Successful Meetings - February 2008 - (Page 78)

Meeting Sites > Destination Close Up Ramble In Barcelona Art, architecture, sport, and nightlife come together in this Mediterranean metropolis By Leo Jakobson There may be a city better than Barcelona for strolling along sunny boulevards, dropping into lively bars for a couple of tapas and a glass of sangria, and generally just enjoying where the day takes you, but I haven’t found it. Barcelona is a city whose sandy Mediterranean beaches haven’t overpowered the culture of the city, defined by artists like Picasso and Miro, or its embrace of turn-of-the-century modernista architects like the utterly unique Antoni Gaudi. Yet it is unafraid of change, having used the 1992 Olympic games to reimagine and rebuild the entire waterfront area. It has a population that keeps the city’s streets bustling all day, with restaurants that don’t open until 9 P.M., and then spends three hours dining with friends before going out dancing into the morning. Which is why it is strange that Barcelona isn’t among the first cities that planners consider when looking for an incentive trip in Europe. It has many top-level hotels, an unlimited number of amazing venues, DMCs, and a CVB (Barcelona Turisme) that know the incentive business well—the city is host to EIBTM: The Global Meetings & Incentives Exhibition, after all. STREET SMART First of all, Barcelona is a great walking city, designed around public spaces ranging from Las Ramblas, which Somerset Maugham called the most beautiful street in the world, to the many public parks, including Gaudi’s famous Parc Guell and Montjuic, a hilltop overlooking the city that is home to several of Barcelona’s (and Spain’s) finest museums, many gardens, and the 1992 Olympic stadium (open to incentive groups) and swimming venues. The city fathers took advantage of the Olympic games to undertake a massive renewal of the long-rundown waterfront, creating a huge new port neighborhood that is now home to some of the best seafood restaurants and nightlife in the city, as well as plenty of Mediterranean watersports. This neighborhood is also one end of the funicular that runs across the waterfront to Montjuic—a must-do trip that offers some of the best views of the city. Futbol (soccer) fans will want to see FC Barcelona—home of legends present (Ronaldinho) and past (Ronaldo and Maradona)—or at least its museum. Good golf is available at FEBRUARY 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS PHOTO: SUPERSTOCK 78

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - February 2008

Successful Meetings - February 2008
Editor's Note
Trade Shows
On the Record
Planner's Spotlight
Websites of the Month
Technology Talk
Personal Success
Food & Beverage
On Site
Tools of the Trade
The Rainbow Connection
The CVB in Your Backyard
Welcome to the Webolution
The Rail Deal
Spas with a Sense of Place
Places & Spaces
Mystic, CT.
Hong Kong
Florida’s East Coast
Atlantic City
Maui, Kauai, & Lanai

Successful Meetings - February 2008