Barcelona - Sophistication, art and architecture

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The glorious city of Barcelona really does seem to have it all. Sophistication, art, architecture (Gaudi anyone?), gastronomic delights, and even much of the sea front has now been recovered to the delight of visitors. It may be forward looking yet the past is also important.
It has even managed to preserve its own proud Catalan identity and style whilst remaining rooted as part of a greater Spain.
Given it's unique individualism, boutique hotels in Barcelona tend not to be ordinary. They are often cutting edge chic, yet you can also discover simpler, charming hotels in Barcelona. Take your pick from our selection.


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Gastronomy

Catalan cuisine is one of the most sophisticated in Spain. Its main dishes rely on four basic sauces: sofrito, samfaina, picada and ali-oli. Of these Samfaina is strictly Catalan and used with a wide variety of dishes. It is a half-cooked mixture of tomato, pepper and aubergine.
Barcelona has a variety of rice as well as meat dishes, particularly poultry, and the famous Girona veal, not to mention rockfish. The visitor will also find a rich collection of sausages, including butifarra, which is roasted or fried with mongetes - white beans.
The wines in the area are magnificent. Worthy of note is El Priorato - very special thick and mild reds not easily found outside Catalonia. El porrón, or glass jug, is also very popular: the wine is poured from the glass jug with the spout held high. More common is the leather wineskin, which is equally appropriate for the liquid, but drinking from the porrón seems to give the wine a different taste.

Travel inspirations, itineraries and best places to stay

Feel like going out somewhere different and exciting, dining in that hip new restaurant or just to enjoy a different culture? Then it´s time for a city break. Here are some great places to start.