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Barcelona by bike: a different way to see the city

Barcelona by bike: a different way to see the city

César Pastrana - 2008-10-13

If you’re visiting Barcelona and looking for a different way to get to know the city that is both relaxed and healthy, then pedal power could be the answer. Bicycle rental service, Barcelona Bici, provides an unforgettable experience and an ideal opportunity to view and discover those places that the tour buses don’t reach.

With its coastal location, warm Mediterranean climate, refined architecture, history and orderly urban layout, Barcelona is already firmly established as one of the most attractive and pleasant tourist destinations to head for.

Travelling around the city by bicycle
provides an original and different way to discover the city. Barcelona has fully integrated cycle lanes and, as an alternative means of transport, cycling offers an opportunity to discover a different Barcelona, whilst taking full advantage of the warm Mediterranean breeze and the atmospheric streets bustling with zest and vitality.

An ideal starting point for any tour would be the Paseo de Gracia, the famous avenue that links Barcelona’s busiest square, Plaza de Catalunya, with the former old town of Gracia, now an official district of the city following the construction of the Eixample (Catalan for ‘extension’). Here, visitors can enjoy some classic examples of modernista architecture and monuments such as La Casa Batllo, considered a Gaudí masterpiece. Much more than a mere building, this is a work of art. Behind the spectacular modernist facade awaits a world of artistic and architectural surprises where you can visit the incredible ground floor, formerly the home of the Batlló family, with its
irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stonework, as well as the attic and rooftops with their stunning and distinctive chimney designs.

Close by is the Casa Milà, better known as ‘La Pedrera’
(Catalan for ‘The Quarry’), built by Gaudí between 1906 and 1910. Its stone facade suggests the movement of waves and a visit of the building offers the opportunity to view an exhibition of Gaudí’s work.

Don’t miss, too, the Fundacio Antoni Tapies,
a cultural centre and museum dedicated largely to the life and works of the painter Antoni Tàpies and crowned with a distinctive and original wire sculpture.
Eventually, you will find your way to the central Plaza de Catalunya and, of course, the iconic La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona that slopes gently down towards the sea. Here, you will experience a unique world of colour, where crowds relax in bars and restaurants, mingle among the flower and souvenir stalls and are entertained by the area’s street entertainers.

By now, it’s time to take a well-deserved stop at La Boqueria market. The market’s meticulous presentation of produce alone is worth seeing but, if you're hungry, why not whet your appetite with a serving of shrimp a la plancha accompanied by a glass of
Penedès white wine.
From La Rambla you can reach Barri Gòtic (the ‘Gothic Quarter'’), built on a former Roman settlement. Remains of the outer wall and the Roman city can still be seen at the Museu d´Història de la Ciutat. The cathedral is the centre of the city’s religious life and la plaza de Sant Jaume holds historic and political significance, housing both the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the headquarters of Barcelona City Hall.

The nearby la Ribera,
('The Shore') may well be one of the old medieval quarters of Ciutat Vella ("the old city") of Barcelona but it has had no trouble in retaining its youth. Once the hub of Barcelona’s maritime trade during the Middle Ages, the area today offers vitality and character, both day and night. The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is a classic example of Catalan Gothic and, nearby, the Picasso Museum displays work from the artist’s youthful, formative years in the neighbourhood.

This area makes an ideal destination for dinner. The old town’s streets are full of flavour and offer an amazing insight into the gastronomic culture of the city and the typical tastes of Barcelona cuisine. After a day of pedalling around this beautiful city, the area offers an unforgettable and well-deserved reminder of the delights of Mediterranean cuisine.

Barcelona Bici offers weekly, daily, hourly and half-hourly bicycle rental options, as well as the Ciclo 10, a card that enables you to enjoy any 10-hour rental period to suit your needs. If you require, the company will also organize an itinerary for you. When renting a bicycle, you’ll receive a map of the city’s network of bicycle lanes with information on key tourist areas. Remember that once you’ve completed your tour, you can leave the bike at any one of the many designated drop-off points situated across the city.

Barcelona Bici hours: May to October from 10:00am to 8.00pm and from November to April from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
For more information
Tel: 93 2853832
Email: info@barcelonaturisme.cat

Rental point:
Mirador de Colom
Pl. Portal de la Pau, s/n

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