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Spain see + do

The variety of the attractions in Spain means that itineraries can satisfy everyone from the beach bum to the gourmand, the history buff to the design fiend. Most visitors land first in Madrid, the buzzing capital, known for its nonstop nightlife and world-class art museums. From here, you can tour the ancient cities of central Spain like Toledo, Segovia, and Ávila. Or, zip down to Andalucía on the high-speed AVE train for the passionate flamenco and fascinating Moorish architecture of Seville and Córdoba.

Barcelona, Spain's most cosmopolitan city, is a must for lovers of contemporary art and design. The Catalan capital blends Mediterranean charm with looming Gothic steeples, cutting-edge style, and the fanciful architecture of Modernisme (the Catalan interpretation of Art Nouveau). Nearby, you can escape to the ruggedly beautiful coasts of the Costa Brava or the slate-roofed villages of the Pyrenees.

The northwestern swath of the country is "green" Spain, a region of lush mountains, small villages, and incredible coastal scenery that contrasts sharply with the better-known Spanish images of bullfighting and flamenco. Head north for hiking in the Picos de Europa national park or to explore the quiet towns along the Cantabrian coast. Turn your compass east to sample the vibrant Basque Country, where Bilbao's spectacular Guggenheim Museum and the delectable cuisine of San Sebastián await.

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Museu del Modernisme Català

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

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
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

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
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

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Neighborhoods, Madrid

Madrid is a wonderful walking city. You'll doubtless find yourself, sooner or later, along the Paseo del Prado, in Plaza Mayor, and in Puerta del Sol. Stop for...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
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

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Palma, Palma, Mallorca

Located in the southwest of Mallorca, the capital, Palma, is a cosmopolitan city on the sea, a sort of mini-Barcelona boasting handsome architecture, a...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Parc de Collserola, Barcelona

It's a mere 20 minutes on the FCG train line from Plaça Catalunya, yet most visitors admire these nearly 20,000 acres of open space, Holm Oak forest, and...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Parc Güell, Barcelona

Gaudí's iconic mosaic lizard and two fairy-tale gatehouses are harbingers of the fantastical landscape that lies beyond this park's entrance. Originally...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Pelota Vasca, Bilbao

Sports fans looking to witness something unique to this region should check out a pelota match. Pelota is a traditional Basque handball that comes in three...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
Editors' Pick
Penedès Wine Country, Catalonia

The Penedès region, southwest of Barcelona, has been making wine since the Romans arrived 2,000 years ago. Its rolling hills are home to some of the...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
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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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