Barcelona travel guide
Planning a trip to Barcelona
Barcelona is the capital of the proudly independent region of Catalonia, a Mediterranean city that used the 1992 Olympics to come roaring out of a Franco-induced stupor. In the process, it has transformed itself into a vibrant new capital of European commerce and tourism.
It's also a city of the arts. Home to Gaudí's whimsical Modernisme style of Art Nouveau architecture, Catalonia also gave birth to painters Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Picasso trained in Barcelona, and the city's Picasso Museum is the best outside Paris, offering unique insight into the earliest works of one of the 20th century's greatest artists.
So take a stroll down the shady Las Ramblas promenade, explore the Gothic Quarter around the cathedral, haggle over fruit at the Boquería market, and ride the funicular up to the park on Montjuïc hill, with its museums and re-created Spanish village.
Or perhaps you simply want to relax with a drink in a tapas bar. Barcelona is a great town for just hanging out‚the perfect place to schedule extra time to relax without all the usual sightseeing pressures. If you're just passing through, I'd give Barcelona at least two full days.