Catalans love them some parties, and events in Barcelona include an almost endless array of festivals, celebrations, outdoor concerts, great live music, and so much more. September’s Festes de la Mercè, for example, sees the streets packed with costumed dwarfs, human pyramids, and massive fiberglass statues parading through town, as groups of men dressed as devils drag fire-breathing dragons behind them. Why do they do it? Hey, why not! It’s just another excuse to have an event and to party!

Shopping in Barcelona doesn’t get much better than at Maremagnum, a waterfront shopping center – and Barcelona's biggest mall – that’s half shops and half clubs, so visitors can buy up some new fashions at the latest sales and wear them just steps away that same night.

Live music venues are everywhere, with everything from classical and opera to jazz, rock, rumba, flamenco, latin, hip hop, and electronic on the bill, and though the theater scene is less vibrant than Madrid it’s always lively and well-attended.

Worldwide, the city’s sports scene might be known best for hosting the Olympics in 1992, but don’t tell that to fans of F.C. Barcelona, who routinely pack the 100,000-capacity Camp Nou stadium whenever a match is on.

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