Ah, Barcelona. Madrid may be marvelous, but skip the landlocked life and opt for Spain’s famous city by the sea instead. Not only will the scenery be better, but so will the food. Some of Spain’s best restaurants are in Barcelona (like Albert Adrià’s Tickets) or are at least nearby (like El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, about an hour-and-a-half up the coast, often named as one of the best restaurants in the world), and the city streets are filled with more modest places where you can dine on perfect tapas and seafood fresh from the Mediterranean and wash it all down with a glass or three of Catalan wine. On the educational side, the city is also home to the Picasso Museum, the Museu Frederic Mares, and the Centre d'Art Santa Mònica, among many other cultural institutions. Barcelona is also routinely named one of the safest cities in the world.