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8 The Arts & Entertainment

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

A scene from a Tchaikovsky opera at Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Arts & Entertainment Best Bets

Best Concert Acoustics

L’Auditori, c/ Lepant, 150 (p 124)

Best Jazz Club

Harlem Jazz Club, Comtessa de Sobradiel, 8 (p 127)

Best Flamenco, Flashy Dresses & All

Tablao Flamenco Cordobés, La Rambla, 35 (p 126)

Best Opera House

Gran Teatre del Liceu, La Rambla, 51–59 (p 124)

Best Summer Arts Festival

Grec, Montjuïc (p 128)

Best Sporting Event

Fútbol Club Barcelona, Av. del Papa Joan XXIII (p 129)

Best Theater Performances

Teatre Mercat de Les Flors, c/ Lleida, 59 (p 130)

Best Impression Made by a Concert Hall

El Palau de la Música Catalana, c/ Sant Francesc de Paula, 2 (p 124)

Best All-Around Live Music Venue

Luz de Gas, c/ Muntaner, 246 (p 128)

Best Hipster Live Music Shows

Sala Razzmatazz, c/ Pamplona, 88, (p 129)

Best Unexpected Theater/Music

La Casa dels Músics, c/ Encarnació, 25 (p 124)

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4 The Best Shopping

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

The Camper store in El Triangle Plaça de Catalunya.

Shopping Best Bets

Best Dreamy Antiques

L’Arca, c/ Banys Nous, 20 (p 76)

Best Hip Designer Clothing (Men’s)

Antonio Miró, La Rambla de Catalunya, 125 (p 78)

Best Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Designer Clothing (Women’s)

Nunita, c/ del Rec, 6 (p 79)

Best Creative Leather Goods

Lupo Barcelona, c/ Mallorca, 257, bajos (p 81); and Iriarte Iriarte, c/Cotoners, 12 (p 80)

Best Shop for Slaves to Design

Vinçón, Pg. de Gràcia, 96 (p 78)

The treats at Caelum in Barri Gòtic.

Best Barcelona Souvenirs

Vaho Gallery Barcelona, Pl. del Pi, 1 (p 80); and BCN Original Shops, c/ Citutat, 23 (p 80)

Best-Smelling Gourmet Food

E&A Gispert, c/ dels Sombrerers, 23 (p 49, )

Best Wine Cellar Fantasy Shop

Vila Viniteca, c/ Agullers, 7 (p 49, )

Best Dip into Old-World Barcelona

Herbolisteria del Rei, c/ del Vidre, 1 (p 82)

Best Vintage Finds

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1 The Best Full-Day Tours: The Best in One-Day, Two-Days or Three-Days

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

La Sagrada Família.The Best in One DayThis very full day, a “greatest hits” tour, begins with the best of Barcelona’s modernista architecture in the morning, is followed by a stroll down the epic Rambla, and ends with the highlights of the Ciutat Vella, or Old City. You’ll need your walking shoes. The tour is excellent any day of the week, though La Boquería, Barcelona’s famed food market, is closed on Sundays. START: Metro to Sagrada Família. La Sagrada Família. Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished legacy, the soaring “Holy Family” church, is a testament to his singular vision: the art of the impossible. This mind-altering creation—the best-known, if not necessarily the best example, of modernisme—has become Barcelona’s calling card. Begun in 1882, its eight bejeweled spires drip like melting candlesticks, and virtually every square inch of the surface explodes with intricate spiritual symbols. Gaudí was run over by a tram long before it could be finished, although it is now consecrated and functions as a house of worship. A private foundation works furiously to finish the building—now projected for 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death. For the foreseeable future, the church will remain under a forest of cranes.  1 hr. c/ Mallorca, 401.

 93-207-30-31. www.sagradafamilia.org . Admission 15€ adults; 4.50€ audio or print guide. Buy tickets in advance to avoid long lines. Daily Oct–Mar 9am–6pm; Apr–Sept 9am–8pm. Metro: Sagrada Família.

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2. SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

2

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

This chapter is a guide to scheduling your stay in Madrid and Barcelona. In each city, we start with 1-, 2-, and 3-day itineraries to help you prioritize your time and set your pace. Even if you’re normally a go-go person, you will enjoy Spain more if you find a rhythm that lets you pause on a hot afternoon at a shady cafe for a lemon granizado or a glass of cava or duck into a taberna to escape the winter chill with a glass of vermut or a quick demitasse of dark coffee. These itineraries are flexible enough to let you do that—or pop into a shop if something in the window strikes your fancy.

In addition to daily routes that emphasize must-see attractions, we have also suggested itineraries for families and others that reveal unique aspects of the cities. So that you won’t miss anything, we have also included highlights from suggested side trips into the surrounding regions.

You can follow these itineraries to the letter, or you can use them as a point of departure for assembling your own personalized—even idiosyncratic—trip to Madrid and Barcelona. Think of the itineraries as modular building blocks that you can mix and match to suit your interests and the length of your trip. For example, you might want to follow up the 1-day tour of Madrid’s artistic treasures with a day devoted to Madrid for fashionistas. In Barcelona, after you have spent a day enjoying the visual delights of the Modernisme masterpieces in L’Eixample, you can satisfy your taste buds with a tour of gourmet highlights. And, of course, the itineraries can be combined to create your own approach to appreciating both cities.

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10 The Best Day Trips & Excursions

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

Montserrat Monastery.

Montserrat

A very popular half-day inland trip, this spectacularly jagged peak (the “saw-tooth mountain”), 50km (31 miles) northwest of Barcelona, is home to a Benedictine monastery founded in a.d. 1025 and La Moreneta (the Black Madonna), the patron saint of Catalunya. A sacred place of pilgrimage, Montserrat is overrun on the holy days April 27 and September 8. It’s also a popular place for hiking and hard-core cycling.

Aeri de Montserrat/Rack Railway. The most scenic way to Montserrat is by 1930 cable car. The FGC train leaves from Barcelona and connects to it both ways. However, the more comfortable, panoramic Montserrat rack railway is also a spectacular way to get there, and it leaves you right in the middle of the monastery.  93-205-15-15. www.aeridemontserrat.com or www.fgc.net/eng/bitllets_oci_turisme.asp. Cable car 10€ roundtrip; rack railway 9.80€ roundtrip.

Monestir de Montserrat/La Moreneta. The Benedictine monastery, tucked into the 1,219m (4,000-ft.) ridges of Montserrat, holds a shrine to the famous Black Madonna icon, which according to legend was discovered in the 12th century (and said to have been carved by St. Luke in a.d. 50). The library holds some 300,000 volumes, though many were lost during raids by Napoleon’s forces in 1811 (they also razed the 16th-c. Basilica). About 100 Benedictine monks continue in residence at Montserrat.  93-877-77-01. www.montserratvisita.com. Free admission. Daily 7:30am–8pm.

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