(CNN) — The second-largest city in Spain is not exactly smug, but it is geared up to show itself off, especially for visitors who want to know what to do in Barcelona.
It wants to be acknowledged in the travel world as more sophisticated than Madrid, more progressive than Paris and a great deal more efficient than Rome.
It does a fine job of it, too.
From the modernist beachfront sculptures to the melted-effect houses of Antoni Gaudi, this is a destination that stimulates the first-time visitor, and still excites those who have been coming back for 30 or 40 years.
Veterans will tell you what to do in Barcelona and how much the city has changed in two decades.