Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Barcelona: Breathtakingly beautiful and the hub of architectural grandeur

The city, located between the sea and mountains, straddles history and modernity

Published: Sep 23, 2017 06:59:57 AM IST
Updated: Sep 21, 2017 08:34:09 PM IST

Barcelona: Breathtakingly beautiful and the hub of architectural grandeur
Places like the Holy Family Church make Barcelona the hub of architectural grandeur

My trips to Barcelona are usually work related and I visit the place almost every month. I have also lived there for about four years. It is impossible to not notice its fantastic views, the city between the mountains, the sea and the breathtakingly beautiful architecture.


My favourite hotel has to be Mandarin Oriental; located on Barcelona’s fashionable Passeig de Gràcia avenue, it is a true oasis in the heart of the city. During my stay there, I noticed that there is no request that cannot be met. You can dine al fresco in the Mimosa garden or discover Terrat, the rooftop terrace. Plaça de Catalunya is just a 10-minute walk away.

I prefer staying in places that are not too far from the main city and yet let me relax. A mesmerising place to stay would be Hotel W, on the beachfront along La Barceloneta boardwalk, with a panoramic view of the city and the sea.

For meetings, I would recommend Torre Mapfre, located in Calle de la Marina. The view is spectacular, the location central and the amenities great. Barcelona is a dream destination for people wanting to try out unique cuisines. Tapas is something I enjoyed, coupled with red wine. Can Maño is famous for traditional Catalan cuisine.

Getting around
Barcelona is well-connected and it is extremely easy to travel using public transport; this also helps you explore the city better, especially the night buses—NitBus—that make post-midnight travel convenient. I still have my ‘Bicing’ membership; you can pay around 50 euro a year and ride bicycles all around Barcelona.

After hours
A sports lover like me would suggest running on Carretera de les Aigues to recharge yourself. Barcelona is also the hub of architectural grandeur. It has a vibrant nightlife that begins post 9 pm. The city is home to several local shops and boutiques. At Barrio Gotico (the Gothic Quarter), you will find shops of all kinds.

Barcelona has some of the best beaches in world and they are not too far away from the main city. It also has many wonderful museums, each one beautifully depicting the history and evolution of art in Barcelona. You can most definitely enjoy a concert at the Palau de la Música concert hall, hike through Serra de Collserola or visit classic sightseeing spots such as the Sagrada Família.

Like every other tourist place, Barcelona is always crowded and it is best to avoid La Barceloneta at night.  

I would define Barcelona as the perfect combination of tradition, modern lifestyle and incredibly warm people. The strongest memory I have is from my first visit, when I watched my first football game, with FC Barcelona playing in their home stadium of Camp Nou.

The writer is director of Volkswagen Passenger Cars India

(Coordinated by Jasodhara Banerjee)

(This story appears in the 29 September, 2017 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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