The Catalonian capital of Barcelona provides a vivid mix of ancient and modern but is probably best know for the bizarre Art Nouveau architecture of Antonio Gaudi, in particular the iconic Sagrada Familia, Europe's most extraordinary - and still unfinished - cathedral.
Boosted by hosting the Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona's Old Port area has been transformed into a thriving area of cafés and restaurants. From there, it is an easy stroll up the famous Rambla to the old town. Las Ramblas is thronged with street entertainers, stalls and bars and is most lively at night and weekends. Not to be missed is the La Boqueria food market with its extraordinary displays of fish, meat, fruit and vegetables.
Beaches in Barcelona are within walking distance of the city centre are miles of bustling sandy beaches, complete with chiringuitos serving food and drinks well into the evening. La Barceloneta is a popular choice, with windsurfing and kite surfing on offer for active travellers.
In Barcelona, the open-air Spanish Village houses 117 full-scale buildings that capture the essence of the country’s architecture, but it’s the whimsical work of architect Antoni Gaudí that famously adorns the city’s streets. Marvel at the twists and twirls of the iconic (and still unfinished) Sagrada Familia, enjoy the tiled sculptures and buildings of Park Güell and gaze at the fantastical façade of Casa Batlló.