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Barcelona

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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....
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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...
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A longtime favorite with Barcelona vintage and bargain shoppers, Encants Vells is one of Europe's oldest flea markets, dating from the 14th century. Recently it moved a few blocks away from its historic location to a shiny new modern market packed...
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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...
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Carrer Claudi Güell, 08690 La Colònia Güell, Barcelona, Spain
The church where Gaudi was finally buried after he died suddenly after being hit by a trolley car, the church at Colonia Güell looks like it was built directly into the hill. Inside, it's a cross between the drama of striking buttresses and a...
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As the name suggests, this soaring 44-story hotel from the Ritz-Carlton brand, is peppered with high-end artwork, mainly by renowned Spanish and Catalan artists such as Eduardo Chillida, Albert Rafols-Casamada, Perico Pastor, and Luis Feito. But...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 38, 40, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Occupying an elegant mid-20th-century building on a chic Barcelona avenue, with a double Michelin-starred restaurant and one of the best spas in the city, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona aims to impress. The hotel’s striking façade,...
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Ctra. de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 83-93, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
This veteran hotel on Tibidabo's Hill has a history that stretches back to 1924, with its heyday in the '50s as a hot spot for wealthy Catalan families and, later, for visiting stars like Ernest Hemingway, James Stewart, and Princess Fabiola....
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Rising up dramatically at the end of the beach along the Barceloneta boardwalk, the Ricardo Bofill–designed W Hotel is uncompromisingly modern, complete with reflective glass façade, distinctive sail-like shape, and youthful, clubby...
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Carrer Sant Miquel, 105, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Those seeking a more private stay in Barcelona should take a look at these excellent family-run apartments. Located in La Barceloneta, the city’s highly picturesque fishermen's quarter on the harbor, each apartment is a one-minute walk to...
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La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Great all-day dining option. This place was recommended to us by many, even the bellboy at our hotel. The food is very good and their specialty is tapas. Waiters are friendly enough and it's usually very crowded but there are plenty of seats with...
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Plaça Portal de la pau, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed for the 1888 Universal Exposition, El Mirador de Colom reminds locals and visitors alike that Spain’s Catholic Kings, Isabella and Ferdinand, received Columbus in Barcelona after his first trip to the Americas. A 24-foot statue of the...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best places to wander in Barcelona is the city's charming Gothic Quarter, right off the famous La Rambla. A highlight is the area's beautiful Gothic cathedral, one of the few interesting buildings in the city that was not designed by...
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Barcelona, Spain
Marta, a petite Barcelona native fluent in three languages, welcomes any and all into her home for the joyous culinary experience of paella. The Spanish dish often frightens many due to its overwhelming nature of ingredients, but Marta brings such...
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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....
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Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
It’s one of the most recognizable facades on Passeig de Gràcia: a modernist fantasy of undulating stone, brightly colored mosaics, and stained glass—one that could only come from the mind of famed Catalan architect Antoni...
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Carrer del Bisbe, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This place is close to the Barcelona Cathedral or the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia in Barri Gotic. This neighborhood is a great place to walk around. Here I discovered a great jewelry shop, an antique flea market, and dancers...
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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...
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Carrer de les Caputxes, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
This place looks more like a jewelry place than a cake shop. When I finish my tours in the Born district, I can't hardly stop myself from heading there to reward me for a good job done (and when I'm with clients and we pass by, they NEED to see...
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Plaça del Mar, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
I used to read in local magazines that Kaiku was a place where local actors and artists hang out, and actually several times I've seen them here (although you won't really be able to tell unless you watch the Catalan TV...). But that's not why I...
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Carrer del Doctor Bartomeus, 37, 17488 Cadaqués, Girona, Spain
A small town on the Cap de Creus peninsula, Cadaques is a gem in the Costa Brava region and Hotel Llane Petit is the perfect place to stay. Hotel Llane Petit was everything we were looking for at the tail end of our trip; a lovely place to stay...
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Platja Portlligat, 17488 Cadaqués, Girona, Spain
After falling in love with Salvador Dali at his museum in Figueres, we caught one of three buses out to the cliffside town of Cadaques where you can get to know Dali a bit more intimately by touring his house. Full of odds and ends, including mini...
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Calle Castell d'Empordá, 3, 17115 La Bisbal d'Empordà, Girona, Spain
Who hasn't dreamed of sleeping in a castle? In Costa Brava, Spain's rugged coast north of Barcelona, you can. Castell d'Emporda is a 14th-century castle that's been converted into a hotel and restaurant. The castle was once a mighty fortress in...
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Gala Dali, s/n, 17120 Púbol, Girona, Spain
Examine surrealist Dalian objects in the medieval castle and gardens at Púbol, the refuge Dali bought and restored for his wife, Gala. She lived here, without her famous husband, from 1971until her death without her famous husband, and the artist...
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Plaça Atlàntic, 2, 17210 Palafrugell, Girona, Spain
I realize that this is a highlight that may not even need words, since the image is so very convincing. If you find yourself exploring the Costa Brava ('Rugged Coast') of Spain, be sure not to miss the beach town of Calella and have lunch at the...
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17310 Lloret de Mar, Girona, Spain
Lloret de Mar is the mecca for drunk spring breakers, but this picturesque village is worth a short stop. From Barcelona, the scenic train ride will take about 2 hours. Walk past all the cheesy tourist shops and find the beach. Sit back and enjoy!...
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17320 Tossa de Mar, Girona, Spain
Tossa de Mar, along the Costa Brava, is just under two hours away from Barcelona by bus, but it feels worlds away. Even on an overcast evening, the quaint little town still manages to shine. Hotel Cap d'Or, on the edge of the main strip, is a...
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17255 Fornells, Girona, Spain
The dramatic geography of 'Costa Brava' favors the natural occurrence of many fantastic beaches, some of them more suited for swimming than others. Having arrived to Fornells for a short stopover, I asked locals how to find the closest beach....