Our answer to the most pressing travel question “where do I go next?” this week is a city full of life and culture.  Barcelona, Spain is known for its upbeat culture, its nightlife, its authentic cuisine, and its exquisite art and original architecture, as well as its beaches and harbor.  This is a city that has it all.

Visit the Gothic Quarter for a look at the old center of town with plenty of cathedrals and beautiful squares.  Picasso once walked these streets, and you can walk the halls of the Picasso Museum for hours taking in the many different stages of his life and how it reflected in his art. There is also a multitude of other art galleries and museums featuring other famous artists such as Joan Miró, Francisco Goya, El Greco and Salvador Dalí.  If it’s sports you are looking for, Barcelona has one of the most well-known fútbol (soccer) teams in the world, with one of the best fan followings.

Make sure to take a stroll down Las Ramblas to witness street vendors and performers.  Visit Boqueria Market off of Las Ramblas to take in a traditional Spanish market and to purchase fresh produce.  At the end of Las Ramblas is a large statue honoring Christopher Columbus that looks over the beautiful harbor filled with boats and lined with more vendors and performers.  The beach here is rated by many as one of the best city beaches in the world and was recently cleaned up for the Olympics in 1992.

Antoni Gaudi is one of the most famous architects from this region, and his buildings are all must-sees. La Sagrada Familia is perhaps one of his most well-known pieces and is still under construction.  This giant church reflects the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ and is covered with many intricate details.  He also designed Parc Guell (shown above), a park that offers some of the best views of the city as well as a look into Gaudi’s original work.  Don’t miss Gaudí’s most famous homes in Barcelona: Casa Mila, designed without any corners, and Casa Batlló, designed with many colors and intricate details.

The cuisine and nightlife of Barcelona are both exquisite, and often go hand in hand.  Many groups go out for drinks and tapas (small plates or appetizers) before hitting up the dance clubs, often staying out until early in the morning.  If you are looking for a more relaxing and laid-back evening, there are plenty of restaurants that offer traditional Spanish cuisine.

In short, Barcelona is teaming with life and is calling your name.  To learn more about Barcelona and Spain, or to get started planning your trip, visit our Spain Destination Page here.