View Point

Barcelona: Vibrant and Spirited

DATE : September 13, 2016

COMMENTS : 123 Comments

Sagrada Família, under construction since 1883, is the culmination of Antoni Gaudí's wildly creative Modernista style. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli) Meandering through the heart of Barcelona's Old City, the tree-lined Ramblas pedestrian drag flows from Plaça de Catalunya to the waterfront. (photo: Rick Steves) Life in Barcelona is a distinctive mix of Madrid-style love of life and Parisian elegance and taste. Spain's second-biggest city is one of the hottest tourist destinations in Europe these days, with more than 7.5 million visitors a year, so its popular pedestrian boulevards can become human traffic jams.
In spite of what can be horrible crowds, there's plenty to enjoy. Everywhere you go, you'll find the city's architecture to be colorful, playful, and unique. Rows of symmetrical ironwork balconies are punctuated with fanciful details: bay windows, turrets, painted tiles, hanging lanterns, flower boxes, and carved reliefs.
At various points..