Collected by Courtney Aiken
Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of my favorite things to do in Barcelona on a Sunday morning is to go to the Catedral and listen to the sardana and watch the traditional Catalan folk dance. The music is beautiful and the dance is much more complicated than it appears....
Plaça de Catalunya, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Imagine Barcelona--filled to the brim and beyond with mountains of books and buckets of roses. Students fund-raising, Romanian gypsies, and Charities hawk cut roses in every color of the rainbow--indeed, even rainbow-colored versions compete with...
Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel, 17, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Correfocs, or fire-runners, are one of my favorite elements of Catalan culture and local festivities in Barcelona. Dressed as demons and dragons, locals of all ages (kids, too) don fire-resistant fabrics and dance and skip around town spewing fire...
Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed in the 17th century but heavily modified a century later, this castle—actually more of a fortress—lords over Montjuïc hill. Its use as a military bastion spans from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, when Barcelona...
Plaça de Sant Jaume, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
On our first day in Barcelona, we learned that the city has surprises in store around every corner. We had just met up with American expat Jeff Koehler in the plaza in front of the Santa Maria del Pi church, about to head up a narrow street to THE...
La Casa de l'Ardiaca, Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
For good luck in Barcelona, go to La Casa de l’Ardiaca and touch this turtle. If you look closely you'll see this is really a letterbox. The birds symbolize the hope that you'll get your mail soon, but the turtle is a nod to the reality of how...
La Rambla, 65, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
Carrer de Marlet, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Head to the Gothic Quarter—once home to Barcelona's storied Jewish neighborhood, El Call—and look for the Sinagoga Major (Major Synagogue). The museum, built on the site of the city's oldest temple, is only two rooms, but it...
Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
This Gothic monastery houses collections from Barcelona's City History Museum, but if you've got only an hour or so, skip the exhibits in favor of a walk around. Founded by King James II of Aragon in 1326, the monastery (or monestir in...
Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
These geese have guarded Barcelona's Cathedral for hundreds of years. They make lots of noise if anyone comes anywhere near them. I'm sure they always did a very good job of alerting the Cathedral about intruders. They are unusual looking geese....
Av. de Rius i Taulet, 1, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Who cares if it's a Barcelona cliché. Give in to the urge and get to Plaça d'Espanya to see the Magic Fountain show. It's always crowded, but everyone should see it at least once, and it's free. The show is especially gorgeous during...
Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Soak up the sun and stroll the grounds of this centrally-located Barcelona park. Home to Barcelona's zoo, the Catalan Parliament, this park hosts interesting events (and political demonstrations) throughout the year. During La Mercé (Barcelona's...
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 749, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
See a concert or watch acrobats swing from great heights in this beautiful early 20th century bull-fighting ring. If you're passionate about bull-fighting culture, La Monumental is also home to Barcelona's Bull-fighting Museum (Museo Taurino)...
Passeig dels Castanyers, 1, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
The oldest garden in the city, the Laberint d’Horta was once the property of the Marquise Desvalls. Explore lush green spaces in search of striking statuary and plant life, then find love—in the figure of Cupid at the center of the garden maze....
Carrer de Villarroel, Barcelona, Spain
Covered in a very stylized graffiti of a massive tree, La Carbonería is the best-known Okupa house in town. Okupas are people that "occupy" abandoned buildings and spaces throughout Europe in an effort to protest the economic difficulties in...
Cumbre del Tibidabo, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
Tibidabo is worth the somewhat complicated trip to the top even if just to enjoy sweeping panoramas of Barcelona. Apart from the amazing views, there's Sagrat Cor a beautiful neo-gothic church where the faithful can pray, and photographers can...
La Font de la Guatlla, Barcelona, Spain
Passatge de la Banca, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
In a city far, far away, where the party goes on until the wee hours of the morning and the Latin vibe is in full swing, lies a very mysterious place A place tucked away in a small side street in the shadow of the bustling boulevard. A place where...
Plaça de Santa Maria, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
We have been many time to Barcelona, but a return to the beautiful Santa Maria del Mar church during our visit in May 2013 had extra meaning because both my wife and I had read "Cathedral of the Sea," an expansive historical novel in which the...
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