So Gaudi. The distinctive look of Barcelona is marked by the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, seven of whose works in or near the city are designated World Heritage Sites by the United Nations. His buildings are the focus of a tour from Barcelona Architecture Walks, which also offers strolls featuring other architects' masterpieces and new urban neighborhoods.

 Foodie fun. While true travelers try to find the out-of-the-way treasures, some places are popular with tourists for a reason. Such is the case with La Boqueria Market, a colorful conglomeration of produce stands, food stalls (don't miss the cured ham, aka jamón ibérico), cheese sellers, chocolate purveyors and more. It's easy to assemble a satisfying meal by trying small portions at different stalls.

 Roman ruins. A small gem in the Gothic Quarter, the city's history museum (Museu d'Historia de Barcelona) fascinates by sending patrons by elevator below the streets to the former Roman city underneath. The tour rises through the layers and the years. Bring a friend who speaks Spanish to get the most out of the visit.

 Bite Sighs. Sure, you'll want to sample the traditional small plates at tapas bars throughout Barcelona, but sometimes it's fun to have even more choices. Tossa serves small dishes like onion black pudding and mussels in vinaigrette, but also offers omelets, salads and more.

Getting Around: Barcelona has a great underground Metro system, but the hop-on, hop-off buses are a jaunty alternative that make spontaneous sightseeing decisions a snap. Learn more at