Exploring Barcelona’s El Born neighbourhood

There are many great locations to consider when choosing where to stay for your holiday in Spain, but perhaps one of the most exciting is the El Born neighbourhood. The lively, eclectic neighbourhood is located in the Ciutat Vella (Old Town), nestled between Plaça Catalunya and the beach.

About El Born

On the surface, El Born appears to be remarkably similar to the historic Gothic Quarter with its narrow, cobbled streets and old time charm. However, situated just a tiny bit further from the main city centre, El Born tends to have less of a touristy feel, making it a great place to learn more about ‘real’ local life. Despite not being within the main hub of hustle and bustle, there is still plenty to see and do in El Born, including the Picasso Museum, Ciutadella Park, and the Barcelona Zoo. El Born is also recognised as an up-and-coming ‘hip’ district, doing for Barcelona what Brooklyn did for New York City.

What to See and Do

Passeig del Born is one of the city’s top nightlife hotspots, located along the beautiful, tree-lined street. The neighbourhood is also home to some of the most breathtaking architecture in all of Spain, including the mesmerising Santa Maria del Mar church. Thanks to the presence of the Picasso Museum, there’s also a very definite artistic vibe running through the streets, and El Born has fast become a favourite Bohemian hangout.

Staying in El Born

While there may be fewer larger options (big family villas in Spain are often located in more spacious areas, for example), what you will find in El Born is a wide range of cozy and charming apartments that are full of character and personality. With rooms often located above the shops and restaurants within the pedestrianised streets, you will find stunning rooftop terraces and views of the city, mountains, and beyond.

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Barcelona’s Christmas markets

Travellers come from all over the world to the famous European Christmas markets, which are a festive blend of handmade decorations, beautiful gifts, local foods, and, of course, plenty of grog. So if you’re considering taking a holiday in Spain during December, here’s what to expect from the Christmas markets like in Barcelona.

As a winter festive location, Barcelona isn’t quite as renowned as places in Germany or Poland, for example. If you’ve visited the markets in Northern Europe in the past, you may find Barcelona’s offerings to be a little less atmospheric, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth making the trip. In fact, Christmas is actually one of the very best times in Barcelona, accompanied by winter sun, mulled wine, and sparkling cava.

There are two main markets in Barcelona, both of which are centrally located so they’re very easy to get to from your Barcelona accommodation. The biggest market (which is still relatively small by European standards) is the Santa Llúcia market which is held in the square at the front of the Barcelona Cathedral. This is an excellent place to pick up some Catalan decorations for your Christmas tree. The smaller market is located at La Sagrada Família, and is a wonderful place to peruse unique and unusual trinkets.

It’s not just the markets that make Barcelona a great holiday choice for the winter. Shops and department stores often feature amazing Christmas displays, and twinkling lights illuminate the street at dusk. So while Barcelona’s Christmas markets aren’t the biggest or most spectacular, they’re still incredibly magical, and they help make Barcelona a great year-round destination. Take a few days away from the stresses and strains of Christmas shopping back home, and enjoy a relaxing pre-Christmas break in Spain!

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What to know about the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

If you are interested in where the mobile industry is heading in the next few years, be sure to book your spot at the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The event will take place from Feb. 26 to March 1 at the Fira Gran Via and brings together vendors, speakers, and advertisers in the mobile technology world.

Start-up businesses, future car concepts, knowledgeable speakers, and entertainment are all a huge part of this forward-thinking event. People come from all over the world not only to showcase their own technology but to learn more about the future of other technologies.

Last year more than 100,000 people attended the MWC, which included 2,300 exhibits and 3,500 media members from around the world. Hundreds of new and improved technology and software were on display with dozens of speakers to show the attendees and the world where we are heading as a mobile society. Learn more about the products you know and love, how they plan to improve in the future, and what you can do further collaborate with these ventures.

If you plan to visit Barcelona for the MWC, be sure to not only register now online but to also find a rental villa or property where you can stay for the duration of the event. Use your attendance as an opportunity to also live like a local in a holiday home just outside the city where you can decompress after long days at the conference.

While in town and when not in meetings or checking out the exhibits, enjoy the sights and tastes of Barcelona  Get to know the culture of Catalunya and meet other technology-loving people like yourself.

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The hidden coves of the Costa Brava

There are heaps of reasons to book a villa on the Costa Brava, but one of the biggest reasons is to be close to the ‘rough coast’, with its wild scenery, rugged landscape and, of course, those famous, secluded coves. While we don’t want to give away the locations of all of the great coves of the Costa Brava (that’s for you to figure out during your holiday in Spain!), here are just a few that you may want to check out for some peace and beauty.

Cala Pi

Also known as Platja del Pi, this secluded little cove is located just a short distance away from Portbou Beach. As Portbou Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Costa Brava, many people naturally flock here, leaving Cala Pi relatively quiet and peaceful. Getting there isn’t easy — you’ll need to take the Cami de Ronda path from the main beach — but this helps keep the crowds to a minimum.

Cala Maset

Access to Cala Maset is simple (ideal for those who can’t manage the rugged Cami de Ronda path) yet Cala Maset is still a very quiet and serene spot. Why? Because the location of the beach means that it’s largely shaded throughout the day, so it’s not a favourite of the sun worshippers. However, for those who don’t mind a bit of shade, Cala Maset is fantastic and has plenty of large rocks to climb and jump from into the sea (at your own risk!).

Cala Vallpresona

This is yet another beautiful little cove that’s quite easy to get to, so why is it so quiet and secluded? Because the beach at Cala Vallpresona is largely made up of large pebbles and stones, so sunbathers can find it a little uncomfortable. However, for those who don’t mind a few rocks here and there, this is a really great place close to Tossa del Mar for those who have a Spain holiday rental in the town.

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