Barcelona

Best City Secret

Palau Güell

This modernist building by Antoni Gaudí which was recently rebuilt and re-opened to the public. Nou de la Rambla, 3-5; (34-934) 725-775; www.palauguell.com.

Best View
Templo del Sagrado Corazon, Tibidabo Church
Located on the Tibidabo Mountain, the highest point of the city, this church has views of all of Barcelona. Carretera de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 110; (34-934) 175-686; www.templotibidabo.info.
Best Newcomer
Gourmet Bus
Where else can you take a night tour in a bus while having dinner? On this excursion, the chef explains the story behind each course via iPods placed on each table. www.gourmetbus.com.
Best Neighborhood Walk
The Gothic Quartier
In this medieval area of Barcelona, you can visit the Gothic Cathedral, Plaça Sant Jaume, the Mayor's House and El Palau de la Generalitat (the regional Government Palace).
Museum Must-See
Museu Picasso
The genius of the young artist is revealed through the more than 3,800 works that make up the permanent collection. The 50-year-old museum also reveals Picasso's deep relationship with Barcelona. www.museupicasso.bcn.es/en.
Best Restaurant Classic
Can Culleretes
The second-oldest restaurant in Spain dates to 1786 and serves excellent Catalan cuisine. Carrer Quintana, 5 ( between Ferran & Boqueria). Telephone: (+34-933) 173-027. www.culleretes.com/en/home.
Best Cocktail with a View
Carpe Diem Lounge Club
This lounge offers high-quality, creative cocktails along with a great ambience and a nice view of the beach. After 11pm, it becomes a dance club. Paseo Marítimo de la Barceloneta 32, (34-932) 24-04-70; www.cdlcbarcelona.com.
Best Family Activity
Tibidabo Park
Located on a mountain overlooking the city, this amusement park dates back to 1889 and still has some of the original rides. It was featured in the Woody Allen film "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." (34-93) 211-7942; www.tibidabo.cat/en/homepage.

Hotels

El Palace Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

A two-year modernization brings fresh splendor to one of the most exclusive hotels of Barcelona. Centrally located, near the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, Paseo de Gracia and famous landmarks such as the Picasso Museum and the Sagrada Familia, it boasts an important art history, as Salvador Dali and his wife Gala once lived in the Royal Suite, now named Suite Dali. True to its name, the hotel has public areas in opulent style, with marble colonnades, ornate moldings, richly upholstered seating and crystal chandeliers. Accommodations have a contemporary feel, with some of the classic deluxe rooms with mosaic-covered Roman-style bathrooms. The perfect choice for dining, the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant Caelis - a must -, the ae Brasserie for casual dining and The Garden for buffet breakfast and Sunday Brunch.

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Gran Hotel La Florida

Barcelona, Spain

From its location at one of the highest points of Barcelona, high atop Mount Tibiabo, the Gran Hotel La Florida offers sweeping views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean. Like its location, the hotel’s history is dramatic. It was built in 1925 by prestigious Noucentista architect Ramon Raventos, but closed during the Civil War and was converted into a military hospital in 1939. Reborn as a luxury property in the 1950’s, La Florida was restored combining traditional and avant-garde styles, both inside and out. The setting is perfect for romantics who appreciate the spaciously elegant rooms, lovely restaurant L’Orangerie, serving Catalan fare, and one of the city’s sexiest pools. This is the ultimate getaway to combine easy access to buzzing Barcelona and tranquil relaxation after sightseeing.

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Hotel Casa Fuster

Barcelona, Spain

As a gift for his adored wife, Consuelo Fabra i Puig, Mariano Fuster commissioned modernist architect Lluís Domènch i Montaner to design Casa Fuster. The magnificent home was the most expensive in the city when it was completed in 1907, but the family lived there only briefly. In 2004, the building, including Café Vienés, was painstakingly restored and transformed into a contemporary boutique hotel. Decorated with Art Nouveau–inspired furnishings, the ninety-six guest rooms pay homage to the building’s original grandeur. The lobby, the alfresco terrace and the jazz club, Café Vienés, recall the heady intellectual atmosphere of early 20th-century Barcelona; once a week, the café hosts jazz concerts that have drawn everyone from Scott Robinson to Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz band."

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