It’s one of Europe’s most festive cities which promises hours and hours of fun in the glittering sunshine and monuments which will simply take your breath away. One of Spain’s most iconic destinations, Barcelona also figures among the best options for a vacation filled with non-stop shopping, clubbing and sightseeing. Catalonia’s capital city is located south of the Pyrenees. Sitting right on the Mediterranean coast, it lies between Girona which is situated to its north and Tarragona which is located to its south.

This sunlit port city is filled with marvels simply waiting to be discovered. From the colossal Sagrada Família with its soaring spires and exquisitely decorated interior, to the exciting and entertaining La Rambla packed with entertaining street performances and charming bars and restaurants. All these and more mean that your vacation in this city of marvels will be filled with excitement from the very instant you arrive. With landmarks such as the glittering Torre Glòries, the expansive Aquarium Barcelona and the breathtaking Sagrat Cor, it’s hardly surprising that Barcelona is one of the top tourist destinations in Spain and in the entire world. Madrileños (residents of Madrid) in search of a coastal escape will arrive at Barcelona El Prat International Airport in just an hour and 30 minutes while those who board the   AVE train will alight in the Catalonian capital following a two and half hour trip.

Tarragona further down the coast is merely a one-hour train trip away while a journey from the Andalusian capital, Seville would take about five and half hours using the same mode of transport. Barcelona’s underground train system is quite handy for travelling around the city. Visitors who enjoy cycling will find several options available for renting since Barcelona’s bike sharing scheme is exclusively for residents. Partially completed but no less awe inspiring, the Sagrada Família is a colossal testimony to the genius of Antoni Gaudí one of Spain’s most illustrious architects.

With its lofty spires and exquisite design, in addition to its sheer size, it is one of the most striking examples of religious architecture which exists in Spain or on the entire continent. A visit to the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) also comes highly recommended during your stay in Barcelona. Located in Ciutat Vella, the Old City, the quarter with its maze like streets is home to the Palau Reial Major (Grand Royal Palace) and also the iconic restaurant Els Quatre Gats which enjoyed the patronage of luminaries such as Enric Granados, Pablo Picasso  and Antoni Gaudí.