Film Locations in Barcelona & Surrounding Areas

You don’t need to travel to Hollywood to see some famous TV and movie locations with your own eyes. Barcelona is actually one of the most filmed destinations in the world thanks to its sunny weather, great lighting, and, of course, it’s fascinating architecture. Filming in Barcelona is also relatively easy, with a range of permits on offer enabling filming at some of the city’s most notable sights, including thoroughfares, municipal markets, cemeteries, and a number of parks, gardens, and beach locations.

Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona showed off some spectacular Spanish properties (which left many viewers wanting to buy a home in Spain!), but it is, perhaps, most well known for the sightseeing scenes at Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. These are two top film locations in Barcelona, and are very easy to visit during your trip. Sagrada Familia is famous for its unfinished facade, while Casa Mila is well worth visiting for its highly unusual blend of geometric design and asymmetrical twists: another Gaudi masterpiece!

If you’re a lover of older cinema, you may be surprised by how much Catalonia has changed in recent years. The Passenger, a Jack Nicholson film released in 1975, shows a much darker side to Barcelona than we’d see if we were to visit today. Gone is the unkempt, sparse, almost seedy Las Ramblas from the film, replaced with a much brighter, airier, and cosmopolitan street that’s fast become one of the city’s top places for shopping, eating, and drinking. Barcelona has evolved significantly within the past 30 years!

Recently, filming in Barcelona has enjoyed a new surge, and Catalonia has hit the headlines for featuring in what is arguably one of the hottest shows of the century: George R.R. Martin’s Games of Thrones. It comes as no surprise, really, as Catalonia is filled with historic castles, stunning nature, and cobbled medieval villages that look just like the fairytale kingdoms of Westeros. If you fancy laying your eyes on a Game of Thrones filming location, head to Girona, where the cast have been spotted hanging out!


48 hours in Barcelona. What to see first?

1. Sagrada Família (Church of the Holy Family).

  • Tips and tricks:

Plan on 15-30 minutes to walk around the basilica, which is free.

Plan to spend 1-2 hours inside – there are long lines all year long, therefore it would be smart to pre-buy skip-the-line tickets.

Best to visit in the morning or afternoon, because of the beautiful natural light shinning through the windows.

Dress accordingly and cover shoulders inside.

  1. Park Güell

Tips and tricks:

The park is on Carmel hill so you will need to walk uphill 900m. Consider your footwear and bottle of water.

  1. Picasso Museum – journey through Picasso’s early years in Barcelona.

  • Picasso (1881–1973) lived in Barcelona from 1895 until 1904;
  • The only one museum created during the artist’s life;
  • Collection includes his first major works, The First Communion and Science and Charity;
  • Established by Picasso’s lifelong friend and secretary, Jaume Sabartés, whom Picasso had gifted many paintings, drawings, and prints since start of a friendship in 1899;
  • At first, Sabartés came with the idea to found the museum in Málaga, Picasso’s birthplace. Picasso himself suggested that Barcelona would be better location.
  1. Sagrat Cor church & Tibidabo amusement park.

  • The park is among the oldest in the world still functioning;
  • At the park is the Museum of Automatons, Walt Disney offered to buy the museum’s entire collection for any price chosen by museum, but it refused;
  • Tibidabo hill can be seen from all over the Barcelona city.
  1. Arc de Triomf & Parc de la Ciutadella

  • There are reliefs on one side symbolising agriculture and industry, and commerce and art on the other.

  1. La Rambla street

  • There you can feel the pulse and atmosphere of the city. There are usually many people, thus taking awalk will best suit those who like to get lost in a crowd;
  • Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said ‘It is the only street in the world which I wish would never end‘.

Tips and tricks:

Be aware of your belongings when you watch street art performances.

If you want to buy souvenirs, you probably can not find better place for it.

7. Barceloneta Beach

Located in the traditional fishing district, this is one of Barcelona’s oldest and best-loved beaches. It is thought to have inspired Miguel de Cervantes as the setting for the fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon. It was here that the knight errant was finally defeated and abandoned his quest. These days, Barceloneta beach as become a symbol of Barcelona’s status as a major tourist destination – a cosmopolitan culture capital and sunny beach town. Barceloneta beach is remarkable for being on the doorstep of the city centre, literally just a few hundred meters from famous sites such as La Rambla, mentioned before. This makes getting to the beach incredibly easy and makes for spending a couple of hours at the beach easy to fit into your day.


4 Beaches to Visit in Costa Dorada

If you want to hang out outdoors in Costa Dorada, there are certainly plenty of places to do it. Of course, if you’ve rented a private villa with a pool, you’ll want to spend time there. But if you want a change of pace, check out these four beaches!

1. Llevant Beach

This gorgeous beach is near Salou and has beautiful sand, gorgeous water, and a stunning view of the city. Go swimming, get a floating device (some look like giant inflatable slides or water rides), or find a place for boating, diving, and snorkeling. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and nightclubs nearby if you get hungry or want a little more amusement when you’re done with the beach. This beach is perfect for families of all shapes and sizes.

2. Llarga Beach

At the top of Salou is another amazing beach, this one a little more isolated and not as crowded because it is further from the city. They have a beach bar, a banana boat, plenty of sun loungers, and beautiful surf and sand. You can admire the view of both the ocean, the tropical vegetation, and the rock formations around you as you relax in the sun.

3. Playa de la Pineda

A quiet resort beach, Playa de la Pineda is most well-known for the giant plastic plant sculptures nearby. This area is great if you want to get away from the crowds and sunbathe in peace and quiet. The area is surrounded by trees, the water is warm and wonderful, the sand is perfect, and the view is stunning. There are still plenty of restaurants and shops around if you get peckish or just want to get out of the sun.

4. Capellans Beach

Busy yet clean, the Capellans Beach is surrounded by resorts and hotels, so you’re certain to have company at all times. The view is amazing though, part tropical island, part city, all beautiful. You’ll find plenty of sun loungers, some in the sun, some under umbrellas, and some under awnings. There are several restaurants, shops, and nightclubs nearby if you want some extra fun. And, of course, this beach offers a lot of watersports that you can check out if you’re tired of sunbathing or just swimming in the gorgeous waters.
Did you get a sunburn? Hopefully not! Either way, we’re certain you had a great time! Now you can head back to your vacation rental in Costa Dorada to think about what an awesome time you had and maybe plan what you’re going to do tomorrow.


June events in Barcelona

June is the month when Barcelona really starts to come alive for the summer with a huge range of events and celebrations to kick off the season. Booking a family villa in Barcelona just before the mass of summer tourists flock in is a wise move as the city exudes a festive atmosphere and gorgeous weather.

Sant Joan

On the June 23, Barcelona residents celebrate the festival of Sant Joan. On the night itself the street lights up with a huge display of fireworks and bonfires all over the city, but especially on the beaches. It is not unusual for these displays to last until the early hours of the following morning. You can enjoy the spectacle from the comfort of your Barcelona accommodation while sampling a glass of cava and piles of coca, a type of seasonal bread that is topped with candied fruits.

Pride Barcelona

One of the most colorful events on the Barcelona events calendar is the Pride Festival, a 10-day festival where Barcelona shows its gay pride. You can find parties, concerts, and more, all topped off with a spectacular parade.

Sonar

This three-day international music festival is a must-see for anyone who loves electronic music and contemporary arts. The festival is celebrating its 25th year and the days include record fairs, art displays, exhibitions, and conferences, while at night concerts and DJs perform at multiple venues just outside the city.

Musica als Parcs

Another great reason to have a Barcelona vacation rental in June is the free al-fresco concerts that run throughout the summer in some of the city’s main parks. There’s jazz, various classical music, and bands, so pack a picnic and enjoy a few blissful hours under the sun.


The importance of Menorca’s El Toro

Standing at 357 metres tall, the mountain of El Toro is Menorca’s highest point and can be seen from miles around. Regardless of the town in which your Menorca vacation rental is located, you are likely to be able to spot its towering silhouette somewhere on the horizon.

The view from the top brings tourists and locals alike to its summit. From the top, the whole island unfolds before your eyes, and if the weather is very clear, you may even be able to see the Tramuntana mountain range of Mallorca.

Many locals claim that the mountain is the spiritual centre of the island, and it has been a place of
pilgrimage since the 13th century. They also claim that it earned its name from a bull (el toro) that led a group of monks to a statue of the Virgin Mary, which was in the rock face. Others claim that the name’s origin stems from the time the Moors inhabited the island, coming from the Arabic ‘al tor’ which means mountain.

Although a relatively small mountain, a range of buildings cluster at its peak. In the 15th century, a
watchtower was constructed there, with a defence tower later added. There are also the remains of a monastery that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, a convent, and an army station. Today,
masts, transmitters, and satellites that are used by the people of Menorca.

The easiest way by far to reach the mountain’s summit is by car, and the journey
itself is quite an adventure! If you don’t have a hired car, another option is requesting a taxi to
pick you up from your villa in Menorca, and then taking the winding roads down by foot. There are also organised excursions that will take you up the mountain as part of the trip.


Exploring the Ibiza coastline

Ibiza is a very picturesque island, but sometimes in order to see it in all its glory, it is best to view it from the sea. There are countless tour companies that will take you out on a boat for the day to see various parts of the dramatic coastline. Some will even take you around the entire circumference of the island. It is easiest to catch one of these trips if your Ibiza holiday rental is in one of the main coastal towns and resorts, but if you are located inland, you will still be able to get there using a hired car or public transport.

From the sea, you will be able the see the island from an entirely different perspective. The beaches and cliffs look particularly impressive, and you may even get the chance to tour some of the smaller out lying islands and take a dip in the waters that surround them.

Chances are that the boat that you travel in will be a traditional Ibiza boat, made by local craftsmen for an original boating experience.

If you don’t fancy an organised excursion and still want to escape the crowds, opt for hiring your own boat and touring the island. Contrary to what you might think, this option will not break the bank, especially if you reserve a vessel with a large group. Getting out of your vacation rental in Ibiza and onto the seas can be one of the most memorable parts of the trip, whether you simply want to explore the coastline, find hidden coves, visit Formentera, or get a glimpse of a beautiful sunset at Es Vedra.

Es Vedra

There are many types of boats to choose from depending on the sort of activity that you are looking for. Many opt for speedy motor boats to whizz around from place to place, or if you are looking for something a bit more relaxing, then a sailboat might be a better choice.


Celebrities who have properties in Spain

Mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands are coastal treasures with so much to offer on both land and sea, so it is no wonder that many celebrities look to buy properties in these regions.

Celebrity homes in Mallorca

When Brad Pitt purchased a property in Mallorca in 2016, he joined a plethora of fellow celebrities who have residences on the island. Pierce Brosnan (of James Bond fame) fell in love with the island of Mallorca when he visited, and thus decided to purchase his own piece of the island. Similarly, Claudia Schiffer has a long association with the island, and had her very own property developed from scratch in Camp de Mar. Undoubtedly the busiest of all the Balearics, Mallorca has a firm celebrity fan base with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Annie Lennox, Rafael Nadal, Michael Schumacher, and Andrew Lloyd Webber all having holiday homes there.

Tony Anstis, one of the biggest radio DJs on London’s Heart FM, has recently been looking for a place to enjoy picturesque beaches as well as a great clubbing scene. Ibiza was the answer, so he turned to locals on the island to help him find a villa with a budget of £250,000. Singer James Blunt also has a home on the island.

Ibiza villa

Menorca is arguably the quietest of the Balearic islands, therefore it tends to appeal to a slightly older generation of celebs. Sir Elton John, members of the rock band Led Zeppelin, and John Paul Jones all own property here, and use the island as a peaceful getaway that isn’t too far from the United Kingdom.

Football fans flood to Barcelona throughout the year, hoping for a glimpse of players from the world-famous team. Lionel Messi has a home in the charming town of Castelldefels, south of Barcelona. As the 12th most-visited city in the world, Barcelona attracts its fair share of celebs. Many of the rich and famous have chosen to buy property in Barcelona or in the region. Singer Shakira has recently purchased a house in Barcelona in the wealthy district of Pedralbes, and David Villa has purchased two penthouses worth 6.5 million euros, just a stone’s throw away from the Camp Nou football stadium.


Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter

Booking your vacation rental in Barcelona puts you just a short train or car ride away from the city’s Gothic Quarter where you are surrounded by stunning architecture and a hub of activity. The streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter are filled with medieval buildings and trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants. What’s more, you are in the heart of the city, thus within easy reach of all the other main attractions.

Barcelona Cathedral

History

The area is known as the Gothic Quarter due to its former existence as an ancient Roman village. You will still be able to find many remains of its glorious past. Because of the constant modernisation of the area, it’s not unusual for you to spot a modern building right next to an ancient one. It’s this eclectic mix of old and new that brings people from all over the world to this historic barrio.

Shopping

There is an abundance of shopping opportunities in the Gothic Quarter. For commercial shopping head to Carrer Portal de l’Angel, or you can spend hours popping in and out of the little boutiques of Carrer d’Avinyo. You are also in close proximity to Las Ramblas, which has an abundance of shops and market stalls.

Architecture

When exploring the narrow labyrinth of streets, be sure to look up so as not to miss all of the best bits. Bridges and archways span across the roads, and the decor on some of the buildings is extremely detailed.

Plaça Reial

There are many squares where you can sit outside with a drink and enjoy your surroundings. In the heart of one is the areas main attraction, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulàlia. The cathedral was constructed from the 13th to the 15th centuries and is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. One of its most notable features is the roof, scattered with gargoyles and a host of other mythical creatures.

Dining

If you don’t want to dine in your villa in Barcelona, you will be spoilt for choice with the amount of restaurants and bars in this area. Plaça Reial is always popular during both the day and night, and there is a great deal of nightlife on offer.


Best viewpoints along the Costa Brava

The coast of Costa Brava is truly stunning, with impressive cliffs, quaint coves, golden beaches, and small towns. It is no wonder that so many people want to rent a villa in Costa Brava! Let’s take a look at some of the best viewpoints in the region.

Mas Ventos

Mas Ventos is a special spot in Cap de Creus Natural Park. It offers one of the best viewing points over the Bay of Roses and the Saverdera Valley. Visitors are able to combine their trip with a picnic or barbecue as there are a number of wooden and stone tables.

Mirador del Cap de Creus

This is one of the most well-known viewing points in the area, and although it may be full of tourists, it is still worth a visit. From this point you will be able to see Cap Norfeu, the Illes d’en Forcat, Cadaques, Cala Fredosa, Cala Jugadora, and maybe even your Spain vacation rental.

Mirador de l’Hostatgeria

People claim that the best sunsets can be seen from this spot on the Costa Brava. The area was recently converted into a hotel and restaurant that are completely open to the sea, sitting on top of the cliff between Llafranc and Tamariu. If you have hired a car then it is easily accessible from your villa in Costa Brava.

Mirador dels Cards Tossa

This is the viewpoint for nature lovers. Surrounded by nature on every side, you can enjoy spectacular views of the beaches and cliffs that surround the town of Tossa del Mar, as well as the medieval wall and the castle on top of the hill.

El Mirador dels Tres Canons

In the heart of Port de la Selva is a viewing terrace that stands 40 metres high, perfect for taking in the sights of Port de la Selva and the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodesand La Verdera. Unlike the other viewpoints, this urban setting offers a little something different.


A brief history of Palma

The Mallorca capital city of Palma is steeped in history, remains of which can still be seen around the town today. Like other major islands in the Mediterranean, it has attracted its fair share conquerors and invaders over the years, all of whom have helped shape the island into the place we know today. You can still see the remains of some settlements, churches, and fortresses around the central city of Palma.

Due to the size of the island, no matter where your Mallorca holiday rental is located you should still be able to reach the capital with relative ease. There is a decent road network into the city if you want to rent a car, or alternatively if you are staying in a bigger town you can hop on a local bus.

A Short History

For many, the history of Mallorca began when the Catalans took the island back from the Moors in the 13th century. Because of its location, the island found itself in the centre of trading routes that crossed the Mediterranean.

In 123 BC, the Romans conquered the island, after which Mallorca rode the many ups and downs of Roman fortune for more than five-and-a-half centuries.

Although the Romans did have an influence on the culture of Mallorca, it was the Moors that helped to develop the crafts and commerce, and you can still see this contribution in the folklore, language, and cuisine today.

At the end of the 15th century, the Balearic islands were united with the Kingdom of Spain.

Historical Sites

Renting a villa in Mallorca is a great way to relax while also viewing the history that the island has to offer. The Cathedral of Mallorca is undoubtedly one of the most famous historical buildings, standing tall on Palma’s skyline. It took approximately 300 years to build during the 14th and 17th centuries. Inside the royal chapel are the tombs of Kings James II and III.

The 10th-century Arab baths are one of the only artifacts that still remain of the old Arab city. Historians believe they formed part of an old nobleman’s house. Another great landmark is Bellver Castle, which is home to the city’s history museum. The castle dates to 1309, and since its building has been the summer palace for the island’s monarchy as well a prison.

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