Barcelona – the big city on the sea

Steeped in history and culture, cast in intense light, a fantastic climate, with fabulous architecture around every corner and the beach more or less on the doorstep – it is this very special and enchanting mixture that makes Barcelona one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Has there ever been a better reason for booking a holiday?

Barcelona portrays itself as young and sportive. Despite all the historical and architectural sites, there is a lightness to it that affects the pace of the city – and of your stay. Scattered about are inviting places and spots that offer shelter, shadow or rest, so you can assimilate it all in your own tempo. For this purpose, four NephroCare clinics within the urban area of Barcelona are available for your holiday dialysis request. Imagine the joys of reflecting on the sights you’ve visited while undergoing your treatment. Barcelona is ready for that experience. Are you, too?

Activities & Sights

Gaudí, an uncrowned sovereign

Like no other, the architect Antoní Gaudí has influenced the outlook of Barcelona. He left his traces all over the city. Many of his buildings have become landmarks, first and foremost the Sagrada Familia. Though still unfinished, the basilica weaves its magic, blending Gothic and Art Nouveau styles in unprecedented ways. With its completion expected in 2026 after 150 years of construction, the architectural masterpiece will be the tallest religious building in Europe.

Instantly recognizable as another Gaudí attraction, Park Güell is famous for its quirky yet adorable forms that aim at imitating nature. The park is a showpiece of urban planning. Both the park and Palau Güell, one of his earlier buildings, were commissioned by Eusebi Güell, an industrialist and patron of the arts (and of Gaudí in particular).

Casa Batlló, said to be Gaudí’s most classic building, is known among locals as the “House of Bones”. It stands out with its “dragon-back” design, bearing witness to Gaudí’s exuberant creativity. Every edifice is unmistakably Gaudí and delightfully unique all at once. Plunge into this very special, inspiring universe of an imaginative architect who wanted to give the world a new face.

Flamboyant and fun

Comfortable shoes are vital in this city that lures you into strolling along so many places. Wander along the beach to take a break from the center. Stroll along Las Ramblas, because you cannot go home without getting a whiff of its joyful activity. Very likely the most famous street in Barcelona, it mirrors a fascinating piece of the city’s history. The boulevard is lined with shops, markets, cafés, fountains, a mosaic by Miró and several museums. This has not always been the case, though. In the period between the 16th and 18th centuries churches and convents used to border the street. While none of these remain, the Barcelona Cathedral is just a short walk away.

La Catedral dates back to the 11th century. As its construction took so long, it features a breathtaking neo-Gothic façade. Well worth seeing are the rooftop gargoyles and waterworks. The cathedral differs significantly from the other churches in the city. A high concentration of Gothic architecture and some of the city’s best shopping opportunities come together in the Barri Gòtic, the Gothic Quarter. Prepare for a journey through time from early Roman days to the Middle Ages.

If you have tired your feet out or if you are looking for a general overview, take the bus! Important to know about the Barcelona Double-Decker Hop-on, Hop-off service is that you can switch between three different bus routes. This enables you to drive through different neighbourhoods and really get to know the city and its sights quite well.

Outings in the surroundings

Even Barcelona’s outback has rewarding destinations to offer and remains faithful to its cultural mission. In the small town of Figueres, Salvador Dalí was born. Not surprisingly, his birthplace (“Casa natal”) and the Teatre Museo Dalí, his main museum in Spain, are located here. The town also hosts several other museums, such as a toy museum.

Spectacularly situated in the Montserrat mountains above Barcelona is the most important religious site in Catalonia, the Benedictine Abbey of Montserrat. Combine the visit with a unique experience in its own right: You can reach the mountain peak via a cable car or the Cremallera train. Both options offer spectacular views over the city and the Mediterranean Sea.

If you are looking for a beach resort a bit further from the crowded city, Sitges is the place to go. Idling in the sun and taking a stroll along the charming beach promenade should be part of anyone’s holiday programme in the area.


Many people automatically think of a hotel as their number one choice for their Barcelona accommodation – of which there are plenty of every price level. Besides, there are several other options which could give you other advantages as well as being cheaper than a hotel. Lodgings range from Holiday Apartments to regular pensions and bed and breakfasts. You can even book small apartments within a hotel, called Aparthotels. The offer is broad, so you will surely find the quarters that meet your requirements.

Culinary & Culture

Where the hearts beat for soccer and seafood

Never mind the time of year – whenever you go to Barcelona, you are sure to barge into one of the many festivals and fiestas that keep the Barcelonians on their toes. Inextricably linked with Barcelona are all things concerning soccer. The FC Barcelona, shortened to Barça, brings huge pride to the city. Faithful fans are drawn in droves to Camp Nou, the enormous stadium, whenever their club is paying. 

When it comes to cooking, not everything is about Paella and chorizo. Catalan cuisine is quite varied, delicious and has become internationally renowned, although the dishes often have unpronounceable names. Try to order Esqueixada de bacallà, for example. The meal itself will be absolutely worth the effort. Salted cod (bacallà) is widely eaten in Catalonia. Together with chopped tomatoes, red peppers and onions plus black olives and a healthy drop of olive oil, the shredded cod makes an amazing gluten-free summer dish.

In another variant of a cod dish, Bacallà amb samfaina, it is accompanied with a sauce made with vegetables, onion, garlic and tomatoes similar to the Castilian pisto or the French ratatouille. 

Fideuà is very widely eaten on the Catalan coast, too. Very similar to a seafood paella but made with noodles instead of rice. Monkfish, squid and prawns are usually added before cooking everything in a fish and shellfish stock. The presentation of a fideuà is always spectacular as it comes out on the dish it is cooked, the flat paella dish. As you can see, many recipes center on seafood. So, if you like fish, you will enjoy your meals immensely.

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