Disseny and Caixa Forum
Before we get started with our Barcelona Museum of Art Tours, I just wanted to put in my two cents regarding Barcelona. I have lived in many cities throughout my years; my travels and residence have led me to Rome, Manhattan, San Diego, Sydney, Paris, and Berlin, to name a few.
However, the one city that is dearest to my heart remains Barcelona. I’m sure some of you are asking how I can compare a city like Rome or Paris to Barcelona. I agree, it’s not quite a fair comparison. These cities have a cultural, architectural, artistic, and historical past that still has a profound presence in every day life. Don’t get me wrong; Barcelona has a lot to offer. The city boasts architectural Modernists Gaudí and Domènech i Montaner. It is also home to the MACBA and the Cathedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia. And, it celebrates many traditional gastronomic delights, such Calcots! But lets face it, most everything pales in comparison to the centuries of still standing masterpieces by masters such as Michelangelo, Notre Dame and the Coliseum, or a plate of tagliatelle alla Bolognese.
That said, Barcelona still remains number one in my heart. Why? While your Paris, Rome’s and Madrid’s of the world may seem to have it all, nothing compares to the every day life living in a city like Barcelona. For day to day life, Barcelona is the little gem that in fact does have it all.
Whether you’re looking to take a walk on the Barcelona Beach Promenade after work, take in a concert at the Palau de la Musica when you feel like it, or visit the MNAC on the weekend, everything is accessible any time, and probably within a 10 to 15 minute metro ride from most anywhere in the city center. Hence, life is full of activities and convenience. Meanwhile, try to get to Ostia Beach from Rome in the middle of August, visit the Torre Eiffel when you feel like it, or enter the Coliseum on the weekend – I dare you.
Barcelona Museum of Art Tours
I do believe that Barcelona is under appreciated for what it offers. Perhaps one of the most underrated past times for locals and tourists in Barcelona is that of museums. Barcelona is home to some of the most eclectic and extensive museum collections and exhibitions throughout Europe. Our Barcelona Museum of Art Tours, combined with our restaurant suggestions throughout this wonderful city, is sure to delight art connoisseurs and foodies from all parts of the world. Below is a sneak peak itinerary of what we here at South Europe Travel, as expert travel and event planners, can put together for our clients:
10:30 – 13:30 AM: Museu Del Disseny (Design Museum of Barcelona)
Our Barcelona Museum of Art Tours starts at the newly constructed Museu Del Disseny. It is also known as the Design Museum of Barcelona, located at Plaça de les Glories Catalanes, just off the Barcelona Metro line 1 (Red Line). This museum is the brainchild of Barcelona’s Institute of Culture, who works to promote better understanding and good use of the design world, acting as a museum and laboratory.
It focuses on 4 design principles: space, design, information and fashion. Most importantly, there is a focus on Catalan contributions. The goal of the permanent collections, from the past and the present, is the object and all that it signifies or has signified and contributed to our lives: from conception, creation and production, to use in different eras and cultures, from the artisanal and preindustrial periods to the industrial and digital age. Most noteworthy, the new museum boasts a collection comprising more than 70,000 objects. While their permanent collection is impressive, their temporary exhibitions are equally as breathtaking, and is what caught my eye on this trip.
14:00 – 16:00: Lunch at El Nacional
Next stop on our Barcelona Museum of Art Tours is lunch! Hope back on the Metro L1 Red Line headed towards Hospital de Bellvitge, and get off at the Cataluña stop. Two blocks up from here you’ll find, tucked away, an old refurbished garage. It hides one of the best-kept gastronomic secrets of Barcelona, El Nacional.
This complex is the first mega restaurant of it’s kind in Barcelona. It offers different areas where you can try traditional recipes from around the Iberian Peninsula. Everything is prepared with top notch quality products, in a modernistic surrounding. This immense area offers different restaurants, all focusing on different high quality cuisine. There is something for everyone, from meat, fish, tapas and rice to a first class deli. Every restaurant flaunts its finest selection of beer, wine, cava, and cocktails. No matter what Iberian gastronomic delight you’re yearning for, this area has something for everyone in the family.
If you’re in the mood for a light lunch, I suggest the Beer and Preserves Bar or Wine and Cured Meats Bar. Treat yourself to the pan de coca tostado con tomate (Toasted bread brushed with tomatoes and olive oil from the region), mouth-watering Jamón ibérico de bellota (Acorn-fed Iberian ham), and Anchoas de L’Escala (Anchovies from L’Escala). Accompany it with a vino tinto by Bodega Hernando & Sourdais, Antídoto, and you’ll find yourself in tapas heaven.
16:30 – 18:30: Caixa Forum
Next stop on our Barcelona Museum of Art Tours is the Caixa Forum. It is one of Barcelona’s best venues for exciting international art exhibitions. The museum boasts art ranging from the Renaissance and Romanticism, to Modern and Contemporary. To get there, simply jump back on the Metro L1 Red Line at Cataluña, again headed towards Hospital de Bellvitge, and get off at the Espanya stop.
The building’s history started more than a century ago, in 1904, when the architect Josep Domènech i Estapà used the Modernista style of the time to construct the Amparo de Santa Lucía institution, in operation for 75 years.
In 1979 the “la Caixa” Foundation commissioned the architects Jordi Garcés and Enric Sòria to remodel and enlarge the building to house the Science Museum, becoming Spain’s first interactive museum dealing with scientific themes. Architects Robert and Esteve Terradas designed the subsequent refurbishment to transform the museum into how it stands today. Consequently, the new centre opened its doors on the 25th of September, 2004. Care was taken during the remodelling to conserve and restore the walls of the old Modernista building with its brick finish, considerably enlarging the old facility and adding modern touches of glass and steel.
The site covers more than 50,000 square meters, with a floor area of 30,000 square meters. Consequently, the current venue occupies four times more space than the first Science Museum. This new facility includes nine floors. Six of them are underground, but with natural light, as well as a large public plaza offering views of the city.
20:00 – 23:00: A stroll on the beach and dinner at Salamanca Silvestre
Probably by now you have noticed that there is a gap of time between the last museum and dinner. This will afford you some time to recuperate, get off your feet, and take a quick nap in your hotel room (which we will have reserved for you!). This is the best plan of action to enjoy the rest of your evening; let’s face it, Barcelona is as much about its nightlife as it is about its museums! Finally, the last stop on your Barcelona Museum of Art Tour is of course dinner and a stroll on the Barcelona Beach Promenade.
The easiest way to arrive, other than taxi, is to take the Yellow Line L4 metro headed to La Sagrera, getting of at the Barceloneta stop. Then, it’s a 10-minute stroll down Pla de Palau toward Carrer del Dr. Aiguader/Plaça de Pau Vila. You continue onto Passeig de Joan de Borbó, and then take a left onto Carrer de l’Almirall Cervera; you’ll find the restaurant a couple of blocks up.
Once you arrive to the restaurant, you arrive to the beach! My suggestion is that you head up or down from there and take a leisurely walk on the beach promenade. One of the most pleasurable experiences I keep with me is walking down this promenade on a warm summer evening. While there is lots going on (bikers, runners, sunbathers, skateboarders, etc.), it still feels calm and allows you to slow down a little, down to the pace of Barcelona living. In Barcelona people tend to eat very late, beginning at around 9:00 p.m. But, the restaurant is open nonstop if you prefer dining at a different hour.
Time for Paella!
While this restaurant is well known with tourists and locals alike, its paella is one of the city’s best. And the restaurant couldn’t be better located. You’ll find it just steps from the beach, with a large outdoor seating area. For those of you who want to dine close to the sounds of the waves crashing, it’s perfect. This restaurant is an icon in Barcelona. The owner has splashed the walls with photographs of famous sports players, actors, and singers from all over the world. All of which have frequented this place over the decades. Its seafood is fresh, paella is top notch, and even their jamones y embutidos (ham and cured sausage) are delicious. Top it off with Sangria, and you’re in for a special treat.
Want to know more…?
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Please contact us at email@example.com should you have any questions regarding the above steps, our services, or your European travel and event plans. Lastly, we are three women specializing in South Europe Travel. We love this region and all it has to offer and we would like to share its secrets with you.