Ciutat Vella holiday apartments are found at the city’s urban heart, where there’s the best choice of restaurants, cultural attractions and shops. It’s a fabulous location for those who want seamless transport links and to be a part of Barcelona’s bustle, but villas in Ciutat Vella will still provide a stylish and peaceful hideaway after days seeing the sights and evenings on the town. Apartments in Ciutat Vella tend to be set in elegant buildings from the 19th century, but are updated inside and equipped with necessities like air-conditioning, kitchen appliances and Internet access. Accommodation here is also typically finished and decorated with real taste and imagination.
-Modernist architecture: Over the course of a couple of decades at the turn of the 20th century, Antoni Gaudí created some truly whimsical and eye-catching landmarks. The Sagrada Família Basilica is a must, as is the Parc Güell in Gràcia. In Dreta de l’Eixample you can find La Pedrera, an apartment building known for its sinuous lines and intricate balconies.
-Culture: Barcelona also shines for its outstanding choice of art museums. There are high-profile galleries here devoted to Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. For those who want to get acquainted with Catalan art then the National Art Museum of Catalonia has a collection that spans more than 1,000 years. Music has long been a part of life in Barcelona, from highbrow concert halls like the Gran Teatre del Liceu to a plethora of live-music venues.
-Family attractions: One of Barcelona’s most famous sights is La Rambla, a tree-lined walkway that extends from Plaça Catalunya down to the harbour. By day it’s alive with colour, boasting street performers and flower stalls. At Barceloneta there’s L’Aquarium, the second largest in Europe, and another popular animal attraction is the Zoo, which puts an emphasis on conservation.
-Food and drink: A host of international cuisines can be enjoyed in this small area, but for those seeking Iberian flavours, Pintxos has taken Barcelona by storm in recent years. It’s the Basque interpretation of tapas, and the dishes, held together by toothpicks, can be very creative. Traditional tapas bars can be found across the Ciutat Vella, and there are also several famous restaurants in the area, like Mediodia and Silenus, which have modern takes on classic Catalan cuisine.
-Shopping: Ciutat Vella is home to many of the city’s hippest boutiques, most of which can be found in the La Ribera area. At the bottom of La Rambla there’s the redeveloped harbour, home to Maremagnum. This mall has all the big Spanish and international brands, as well as the added plus of being open on Sundays.
Ciutat Vella holiday accommodation is in a city with a mild Mediterranean climate, receiving marginally more rain than its surrounding provinces. Despite this, Barcelona still gets more than twice as much sunshine as northern Europe in summer, and three times more than northern Europe in winter. Temperatures on a normal summer’s day hit 30°C, and the warm conditions last from about May to mid-October. Winters in Barcelona are rarely cold, with highs of 13°C by day, although nightly lows in January and February can get close to freezing.
Visitors reaching their Ciutat Vella villa from abroad will generally use Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN), which is one of Spain’s main air transport hubs. Plenty of airlines, from low-cost carriers to more upmarket brands, serve this destination from the UK, and there’s no shortage of flights throughout the year. After landing, tourists can take Rodalies Line 2 to Barcelona Sants, before switching to 2 Sud, which will take them to Estacio de França on the eastern side of Ciutat Vella, close to the waterfront.