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If you're in the market for a city break with a difference, then you need to head off for Barcelona, where you'll find that a couple of days and nights won't be long enough to do more than capture a small taste of this vibrant city.

Surprisingly for such a cultural and cosmopolitan city, Barcelona is situated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, so when you've soaked up as much culture as you can take, simply head for one of the beautiful beaches and chill out away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

Everyone has their own agenda on a city break, but there are a few things that every visitor simply has to do on a trip to Barcelona. Take a leisurely stroll down La Rambla, the iconic boulevard crammed with things to see and do. Restaurants, cafes and bars jostle for space with eclectic boutiques and tacky souvenir shops, and numerous 'living statues' are waiting to delight and entertain you at almost every step.

Indulge your taste for tapas at one of the many street cafes where you can relax and watch the bustle continue around you, before you head off for a look at La Sagrada Familia - the Cathedral of the Sacred Family - which is the most-visited tourist site in the whole of Spain. Over a hundred years in the building - and still not completed - the cathedral was the personal project of Antoni Gaudi and is quite unlike any other religious building that you will have seen before.

In fact, Antoni Gaudi has been one of the leading players in Barcelona's growth and development, with his unique architectural style visible in buildings throughout the city. A visit to Park Guell is an absolute must, offering outstanding views across the city along with some spectacular Gaudi mosaics and architectural flourishes.

La Pedrera is a Gaudi building conceived as an apartment block, with the apartment on the top floor open to visitors who can also admire the astonishing roof terrace. Combining Gaudi's unique take on architecture with a touch of art deco, this is a fascinating glimpse into another era.

Picasso is another of Barcelona's famous sons, with a museum dedicated to his life and early works of art housed in a beautiful collection of mansion houses. Arrive early to beat the queues and cool off afterwards with a wine spritzer at one of the many bars nearby.

Barcelona is easy to get around, with a straightforward underground system and plenty of taxis for when your feet tire of walking. You'll find plenty of things to keep you amused at any time of year, but whenever you choose to go, you'll discover that one trip simply isn't enough.
 

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