Photograph by Krista Rossow
Long pegged as a mere “smokestack city,” Barcelona has come into its own since the 1992 Olympics, and today is one of the liveliest tourist destinations in Europe. Cradled between the Mediterranean and the Serra de Collserola hills, Spain’s second largest metropolis arguably eclipses Madrid as a showcase for the arts, music, and cutting-edge design. A morning’s walk can take you from the original Roman settlement, much of it still intact under the narrow streets of the medieval Barri Gòtic, to the palaces and churches of the city’s 12th- and 13th-century golden age and on to the 19th-century L’Eixample neighborhood, where every avenue seems to be lined with flights of architectural fancy in stained glass and wrought iron, ornamental brick, and ceramic tile.
From the street performers who line La Rambla to works by modernist masters like Picasso, Gaudí, and Miró, the Catalan capital is awash in culture, much of it accessible for free with a little planning.
Visit Barcelona—Spain’s second largest and perhaps most loved city—rich in history and cutting-edge design.
Travel to the stylish streets, historic quarters, and cultural delights of some of Europe's most beloved cities with these photos submitted to My Shot by users like you.
Get facts, photos, and travel tips for the works of Antoni Gaudí, a World Heritage site in Spain.
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See photos of World Heritage sites in Europe submitted to National Geographic by users like you.