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Barcelona  

The Valley of Many Cities
Barcino, as the Romans who settled the valley dubbed the valley, is a vibrant meld of art, culture, and beauty. Nestled between the Llobregat and Besòs rivers and hemmed against the coast by the Serra de Collserola Mountains, the city of almost 2 million is a patchwork quilt of neighborhoods, each distinct in architecture and attractions.

Hop on a sailboat and head out into the waters in Port Vel before enjoying a bit of sun on the beach. Cool off with a walk through the glass tunnels of Europe’s biggest underwater marine aquarium. Take a train over to La Rambla to enjoy a variety of street fairs and performers. Get a cup of fresh squeezed juice in the vast outdoor market of Mercat de la Boqueria. All the while, enjoy a vast array of outdoor markets, boutique and high fashion shops, museums and churches.

The architecture of the city is colorful, vast, and diverse—World Heritage Sites featuring ancient works by Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, like Europe’s largest Gothic cathedral, Sagrada Familia; sweeping stone architecture overlooking the city at Park Guëll; and a collection of art nouveau buildings restored by the Modernisme cultural movement in between.

An extensive metro provides easy access to the different neighborhoods and provides quick access to an array of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mediterranean, and of course, traditional Catalan cuisine—black rice darkened by squid ink, tapas, and a variety of seafood. After dinner, Cacao Sampaka awaits; a chocolate factory and small museum featuring chocolate sculptures and a variety of tasty treats.

Once the lights go down, the many bars and clubs of the city pick up the beat. Barcelona offers a thriving nightlife, peaking around 2 a.m. on Saturday, when Razzmatazz, queues up a quarter-mile long wait to get inside. Each room of the city’s most famous club offers a different beat, ranging from pop to retro to trance and house music. The Catwalk, another of the city’s most prestigious clubs, offers 2 floors of R&B, hip-hop, and techno.

This city of many cities, all within walking distance or a quick train ride, experiences a six month summer from May through October, offering visitors plenty of time to soak in the sights and experiencing life in Barcelona.
 
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Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain
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"Barcelona és bona si la bossa sona!"
- Catalan Saying
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