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Virginia Howard’s Spain

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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...
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Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
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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 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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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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Carrer d'Elisabets, 2, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Grown in Galicia but available all over the country in the summer, 'pimientos de padrón' are little green peppers that are one of the most popular seasonal tapas in Spain. If you're in Barcelona, one of the best place to try this...
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Carrer de la Diputació, 249, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
This ultramodern space—part wine bar, part restaurant—has a daunting wine list with more than 3,000 labels, plus a rotating list of 50 that you can try by the glass before committing to a full bottle. Skip the iPad and put yourself...
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Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 3, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
In the summer, most cafes along la rambla are packed with tourists and locals alike. Near to this street, if you walk towards 3 Carrer Pintor Fortuny, you will see the a super chill, laidback cafe, tucked in the corner. Everything from their high...
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Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
On the mountain of Montjuic is the elegantly designed Foundació Joan Miró, a museum chronicling the life of the talented painter, sculptor, and ceramicist. Rejecting conventional methods as "bourgeois," Miró sought simplicity as the carefully...
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Calle Casp, 86, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
About a year and a half before I came to Spain, my father died. So, I found myself chasing my father's ghost in Barcelona. He had spent time here before I was born, before he met my mother... I had a week alone in this city, before meeting up with...
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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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As I've mentioned before in a few highlights, I love a proud arch at the beginning or end of a grand avenue. Blame it on Paris. This one was built when the city hosted the Universal Exhibition in 1888 as the entrance to the fair and I love the...
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La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Continuously occupied for thousands of years, Barcelona is a city of contrast- rich, poor; old, new. Amazing to walk the gothic quarter while listening to your iPhone. Here the Roman wall reminds you of how long this city has been around.
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Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain
Fortunately I had just recently seen a movie that enlightened me about urban art and artists. I was introduced to the likes of Banksy and Invader. So a few weeks later when I ran across Invader's tile calling card while meandering the Gothic...
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Plaça Portal de la pau, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
It's a tight squeeze at the top of the Columbus Monument in Barcelona. Skip it if you're claustrophobic, the teeny elevator doesn't allow for much personal space. But the 360 degree city views at the top are worth the inconvenience.
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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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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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La Font de la Guatlla, Barcelona, Spain
For many architecture junkies, the Barcelona Pavilion is reason enough to make the trip to Spain. Designed by Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 International Exposition, this building is believed by many to have kick-started the Modernist movement....
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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 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...
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Barcelona is a city that has a lot to offer; travel guides are packed with cathedrals, ruins, and endless museums. There is however, one “museum” that you won't come across in your travel guide. Four stops and less than ten minutes from Passeig de...
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La Rambla, 83, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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Set on the most trafficked streets of Barcelona, Las Ramblas, lies Escriba a Michelin star worthy bakery and dessert shop specializing in homemade cakes, croissants and edible jewelry. You can sit down for a coffee and pastry, or take a box of...
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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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Carrer de Villarroel, Barcelona, Spain
After seven years living in Barcelona, I'm more than aware of the limited variety of traditional Catalan and Spanish sweets. Most truly traditional recipes (mantecados, roscón) are powder-dry and really must be consumed with coffee or wine, and...
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Carrer de l'Argenteria, 74, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
This tiny bakery and cake shop is run by a renowned cooking school. My choice for cozy chocolatey breakfasts.
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Carrer del Torrent de l'Olla, 169, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
You can go to Lukumas for two things: 1) to see and even speak to one of the oh-so-few Greek small business owners in Barcelona surviving the equally insurmountable Spanish economic crisis, or 2) doughnuts. Named after the Greek word for these...
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Plaça de Sant Gregori Taumaturg, 2, 08021 Barcelona, Spain
Scape the city center and venture into the elegant neighborhoods of the Zona Alta of Barcelona to indulge in the finest chocolates you can find in town.
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292, Carrer del Consell de Cent, 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 les Caputxes, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Our hotel was a few feet away from Bubó chocolate and pastry shop and we must've stopped there about 5 or 6 different times while staying in Barcelona. The desserts are outstanding and the chocolate covered salted macadamia nuts make a perfectly...
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Carrer d'Aribau, 158, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
I can't resist their bread creations, and I never leave without buying a chocolate bread bun. Soooo god!
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Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel, 27, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
My first shopping recommendation goes for the turrón (spanish nougat). I just love them. It's very sweet (like the arabic baklava). I suggest you have them with unsweeten tea. Spanish people have turrón for Christmas. But we can buy them all year...