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Are you thirsty? Here are five of the best beer bars in Europe

If you love craft beer, this post is for you! Read on to find the best places to quench your thirst and discover new spots in Barcelona, Dublin, Munich, Amsterdam and Prague.

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Moll de Xalot

By Eddy Lara Brito from www.DestinosActuales.com

The place where Barcelona embraces the sea and vice-versa

The great thing about living in Barcelona is the ability to be in a city of just the right size – big enough to be a grand European metropolis yet small enough to offer unbeatable quality of life, as well as proximity to the sea. Just right.

Since the early 1990s, when it became an Olympic city, Barcelona has experienced perhaps its most important transformation after a century of growth with the Ildefons Cerdà city expansion. This change has basically involved putting the focus firmly back on the Mediterranean. 20 years have passed now and the Barcelona coastline is undoubtedly the hub of the city, especially during the summer.

They say that Barcelona is a city that lacks anywhere new to be discovered but, when you live in this city, you realise that part of its personality lies precisely in that many hidden corners and places emerge, die and are reborn again. One of my favourite places in Barcelona is the Moll de Xaloc in the Port Olímpic.

Here you can enjoy all the splendour of Barcelona in peace and quiet. There is nothing better than an autumn evening for observing the sun draw the city skyline on the horizon: the Tibidabo, Montjuic, the Sagrada Familia, the statue of Columbus… with the Mediterranean on the other side, closer than ever and intensely blue. This is precisely where Barcelona embraces the sea and vice-versa.

By Eddy Lara Brito from www.DestinosActuales.com

Do you fancy going? Do it! Check out our prices here!



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Eight Bookshops To Enjoy During the Sant Jordi Book Fair

If we had to choose the ideal day for visiting Barcelona and seeing it in all its finery, that date would undoubtedly be 23 April. The celebration of the Catalan “Diada de Sant Jordi” (Feast of St George) sees Barcelona festooned with books and roses, and thousands of people crowding the streets in search of new book releases or their favourite author to autograph a copy of their purchase. Roses are also in evidence everywhere, particularly red ones, which all young men are duty bound to gift to their beloved. The ritual is re-enacted year after year and draws numerous booksellers to the city. Following is a list of the main bookshops in Barcelona which you are encouraged to visit on the Feast of St George or, to avoid the crush, any time you happen to be book hunting in Barcelona.

1. Laie
A true beacon of Barcelona’s literary scene and a must-visit destination for any reading enthusiast is Libreria Laie, specialising in art, literature and the humanities. This well managed bookstore also features a café-restaurant on the upper floor, the perfect spot for chatting about the latest literary releases.

2. La Central del Raval
Located in the heart of El Raval quarter, and housed in the former Chapel of Misericordia, is Central del Raval, a classic in the city’s literary scene, boasting some 80,000 titles. Featuring books on anthropology, architecture, design, art, cinema and photography, as well as poetry and the performing arts, among others. Also on the premises is an area devoted to literary activities.

3. Altaïr
Planning to travel anytime soon? Make a point of visiting Librería Altaïr to research your trip beforehand, as there you will find all the books you need to prepare your getaway. They specialise in travel, and as such are one of the largest bookshops in Europe, stocking travel guides, maps and books relating to all possible destinations imaginable.

4. Taifa
Located on the Calle Verdi, in the heart of Gràcia, is the bookstore Librería Taifa. Founded in 1993 by the poet, publisher and literary critic, José Batlló, they stock both new and secondhand books. While specialising in the humanities, the store is noted for its section on cinema, which the proprietors hold in great esteem.

5. Hibernian Books
Also located in the Gràcia  district is Hiberian Books, which is celebrated for being the only store in Barcelona specialising in secondhand books in English. Their list runs into some 40,000 titles, covering all possible genres, including a section featuring children’s books.

6. Loring Art
Loring Art
are specialists in contemporary visual culture. The store started out in 1996 with just a hundred titles, while nowadays it has some 20,000, a treat for connoisseurs of this genre. Their offerings provide a journey through 20th- and 21st-century painting, sculpture, design, fashion, photography, architecture, cinema, music, the performing arts and electronic art.

7. Casa Anita
This unique bookshop located in the Gràcia district is dedicated to illustrated books. While targeting primarily children and young readers, their titles are a delight for children and adults alike.

8. Arkham Comics
This small bookshop in El Raval specialises in comics. Although it can be challenging to jostle your way among so many volumes, this is the perfect place for devotees of graphic novels, who are urged to take the advice of Xavi, the ever-helpful owner.

Book your Vueling to Barcelona and delve into the city’s literary world, as well as revelling in one of the city’s most becoming festivities.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

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“Barçalona”, the Blaugrana City

“Our friend and companion Mr Kans Kamper of the Foot-Vallsection of the Sociedad los Deportesand former Swiss champion wishes to organise some football matches in Barcelona” read an advert in the weekly newspaper, Los Deportes on 22 October 1899. Hans Gamper, now known as Joan Gamper, was the Club's Swiss founder, player and president, and a key figure in the destiny of the Barcelona football team. He was already a prominent soccer player in his own country and, when he moved to Barcelona in 1899 for business reasons, he refused to forego his passion. He published the above advert in an attempt to perpetuate the sport. As a result, the foundational assembly of FC Barcelona was held on 29 November in the Gimnasio Solè. Located in Montjuïc del Carme Street number 5 (on the corner of Pintor Fortuny, near the Ramblas and very close to the Canaletes fountain), these premises went on to become a garage until they were bought by a construction company in 1996, demolished and rebuilt to be used as office space. However, a plaque at the entrance reminds passers-by that this place saw the birth of one of the most admired football clubs in the world.

From La Escupidera to Camp Nou

After continuously moving from one venue to another, Barça finally bought some grounds in 1909 between the streets Comte d’Urgell, Villarroel, Coello – now Londres – and Indústria – now París – where the first stadium was built. It was commonly known as La Escupidera (The Spittoon), given its small size. With a capacity for 6,000 spectators, it was almost too small from the outset. The numbers attending matches were such that those left outside would climb the outer walls of the premises in order to follow the game. The bottoms of these enthusiasts were exposed to the street, in view of passers-by, which is why Barça supporters are now known as culés (“bottomers” in Catalan).

In view of this, FC Barcelona moved to a stadium in the district of Les Corts, situated in the block delimited by the streets Numància, Travessera de Les Corts, Vallespir and Marquès de Sentmenat. Inaugurated on 20 May 1922, the stadium could initially hold 60,000 spectators. This enlargement also turned out to be insufficient to seat all those who wished to enjoy Ladislao Kubala’s football. This football wizard ­– included in the Barça "Holy Trinity" completed by Johan Cruyff and Leo Messi – was influential in the demolition of the Les Corts field and the construction of Camp Nou. The location of theformer stadiumis now commemorated by a plaque on an apartment block in Numància Street.

The new blaugrana colosseum, with a capacity for almost 100,000 people, was inaugurated on 24 September 1957 and has become a symbol of world football. A few metres from the stadium, encapsulating the essence of the club, stands the Masia Can Planas – a country house from 1702 that was until recently the residence of the blaugrana stars. For more information on Barça’s different headquarters, click here.

Between Euphoria and Faith

In February 1930, the weekly newspaper “La Rambla” was founded by Barça's president-to-be, Josep Suñol, with its headquarters at Las Ramblas number 13. Today, these premises are occupied by Núria Restaurant, just opposite the Canaletes fountain. At a time when football matches were not yet broadcasted on radio, the employees of the newspaper would hang a board from their office balcony with the day’s results. This was the way culés used to find out how well their team had done. If the score was satisfactory, the celebration would start. Since then, and still today, Canaletes fountain is the epicentre of Barça euphoria. Legend has it that, if visitors drink from the waters of Canaletes, they will eventually return to the city.

To wind up the celebrations, the football stars would end up on the balconies of the Generalitat de Catalunya and Barcelona City Hall in Sant Jaume square. Players, coaches and executives would then go to the Mercè chapel, a Baroque church located in La Mercè square, adjoining Carrer Ample and Passeig de Colom, to offer the winning trophy to the city's patron saint. Not very far from there is the cathedral of Santa María del Mar. This beautiful Gothic church was attacked at the beginning of the Civil War and most of the stained glass windows were destroyed. The government of the Generalitat insisted on its restoration, which was financed by various wealthy families of the time and Barcelona institutions, such as FC Barcelona. As a token of gratitude, the club's emblem was placed on the window in the church sanctuary. Indeed, football is a question of faith.

Barcelona is no doubt one of the most football-mad cities in the world. You can breathe Barça everywhere. Come and see it for yourself! Check out our flights here.

Text by Oriol Rodríguez / ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Oriol Rodríguez, Juanedc, Maria Rosa Ferre, Jordi Ferrer, Enfo_34/ Fundació del FC Barcelona

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