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Lifestyle

Why Barcelona is a tourist magnet

The Barcelona terror attack seemed to deliberately target tourists. The Catalan city offers a wealth of cultural attractions. Here are some of the sites that draw millions of visitors to the city each year.

It's a city that has inspired musicians such as Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Cabellé, who together produced the 1987 duet "Barcelona." This song was later featured at the 1992 Summer Olympics in the metropolis after Mercury's premature death in 1991.

And, more recently, British singer-songwriter sensation Ed Sheeran released his ode to Spain's second-largest city - known for romance and nightlife - as part of his chart-topping "Divide" album.

Barcelona is a place that draws urbanites and beach-lovers, surfers and museum-goers, history buffs and bachelor parties alike.

Over 30 million visitors trek to the coastal Catalan city of 1.6 million per year, where 13 people lost their lives when terrorists drove a van down the iconic Las Ramblas boulevard on August 17.

Read more: Barcelona terror attack: Leaders mourn victims

Read more: Madrid to Manchester to Barcelona: A chronology of terror in Europe

The attack - reminiscent of recent vehicle attacks in London, Berlin and Stockholm - deliberately targeted one of Barcelona's most prominent landmarks and tourists destinations.

Police foiled a second attempted attack later in the night in the nearby city of Cambrils. In addition to the 13 casualties in Barcelona, over 100 people were injured in both cities, representing over a dozen nationalities.

The gallery above presents some of the most popular tourist sites at and around Las Ramblas - the heart of Barcelona and the site of terror on Thursday - as well as some of the other reasons the Catalan city is, and will remain, a beloved destination.

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