Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc de Triomf

Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc de Triomf, Barcelona

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Parc de la Ciutadella is an oasis of calm in the busy city. This is Barcelona’s largest park and certainly one of the most beautiful sights in Barcelona. The park covers an area of 70 hectares and is where locals spend leisure time, play sports, celebrate birthdays, hang out and picnic. The park is home to sculptures, a lake, museums, a zoo and the beautiful ‘font de la Cascada’. This magnificent structure with waterfall and fountain is Josep Fontsère’s masterpiece with Antoni Gaudí’s help. Gaudí is best known for the La Sagrada Família and Park Güell.

Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf can be found just outside the city park and is definitely worth visiting in addition to the park.

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La Boqueria

La Boqueria, Barcelona

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Barcelona’s largest fresh food market, La Boquería (Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria), is definitely not to be missed when visiting the beautiful city. It is not only Spain’s largest indoor market, but also Europe’s.

This covered market can be found halfway along Las Ramblas near the metro stop ‘Liceu’. Visited by locals and tourists alike, the market has a good friendly atmosphere. Here, indulge your taste, eyes and smell with all those goodies, buy and taste fruit, nuts, chocolate and delicious fresh fish straight from the Mediterranean.

Slightly less touristy markets in Barcelona are: the Mercat de Santa Catarina or the Mercat de Sant Antoni.   

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Park Güell

Park Güell, Barcelona

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The colourful Park Güell is one of the most famous sights in Barcelona. In addition to the many beautiful buildings in Barcelona, this sight is also by the famous architect Gaudí. The park was created over 100 years ago at the behest of wealthy entrepreneur Eusebi Güell.   

When the park was completed, Park Güell was intended for local residents. Because it became such a beautiful park with plenty of colourful works of mosaic art, it has now been taken over by tourists and hardly any local residents come, but that doesn’t make Park Güell any less impressive.  

For the most beautiful mosaic structures, you have to go to the monumental part of the park, for which you have to pay an entrance fee. This gives you a time slot to visit the most beautiful part of Park Güell. It’s a good way to limit and spread out the tourists. Definitely worth a visit if you are in Barcelona.   

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La Sagrada Família

La Sagrada Família, Barcelona

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The Sagrada Família is Barcelona’s busiest landmark and the most famous masterpiece of modernist architect Antoni Gaudí. This gigantic basilica has been under construction since 1882. If all goes well, the Sagrada Família will finally be fully completed by the end of 2026.

One of the reasons why construction is taking so extremely long is because it can only be financed by gifts and donations. Fortunately, this goes a lot faster these days than a century ago. This is because tourists pay an entrance fee to see the inside of the church and that money is used for construction. So that’s why you also contribute a little bit, when visiting the cathedral. Meanwhile, construction has been going on for so long that part of the basilica is already in need of renovation.

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Albert Cuyp Market

Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam

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If you are in Amsterdam, be sure to visit the Albert Cuyp market. It is the largest outdoor market in Europe. The market can be found in de pijp, in Albert Cuypstraat and is named after an 18th-century cattle trader who had a stall in this street. The Albert Cuyp market is always bustling, the ideal place for (Dutch) delicacies such as a fresh stroopwafel or a delicious herring sandwich. You will also find fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, flowers, clothes, shoes and souvenirs at the market.

Open six days a week, the market is located in the middle of the pijp from Ferdinand Bolstraat to Piet Heinkelstraat. De Pijp is a cosy neighbourhood in Amsterdam. It is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, originally located outside the 17th-century Golden Age fortifications. But nowadays it is easily accessible by Metro.

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Dam Square

Dam Square, Amsterdam

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Amsterdam’s Dam Square is the historic heart of the city and the location of many events of national significance. Compared to the past, it is now a peaceful square where you can find many street performers and pigeons.

On and near Dam Square are the Royal Palace, the New Church and the National Monument. The National Monument is a monument commemorating the victims of World War II. Every year, the National Remembrance Day is held here on 4 May, attended by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, among others.

The dam is easy to reach and not the central point of Amsterdam for nothing. You walk from Central Station via Damrak to the square. From Dam Square, you can easily walk into Kalverstraat, Amsterdam’s busiest and most important shopping street.

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Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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Amsterdam is home to one of Europe’s most renowned museums – the Rijksmuseum. The Rijksmuseum is a huge museum with more than 8,000 works of art and artefacts from the 15th to the present, it has the largest collection in the country. Several world-famous masterpieces by Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, Jan Steen and other artists of the Dutch Golden Age hang here. Some famous paintings hanging here are; The Milkmaid by Vermeer, Jan Steen’s Merry Household, Marten and Oopjen and the Night Watch (Nachtwacht) both by Rembrandt van Rijn.

The building, which is a masterpiece in itself, was opened in 1885. It recently underwent a massive renovation and reopened in 2013. A visit here can already take an hour, if you only see the highlights. If you are interested in Dutch art, plan at least half a day to spend here.

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Explore the canals

Explore the canals, Amsterdam

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When you think of Amsterdam, you think of the canals; the city consists of a network of beautiful canals, which are on the Unesco World Heritage List. Walk, cycle, rent a boat with friends or join one of the canal tours and see Amsterdam from the water.  

Horseshoe-shaped canals run from the city centre, which is called the Grachtengordel. The Singel is the first of these canals and was originally the canal that surrounded the city centre. Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht form the core of the ring of canals. Like spokes of a wheel, these canals are intersected by streets, bridges and smaller canals. The most beautiful streets in the centre of Amsterdam can be found around Groenburgwal, Raamgracht, Kloveniersburgwal, Oudezijds Achterburgwal and Zwanenburgwal. The romantic canals and countless bridges will make you instantly fall in love with the city!

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London Eye

London Eye, London

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The London Eye Ferris wheel is one of the most famous sights in the heart of London. A ride on this world-famous Ferris wheel is undoubtedly on everyone’s to-do-list. Its opening in 2000 earned it the title “Millennium Wheel”; at 135 metres high, it was the tallest in Europe and until 2006, in the world.

The London Eye is the best place in all of London to enjoy amazing views of the city, its skyline and some of its wonders, such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. One lap on the Ferris wheel takes about 30 minutes and consists of 32 glass capsules (one for each London borough). Bring your loved one, because this will be a romantic ride!

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