A Trip Through the Modern History of Barcelona

Barcelona, on the Mediterranean Sea at the northern coast of Spain, resonates with excitement and adventure during every step of your visit. A truly cosmopolitan city, Barcelona has not erased its history, but rather embraced and enhanced it with the Modernistic architecture of Antoni Gaudi, among others. Over the last 100 years, Barcelona has developed a new and exciting look to its city. One of the most economically active cities in Spain, Barcelona can offer its tourists a bit of everything: picturesque villages, exceptional landscapes, important monuments and historical remnants.


Sagrada Família

La Sagrada Família (The Holy Family Church) was the masterpiece of architect Antoni Gaudi. One of the most innovative ideas of the design is the 18 high circular conical towers that stand on the portals and taper in height. The towers were designed with parabolic torsion giving an ascending trend throughout the façade, favored by many colorful windows in spiral shapes displayed by the tower. A must see in Barcelona!

Park Güell

Park Güell built in the years 1900 to 1914 is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the top of the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. Its design clearly shows the signature of Gaudi. In this park, one can find elements with wavy shapes, like rivers of lava, covered boulevards with tree shaped columns, stalactites, and geometric shapes and many of the surfaces covered with pieces or ceramic or glass as a mosaic of colors.

So many other outstanding things to see in Barcelona including Arch of Triumph, Casa Milà (better known as La Pedrera House), Casa Batlló, and The Gothic Quartier.

For day trips out of Barcelona, visit the mountain area of Montserrat with the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat.

From afar, the about 1,200-meter-high mountain is a grand sight. Even from above, you can experience a view far into the landscape of Catalonia. Enjoy the museum, the funicular that goes to the summit, and listen to the Gregorian chants sung daily by about 50 choir boys at noon.

Eating and drinking are not just enjoyable things to do when you travel – food and wine reveal so much about a culture and its people. Cava is Spain’s sparkling wine – the Spanish version of Champagne.

Firstly, Cava is generally made from a combination of three grapes, Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada, which are local grapes. A visit to the home of Freixenet, Spain’s world-famous Cava producer is a must.


Axel Hotel


Aribau, 33
08011 Barcelona
The Axel Hotel is an amazing place to stay. This hotel is the most cosmopolitan and trendy LGBT hotel in the city. Axel Hotel Barcelona is located in the “Gayexample”, the heart of the Barcelona gay scene and Modernism birthplace. Just 10 minutes walking from the main interest points such as the Paseo de Gracia, Plaza de Catalunya, and the Gothic Quartier.


Barcelona is a city that loves to party. From musical bars to cruising clubs, cocktail lounges, to panoramic sky bars, there are more than 30+ venues to choose from.

You will find some of the most contemporary designer gay bars tucked right next door to the oldest traditional tapas bars. People eat late in Barcelona (i.e., 10:00pm!) and clubs are still packed after 3:00am. The Bar scene in Barcelona is wide and varied; there is something for all tastes. Whether it’s chilling out in the Axel Hotel’s Sky Lounge, or stripping off in Berlin Dark, or looking hot with all the pretty boys at Bim Bam Bum, Barcelona is the city you will have lots of fun and options.



Codium is a small but beautiful restaurant with creative cuisine. The service is superb, the food is wonderful and when you factor in the price (and the complementary Cava to start), it is truly incredible value. Couldn’t recommend it more highly!


Iurantia offers a wide variety of salads and homemade pasta. It is a fine example of Barcelona’s love of gourmet tapas and fresh menus.

This place was delicious.

Barcelona is more than just one city; it is a collection of multi-faceted and diverse cities. This Spanish jewel has accomplished its goal to preserve its Gothic history in a modern and enterprising way.

For travel recommendations, please contact me at RSicilio@TRIPSandCRUISES.com
www.TRIPSandCRUISES.com or 800-411-8747.

Rick Sicilio is the owner of Travel and Tours in Pittsburgh. He is an avid, worldwide traveler and has visited 68 countries to date. For over 21 years, Rick and his staff have been assisting clients to embrace their wanderlust and travel the world.