After you've admired all the Gaudi architecture, hit the Picasso Museum, and strolled Las Ramblas, enjoy the hidden treasures that locals love.
Step 1: Hit some museums Check out the contemporary art in the CaixaForum Museum, plus the Mies Van der Rohe Pavillion in front of it. Then head up Montjuic, where you'll find the Fundacion Joan Miro; it contains a collection of this famous Catalan artist's works, as well as temporary exhibitions.
TIP: If you like science, visit CosmoCaixa at the foot of Tibidabo mountain; it's been called the best science museum in Europe.
Step 2: See the other Cathedral After seeing Barcelona's famous La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's unfinished cathedral, admire the equally impressive Basilica De Santa Maria Del Mar, a favorite with locals for weddings. Residents also love the affordable classical music concerts held there.
Step 3: Eat the daily special For lunch, order the "Menu del Dia," or menu of the day. You'll get an appetizer, entrée, dessert, bread and a beverage, all for a reasonable charge. Note that it's not available at night.
TIP: If you're in Barcelona in late winter or the beginning of spring, try a plate of fun-to-eat grilled calcots, a sweet onion only available that time of year.
Step 4: Head to Parc de Collserola Spend an afternoon at Parc de Collserola. 22 times the size of New York's Central Park, it features picnic areas, hiking trails, and bike paths.
Step 5: Get a club pass Get a day pass to Club Natacio Atletic-Barceloneta, Barcelona's beachside health club. For less than $20, it gives you access to pools, a fitness center, and sun deck. Take a nap while you're there: you'll need it to keep up with the locals, who dine at 10 or later, and party into the wee hours of the morning.
FACT: Barcelona was voted the European city with the best architecture in a travel survey.