Barcelona has emerged as Spain's most popular tourist destination, and is certainly considered one of Europe's most intriguing places to visit. Nestled into the Mediterranean landscape, its climate is near perfect year-round with plenty of sunshine, and the people are friendly and full of life. Visitors to Barcelona will find an amazing cultural center with unique architecture, an abundance of medieval history and quaint cobblestone streets lined with tapas bars and cafes, any of which are perfect for spending a leisurely afternoon.
The Las Ramblas area of town runs from the waterfront to Placa de Catalunya, and is a usual spot for tourists looking to shop, dine or just watch the world go by. A stroll through Barcelona's Gothic Quarter is recommended to see medieval 13th century buildings, such as the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, a fine example of Catalonian gothic style adorned with 500 year-old stained glass windows. Other notable sites include the Maritime Museum, the La Sagrada Familia cathedral, the unfinished work of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, and the Picasso Gallery located on Carrer de Montcada. This amazing gallery showcases over 2,000 of Picasso's earlier works.
Barcelona is a city of immense culture and history that cannot be duplicated anywhere in the world, and is the perfect gateway city to begin your trip around Europe. Consider extending your visit with a few days pre- or post-cruise, or for a more in-depth experience considering adding one of many cruise tour options that will take you beyond Barcelona to a number of unique destinations.