Aerial view Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona, Spain.

​​Historic Barcelona is in top form this year. Antoni Gaudí’s architectural marvel, the unfinished Sagrada Familia , recently completed the towers of the evangelists Luke and Mark, which join Virgin Mary’s tower, completed in 2021. In late 2023, the towers of the evangelists John and Matthew will join the other pinnacles in lighting up the city during the Christmas season. For panoramic views of the city, visitors can climb the Apostle ­towers of either the Nativity or Passion facades. By 2026—the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death—the 566-ft.-tall Jesus Christ tower is expected to debut and complete the set of six.

Beyond the much-anticipated Sagrada Família’s unveilings, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, and with it, events and exhibitions, including parallel exhibits (Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró) spotlighting the painter’s lifelong friendship with fellow artist Joan Miró.

The city’s leading classical music concert venues—the 176-year-old Liceu Opera Barcelona, the Palau de la Música Catalana, and L’Auditori, designed by a Pritzker Prize winner­—will collaborate via the Barcelona Obertura initiative to promote Barcelona as a pre-eminent city for classical music performances.

Visitors can stay at Casa Sagnier, the former home of architect Enric Sagnier, or Antiga Casa Buenavista, a family restaurant since 1918, both of which have relaunched as boutique hotels.

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