For many people, this Catalonian gem is all about the eccentric genius of Gaudi. A visit to Park Güell, the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà or Casa Batllò is compulsory. You’ll probably want to get skip-the-line tickets or take a guided tour for the most fulfilling experience. Need more Gaudi? Venture beyond the familiar tourist sites to Colonia Güell, where you’ll discover a Modernist village conceived by the master. Barcelona is a city for strolling. Among the Gothic Quarter and El Born, you’ll taste the finest wines and tapas. At Poble Espanyol, you can enjoy traditional crafts and culture amid centuries of architectural diversity (the area features replicas of great buildings from across Spain). The views from Montjuïc are rightly famous, and you should leave a little time for the collections of the Fran Daurel Museum, which include Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Tàpies and Barceló. When the city gets too hot or crowded, there are some fascinating excursions. Montserrat monastery is a spectacular eyrie at 4,051 feet with amazing views and a rich Catholic heritage. In the Guara Mountains, you’ll find the thousand-year-old village of Alquézar with its artisans and gastronomic specialties. Sitges, meanwhile, is a combination of beach life and Modernist styling – a great place for shopping and traditional sweets.