Adventure, art, architecture in Barcelona

Outdoor cafes... vibrant shopping... late nights... gorgeous beaches. ... Barcelona has it all. This bustling metropolis on the Mediterranean is considered one of Spain’s most culturally sophisticated and economically viable cities.

From the airport: For an inexpensive option try taking the train from the Barcelona airport to the city center. Service runs approximately every 30 minutes, and you won’t have to concern yourself with being stuck in a taxi, with the meter running, during any of Barcelona’s notorious traffic jams. The train is a prudent and convenient alternative, especially since the airport is only 9 miles to the heart of the city.

Getting around: Considering that an auto accident occurs every 19 seconds, it’s wise to take advantage of the vast public transit system when visiting Barcelona. Subways, city buses, trams and cable cars conveniently run all hours and will be able to glide you throughout the city quickly and efficiently.

Is Gaudi gaudy? Onetime Barcelona resident George Orwell characterized the La Sagrada Familia church “as one of the world’s most hideous buildings.” Nonetheless, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without touring the works of the decorative-art architect Antoní Gaudí. Construction of his major work, the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, began in the 1880s and continues to this day. This stunning, free flowing architectural marvel reaches majestic heights and is an awe-inspiring sight.

Park Guell: For an enjoyable outdoor afternoon as well as the opportunity to gain insight into the wild imagination of Gaudi, a great choice would be Park Guell and the Gaudi House Museum. The park is on the hill of El Carmel in the Gracia district. Entry to the park is free but there is a fee to tour the museum.

Street festivals: Be sure to wander into one of the many open air markets or street festivals that are strewn throughout the city. Live music, vivacious street dancers and performers wow and dazzle crowds of spectators.

Word to the wise: Be mindful of your personal belongings. When browsing for souvenirs and admiring the local art, be extremely wary of pickpockets and bag snatchers.

Teatro-Museo Dali: Go through the striking Spanish countryside, for a day trip to the Dalí Theatre-Museum in the medieval town of Figueres. Experience a very personal tour of the innovative exhibition to gain insight into the life and surrealistic art of Salvador Dali. For an unexpected and welcomed delicacy, be sure to treat yourself to some of the local Figueres cuisine and wine.

Montjuic Castle: For unparalleled panoramas and unique photo opportunities, be sure to visit the Castell de Montjuïc. Originally constructed as a watch tower to alert the locals of enemy ships, the castle was completed in 1640. Today it is an interesting tourist attraction that can be viewed daily – guided tours are available Sundays as well. To save some wear and tear on your feet, take the cable car up Montjuic Hill.

Romero Restaurante: If you don’t want don’t want to spend a fortune on delightful Mediterranean cuisine, drop into Romero’s. Whether you’re interested in a romantic dining escapade or casual outing with friends or business associates, this is the place. Any special food preparations or vegetarian desires will be more than accommodated by the staff. Fresh, tasty and very reasonably priced entrees are served in an inviting, stylish atmosphere. Details: