Barcelona is an absolute must-see for any budding or seasoned traveller alike. The incredible architecture and outstanding cuisine, alongside the picturesque beaches and booming nightlife, is sure to be a big hit for anyone travelling to the Catalonian capital.
With culture to spare, Barcelona offers an insight into Catalonian life with an added splash of colour. Combining the very best that Mediterranean life has to offer, the charming streets of Barcelona will welcome you in with open arms. Experience mouth-watering cuisine and become immersed in the traditional festivals that grace the streets of Barcelona each year.
Fall in love with the humble and family-run businesses just as much as the grand and stunning architecture. Barcelona’s identity is clear, and that’s exactly why so many people love it.
As Catalonia’s capital on the coast of northeastern Spain, there are plenty of options for how to travel to Barcelona, both domestically and internationally. From air travel to public transport, here are the best ways to travel to and from Barcelona.
You have so many options when it comes to getting around the Catalonian capital. Dust off your walking boots to get your steps in whilst taking in all the beauty of Barcelona’s streets. If that’s not quite your style, there are several other options for you to explore the vibrant city.
As far as public transport is concerned, you’ve got the choice between the Metro, the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC), the tram, and buses. All these modes of transport offer fast travel across the city at reasonable prices.
Personally, I walked where possible and used the Metro for longer journeys, which I found easy to use (and far less stressful than the London Underground!). I recommend picking up an Hola Barcelona travel card, as it makes getting around Barcelona easy and affordable. You can get them for 48 hours, 72 hours, or 96 hours.
We’ve also seen the rise of e-mobility in towns and cities. This means electric scooters and electric bicycles won’t be at all out of place in Barcelona.
As far as taxis go, the official Barcelona taxis are black and yellow, displaying a green light if the taxi is free. Uber does not exist in Barcelona, but you can use the alternative app Free Now, which is essentially the same.
Whenever you decide to visit Barcelona, it’ll no doubt be unforgettable. It’s worth considering what time of year you travel though, so you can meet your own travel needs best and experience everything you set out to.
Barcelona is steeped in history, and as such is abundant with infamous landmarks. You simply can’t visit Barcelona without taking a trip to see Basílica de la Sagrada Familia. It’s largely regarded as Antoni Gaudí’s best-known work, and has become somewhat symbolic of Catalonia’s capital city. Another of Gaudí’s installations is the beautiful Parc Güell which offers a stunning space to explore and spectacular views over the city.
Although La Sagrada Famillia steals much of the limelight, don’t miss the beautiful Barcelona cathedral. While it may not have the iconic status of Gaudí’s masterpiece, it is still a seriously impressive piece of architecture in the Gothic Quarter.
If you’re more bothered about football than architecture, then FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium is for you. Visit the club museum at Camp Nou to see Barcelona FC trophies up close and personal, and some of Lionel Messi’s many Ballon D’Or trophies.
Las Ramblas, a 1.2km long shopping street and promenade, is the perfect outing for the shopaholic. Just be wary of the many tourist traps and scams. I’d avoid eating along Las Ramblas, as you’re unlikely to get an authentic Catalonian experience.
Learn more about the landmarks and things to do in Barcelona.
As Barcelona is a coastal city, Catalonia’s capital has beaches to spare! From Bogatell Beach and Barceloneta Beach to Nova Mar Bella Beach and Sant Sebastià Beach, you’ll find the perfect beach for you.
Popular with locals and tourists alike. Barcelona’s beaches are a buzzy and inviting place to be. Be sure to visit one of the beach restaurants and bars for super fresh seafood paella or seaside tapas.
For the adventurous traveller, try your hand at watersports, or have a go on some inflatable assault courses at sea. Volleyball is a common sight on the beaches and is a fun way to wile away an afternoon for those who get restless sunbathing.
But if you’re one to enjoy a spot of relaxation, stretch out on the beach and bask in the sun. Just make sure you remember your sunscreen!
Read more about the best beaches in Barcelona.
Barcelona is famed for its traditional cuisine – from rooftop bars to local tapas bars, the foodie in each of us is ignited in this high-spirited city.
Whilst not a Catalonian concept, tapas bars can be found right across the capital for you to enjoy. It’s worth doing your research to discover the places where locals like to eat. This is the only way to experience an authentic Barcelona dining experience. Try asking the hotel staff or Airbnb host where you are staying, as this is how I got some of the best recommendations.
Across Barcelona, most restaurants open from 13:00 – 16:00, and then 20:30 – 00:00 (although many open earlier to cater for tourists). Locals tend to eat quite late in the evenings, which is worth bearing in mind if you want to enjoy a more buzzy restaurant experience.
Tips are rarely added to the bill, so if you’ve experienced especially good service, a tip would be greatly appreciated anywhere you go.
Discover my pick of the best rooftop bars in Barcelona.
The easiest way of getting from London to Barcelona is to fly from London Heathrow or London Gatwick into Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN). From there, get the Aerobus into the city centre. The flight from London to Barcelona takes around two hours.
One of the best areas to stay in when visiting Barcelona is the Gothic Quarter. It’s centrally located with excellent transport links and charming streets.
Barcelona has two official languages: Catalan and Spanish. Most locals will speak both languages, but many also speak English, especially as there are a lot of expats in Barcelona.
There are 19 Michelin star restaurants in Barcelona. These include two restaurants with three Michelin stars, six with two stars, and 11 with 1 Michelin star.
One of the most popular day trips from Barcelona is Montserrat Mountain. It’s an iconic location with religious significance as well as simply stunning surroundings.
Barcelona is a fantastic destination for solo travellers, including solo female travellers. It’s a relatively safe city with extremely friendly locals. The tapas bar culture is perfect for dining solo. Read more about the best European cities for solo travel.
Barcelona is famous for its spectacular Gaudí architecture, including La Sagrada Família. It’s also very well known within the football world. Barcelona is a famous city destination for its beautiful beaches and proximity to the mountains.
Barcelona is generally a very safe city to visit. The biggest issue – as with many European cities – is pickpockets. They are especially prevalent on the Metro and around La Rambla.
The most famous cathedral in Barcelona is La Sagrada Família. It’s still under construction but is still a jaw-dropping sight to see. Barcelona’s Gothic Cathedral is another recognisable landmark in Barcelona. Although the limelight has been somewhat stolen by La Sagrada Família, the Gothic Cathedral is still a stunning piece of architecture.
From beautiful boutique hotels to opulent five star establishments, Barcelona has an overwhelming choice of luxury accommodation. Whether you’re after jaw-dropping rooftop views or exceptional cuisine, here is my pick of the top luxury hotels in Barcelona.
Discover mouth-watering tapas and authentic Catalonian cuisine in Barcelona. My absolute favourite restaurant recommendation in Barcelona is El Xampanyet. Don’t be put off by the queue outside and the slightly chaotic informal setting inside. This was the best meal I had in Barcelona – sat at the bar ordering heavenly plates of tapas with unlimited cava. The dream!
Barcelona is renowned for its gorgeous rooftops bars. Order a cocktail, tuck into some tapas, and enjoy spectacular views over the city. I can’t think of a better way to spend a balmy summer evening. Here is my pick of the best rooftop bars in Barcelona.
Planning a trip to Barcelona? Have a read of these Barcelona travel articles to help you plan your visit.
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