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As one of Europe’s most vibrant and colourful cities, Barcelona has evolved out of the intriguing combination of its unique location between sea and mountain, its turbulent Catalan history, and its pre-eminence as Spain’s centre for art, architecture and design.

Insider Tip

Pay a visit to the wonderful sandy beach and sample one of the many beautiful atmospheric seafood restaurants.

In recent years, Spain has become one of Europe’s leading gastronomic destinations, and Barcelona’s culinary scene is one of the most exciting. Innovative chefs are developing a new style of cooking, while traditional Catalan restaurants serve time-honoured dishes passed down the generations.

Cured meats are a speciality of the area including chorizo and dried boar and ham, while the city’s seaside location ensures an excellent selection of seafood. Crema Catalana is the star pudding, along with delicious cakes and pastries.

Barcelona is something of a shopper’s paradise. Along the Passeig de Gràcia and its environs, international designers, like Gucci and Chanel, and famous Spanish names such as Camper and Desiguel jostle for position. To find something a little more unusual, browse the antique shops and boutiques of the Gothic Quarter and El Born.

La Sagrada Família

This unfinished masterpiece is an architectural marvel, Antonio Gaudi’s most celebrated creation.

Picasso Museum

Housed in five medieval palaces, a comprehensive collection of early artwork by Pablo Picasso, from childhood sketches to Cubism.

Casa Batllo

Gaudi’s fantastical apartment building which is said to symbolise the story of George and the Dragon.

Las Ramblas

From the central Plaça de Catalunya down to the sea, this lively street is the beating heart of Barcelona.

Joan Miró Foundation

A dazzling gallery devoted to one of Barcelona’s finest artists.

Must Do

Sit on the rainbow-coloured serpent bench in Parc Güell and marvel at the far-reaching views.

Catch a match or take a guided tour at Camp Nou, Europe’s largest football stadium and home to Barcelona FC.

Take the cable car across the harbour and spend the afternoon on Sant Sebastiá beach.

Explore the tiny winding streets of the Gothic Quarter, one of the oldest parts of the city.

Take the cable car up to Castell de Montjuïc for the best views over the harbour and the city.