The Olympic Port is one of the most exciting leisure and touristic spots throughout the city, with a wide offering of shops, clubs and restaurants. The gateway to the new Barcelona is marked by the image of the almost identical buildings of Arts Hotel and Mapfre Tower.
A makeover for the Barcelona Olympic Games
Before the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, Barcelona was a city that had lived continuously turning its back to the sea. This changed dramatically when plans were announced for the development of a new sports marina, several docks, a new neighborhood that would give housing to the athletes -The Olympic Village- and two skyscrapers (Hotel Arts & Mapfre Tower).
Redefining the Barcelona skyline
This intervention could be defined as the most dramatic makeover the city went through in preparation for the Olympic Games, turning Barcelona into a true Mediterranean city by opening its doors to the sea. It’s no coincidence that in between the two buildings there is an important road (Marina Street) leading directly to the Sagrada Familia, so if you stand between them you’ll be in full sight of the three tallest buildings in Barcelona.
On the side of Hotel Arts it’s possible to find the Great Casino of Barcelona, several nightclubs and the path to the Barceloneta neighborhood and beach. On the other side of the Mapfre Tower, the Moda Shopping Port Olimpic and one of the best offers in Catalan and seafood restaurants.
The Moll de Gregal (Gregal dock), encloses the Marina as it shifts apart 300 meters into the water and allows the visitor a 500 meters stroll offering the best views of the Marina and the chance to witness the Barcelona skyline from the sea. Alongside this dock there lies a breakwater designed for recreational fishing.
Gateway to the Barcelona beaches
In the vecinity of the Olympic Port there are several attractions and spots that fulfill the demands of all family members, all for day and nightime enjoyment, including the famous Barcelona beaches.
- The Olympic Port is the gateway to the best city beaches of the Mediterranean. Just 400 meters separate the beach from the nearest subway station (Ciudadella Villa Olímpica).
- Right in front of Hotel Arts stands one of the most notorious symbols in Barcelona, Frank Gehry’s sculpture called the Golden Fish. You don’t want to miss this from your pictures.
- Travelling with kids? Inside the Ciutadella Park and very close to the Olympic Port lies the Barcelona Zoo. With a huge offering of different species of wildlife animals, it’s the perfect plan for the little ones.
- If you’re a movie fan, you’ll probably want to know that most movie theatres in Barcelona translate all films into Spanish, so if you’re looking for the most recent movies in their original English versions, Centre de la Vila Shopping Center has a 15 room movie theater and plenty of shops to offer, just three blocks away from the Subway station. Address: Salvador Espriu Street, #61, 08005.
- Many of the best seafood restaurants are in this part of town. Whether you’re looking to have lunch or dinner close to the beach, or if you prefer a fancy but more secluded setting, this is the place to go.
- Enjoying a cocktail at a fancy “chiringuito” (beach kiosk) is a good plan after dinner. Chill out and prepare to go dancing afterwards, as the best parties and clubs to meet locals and foreigners alike are happening here, everyday of the week.
- If you’re a sailing enthusiast, the local Barcelona Sailing Center (Centre Municipal de Vela) has sailing equipment for rent and different activities with qualified instructors.
How to get to the Port Olimpic:
Metro: Line 4. Ciutadella Villa Olímpica
Tram: Line T4. Ciutadella Villa Olímpica
Bus: #V21, #14, #36, #41, #71, #92
Map of the Area
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