Spain’s second-largest city and the region of Catalonia’s first, Barcelona offers a heady mixture of world-class culture and lively nightlife. The city’s main rail station is Estacio de Sants, and a cluster of mid-range hotels are nearby. While in Barcelona, stroll along La Rambla, a pedestrianized mile of shops, bars and restaurants punctuated by free entertainment including dancers, acrobats and puppeteers. Visit Parc Guell to see the fantastic creations of Antonio Gaudi, dubbed "God’s architect" by Catalonians.
Barcelona Sants Hotel
Barcelona Sants Hotel is set in a modern building with a striking combination of glass and concrete and sits atop the Sants Station. The on-site restaurant serves Catalonian, Spanish and Mediterranean specialties, and leisure facilities include a gym, a solarium and a sauna. A 25-minute subway journey from the hotel, Museu Picasso has a superb collection of the great man's work. Shop for designer clothes on the upmarket street Passeig de Gracia, 15 minutes from the hotel by subway.
Expo Hotel Barcelona
The Expo Hotel Barcelona is housed in a modern building with 423 rooms and 12 floors a few steps from Sants Station. Guests can take a dip in the rooftop swimming pool while enjoying the views across the Barcelona cityscape. Set on the 10th-floor terrace, the Chillout serves light meals and drinks, while the Stop 'n' Rest Zone has a snack bar and a restaurant. Learn about Spanish architectural history at the Poble Espanyol, a village created for an international exhibition in 1929. The village, in Montjuic Park, is a 20-minute walk from the hotel.
AC Sants Hotel
Occupying a sleek, modernist building with minimalist interiors decorated in neutral tones, the AC Sants Hotel is a three-minute walk from Sants Station. The on-site restaurant serves breakfast and a simple menu including steaks, burgers and salads for lunch and dinner. Alternative nearby dining options include Restaurante Carmen, serving traditional Catalonian and Spanish dishes, and La Masia del Rocxi, which offers a modern Mediterranean menu. Visit Carrer de la Palla, a street lined with antique shops, to hunt ceramics, glassware and furniture.
Abba Sants Hotel
The modern Abba Sants Hotel, with 140 rooms laid out over eight floors, is a five-minute walk from Sants Station. The on-site Amalur Restaurant serves a menu featuring traditional Catalan cuisine with delicacies like cuttlefish, baby squid and suckling pig. A 20-minute journey by bus, the Joan Miro Foundation has an outstanding collection of Miro’s works and exhibits contemporary art. Twenty minutes by subway, Mercat La Boqueria, a covered market built in 1914, sells a magnificent selection of fresh and preserved food from all parts of Spain and farther afield.
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