Barcelona travel guide

Barcelona Tourism | Barcelona Guide

You're Going to Love Barcelona

The capital of Spain's Catalonia region, Barcelona could well be the ideal destination for a European urban getaway. This historic, artistic, gastronomic, sporting hub is full of great food and attractions for everyone to enjoy.

Barcelona is the kind of place where you can stroll arm in arm down elegant boulevards in Eixample, rub shoulders with street performers on Las Ramblas or take in the fresh sea air by the city beach. You can see some of the world's most creative architecture at the Sagrada Familia or Parc Guell, take beautiful panoramic photos from Montjuic and descend into the city to dine on exquisite tapas at restaurants like Ouimet i Ouimet.

If sports are your obsession, you can book tickets to the Camp Nou. If art is your passion, the world's biggest collection of Picasso paintings is on your doorstep. Easily accessible from US cities and ready to welcome everyone, Barcelona is a destination that is tough to beat.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Barcelona

Stunning and Unique Architecture

Barcelona is famous around the world for its beautiful architecture. Stroll around the Gothic Quarter to take in the city's medieval masterpieces before fast-forwarding to the modern era and wildly imaginative creations from Antonio Gaudi, like the Sagrada Familia cathedral or Parc Guell. Wherever you look, Barcelona impresses.

The Chance to see Some of the World's Greatest Artworks

If you love art, you'll love Barcelona. Head to the Joan Miro Museum to see the largest collection of works by the modernist master, or check out the Picasso Museum to see works like Las Meninas (after Velazquez) by probably the most famous artist who ever lived.

Fine Food and Boutique Shopping

Barcelona has a thriving, sophisticated food scene, as elite restaurants like Xerta and Moments shows, but you can also pick up delicious street food like Churros con Chocolate (donuts with chocolate). You can also pick up designer goods at boutiques like Prada in Gracia, or shop at the completely different flea market on Las Ramblas.

Incredible Sporting Spectacles

Sports in Barcelona really revolves around one thing: F.C. Barcelona. It's a city where soccer is king, so if you have a taste for the "beautiful game", head to Camp Nou and cheer on stars like Lionel Messi as the team competes at the highest level.

Festivals all year Round

Whenever you visit, something will be going on in Barcelona. Whether it's the indie and dance music festival Primavera (in June) or the Gracia Festival in August, Barcelona loves to party, so time your visit wisely to coincide with the right event for you.

What to do in Barcelona

See the 1992 Olympics Site

The Barcelona Olympics saw some magnificent sporting feats, and brought the Montjuic neighborhood of the city to life. These days, tourists can see the Olympic Stadium, with the added bonus of enjoying a funicular railway ride up the hill of Montjuic - one of the best ways to obtain stunning views across Barcelona.

Visit the Sagrada Familia

In the 1880s, Barcelona decided a new cathedral was required, and tasked elite architect Antonio Gaudi with designing it. The result was a wildly imaginative design that still hasn't been finished, although what has been built is astounding.

See the Weird and Wonderful Sculptures in Parc Guell

Gaudi didn't stop at designing the cathedral. In fact, you can see his unique work all over Barcelona, not least at Parc Guell in the north of the city. A favorite with tourists, Parc Guell, contains masterpieces, such as the snake-like entrance terrace, that are unlike anything anywhere else in the world.

Enjoy an Artistic Adventure

Barcelona is a city of artists as much as architects. Art lovers have plenty of attractions to choose from, including the Miro Museum in Montjuic and the Picasso Museum in the city center. But it might also be worth joining walking tours of the street art in Poblenou, and the hundreds of street sculptures dotted around the city.

Buy Tickets to Watch F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona are like a religion in Catalonia. Attracting supporters from all over the world thanks to their beautiful style and star players, they are one of the finest soccer teams every to have played the game. You can usually purchase tickets to see them at the Camp Nou, which with its passionate atmosphere and sheer size, is worth the price of admission on its own.

See the 1992 Olympics Site

The Barcelona Olympics saw some magnificent sporting feats, and brought the Montjuic neighborhood of the city to life. These days, tourists can see the Olympic Stadium, with the added bonus of enjoying a funicular railway ride up the hill of Montjuic - one of the best ways to obtain stunning views across Barcelona.

Visit the Sagrada Familia

In the 1880s, Barcelona decided a new cathedral was required, and tasked elite architect Antonio Gaudi with designing it. The result was a wildly imaginative design that still hasn't been finished, although what has been built is astounding.

See the Weird and Wonderful Sculptures in Parc Guell

Gaudi didn't stop at designing the cathedral. In fact, you can see his unique work all over Barcelona, not least at Parc Guell in the north of the city. A favorite with tourists, Parc Guell, contains masterpieces, such as the snake-like entrance terrace, that are unlike anything anywhere else in the world.

Enjoy an Artistic Adventure

Barcelona is a city of artists as much as architects. Art lovers have plenty of attractions to choose from, including the Miro Museum in Montjuic and the Picasso Museum in the city center. But it might also be worth joining walking tours of the street art in Poblenou, and the hundreds of street sculptures dotted around the city.

Buy Tickets to Watch F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona are like a religion in Catalonia. Attracting supporters from all over the world thanks to their beautiful style and star players, they are one of the finest soccer teams every to have played the game. You can usually purchase tickets to see them at the Camp Nou, which with its passionate atmosphere and sheer size, is worth the price of admission on its own.

Where to Eat in Barcelona

Dining is one of Barcelona's premier attractions. Few cities in the world have as many great tapas restaurants and wine bars to savor. High quality tapas bars in the center include Quimet i Quimet, Polleria Fontana and El Xampanyet. Alternatives include the quick and delicious Asian sandwiches at Koku, gourmet European cuisine at Xerta and Michelin-starred eateries like Moments, run by chef Raul Balam. The best restaurants come with a price tag of around EUR50-100 per person, but midrange tapas meals shouldn't cost more than EUR20.

When to visit Barcelona

Barcelona in November
Estimated hotel price
₹ 5083
1 night at 3-star hotel
Barcelona in November
Estimated hotel price
₹ 5083
1 night at 3-star hotel

Barcelona is one of those destinations that doesn't really have a time to avoid. Summer might be a little hot for some, but with the beach nearby you can always escape the worst of the heat. Spring is a great time to see the sights, and might be the best time to visit thanks to cultural events like the Primavera Music Festival (in early June), but fall is fine as well.

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Temperatures
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Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Barcelona

Plane

Barcelona International Airport (El Prat) is Barcelona's main point of entry, and it's just to the southwest of the city center. Getting from there to the heart of the city is simple. The quickest route is to take the RENFE R2 Nord rail connection to Sants station, which runs from Terminal 2 and costs EUR4.10. Most flights from America land at Terminal 1, so you'll need to take an airport bus to reach the station. Alternatively, you could take the Aerobus, which costs EUR5.90 and takes 30 minutes.

Train

Some travelers choose to make Barcelona a stop on European rail trips, via cities like Paris and London. If you choose to arrive by train, the major station is Sants Estacio, which is connected to the Gothic Quarter by the Blue Metro Line.

Car

If you've rented a vehicle and are traveling to Barcelona from other European cities by road, getting there is simple. The main approach road from France is the A9, which runs from Marseille and Montpellier. This changes to the E-15 in Spain, which then runs straight to Barcelona. Those coming from Madrid need to take the E-90 then the A-2.

Bus

Barcelona is well served by domestic and international bus companies, with operators including Megabus and Eurolines. The main bus station is at the Estacio del Nord. From there, it's a short walk to Arc de Triomf station, where you can catch the Metro straight into the city center.

Airports near Barcelona

REUReus

Airlines serving Barcelona

United Airlines
Good (2,263 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (964 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,721 reviews)
KLM
Good (257 reviews)
Air France
Good (258 reviews)
British Airways
Good (710 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,519 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (271 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (825 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (905 reviews)
Iberia
Good (513 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (426 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (137 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (555 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (318 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (68 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (245 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (981 reviews)
Finnair
Good (320 reviews)
LOT
Good (206 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Barcelona

There are plenty of neighborhoods and styles of accommodation to choose from in Barcelona. In the very heart of town, hotels in the Gothic Quarter include the Hotel Hesperia, which features a fitness room, and the Hotel Adagio, located right on the Ramblas. For a seafront option, you might look at W Barcelona, a modern hotel with a rooftop pool. Upscale visitors could also try boutique hotels like the Grand Hotel and Murmuri - but there are excellent hotels all over the city.

Popular neighbourhoods in Barcelona

Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter – Containing Barcelona's most famous street (Las Ramblas) and the atmospheric medieval city (the Gothic Quarter), this is the place to stay if you want to experience the historic core of the city. See the beautiful interior of La Seu cathedral, enjoy a coffee at Els Quatre Gats, one of Picasso's favorite haunts, and check out the street performers and market stalls on Las Ramblas.

Gracia – Just to the north of the old city, Gracia feels completely different. Laid out in the 19th century, Gracia is clean, modern and beautiful, and is home to some of the most upscale hotels and restaurants in town. Visitors can tour the creations of architect and artist Antonio Gaudi at Pac Guell, enjoy the Festa Major street celebrations in August and dine or sip coffees on elegant plazas like Virreina Square.

Eixample – One of the first planned suburbs in the world, Eixample is made up of American-style square blocks with courtyards at their center, and it's a prosperous part of town. Home to some of the city's architectural gems like the Casa Amattler and the (unfinished) Sagrada Familia cathedral, you'll also find great bars like Bohemic here, which mix gourmet tapas with fine wines.

Most popular hotel in Barcelona by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Barcelona

Most booked hotels in Barcelona

Aparthotel Del Golf
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
₹ 8,890+
The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
₹ 19,729+
W Barcelona
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
₹ 37,586+
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
₹ 11,541+
Hotel Venture Sant Cugat
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
₹ 4,991+
Aparthotel Mariano Cubi Barcelona
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
₹ 9,669+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Barcelona

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Barcelona is first-class, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting around. A basic option which suits many visitors is to buy tickets for the Bus Turistic. This service hops between the major attractions and costs EUR27 for a single day (so make the most of it). A cheaper option is to get around via the reliable Metro system. Single tickets cost EUR2.15, but 10 ride tickets are available for EUR9.95. Tickets also work on local RENFE trains and city trams, so they are an excellent investment. Visitors can also purchase a Barcelona Card, which covers travel on public transit and admission to most attractions at a cost of EUR37 (for 2 days).

Taxis

Barcelona operates a uniform taxi rate system, with a charge of EUR1.8 per mile between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (and a minimum fare of EUR7), so getting around is fairly cheap. Uber and Lyft do not currently operate in the city.

Car

Having a car in Barcelona isn't essential to see sights within the city limits, but it can be handy if you want to explore the coast or Catalonia's interior. Rental outlets in the city include Sixt, Europcar and Avis, and rates will be around EUR15-20 per day. Be aware that parking can be expensive (up to EUR30 per day), so try to park in outlying suburbs and catch the train into the center.

Car hire agencies in Barcelona

Sixt

Sixt

Dollar

Dollar

Hertz

Hertz
Find car hire in Barcelona

The Cost of Living in Barcelona

Shopping Streets

Barcelona has a number of neighborhoods packed with high-end stores and boutiques. Some of the best apparel boutiques can be found in Passeig de Gracia, where options include Burberry, Prada and Valentino. For a completely different shopping experience, stroll down Las Ramblas, where street vendors sell food, souvenirs, antiques, portraits, clothing and much more. La Boqueria is another place to shop. The city's main market, it's crammed with produce and food vendors as well as wine merchants and craft stalls.

Groceries and Other

Aside from the food market at La Boqueria, Barcelona has plenty of places to shop for groceries. Look for stores like Carrefour, Mercadona and Alcampo, all of which offer cheap prices and a wide selection. Groceries won't be expensive by New York or San Francisco standards, with a gallon of milk costing EUR3.30 and a pound of apples about EUR1.

Cheap meal
₹ 959
A pair of jeans
₹ 7,293
Single public transport ticket
₹ 187
Cappuccino
₹ 147
Other popular cities in Catalonia