Fall in love with one of Europe's most alluring cities with world-class skiing just outside town.
"Have you ever met a person who doesn't like Barcelona? Thought not. That's because we're pretty, cultured, funky and possess exceptional taste - in everything!"
It's pretty much true - unless you detest cities it's unlikely you'll find too much to fault in Barcelona. And if art, food, shopping and clubbing fail to float your boat, simply head to the beach.
Whatever you want it to be. Barcelona has long embraced eccentrics and the flamboyant flourish, but it's also a great place to sit quietly in a cafe and watch the world go by.
They're an open-minded lot who enjoy staying up ridiculously late. Join them if you think you can hack the pace.
The warm, but not yet sweltering, months of spring provide the best sightseeing weather. It can get nippy in winter, but it rarely rains, making Barcelona a year-round destination.
Paella may be a cliche but a good one never disappoints. If you're feeling adventurous try esqueixada, a salad of raw cod with onions and peppers.
Kylie Minogue enjoys visiting the city, but arguably modern artist and architect Antoni Gaudi has had a slightly more profound influence on the place.
English author and essayist George Orwell fought in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.
"Barcelona incorporates Roman remains, medieval districts and the most beautiful examples of modernism and 20th century avant-garde art." - Spanish Tourist Board
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When you see how intricate the facades of this Antoni Gaudi-inspired church are you'll understand why it is still under construction despite work starting in 1882.
It's not easy to find a space on the street near here, so try Pirineu Parking in Avenida De la Provenca, less than 100 metres from the Gaudi building. Open 24 hours, it will cost you €3 per hour.
If you can't get to the rest of Spain during your trip to Barcelona, just head here for a taste of the country's culture and history.
There's a large, free car park just outside the attraction.
When you're fed up with spending your time in human company go and commune with the tigers and wolves at the city's zoo instead.
It can be difficult to find a spot in the street, especially in working hours, so try the private car park in Passeig Lluis Companys, just by the Parc de la Cituadella, where the zoo is situated. It's open 24 hours and costs €2.65 an hour.
By day this is an impressive fountain, but it is at night that its true colours emerge as its waters are transformed by an impressive light display.
You can park your hire car in the street for free, unless there is a special event in the area. In that case the closest parking is at the Hotel Fira Palace's car park, for €3 an hour.
This museum has hundreds of pieces of work from each period of Picasso's prolific career, all fittingly located in five impressive medieval town houses.
There is a car park at number 20, Via Laietana, which is just a short walk from the museum. It's €3.60 for the first hour and €2.40 an hour thereafter.
Until recently these slopes were a local secret. Now, reliable snow coverage and lovely descents make it a haven for snowboarders.
Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya. Join the E-9 and follow signs for the C-25/E-9/Puigcerda. The journey will take around two and a half hours.
Not enough ski resorts combine religious shrines with kick-ass powder (Vall de Nuria is a historic religious centre near the shrine of the Virgin of Nuria). There's only one black run on these holy slopes, making it good for newbies.
Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya. Join the C-17 and then pick up the N-152 towards Queralbs. The drive should take no longer than two and a half hours.
Spain's original ski centre now boasts 100km of tree-lined slopes and a whole park devoted to boarders, complete with a 100-metre superpipe.
Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya. Pick up the E-9/C-16, following signs for the C-25/E-9/Puigcerda/C-16. The drive should take no longer than two and a half hours.
Thrill seekers should head to this internationally themed rollercoaster resort and waterslide park for plenty of ways to work off that heavy hotel breakfast.
Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya, merge onto B-10/Ronda del Litoral and continue on the A-2. The journey should take no more than an hour and a half.
" Barcelona is a big city, but it's easy to find your way around as it is designed like a grid. There'll always be a fair bit of traffic in rush hour, but mostly you won't be held up. Perhaps the biggest hazard is the cyclists - Barcelona is very flat so plenty of people use bicycles so be careful. The very centre of the city is a pedestrianised zone, so it's better to leave your hire car in a nearby car park and stroll around. "