Hola! Welcome to the Olympic city of Barcelona. Shimmering sandy beaches, chic restaurants, European shopping, museums, wine and architecture – find it all here in the heart of Catalan country. Barcelona may be a mix of styles but the mosaic touch of Gaudi – a man whose designs personify a city – is around every corner. Pass Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the "Sagrada Familia” Cathedral, where the beauty is on the outside for all to see and a forest of "trees” waits for you inside with magnificent stained glass letting in a kaleidoscope of color. Gaudi’s works are everywhere – with unusual balconies that seem to wave in the wind, to a roof top whose chimneys have made its roof the most famous in Spain.
A favorite corner of Barcelona is the Barri Gotic (Gothic neighborhood) steeped in history and a mix of cultures. It is perhaps this mix of cultures that may have been responsible for Gaudi’s view on architecture. Pass the Barcelona Cathedral, and be sure to visit inside with its 28 side chapels and masterpieces adorning the walls. Visit the crypt and notice on the floor a shoe or a pair of scissors representing a shoe maker or a tailor who lays to rest here. Cobblestone pedestrian-only streets lined with specialty shops, markets and the joie de vivre that is Barcelona are found in this charming quarter.
A must-do is a walk down La Rambla, the famous pedestrian area – which seems to go on forever! A multitude of tapas (Spanish hors d’oeuvres) bars serve Spain’s famous wines and tapas, which are held together by a stick. An insider’s tip: you must save the skewers, because your server will count them in order to charge for your meal!
Barcelona is a popular cruise ship port for embarking and disembarking. Stay a few nights to enjoy the city at night. Take in a Flamenco Show with dinner – it’s all about the footwork! Enjoy a guided walk through the gourmet shops of the city, or immerse yourself in an art tour. It’s all there waiting for you in Barcelona.