Local Favorite: Caragols a la llaunaCaragols a la llauna is a delicacy of the Catalan region and widely ate around Barcelona. What is Caragols a la llauna? It is grilled or oven-cooked snails. The snails are served with a vinaigrette or aioli dressing. Mayonnaise and garlic are also added to the dish for taste. The L'Aplec del Cargol is a festival held in Catalonia every year that attracts hundreds of thousands of people to dine on snails. While Barcelona is located in Spain, it draws a lot of its food influence from neighboring France. However, snails have long been eaten in Spain as well as France and Italy, with Spaniards eating snails documented back in the 11th century.
Some of the best things to do in Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia is synonymous with Barcelona. It is one of the most eye-catching structures you will ever see and a cathedral that must be viewed to be believed. Designed by Antoni Gaudi in 1883, the basilica was supposed to be a neo-Gothic church. However, Gaudi created a church in his own Art Nouveau style instead. When he started, he had no finished plan of what the Sagrada Familia would look like. He liberally changed his mind as he went. Today, the church is incomplete as Gaudi was unable to finish it within his original 10 to 15-year plan. It is beautiful inside and out, and a truly unforgettable tourist attraction in a world of throwaway travel experiences.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is the current home of the Spanish Grand Prix. It is also an excellent travel destination when visiting Barcelona on holiday. Visitors to the circuit can take the official tour of the race track. The tour will give you the ins and outs of the entire race track. You will get to know what it is like to be a driver during the Spanish Grand Prix as you tour the paddock, briefing rooms, podium and other areas that only drivers can go to on race day. The hour-plus tour is a unique adventure for Formula One enthusiasts and gets you closer to the track than a race day experience.
La Rambla is the social heartbeat of Barcelona. The avenue that runs down the middle of Barcelona’s Old Town is a central meeting spot for locals heading out for the evening. The street is lined with trees offering shade from those nearly endless hours of sunlight each year. Visitors can find some of the best shopping in Barcelona at La Rambla along with restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Many of the buildings offer a look into the city’s past through their architecture. The shops and restaurants are typically filled with locals living in the city as they shop for their everyday needs. Many of the top tourist attractions and beaches can be reached easily from La Rambla, and using it as the center of your Barcelona holiday is a great idea.
Port Vell, the harbor at the Port of Barcelona, is the major hub for tourists in the city. The harbor has a concentration of attractions that keep visitors coming in droves. In addition to being just south of La Rambla, interesting places to visit at the harbor include the old customs building, the Columbus Monument, and the Rambla del Mar wooden walkway, which has a suspension bridge with an interesting-looking wavy design.
Rambla del Mar leads to the magnificent Maremagnum Mall. In addition to various shopping options, the mall has plenty of restaurants, an IMAX theater, and perhaps the most exciting of all, the Barcelona aquarium within the building. You’re also likely to find a collection of high-end yachts and perhaps a few megayachts docked at the harbor close to the mall.
But before crossing over to the mall to enjoy these attractions, be sure to take a ride on the pirate ship to explore a little more of the marina. If the pirate ship doesn’t appeal to you, other boat rides are available with various themes.
With 11,000 animals belonging to 451 species and 5 million liters of water, L'Aquàrium Barcelona should definitely be on your list of places to visit during your trip to Barcelona. Open daily, the aquarium will be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. In addition to observing the aquatic life swim around through the well-designed glass tanks and the 80-meter underwater tunnel, you can choose to participate in shark cage diving under the watchful eyes of instructors. This offers a safe way to get closer to the sharks, likely the most popular aquarium dwellers among visitors.
If you're interested in getting educated about the marine life, you can take the 90-minute guided tour. The tour covers the best parts of the facility and offers an opportunity to learn about sea creatures from different tropical seas. These include the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Red Sea, and the waters of the Caribbean.
Best of all, premium passes are available, so you can avoid waiting in line as the aquarium can get very busy during holidays.
Ferrari Land has everything a fan of the carmaker wants. If you aren’t a Ferrari fan, it is still one of the coolest destinations for a car enthusiast in Barcelona. The theme park is full of adrenaline pumping rides and edge of your seat thrills. The Ferrari Experience will take you through the history of the Italian carmaker. You can also take a trip down memory lane of Ferrari’s Formula One past. The park is home to some of the most exhilarating rides in the world. Red Force takes you from 0 to 180 km/h in just five seconds. It will also take you 112 meters into the sky. After accelerating into the heavens, ride the Free-Fall Tower. You will drop from 55 meters in the sky straight down. It is an adrenaline pumping experience. Ferrari Land also has an all-new kids’ area that gives children their own heart pumping thrill rides.
After experiencing the thrills of Formula One driving, why not bring your heart rate down at Park Guell? Designed by Antonio Gaudi, Park Guell is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park was designed in Gaudi’s surrealist art theme. Guell Park has a terrace that provides one of the best panoramic views of the entire city. You can also visit the Casa Museu Gaudi which was original the home of Gaudi which has now been converted to a museum.
Not only does Mount Tibidabo offer stunning panoramic views of Barcelona, but it's also home to a thrilling theme park and a neogothic cathedral, both of which share the Tibidabo name. Take the Tramvia Blau tram up the mountainside, accompanied by your friendly driver in this quaint mode of transport. Onwards on the funicular train, more forest views hidden from ground level will appear, not to mention the Tibidabo Amusement Park. The original rides were installed in 1905, but the park has since seen multiple updates that have decommissioned old rides for more modern ones.
LRS Formula offers car lovers the chance to drive some of the fastest cars on the planet. The driving experience has a variety of Formula One cars including Wiliams FW33 and Jaguar R3. For those who don’t care much for open-wheel race cars, they have supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche available. If you don’t want to sit in the driver’s seat, LRS Formula allows you to ride along as a passenger. You can drive along the famed Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and experience the same straightaways and chicanes as Formula One’s greats.
Formula GT Experience
Fancy driving a real Formula race car? Maybe you would like to get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini? Well, the Formula GT Experience gives you the chance to do just that. There are different packages provided by the company, but each allows you to sit in a 'dream' car and drive around the race track. The Formula GT Experience has two race tracks in Barcelona, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and the Circuito de Can Padró. Each offers you the thrill of a lifetime as you go at speeds you previously only dreamed of. If you are interested in experiences Formula GT offers, you should check the schedule at the two Barcelona tracks. The experience only takes place on select days.
Barcelona Wine Week
Held annually in early February, Barcelona Wine Week brings together small businesses and market leaders for an exhibition on wine and gastronomy. Showcasing the growing Spanish wine market plus more well-known wine-making regions, the winter festival brings together over 800 winemakers to learn from one another and network. If you are a wine lover, this is something you must attend!