No one can deny that one of the greatest landmarks that placed Barcelona at the pinnacle of the international scene were the spectacular 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The organisation, the facilities prepared to host the best athletes of the world, the innovative and creative character of its people and, of course, the beauty of the city and its culture have formed a whole that captivated the world and that, more than two decades later, keeps being considered a great tourism destination of Spain, even ahead of Madrid.
Despite the time, the trace of that great universal sports meeting remains indelible not only in the memory of the Spanish people but also in the streets and places of the city. The Olympic Barcelona is part of the today’s Barcelona and one of the facets worthy of a day in its honour or at least a morning of visit during our stay in the City of Counts.
Barcelo Raval Hotel in Barcelona
A walk by the Olympic village
In the Sant Martí neighbourhood, beyond the Parc de la Ciutadella and right in the heart of the Poblenou, La Vila spreads out: a big sea area, with a promenade plenty of bars and restaurants, marina and big residential buildings that, once, received several design and architecture prizes, giving life to an urban area that was out of the usual tourism and travel circuits in Barcelona.
What was used to be called the Fort Pius made suddenly a different sense: during the Olympic Games, this area was established as the residence of athletes from all over the world that arrived to Barcelona to show their efforts and achievements, but all the work was carried out with the clear objective of making of this area, defined in the zone of the Llaccuna del Poblenou, a place full of life.
The village is outlined between the Salvador Espriu, Marina, Llull streets, Icària avenue and the Vicens i Vives street. It mixes green spaces with complete services for its residents and visitors: here is the Communication Campus of the Pompeu Fabra University, with numerous centres, auditoriums. libraries… A great shopping centre, tube station, tram and public bicycle, (ideal for travelling by the centre of Barcelona, at any time of the year.)
One of the scenes that offers a biggest Olympic legacy is the Olympic Port, around which a fashionable daytime leisure area is being created, with shops, restaurants and a great park to enjoy the excellent weather of Barcelona. The marina is one of the biggest ones in the Catalan coast and offers space for the boats with high capacity.
A little further the Nova Icària beach stretches away, offering an irresistible stop to the visitor that goes from spring to autumn: the Mediterranean is cold from November to May, but sun gets hot enough to lie down and relax next to the sea.
At the other side, looking at the centre of Barcelona, there is the Barceloneta, the zoo, the Aquarium and the Hospital del Mar. An area where you can have a leisurely walk until arriving to the Barcelona harbour.
Accommodation in the Olympic village
In this neighbourhood next to the Ciutadella you can find some of the best hotels of Barcelona. Good prices, with wider spaces and more complete services than those of the city centre. Some of the hotels in the Olympic village in Barcelona stand out for being more targeted to the business public that to the leisure traveller, nevertheless, most of them are ideal for a weekend escape to Barcelona.
It is important seeing the nearness of those hotels to the Barcelona centre and to the tube, bus and tram stops, since walking to the old town of the city requires a long stroll, not very convenient for doing it everyday. What is more, if you are looking for combining beach and city, the closer to hotel of the Nova Icaria beach or to the Barcelona, the better.
Booking a room next to Las Glórias square, the Fórum and the Olympic Port can be a good option to have a bit of everything. Although the best for the nightlife lovers will be always booking a hotel in the centre of Barcelona.
The best advise to get around Barcelona is leaving the idea of a private car: taxis, urban buses, tram and, of course, by foot or bicycle. City is pleasant and the weather does not imply a excuse (quite the opposite) to walk or get around on two wheels.
Another option is renting a moped or motorbike. Barcelona, as in the rest of the Spanish Levante. is a perfect city for small cylinder capacity bikes. And even it could be a marvelous experience, especially if cannot enjoy it as you want in your city.