Barcelona is the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region and is the second largest city in the country. With a wealth of unique historic architecture and a modern flair, it has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Barcelona has many quarters, but the most important and interesting for visitors are: Ciutat Vella, Barcelona’s old town, with the medieval Barri Gotic; Eixample, the modernist quarter noted for its art nouveau buildings; Gràcia, a lively, gentrified working class neighborhood; and Barceloneta, historically a fisherman's quarter.
The most famous boulevard in Barcelona is La Rambla, where visitors can see street performers jump out at unsuspecting passers-by, enjoy the flower and pet stalls or just sit back and watch all of Barcelona walk by. La Plaça Reial is located next to La Rambla in the Ciutat Vella, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
Barcelona is a mecca for fans of world-famous architect Antonio Gaudí. La Pedrera (or Casa Milà) is a Gaudí creation which hosts a large exposition of his works. Park Güell is a large park with a sculpture portion, full of walkways and distinct and colorful Gaudí sculptures. Finally, there’s Gaudí’s life project and grandest undertaking, the still-unfinished La Sagrada Família. This massive cathedral has been under construction for over 125 years!
If you’re a soccer freak, you can’t miss a visit to Camp Nou, the home ground for Barcelona’s biggest and most popular team (FC Barcelona), and one of Europe’s greatest soccer ‘cathedrals.’