One of the most exciting city in the world, Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain and there is a reason for that. Although Barcelona is not the capital of Spain, the city is the second largest in the country and offers everything you could expect from an amazing destination: some of the world’s greatest modernist buildings, historic architecture, elegant streets, incredible cuisine and more. All this definitely makes Barcelona an unmissable city, simply an open air museum.
Region: eastern region of Spain, in the central area of the autonomous community of Catalonia.
Location: northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
Time Zone: CET (UTC + 1)
Climate: Mediterranean climate, with mild and humid winters and hot, dry summers. The climate in Barcelona is pleasant for most of the year, however, in August it gets very hot because of the humidity and January and February are the coldest months.
Best time to visit: you will experience the best time and less busy Barcelona in late spring or early summer (May to July). However, if you do not care much about the weather and prefer to avoid the crowds, Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit Barcelona. Keep in mind that although winters are very mild in Barcelona, the weather can be quite humid and cloudy at that time.
How to get there
Train: There is no metro that connects the airport to the city. The train that operates the services to and from the airport is RENFE, the service runs every 30 minutes and travel time to the city center takes about 25 minutes. There are three metro stations connected to the train service: Clot, Barcelona Sants or Passeig de Gràcia, from there you can change to the station that will be closer to your final destination.
Bus: There are two bus service options that run from and to the airport to the city center. You can use either the Aerobus or the urban bus TMB. The Aerobus is an express bus service that provides services to the city center, for example to Plaça Espanya and Plaça de Catalunya, the bus departs from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 every 5 to 20 minutes. Tickets cost €5.90 single ticket and €10.20 return (valid for 15 days). For more information, visit www.aerobusbcn.com.
The bus number 46 TMB is an urban bus and has more stops than the express bus, so it will take longer to reach the city center. This service also operates from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 during the day from 5:00 am to 00:15 am. The advantage here is that you can use the T10 card which you can later use for public transport in the city. For more information, visit www.tmb.cat/en/linia-de-bus/-/bus/46. For late arrivals (from 21:55 pm to 04:45 am), you can use the NITBUS N17 night bus which also connects to the city center and part of Terminal 1.
Taxi: there are many taxis that operate both at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and is a convenient and quick way to get to the city. Taxis operate from the airport for 24 hours and the average travel time to the city is about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic. The minimum fare is €20.00.
Internet code: ES
Postal Code: 080xx
Area Code (s): 34 93
Emergency Number: 091 – to speak in English: +34 932 903 000
Public Transport: Barcelona has a good public transport system. Although it is possible to walk to the main attractions and beaches (if you are staying central), if you want to save time or energy you can opt for the subway, bus or tram services to travel around the city. If you plan to use public transport every day, it is best to buy one of Barcelona’s combined ticket options that covers buses, subways and trams. Note that T10 cards (10 single trips purchased together) can be used by several people at the same time, so for a couple traveling together, you can buy the T10 card and use it for 5 unique trips each . Just give the card to someone else after you pass the gate. The other person will have to validate the card again.
Security: In general, Barcelona is a safe city and violence is rare. However, the city is famous for pickpockets and theft of bags. The best way to avoid paying attention to yourself as a tourist is to try to avoid displaying tourist maps in busy areas such as La Ramblas. In restaurants, leave your belongings in your sight and avoid leaving bags on the floor or next to the chair. Do not carry all your bank cards with you and it is always best to leave your passport in the hotel safe (take a copy of the passport with you or bring your ID card because you will need to show the document in stores that you want to pay with cards credit or debit) I’m just saying this to avoid even greater stress if you lose your important documents during your vacation, this will surely ruin your trip. Taking normal precautions and using good judgment will help you avoid unnecessary inconveniences during your trip. In general, Barcelona is safe and you can relax in this beautiful city, just do not be distracted by your possessions and it is also good to avoid walking too late at night in remote places, it is always safer to call a taxi after a certain time.
The Best Attractions
Basílica de La Sagrada Família
Carrer de Mallorca, 401, Barcelona 08013 – Opening hours: November – February 9am – 6pm; April – September 9am – 8pm; October and March 9am – 7pm; 25th and 26th of December and 1st and 6th of January from 9am to 2pm. Please note that you will not be able to purchase tickets after 15 minutes before closing time. To buy tickets online, please click here
Considered a universal site of the identity of Barcelona and Spain, La Sagrada Família is one of Gaudí’s masterpieces and his work has been exercised for 133 years from the beginning of the works. Located in the center of the city, the constructions of the Roman Catholic church began in 1882 and was initially designed by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. Gaudí took over the project in 1883 and worked on building the church until his death in 1926. An important note: if you want to avoid a very long and slow queue, make sure you buy your tickets in advance. You can buy the tickets online by clicking here. Do not take the chance, this is the number one attraction in Spain and the queues are 100% guaranteed long (during peak season it can take up to 2 hours!). More than 3,000,000 people visit the Sagrada Familia each year, this unique and magnificent church is a must see in Barcelona (you will not have visited Barcelona if you do not visit the Sagrada Familia). Building construction is still ongoing and is likely to be completed in the first third of the 21st century.
Passeig de Gracia, 43, 08007 Barcelona – Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9am to 9pm (last check in at 8pm). To buy tickets please click here
Another Gaudi masterpiece, Casa Batló was redesigned by Gaudí between 1904 and 1906. The house is located in the middle of the prestigious and elegant Passeig de Gracia avenue and can only be described as a brilliant, modern, impressive, joyful and inspiring piece of work. Due to the organic elements used in the remodelling of the building, the local name for the building is Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones). Another must-see attraction in Barcelona!
Casa Milà – La Pedrera
Carrer de Provença 261-265, 08008 Barcelona – Opening hours during the day: 27/02 to 11/02 from 9am to 8:30 pm (last admission 20:00) – 11/03 to 26/02: Monday to Sunday 9am – 18:30 pm (last admission: 18:00). Opening hours during the night (The secret Pedrera) 27/02 to 11/02: Monday to Sunday from 20:30 pm to 23:30 pm (last entry: 22:00). 11/03 to 26/02: Wednesday to Saturday 19pm – 22:30 pm (last entry: 9pm). To buy tickets online please click here
Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, is the last work of Gaudí and is another impressive modernist building in Barcelona. Built between 1906 and 1910, the building is currently used as a cultural center and is home to the headquarters of the Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera.
Carrer de Montcada 15-23, 08003 Barcelona – Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 7pm. Closed on Mondays and holidays. To purchase tickets online please click here
The museum houses a permanent collection of 4,251 works including the Las Meninas series (1957) as well as an important representation of works from the year 1917. The museum is located in the Gothic Quarter in a former palace of the city dating from the 15th century.
Carretera de Montjuic, 66, 08038 Barcelona – from 1/10 to 31/03 open every day (including holidays) from 10:00 am to 18:00 pm. Closed on Christmas day and New Year. From 04/01 to 30/09 open every day (including holidays) from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing time. To buy tickets online please click here
The Montjuic Castle is an ancient fortress located at the top of Mountjuic mountain at more than 170 meters above sea level. From there you can enjoy beautiful views of the city, especially at sunset. To get there, you can walk up the hill from the Plaza de Espana to the Montjuïc cable car and stop at the castle. Or alternatively you can take bus number 150 and then take the cable car from Montjuïc to the Castle.
Plaza España & Magic Fountain
Av. Maria Cristina, Barcelona 08004
One of the most important squares in Barcelona, Plaza España was built in 1929 and is currently home to one of the best museums in Catalonia, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (NMAC). The old bullring of Barcelona is also located in the square. To make your visit to the square even more special, you can plan your visit to the square when the Magic Fountain is working with its beautiful lights and music. Certainly a fascinating site! Click here to check the days and hours of operation of the fountain.
Carrer d’Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona
The largest stadium in Europe and the 4th largest football stadium in the world in terms of capacity (the stadium has a capacity of 99,354 people), Camp Nou has been the home of Futbol Club Barcelona since 1957. The 1992 Olympic Games was hosted here, as well as many important international matches. For more information on how to visit the stadium and its museum please click here
The Ribera, Ciutat Vella, Barcelona 08003
Just 10 minutes walk from Las Ramblas, this modern area is full of vibrant cafes, bars, restaurants and shops making it the perfect location for walking or shopping around.
Passeig de Gracia
Passeig de Gracia, Eixample, Barcelona
An avenue of prestige and elegance, Passeig de Gracia is an important business and commercial avenue and is also home to Gaudí’s La Pedrera and Casa Batló. From Plaça Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gràcia, you will find 1.3 km of temptations, some of the most prestigious fashion designers can be found here: Valentino, Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Stella MacCartney among others. There are affordable shops in the area as well, which makes Passeig de Gracia attractive and accessible to all.
The Rambla, Ciutat Vella, Barcelona 08002
Situated in the heart of the city and between Port Vell and Plaça Catalunya, this vibrant street stretches for 1.2 km and is full of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. Although Las Ramblas is a busy and popular street among locals and tourists, the street also attracts pickpockets and nighttime prostitution. Taking extra care while walking there will help you avoid unnecessary inconvenience.
Between Via Laietana and the La Rambla as well as the seafront area, Ciutat Vella, 08002, Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter is situated in the center of the city and is the old part of Barcelona. Buildings dating back to medieval times and Romans remain in the neighbourhood and most of the charming little streets took you to the square. This part of the city was home to some famous people, including Picasso, who lived and worked in the Gothic Quarter from the years 1895 to 1904.
Mercat of Sant Josep de la Boqueria
Plaza de la Boqueria, Ramblas, Barcelona 08001 – Monday – Saturday: 8:00 am – 8:30 pm
Located on Las Ramblas, this vibrant market has won the prize of the best market in the world in 2005 and is currently a member of many important organizations in the world. A food market, there you will find fresh meat, fruits, vegetables and some delicious pastries. A treat for the eyes and senses.
Carrer d’Olot, s / n, 08024 Barcelona – Opening hours 1 January – 28 March – 8:30 am -18: 15pm. March 29 – May 3 – 8:00 am – 8:00 pm (time of last entry at 7:30 pm). May 4 – September 6 – 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (time of last entry at 9:00 p.m.). September 7 – October 24 – 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (time of last entry at 7:30 p.m.). October 25 – December 31 – 8:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. (time of last entry at 5:30 p.m.). To purchase tickets online please click here
Built between 1900 and 1914, the park was commissioned by Eusebi Güell and designed by Antoni Gaudi. A unique park with incomparable beauty where Gaudi also built his home where he lived for a while. The house is now a museum in the park. I advise you to buy access tickets to the central part of the park where the mosaics are situated, buy online if possible, long queues are guaranteed and the best attractions of the park are within the paid area. Inside the park you will see incredible structures made of stones and tile’s mosaics. Leave available at least half a day to enjoy the park and relax.
Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc de Triomphe
Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona
Covering an area of 70 hectares in the old part of the city, the Parc de la Ciutadella is home to the Barcelona Zoo, the Parliament of Catalonia, with an impressive fountain, a lake, museums and the famous sculpture of Josep Llimona Dispair. Perfect for walking or sport, the park is always visited by locals and tourists alike. Beside the park you will also find the Arc de Triomphe, a memorial designed by the architect Jozep Vilaseca I Casanovas and was built as the main access gate to the World Fair of Barcelona in 1888. The Arc is located at the end of Saló de Sant Joan, the avenue that connects with Parc de la Ciutadella.
Carrer de Mallorca, 236, Barcelona 08008, Telephone +34 932 16 0368 – Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am – 1:30 am. Saturday and Sunday, starting at 9:00 am. Closed for Christmas.
The most famous tapas bar in the city, is guaranteed to always be crowded, especially at lunch and dinner. You can try to book in advance however, the brewery may refuse to make reservations depending on demand, in this case, try to arrive a little earlier. A great option to enjoy delicious tapas with drinks.
How to arrive: Take the brown line L7 from Plaza de Catalunya to Tibidabo Avenue. From Tibidabo Avenue, you will need to change to the Tramvia Blau or the 196 bus. These will take you half way up the mountain. Once you get halfway there, make sure you can stop for a drink in the mountain cafe where you can enjoy beautiful views of the city. The last part of the trip is the funicular which is what you take it to the top of the mountain where the park is located.
The trip seems long and tiring and, to be honest, it can be a bit tiring, especially on a hot day where you probably will have to face queues for the funicular. However, if you want a truly spectacular view of the city, you will be rewarded when you reach the top of the mountain. The Tibidabo Mountain is 512 meters and is the highest mountain in the Sierra de Collserola, on a sunny day you can even see Montserrat. Attractions at Tibidabo include Cor Sagrat Church, Tibidabo Amusement Park, and Conserolla Tower.
Where to stay: We stayed in the Hotel Garbi Millenni, which is located only 10 minutes walking from the Las Ramblas. There are also good metro connection nearby the hotel and plenty of choices of bars and restaurants. To check the hotel and make reservation Click Here.
The most popular beaches in Barcelona are: Bogatell (Bus: 6, 36, 41, 92, 141 – Metro: Line 4 – Poblenou and Llacuna), Mar Bella (Bus: 36, 43, 141 – Metro: Line 4 – Mar and El Maresme), Nova Icaria (Bus: 6, 36, 41, 92, 141 – Metro: Line 4 – Ciutadella and Bogatell) and Barceloneta (Bus: 14, 16, 17, 36, 39, 40, 45, 51 , 57, 59, 64 – Metro: Line 4 – Barceloneta and Ciutadella).
The nearest beach is Barceloneta with only 20 minutes walk from the town. This is a trendy beach that offers a good choice of restaurants and bars. Another option with good bars and restaurants is Nova Icaria beach, which is located next to the Olympic Port of Barcelona and is a good option for families and children.
If you are looking for a quieter option, Bogatell is the beach for you, however there are not many restaurants around so be sure to bring drinks and snacks with you. Finally, Mar Bella beach is a favourite among young people and is perfect for water sports.
Passeig de Gracia
Passeig de Gracia, Eixample, Barcelona
Passeig de Gracia is a prestigious and elegant avenue, where you will find 1.3 km of temptations, some of the most prestigious designers can be found here: Valentino, Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Stella MacCartney among others. There are also affordable shops in the area, which makes the Passeig de Gracia attractive and accessible to all. The famous Spanish shopping center El Corte Ingles is also located on Passeig de Gracia.
Barcelona Tourist Information Center
Plaça de Catalunya, 17, 08002 Barcelona. Phone: +34 932 85 38 34
Find the perfect hotel in Barcelona in the map bellow!
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