Barcelona combines old-world charm with an urban vibe to create a fun yet historical place to visit.  Located in Spain and the capital of Catalonia, this seaside city is well known for its impressive medieval and Art Noveau architecture, shopping, beaches and beautiful town squares.  Barcelona is also known as a key port for many cruise destinations.  Major cruise lines depart right from the city port heading to popular areas including Rome, Sicily, Naples, Genova, Venice, Athens, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Cannes and Nice.  You’ll be able to choose from Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Caribbean for a Southern European cruise.

La Sagrada Familia

  1. La Sagrada Familia: One of the most recognizable churches in the world is the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.  Under construction since the late 1800s, architect Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to design a neo-Gothic church but is now an example of Art Nouveau architecture.  Visitors are struck by the tall spires, ornate facades and intricately designed interiors.  A narrow spiral staircase affords you breathtaking views of Barcelona through many vantage points.
  2. La Rambla: This tree-lined avenue is closed to auto traffic and offers visitors a wealth of shops, cafes, restaurants and street-cart vendors offering everything from mouth-watering fresh fruit to handmade scarves and shawls.  As you make your way on La Rambla, make sure you have time to visit the Mercat de la Boqueria, an open-air market offering a variety of food products and Barri Gotic, a medieval section of the city.
  3. Park Guell: This UNESCO World Heritage site was designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, which was built in the early 1900s.  Within the park, you’ll discover artistic structures featuring his signature colorful ceramic details.  A large terrace at the top of the park offers panoramic vistas of the city.
  4. Gothic Quarter: This medieval section of Barcelona offers you the opportunity to go back into time with its narrow passageways, 14th & 15th century architecture, intimate squares and magnificent churches and cathedral.  Charming cafes with outdoor seating can be found throughout this area.
  5. Barcelona Beaches: One of the most inviting aspects of Barcelona is that you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of shopping on La Rambla and then head out to one of Barcelona’s seven beaches within a few minutes.  In fact, Barcelona is known for having some of the top city beaches in the world according to National Geographic.
  6. National Art Museum of Catalonia: This stunning building featuring a grand dome as part of its façade, showcases a large collection of Romanesque church paintings and Catalan art.  In addition, you’ll find collections from the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as contemporary art.
  7. Palau de la Musica Catalana: Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this concert hall was built in the early 1900s and features a Catalan Modernism style.  The stunning façade features mosaics, intricate sculptures and other beautiful ornamental details.  The interior features a grand salon featuring gorgeous staircases with the concert hall itself offering spectacular sculptures and an immense stained-glass skylight letting natural light in.
  8. Montjuic: This hilltop area is situated on an old Jewish cemetery and worth the trip for the views of Barcelona alone.  Numerous attractions are available for you to explore including the Tibidabo Amusement Park, the Poble Espanyol village and the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
  9. Monestir de Pedralbes: This medieval complex features a convent dating back to the 14th century.  A park is located within the complex as well as a Monastery Museum showcasing an impressive collection of religious and medieval art.
  10. Museu de Zoologia: In addition to viewing a large collection of mammals, fish and insects, you’ll enjoy exploring the building itself which was designed for the 1888 World Exhibition.