I had a fun port day in Barcelona recently during my Mediterranean cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Explorer. Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain and, even though I speak Spanish, I hardly understood a word of their native Catalan language (though Spanish is also spoken).
It's the largest city on the Mediterranean, with over 1.6 million people. You'll see countless examples of art throughout the city, ranging from sculptures, logos and architecture designed by the famous artist Antoni Gaudi. You'll also see artworks by Miro in logos and sculptures everywhere, which you can recognize through his use of primary colors and geometric shapes. Museums also include the works of Picasso and other well known artists.
Best known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics, from the highest point of Spain the Olympic Stadium still sits and is full of sculptures, waterfalls and parks. You can take a tram from the port to the top of Olympic site. The views are so beautiful from there, as you can see port, the cathedral and a bullet tower (like in London), but the area is very smoggy too.
And it's true, they do take a siesta in middle of the day due to heat and most places do close down and reopen late afternoon to early evening. The people of Barcelona are helpful and friendly and we found getting around city was very easy with the help of a few questions asked to locals.
The most popular site in the city, due to be finished in 2020, is Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia cathedral. Bull fighting rings, museums, parks and even a replica of the Arc de triumphe can be found here. Beautiful beaches and luxury hotels line the Mediterranean and cruise ships line the new modern port .
So much to see! It is a city to cruise back to often as they are always adding artworks, sculptures and new buildings. You'll get your fill of history and culture when you visit.