Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and a city of sophistication and dynamic appeal. Perhaps the city’s main appeal lies in wandering the famous Las Ramblas street where you can find everything from flower markets to fire eating performers. Walking down Las Ramblas to the sea you will come to the city’s main food market, La Boqueria, and a little further on is the Liceu, Barcelona’s famous opera house. At the end of the harbor is a statue of Christopher Columbus, Mirador de Colon, where you can take a lift to his head for a nice view of the city.
One of the world’s most important collections of Picasso’s work is housed in the Museu Picasso, which traces the development of the artist from his early days as a painter in Barcelona. The eccentric architecture of Antoni Gaudi is prevalent throughout the city. His most famous creation is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, featuring 8 spires rising to over 100 meters. After this project, Gaudi’s most famous work is the Parc Guell, an almost hallucinatory experience with giant lizards and a small museum featuring some furniture designed by Gaudi.
The hill of Montjuic has many attractions including half a dozen museums and gardens, the Olympic arena, a castle, and amazing views of the city below. One of Spain’s greatest museums is located on this hill, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, an enormous collection of 11th and 12 century frescoes that is rated as the best of its kind in the world. The Castell de Montjuic is an 18th century fortress with magnificent views as well as an outdoor café and panoramic pathway into the surrounding woods. The Spanish Village here has replicas of famous buildings from all over Spain and a very lively club scene at night.