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Summer Visit

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A rambling journey to visit a friend in Lisbon
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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 de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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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...
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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...
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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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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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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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Carrer de Calàbria, 80, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
For well-prepared Mediterranean and Spanish classics as well as some tasty (and healthy) in-house versions of world cuisine, Bar Mono is an ideal and inexpensive choice for a midday meal. Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as Barça game nights,...
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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 d'Aragó, 67, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
While the food isn't as exquisite or beautiful as in some of Barcelona's more expensive traditional restaurants, portion sizes are generous and the food is inexpensive and freshly prepared. The restaurant is closed on Saturdays, and weekday...
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Av. de Josep Tarradellas, 61, 08029 Barcelona, Spain
Lots of locals eat at Nostrum on a regular basis. It may not be exciting, but it's simple traditional food, made fresh daily for very good prices and the chain has locations throughout Barcelona. Some dishes can cost as little as 1 and the prices...
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Carrer de Còrsega, 253, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Fill-up on traditional Catalan and Spanish food at O'Vall D'Ouro. Have a hefty slice of Spanish omelet for breakfast on pa amb tomaquet, or feast on this grill's specialties of roast chicken or quail for lunch.
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Carrer dels Escudellers, 54, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
In the land of cured meats, chorizo and prosciutto, you'd figure there'd be no room for animal-loving vegetarians in the mix. Turns out Barcelonians do like to take a break from the protein, especially on incredibly hot days. A perfect option for...
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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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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 de Catalunya, 1-4, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This café is a meeting point for locals. If we are meeting in Plaça Catalunya, there are two points of reference: either you meet in front of Corte Inglés, or you meet in front of the Zurich. It is great for people watching (but you'll be paying...
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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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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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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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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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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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Plaza Murillo, 2, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Real Jardin Botanico, the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, is a peaceful place to get out of the city streets and stroll around in nature. Fountains and sculptures are scattered throughout the 5,500 species of living plants, trees and flowers....
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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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Pasadizo 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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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 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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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,...