Best time to go: Barcelona enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with cool winters and hot summers
Barcelona, Spainís traditional alternate capital, a millennium older than Madrid, has been dubbed 'La Gran Encisera' - The Great Enchantress. It is the capital of Catalonia, with its own language and history and a very unique sense of style.
Itís not difficult to capture the essence of Barcelona. A stroll down Las Ramblas, the long shady promenade which cuts through the heart of the city will take you past many of the most atmospheric cafes, shops and stalls.
Tourists are treated to an abundance of Catalonian food and music and are encouraged to partake in the friendly Catalonian traditions.
The Sardana dance, a symbol of Catalan identity takes place in front of the Cathedral de la Seu every Sunday afternoon. Everyone is encouraged to join, and it is intended to represent the concept of brotherhood and democracy.
Barcelona is a haven for art lovers, featuring many works by Miro and Picasso, but no one can fail to be blown away by the architecture of Gaudi which seems to dominate so many areas of the city. Parc Guel, La Pedrera with its novel wave design and fantasy chimneys and the Church of the Sagrado Familia.
This was Gaudiís magnum opus, and is Barcelonaís answer to the Eiffel Tower. The church remains unfinished, but is definitely worth seeing.