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Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Barcelona, Spain
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Bring some friends and a healthy appetite to El Bar-Barcelona for modern takes on traditional Spanish bar food as well as a well-thought-out wine menu. Crunchier-than-usual croquetas made with panko, a carnivores-only version of patatas bravas,...
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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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Plaça de Sant Jaume, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
On our first day in Barcelona, we learned that the city has surprises in store around every corner. We had just met up with American expat Jeff Koehler in the plaza in front of the Santa Maria del Pi church, about to head up a narrow street to THE...
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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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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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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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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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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....
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Passatge de Mercader, 10, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
In Barcelona's fashionable El Born neighborhood, unassuming neighborhood shops can surprise you with unique finds. At Antic & Modern, collectors can buy original works of art by world-renowned Catalan artists like Dalí, Miró and Tàpies, as well as...
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Carrer dels Banys Nous, 20, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
L'Arca, formerly known as L'Arca de l'Avia, specializes in recreating historical clothing, especially ball gowns and wedding dresses, but it's a great place to pick up antique and vintage accessories like lace gloves, Spanish fans, and jewelry, as...
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Carrer de Còrsega, 231, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Despite this restaurant's claims of "low-cost haute cuisine," 3 Food's tapas are elegant—but considering the tiny portion sizes, fairly expensive, especially if you want try a variety of the restaurant's more creative dishes. There is a very...
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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...
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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 l'Escar, 26, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
Stroll along Barcelona's boardwalk and catch a sea breeze in between snapping shots of outdoor sculptures like this couple closely resembling mer-folk by Lautaro Diaz Silva. There's also a giant copper-colored shrimp by Javier Mariscal,and the...
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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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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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Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5, 17600 Figueres, Girona, Spain
One can't visit Costa Brava, Spain, without taking into account one of its most influential artists - the surrealist Salvador Dali. His Theatre-Museum in Figueres is the largest surrealistic object in the world. Among many paintings, sculptures...
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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....
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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 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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Calle de Alcalá, 39, 28014 Madrid, Spain
The Metropolis Building in Madrid claims dominance over the intersection of Calle de Alcalá and Gran Via. The topping sculpture of Phoenix and Ganymede, like an architectural hood ornament, keeps a watchful eye over the busy boulevards below.
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Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Stone by stone, second-century BC Debod Temple was reconstructed in Spain in an effort, called to action by UNESCO, to save its demise when the site was threatened by the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan. As a sign of gratitude for the help...
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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 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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Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's Prado Museum, home to Goya, Velazquez, Murillo, El Greco, and numerous other greats, has so much to see that just one visit isn't enough! If you have a few days in Madrid, drop into the museum in the afternoons (after 5pm) when there is...
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Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Don't miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It's the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your...
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Calle de la Palma, 49, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Though toma means "Take it" in Spanish, this cafe offers more than takeaway service. With a very intimate lounge, Toma's staff are able to interact with customers while showing off their impressive coffee knowledge as well as English. Homemade...
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Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Founded in 1894 and set in the center of Madrid, not far from Puerta del Sol, San Ginés is a local favorite and a don’t-miss stop during any visit to the capital. No excuses; it never closes. Pasadizo de San Ginés 5, Madrid, 34/91-365- 6546 This...
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Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Anyone with an iota of interest in art will certainly visit the Prado while in Madrid. But be sure to save some time to visit another nearby museum, where there's something wonderful to see before you even get inside. Just a 5-minute walk down...
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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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Calle de Alcalá, 15, 28014 Madrid, Spain
I just love going to The Casino, every time I walk through the doors, I can’t help but feel that I am a character in Alice in Wonderland’s tea party, except I’m not. I am in a private rooftop club in downtown Madrid, and that’s even more...
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Calle del León, 12, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Cheese connoisseurs, welcome to heaven. Casa Gonzalez has been serving up the widest selection of queso (cheese) with an authentic flair for years. The wine list does not disappoint and somehow the service is always smiling, even when the bar is...
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Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain
No trip to Madrid is complete without a tour of the Royal Palace, home to many of the kings and queens of Spain since the 1500s. Inside, every wall, ceiling, and floor either is a work of art, or hosts works of art. One room is made entirely of...
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Every summer, the Athens Festival brings world-class performances to an unorthodox range of venues across town. The most impressive is this Roman amphitheater beneath the Acropolis, where Maria Callas, Frank Sinatra and ballerina Sylvie Guillem...
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Akropolis, Athina 105 58, Greece
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. According to legend, the ancient gods battled it out to become Athens' patron deity. The showdown came after the Phoenicians founded a city at a giant rock near the Aegean some two and a half million years...
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Polignotou 3, Athina 105 55, Greece
Slave-traders and shoe-menders, jewelers and moneylenders haggled and gossiped at this ancient marketplace the history of which spans five millennia. The Agora was also the stomping ground of rival philosophers Plato and Socrates—the latter...
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Acropolis, Athens 116 36, Greece
The Acropolis is, for most people, the "can't miss" site. Because of its popularity it can be very busy, and the hours seem to change constantly. There's also the possibility that the workers might go on strike, which can mess with your plans as...
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Athens 105 58, Greece

You can’t miss the Parthenon, the majestic ruin towering above Athens. Originally painted in vivid hues, this feat of architecture, engineering, and artistry is still as awe-inspiring as it was almost 2,500 years ago. Le Corbusier, pioneer...

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Mitropoleos, Athina 105 56, Greece
My new Greek friend introduced me to the "freddo cappuccino," something very different than anything found in Italy or anywhere else for that matter. I got scolded for slurping it up in under three minutes and was told the Greek way is to make it...
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Tsocha 37, Athina 115 21, Greece
In North Athens, Sweet Alchemy, designed by Kois Associated Architects for celebrity chef Stelios Parliaros, offers magical delicacies in a beautiful presentation. The sugary treats are arranged like ingredients for potions inside this...
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Greece
Thanks to doing research on AFAR.com, I learned that one could sea kayak around the island of Milos. I signed up with Rod from Sea Kayak Milos and had a fantastic time. My fellow kayakers and I paddled through bright blue water, in and out of...
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Delphi 330 54, Greece
The belly button of the world lies eighty miles northwest of Athens, where the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, cut deeply by cascades feeding the River Pleistos, drops precipitously into the Gulf of Corinth. High above the ravine in a cleft...
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Anafiotika, Athina 105 58, Greece
Anafiotika is best described as a tiny village planted in the middle of a major city. I still think anyone visiting Athens should make an effort to venture away from the usual sights and explore this hidden gem. You'll find scenic walkways such as...
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Kalorrouma 731 00, Greece
Crystal clear waters, remote access, and cliff diving. Seitan Limania is a spot known only to locals and the few U.S. military that transit the nearby naval flight line. The view is absolutely gorgeous. This is a once-in-a-lifetime beach. Access...