Holiday Information for Barcelona, Spain
Home to the greatest collection of Modernista (Art Nouveau) architecture on the planet, an artistic legacy of similar calibre, some great beaches, and arguably the best nightlife on the mainland, it's little wonder that Barcelona has become one of Europe's most popular short break destinations.
The city's centrepiece is Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia, a hallucinatory and awe-inspiring cathedral which remains unfinished today. A short metro ride away Gaudi's spectacularly surreal Parc Guell provides some thinking space for you to decide whether the Catalan architect's handiwork belongs at the visionary (or the lunatic) end of the creative spectrum.
Colourful, intriguing and bustling by turns, Las Ramblas, Barcelona's main thoroughfare and most famous street is as popular with locals as it is with visitors. Bird-sellers, buskers and street artists vie for attention against the older monuments including the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Palau de la Virreina.
Leading off Las Ramblas, the jigsaw of streets in the Gothic Quarter forms the atmospheric heart of the city, and has provided both lodging and inspiration for numerous artists. As charming as ever today, it is an intriguing warren of fascinating architecture, chic bistros, smoky tapas bars and raucous nightlife.
The area's elegant Museu Picasso covers much of the artist's early works (including several paintings of Barcelona). Also not to be missed is the Catedral, with its tranquil interior cloister of orange trees and friendly geese.
A hair-raising but worthwhile cable car journey whisks you up to Montjuic, to a comprehensive collection of Barcelonan-born painter Joan Miro's work in the Fundacio Joan Miro, leafy parks and memorable views of the charming city below.
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