Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is defined by quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life. It has medieval roots, seen in the mazelike Gothic Quarter, but a modernist personality represented by architect Antoni Gaudí’s fantastical Sagrada Família church. Its restaurant scene, anchored by the central Boqueria market, ranges from fine dining to tiny tapas bars.

Barcelona Things To Know

    Places to see: Sagrada Família, La Rambla, Park Güell, Gothic Quarter,
    Main currency: Euro
    Main language: Spanish

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Sagrada Familia

Visit the Sagrada Familia and be amazed by one of the world’s most inspiring buildings. Gaudí himself was so the world-renowned Catalan architect was so dedicated to this project that he lived onsite for 16 years and is buried in the crypt below. The spiral staircases, seven chapels, stained glass windows and extensive details all speak to his dedication to this project. It’s scheduled to be completed in 2026 – on the 100th anniversary of his death.

Park Güell

This is what happens when you let brilliantly idiosyncratic architect Antoni Gaudí design an outdoor space. Gingerbread houses, a magic lizard, and a serpent bench that winds around the perimeter, are just some of Park Güell‘s architecural flourishes. But this icon of Barcelona is also a perfectly kept immense garden; Gaudí’s whimsical touches somehow contribute to – rather than detract from – the natural beauty.

Parc de la Ciutadella

The Parc de la Ciutadella is Barcelona’s ‘green lung’. For a long time after its inception, this 17 hectare green space was the city’s only park. The delightful Barcelona zoo, the epic fountain, and the charming mammoth sculpture are among the visitor highlights. Although to be fair, just coming and having a picnic in the sun or shade can also be a highlights of a visit to this vibrant city park.

Getting out of the city to Montserrat

Visit one of Catalonia’s most magnificent places. The mountain sanctuary of Montserrat is definitely worth the trip. Montserrat is a Benedictine monastery, a natural park, a spiritual shrine, and a Catalan cultural cornerstone, all in one. A visit here offers a balance of cultural and natural diversions. Soak up magnificent views from the jagged rock formations, and visit a monastery and a museum.

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