Enjoyable cultural activities in Barcelona

One week ago we talked about fantastic night visits in Casa Batlló, today we want to present you different activities to visit in Montjuic during July.
Montjuic is an area in Barcelona which has a good relationship with sports. It has huge sport facilities; this is one reason to propose you to visit the Swimming World Championship.

fuentes montjuic


Since July 19th to August 4th, swimmers, amateurs, people who love water sports, journalists and everyone who wants to go, Swimming World Championship 2013 will be here in Barcelona with all of us. It will take place in Palau Sant Jordi and it will carry out activities such as swimming, synchronized swimming, waterfalls, swim on the sea, water polo, and the first time in all years of this World Championship, high jumps. As well as Palau Sant Jordi, there will be championships in Piscina Municipal and Barcelona Port Vell. The prices of the event vary between 9€ to 25€ depending on the activity. Don’t hesitate to go, it s a great event to enjoy during the next week.

mundial natacion 2013


Moreover we recommend you visit the Botanic Park which is located in Montjuic, too. Botanic Park it is a municipal institution of 14 hectares area. They present a huge collection of Mediterranean flowers around the world. Besides that, it has great views to Llobregat Delta, Olympic Ring and the metropolitan area of Barcelona.

jardin botanico barcelona


The last activity that we propose to do during this week is visit Fundacion Miró Museum. It holds an international collection of works by Miró. Now, there is an exhibition called Joan Miró- Printmaking where you can find different prints that Joan Miró was interested between the 30s and 60s. It means a technical evolution of Joan Miró artworks during his times.

fundacion Joan Miro


Finally, after visiting these three different touristic places, it is a good idea to relax in a charming hotel located in Barcelona city center. You are welcome to our boutique hotel with swimming pool and fantastic Sea Port view, and it is a perfect plan to switch off from the reality with a strawberry mojito.

hotel duquesa de cardona

Enjoy magic nights in Barcelona with Casa Batlló

This summer you have a great opportunity to take a part of magic night enjoying a magic and fantasy of Antoni Gaudí. The Casa Batlló presents a complete program and opens her doors for all of you.  This year there are some changes in the program, i.e. you can choose which day you prefer visit it and who of artist prestigious artists you would like to see.  As an example: guitars duos or fantastic Catalan rumba what make the night adorable.  Here you can see the full program.



The magic night will be more pleasant with the welcome drinks from Estrella Damm, Cavas Reventós I Blanc o Viña Sol. They invite you to see this magic evening from another perspective and enjoy as well the mystery and genius architecture.

Book you entrance right now and “vive la noche” in Barcelona with Casa Batlló. Entry includes: a visit to Noble Floor, welcome drink, visiting terrace with hammocks where you can relax drinking something and listening to the music.

The legacy of Gaudí in Barcelona

Gaudí is a worldwide known architect because of the singularity of his creations. His modernist style is easily recognizable mainly with its organic shapes inspired by nature. Among Barcelona’s landmarks there are four particular buildings that have something in common: they were all designed by Antoni Gaudí.


Casa Milà

Commonly known as ‘La Pedrera’, Casa Milà was built between 1906 and 1910 in Passeig de Gracia, a popular street in the ‘Exiample’ district in Barcelona. It clearly shows the naturalistic stage of Gaudi’s creations. Open for tourists since 1987, it has received more than 20 million visitors to date.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló is not an original building of Gaudí, but a remodelation of a previous building in Passeig de Gràcia. This building is also part of the naturalistic stage of Gaudí, with some baroque touches. It shares a certain similarity with Casa Milà, but their differences are noticeable enough that it is highly recommended to visit both.

Parc Güell

Parc Güell is the most singular park in Barcelona and probably in the whole world. Built between 1900 and 1914, and opened as a public space in 1926, this park is also included in the naturalistic stage of Gaudí, its most profitable artistic period. Inside the park there is the ‘Casa-Museu Gaudí’, home of the artist for almost 20 years.

Sagrada Família

Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Família is the most iconic symbol of Barcelona. Its construction started in 1882, and nowadays it keeps under construction because of the complexity of the building. This church is the maximum exposure of the modernistic catalan architecture. In 2011 it was the most visited monument in Spain, with more than 3.2 million visitors. The Sagrada Família is a must when visiting Barcelona.

After visiting some of the most unique buildings in the world, it is time to relax in another singular building in Barcelona. The Hotel Duquesa de Cardona is a charming hotel in Barcelona, and its building is a palace that dates from the 16th Century. It counts with a terrace with spectacular views of the Barcelona Bay.


Books about Barcelona

10 of the best books set in BarcelonaThese are our 10 best books to read set in Barcelona.


Written by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and published on 2001, our favourite , together with the Cathedral of the Sea. With The Shadow of the wind you will meet the Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War. This wonderful gothic literary thriller is an amazing promenade through the streets and squares of the city center and also the avenues on the north of the city. The rest you have to discover youself!
ICONO services offers a literary tour about this book.


This bestseller was written by Ildefonso Falcones on 2006. The action takes on the 14th century , at the height of Inquisition, Jewish persecuccions, slavery, comercial port trades and freedom. The construction of Santa Maria del Mar church by the sailors of Barcelona runs parallel to the life of Arnau, the main character of the book.

Santa Maria del Mar is 5 minutes walk from our hotel , the Duquesa de Cardona, and is , in our opinion, one of the nicest cathedrals of the city. Literary tours are also organized with ICONO services


Written by Eduardo Mendoza on 1986. This extraordinary novel fictionalises the teeming life of the city between the Universal Expositions of 1888 and 1929


By Mercé Rodoreda, one of the big names of the contemporary catalan literature of the 20th century. Written on 1962, the TV created a successful film show about “La plaça del Diamant”, the original name of the book in catalan . This novel is regarded by many as the greatest novel written about the Spanish civil war. Natalia ( La Colometa ) personal history is also the history of many locals in the city of Barcelona.
The story takes place in one of the most beloved quarters for locals in the city: el “Barri de Gracia”, a quarter full of lively narrow streets and squares .


Everyone knows what FC Barcelona footbal team means for the citizens of this city . Known as “més que un club” – “more than a club”, this books reflects the story of Barça, the city’s legendary football club founded in 1898, and also the epic story of Barcelona and the Catalan nationalism.

After the Spanish Civil War, football at the stadium of the locals teams was a meeting point of “semi-freedom” to express themselves with the company and on the language of Catalunya.

This book was written by Jimmy Burns and published on 2000


George Orwell published this book on 1938. The classic account of Barelona and Catalonia during the Spanish civil war, as Orwell describes the hopes and betrayal of the Spanish revolution, his experiences and observations.


Many were the people who exiled from Spain during and after the Spanish Civil War, and this book is about these people. Obviously, this novel was banned in the country until after Franco died.  By Juan Goytisolo, 1966


Robert Hughes published this book on 1992, scrolling through Barcelona violent history , with kings, poets, revolutionaries and magnates . The novel is also history, travel guide and labour of love from the well-known art critic, using proportion , humor and “seny”, the Catalan world for common sense law of behaviour.


Written by Manuel Vázquel Montalbán on 1977.  A director of a multinational conglomerate is murdered , and his widow seeks out private investigator Pepe Carvalho, who had met and forgotten the playboy executive after their single chance encounter


Colm Tóibín , 2002. The booker prize-shortlisted novelist has lived on and off in the city since the 1970s and here offers his own highly readable account of its culture and history.