As Spain's second largest city and the capital of the Catalonia region, Barcelona is a thriving metropolis that combines the best of Old World charm with a stylish, modern spirit. Renowned for its spectacular art and architecture, colourful nightlife and mouth-watering cuisine, Barcelona offers holidaymakers the perfect blend of culture, sun and dining – all in a laidback, hedonistic atmosphere.
The city's rich history spans over 2,000 years, and is best appreciated through its fascinating variety of architecture – from the Roman remains of the Temple of Augustus, right through to the awe-inspiring works of renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, who left his distinct mark on the city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The soaring interiors of Gaudí's unfinished, but still breathtakingly beautiful Sagrada Família basilica are a special highlight for many visitors, as are the quaint cobbled streets and winding lanes of the charming medieval Gothic Quarter. Barcelona also offers an excellent selection of museums and art galleries featuring the works of famous Spanish and Catalan artists such as Picasso, Dalí and Míro.
With a prime location on the balmy shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is also a mecca for sun worshippers, with a number of spacious, sandy beaches right on its doorstep. High season is from May until September, but the mild climate means you can often enjoy sunbathing and water sports from March right through to November.
The best way to really get a feel for the city is to spend time strolling through the bustling streets and lively squares, pausing to browse in open-air markets and quirky shops along the way. There are countless cosy cafés, restaurants and taverns where you can savour delicious local wines and fresh, hearty dishes, such as seafood paella and spicy tapas – or grab an outdoor table and sip a fragrant coffee as the world goes by.
When the sun goes down, Barcelona's residents and visitors come out to play, fuelling the city's legendary nightlife. With a number of hotels located in Barcelona's city centre, you're never far from the action – so book your stay with Marriott today and get set to experience this endlessly captivating city.