10 NIGHT IBERIAN PENINSULA CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Amsterdam , Netherlands | Bilbao , Spain | La Coruna , Spain | Porto (Leixoes) , Portugal | Lisbon , Portugal | Cartagena , Spain | Ibiza , Spain | Barcelona , Spain

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BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS

TIME FOR A LATITUDE ADJUSTMENT

Calling all backroads ramblers and culture cruisers— your ship's come in. Whether you're catching a movie poolside or enjoying Tuscan dishes at Giovanni's Table, you're in for the ultimate adventure in between shores.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Amsterdam, Netherlands

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

DUTCH DISCOVERIES

Pick up syrupy stroopwafels from a street vendor for breakfast and then enjoy a peaceful walk through Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace. Trace the city’s unique history through artifacts and photos at the Amsterdam Museum. Or get hands-on with the kids at the NEMO Science Center.

The Amsterdam dancing houses over Amstel river in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, Netherlands, with flowers and bicycles on a bridge in spring
Aerial view of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pick up syrupy stroopwafels from a street vendor for breakfast and then enjoy a peaceful walk through Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace. Trace the city’s unique history through artifacts and photos at the Amsterdam Museum. Or get hands-on with the kids at the NEMO Science Center.

The Amsterdam dancing houses over Amstel river in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, Netherlands, with flowers and bicycles on a bridge in spring
Aerial view of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Things To Do

in Amsterdan

Glass top boat ride along the canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands

CRUISING FOR A PERUSING

No visit to Amsterdam is complete without a boat ride along its picturesque maze of canals. Gain a unique perspective of the city’s UNESCO-listed Canal Ring district as you float under historic bridges and past gabled mansions— whether in a glass-topped tour boat or in your own rented pedal boat.

The Van Hogh museum

GOGH FOR THE ART

Enter the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum to explore the life and greatest works of the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. Home to the world’s largest collection of paintings by the artist, this inspiring space houses many of his famous self-portraits and paintings, like The Potato Eaters and Sunflowers.

A statue of Anne Frank in Amsterdam, Netherlands

JOURNAL TO THE PAST

Relive the harrowing story of young Jewish teenager Anne Frank, whose diary entries during World War II became one of the best-selling books of all time. Step inside the annex where she lived in hiding with her family, viewing the converted museum exhibitions that detail their time in Amsterdam.

Stack of fresh Stroopwafels with honey and coffee, in a shop in Amsterdam, Netherlands

LOCAL CUISINE

Amsterdam delivers a mix of Michelin-rated restaurants, canal-side cafes, and quintessential “Brown Bar” pubs. Hit a street market for herring sandwiches, syrup-filled stroopwafels, or fries slathered with mayonnaise. You can’t go wrong with stamppot (veggie mashed potatoes) or bitterballen (fried meatballs). And if you’re thirsty, sip jenever (Dutch gin)— or taste beer at the Heineken Experience.

Tulips for sale at a flower market in Amsterdam, Netherlands

SHOPPING

De Bijenkorf is the city’s most famous department store since 1870. Daily open-air markets span the city, including the aromatic Flower Market. Browse jewelry shops and boutiques among The Nine Streets— or pick up cannabis-inspired goods in the Red Light District. Also be sure to take home the region’s legendary blue Delft pottery.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Family Enjoying a Round of Mini Golf
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Family Enjoying a Round of Mini Golf
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Things to Do

Man Climbing Down the Rock Wall
Rock Climbing Wall

A BOLDER BOULDER

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Mini Golf

ON PAR FOR ADVENTURE

Hit the links on the high seas! Refine your mini-golf game on a green that overlooks a sea of blue. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

DAY 3 - TENDERED

Bilbao, Spain

ARRIVES:
12:00 PM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM
BASQUE IN MOUNTAIN VIEWS

AND MODERN ART

Bilbao makes a great first impression. Once you arrive, you'll soon spot the futuristic building that's become the beating heart of the city: the Guggenheim Museum. Get swept up by Michelin-starred restaurants, enchanting tapas bars, sidrerias (cider houses) and a clever 100-year-old suspension bridge.

A view of the Bilbao, Spain cityscape
A bridge crossing over a river in Bilbao, Spain
A fountain at a park in Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao makes a great first impression. Once you arrive, you'll soon spot the futuristic building that's become the beating heart of the city: the Guggenheim Museum. Get swept up by Michelin-starred restaurants, enchanting tapas bars, sidrerias (cider houses) and a clever 100-year-old suspension bridge.

A view of the Bilbao, Spain cityscape
A bridge crossing over a river in Bilbao, Spain
A fountain at a park in Bilbao, Spain
Things To Do

in Bilbao

A hilltop chapel in Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao's Nature

Bilbao may be famous for architecture, but the rolling green hills, panoramic coastline and lush plazas will enchant you as well. Reach Mount Artxanda by cable car for sweeping vistas of the city. Walk by ponds and fountains at Parque de Dona Casilda de Iturrizar, and reach the riverside walkways for close-up urban views of Bilbao.

Various buildings in downtown Bilbao, Spain that show the city's wonderful architecture

Bask in Basque Culture

Check out the Euskal Museoa and the Arkeologi Museoa for a look into the Basque Country's past. Cruise to Spain to stroll down medieval streets in Casco Viejo, the historical center of Bilbao, or down the Gran Via boulevard for a glimpse into the daily lives of locals, who are usually moving from one pintxos (tapas) tavern to the next.

An aerial view of the city of Bilbao, Spain

Artistic Heights

Take in the monumental beauty of the Guggenheim by first exploring the outside. You'll see how architect Frank Gehry blended titanium, glass and limestone to conceive elegant curves and sharp edges in this masterpiece of modernity. Then, head inside to see the other masterpieces created by legends like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and more.

A filet of cod with side dished on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Food is a pastime in Bilbao. Sample bacalao al pil pil (cod with garlic), Marmitako (tuna and vegetable stew) and savory pintxos, the local version of tapas. Stop by El Globo and La Barraca for a quick bite-sized dish, or head to Mina and Azurmendi for Michelin-starred experiences.

An assortment of botas wine flasks

Shopping

In Bilbao, you do your shopping on historic streets and sprawling urban areas, with hidden gems in between. Go to the old town and look for the classic botas (wineskin flasks), txapelas (berets) or pañuelos (kerchiefs). Head north to the Abando district for modern shops offering more contemporary wares.

INSIDER TIP

Don't miss Bilbao's outskirts — check out the coastal suburb Getxo, a 25-minute train ride away, which offers lush green mountains and ocean views.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

La Coruna, Spain

ARRIVES:
10:00 AM
DEPARTS:
8:00 PM
ADVENTURE OF

HERCULEAN HEIGHTS

Get to know La Coruna by walking the Paseo Maritimo, an ocean-facing promenade that'll take you past some of the city's must-see sights. Pop into the Aquarium Finesterre and say hi to the energetic seals that sun themselves on the outdoor terrace. Climb the hill to the Tower of Hercules, a Roman-era lighthouse that's still in use today. See Celtic artifacts and 16th-century cannons at the fortress of Castillo de San Anton.

Seasdie city view of La Coruna, Spain
View of the harbor of La Coruna, Spain
View of buildings in San Andres de Teixido in La Coruna, Spain

Get to know La Coruna by walking the Paseo Maritimo, an ocean-facing promenade that'll take you past some of the city's must-see sights. Pop into the Aquarium Finesterre and say hi to the energetic seals that sun themselves on the outdoor terrace. Climb the hill to the Tower of Hercules, a Roman-era lighthouse that's still in use today. See Celtic artifacts and 16th-century cannons at the fortress of Castillo de San Anton.

Seasdie city view of La Coruna, Spain
View of the harbor of La Coruna, Spain
View of buildings in San Andres de Teixido in La Coruna, Spain
Things To Do

in La Coruna

A close up view of the Tower of Hercules in La Coruna, Spain

To the Tower

Visit the Tower of Hercules, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rising between Orzan Bay and Artabro Gulf, it's one of the oldest working lighthouses in the world. It's said that Ireland was discovered from the top of the tower — try to spot it from while you're at the top. Inside you can see remains of its Roman building materials.

View of La Coruna, Spain for San Pedro Park

Hold Down the Fort

Bring a picnic to the former military fort Monte de San Pedro. Today, the site is a picturesque park where you'll find a maze made of Italian plants, a duck pond, a children's playground and a panoramic elevator that takes you up high for the city's best views.

A plate with pulpo a la gallega, grilled octopus, and boiled potatoes

Local Cuisine

Local shellfish is king in La Coruna. Try pulpo a la gallega, Galician-style octopus served with potatoes and spiced with paprika. Explore Calle Estrella, La Coruna's hot spot for tapas. Must-try small plates include navajas — steamed razor clams and tequenos, a flash-fried dough stuffed with melty cheese. Wash it all down with the city's signature beer, Estrella Galicia.

Hand painted ceramic pottery for sale in Spain

Shopping

You'll find good shopping just off the Calle San Andres. La Coruna's Marineda City, not far from the heart of the city, is Spain's largest shopping center complex. It offers shops, restaurants, an ice rink and a movie theater. Calle Real has luxury shops that sell antiques, jewelry, fashion and traditional hand-painted ceramics.

INSIDER TIP

Most shops close for an afternoon siesta of two to three hours.

DAY 5 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Salmon Salad bowl with Watercress served at Izumi, a fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of our best vacation cruise dining.
Sushi chef prepping a sushi plate at Izumi Japanese fine dining restaurant. One of the best vacation cruise dining.

Salmon Salad bowl with Watercress served at Izumi, a fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of our best vacation cruise dining.
Sushi chef prepping a sushi plate at Izumi Japanese fine dining restaurant. One of the best vacation cruise dining.

Things to Do

Assorted Sushi Rolls Platter served at Izumi, Japanese Restaurant. One of the best fine dining cuisine on a cruise.
Izumi

A FAR EAST FEAST

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation. Now that’s fresh.

Lobster & Alaska king crab main entree, served at the Elegant Chefs Table restaurant. One of the best cruise line fine dining
Chef's Table

AS VIP AS CAN BE

Located in an intimate, exclusive spot onboard, this private epicurean experience for a limited number of guests, treats you to a five-course, menu and wine tasting.

DAY 6 - DOCKED

Porto (Leixoes), Portugal

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

PORTO TAPA MIND

Porto is a city that offers so much history and architecture to explore. Enter the Palacio da Bolsa to appreciate the decorative carvings and the traditional tile work. And if you've got your architecture fix taken care of then venture out to Foz do Douro, a trendy district that offers views of where the river enters the ocean and take it all in.

Traditional Rabelo boats on the Duoro river, with the cityscape of old town Porto, Portugal
Two gondolas moving along Duoro river against the cityscape of old town Porto, Portugal
Panoramic view of Old Porto city and Ribeira over Douro river in Porto, Portugal

Porto is a city that offers so much history and architecture to explore. Enter the Palacio da Bolsa to appreciate the decorative carvings and the traditional tile work. And if you've got your architecture fix taken care of then venture out to Foz do Douro, a trendy district that offers views of where the river enters the ocean and take it all in.

Traditional Rabelo boats on the Duoro river, with the cityscape of old town Porto, Portugal
Two gondolas moving along Duoro river against the cityscape of old town Porto, Portugal
Panoramic view of Old Porto city and Ribeira over Douro river in Porto, Portugal
Things To Do

in Porto (Leixoes)

Magenta-carpeted wooden stairs of the famous Livraria (Bookstore) Lello in Porto, Portugal

Live the Livraria Lello

Prepare to stand in line before entering one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Livraria Lello has been in business in 1906 and is Porto's most popular landmark and it is well worth the wait time. Harry Potter fans may recognize it as it was a major inspiration for JK Rowling when she was developing the series. Grab your camera and snap some photos of the stunning staircase or purchase a book as a souvenir.

Traditional historic facade in Porto, Portugal, decorated with blue hand painted tin-glazed tiles

Moors To See

Portugal is famous for the Azulejo Tiles. Introduced to the city by the Moors, the beautiful blue tiles can be found covering the facades of many beautiful buildings in Porto. The Igreja do Carmo and Sao Bento Railway Station have some of the most intricate designs and even tell a story through the paintings on the tiles. Wander around the city admiring the detailed mosaics that line most of the streets.

Old aged traditional wooden wine barrels in a vault, lined up in a cool and dark cellar in Porto, Portugal

Vinho Verde

Wine connoisseurs will fall in love with Porto. During your Porto cruise, visit one of the many wine cellars and taste Port, which is produced in the Douro Valley, or sip on a refreshing glass of Vinho Verde which is made even closer to Porto. Your companions will thank you for pouring another glass to celebrate.

Homemade francesinha, sandwich with ham and sausage, from a restaurant in Porto, Portugal

Local Cuisine

Satisfy your appetite with a traditional Porto sandwich, the Francesinha. The savory classic is filled with four or five different meats and then covered in cheese before being drenched in a beer-based sauce. If that sounds too heavy, order up a steaming bowl of Caldo Verde, a hearty kale soup served in most restaurants in the city.

Traditional portuguese souvenir tiles for sale at a market in Porto, Portugal

Shopping

Take a stroll down Rua de Santa Catarina, a lively street, perfect for window shopping during your Porto cruise. Or if you're looking for an interesting souvenir to bring back home, head to the Cedofeita area of the city. You'll find stores like Coracao Alecrim which is one of Porto's prettiest stores selling handmade, sustainable products.

INSIDER TIP

Wear comfortable shoes as you'll be doing a ton of walking on cobblestone streets and up several flights of stairs in Porto.

DAY 7 - DOCKED

Lisbon, Portugal

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM
GAIN A NEW VIEW

IN LISBON

Fuel up for your Lisbon adventure with a delectable pasteis de nata, a sweet custard tart spiced with cinnamon and best savored warm. Then, climb the Seven Hills of Portugal and admire panoramic views of the sea and the city from above. Ride the yellow tram to explore every inch of colorful Lisbon. Wander along the seaside in the Belem district and marvel at the 16th-century architecture of the Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower.

Aerial view of the different homes and buildings of Lisbon, Portugal
The Belem Tower on the coast of Lisbon, Portugal
Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal

Fuel up for your Lisbon adventure with a delectable pasteis de nata, a sweet custard tart spiced with cinnamon and best savored warm. Then, climb the Seven Hills of Portugal and admire panoramic views of the sea and the city from above. Ride the yellow tram to explore every inch of colorful Lisbon. Wander along the seaside in the Belem district and marvel at the 16th-century architecture of the Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower.

Aerial view of the different homes and buildings of Lisbon, Portugal
The Belem Tower on the coast of Lisbon, Portugal
Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal
Things To Do

in Lisbon

View of the Pena National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal

Get Romantic

Step into the pages of a fairy tale in Sintra, a UNESO World Heritage Site a short ride from Lisbon. The city's awash in colorful buildings and grand forts, including the Romanticist architecture of the pastel-hued Pena Palace — more like a castle, really — and the extravagant Quinta da Regalaira villa. Or, wander through gardens inspired by Dante's "Inferno."

Tables on a terrace in Lisbon, Portugal

Go View-Hopping

There's no other way to explore Lisbon than to see it from the miradouros, the hilltop lookout points scattered around the city. Ride the Santa Justo Lift to catch a glimpse of the city below. Enjoy an evening drink at the Miradouro de Santa Catarina. Finally, watch the sunset behind the Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge.

Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal

Architectural Adventure

History buffs should head to Belem. See the 16th-century Manueline architecture of the Jeronimos Monastery. Lisbon, Portugal cruises will allow you to visit the final resting place of explorer Vasco de Gama before walking to the river to snap a photo of the Torre de Belem, a 16th-century fort that appears to float in the ocean.

A tray full of Pasteis de Nata pastries in Lisbon, Portugal

Local Cuisine

You'll find plenty of Portuguese delicacies around Lisbon. Follow the locals to the nearest food truck for a bifana, a sandwich of pork marinated in white wine and garlic sauce. Snack on salty sardines over a glass of wine, or devour a pasteis de nata, the famous egg tart that packs a creamy, cinnamon-infused custard in a crisp shell.

Various Lisbon souvenir magnets

Shopping

Browse eclectic clothes and jewelry in the backstreets of Bairro Alto. Feira da Ladra, or "thieves' market," is the place to go for handmade crafts and antiques. Looking for a high street? Walk down Chiado or Avenida da Liberdade to shop international brands.

INSIDER TIP

Tram 28 is the best-known tram line, taking riders through all the must-see neighborhoods, but the trolleys fill up quickly. Opt for a lesser known route to avoid crowds.

DAY 8 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Family Swimming and Enjoying the Pool
Sunset at the Solarium Pool

Family Swimming and Enjoying the Pool
Sunset at the Solarium Pool

Things to Do

Girls Diving and Swimming in the Covered Pool
Pools

SWIM IT TO WIN IT

Soak up the sun or savor the shade on expanded pool decks, with complimentary loungers, live music, and the opportunity to enjoy a frosty cocktail.

Guests Enjoying the Drinks and Pool at the Solarium
Solarium

SUN AND SERENITY

Slip away to this adults-only indoor and outdoor retreat. The Solarium is your slice of paradise, with soothing whirlpools, warm sunshine and a refreshing water mist.

DAY 9 - DOCKED

Cartagena, Spain

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM
EXPLORE THE ANCIENT

MEDITERRANEAN COAST

The Mediterranean port of Cartagena is home to 3,000 years of history, with the Roman Theatre dating back to the first century A.D. Visit the eighteenth-century Concepcion Castle and pop into its historical interpretation center while you're there. Stroll through town to enjoy the extensive street art at Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

City hall in Cartagena, Spain
Cortina Beach in Cartagena, Spain
Castillitos Battery in Cartagena, Spain

The Mediterranean port of Cartagena is home to 3,000 years of history, with the Roman Theatre dating back to the first century A.D. Visit the eighteenth-century Concepcion Castle and pop into its historical interpretation center while you're there. Stroll through town to enjoy the extensive street art at Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

City hall in Cartagena, Spain
Cortina Beach in Cartagena, Spain
Castillitos Battery in Cartagena, Spain
Things To Do

in Cartagena

Aerial view of a Roman amphitheater in Cartagena, Spain

Roman Holiday

Check out Cartagena's ancient Roman Theater — built in the first century A.D. and only uncovered in 1987, it's since been reconstructed. Duck into its museum, which passes beneath a palace and a church before it reaches the theater.

The Castle of Cartagena in Cartagena, Spain

Castle on the Hill

The 18th-century castle called Concepcion Castle sits on a hill facing Cartagena. Walk uphill to visit the castle and its history center, or catch the lift at Calle Gisbert for amazing panoramic views en route.

A building that displays modernist architecture in Cartagena, Spain

The New Within the Old

For all its ancient allure, Cartagena also has Modernist architecture, which you can see along the Calle Mayor area. One example is the home of Cervantes, designed by a local Cartagena architect. Check out the Casino, the Gran Hotel and the railway station for more examples of this exuberantly gaudy style with your Spain Cruise.

A bowl of prawns with a side of bread

Local Cuisine

In Cartagena, you'll find authentic Mediterranean dishes featuring fresh-caught seafood, like lightly tempura-battered fried squid. Red prawns from the Mar Menor lagoon and fig bread are local delicacies. Explore off the main tourist streets and hit a tapas bar for tasty fare such as Serrano ham, toasted Cartagena almonds and cracked local olives.

Assorted leather bags for sale in Spain

Shopping

The clean, pedestrians-only shopping street Calle Mayor is an easy walk from the port and has the high-street stores of England and Spain. An El Corte Ingles department store and restaurants are housed in gorgeous buildings. Look for ceramics and leather goods in interesting boutiques and shops when you cruise to Cartagena, Spain.

INSIDER TIP

Spanish shops close for siesta between 2 and 5 p.m., and restaurants from about 4 p.m. until around 8 p.m.

DAY 10 - DOCKED

Ibiza, Spain

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
8:00 PM

BEACHES & BEATS

Get to the old town of Dalt Vila, and learn why this ancient cluster of winding streets, high ramparts and stone statues was declared a World Heritage Site. Then head to Cala Comte or one of the other beaches of Ibiza, where pines trees line the coast. Duck your head into the majestic coves that grace the periphery of the beach, and watch the golden sands lap over turquoise waters.

Beach chairs lining Cala d'Hort Beach in Ibiza, Spain
A red lighthouse at the tip of a pier in Ibiza, Spain
A staircase leading to the second floor of a traditional white house in Ibiza, Spain

Get to the old town of Dalt Vila, and learn why this ancient cluster of winding streets, high ramparts and stone statues was declared a World Heritage Site. Then head to Cala Comte or one of the other beaches of Ibiza, where pines trees line the coast. Duck your head into the majestic coves that grace the periphery of the beach, and watch the golden sands lap over turquoise waters.

Beach chairs lining Cala d'Hort Beach in Ibiza, Spain
A red lighthouse at the tip of a pier in Ibiza, Spain
A staircase leading to the second floor of a traditional white house in Ibiza, Spain
Things To Do

in Ibiza

A statue of a sailor in Ibiza, Spain

A Strong History

Walk the historic streets of Ibiza's old town, Dalt Vila, where you can explore Renaissance fortifications that protected the island dating back to the 16th century. Find the storybook cathedral, Catedral de Eivissa, that sits at the top of the town and get lost in the different museums, shops and restaurants that surround it.

Cala Comte beach in Ibiza, Spain

Beat the Heat

Ibiza has plenty of beaches to choose from. Head to Talamanca beach for a relaxing experience, Figueretas for a more resort-style ambiance and Cajal Jondal Beach to catch the fashionable crowd. If you're looking for calm, views and pine trees by the beach, visit Cala Vadella and Cala Salada.

A close up view of a DJ's mixer during an outdoor party

Live It Up

Ibiza's nightlife is legend — but if you want to party in the daytime, you can do that, too. San Antonio is home to some of the biggest, loudest and longest-running clubs around. Go to Eden Ibiza, Cafe del Mar or Es Paradis for a waterfront experience, try Mint or Savannah for low-key vibes, or seek out a boat party for daytime dancing.

A platter of seafood noodle paella in Ibiza, Spain

Local Cuisine

Ibiza has a love affair with food and drink. Everywhere you go, you're sure to find some version of sangria or paella during your Ibiza cruise. But if you want to get more adventurous, try to find fideua (a take on paella but with noodles), sofrit pages (a mix of chicken, lamb and sausage) and flao (the Ibizan version of a cheesecake).

Various shops in Ibiza, Spain with outdoor displays

Shopping

Ibiza is full of bakeries, paper shops and tobacco stores, which close for a little siesta in the morning and then in the afternoon. Cruise to Ibiza and go to Las Dalias and Punta Arabia for hippie-chic stores, Emonk Ibiza for a wide variety of boots and sneakers and Sluiz for interior design items.

INSIDER TIP

Head to small villages to experience the slow-paced lifestyle of Ibiza.

DAY 11 - Arrival Day

Barcelona, Spain

ARRIVES:
6:00 AM

CROWN OF CATALONIA

Afternoons in Barcelona are best spent eating Spanish tapas in a cozy bar. Then take a Gaudí-inspired architecture crawl to see modernist wonders like Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Park Güell and the awe-inspiring La Sagrada Família. Explore medieval dockyards at the Maritime Museum— or throw on an apron and learn the centuries-old art of Catalan cuisine in a chef-led cooking class.

View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
The National Museum of Catalan (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) on a Summer day in Barcelona, Spain
View of Castillo de Montjuic on mountain Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain

Afternoons in Barcelona are best spent eating Spanish tapas in a cozy bar. Then take a Gaudí-inspired architecture crawl to see modernist wonders like Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Park Güell and the awe-inspiring La Sagrada Família. Explore medieval dockyards at the Maritime Museum— or throw on an apron and learn the centuries-old art of Catalan cuisine in a chef-led cooking class.

View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
The National Museum of Catalan (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) on a Summer day in Barcelona, Spain
View of Castillo de Montjuic on mountain Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain
Things To Do

in Barcelona

Street view of La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, with shops lining the street

IN THE MIX

Take a stroll along La Rambla’s pedestrian boulevard to experience the city’s pure essence. Souvenir shops, street artists, flower stalls, sidewalk cafes and Catalan folk sardana dancers set a lively scene. Its marvelous centerpiece, La Catedral, dates from the 1200s— and its tower delivers sweeping views of medieval Barcelona.

Sunbathers at the Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona, Spain, with the W Hotel, also known as Hotel Vela or Sail Hotel, in the background

SEAS THE DAY

With seven beaches spanning more than two miles of Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona’s harborfront is known for some of the world’s best sun-seeking and on-the-sea adventures. Lounge along the shore, kayak deep blue waters— or charter a fishing trip for the chance to reel in tuna, swordfish or Mediterranean spearfish.

Aerial view of Barcelona, Spain

SKY HIGH DELIGHTS

Get an up-close glimpse of La Sagrada Família, a cathedral masterwork designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Marvel at its sky-piercing spires and then step inside to admire intricate mosaics, Montjuïc stone pillars and the Nativity façade. You can even climb to the tippy-top of the spires for panoramic city views.

Traditional Spanish rice-based gourmet dish Paella, in Barcelona, Spain

LOCAL CUISINE

Barcelona has mastered the art of eating. Many restaurants serve up creative nueva cocina española, while waterfront spots dish out seafood paella and multi-course lunch menus include a glass of sparkling cava wine. For a taste of Catalan cooking, try pa amb tomàquet (tomato-topped bread). Or nibble on Spanish tapas (bite-sized appetizers) around the bar like a local, with house-made vermouth in hand.

Piles of decorative ceramic plates in a souvenir shop in Barcelona, Spain

SHOPPING

You could spend hours checking out the markets of Barcelona for high-quality leatherwear, jewelry, old books and unique housewares. Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Shopping Line are two popular retail promenades— and the Gothic Quarter is home to dozens of family-owned shops that sell textiles, stationery, decorative ceramic tiles and earthenware kitchenware.

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