Need to know
Aer Lingus (0818 365 000; aerlingus.com) flies direct to Barcelona from Dublin.
Hotel Claris is a luxury hotel with a difference, a minute's walk from Gaudí's buildings and some high-end shopping on Passeig de Gràcia. The owner is a well known Egyptologist, who has an impressive collection of fine art and antiquities on display. Doubles from €150.
The Banys Orientals is in Born, Barcelona's loveliest neighbourhood, and is a real winner with its elegant rooms and friendly service. Its excellent prices make it quite hard to get into, so book well in advance. Doubles from €100.
Market Hotel is a chic and sophisticated cheap hotel, on the edge of the Raval and a short walk to the Plaça de Catalunya. Doubles from €70.