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Mel′s Wishlist
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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....
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Edifici Capitanía, S/N, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
An evening run along Barcelona's Olympic port takes you past iconic sights like the enormous bronze whale made by Frank Gehry and also surprising sights like huge, intricately carved sand sculptures. In addition to this impressive castle, I saw a...
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Barcelona, Spain
After a late dinner on La Rambla, we decided to stroll its surrounding nooks and alleyways only to happen upon an amazing local hangout. Right around midnight, head to the front courtyard of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and you'll find...
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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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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona's famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It's just one of...
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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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Carrer de Valldonzella, 2, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Based in Barcelona since 1992, Holala! Plaza is the best Barcelona shop for vintage clothes, furniture, video games, accessories, books and more. It's hard to leave empty-handed, but even if you don't have cash to spare, stop by to check out their...
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Watching flamenco artist Olga Pericet dance at Corral de la Morería in Madrid was an experience of extraordinary intensity. She was a rhapsody of exuberant motion; a piece of poetry that seemed to silence the room with the force of its emotion....
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Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
I spent an afternoon walking around the site of Templo de Debod, located in the heart of downtown Madrid. The solid stone structures were donated to Spain by Egypt in 1971, for the country's help with extracting artifacts in Nubia. When I arrived...
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Calle Cuchilleros, 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Eat dinner like a conquistador at Restaurante Sobrino de Botin. The combination of its central location off Plaza Mayor and its claim to be the "Oldest Restaurant in the World" makes it charming and fun for family and friends. Make sure to put in...
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Calle Badajoz, 31, 28931 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
One of the biggest flea markets that I have ever been to is located in Madrid, Spain. El Rastro is an old neighborhood that is teeming with activity, but the place really comes alive on Sunday mornings for the weekly flea market. You can buy just...
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Calle Echegaray, 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
They say Hemingway used to drink at La Venencia. If that’s true, you wouldn’t know it: there are no photos of Don Ernesto on its walls, no placards identifying Papa’s favorite table. La Venencia isn’t the kind of establishment to talk about its...
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Calle Conde de Miranda, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
If you're in Madrid and in the mood for tapas, you might not know exactly where to go or what to taste. The Mercado San Miguel (metro Sol) takes away all that decision-making by providing you with a taste experience all under one roof. The old,...
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The neighborhood, or barrio, of Malasaña will keep you busy exploring its many shops, checking out the colorful street-art, and visiting some quirky bars. The boutiques here specialize in strange, designer, and vintage products with distinct...
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Calle de Toledo, 18, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Alpargatas, or espadrilles, are a staple in every Spaniard's closet. The comfortable, light-weight, and versatile shoe is simple—rope, rubber, cloth. At Casa Hernanz they are handmade and come at a bargain ($5–$10 per pair) in over 40 colors. They...
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Avenida de América, 41, 28002 Madrid, Spain
Designed by 19 of the world’s top architecture and design firms (three of which have already won the Pritzker Prize), the Hotel Silken Puerta América Madrid may be the world’s ultimate design hotel. A colorful, towering ode to...
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Calle Torija, 7, 28013 Madrid, Spain
The best flamenco show of my life, without a doubt! Cafe Chinitas is a small venue with incredibly spirited and talented dancers. Come for the first show of the evening when the musicians and dancers are fresh. Heads Up: don’t bother with dinner,...
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Calle de Padre Damián, 23, 28036 Madrid, Spain
When only dancing the night away will do, you’ve come to the right city. Madrid hardly ever sleeps (except during working hours), and the capital parties well into the morning hours. So with all this energy and time, where should you head? To move...
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Like stepping into a harem, Kerala transports you away from Madrid and into the heart of Middle Eastern luxury. Recline against silk pillows, smoke shisha from towering glass water pipes while enjoying a hand crafted alcohol masterpiece. With over...
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Calle del Comandante Zorita, 46, 48, 28020 Madrid, Spain
“Elena Ochoa, the wife of Norman Foster, founded this publishing house for art, photography, and design books. It’s also a gallery for photography and architecture exhibitions.” - Alberto Fernández Comandante Zorita 46-48, 34/(0) 91-449-0961. This...
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Calle Cardenal Cisneros, 1, 45002 Toledo, Spain
I was watching all the guilds and brotherhoods line up to join the procession for Corpus Christi, one of the biggest days of the year in Toledo. All of the women wearing the classic Spanish mantillas: young girls in white and older women in black....
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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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La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
The city’s old fishing quarter, Barceloneta, is a warren of narrow residential streets dotted with classic family-owned seafood restaurants. The neighborhood is charming, if a bit scruffy, but its biggest asset is its proximity to Barcelona...
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Barcelona, Spain
BARCELONA, Spain -- After a 6-month and 23 million investment renovation project, the Hilton Barcelona is open for business. Hot spot: The hotel's Atrium Bar includes an art installation centerpiece created by Italian-born Jacopo Foggini. His art...
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To my taste, the best restaurant in town at all levels: the food is exquisite, they have a large traditional Catalan menu, the service is excellent (waiters know the menu and the wines very well), and the decoration is carefully thought out,...
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Carrer de Villarroel, Barcelona, Spain
Even if you're not very interested in floral arrangements, Dada Flor is worth a look around. This shop combines quirky elements with beautiful flowers for a surprising effect. Also, the shop sometimes has preserved flowers or other non-perishable...
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La Rambla, 58, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Learn to cook traditional dishes, and modern twists on old favorites, with the chefs at Barcelona Cooking. Sign up for an evening cooking class and learn to prepare dishes like seafood paella and Crema Catalana (the Catalan version of Creme...
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Paseo de Catalina de Ribera, 2, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
The most beautiful square in Spain is the Plaza de Espana in Sevilla. Huge, filled with intricate mosaic work depicting the history of the different regions in Spain and waterfalls, lakes and imposing architecture, in summer, it is also filled...
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Paseo de Moret, 2, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Parque de Oueste is a shady park toward the north of the city. The park is known for its rose gardens, as well as being home to the Temple of Debod, a gift for the Egyptian state in 1968. The overlook of the park offers beautiful views of the...
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Calle Mayor, 59, 28013 Madrid, Spain
It is known as the Queen's Mother, as this pharmacy was in charge of the medicine of the Queen, María Cristina, in the Century XIX. However, the establishment has been at 59 Plaza Mayor since the end of the XVI Century. Reconstructed in 1913 by...
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Plaza de San Miguel, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
The Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid is one of the best places to go for a little of everything local, or tapas-style shopping. They are always busy. Whether you are looking for ham or oysters, fresh fruits or desserts, coffee or wine, they have it...
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28028 Madrid, Spain
A trip to Las Ventas is a must in Madrid. Tickets are available for those who wish to attend un corrido and tours are available for others who don't care for the bullfight. If you decide to watch this Spanish tradition in action, buy a seat and...