General Information

Apps, which will make your trip to Barcelona perfect!

You are travelling to Barcelona, but you don’t know the city at all? Which are the most famous and most important sights, where can you find the best Spanish restaurants? Where can you get a good coffee or drink a beer? And what if you get lost in the city, how are you going to find your way back to the hotel? There are a lot of useful apps for Android and iOS which will bring solutions to all of these problems; we will introduce some to you! 1. Barcelona Metro Map: You arrive at your hotel in Barcelona but don’t know how to get to the city centre or to any other place? This app will show you which line of the metro you have to take and how long it will approximately take you until you reach your destination. It works offline – a good feature as you will probably not have internet on the way. Moreover, the app is for free. Attention: the app only serves for the metro in Barcelona! At the airport, there is no metro, so read up on how to get away from the airport before you arrive. metro bcn 2. Spanish English best dictionary: You are in Spain but you don’t speak any word of Spanish? This app may be very useful for you. It translates English to Spanish and the other way around, you can search for words and you can listen to each word being spoken out loud, both languages. Another app, Franklin ViDICTO (English-Spanish Visual Dictionary), works completely offline and offers you the words you need for accurate situations within different categories, e.g. “At the airport”, “In the hotel room” or “Dinner”. You can find pictures with the right term on it and thus easily communicate in Spanish. Both apps are for free. dictionary vidicto 3. Barcelona tripadvisor: The Barcelona tripadvisor app unites everything: it has a city map, knows the best restaurants and hotels and the most famous sights, it can tell you where to go shopping and where nightlife takes place. All of these features can be used offline, which makes the app the perfect match for your trip to Spain – you just need to download the city “Barcelona” having internet in order to make all the features work offline. It’s free of cost. trip advisor 4. City Walks Barcelona: This app tells you which sights you have to see, it offers you different tours, like for example the “Antoni Gaudí Tour”, the “Gothic Quarter” tour, the “Picasso Tour”, “La Barceloneta” tour and many more.  Choosing one tour, the app shows you the corresponding sights (“Antoni Gaudí Tour”: La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera etc.) and clicking on the sight tells you the story about it: when has the Sagrada Familia been built, what is the architecture meant to symbolize? Moreover, it offers a listing of the best specialty shops (porcelain, mosaics, hats, leather etc.), a listing of the best shopping zones and of the best gift and souvenir shops. If you have internet on your phone in Barcelona, the app will localize you with its GPS and guide you to all the sights of the tour you chose – be it all the castles, the beautiful churches or the Raval district. Last but not least, you can also create your own tour. Choose the sights you want to see – the beach, la Sagrada Familia and the Boqueria Market for example – and City Walks Barcelona will guide you there. city walk bcn 5. Barcelona Bus Turístic: If you don’t want to walk much in Barcelona, there is a bus for tourists that brings you to all the sights you want to see. The correspondent app shows you the routes of the touristic bus lines which exist in Barcelona (the blue, the red and the green route) and tells you which line is going to which sights. Moreover, you can click on each sight the bus passes and the app shows you a picture and shortly explains the sight is. This app is for free and works offline. bus turistic With all these apps your trip to Barcelona will be much easier and more organized. We, as Habitat Apartments, wish you a pleasant stay in this wonderful city, enjoy your holidays! And by the way: we also have an app which we would like to offer to you! Next Stop City Guides provides a map of Barcelona and also knows the best places to go, be it sights, bars, restaurants or events! :) It also works offline and is for free, thus you can use it during your whole trip! next stop app
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February in Barcelona

You are coming to Barcelona this month and don’t exactly know what to do? We will tell you what the most important events in February are! HJ Lim & Barcelona Symphony Orchestra: HJ Lim is a young, South Korean pianist. She moved to France when she was twelve years old in order to become a composer. There, she studied under Marc Hoppeler and later graduated from the Conservatoire National Région de Rouen with First Prize. Today, she is giving concerts all over the world - in Asia, South America and Europe. This month, she will give a concert with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pablo González, in the Auditori de Barcelona. A full Rachmaninoff program will be performed on the 7th, 8th and 9th of February, tickets are available from around 25€ on. Find tickets here. hj lim Valentine’s Day: On the 14th of February it’s Valentine’s Day in many countries all over the world which is the day of the beloved. If you are in Barcelona and want to surprise your beloved, there are very romantic spots the capital city of Catalonia provides. First of all, there is the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Every night, it offers a spectacular show with music and colorful lights which your partner won’t ever forget. magic fountain Secondly, the Art Blau, an open air bar and restaurant, is perfect for Valentine’s Day. You can overlook Barcelona and enjoy a beautiful sunset in a casual, intimate atmosphere. Last but not least, the Horta garden is made for this occasion. It’s one of the oldest historical gardens in Barcelona and also one of the most beautiful ones. There are pretty pavilions, waterfalls and canals which make a walk in the park very romantic. romantic horta The Mobile World Congress: The Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile communications exhibition in Europe and will be hold at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain from the 24th until the 27th of February.  The Congress is set to kick off at 6 pm with a speech held by this year’s very special keynote speaker Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook. Each year, more than 70,000 visitors are coming to Barcelona to attend the big mobile communications exhibition which provides about 1,700 exhibitors from over 200 countries. These exhibitors present their new products and services to the visitors, also aiming at widening their networks. The goal of the exhibition is to address key developments of the technological mobile industry as well as defining the new and future mobile communications horizon. Carnival: Carnival in Barcelona starts on the 27th of February. This day is called the Dirty Thursday and marks the beginning of the carnival period which lasts until Ash Wednesday, the 5th of March. These days, people disguise themselves as wizards, clowns or pirates and celebrate. Huge events and parades are taking place and bars are full. It’s a very colorful event, full of joy and fun. After carnival, the Lent begins and lasts until Easter during 46 days. Carnival in Barcelona is a unique experience which you shouldn’t miss when you are there this month! Especially for children it’s a lot of fun! bcn karneval carnaval bcn Enjoy this wonderful month in Barcelona, a very variegated city :)
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Great mobile exhibition in February this year!

This year, the biggest mobile communications exhibition in Europe will be on again: the Mobile World Congress, a global event. Since 1987, it takes place every year, intending to inform visitors about the latest developments in the field of mobile communications. In 2014, again, the exhibition will be hold at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain from the 24th until the 27th of February.  The Congress is set to kick off at 6 pm with a speech held by this year’s very special keynote speaker Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook. Zuckerberg will talk about the importance of connecting the unconnected world to the internet, meaning to extend the ubiquitous internet access to it. MWC More than 70,000 visitors are coming to Barcelona each year to visit the big mobile communications exhibition. In order to widen their network and to present their new products and services to the visitors, about 1,700 exhibitors from over 200 countries are being attendant. Furthermore, a lot of CEOs are attending the fair, intending to show and explain the new technologies to the visitors. In general, the goal of the exhibition is to address key developments of the technological mobile industry as well as defining the new and future mobile communications horizon. But to make this big event possible, supporting companies are being necessary: The Mobile World Congress provides partners such as Nokia, Sony, Samsung, hp and MasterCard who sponsor this exhibition. Enjoy your stay at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona!
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Gaudí’s Casa Milà in restorations for the whole year

Casa Milà The Casa Milà - designed by Antoni Gaudí – has been built during the years 1906 and 1912 and is located in the district Eixample in Barcelona, close to the city centre. For already thirty years, it belongs to the world cultural heritage of the UNESCO. Now, the third period of restorations has begun, the Casa Milà needs to be restored again. Why does it need to be restored? The Casa Milà – also known as La Pedrera - is made of two different types of stone: the Garraf lime stone and the Vilafranca one. These materials degenerate and this is why La Pedrera needs to be restored every ten to twelve years. The restoration started on the 8th of January and will last throughout the whole year, producing costs around 750,000 Euros. The façades of La Pedrera will be hidden behind scaffolds and awnings, whereupon some of the awnings will be publicity ones suspended on the sight's front, aiming to partly finance the restoration. The restoration itself enfolds the cleaning of the stones as well as the reparation of the fractures and of the carcasses of the balconies. Because of the hidden façades, pictures cannot be taken anymore which might make a lot of tourists very sad. But stunning pictures of the Casa Milà can also be taken inside at the patio or - even better - up on the rooftop, where tourists can get an amazing view all over Barcelona. It is definitely still worth visiting it!
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The best places to go shopping in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the fashion metropolises in Europe, it is a paradise for people who love to go shopping. There are stores for everyone, no matter how much money one wants to spend: cheap retails, chains like Zara, Stradivarius and H&M and designer stores such as Prada and Burberry. This article will highlight the three most important locations in Barcelona where fashionable clothes can be found. The most famous spot to go shopping in Barcelona is probably the Passeig de Gràcia, which is a long and gorgeous street, laced with stores like Desigual, Gucci and Michael Kors. Moreover, the well known sight Casa Milà (or: La Pedrera), designed by Antoni Gaudí, can be found in Passeig de Gràcia. The picture below shows this place. Passeig de Gracia But as these stores are very expensive, this is not the right spot to go shopping for everyone. The Portal de L’Angel is arranged in the city centre of Barcelona, la ciutat vella, and here, one can find all the less expensive shops that are being known around the world, like for example Zara, H&M, Mango and many more. Moreover, there are other Spanish shops like Blanca, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Bershka and Shana, which aren’t expensive either but still in vogue. Everyone gets what one’s heart desires! But besides these shops, the Portal de L’Angel offers a lot of in-cafés, restaurants and bars where one can easily relax after a long shopping day. Portal de L'Angel For the case that it might be raining, Barcelona offers a big shopping centre called L’Illa, which provides more than 170 shops. Besides H&M and Zara, there are little boutiques and designer stores selling beautiful, handmade clothes for old and young. L'Illa Last but not least, it’s important to know that twice a year – from January until February and from the mid of June until August - a big sales period starts where clothes can be bought with a discount up to 75%. Enjoy your days in Barcelona!
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Barcelona’s architecture

A video slideshow with pictures

Barcelona is full of unique, modern and old architecture making this city as exciting and cultural as it is. The city was shaped with a vision to make it sociable, open, colourful and distinctive. Therefore, the town planning of the city itself is unique. Besides the Sagrada Familia and all the famous buildings by Gaudi, who shaped the city’s architectures to a major part, there are many more wondrously buildings in various forms. Amongst others you can see the Torre Telefonia, the Barcelona Pavilion and the Santa Caterina Market in this video slideshow, all with a completely different architectural style.

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Día de la Constitución 2013

Public holiday in Spain

constitución madrid The working population can be happy – next week the 6th December, Friday, is a public holiday in entire Spain! :-) :-) :-)

Why? Every year it is “celebrated” as a public holiday to remind of the Constitution of Spain in 1978. In this year Spain left the years of dictatorship behind and finally became a democracy, granting its citizens more rights. It is not officially celebrated in Spain, except of open shopping malls and some political events. All shopping malls, stores and Corte Ingles are open, available for Christmas shopping. Since shopping in Barcelona is popular and a wonderful experience with plenty of shops, it will get crowded.

The 8th December is a public holiday as well. This year it’s not free, since it falls on a Sunday, which is free anyway. Normally, many people in Spain use both public holidays to take a long weekend and take a day off. This means for Barcelona, that traffic is even more extreme, so watch out for long traffic jams.

Above you can see the monument of the Constitutión located in Madrid. It shall remember everyone of that important year, when Spain became a democracy. Credit Pictures: Flickr Gallery Dario Alvarez

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Explore Barcelona in numbers!

15 numeral facts about this beautiful city

Barcelona city Barcelona has a lot of interesting facts, which are worth to know. To make a beginning, we collected 15 numeral facts about beautiful Barcelona. Be amazed and share :-) (more...)
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Top 10 cultural attractions visited in 2012

These are the principal 10 cultural attractions visited in Barcelona in 2012. Since Gaudi shaped the city a lot, his work appears three times in this list; La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and Park Güell. La Pedrera is even on place one with 47,8 %.

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“Evaluation of Barcelona of tourists in hotels”

These are the top 10 categories in Barcelona evaluated by tourists in hotels from 2010 until 2012. Architecture is always on the first place with a final grade of 9,09 in 2012. The beaches are on the 10th place with a final score of 8,4 in 2012. In 2010 there are no data available for the beach category.
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