One of the few places in the world where you can enjoy a beach and historic city vacation, and be less than a few minutes' walk from each. Our apartment (undoutedly one of the brightest and lightest in Barcelona) is around 1000 square feet, with a further 750 square feet of exclusive roof terrace, complete with BBQ, sunbeds and dining table. The apartment looks out across a huge square, adjacent to one of the city's biggest renovated fresh food markets. There are 2 double bedrooms, both with full-size double beds, both with massive built-in storage units, and one with en-suite bathroom. The other bathroom is just opposite the second bedroom. There's a substantial living / eating / cooking area with an ultra-modern Smeg kitchen and high-spec appliances. The entire apartment has been furnished from Vincon, the designer home store in Barcelona, and there is a B&O hi-fi system with around 400 pre-stored albums, but no TV and no internet access, although there is easily accessible wi-fi at the bar 1 minute away and a choice of internet cafes. There is no car available (but if you hire a car there is a secure underground car-park in the square opposite the apartment). The apartment is a 5-minute walk from the nearest subway station and 10 minutes walk from the rail station with direct links to the international airport. Equally, you can hail a cab (very inexpensive - about 15 Euro takes you from one end of the city to the other), but most of the places you'll want to visit you can walk to. We're on the top-floor of a recently-renovated 4-storey building, but there is a modern lift that drops you outside our front-door, and the internal stairs from the living room can take you straight out onto the roof-terrace, where you can enjoy incredible sunsets. The apartment is available for non-simultaneous exchange year-round. It's a vacation home, so is uncluttered with personal effects, but still contains all the items you'll need, plus music and books.
Barcelona is one of the most dynamic and exciting places in the world, whatever your age or interests: theatre, music, bars, restaurants, beach-life, galleries etc. Our local neighbourhood, Barceloneta, used to be the city's fishing quarter, and is now a mixture of narrow streets and broad squares, with an equal mixture of tiny bars ultra-modern and traditional restaurants, and local shops. The beaches (3 minutes' walk) in Barceloneta welcome everyone and are a fascinating way to see a cross-section of visitors and locals. Less than a stone's throw away are Barcelona's most famous bakery Baluard (the fragrance of freshly-baked bread normally wakes us in the morning), and its most famous tapas bar, Cova Fumada, where you can eat lunch of freshly-caught and cooked squid or sardines alongside a colourful mix of locals and city lawyers for less than 10 Euro per head. In the neighbourhood are Barcelona's most impressive seafood restaurants (this city is now one of the food destinations of the world). Walk north, past the marina, into the old city and within 10 minutes you'll be lost in a maze of mediaeval streets around the cathedral that have changed very little in the past 1,000 years, apart from these days occasionally supporting an achingly smart fashion boutique or a lively bar. Find the world-famous Picasso Museum, or visit one of the many incredible Gaudi buildings that punctuate the city; almost everything can be seen by walking from the front-door of the apartment, but a cab-ride from one end of the city to another is less than 15 Euro. Take the train (the station is a maximum 10-minute walk) and you can be in lively seafront Sitges or exploring the Costa Brava within the hour.