Catalonia

Spain
Arenas de Barcelona featuring a monument, night scenes and a sunset

Enjoy the seaside charms, cultural sites, lively cities and natural splendor of a fascinating region that sits in Spain's northeast corner.

Catalonia is a vibrant and passionate region of Spain with a proud culture and history. Its landscape ranges from the tall peaks of the Pyrenees to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Throughout the province you’ll discover medieval and modernist architecture and the fantastic creations of Salvador Dalí.

Many visitors to Catalonia make Barcelona their first port of call. The second-largest city in Spain, and the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona sits between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Serra de Collserola.

Take a walk along Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, a tree-lined boulevard popular with locals and visitors, to get a feel for the city. The bustling street connects with the Plaça de Catalunya, a large plaza in the center of the city. Explore the city's architecture, including the old buildings of the Gothic Quarter and Antoni Gaudi’s modernist masterpieces, such as his unfinished Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family). Go shopping on the Passeig de Gràcia and at La Boqueria Market before heading to the edge of town to relax on one of the city’s beaches.

For more beach fun, head down the coast to the Costa Brava. This long stretch of coastline has miles of sandy expanses that include horseshoe bays, secluded coves and popular resort towns like Pineda and Tossa de Mar. Swim, sunbathe, scuba dive and windsurf in the warm Mediterranean water before retreating to a traditional restaurant to dine with views of the water.

The Costa Brava is where you will find plenty of art, history and outdoor adventures. Visit the village of Cadaqués to see the former home of Salvador Dalí, now a fascinating museum. Tour the old Roman Ruins of Empuries and the remains of the medieval castle at Begur or hike in the Cap de Creus Natural Park. During the winter, skiers flock to Girona Pyrenees for excellent snow conditions.

Reach Catalonia by flying into the international airports at either Barcelona or Girona. If you want to explore, renting a car is the most convenient way to see the region's coastline, countryside, towns and cities, although it is possible to travel across the province by bus and rail.

Popular cities in Catalonia

Barceloneta Beach which includes street scenes, a city and night scenes
Barcelona
Modernist art and Gothic architecture create a stunning backdrop in the Catalan capital, where sublime food and a sophisticated nightlife scene await.

Reasons to visit

  • Palau de la Musica Catalana
  • Picasso Museum
  • European Museum of Modern Art
Tarragona Cathedral showing a garden and heritage architecture as well as a large group of people
Tarragona
Explore this Catalonian beach city for the relics and antiques left by the Romans: museums, old city walls and an amphitheater.

Reasons to visit

  • Tarragona Amphitheatre
  • Tarragona Cathedral
  • National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona
Cala Boadella Beach featuring a sandy beach, general coastal views and rugged coastline
Lloret de Mar
This lively town has historic landmarks, a relaxing beach atmosphere and a roaring nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Water World
  • Fenals Beach
  • Santa Clotilde Gardens
Girona showing a bay or harbor, boating and a coastal town
Girona
From medieval architecture and history museums to city rivers and a mountainous backdrop, this Catalonian city appeals to nature lovers and cultural enthusiasts.
Sitges which includes rugged coastline and heritage architecture
Sitges
Visit this eclectic and beautiful resort, one of the most popular beach destinations in southern Europe.
L'Ametlla de Mar
L'Ametlla de Mar
Trip time! Discover the beaches in L'Ametlla de Mar.