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Museums, Galleries, Music and More

Travelers discover a world of wonder when they embrace a destination's arts and culture. Whether you examine the Mona Lisa's mysterious smile in Paris, walk in soldiers' footsteps on Civil War battlefields or shimmy to live music in Nashville, cultural attractions can be the highlight of any vacation.

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gothic quarter, architecture, tourists, people, barcelona, spain
Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter

Take a stroll through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, located in the city’s Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) district. Most of the streets are closed to traffic, allowing tourists to wander from La Rambla to Via Laietana to view the city’s medieval past. 960 1280

Manfred Gottschalk/Lonely Planet Images  

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

You can’t leave Barcelona without admiring the amazing work of Spain’s most famous art nouveau architect, Antoni Gaudi. Casa Batlló, aka the House of Bones, was built in 1877 and later restored by Gaudi. 960 1280

Nikada/iStock/Getty Images  

Mercat de les Flors Theater

Mercat de les Flors Theater

Don’t miss out on stopping by the Mercat de les Flors Theater, located on Montjuic hill in Barcelona. Get a little culture and see one of many dance and musical performances featuring world-renowned international production companies. 960 1280

Enric Archivell, via CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0  

Christopher Columbus Monument

Christopher Columbus Monument

This monument is at the site where Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first trip to the Americas. 960 1280

Marcp_Dmoz/Moment Open/Getty Images  

Margarita Blue

Margarita Blue

Grab a drink at Margarita Blue, where you can check out live flamenco dancing, indulge in a jazz brunch or simply let the bar's DJs entertain you. 960 1280

Margarita Blue  

Frederic Marès Museum

Frederic Marès Museum

Step inside this medieval complex to see sculptor Frederic Marès’ eclectic collection of knickknacks, including religious art, 19th-century playing cards, toys, apothecary jars, a reconstructed Romanesque doorway with 4 arches, and old cameras. The Frederic Marès Museum is sure to keep your attention focused on its wide array of interesting curios. 960 1280

DEA / C. MAURY, Getty Images  

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

Dating back as far as 1217, La Boqueria Market is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions. Dozens of vendors inside this large public market sell a variety of goods, including seafood, poultry, charcuterie, vegetables and fruits. 960 1280

Hiroshi Higucchi/Getty Images  

La Comercial

La Comercial

Go shopping at La Comercial in Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. With 6 different boutiques, this shopping mall has a wide selection of international labels, jewelry and fragrances, such as Michael Kors, Fred Perry, Yohji Yamamoto, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. 960 1280

La Comercial  

Lailo

Lailo

Attention, shoppers! Make a stop at Lailo in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella district if you enjoy browsing for vintage clothing. 960 1280

Geo Kalev  

Onofre

Onofre

Grab a glass of wine and enjoy Onofre’s cozy atmosphere. This restaurant’s specialty is pairing menu items — tapas, cheeses, salads and sausages — with your selection of wine. 960 1280

Onofr Tavern  

Monastery of Pedralbes

Monastery of Pedralbes

Founded by the Queen Elisenda de Montcada, the Monastery of Pedralbes is now a museum that houses religious art and everyday items used in the monastery from the 14th to 20th centuries. Take a relaxing, casual stroll through the gardens and courtyard if you have time. 960 1280

Elena Solodovnikova/iStock/Getty Images  

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Tibidabo Amusement Park

The 100-year-old Tibidabo Amusement Park has 25 rides, plus restaurants and picnic areas for family fun. Make sure to check out the Tibidabo Sky Walk for the best views of Barcelona.  960 1280

Boule13/iStock/Getty Images  

Sagrada Familia Basilica

Sagrada Familia Basilica

You cannot leave Barcelona without seeing the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, a magnificent work of art that is still in progress after more than a century. In 1883, Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to complete the project started by Francisco de Paula del Villar. Gaudi finished the chapel of San Jose, the crypt and the Nativity facade, but after his death, different architects continued to work on and add to his original idea. 960 1280

Wangkun Jia/iStock/Getty Images  

Park Güell

Park Güell

Another example of Antoni Gaudi's work, Park Güell, is located on Carmel Hill and was built between 1900 and 1914. It was declared a UNESECO World Heritage Site in 1984. 960 1280

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Hundreds of people converge on Montjuic hill to watch the amazing light and water show at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Classical, modern and movie music was incorporated into the light show in the 1980s. Arrive early to claim the perfect spot, and make sure you wear waterproof gear if you’re standing near the fountain. Check out the website for performance times.  960 1280

Krysztof Dydynski/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Located in the Palau Nacional of Montjuic, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya opened its doors with a large medieval Romanesque collection. Today, visitors can see other art collections, including Gothic art, Renaissance and baroque art, Catalan modernism and photography. 960 1280

Philip Lange/iStock/Getty Images  

Barcelona Zoo

Barcelona Zoo

The Barcelona Zoo was once home to Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla, who died in 2003. Now, giant anteaters, Bornean orangutans, Iberian wolves, Humboldt penguins, Cuban boas, Komodo dragons and yellow and blue poison dart frogs are a few animals that call this zoo home. 960 1280

Hiroyuki Matsumoto/Getty Images  

Aquarium Barcelona

Aquarium Barcelona

Explore marine life and go scuba diving with sharks in the Oceanarium, which is also home to moray eels and ocean sunfish. Visitors to the Aquarium Barcelona — the largest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world — can see more than 3,000 fish and watch zookeepers up-close as they feed sharks, stingrays and penguins. 960 1280

Artur Debat/Moment Mobile/Getty Images  

Camp Nou

Camp Nou

Visit Camp Nou, the stadium where Futbol Club Barcelona (also known as Barca) plays its home soccer games. While you’re there, take a tour of the FCB Museum and step back in time to see the history of Barca unfold via touch-screen TVs, championship trophies and Messi Space, a place dedicated to superstar soccer player Leo Messi. 960 1280

Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images  

30 St. Mary Axe
30 St. Mary Axe

30 St. Mary Axe

30 St. Mary Axe in London's Financial District is also known as the Gherkin for its striking resemblence to a small cucumber by the same name. Its 41 floors opened in May 2004, and it became Britain’s most expensive office building when it sold in 2007 for 630 million British Pounds. 960 1280

Getty Images  

The Chang Building

The Chang Building

The Chang Building in Bangkok, Thailand, is hard to miss, and because of its resemblance to a pachyderm, it has become more commonly known as the Elephant Building. Completed in 1997, the Chang Building is made up of 32 floors and seven ifferent sections, including a recreation area with a swimming pool and a shopping plaza. 960 1280

Chayuth, flickr  

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

The world's fourth tallest hotel, the Burj Al Arab sits on its own manmade island and is only accessible by its private bridge. Designed to mimic the shape of a sail, this hotel is the epitome of luxury with its Royal Suite going for well over $18,000 a night. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Zizkov Television Tower

Zizkov Television Tower

It doesn't get much stranger than the Zizkov Television Tower in Prague. Standing at 709 feet tall, the building features six observation pods with the highest offering a panoramic view of Prague at 328 feet. Crawling baby sculptures by Czech artist David Cerny were added to the sides of the tower in 2000 as a temporary installation, but were kept permanently after the public expressed their admiration of the art. 960 1280

Guillaume Cattiaux, flickr  

Lippo Centre

Lippo Centre

The Lippo Centre in Hong Kong is made up of two owers, with the tallest standing at about 610 feet. Frequently referred to as the Koala Tree, it’s said to resemble koalas clinging to a tree -- if you squint a little, you might see it. 960 1280

Felix Krohn, flickr  

Kingdom Centre

Kingdom Centre

Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was completed in 2002 and houses a Four Seasons hotel, apartments and a shopping mall. The bridge across the top is open to the public with an observation deck offering stunning views, and the space below the bridge glows at night, with differently-hued lights filling the space. 960 1280

Ameen Mohammad, Wikimedia Commons   

Longaberger Home Office

Longaberger Home Office

While maybe not technically a skyscraper, the Longaberger Company's headquarters in Newark, Ohio, deserves a spot on this list since it doesn’t get much wackier than designing your office after your best-selling product. The founder of the company wanted all of his subsequent offices to be shaped like baskets, but his daughters vetoed the idea. 960 1280

Derek Jensen, Wikimedia Commons   

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

A communications tower in Tokyo, Japan, the Tokyo Tower was intended for television broadcasting; however, Japan’s recent transition to digital television necessitated a taller tower, leading to the construction of the Tokyo Skytree in February 2012. 960 1280

Taro Tokyo, Wikimedia Commons   

Torre Velasca

Torre Velasca

In Milan, Italy, the Torre Velasca was built in the 1950s, making it part of the first generation of modern architecture in the city. So it wouldn't be too much of a sore thumb on the skyline on Milan, the architecture is influenced by medieval fortresses and towers -- a modern interpretation of the Italian castles of yore. 960 1280

Getty Images   

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

At 101 stories and 1,667 feet, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan was the world's tallest structure until being beat out by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Despite this defeat, the skyscraper was awarded the LEED Platinum certification, making it the tallest green building in the world. 960 1280

Peellden, Wikimedia Commons   

CCTV Headquarters

CCTV Headquarters

The headquarters for China Central Television is actually comprised of six connected sections encompassing 1,552,000 feet of space, and due to its irregular shape, has been nicknamed "big boxer shorts." 960 1280

Ningbo Ningbo, flickr  

Suite Vollard

Suite Vollard

The Suite Vollard is a residential building in Brazil named after the Picasso collection of etchings called the Vollard Suite. It may not look that wacky, but it happens to be the world’s first spinning building, with each floor rotating 360 degrees each hour, giving residents an ever-changing view. 960 1280

Raames Manosso, flickr   

Ryugyong Hotel

Ryugyong Hotel

The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea has been under construction since 1987. But despite still being incomplete, the building is undoubtedly North Korea's largest structure, and with 105 floors, has the fifth-highest number of stories in the world.  960 1280

Socialism Expo, flickr  

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