THE BEST WAY
From LAX, connecting service (change of plane) to Barcelona is offered on Air France, American, Dlta, Lufthansa, KLM, British and Swiss. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $540 until March 28, then increas tto $678.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 34 (country code for Spain), 93 (the code for Barcelona) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona, 8 Bergara; 4-81-67-67, http://www.hotelpulitzer.es. Boutique hotel with a great downtown location, just off Plaza Catalunya, and a chic cosmopolitan style. Its Parisian-style rooftop bar is a bonus. Doubles start at $146 per night.
Hotel Casa Fuster, 132 Passeig de Gràcia; 2-25-53-000, http://www.hotelcasafuster.com. Modernist fans can indulge their passion at this central Barcelona landmark designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner in 1908. Refurbished as a small luxury hotel in 2000. It is chic and refined, with panoramic views of the city from its rooms and rooftop pool bar. Doubles from $235 a night.
Hotel Arts Barcelona, 19-21 Marina; 2-21-10-00, http://www.hotelartsbarcelona.com. This high-rise on the coast is a favorite with celebs such as Madonna (she needed an entire floor for her entourage), the Rolling Stones and Woody Allen, who stayed here while making the film " Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Ritz-Carlton amenities and vibe, great views. A bit out of the way; you'll need to take a cab to reach most museums and attractions. Doubles start at $521 per night.
WHERE TO EAT
Les Quinze Nits, 6 Plaza Real; 3-17-30-75, http://www.lesquinzenits.com. You'll get a three-course meal, plus wine or beer, for $12 at this efficient little restaurant in the Gothic Quarter. Included are starters such as salad, soup or pasta, seafood or meat entrees, and dessert. It may well be one of the best deals in the city.
Los Caracoles, 14 Escudellers; 3-01-20-41, http://www.loscaracoles.es. Guests enter this well-known café through the kitchen and make their way to the dining room, where they can order Catalan entrees ranging from $16 to $20. Specialties include roast chicken ($21.50), which can be seen turning on a spit outside this Gothic Quarter restaurant.
Restaurant Casa Calvet, 48 Correr de Casp; 4-12-40-12, http://www.casacalvet.es. Gaudí fans can sit on wooden benches designed by the great Catalan architect at this restaurant within a building he designed for a textile manufacturer a century ago. Offices and boardrooms have been converted into semi-private dining rooms. A varied menu includes entrees such as sole with razor clams and oxtail stew, with prices starting at $34.
TO LEARN MORE
Barcelona Tourism Board, http://www.barcelonaturisme.com.
Spanish Tourism Institute, http://www.spain.info.