As we now all agree, Catalonia is not only one of the most awesome tourist destinations in Spain, but also in the world. This is because of its wide array of beautiful cities with each uniquely contributing to the region’s rich history and cultural heritage.
We explore the 7 cities that make up Catalonia’s rich cultural heritage.
The City of Girona
When in the beautiful City of Girona, you will get to truly appreciate the rich history of Catalonia as you are literally taken back in time thanks to the well maintained medieval buildings, amazing historical architecture which can be seen in religious landmarks and military-like fortresses, narrow streets with beautiful pathways coupled with sporadically scattered bridges. If you appreciate old era artifacts, then Girona will give you an amazing experience. It’s one of those cities that you just never tire with admiring.
The City of Tarragona
The City of Tarragona has amazingly retained its original feel and has remained relatively uncorrupted by outside influences such as tourism and commercialization. Located along the Mediterranean coast, this city offers beautiful scenery, as well as an array of historic Roman Empire ancient ruins. As a matter of fact, Tarragona is the only European city that has Roman ruins that are still intact.In addition, getting to take a walk through the old town gives you an opportunity to picture yourself in this time in history, a very memorable experience.
The City of Barcelona
Barcelona is the Capital of Catalunya and undoubtedly the pride and joy of this region. Despite being the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona as with the rest of Catalonia has its own unique cultural heritage. The people of Barcelona are proud of their unique history and culture and this attracts many tourists to the region who are interested in experiencing this unique heritage. There are plenty of ancient buildings, religious relics, traditionally narrow streets and historic architecture that has been well maintained in their original form. Barcelona remains an epitome of Catalan culture.
The City of Figueres
Just as with other Catalan cities, Figueres is an ideal tourist destination and what makes it stand out is that it’s the home of the renowned Catalan artiste, Salvador Dali where in his honor, the Dali Museum was established and it attracts millions of visitors both local and international thanks to Dali’s amazing art that depicts Catalan history and culture beautifully. The museum hosts sculptures, photographs, paintings among other Dali inspired pieces of art. These are some really inspired and impactful pieces of art that are worth making time for.
The City of Tossa de Mar
The City of Tossa de Mar is a small port city that stands out because of the way the town has managed to maintain its historic structures such as the stoned fortress that stands tall, blending seamlessly with the rocky cliffs well below it. It’s a small city that will not require much of your time to explore it but you will definitely appreciate the traditional narrow streets and rustic pathways.
The City of Blanes
The City of Blanes is also a small city in Catalonia and home to an amazing botanic garden that has an array of exotic plants and beautiful landscapes. Touring this small city, you will get to see beautiful plunging cliffsoverlooking the ocean, offering truly breathtaking views.
The City of Cadaques
The City of Cadaques is synonymous for its traditional whitewashed buildings as well as secluded bay thus making it one of the cities that stands out in Catalonia. The city has what you would call raw beauty, a quality unique to this city. Other offerings you can get to appreciate is the serene site of boats drifting in and out of the harbor, as well as a walk giving you an opportunity to appreciatethe scenic coastline. Just like all others, this city has an element of Catalan heritage that you will no doubt appreciate.
We would love to read your reviewsabout each of these cities, especially what you feel stands out most for you.
Catalunya is a Spanish region with a rich history. Because of the people’s determination to maintain their cultural heritage, this region offers a great tourism experience for history buffs interested to experience a people and a land that has made very deliberate attempts to ensure its historical and cultural relics maintain their original form.
If you are a tourist either local or international, there are a number of historic sites in Catalonia that must be a part of your itinerary as they will offer you an awesome experience into Cataluny’a rich history. Here are 5 historical sites that you should make a point of scheduling a tour.
The Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar
The Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar is a church that was built in the 14th Century in Costa Bravia which is a region to the north of Barcelona. This building is an emblem of Catalan Gothic, with an element of unity as well as purity in style which historians believe was very unusual especially for large medieval architecture. If you are on holiday in this region, and you are looking for a place of worship, you have the option of visiting this church and enjoy a time of worship. Otherwise, you can schedule your visit at a time when the church is empty to give you an opportunity to appreciate its beauty, learn the history and the secrets that the building has kept for years past.
The beautiful Costa Bravia tour
Costa Bravia is not only home to historic architecture but also offers an opportunity for visitors to appreciate Catalonian culture and history. This region is famed for its fishing villages as well as narrow and winding streets which have been excellently retained. When you venture towards the coast, you will get an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Costa Brava through getting to view the awesome seaside villages, beautiful bays, dramatic cliffs as well as the jagged coastline. As part of your tour, you can also visit some of the protected parks for instance Emporda Marshesand Cap de Creus, as well as the Medes Islandswhich is a marine reserve.
The Casa Batllo tour
The Casa Batlló is one of Catalunya’s architectural masterpieces that you have make it a point to check out. It’s definitely one of Barcelona’s eye-catching buildings designed by famous Antoni Gaudi. A visit to the Casa Batlló gives you an opportunity to learn more about Gaudi, his life and how it influenced his artistic visions. One of the best ways to experience this tour is to do it yourself using an audio guide as well as a map. You can then walk yourself through and explore this amazing architectural masterpiece while following the map and listening to some background information from the audio guide. The beauty about the audio guide option is that you can have your tour at your own pace without the worry of being rushed by a tour guide.
The Palau Güell tour
The Palau Güell tour is a cultural tour that lasts about 4 hours. With the help of a professional tour guide, you will get an opportunity to explore and appreciate the Palau Güell, a marvel of architecture in Barcelona and then continue your tour through the Gothic Quarter to experience real Catalan culture. This tour then proceeds across a number of religious historical buildings, and then to plazas Felip Neri and Del Rei, then to the Town Hall and then to the Generalitat’s Palace. This tour finally concludes at La Plaza de Sant Jaume. In 1969,the Spanish state declared the Palau Güell a cultural property which is a national interests as well as a historicalmonument. In 1984 it was then declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The building is part of Gaudí’s late work.
Catalunya is definitely a place that tourists with an interest in history and culture will appreciate especially in the way in which this region has preserved its historic and cultural relics. It’s definitely an opportunity worth making time for
As always, we want to share your stories. We welcome you to share with us your experiences and we’ll be more than happy to share it with our readers.
Catalunya has no doubt secured its place as a preferred global tourist destination. Thanks to the region’s loyalty to its traditional unique cuisines, its restaurants have received international acclaim and now compete tow to tow with other big restaurant brands world over. A number of the restaurants in this region have earned thecoveted Michelin awardas a result of good customer reviews when they leave the restaurant with an unforgettable dining experience.
Let’s take a look at the top 7 rated restaurants in Catalunya.
Martin Berasategui Restaurant
Martín Berasategui has earned a reputation as Catalonia’s signature restaurant thanks to the creativity of Paolo Casagrande, its Italian chef. With his complete mastery of Catalan cuisines, he has developed an excellent menu that will leave you spoilt for choice. Every meal is a masterpiece and worth trying out. This is the main reason this restaurant was the first in the City of Barcelona to receive a three-star Michelin rating.
The El Celler de Can Roca Restaurant
The El Celler de Can Roca Restaurant run by the Roca brothers Jordi, Josep and Joan have curved their own global niche when it comes to gourmet cuisines. Their emphasis has always been beingat the vanguard, by keeping in line with the family tradition of generations passed of ensuring people have been well fed. Their cuisine is loved because you can taste the emotion behind its preparation. All three brothers play a part in preparation with Jordi taking charge of the sweet stuff, whereas Josep takes care ofthe liquid stuff, and then Joan handles the savoury. They are definitely a perfect match.
The Àbac Restaurant
The Àbac restaurant owned by Jordi Cruz has just collected its third Michelin star, cementing its position as one of the top restaurants in Spain. The Àbac has received international acclaim thanks to a sophisticated cuisine that has been developed with such expertise.Jordi Cruz is known to take simple dishes and adds his personal touch through the use of Catalan traditional ingredients therefore turning a regular meal into a spectacular dining experience. This is one of those restaurants that you just can never predict how the meal will turn out but once it land on your table, you can’t wait to dig into it.
The Miramar Llançà Restaurant
The significance of the Miramar Llançà Restaurant receiving a two Michelin star rating cannot be overemphasized. A few years back, this was simply a hostal at the port in Llançà. However, Paco Pérez the restaurant’s owner had a vision of turning it into an epitome of Spanish gourmet cuisine and has succeeded in achieving international acclaim. The menu known for its emphasis on reinventing seafood through adding an element of flavor as well as imagination which leaves your taste buds jumping with sumptuous joy.
The Enoteca Restaurant
Thanks to the creativity and inventiveness of the famous Chef Paco Pérez, the Enoteca restaurant has earned global acclaim by receiving a two star Michelin rating. Paco Pérez has outdone his competition when it comes to reinventing seafood cuisines. His gourmet offering demonstrates imagination and creativity in the expert combination of seafood with Mediterranean vegetables and ingredients that are sure to set alight the taste buds of any foodie. The menu has stayed true to the fundamentals of Catalan cooking and is one of the best places in Catalunya to experience traditional gourmet cuisines.
The La Barceloneta Restaurant
The La Barceloneta Restaurant run by Raül Balam has achieved a two star Michelin rating thanks to an impeccable and innovative cuisine yet very much Catalan. The array of traditional Catalan delicacies blended with a creative array of Mediterranean ingredients has earned this restaurant international acclaim. Raül Balam has ensured that visitors to his restaurant get a different and unique angle to Catalan delicacies and you are guaranteed to keep going back for more.
The Dos Cielos Restaurant
The Dos Cielos restaurant operated by the Torres twins – Sergion and Javier Torres has specialized in offering high-level Catalan cuisine. Here, you will get original cuisine that incorporates flavors from around the world therefore as a visitor especially from the tropics, don’t be surprised when the meal has a familiar flavor that you just can’t put your finger around. This is part of the reason Dos Cielos has achieved two Michelin stars.
These are restaurants you must try to enjoy a complete Catalan experience. We welcome your thoughts and reviews on these restaurants.
If you are a frequent visitor to our website then you have heard us mention the distinct cuisine that the Spanish region of Catalunya is known for. The cuisine is as much a part of this region’s history and culture just as its other traditions. The best way to experience the Catalan cuisine is getting to enjoy a dish prepared by someone who truly understands what goes into its preparation. This is why we thought it wise to prepare this piece. Consider it your guide to the best Catalan foodie experience.
Here’s our guide to 5 places that will offer you the most authentic Catalan food experience.
The Petit Comité
The Petit Comité is a restaurant in Barcelona which many visitors don’t get to know about and experience. Located along the Passatge de la Concepció, it’sfamous foritsauthentic Catalan cuisine thanks to the famous chef Nandu Jubany who has come up with fresh recipes out of the classic Catalan cuisines. Every dish on the menu is a work of art in its simplicity, freshness of flavors and ingredients. One of the signature dishes here is the Shrimp that has been paired with creamy rice and served together with sumptuous mushroom soup. A truly delightful meal.
Restaurant La Pepita
One sign that you are visiting a good restaurant is the difficulty in getting a table. At restaurant La Pepita, this is a common challenge due to tourists and locals alike jostling for a table in this restaurant offering exquisite Catalan delight. Customers look forward to signature toppers such as smoked salmon and blood sausage served with apple. The restaurant also offers a number of regional dishes, to ensure every foreign visitor can get a little taste of home.
The Bar del Pla
The Bar del Pla is truly the place to go if you want to experience authentic Catalan dishes. A favorite for locals and tourists alike, it’s a cozy barwith waitstaff known for their no-nonsense mentality as they are quick to get rid of idlers at the bar. Everything on their menu is delightful and definitely worth trying out. Some suggestions are trying out their crispy eggplant, sardines served with coca bread, and the monkfish served with creamy garlic allioli. The list is endless. However, you must try the signature pa amb tomàquet which is a crisp bread served with very fresh tomatoeswith flaky sea salt.
The Lolita Tapería
The Lolita Tapería is famous for its smoked salmon delight which is served with truffled honey tapa. It’s the place you go if you want to experience an array of traditional Catalan cuisine, and you can be guaranteed, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Lolita has a bit of German influence and this is evident in the presence of German beer, but the meals remain purely Catalan. When here, be sure to try out the signature classic appetizers such as tapas which is made with tomatoesmixed with tuna belly salad, the roasted rabbit ribs served with garlic mayonnaiseand an array of fried fish.
The Xiringuito Escribà
The Xiringuito Escribà not only offers arguably the best of Catalunya seafood, the restaurant also offers an awesome view of the sea as you enjoy your sumptuous meal. Some of the signature cuisines you can try out are the crispy calamari, or the panfried squid which is usually served with vegetables that have been perfectly cooked. To enhance your eating experience, you will have to learn to eat like a local. You have a great chance to learn this owing to the fact that this restaurant is popular with the locals whose favorite meal is the fideuá a local seafood delicacy. The meals are often topped with smoked rosemary which is the restaurant’s signature. Don’t forget to make your reservations early as this restaurant tends to get a bit packed.
When in Catalunya, be sure to check out these food joints as you will get to enjoy the true taste and feel of Catalan cuisine.
As always, we are always interested in reading and sharing your experiences therefore feel free to share with us.
Catalunya in Spain is renowned for its culture, rich history and an emphasis in preserving its long-standing traditions. Among the things that stands out most is undoubtedly the Catalan cuisine. These delicacies are purely Mediterranean as they are prepared with purely local ingredients.
If you ever find yourself in this part of the world, here are 6 traditional dishes you must try to enable you to truly appreciate the Catalan experience.
#1 The escudella i carn d’olla soup
Rumor has it that Escudella i carn d’olla was the first soup in Europe to be documented and this was done by Francesc Eiximenis, a Catalan writer in the 14th century. In his writing, he claimed that this soup was eaten by the people of Catalunya everyday. Escudella i carn d’olla is a delicious soup made by mixing pieces of meat with vegetables like carrots, cabbage or celery, together with a large meatballwhich is allowed tosimmer in the soup.
#2 The escalivada dish
This is a dish that vegetarians will definitely appreciate. The dish is made using only the best Mediterranean vegetables such as aubergines, tomatoes and peppers. These vegetables are each grilled whole either over an open fire, on a grill, or directly in the ashes. It’s a traditional cuisine that requires an expert touch to pull it off because they understand that to get the right taste out of it, one must use Mediterranean vegetables that are perfectly ripe and rich in flavor. If you are not a vegetarian, you can enjoy this dish together with either tuna or anchovies which is the preference in Catalunya.
#3 The esqueixada salad
The popular esqueixada salad is made withraw salted and dried cod, and will mostly be served together with olives, tomatoes and onions. In the past, this was considered just a light meal traditionally eaten in the summer when it was warm. However, as a result of the meal’s growing popularity, today it’s available in restaurant menus throughout the year. Esqueixadais a staple in Catalunya and will often be used as an accompaniment in various local cuisines.
#4 The cannelloni pasta dish
The cannelloni is an Italian pasta dish that is very popular in Catalunya. This region actually happens to be its largest consumer in the world. The history behind cannellonibecoming a traditional Catalan dish is the result of centuries of trade ties between this region and Italy. However, the Catalan version of this meal is not quite the same as the Italian version. In typical Catalan style, the dish has been enhanced by ensuring it’s well cooked then smothered with rich Béchamel sauce. The dish can also be eaten together with cooked meat.
#5 The suquet de peix stew
The suquet de peixis a fish stew that was invented by Catalan fishermen out of necessity. At the end of their long day, they would often prepare a meal by combining the leftover fish they didn’t manage to sell that day. The mixture would include monkfish or hake, orshellfish like mussels or clams. To make the stew to be rich in flavor, an ingredient such as saffron is added, which also gives the stew its warm color. Today, this is a stew that is consumed for its flavor and no longer because of necessity.
#6 The mongetes amb botifarra delicacy
The mongetes amb botifarra is a meat-based dish which is essentially the Catalonian version of beans and sausage, and has been consumed in the region for the past four centuries. It’s based on ancient roman recipes, and is undoubtedly one of the most important dishes in the Catalan cuisine. The Botifarra is typically apork or goose meat sausage that has been prepared with spices. The dish is relatively simple to prepare and uncomplicated, yet it holds a very special place in the hearts of many Catalans.
There are of course many other traditional delicacies you can check out that equally stand out but these are our top picks. The interesting aspect about each of these traditional Catalan delicacies is that they represent the history of Catalunya in some way. The delicacies are either evidence of some form of interaction with early visitors to the Catalonia region in early centuries, or the rich Mediterranean influence which has inspired the cuisine, through use of ingredients that are predominantly Mediterranean.
All in all, these are delicacies that you will definitely appreciate. Do share with us your review of traditional Catalan delicacies you feel should be a part of this list.
If you want to experience a vacation in a land with a rich culture andhistory, then Catalunya in Spain is your destination of choice. This is a part of Spain that has maintained its unique culture that the Catalan people draw absolute pride in. When in Catalunya, you will be spoilt for choice as it offers an array of travel destinations that each offer a unique aspect of the Catalan culture from the people, to the cuisines, to the architecture and traditions.
Here is our list of top 5 places you should visit when in Catalunya.
#1 The City of Barcelona
You definitely can’t talk about Catalunya without mentioning its capital, the vibrant city of Barcelona, which is also the second largest city in Spain. Barcelona is one of the best travel destinations in the world owing to its breathtaking scenery, lively urban energy, good people, cultural heritage and history.This city does not just give you awesome views of the Mediterranean as well as beautiful beaches, you also get to see medieval architecture through the city’s old buildings and historical and religious landmarks, get to enjoy traditional gourmet cuisines courtesy of the wide array of outdoor cafés and restaurants, get to mingle and socialize with the locals at the amazing nightclubs if you are into that kind of thing. You can also get to enjoy a game of soccer at the Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona. If you are into art and history, you can make it a point to check out the different museums that are home to Historical Catalan art and artifacts. This is definitely a place worth checking out.
#2 The City of Girona
The City of Girona is undoubtedly the center of Catalonia’s history with an extremely rich and diverse cultural heritage. This was predominantly influenced by Romans, Jews andArabs who frequented this land between the 11th and 17th centuries. Girona is famous for its medieval gothic architecture, narrow streets, fortress-like cathedrals synonymous with the Roman era, Jewish synagoguesand Arab Baths, all have been preserved to maintain their original look and feel. Girona is the place to visit if you are kind of tourist who appreciates history and culture and how it has influenced modern day life.
#3 The City of Tarragona
If you are into beautiful beaches and historic monuments then the magnificent seaside city of Tarragona is your best bet. The city beautifully overlooks the Mediterranean thereby creating a spectacular view that will work wonders on your mind especially if you were looking for mental clarity. This scenery is also romantic and would make the perfect background for your photos if you are here as a couple. The City of Tarragona is also home to ancient Roman buildings such as cathedrals as well as medieval streets that have been incredibly preserved. Being a city populated with fishing villages, Tarragona has built a reputation as one of the Catalan cities known to offer delicious traditional seafood. This is definitely a city worth checking out.
#4 The town of Sitges
The town of Sitges is the place to travel if you are looking for luxury relaxation. With a couple of seaside resorts alongside the Mediterranean with terrific beaches, this town is where you want to be if you are looking for some pampering. The beaches are perfect for swimming thanks to their calm waters, and if you’re the kind of person who enjoys yachting then there’s a marina just for this purpose. Not to be left behind, the town of Sitges is also an epitome of Catalonian culture and history which are evident in the churches’ architectural designs and Spanish modernist monuments. Sitges is also known for its unique gourmet cuisine which can be enjoyed in the array of top class restaurants that have specialized in Catalan delicacies.
#5 The village of Cadaqués
If you appreciate art, then you will most definitely appreciate the beautiful village of Cadaqués. Located along the coast line at Costa Brava, this village is known to hide some gorgeous beaches, quiet bays, and has managed to preserve its pristine natural environment. These together with its vibrant culture and history has attracted many artists over the past couple of decades thereby, creating lively cultural scenes which are depicted through art galleries as well as museums. It’s one of those places that inspire an artiste’s creative juices.
Catalunya definitely has plenty to offer and our five picks are just a tip of the iceberg.
We would love to hear about your travel experiences while in Catalunya and we will be more than happy to share it here.
The Spanish region of Catalunya is home to some of the most amazingly beautiful travel destinations in the world. It’s no doubt among the list of the world’s best travel destinations. Strategically located along the Mediterranean Sea, this region offers breathtaking views, and is renowned as a land of rich history and culture thus making it a tourist’s paradise.
From the scenic coastline and lush green hills, to the medieval towns with ancient architecture, Catalunya requires a deliberate travel plan if you are to fully enjoy what this beautiful land has to offer. Here are 4 travel tips to ensure you have an enjoyable vacation.
Tip 1: The timing has to be right
The different travel destinations within Catalonia are awesome all yearround. The region is blessed with many sunny days and very minimal annual rainfall, making it perfect for tourist visits. However, the region tends to experience very cold winters therefore making it a very bad idea to go to the beach around that time. In the same breath, some of the summers may get extremely hot. When the weather is good, summer is the prime season for tourists both local and international. If you hate crowds, be sure that tourist season the streets get very crowded. This therefore means that for you to fully get to enjoy your vacation, you have to get the timing right. As a recommendation, visiting Catalonia during the months of April and May when its spring or the months of September and October during early fall are the best times for vacation.
Tip 2: Ensure to pack the right clothing
Because Catalunya is mostly sunny, you can pack your summer clothes while vacationing here. However, if you get your timing wrong and book your vacation during the winter, you will definitely need to pack your warm winter clothes. Just as a precaution, pickpocketing can at times be a problem here therefore you should have with you a secure bag to carry your money. All in all, don’t forget to bring along your sunscreen because as you know, beautiful sunny beaches mean exposure to UV rays.
Tip 3: Book the right hotel
The beauty about Catalunya is that there is a wide array of hotels offering really good accommodation, as long as you have the budget for it. Barcelona, which is the Catalan capital will of course have some of the best hotels in the region, but you can be guaranteed that the other Catalan cities will have two to three hotels that will stand out and definitely meet your accommodation needs. As a rule, always avoid staying in hotels located in the city center.
Tip 4: Explore your options for getting around
The beauty about the region of Catalunya is that transportation is relatively cheap therefore getting around will not be much of a problem. For instance, in Barcelona, the metro will get you to any part of the city as well as to a few towns on the outskirts. You can also use the train to get to other towns as the line passes through all the towns that are along the coastline as well as inland. It’s a good idea to have your travel itinerary in advance so that you can plan your trip and be able to use the most convenient travel mode.
We trust that this information will make your vacation to Catalonia much more enjoyable and stress free.
Do share with us a few of your own tips on how you usually prepare for your vacations and we will love to share your story on this platform.