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For those times when you want a break but have limited time to spare then a European holiday is ideal. Short flights and low prices mean that a trip to Europe won't break the bank. Nor will you have to begin and end your holiday with a long, arduous flight.
Barcelona is a fantastic choice of European destination as it combines the best features of a beach holiday with the best features of a city break. With a warm Spanish climate all year round, beautiful sandy beaches and the warm Mediterranean ocean at its feet, Barcelona is the perfect place to spend some time relaxing on a sun lounger or enjoying warm waters. Yet, as a major European city, Barcelona has much more to offer than your typical sun, sea and sangria break.
Rich in art and architecture, the magical work of Antoni Gaudi is a particular highlight of any trip to Barcelona. It's impossible to miss the work of this passionate Catalan architect as his designs are so ingrained in the aesthetics of the city that some of Barcelona's most iconic landmarks are his.
Gaudi's work, some of which shines with bright colour and light, and some of which is dark, brooding and gothic, fits perfectly with the vibe of this split personality city. For example, his colourful, hilltop wonderland Parc Guell has a Willy Wonka-esque vibe, with candy coloured confections making the park feel like something out of a children's picture book.
Overlooked by the Parc is Gaudi's masterpiece and Barcelona's principle church, the Sagrada Familia. With its twisted spires and skeletal design, the Sagrada Familia is the dark castle of the fairy story that is Gaudi's Barcelona.
Those who like to combine art and culture with their sun-lounger lazing will be spoilt for choice in Barcelona. Not only is the city packed full of stunning Gaudi works but it is also home to the Picasso museum. What's particularly special about the Picasso museum is that the Spanish artist was heavily involved in the founding of it, as he was passionate about having his art displayed in his home country.
If you prefer to draw inspiration from the streets, head to Las Ramblas to be caught up in its chaos, colour and the stories of the characters who inhabit it. Barcelona's central avenue runs like a gauntlet of zany street performers, living statues, and pet and flower stalls, right through the city from the central square down to the beach.
While undoubtedly overpriced, the cafes along Las Ramblas are worth indulging in as they enable you to sit and actually take in your crazy surroundings, without being swept along by the heaving crowds
When the assault on the eyes becomes too much, a step off of the Ramblas into the Barri Gothic area will quieten your mood considerable. A beautiful, yet slightly sinister area made up of winding, labyrinthine streets, the city's Gothic Quarter is a shadowy pleasure.
Wander the claustrophobic streets, taking in the smallest boutiques and quaintest cafes serving Barcelona's famous crispy churros and thick hot chocolate. Occasionally you'll stumble across a leafy square or beautiful church which provide welcome breathers before you continue to delve into the darker side of the city.
An amazing destination for those who want more than just beaches and sunshine, Barcelona offers the best of all worlds. Culture, colour and chaos collide to make for an intriguing city with a lot to offer travellers in need of a refreshing change of scenery.
You can find great holiday deals at d3als.co.uk so why not enjoy a trip to a diverse holiday destination that makes for a great value deal, no matter how you want to spend your well-deserved holiday time.