Casa Milà
Casa Milà


Casa Milà, locally known as La Pedrera (meaning ‘stone quarry’ in reference to its façade of stone), is Antoni Gaudí’s last civil work; built from 1906 - 1912. Though the construction of Casa Milà was wrought with problems ranging from financial issues with the family to structural issues with the city, the final house is considered an architectural masterpiece. The façade of the building is not weight bearing, but only a curtain wall, allowing for the large windows to be used. This theme continues throughout the building, with hidden steel beams serving as structural elements. This allowed Gaudí to design the floor plan how he pleased.


The floor plan was built around two courtyards that served the purpose of both allowing light and ventilation into the inner rooms. With each floor consisting of four apartments, Gaudí designed the floorplan so that each had both a section of the courtyard and outer wall. Casa Milà is now one of seven Guadi constructions that are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Cost: (+€3 if bought at the ticket booth) Adult: €24/$28.47, 65+: €18.50/$21.95, 7-12 yr: €12/$14.24, Under 6: Free
Hours: Thursday - Sunday: 9:00 am - 6:30 pm


Casa Batlló


Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló


Casa Batlló was a remodel of a house owned by the wealthy aristocrat, Josep Batlló, from 1904 – 1906. Although the local name for the building is ‘House of Bones,’ Gaudí used colors and shapes found in marine life as inspiration for his creativity of this building; especially those found in coral. His continued theme of nature in his designs shows vividly in Casa Batlló, particularly in the interior where it seems that the goal was to completely avoid the use of straight lines; a characteristic in most of his designs. It is a very colorful and original house that shows off Antoni Gaudí ’s stunning abilities as an architect and artist. Casa Batlló is now one of seven Guadi constructions that are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Cost: Adult: €35/$41.53, 65+: €32/$37.97, 13-17 yr: €19/$22.54, Under 13: Free
Hours: 9 am - 6:30 pm


Casa Vicens


Casa Vicens
Casa Vicens

 

Casa Vicens is the first house, and one of the first major works, to be built by Antoni Gaudí and is considered to be a prelude to the Modernisme movement. It was built from 1883 - 1885 as a summer estate for the stockbroker Manuel Vicens i Montaner. The use of colorful and decorative ceramics, as well as the corner towers, are inspired by Moorish and Oriental architecture. Breaking with the common stye of the time he created a bold aesthetics with the inspiration of nature throughout both the exterior and interior of the house. Something that would be a theme throughout all of his creations. Casa Vicens is now one of seven Guadi constructions that are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Cost: (must be bought online) Adult: €16/$18.98, Student & 65+: €14/$16.61, Under 11: Free
Hours: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm


Palau Güell


Palau Güell
Palau Güell


Palau Güell is one of Antoni Guadi’s early works in Barcelona and his first commission from Eusebi Güell. Built from 1885 – 1890, this palace was meant to be both a house and to be a place to host all of the events of the active social life of a Catalan bourgeoisie family. With just 18 x 22 meters of floor space available, Guadi built a magnificent and functional palace in seven floors around a central hall. Making the building noteworthy for its innovative use of space and light. Although the outside is understated in terms of Guidi’s normal designs, the interior is lavish with impressive ironwork, woodwork, ceramics, stained glass, and stonework throughout.


Later, in 1895, Guadi added his typical colorful mosaic chimneys to the roof; an eye-catching contrast to the colorless façade of the building. Altogether there are 20 chimneys on the roof, which also serve to ventilate the house. Palau Güell is now one of seven Guadi constructions that are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Cost: €5/$5.93 (audio guides need to be downloaded as an app)
Hours: April - October: 10 am - 2 pm & 4 pm to 8 pm; November - March: 10 am - 1.30 pm & 2.30 pm - 6 pm.


Torre Bellesguard


Torre Bellesguard
Torre Bellesguard


The Torre Bellesguard might be one of Gaudí ’s least famous buildings due to it being off the beaten tourist path, but it is impressive non the less. It was on this ground that originally stood the home of the Martin of Aragon, the last king of the Catalan dynasty of the House of Barcelona, who died in 1410. By the time Antoni Gaudí began his work the grand home that once stood there was all but ruins, but Gaudí paid homage to the historic land with his gothic castle design.


Built from 1900 – 1909, the Torre Bellesguard is the only Gaudí building to be continuously used as a private home. Still today, though you can tour the building, it is a private home. It is unique in its design with un-Gaudí like straight lines and a roof stripped bare without his usual burst of color and mosaics. The view from the roof gives truth to the name of the building (beautiful view), with a 360° view of the area.


They are currently only offering 40-minute guided tours every 30 minutes. 

 

Cost: Adults: €10/$11.86; Under 18 & Retirees: €8/$9.49, Under 8: Free
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:30 am – 3 pm


Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella


Citadel of Barcelona
Citadel of Barcelona

 

Once the site of the Citadel of Barcelona, at one time the largest fortress in Europe, it was later mostly destroyed and turned into the 70-acre park that lays there today. In commemoration of the park, Josep Fontseré designed this beautiful fountain in 1875. Although it was built while Anton Gaudí was still an architecture student, he did have a slight role in its production. While working in the studio, Gaudí corrected a mistake of another student in the design of the hydraulics for the fountain and falls.


Cost: Free
Hours: 24/7



Gaudí Architecture

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Barcelona: Travel Guide

barcelona travel guide


Barcelona covers it all, from the historic alleyways of the gothic Quarter to the bizarre and colorful architecture of Antoni Gaudí. With its cosmopolitan feel, relaxed pace of life, unbeatable climate, breathtaking architecture, and fantastic food, it is a city that has everything. Barcelona really might be the most perfect city in the world. It is no wonder it is one of the most visited cities on the planet and gains a spot on almost everyone’s itineraries.


What to Do


Gothic Quarter



Bishop’s Bridge in the Gothic Quarter barcelona spain
Bishop’s Bridge in the Gothic Quarter.


The Gothis Quarter, known as Barri Gòtic, is the oldest part of Barcelona. Built above the old Roman settlement of Barcino, you can still see remnants of that ancient civilization in Roman walls, cemeteries, and foundations. Today’s buildings still date back to Medieval times and are stunning to look at. A fully pedestrian area, you can easily spend hours wandering the historic winding streets of the Gothic Quarter.


Museums



museu picasso barcelona spain
Museu Picasso

There are so many amazing museums in Barcelona that you could spend your entire trip just visiting them. From incredible history to world famous art museums, there is something for everyone. In the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat (City History Museum) you will be able to learn about the history of Barcelona since the Roman era, as well as see the largest Roman excavations outside of Rome. Or if you are into art (or architectural history), you can visit Museu Picasso. This museum houses the most complete collection of paintings and engravings from Picasso and is housed in 5 adjoining 13th and 14th century palaces. For art aficionados, there is the Articket that will grant access to 6 art museums (Museu Nacional, Fundació Joan Miró, Museu Picasso, MACBA, CCCB , and Fundació Antoni Tàpies) and allow you to skip the line for €35/$41.71. If you just like museums in general I suggest you get the Barcelona Card (mentioned below) for free - discounted rates on most museums.


Montjuïc Castle



montjuic castle barcelona spain
Montjuic Castle Gate

The Montjuïc Castle is a formidable 17th century fortress high above the city of Barcelona. The castle itself is well worth a tour to see the grounds, the military museum, and to get the 360º views from 173 meters above the city. While you’re at the Montjuïc Castle, you should also take the chance to walk around the many beautiful gardens that surround the area (they are free).


Cost: €5/$5.96
Hours: November - February: 10 am – 6 pm; March - October: 10 am - 8 pm


La Sagrada Familia



la sagrada familia barcelona spain
La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is easily the most famous, and possibly the most breathtaking, building in all of Barcelona. The construction of this church was begun almost a century ago by Antoni Gaudí and is still under construction today. The astonishing intricacy of design on the outside is only rivaled by the sheer neck-bending beauty of the design and color of the inner church. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is an absolute must see.


Cost: €26/$30.95 (must be bought online)
Hours: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 am – 6 pm


Gaudí Architecture



casa vicens barcelona spain
Casa Vicens

Antoni Gaudí is Barcelona’s most famous architect and his architectural style has made him legendary around the world. You will see his work all over the city; from extravagantly designed houses to beautiful parks, and even one of the most famous churches in the world. You have undoubtedly heard of La Sagrada Familia (mentioned above), but there is also Parc Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Palau Güell, Torre Bellesguard, Casa Vicens, Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella. Six of which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most of these places are within easy walking distance and are free to see from the outside. Each one has its own price to tour the inside (Parc de la Ciutadella is free), but you can buy a House Pass that will grant you entrance and to skip the line for 3 houses (Casa Milà, La Casa Batlló, Casa Vicens) for €81/$96.40 from any of the houses.


Beaches



beach barcelona spain

Known for having some of the best urban beaches in the world, Barcelona has many beaches along its boardwalk that is within easy walking distance from the city center. Bask in the sun on the sandy beach, sooth your soul in the warm water, or listen to live music while you grab a bite in one of the many beach front restaurants. No matter what you do, you can never go wrong with a beach day.


La Rambla



la rambla barcelona spain

La Rambla is the central boulevard that runs through the heart of Barcelona. This pedestrian only street is filled with the energetic action of a living city at both its best and worst. Usually, one of the first places visited, La Rambla is usually filled with tourist, but also with street performers, artist, and consumer stalls. At the very least, it is a great place to people watch.


Parks



bunkers del carmel barcellona spain
View from the bunkers.

Barcelona places enormous importance on public space and you can easily notice it in its parks. Parks are placed all over the city and are a great place to enjoy a little down or mingle with the locals. There are a lot of great parks in the city, but two of my personal favorites are Ciutadella Park to the east and Mirador de les Bateries in the north. Mirador de les Bateries (the site of old Spanish Civil War era bunkers) may not be in the city center, but it is well worth the trek. This site gives you an amazing 360º view of the area, but also an incredible ariel view of all of Barcelona.


Archeological Sites



museu d'història ciutat barcelona spain
Roman ruins at the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat.

It can be argued that all of the Gothic Quarter is an archeological site with its medieval buildings and sporadic above ground Roman architecture, but laying just underground all over the city are more vestiges of the old Roman empire. As mentioned above, the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat has a large Roman excavation within the museum, but it cost to get in. El Born Centre de Cultura i Memòria, on the east side of town, is another large Roman excavation site that is free to the public. As you walk around town you will likely see other small, glass covered, sites around marketplaces or other buildings as well. 


Craft Breweries



garage beer co barcelona spain
Garage Beer Co. draft list.

If you are into craft beer like I am, then you will have the chance to try a lot of new beers on your tip to Barcelona. There are a number of craft beer companies in the city center, so you will have a selection to choose from. My personal favorite place to go was Garage Beer Co. The atmosphere was nice, and it had very good tapas, but most importantly it had a great selection of craft beers to choose from. No matter what style you lie, you will find a good beer there.


Churches



santa maria de mar barcelona spain
Santa Maria de Mar

Churches have been important landmarks in Barcelona throughout its history and there is no shortage of amazing churches and cathedrals there. La Sagrada Familia might be its most famous church, but it is far from the oldest. Two other churches that you should definitely also visit are Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar and Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia. Both of these churches have a small fee to enter, but they are well worth the price to be able to venture inside.


Catch a Performance



palau música catalana barcelona spain
Palau de la Musica Catalana

Music and dance are the lifeblood of Barcelona and you should definitely consider seeing a performance of any kind while you are in the city. There are a number of free venues or street performers that provide shows for you to enjoy. If you are wanting something more formal, I highly recommend catching a show at the Palau de la Musica Catalana, if only to see the inside of the building. Another UNESCO Heritage Site, this building can also be toured for €10/$11.90, but why only tour it when you can see it in action. Although Flamenco dancing is not from this region, it is also quite popular to see.


What to Eat


Santo Domingo is a large city and as such there is a lot of food to be found there. Whether you are looking for fine dining or finger foods, international cuisine or local favorites, there is a little of everything to be found here. It should be noted that in Barcelona, lunch is usually served from 2 pm to 4 pm and dinner from 9 pm to midnight and many places will close in-between for siesta. Restaurants in Barcelona also often close on Sunday evenings and Mondays.



Paella barcelona spain
Paella

When looking for local food in Barcelona, expect to find a mix of traditional Spanish dishes along with Mediterranean-infused Catalonian classics. Like the rest of Spain, tapas are popular here and although they are meant to be snacked on, many people will simply make a meal out of them. Seafood paella, or just seafood in general, is famous in Barcelona so make sure that you eat it at least once during your trip.



seafood market barcelona spain
Seafood platter at a restaurant inside a market.

To save money, I recommend eating your fancier meals at lunch. Although they may be smaller portions, they will be far cheaper. Ordering the ‘meal of the day’ for lunch is a good way to save money also. There are many small restaurants inside the markets that are usually slightly cheaper as well. As usual, getting out of the tourist areas is always your best bet for finding cheaper food.


Where to Stay


Like all large cities, Barcelona has a lot to offer when it comes to accommodations. From backpacker’s hostels to grand hotels, you can find housing at any price point. Finding a place anywhere in the city center is great because it will allow you to easily walk from your hotel to the many attractions around town. I stayed in a small hotel inside the Gothic Quarter and it was amazing. When reserving my hotels, I always use Agoda to find the best rates.


How to Get Around


Walking



arco de triunfo de barcelona spain
Arco de Triunfo

Getting around on foot is a great choice for see all of the sights in the city center. Walking is not only free and good exercise, but it allows you to take in all of the sights and life of Barcelona. There is so much to see in-between the major sights and all of them are within walking distance of each other.


Bike


If you want a bit quicker way to get around the city than renting a bike might be for you. If you are staying in a hostel, there is a good chance they some available for you. Either way, daily rentals usually start around €12/$14.55.


Public Transportation


The public transportation system will take you just about anywhere you want to go in Barcelona. Within the city center there are bus routes, metro lines, and the train system. A single ticket will cost you €2.40/$2.88, but you are able to transfer as many times as you need within 75 minutes for free.


For cheaper public transportation you can also buy one of the many travel cards that are available. The three most popular cards for tourists are the T-Casual Card, Hola Transports Card, and Barcelona Card. All of the cards allow for the 75 minutes of free transfers.


T-Casual Card – Costs €11.35/$13.62 and is good for 30 days. It is valid for 10 trips on all public transportation within Zone 1 (city center), but does not include the metro to/from the airport. If you think that you need more zones you can increase them when you buy the card. This will increase the cost of the card, but also give you 15 minutes added to you transfer time per zone added.


Hola Card – Costs €16.30/$19.56 (48 hours), €23.70/$28.44 (72 hours), €30.80/$36.97 (96 hours), €38.00/$45.61 (120 hours). It is valid for unlimited trips on all public transportation, in all zones, for the duration of the pass.


Barcelona Card – Costs €46.00/$55.21 (72 hours), €56.00/$67.21 (96 hours), €61.00/$73.22 (120 hours). It is valid for unlimited trips on all public transportation, in all zones, for the duration of the pass. This card also grants you free entrance to many museums and discounts of up to 50% on your tickets to many more attractions, events, and venues. As well as the ability to skip the lines at many of the most popular attractions.


How to Get There



pin poin map location barcelona spain


From the Airport


Barcelona’s major international airport, Barcelona-El Prat International Airport (BCN), is located about 16km west of the city. Once you arrive at the airport you can find your way to your hotel in Barcelona a number of ways.


Airport Transfer


Using an airport transfer service is the easiest way to get to your hotel from the airport. They run 24 hours a day, will pick you up from outside your terminal, and you can book them online while you are still planning your trip.


Bus


Aerobús (A1 & A2) is an airport shuttle bus that runs every 5 minutes (Terminal 1) and every 10 minutes (Terminal 2), every day from 5:30 am - 1 am and takes about 30 min depending on your stop and traffic. It will make 4 stops: Plaça Espanya, Gran Via - Urgell, Plaça Universitat, and Plaça de Catalunya. A one-way ticket to/from either Terminal costs €5.90/$7.16 or roundtrip for €10.20/$12.37.


A cheaper, but possibly longer, option is to take bus 46 from either terminal. It only travels from 6:00 am – 11 pm and its last stop in Barcelona is Plaça Espanya. A one-way ticket costs €2.40/$2.88 and can be purchased from the driver, though if you plan to use more public transportation during your trip it could be cheaper to buy one of the travel cards listed above. If you are arriving after 1 am, Nitbús (N16 & N17) runs every 20 minutes from 10 pm – 5 am.


Metro



metro map barcelona spain

Both terminals are linked to Barcelona by Line 9 of the Metro. Although Line 9 does not go to the city center, it does connect with several other lines that do (and all transfers within 75 minutes are free). The Metro arrives every 30 minutes and it will take you about the same amount of time to get to the city center. The cost of a one-way ticket is €4.50/$5.46 or you could buy the Hola Transports Card or Barcelona Card (mentioned above) if you plan to use more public transportation during your trip (T series cards do not include Metro to the airport).


Train



train map barcelona spain

The tram (Renfe) is an easy way to get to the city center of Barcelona and it is also the cheapest. The tram only has one stop at the airport, Terminal 2, so if you arrive at Terminal 1 you will need to take the free green shuttle bus to Terminal 2. The line serving the city center is R2 at it takes about 30 minutes and runs from 5:42 am – 11:07 pm. It will cost €2/$2.43 one-way, but it could be even cheaper to buy one of the travel cards listed above.


Taxi


The taxi is always an option when leaving the airport, but it is also usually the most expensive. The taxis are located outside the terminals and are yellow and black in color. They will cost about €30+/$36.40+ one-way to the city center and go up at night (from 8 pm – 8 am).


From Other Cities


Train


There are several trains per day from various parts of Europe that go to Barcelona. Within Barcelona there are three main train stations for these international trains: Sants, Passeig de Gràcia, and Estació de França.


Boat


If you are arriving by ferry from one of the nearby ports, you will land near the end of La Rambla.


Bus


The connection for all bus arrivals is at Barcelona Nord, which is located within the city center.


What is your favorite thing in Barcelona?



barcelona travel guide


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Where Can U.S. Tourists Travel?

Where Can U.S. Tourists Travel?


For Americans eager to continue their traveling outside of the States, there are a number of countries that have opened their borders to U.S. citizens.


With the number of corona cases in the United States  going down and the number of vaccinations going up, many countries are no longer flat out saying 'No' to American tourists.  Many of those that had closed their borders have recently reopened, though still with  restrictions and requirements.  Although many are allowing unvaccinated tourist into their country, they are doing so with greater restrictions than their vaccinated counterparts.


Additionally, the State Department categorizes most nations as Level 3, or "reconsider travel." 
As of January 26, all airline passengers to the United States must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure.
 

Whether travel to "open" destinations is responsible or advisable is up to individuals to decide. 
For those who do choose to travel, it is strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 before departure - as things are continually changing. 

Santo Domingo: Travel Guide

santo domingo travel guide

 After multiple tries, and failures, to settle in the New World, Columbus’s crew finally perfected the recipe with Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Still today, Santo Domingo is a lively metropolis where the old and the new meld. A stroll through these historic cobblestone streets will thrill the senses with merengue music, sea salt breezes, and colorful life.


Zona Colonial: A Walking Tour

gateway zona colonial santo domingo dominican republic


At the heart of the Dominican Republic's capitol, Santo Domingo, is the Zona Colonial; a historical gem of the Americas. This historic neighborhood consists of a maze of narrow cobblestone streets banked by a plethora of 16th to early 20th century architectural wonders. As you walk these age-old streets it is easy to travel back in time to the first colonization of the Americas.


Christopher Columbus tried a few times to settle the New World, but it was his brother, Bartolome Colombus, that finally succeeded with the founding of Santo Domingo in 1498. Bartolome was followed by Diego Colombus (Christopher Colombus's son), the Dominican Order, and Nicolás de Ovando, all of which would make their mark on this already historic city to build many of the firsts in the Americas.

How to Travel Safely During the COVID-19 Outbreak

how to travel safely during the covid-19 outbreak


In 2020, travel spending declined an average of 46% overall, with international spending taking the biggest hit at about 76%. The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined travel and has most people rethinking where to go, how to get there, and what precautions to take along the way. While globetrotting might not be feasible, there are still plenty of ways to get away while protecting yourself from COVID-19. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe while traveling during COVID-19 outbreak.


Chalchuapa, El Salvador: Travel Guide

chalchuapa el salvador travel guide


Chalchuapa may not be as popular as other cities in El Salvador, but don’t let that fool you. Chalchuapa is a regional archeological power house that anyone with a love of history should commit to visiting. Once a regional epicenter for Mayan ceremonial sites, the archeological zone of Chalchuapa exhibits over 2000 years of Mayan occupation. With eight individual sites within this zone, there are two that stand out above the others; El Tazumal and Casa Blanca.

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