Explorer Plaza España

Built for the 1929 International Exposition, the Plaza de Espagna is a major traffic hub where four of Barcelona's busiest roads intersect. But you only have to walk past the Venetian Towers (so-called because they were inspired by the famous Bell Tower in Venice) onto Avinguda de la Reina Maria Christina for the beeping of car horns and whining of mopeds to be drowned out by altogether more pleasant sounds, courtesy of the water features which flank the avenue, culminating in the aptly named Magic Fountain. One of Barcelona's must-sees, this is best enjoyed during the evening shows which are staged throughout the year, when the fountain's shimmering fan dance is tinged emerald and rose by thousands of lights. To the side of the fountain is the austerely modernist Miles van der Rohe Pavilion, and overlooking it is the ornately neo-baroque Palau Nacional (National Palace), home of the MNAC, Barcelona's largest museum. At the other end of the Plaza is the Arenas de Barcelona, an old bullring now remodelled into a shopping centre by Sir Richard Rodgers. And behind that is the Parc de Joan Miro, worth visiting to grab a photo opp with the artist's patchwork coloured, 22 metre tall sculpture, Woman and Bird.