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Barcelona Travel & Vacations
Barcelona is the capital of the Region of Catalonia in Spain, Europe. It is also a magical city of fanciful buildings, neverending nightlife and home to tasty tapas.

Barcelona has many quarters, but the most important and interesting for the visitors are:
  • Ciutat Vella - Barcelona's old town, including the medieval Barri Gotic.
  • Eixample - Modernist quarter, noted for its art nouveau buildings
  • Grêcia - Historically a working class neighborhood, now rather gentrified, and very lively
  • Barceloneta - Historically a fisherman's quarter

    If you're a football freak then you can't miss a visit to Camp Nou, the home ground for Barcelona's biggest and most popular team, and one of Europes greatest footballing 'cathedrals'. FCB are the only major football club in the world that doesn't sell advertising space on it's strip, and this is because the club is about more than just making money. During the Franco era, FCB were the only way that supressed Catalans could vent their anger against his dictatorship, and because of this it became a symbol of Catalan identity. Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 98,600 people, and it also has shops and a museum of the club's history. Match tickets are relatively cheap (25-35 Euros) and games hardly ever completely sell out, unless it's a match against the hated rivals Real Madrid, or one of the other top teams (currently Valencia or Deportivo la Coruna.) With the quality in the current team, there's always a few goals, and it's nearly always a resounding win for Barca! Stadium tours aren't fantastic, but for a quick recent history of matches played there, consult the backs of the doors in the cubicles - most have alot of graffiti championing their team that played here!

    Barcelona has some of the best restaurants and cafes in Europe. For starters, you might try any of the large cafes that line the Passeig de Gracia and the Rambla de Catalunya, just north of the Plaša de Catalunya: nearly all offer a variety of excellent tapas (appetizers), although a bit expensive.

    Barcelona is a friendly city, there are few violent crimes. However, many tourists and experienced travellers get pickpocketed in Barcelona. Crowded places and metro/busses and areas such as Raval and the famous "La Rambla" are still the most likely places to get pickpocketed, but if you are just arriving be aware of pickpockets at Estacio Nord. Take particularly care of your backpack and handbags. Also be very careful at internet cafes and whenever you see roving groups of Gypsy children. This high rate of pickpocketing and bag snatching is in large part due to the fact that there is absolutely no punishment for non-violent petty theft, no matter how many times a person is caught stealing. Other places in the city are less secure than the average: Placa Real and Barrio Xino (the triangle from Colom Monoument to Calle Nou de la Rambla) above the others. Strictly avoid these places at night. Lone women should exercise caution in exploring the more isolated parts of Montjuic. The city beaches, particularly the ones adjoining Barceloneta, have proven to be quite lucrative for bag-snatchers. Anything that one would rather not chance losing is best left in ones hostel or hotel.

    There have also been incidents of bag snatching while stopped at the traffic lights whereby the thieves open the car doors and take what they can. Please make sure that you always have your car doors locked during both the night and the day.

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