Collected by Saritha Rao
Saritha Rao′s Wishlist
Île Saint-Louis, 75004 Paris, France
Just east of the magnificent buttresses of the Cathédrale Notre Dame, across the Pont Saint-Louis, lies an island sanctuary in the middle of this chic, bustling city: Île Saint-Louis. The one-way streets are narrow, with views of the Seine River...
113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
6 Rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris, France
Passages were designed in the 19th century to give Parisians protection from muddy streets and horse-drawn vehicles. Some 20 of these covered walkways remain today, including the Passage Verdeau; they are an excellent way to journey back into...
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nothing is a more powerful symbol of the City of Light than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris Exposition, it's one of the world's most-visited monuments, with nearly 7 million people ascending the 1,062-foot...
17 Rue Montorgueil, 75001 Paris, France
So, you think you know Paris? There are hundreds of memorable streets and boulevards in the City of Lights. But, for my money, Rue Montorgueil is the best. It is compact, only three blocks long, with a metro stop at each end. In between, you have...
10 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France
In 1963 artist Marc Chagall was commissioned by the French Minister of Culture to repaint the Paris Opera House ceiling. The artist choice was controversial because, although a French nationalized citizen, Chagall was a Russian Jew, and a modern...
69 Rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris, France
Paris boasts an unusual elevated park, La Promenade Plantée, built atop an abandoned elevated railway viaduct in the 12th arrondissement. It starts a block east of the Place de la Bastille and stretches for 2.9 elevated miles. Landscape architect...
3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris, France
Step off the beaten path that leads to Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise and head instead to the lesser-known, yet extraordinary Montparnasse Cemetery. Locals bring metro tickets to leave on Serge Gainsbourg’s grave in...
Père-Lachaise, 75020 Paris, France
We don't know if Chopin, Molière, Colette, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and other famous denizens of Père Lachaise were disturbed by the keening sounds of Bruce Ackley's soprano saxophone on this cold January afternoon. But a security...
8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Sainte Chapelle is a true Gothic masterpiece located on Île de la Cité. Sainte Chapelle was founded by King Louis IX as a chapel for the royal palace. Sainte Chapelle houses a small chapel downstairs that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The...
13 Rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 75013 Paris, France
A tiny resto nestled in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. A short walk from the metro station Place d'Italie, this 18-seater offers pages of delicious crêpes and scrumptious bowls of cider to wash it all down with. One of those places that leaves...
35 Boulevard de Courcelles, 75008 Paris, France
I've been to Parc Monceau only once and loved it right away. Maybe because it has a homey, neighborhood feeling, (a public park situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris) maybe because of the classical colonnade in the middle of it, or maybe...
107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Paris is without question one of the best picnic cities. The only challenge is finding a park or garden that allows you to sit on the grass. To keep the land looking lush and pristine, guards mill about to police picnickers sprawled on off-limits...
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....
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...
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...
Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
It is hard to find a more authentic tapas bar in the Old Town than this one. Founded in 1929, now the 4th generation of the same family is starting to take over bringing a happy freshness to the always busy but still smiling staff. When I take...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 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....
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....
08034 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
This is a great place for some down time in Barcelona. Located close to the University of Barcelona's Campus on Diagonal, and children's hospital Sant Joan de Deu, this park is a beautiful place for a stroll, or to sit outside and play with your...
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...
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...
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Palau Güell is an early Gaudí masterpiece, designed for his longtime benefactor, Eusebi Güell. The mansion, one of Gaudí's first big projects, was recently restored and re-opened to the public. The centerpiece of the building is the amazing...
Mercado de La Boqueria, La Rambla, 91, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
La Boqueria is known for its incredible selection of fresh fruit, amazing ham, and uber fresh seafood. Wandering around the market is a foodie's dream but make time for a meal at one of the many fantastic restaurant counters. My favorite meal of...
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)...
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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