The massive castle overlooking the city first broke ground in 1640. It was long a symbol of the repression of Catalan people -- throughout the Spanish Civil War, it was used as a prison where political prisoners were tortured... and now it’s open for tours! After all that heavy history, let your inner child loose and play on the hidden Montjuic Slides tucked near the base of the fortress.
34. Take part in a massive outdoor celebration
If you’re visiting in September, you’ve got to check out La Festes de Mercè. This weeklong festival honors the city’s patron saint, La Mercè, and features huge outdoor concerts, dance performances, interactive exhibitions throughout Parc de la Ciutadella, and endless parties and revelry throughout the city. How endless, you ask? Well, nearly 2 million people turn out each year.
35. Get sporty on the Carretera de les Aigües
This flat, unpaved trail is 9km long and perfect for biking, hiking, or jogging. Arrive by metro and funicular and be stoked on the view and the break from Barcelona city life. The path is situated in Parc de Collserola, giving you the opportunity to tour the park’s sites or even hit up one of the astronomy nights if you’re feeling celestial.
In the neighborhood known as La Ribera (the seashore), you’ll find the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar, one of the best examples of Catalan Gothic architecture. With the church’s cornerstone dating from 1329, this massive stone monument with soaring ceilings will bring you back down to Earth if Barcelona life gets overwhelming.
There’s so much more. You’re just getting started. The only thing left to do is buy a plane ticket, show up, and have fun. Oh yeah, and don’t get pickpocketed.
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Annie Crawford is a freelance-writing country hopper. Follow her @ReinaAnnie.