Perhaps the most stylish city on the Mediterranean, Barcelona has an enchanting medieval heart, magnificent Modernista mansions, and, of course, several kilometres of gorgeous beaches. Crowned by the Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s enormous and as-yet-unfinished masterpiece, the city’s outstanding architecture is rivalled by its fantastic shops, bars, clubs and restaurants. Whether you want to stroll along the Rambla, choose picnic ingredients at the Boqueria Market, get lost in the narrow lanes of the Gothic Quarter or simply dance until dawn at a beachfront club, Barcelona’s got it all.
Food & drink:
Barcelona is world-famous as a destination for gourmets, and is home to some of the finest restaurants in Spain. Whether you’re looking for the latest hotspot serving molecular gastronomy, or just want some ‘patates braves’ and a cold beer by the beach, Barcelona has something for everyone. Catalan staples which you’ll find in traditional eateries across town include 'pa amb tomàquet' (thick slices of bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil), 'fideuà' (similar to paella, but made with small noodles), 'butifarra amb mongetes' (pork sausage cooked with white beans), and 'escalivada' (slivers of roast peppers and aubergine).
Off the beaten track:
Barcelona has scores of wonderful parks where you can escape the crowds with a picnic; several are located on the hill of Montuïc, which enjoys panoramic views over the whole city, and you can even find quiet corners of the Park Güell if you keep heading uphill. The Horta Labyrinth, a beautiful park with an 18th-century maze at its heart, is Barcelona’s most romantic park, and the Parc de Collserola which spreads across the hills behind the city, offers great hikes and mountain-bike trails.