(photo, a Barcelona view from Montjuic Park, courtesy of Bastique)
Steeped in rich history, there are many things that come to mind when contemplating travels to Barcelona, Spain. Perhaps overlooked by many is the park life offered there.
Parks play a huge role in the Barcelona life – more than 10% of the city is allocated to the 45 urban parks alone, not to mention the 68 minicipal and 6 forest parks that also exist. The park surface is so great in Barcelona, that it equates to nearly 20 square metres of park per each of the 1,5 million inhabitants.
The Montjuic is the largest park in Barcelona, a forested and parklands area overlooking the southwest of the city centre and the harbour. The park is also home to several buildings, including the Palau Nacional and the Olympi.jpgc stadium. The Palau Nacional also houses the Museum of National Arts. (the brave can hike to the top of the park – others are well advised to use the metro, which then takes you to a gondola lift)
Other popular parks in Barcelona include the Ciutadella Park, which is home to several museums and the zoo. You might also enjoy experiencing the Guinardó Park, the Park Güell, the Oreneta Castle Park, or one of the city's newest parks, the Diagonal Mar Park (inaugurated in 2002). If you want to get lost in Barcelona, try the Labyrinth Park, named after the garden maze it contains.
Barcelona begins to impress the moment you walk off the plane. The airport's new Terminal One, which opened in 2009, is a remarkable upgrade and addition to the city.
Much of Europe is in a winter freeze at the moment, but Barcelona is experiencing its winter temperatures which are still in the mid-teens. Perhaps now is the time to visit Barcelona, the city of parks, and many other things.