With a unique landscape of Gothic churches, renaissance palaces and modernist monuments, as well as more recent feats of modern engineering, Barcelona is justly famous for her architecture. Alongside the jaw-dropping creations of Gaudi in Eixample and Gràcia are the equally memorable buildings of his contemporaries Domenech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafelch, must-sees for anyone interested in modernism. Meanwhile, the Gothic Quarter and El Born hide a wealth of outstanding medieval palaces and churches. Here are our top ten buildings in Barcelona...
1. Gas Natural Tower
Not everyone's cup of cafe con leche, this marvellous monstrosity in Barceloneta has a rather impressive five floor horizontal 'aircraft carrier' extension jutting out from a 22-floor, 90-metre tall tower.
2. Casa Milá
It's not as showy or colorful as its neighbour Casa Batllò, but Casa Milá's curving balconies imitating waves, seaweed-like decorative grilles riding them, as well as warrior chimneys standing guard on the rooftop, are arguably even more memorable.
3. Santa Maria del Mar Church
Elegantly located in the heart of arguably the city's most alluring pedestrian area, Santa Maria's lofty stained glass windows pull the sun's rays into a mesmerizing vaulted ceiling.
4. Miró Foundation
Even straight lines of whitewashed concrete can look good when expertly alligned by an architect such as Josep Lluis Sert. His Miró Foundation, a complex of bold white cubes overlooking the city from Montjuic's gardens, is a palace of purist light and shade.
5. Arenas Bullring
Is it a bullring? Or a shopping centre? It's both. After many years looking folorn in its corner of Plaça Espanya, the famous Arenas bullring has been given a state-of-the-art makeover, complete with stunning futuristic rooftop terrace.
6. Casa Vicens
A portrait of the artist Gaudi as a young man. This house on a quiet Gràcia backstreet showcases the early influences that maketh the man; Mudejar, Gothic, Modernist, all crafted together in ebullient style.
7. Palau de la Musica Catalana
From the stained glass cupola to the busts of famous composers, Domènech i Montaner's modernista opera house in Sant Pere rocks the senses.
One for Le Corbusier enthusiasts. Richard Meier's 1992 structure is a fitting temple for Barcelona's greatest modern art-ifacts.
9. Sagrada Familia
It may be surrounded by cranes, scaffolding and workmen, but Gaudi's cathedral is still Barcelona's most emblematic architectural feat, thanks to its fusion of reverent avant garde and playful kitsch.
10. Casa Amatller
Joesp Puig i Cadafelch was the modernista behind this neo-Flemish townhouse. Casa Amatller is covered with sculptures by Eusebi Arnau and symbolic allusions to the Amatller family who commissioned it.