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With its sun-soaked beaches, Mediterranean hospitality, and unparalleled architecture, it's easy to fall for Barcelona. Here's what to do and see in the Catalan capital. To begin your Barcelona Spain vacation by our tips.

Visit the MNAC and its Romanesque art collection

 

Get a complete overview of Catalan art from the 12th to the 20th centuries. The highlight is its Romanesque collection, featuring one of the oldest and biggest collections of paintings on wood in Europe. The museum’s modern art floor was reopened in 2014, and now boasts pieces in different media up to the 1950s, among them sculpture, painting, photography, posters, cinema, architecture and decorative arts.

Don't miss: The climb from Plaça d’Espanya up to the museum is worthwhile, as this side of Montjüic offers still more fantastic panoramic views of the city – not to mention the splendour of the landmark building itself.

Get a great paella in Barceloneta

Finding good rice dishes can be a struggle, but Barceloneta is home to restaurants that get it right more often than not. La Barraca, La Mar Salada, Can Solé, El Suquet de l’Almirall, Ca la Nuri and 7 Portes are some of the best places for paella and rice dishes.

 

Don’t miss: Out of all the options on all the menu at 7 Portes, we recommend you try the 'paella parellada', because why mess with shellfish when the chef can do it for you?

Take to the mountains at Tibidabo and Montjuïc

For the joy of being in nature. Head to Tibidabo, Collserola – the great green lung of the city – or Montjuïc; all are ideal for spending a day outdoors, whether you’re after something active or more relaxing.

Don’t miss: Thrills for kids and adults alike at Tibidabo’s amusement park; wine and olive oil tastings, and lunch at Can Calopa (in Collserola); and a lovely stroll through the botanical gardens on Montjuïc.