Barcelona is Spain's second largest city, with a population of 5.575 million people, and the capital of Catalonia.

The city is on the Mediterranean coast, and has a wealth of unique historic architecture.

Barcelona emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe during the 1990s.

The Sagrada Familia is breathtaking and grotesque by turns.

Barcelona has more city festivals than there are weeks of the year, but the key events are September’s Festes de la Mercè, the main city celebrations that offer a diverse plethora of entertainment.

One of the most famous boulevards in the world, La Rambla is worth a stroll down even if you only have one day in Barcelona.

In Barcelona, you can gaze in wonder at Gaudí's fairytale architecture

Picasso remembered Barcelona as beautiful and bright, a city where he spent his early years.

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region with its own language, character and history – many Catalans think of their home as a separate country.

The city itself could keep you occupied for weeks but just outside it are sandy beaches, Sitges and the Montserrat mountain range - so be sure to make time for a few day trips during your stay

Montserrat is the site of a Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary.