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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...
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46200 Souillac, France
Trade the car for a kayak in Souillac and float down the Dordogne. Then get ready to eat. We still fantasize about the foie gras from Château de la Treyne, a Michelin-starred castle where, if you get too buzzed on regional Cabernet, you can rent a...
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24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France
Sarlat is a picturesque medieval town located in the heart of France, and although it is one of the most beautifully restored and preserved towns representative of 14th century France, or Europe for that matter, due to its isolated location, it...
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11000 Carcassonne, France
Carcassonne looks like it was cut out of an animator's scrapbook of fantastic castles. But this is the real thing. The last stronghold of the Albigensians or Cathars who, unfortunately for them, took a different view to the catholic church on a...
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11000 Carcassonne, France
Everyone goes to Carcassonne to visit the Cité Médiévale, and you shouldn't miss it, but when it starts to feel too touristy or a tad too contrived, head back to the "lower city" where the actual residents of Carcassonne live. There are some nice...
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11000 Carcassonne, France
Maneuvering a family of five and their luggage through the Paris metro is not a feat for the faint of heart. No surprise then that we missed not one but two trains to Carcassonne and arrived there at nearly midnight rather than one in the...
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3 Rue Raymond Roger Trencavel, 11000 Carcassonne, France
With its medieval walls, the Cité de Carcassonne is among the most picturesque, and most crowded, sights in all of Europe. But when the sun sets and the tour buses leave, the stone-paved streets actually grow quiet; mid-week—even during the summer...
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1 Quai Lamennais, 35000 Rennes, France
At first glance, Rennes’ cobblestoned streets and half-timbered homes evoke medieval France. But in the last decade, Brittany’s beautifully preserved capital has evolved into a contemporary cultural center with a packed festival calendar. To...
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Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, 24220 Vezac, France
The Marqueyssac Gardens in the Périgord region of France are not only the most visited in the region but among the most reminiscent of a fairytale landscape. Perched on a hill overlooking the Dordogne valley, Julien de Cerval's topiary masterpiece...
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46500 Rocamadour, France
Gorge yourself some more, this time in Rocamadour, a medieval city built into the face of an actual gorge. The town is famous for its chèvre cheese, and every little shop on Rue Roland le Preux will be eager to sell you some. Heads up! This is the...
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81000 Albi, France
On having one Eurail pass and one day to spare between the big X's marked Paris and Barcelona, I craved the soothing ad-lib of a tiny, not-so-known area in the South of France. Bordeaux, Marseille… all remarkable cities I'm sure, however my...
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Place Saint-Étienne, 31000 Toulouse, France
As with almost every tourist, I too asked what is probably the most typical and obvious question when entering this cathedral, and that is “What is wrong with this place?” or perhaps more politely, “Why is it so strangely shaped?” The cathedral is...
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46000 Cahors, France
In the limestone gorge country of SW France, this bridge is a medieval monument to a legendary pact: a man wagered his soul to the Devil, and the Devil lost. While living in Paris, a friend of mine asked if I would like to visit his childhood home...
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Collioure, France
The Plage de Port d'Avall is one of several options for a day on the beach, and the views from this crescent shaped slice are spectacular. As you swim, sunbathe, or play water games, you are always treated to a view of the harbor, the city center,...
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08024 Barcelona, Spain
A pilgrimage to this enchanting park is a must for any Antoni Gaudí fan. Located atop Carmel Hill to the north of the city, the park was inspired by English landscape gardens, but its fantastical elements make sure you know it was...
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08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
We took the train out of Barcelona, heading north to the Monastery of Montserrat. After exiting the funicular railway, we found the light to be shining through the portico walkway, leading us to a wonderful church with heavenly music from the boys...
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08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
Located a short drive out of Barcelona, Montserrat Monastery is a must see while in Barcelona. Try the honey and fig cakes. There are many tour operators that offer this day trip from Barcelona. Take your time and hike some of the trails. The...
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Pedralbes, Barcelona, Spain
Visit Pavellons Güell, a somewhat lesser-known Gaudi masterpiece in Barcelona's posh Pedralbes neighborhood. Especially spectacular is the property's wrought-iron dragon gate, it's writing serpentine form strongly resembling a cross between a bat...
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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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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...
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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...
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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...
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Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
In this activity you will learn about the life and traditions of the Jewish community of Barcelona in the Middle Ages. Sefarad includes a guided tour to the ‘call’ or Jewish quarter, visit to the Great Synagogue and the elegant halls of the Casa...
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Carrer del Consell de Cent, 292, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Make sure to sample some hot drinking chocolate in Barcelona. I chose a mug from Cacao Sampaka, a gourmet chocolate shop where you'll find all sorts of delightful dessert concoctions. The rich, velvety drink is nothing like American hot chocolate....
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Carrer de Muntaner, 2, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Check out regional specialties like ensaïmadas, a typical sweet pastry from Mallorca that is often stuffed with cabello de ángel (made from caramelized pumpkin), whipped cream, or chocolate only a short walk from Plaça Catalunya. Throughout...
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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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Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
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Carrer del Vidre, 8, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is home to countless tapas joints. They sit on street corners and back alleys all over the city. Many are commercialized and target tourists, while others are homegrown, centuries-old locations. There are plenty to choose from. After...
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Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
In the middle of a fairly ordinary looking plaza en Cuitat Vella, savvy visitors can spot evidence of Barcelona's Roman history. Once a road with funerary monuments on either side, gradually the road was surrounded by the city. You can see the...
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Plaça Comercial, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
The ruins of the Barcelona that suffered the seige of 1714 lay buried underneath the cast-iron 19th century Born Market for centuries. WIth the opening of El Born Centre Cultural, visitors can explore the beautiful wrought iron market, examine the...