Alternative ways to see Barcelona

It’s easy to get on a bus, tram or metro train to witness all there is to see of a city from the glistening window, but did you know there are many other ways to see the city? If you wish to spend a day away from your Spain holiday rental and explore the city by land, air or sea then read on!

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Go Cars are a fun alternative way to see the city. They are small, yellow two-seater cars with an talking computer that assists drivers with navigation. They mainly follow two routes: either the upper districts of Barcelona or the Gothic Quarter and Raval neighbourhoods, then onto the mountain of Montjuic. You can, however, customize your own route should you wish to. The speed limit on the Go Car is just 72 kilometers per hour (45 mph).

If you wish to be driven instead, then flag down a Trixi. A Trixi is basically a tricycle with its own driver. They offer short distance trips and can be hailed on the street just like a taxi.

If you prefer an aerial view of the city, then there are many helicopter trips available for a view from above. Ideal for a special occasion, take to the skies and discover this fascinating city from the air. It’s a wonderful way to capture some memories with your camera and experience a thrilling helicopter ride!

 

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If viewing the city from the sea is more your thing then try Europe’s biggest eco-catamaran, the Eco Slim. It sails year-round allowing you to discover the magnificent Barcelona waterfront and the coastline of Catalonia. Each trip lasts around 45 minutes with a commentary in English, Spanish and Catalan. The perfect time to head out is at sunset or during a festival where you can watch the fireworks illuminate the city.

However you wish to explore Barcelona, whether by Segway, bicycle or even by jet ski, there is always something to suit everyone in your traveling party.

 

 

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Barcelona’s best markets

When visiting Catalonia, do as the Catalans do and forget shopping at big supermarkets. Instead, go shopping at your local market. The sights and the sounds are far more appealing than the regimented aisles of a supermarket, and you can pick individual produce yourself, and in some cases even try before you buy! Whether it’s a new handbag, pair of sunglasses or some fresh juicy tomatoes for your evening salad in your Barcelona holiday rental, here are a few tips about the best markets in the city.

 

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La Boqueria

La Boqueria is perhaps the most famous covered market in Barcelona. Located just off La Rambla, it is the easiest to reach for tourists, as well. This is the place where Michelin-star chefs come for their produce and where the fresh fruit, squeezed juices and colourful vegetables are always popular with visitors to the city. Stock up for an evening in or a beach or park picnic.

Sant Antoni Market

Sant Antoni market is a food market slightly outside of the centre and open from Monday to Saturday. The variety of fruit, vegetables, fish and cheese is exquisite, and you can stop for tapas at the central bar if you need a break!

Mercadillo de Placa de Sant Josep

This is a wonderful place to visit if you are looking for artwork for your villa in Barcelona. Artists line the streets with their easels, painting in water colours and oils while taking in the local landscape. If you fancy having a special caricature drawn in the evening, you will find the artists on La Rambla.

 

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Mercat del Encants

At the largest flea market in the city, you can pretty much buy anything from power tools to vases and antiques. Don’t expect it to be well laid out as it has more of a car boot style feel to it. There are bargains to be had if you arrive early, but whatever time of day, don’t forget to bargain with the vendor!

Mercat de la Concepcio

If you would just love a bunch of fragrant flowers to brighten up your Catalonia villa rental, head for this flower market. You may discover beautiful flowers you haven’t seen before that are grown in this region of Spain.

Visiting local markets is always a fun morning out. Regardless of whether you buy anything it is worth going just to envelop yourself in the kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, and pick up a souvenir or tasty treat while you are there!

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Catalonia is a cheese lover’s paradise

Whether purchasing cheese from a local market to eat in your Catalonia villa rental or if you are offered cheese at the end of a meal or as a tapa, there are many in the region to choose from. Sheep, cows and goats are raised in this mountainous area to produce some of the best cheeses in Spain, and as word spreads these cheeses are becoming more popular worldwide. Here are a few you should definitely try during your holiday in Spain. Many local chefs use new blends of Catalan cheese in their cuisine, and many are preserved in olive oil and infused with herbs offering a unique taste sensation.

 

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Costa Negra Catalan Cheese

Within the backdrop of the Pyrenees mountain range, Costa Negra cheese is made. It offers a complex blend of tart and sweet, and the name negra comes from the black rind on the outside. The taste and texture is sweet and sour and has an elasticity that could be compared to edam or gouda.

 

Alt Urgell- Cerdanya

This is one Catalan cheese that has reached its own must status, which means it is the first cheese in the region to have its own denomination or origin. It is made from cow’s milk and has with a soft and creamy texture with an elegant, smooth flavour. Look out for it at artisan markets and pair it with your favourite wine as you relax by the pool in your Spain holiday rental.

Mato de Montserrat

This is a young cheese, fresh and only days old. Made from either cow or goat milk (on occasion a blend of both) it is unsalted and perfect to complement walnuts and honey for a tapa or dessert.

 

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Tupi

Tupi is actually a clay jar where the cheese ferments with an aniseed liquor. Made from sheep, goat or cow milk, it is added to the aniseed and comes out with a very bold and punchy flavour. If you are looking for a different taste of Catalan cheese try this one.

If you are a lover of cheese and enjoy nothing more than a baguette with cheese or a variety with crackers for an after dinner treat, then these wonderful Catalan cheeses can be found sold in local country houses, artisan markets and supermarkets. Take them back to your villa with a private pool in Spain and indulge in all of the gastronomic delights this region has to offer.

 

 

 

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