Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city. It offers sightseeing, nightlife, a variety of cuisine, and accommodations to meet every budget and preference. The city’s unique historic architecture has helped make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Barcelona, situated at the Catalan region of Spain, is sectioned into many quarters. Some of the more popular for tourists are as follows:

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* Gothic Quarter – enjoy getting lost among the narrow streets of this beautiful quarter, and through the confusion you can expect to discover a totally unique plaza that you otherwise would have missed.

* El Call – this is Barcelona’s Jewish Quarter. It provides tourists and others an insight into the story of Jews in Barcelona.

* Eixample – modernist quarter, noted for its trendy shops, small cafes, and relaxed atmosphere.

* Gracia – recognized as an active and politically conscious community, Gracia caters to a slightly more mature crowd.

It offers many bars, lively plazas and restaurants.

Park Guell, which is north of Gracia, is the place where Gaudi created a miniature garden city of houses. This is considered a must-see for tourists to Barcelona. La Sagrada Familia, although still not finished after over 100 years, emulates a great medieval cathedral. It is estimated that completion will be between 2020 and 2040.

Barcelona is not only known for its beauty and sightseeing attractions, but also for its events and festivities:

* Carnival – held during February and March, is the last opportunity to ‘go wild’ before Lent.

This festival was banned from 1936 – 1980, but it’s experiencing a strong revival of interest. The celebration includes a parade that proudly displays plenty of fancy dress, fireworks and floats.

* Festa de la Merce – celebrated around the 24th of September, this festival honors Our Lady the Virgin of Mercy, who dispelled a plague of locusts in 1687. Concerts, fireworks and other events take place during the celebration.

* Festa Major de Gracia – held around the 15th of August, many streets in the Gracia quarter are decorated with paper Mache statues, lanterns, and woodwork ornaments. Live music is enjoyed, along with food and other entertainment.

* Dia de Sant Jordi – celebrated on April 23rd, the festival honors St. George, who was dubbed patron saint of Catalonia due to his heroic behaviors. During the celebration Las Ramblas is turned into a makeshift flower stall as the festivity is built around the idea that men should purchase a rose for ladies they are fond of. Women purchase books for the men in their lives.

When it comes to accommodations travelers have lots of options. They can choose from budget hotels to luxury hotels. And, they can select to stay in various locations in the city. Whether the preference is a romantic and secluded place for two, or family-friendly lodging that’s close to the attractions, you’ll find wonderful Barcelona hotels available.

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