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Barcelona see + do

Although their boundaries may seem arbitrary, history and city planners have defined clear borders for the neighborhoods of Barcelona. Each district has its own personality and distinctive features; where you should go depends entirely on the kind of experience you're after. The Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), with its Roman ruins, spired cathedral, stately palaces, and liberal sprinkling of romantic patios and plazas, is the essence of old-world Europe. Nearby, El Born, which peaked in the Middle Ages, boast soul-stirring medieval churches and haunts, as well as a (very chic) grab bag of trendy boutiques, bars, and restaurants. For cutting-edge contemporary design, art, and architecture, multicultural El Raval is the place to be, while a stroll through the Eixample reveals fanciful modernist creations dating from the late 19th century.

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Gardens of Montjuïc, Barcelona

This headland park to the southwest of the city welcomes more than 15 million visitors a year to its museums, concert arenas, sports centers, and gardens (only...more

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Girona

Girona, Catalonia's second city, an hour's train journey from Barcelona, is fortified by stone ramparts along the banks of the Onyar River—walk along the...more

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Gràcia, Barcelona

Fiercely independent, Gràcia is a curious bed partner to the metropolis. Perched above the Eixample, this "village" was entirely separate from the city...more

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Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

The opulent Liceu was built in 1847 as a paean to the arts, with gilded ballrooms, a hall of mirrors, and an auditorium similar to Milan's Teatro alla Scala....more

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La Rambla, Barcelona

Through all Barcelona's self-styled reinvention, the pedestrian walkway known as La Rambla has remained the city's most enduring icon. Even if some locals shy...more

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Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona

When Richard Meier's cool, white, futuristic "ship" sailed into the heart of El Raval, it regenerated an area best known as the underbelly of Barcelona....more

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Museu del Modernisme Català, Barcelona

Without doubt, Barcelona's Modernista heritage is its greatest cultural asset. While the shapes and fluid forms of Gaudí, one of the movement's most...more

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Museu Marítim, Barcelona

In the 13th century, Catalonia was a powerhouse at sea, and many of the kingdom's ships were built in the mammoth Drassanes (Royal Shipyards) in Barcelona. The...more

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Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC), Barcelona

Covering 1,000 years of Catalan art, this fully modernized museum on Montjuïc was carved out of the Palau Nacional for the 1929 International Exposition....more

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Palau de La Música Catalana, Barcelona

Architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner's masterpiece, the Palau de la Música, was built between 1905 and 1908 in El Born. Montaner was fascinated by...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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