14 NIGHT FLORIDA TO SPAIN CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Tampa , Florida | Key West , Florida | La Palma , Canary Islands | Tenerife , Canary Islands | Málaga , Spain | Barcelona , Spain

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RHAPSODY OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

RHAPSODY OF THE SEAS

RHAPSODY OF THE SEAS

INTIMATE. IMMERSIVE. UNFORGETTABLE.

Soak up new views from the top of the Rock Climbing Wall. Learn skills from a seasoned chef in a culinary class. Or discover a new favorite red or white at Vintages. All on your most thrilling adventure yet.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Tampa, Florida

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

A PIRATE’S PARADISE

Cruise from Tampa, FL and kick off the morning with a café con leche in the historic Cuban-Spanish neighborhood of Ybor City. Then take the TECO Line Streetcar into the Channel District where you can explore the Florida Aquarium or the SS American Victory, a World War II era ship turned museum.

Cruise from Tampa, FL and kick off the morning with a café con leche in the historic Cuban-Spanish neighborhood of Ybor City. Then take the TECO Line Streetcar into the Channel District where you can explore the Florida Aquarium or the SS American Victory, a World War II era ship turned museum.

Things To Do

in Tampa

CULTURE FIX

Stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk and see where it leads you. You might explore interactive exhibits at the Tampa Bay History Center, or go stand-up paddleboarding from the Sail Pavilion. Tampa Museum of Art’s collections range from ancient to modern— and the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is home to splash fountains, a playground and skyline views.

HIT THE SAND

A short 30-minute drive west of downtown lands you along the Gulf of Mexico coast, which is fringed by a string of sugary beaches. Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach both offer an upbeat seaside atmosphere, while Caladesi Island State Park and Fort DeSoto Park provide serene shoreline settings.

SEA WATCH

Enter the Florida Aquarium to encounter over 20,000 species of aquatic plants and animals. Cruise to Tampa and see river otters on the Florida Wetlands Trail and ring-tailed lemurs on the Journey to Madagascar. Then say hello to goliath grouper, stingrays, reef fishes, sea turtles and sharks in the Bays & Beaches habitat.

LOCAL CUISINE

Tampa’s food scene stems from a fusion of Cuban, Spanish, Italian and Floribbean influences. Local raw bars serve up fresh shrimp, oysters, scallops and grouper from the Gulf of Mexico. The Cuban sandwich— piled with Genoa salami— is a city signature. For a taste of authentic Florida Cracker cuisine, try sofkee porridge, pilau (rice cakes) or fried alligator tail during your next Tampa cruise.

SHOPPING

Pick up tropical apparel and Florida-inspired souvenirs at the outdoor Channelside Bay Plaza, right at the port. Head to Hyde Park Village for upscale boutique stores, and stop in local sportswear outfitter Salt Pines. Nothing beats Ybor City when it comes to quirky vintage stores and hand-rolled cigars.

INSIDER TIP

The vintage, air-conditioned TECO Line Streetcar can transport you between downtown Tampa, Channelside and Ybor City, with 11 stations along a 2.7-mile line. Tickets can be purchased at the stations.

DAY 2 - DOCKED

Key West, Florida

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM
THE KEY

TO ADVENTURE

Key West is the very definition of laid-back living. Closer to Havana than to Miami, this colorful island at the end of the Florida peninsula marches to the beat of its own steel drum. Pedal past charming pastel-colored porches, paddleboard through thick mangroves, or join a sunset block party in Mallory Square. And if the locals don’t charm you, the key lime pie will.

Sunset at beach by pier in Key West, FLorida
Pelicans hanging out on dock in Key West, FLorida
Houses on Water in Key West, FLorida

Key West is the very definition of laid-back living. Closer to Havana than to Miami, this colorful island at the end of the Florida peninsula marches to the beat of its own steel drum. Pedal past charming pastel-colored porches, paddleboard through thick mangroves, or join a sunset block party in Mallory Square. And if the locals don’t charm you, the key lime pie will.

Sunset at beach by pier in Key West, FLorida
Pelicans hanging out on dock in Key West, FLorida
Houses on Water in Key West, FLorida
Things To Do

in Key West

Garden Party Parrot Jungle, Key West

Garden Party

Meet macaws and play with parrots at Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden, a haven for rescued exotic birds.

Aerial view of street, in Key West, FLorida

CONCH CABOOSE

Hop on the world-famous Conch Train to get a lesson in Key West history and hear local legends while touring Old Town and some of the island’s most iconic landmarks.

Shops at a Square in Key West, FLorida

SQUARE DANCING

In the hours leading up to dusk, head to Mallory Square and watch as it comes to life with acrobats, dancers and performers. The grand finale is a sunset you must see to believe.

A piece of Key Lime pie with lime slices on the side

LOCAL CUISINE

You can catch all kinds of exotic fish in Key West’s tropical waters, so it’s no surprise that much of the local cuisine centers on fresh seafood. Be sure to try some conch fritters and the iconic key lime pie, of course. When it comes to bars, you’ll find no shortage along lively Duval Street.

Souvenir shells at a shop in Key West

SHOPPING

In Mallory Square, you’ll find lots of local vendors selling seashells, souvenirs, cigars, rum, and of course, key lime pie. If you’re looking for art galleries and clothing boutiques, head to Duval Street.

INSIDER TIP

Key West is easy to explore on foot, but you can also rent a bicycle for about $12 per day. A lot of locals prefer bikes to cars, so look out for cyclists.

DAY 3 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Things to Do

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.

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.

DAY 4 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Shrimp Wonton Soup served at Izumi, fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of Royal Caribbean's best cruise dining restaurants.
12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.

Shrimp Wonton Soup served at Izumi, fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of Royal Caribbean's best cruise dining restaurants.
12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.

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.

Grilled Veal Chop entree at the specialty, Chops Grille restaurant. Cruise vacation fine dining steaks served table side.
Chops Grille

A CUT ABOVE THE REST

For more than a decade, the chefs of Chops Grille have proudly presented quality, hand-cut prime steaks at this hallmark Royal Caribbean restaurant.

DAY 5 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Family Enjoying the Pool and Tanning
Guests Enjoying the Solarium

Family Enjoying the Pool and Tanning
Guests Enjoying the Solarium

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 6 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SHOW STOPPERS

Performers dancing on stage for Piano Man Cruise Show on Radiance of the Seas

Performers dancing on stage for Piano Man Cruise Show on Radiance of the Seas

Things to Do

Performer singing on stage during Piano Man Show in Radiance of the Seas
Piano Man

SING US A SONG TONIGHT

Take a trip down memory lane as pianists tickle the ivories to the great contemporary piano ballads of our time.

The logo of the Pure Country original production of Royal Caribbean
Pure Country

A GRAND OLE TIME

Take a hand clappin' crash-course in Pure Country! covering everything from classics to new country hits.

DAY 7 - AT SEA

CRUISING

LIGHTS OUT NIGHTS OUT

GR, R Bar, , Grandeur of the Seas,Public Spaces, Revitalization, Lounge, Couple Having Drinks,
Friends Enjoying Tropical Dreams in the Solarium

GR, R Bar, , Grandeur of the Seas,Public Spaces, Revitalization, Lounge, Couple Having Drinks,
Friends Enjoying Tropical Dreams in the Solarium

Things to Do

LB, Liberty of the Seas, young couple, man, woman, smiling, laughing, at R-Bar, R Bar, bartender serving mixed drinks, enjoy, enjoyment, fun,
R Bar

SHAKING UP THE CLASSICS

Vintage glamor comes alive at R Bar — serving classic cocktails, like gin martinis and Old Fashioneds, in a distinctly sophisticated setting.

Solarium Bar and cafe on the OA, Oasis of the Seas
Solarium Bar

SUN, SERENITY & SIPS

Does sitting in the whirlpool make you thirsty? Grab a drink at the nearby Solarium Bar.

DAY 8 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Things to Do

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.

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.

DAY 9 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Shrimp Wonton Soup served at Izumi, fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of Royal Caribbean's best cruise dining restaurants.
12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.

Shrimp Wonton Soup served at Izumi, fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of Royal Caribbean's best cruise dining restaurants.
12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.

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.

Grilled Veal Chop entree at the specialty, Chops Grille restaurant. Cruise vacation fine dining steaks served table side.
Chops Grille

A CUT ABOVE THE REST

For more than a decade, the chefs of Chops Grille have proudly presented quality, hand-cut prime steaks at this hallmark Royal Caribbean restaurant.

DAY 10 - DOCKED

La Palma, Canary Islands

ARRIVES:
1:00 PM
DEPARTS:
9:00 PM
ADVENTURE IN THE

PALMA YOUR HAND

La Palma is a small and peaceful island with a slow, friendly pace of life. Also called La Isla Bonita — the Beautiful Island — it's the perfect place for outdoor adventure. Conquer your fears and paraglide over the lush, mountainous landscape. Scuba dive in the crystal-clear waters, or simply kick back on a black-sand beaches. Head to Caldera de Taburiente National Park, named for a massive volcanic crater, which offers more than 600 miles of trails ripe for the exploring.

Volcanic coastal view of La Palma, Canary Islands
The Charco Verde volcanic beach in La Palma, Canary Islands
A narrow street with flowers and colorful buildings

La Palma is a small and peaceful island with a slow, friendly pace of life. Also called La Isla Bonita — the Beautiful Island — it's the perfect place for outdoor adventure. Conquer your fears and paraglide over the lush, mountainous landscape. Scuba dive in the crystal-clear waters, or simply kick back on a black-sand beaches. Head to Caldera de Taburiente National Park, named for a massive volcanic crater, which offers more than 600 miles of trails ripe for the exploring.

Volcanic coastal view of La Palma, Canary Islands
The Charco Verde volcanic beach in La Palma, Canary Islands
A narrow street with flowers and colorful buildings
Things To Do

in La Palma

La Fajana natural swimming pool in La Palma, Canary Islands

Pool Party

Find your way up to La Fajana on the north side of the island, and swim in the crystal clear waters of its three natural ocean pools. They're all situated next to each other and protected from the waves.

Salt extraction in La Palma, Canary Islands

Pass the Salt

Visit the salt fields at Las Salinas de Fuencaliente in the south, where sea water gathers in shallow ponds. The sun evaporates the water, and salt remains to be sold all over the island. Migrating birds rest in this area, declared an Official Site of Scientific Interest.

Various colors of raw silk thread

Take the Silk Road

Silk has been produced in La Palma since the 16th century, and the craft continues. Take a guided tour of the Silk Museum, and you'll see the traditional techniques, starting with caring for live silk worms and finishing with selling the items produced here in the gift shop.

Canary style potatoes served with sauce

Local Cuisine

La Palma celebrates the Spanish tradition of tapas, called enyesques here. Cruise to La Palma to try papas arrugadas, a dish made from potatoes boiled in saltwater until it evaporates, leaving a delicious crust. For a shareable feast, seek out sancocho canario — a whole fish served with sweet potatoes, the roasted grain gofio and the spicy sauce mojo picon, made with olive oil, cumin, hot peppers and vinegar.

A man rolling cigars

Shopping

Shop in Santa Cruz de La Palma, the island's capital and second largest city, which sits along the island's eastern coast. Here, colorful homes with flower-filled balconies sit alongside stores and markets on steep cobblestone streets. Cruise to the Canary Islands and pick up hand-crafted textiles, fine embroideries, traditionally made cheese, local jewelry and hand-made cigars.

INSIDER TIP

Bring your sneakers: The least developed Canary Island, La Palma is best seen on foot.

DAY 11 - DOCKED

Tenerife, Canary Islands

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

CANARIES SING

Eclectic Tenerife is the largest of Spain's enigmatic Canary Islands. Head to the lively streets of capital city Santa Cruz to see the 16th-century Iglesia de la Concepcion and the ultra-modern Auditorio de Tenerife. Or get to know the most rugged natural landscapes in Europe: Explore the volcanic vistas of Mount Teide National Park, or hike the laurel tree-canopied mountains of Anaga.

Las Teresitas beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands
A beachfront walking path at El Duque beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands
View of the Candelaria Church on the coast of Tenerife, Canary Islands

Eclectic Tenerife is the largest of Spain's enigmatic Canary Islands. Head to the lively streets of capital city Santa Cruz to see the 16th-century Iglesia de la Concepcion and the ultra-modern Auditorio de Tenerife. Or get to know the most rugged natural landscapes in Europe: Explore the volcanic vistas of Mount Teide National Park, or hike the laurel tree-canopied mountains of Anaga.

Las Teresitas beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands
A beachfront walking path at El Duque beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands
View of the Candelaria Church on the coast of Tenerife, Canary Islands
Things To Do

in Tenerife

A large outdoor swimming pool in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

Chill Out in Santa Cruz

If culture and history are your thing, there's plenty in Santa Cruz-proper to keep you stimulated. Make a stop at the illuminating Natural History Museum or the Basilica de Candelaria shrine, which only dates back to 1959 but manages to feel older in decidedly modern Santa Cruz.

An aerial view of Las Teresiteas beach in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Hit the Beach

While most of Tenerife's best beaches are far outside the center of Santa Cruz, you have a couple of options a short taxi or bus ride away. The most popular is Las Teresitas, whose golden sands look particularly striking contrasted with the crystalline blue water that laps at them.

View of the volcanic landscape of El Teide National Park in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tip Top of Tenerife

Take a taxi to the base station of El Teide, a volcano that's also the highest mountain peak in all of Spain. Ride the cable car to the top, where you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of Tenerife. Alternatively, head to wild beaches like Fanabe and Almaciga — the latter features unique black sand.

Three whole grilled fish with potatoes and salad on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers a mix of traditional Spanish food and local Canarian food. It's just as easy, for example, to find a restaurant that serves small-plate tapas and sweet sangria as it is to enjoy Sancocho, a bass filet served with boiled potatoes and spicy mojo sauce. Follow up a filling meal with a shot of Cobana, a banana liquor native to the Canary Islands.

An assortment of souvenir shells

Shopping

If you like bargaining, try your luck at Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa, open every day until 2:30 p.m. Here, you'll find local handicrafts like ceramic dishware made from volcanic stone, as well as clothing and shoes at wholesale prices. Sunday afternoons, there's a flea market near Santa Cruz's main station.

INSIDER TIP

Tenerife looks small on the map, but the island's mountainous terrain and developing infrastructure can make journeys here longer than you might imagine, so plan accordingly.

DAY 12 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Family Enjoying the Pool and Tanning
Guests Enjoying the Solarium

Family Enjoying the Pool and Tanning
Guests Enjoying the Solarium

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 13 - DOCKED

Málaga, Spain

ARRIVES:
12:00 PM
DEPARTS:
9:30 PM
FROM MOORISH ARCHES

TO MODERN ART

After your arrive in Málaga, soak in the ancient history at La Alcazaba Moorish fotress and the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre. Then, unwind on sunny La Malagueta beach or in the orchids and ferns at La Concepcion Botanical Garden. Check out the works of the city's most famous former resident at the Picasso Museum, and savor regional, fresh-caught pescado frito (fried fish) with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

A marina in Malaga, Spain
The Malaga, Spain cityscape
Exterior walls of the Alcazaba fortress in Malaga, Spain

After your arrive in Málaga, soak in the ancient history at La Alcazaba Moorish fotress and the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre. Then, unwind on sunny La Malagueta beach or in the orchids and ferns at La Concepcion Botanical Garden. Check out the works of the city's most famous former resident at the Picasso Museum, and savor regional, fresh-caught pescado frito (fried fish) with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

A marina in Malaga, Spain
The Malaga, Spain cityscape
Exterior walls of the Alcazaba fortress in Malaga, Spain
Things To Do

in Málaga

View of the Alcazaba fortress in Malaga, Spain

Moor History

Ascend to the top of La Alcazaba, the medieval Moorish fortress that towers over the city. This palatial fortification was built by the Hammudid dynasty in the early 11th century and is the best-preserved Moorish castle in Spain. From here, you can wander down to the Roman Amphitheatre that sits beneath it, before you gaze up at the 16th-century cathedral that sits right in the city center.

The Malagueta beach sign in Malaga, Spain

Work on Your Tan

It just wouldn't be a trip to the Costa del Sol without a little coast and sun. Most tourists stick to the convenient La Malagueta Beach, but if you've got more than a couple hours in Málaga, you can take a taxi to less crowded but equally beautiful beaches to the east, like Playamar or Playa de Burriana.

Plaza de la Merced in Malaga, Spain

Paint With Picasso

The most obvious way to follow Málaga's Picasso trail is to visit the Picasso Museum, which has many pieces you won't find anywhere else. You can also visit the artist's birthplace, or take a "Ride With Picasso" bike tour that features Picasso-focused city sightseeing, including Plaza de Merced, where the formidable painter took his first steps as a child.

Gambas Pil Pil shrimp dish in a bowl

Local Cuisine

Seafood is the focus of gastronomy in Málaga. Don't miss the city's signature dish of gambas al pil-pil, flash-fried fresh prawns with garlic, paprika and chilies. During your Málaga cruise, order a basket of pescado frito, an array of local white fish, clams and other seafood breaded and fried. Finish up with tarta malaguena, a cake made with almonds and raisins, and a glass of Málaga dessert wine.

Ceramic pottery for sale in Spain

Shopping

Pop into a local wine shop to take a bottle of Málaga dessert wine back home with you. Málaga cruises provide access to an eclectic range of other souvenirs, like hand-painted Andalusian ceramics or handmade fans to help you beat the heat. You can also find some of Spain's best olive oil here — pick up some of this cloudy, spicy liquid gold from the Ataranzas Market.

INSIDER TIP

The center of Málaga is relatively small and walkable, but don't take this for granted — three to five hours will pass quickly.

DAY 14 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SHOW STOPPERS

Performers dancing on stage for Piano Man Cruise Show on Radiance of the Seas

Performers dancing on stage for Piano Man Cruise Show on Radiance of the Seas

Things to Do

Performer singing on stage during Piano Man Show in Radiance of the Seas
Piano Man

SING US A SONG TONIGHT

Take a trip down memory lane as pianists tickle the ivories to the great contemporary piano ballads of our time.

The logo of the Pure Country original production of Royal Caribbean
Pure Country

A GRAND OLE TIME

Take a hand clappin' crash-course in Pure Country! covering everything from classics to new country hits.

DAY 15 - 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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