The Spanish island known for hedonistic hoopla also a child-friendly vacation spot.
At 40,000 feet, the plane is awash in youth. Aboard the Transavia flight from Paris to Ibiza, my Virginian mother — 68 years young — raises an arched eyebrow at the party-ready passengers. Seated across the aisle from us: my French husband and two young daughters (4 and 6). What are we doing taking a family trip to the Spanish isle famous for its hedonistic nightlife?
Anchored in the Mediterranean just 93 miles from Valencia, Ibiza is the closest island in the Balearic archipelago to the Spanish mainland. Generations of travelers have heard the siren song of its sun-baked beaches and crystal-clear waters. Of course, Ibiza also has a reputation for its all-night parties, electronic music and DJ-driven clubs — including the world’s largest, Privilege, which has a capacity for 10,000 revelers.
Casa Vicens, considered to be one of the earliest Art Nouveau buildings, is now a museum.
Step inside the first house designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, considered to be one of the first Art Nouveau buildings.
Any visitor to Barcelona is likely familiar with the unique, often whimsical work of architect Antoni Gaudí. His buildings are a beloved, defining aspect of the city. Now, visitors can become even more familiar with the iconic architect by stepping inside the first house he designed.
Casa Vicens is one of seven properties built by the Catalan modernist in Barcelona and its surrounding areas recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. UNESCO considers its distinctive style an “outstanding creative contribution to the architectural heritage of modern times.”
Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, and Ibiza tend to steal the Spanish spotlight, but every region has something to offer. Check out the most underrated ones here.
With over 75 million foreign visitors, Spain was the third most visited country in the world in 2016. It’s also been ranked the most tourist-friendly country by the World Economic Forum. But let’s face it, foreigners mostly flock to the same few cities: Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. Those cities are well worth a visit, but there’s more to Spain than that — 17 autonomous communities to be exact. Each one offers a unique experience and some remain relatively untouched by tourists. So if you’re looking for something different on your next visit to España, explore the history, beauty, and cuisine of these lesser visited but equally enchanting destinations.
A new architectural attraction has just reopened in Barcelona: Casa Vicens, one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Catalan capital, has undergone a three-year restoration by architects José Antonio Martínez Lapeña, Elías Torres and David García. It will accept a maximum of only 500 visitors a day.
Casa Vicens was Antoni Gaudì’s first major work. In 1883, the architect was commissioned to build a summer home in the former village of Gràcia in Barcelona. The young Gaudí was given plenty of leeway and he responded with a house featuring an oriental style and a landmark ceramic facade.
The house changed owners and in 1920 it was extended and turned into three separate homes. It then went back to single ownership and now, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, it has undergone a painstaking, three-year-long restoration.
Saying thank-you is a beautiful thing. Check out these incredible shrines, temples, churches, mosques, and altars built for the purpose of giving thanks.
Giving thanks is a beautiful thing. It’s also a very powerful thing. It humbles us and lifts us all at once. It spreads love and joy. It creates a spiritual connection between the giver and the receiver.
Places of worship are monuments to giving thanks as much as they are to prayer. Their beauty is designed to convey the sentiment of “thank-you” and honor. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other structures all have thanks as part of their architecture and design. Some are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And regardless of your own religious or spiritual beliefs, you can feel the power of “thank-you” when you see the artistry.
The mind-boggling Sagrada Familia, the unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, may be the pièce de résistance of this Catalan capital in Spain, but do not miss out the other Gaudi houses, says an awe-struck Sujoy Dhar.
Every year a 1-mile run in Barcelona take runners 1.5 times round “The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família”, the awe-inspiring church that rise up to the sky in the heart of Barcelona as the most audacious work of late Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
Said to be in the last state of its construction (more than 133 years in the making now) the fantastical Sagrada Família is Barcelona’s most visited tourist attraction. So when in Barcelona you probably cannot miss this landmark.
Completed in 1885, architect Antoni Gaudí’s first residential project opens today as a museum in Barcelona’s Gràcia district.
This is the first time the modernist masterpiece, which would inform much of Gaudí’s later work, is open to the public. Spanish architect David García of Daw Office talks to us about his involvement in the restoration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Originally built as a summer home for the wealthy Vicens family between 1883 and 1885, Casa Vicens was converted from a single-family dwelling into three separate residences on different floors in 1925. Additional renovations were undertaken in 1935 and 1964.
In 2005, Casa Vicens was added to the list of the Spanish architect’s projects that have achieved UNESCO World Heritage status, including the still unfinished La Sagrada Familia.
A weekend in Barcelona will provide you with unforgettable memories of the Catalan capital, with rich culture and history, combined with vibrant festivals and cuisine.
Barcelona, the cradle of Catalan culture and one of the oldest cities of Spain, has so much to offer even for the most demanding and sophisticated traveller. Year-round cultural events, rich history, unique architecture and mouth-watering cuisine make Barcelona the perfect weekend break destination. Our guest writers Illia and Nastia of Crazzzy Travel share their tips on what you should see, experience and eat for an unforgettable weekend in Barcelona.
SIGHTSEEING IN BARCELONA
Barcelona’s museums and cathedrals have existed for hundreds of years, so one short weekend is definitely not enough to see all of them. Nevertheless, why not to give it a try? Here is the itinerary we suggest for two-day stay in Barcelona.
In 1999 UNESCO declared Ibiza a World Heritage Site because of the island’s cultural diversity and historic value. Discover these four must-see sites.
Located in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean, there is one Balearic Island that is well known for its unique ambiance and cultural liveliness.
Despite its over-the-top party reputation, the island of Ibiza has plenty more to offer than just its rakish nightlife. With over 200 kilometers of coastline, there is nature and history waiting to be explored around every corner.
A visit to this Mediterranean island will awaken your soul to the all the finer things in life, mostly those that involve extreme style, hidden beaches, and heaps of local seafood. If you’re an all-night party owl, then as I’m sure you know, this island will have no problem welcoming you.
The largest Art Nouveau complex in the world is a Barcelona hospital with a 600-year-long history.
Stained glass windows, arches, paintings, and mosaics illuminated by massive windows that offer natural light in buildings surrounded by impeccable landscaping and ornate statues of gargoyles and angels aren’t often indicative of hospital aesthetics. But Sant Pau in Barcelona, with a history that dates back six centuries, is a worthwhile detour from traditional medical architecture.
In the late 19th century, Barcelona was expanding beyond its old city walls, and beyond the Hospital de la Santa Creuwhich had served the city since the early 1400s. In 1896 a wealthy Catalan banker named Pau Gil i Serra died, leaving behind a will that requested his estate be used for a new hospital that would utilize the newest available medical technology.