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An unforgettable city dating back to Roman times, Barcelona is the dynamic capital of Catalonia and cradle of Catalan culture. From Gaudi's magnificent architectural masterpieces-like Casa Batlló, and the Sagrada Familia Basilica - to the Gothic Quarter, Picasso Museum, and F.C. Barcelona football stadium, Barcelona's rich culture is apparent everywhere you look. Stroll along the famed Las Ramblas to enjoy the ambiance and street entertainers. Take a tram trip up to the top of Tibidabo for panoramic views of the city below. Shop along the Passeig de Gracia at the most well-known boutiques in Barcelona. And be sure to join the locals at the Barri Gotic for a great selection of tapas and wine bars.
Monograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Barcelona and Spain. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Barcelona and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Barcelona insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Hello, my name is Francesca. I have been working as the Monograms Local Host in Barcelona for the past three years. I would like all Monograms visitors to enjoy this amazing city as much as possible; my goal is that they depart loving Barcelona as much as I do.
Housed in the National Palace, the Catalan National Art Museum includes one of the most important Romanesque painting collections in the world.
Enjoy this spectacular show of water, lights, and music held in front of the National Palace every Sunday evening.
If you’re a football (soccer) fan, ask your Local Host for directions to view the stadium of the world-famous team. Maybe even see a match!
For some special family time, there’s plenty to do in Barcelona, including thrills and panoramic views at Tibidabo Amusement Park high above the city.
The Sardana is Catalonia’s emblematic folk dance. See it on Saturdays (6:00-8:00 pm) and Sundays (12:00-2:00 pm) in the Cathedral Square.
The Picasso Museum is the reference center for the formative years (1887-1901) of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. With its complete collection of his early works, see the evolution of the master. Another exciting possibility for art lovers is the Miro Foundation to view the permanent collection of Joan Miro.
Wander through Barcelona’s most popular food market, which dates back to the 12th century.
Sit back with a drink on La Rambla and watch street performers go by. Enjoy musicians, old-style shops, and flower, bird and souvenir stalls—the opportunities are endless on this famous tree-lined promenade.
Formerly one of the seediest sections of Barcelona, the El Born neighborhood with its medieval roots has seen a revival. It is now one of the hottest spots to shop and dine.
Barri Gotic, Barcelona’s Old City, is the perfect place to wind down at the end of the day. This section of town is filled with the best tapas bars.
With great views of the Mediterranean, the Olimpic Port is a lovely place to stroll along the sea promenade, and there are plenty of fine restaurants. Specialties to try while in Barcelona include fish dishes, paella, Spanish omelet, Catalan cream for dessert, Catalan wines, and sparkling Cava.
Barcelona’s coastline is over 4 km. long and offers a wide variety of excellent beaches. Barceloneta beach is the closest to the city center and has many great seafood restaurants.
While it may not be a Paris, London, or Barcelona, Spain's capital city has a unique quality all its own, with world-class shopping and art galleries, an exceptional nightlife and live music scene, and fine restaurants and tapas bars by the bazillions. Many visitors believe Madrid is the most Spanish of Spain's cities, and there's, naturally, plenty to see and do. Don't miss bustling Puerta del Sol square-the heart of Madrid's historic center and the actual center of the Spanish road system; beautiful Plaza de Espana with its monument to Cervantes; the beloved Cibeles Fountain depicting the goddess of nature; the palatial Prado Museum with its priceless art treasures; and the pond, museum, rose garden, and monuments of splendid El Retiro Park.
Monograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Madrid and Spain. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Madrid and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Madrid insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Maribel has over 20 years' experience as a local guide; she really enjoys being a Local Host as it gives her the opportunity to share her love and knowledge of Madrid and its rich heritage with Monograms guests.
Raquel, an experienced tour guide of Madrid and its surroundings, loves her country's art and history and looks forwards enthusiastically to sharing her knowledge of this great city and Spanish traditions and culture with you.
Ask your Local Host about a walking route to see architecture of the Habsburg Period of Madrid; discover along the way the old convents, churches and narrow lanes of the city that was the capital of a world empire in the 16th century. A stop at a café, a pub, or by an old market turned into gourmet center, makes a charming stroll, finishing maybe by Plaza de Oriente, next to the Royal Palace.
Puerta del Sol is a good starting point to see what the Age of Enlightenment left to Madrid; admire the city’s splendid arches, monuments, and fountains as you stroll in its plazas and boulevards.
Madrid has been the inspiration for some of Spain’s best literature. The literary district is a beautifully preserved 17th century area. Strolling along Huertas’ street recalls writers like Quevedo and Góngora. Cervantes lived in the area, and you can visit the beautifully preserved home of the great Lope de Vega nearby. Then, by streets that bring memories of Echegaray and Moratín and by Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, 1922 Nobel Prize winner for literature, reach Plaza Mayor, which Benito Perez Galdós immortalized in his novels.
For some gentle relaxation, stroll in El Retiro. Dating back to the 1600s, the park features a lake, statues and fountains. Ask your Local Host about the Madrid Green Walk, covering the Retiro, and the Debod temple and gardens, or for families, other suggestions on good places to spend time together.
Built in the 18th century under Philip V, the Royal Palace of Madrid is a truly magnificent example of palatial architecture in Europe. The halls open to the public contain superb fresco paintings, tapestries, furniture, porcelain and all kind of sumptuous objects reviving the past. The Royal Armory and the Royal Pharmacy are also well worth a visit.
A neoclassical masterpiece with the largest dome in Madrid, its walls and ceilings are decorated with superb frescoes.
Picasso’s Guernica admired in its genuine dimension. Founded in 1992 at the old Hospital of San Carlos, built in the 18th century, chronologically the collections start from 1881, birth date of Pablo Picasso. Take a stroll by the vanguards of the 20th century including works by Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Juan Gris, Tapies, Saura, Antonio López…
Historical trip through Western Art, from the 13th century to the present day; see first class works of international art created by two generations of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, including the private collection of Baroness Thyssen.
Madrid is a shopper’s paradise. You can find everything from luxury goods and antiques to religious items. See its exclusive shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Your Local Host can suggest a route to visit specialty shops (some of them more than 100 year’s old), including fan shops, and a wonderful cake store which supplies the Spanish Royal Family, all in the city center.
There is a healthy pastime in Madrid: having your aperitif with a small side order of food, the tapa. This wonderful pursuit is one of the most important chapters in fully understanding and enjoying the pleasures of eating out in Madrid. The best and simplest way to truly enjoy tapas in Madrid is to use your sixth sense, or better still, your sense of smell. Also well worth a try, excellent local wines, Sangria or Spanish lemonade.
The traditional local food in Madrid is Cocido, with its a combination of seven different meats, vegetables and pulses it is not a dish for the faint-hearted!
The oldest restaurant in the world, specializing in lamb and roast pork suckling dishes.
Ask your Local Host for information on shows, opera and Zarzuela (Spanish Operetta).
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