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Barcelona city provides amazing architecture, beautiful people, a relaxed pace of life, wonderful beaches, pleasant Mediterranean climate, delicious cuisine, and much more to make your trip a memorable one. Our Barcelona travel guide will solve all your worries regarding things to do and places to visit. So, continue reading!
In a hurry? Bring me to the right place
- Best time to visit Barcelona
- What to see in Barcelona
- Things to do in Barcelona, Spain
- Best beaches in Barcelona
- Where to stay in Barcelona
- Traveling around Barcelona
- Tips for travelers
Best Time To Visit Barcelona
The month of May and June as well as September and October are the best time to visit Barcelona as the weather is pleasant and there are several festivals held at that time. The world’s biggest music festival, Primavera Sound is held in the end of May or beginning of June, which should not be missed at all! Alternatively, if you want to attend the four day Festes de la Mercè, then you should plan your trip in the month of September. During this festival, you will be able to experience the traditions of Barcelona as there are several concerts, parades, as well as Catalan dances and feasts held. Whenever you plan your trip, remember that Barcelona is the most touristy place in Spain, even though the capital is Madrid, so you will find several travelers for the entire year.
What To See In Barcelona?
Situated in front of Plaça de la Seu, the Barcelona Cathedral is among one of the largest and most inspiring Gothic Churches in Spain. A visit to the Barcelona Cathedral, which is also known as Cathedral of Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, will make you fall in love with its beauty and grandeur.
On working days, the church is open from 8:30am to 12:30pm and 5:45pm to 7:30pm for prayer and worship. For tourists, the visiting hours are 12:30pm to 7:45pm. The timings for Saturdays, Sundays, and festivals keeps changing, so check them out on their official webpage before planning for a visit.
Once here, don’t forget to use the elevator to reach the roof of the church to have a glimpse of the stunning views of the Gothic Quarter and the skyline of Barcelona. Ensure that you carry your cameras to capture the beautiful architecture and mesmerizing views.
Picasso Museum Barcelona
If you are a big fan of Picasso’s work then you should visit the Picasso Museum Barcelona. Here, you will be able to find more than 4,000 Picassos exhibited, which mostly consists of the works from his early years. Most of these paintings were donated by Picasso himself to his close friend Jaime, the founder of the museum.
The museum is closed on Mondays. It opens at 9am to 7pm from Tuesdays to Sundays. On Thursday, the timings are 9am to 9:30pm. Tickets can be purchased online, which costs €12 per adult. There are certain days when you can enter the museum for free of cost like Thursday afternoons at 6pm to 9:30pm. Details of entrance tickets and timings can be found here.
If you are planning to visit several Barcelona’s museums then it is advisable to purchase the Articket BCN Discount Pass, which will let you save up to 45% on museum tickets. The pass is valid for 12 months and will allow you to enter the top six Barcelona art museums. Children below the age of 16 years can enter with a pass holder for free. Kindly click here to view details of the Articket BCN pass.
Park Güell Barcelona
Among one of the famous Barcelona attractions, the Park Güell is a beautiful public park that has been declared as the World Heritage Site. It comprises of The Gardens of Austria, The Washer’s Portico, The Hypostyle Room, and The Teatre Grec, among others. The park attracts innumerable visitors each day. It is open for 365 days of the year. You can purchase several souvenirs from the local shops that represent the entrance of the Park Güell, which has been guarded by a mosaic lizard and take back happy memories with you. The timings for the park vary depending on the seasons. So, before you plan your visit, have a look at the different timings for Park Güell.
The Park Güell Barcelona is divided into two parts – the Monumental Axis that requires you to purchase an entrance ticket, and the free access area of the park. To avoid long queues and acquire a guarantee to enter at the desired time, it is advisable to purchase the entrance tickets to the Monumental Axis in advance. You can purchase the tickets three months in advance by booking them online. The cost of one ticket for a person above 12 years of age is €7.50. Tickets for children aged between 7 to 12 years and those above 65 years is €5.25. Kids below the age of 6 years can enter for free. You can purchase entrance tickets for Park by visiting their official webpage.
Magic Fountain in Barcelona
Your trip to Barcelona would be incomplete if you do not visit the Magic Fountain. The amazing sound and light show attracts over 2.5 million visitors each year. As the fountain produces about 7 billion water-and-light combinations, the sight is worth capturing. This spectacular music, water, color, and light combination can be viewed for free of cost, so who would think of missing it?
The show lasts for about 20 minutes and depending on the seasons, the timings and show days for the Magic Fountain in Barcelona keeps changing. So, it is advisable to check them out on their official webpage before planning for a visit. To get the best clicks of the musical fountain, ensure that you arrive at least an hour in advance. You can spend the hour by having some snacks and drinks from the nearby restaurant. To have a closer look of the fountain, you can book a one-night stay and reach the 8th floor terrace of Hotel Catalonia Plaza.
This place is not really in Barcelona, but it’s really easy to get to it. Just catch a train from España rail station and in less than one hour you are in this magical and holy place. After getting there I would highly recommend getting to the top by taking extra transportation – Funicular, which is not necessary but advisable
Things To Do In Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has innumerable vibrant local markets that attract several visitors every day. Whether you are a foodie or looking for traditional Spanish clothing, you will find it all at the Barcelona Markets!
- Sant Antoni Market: A famous food market of Barcelona, the Sant Antoni market is mostly crowded with locals. The smell of fresh fruits and vegetables will tempt you to buy more. Don’t forget to have some snacks at the small tapas bars that are located in the midst of the market. Ensure that you do not visit the market in the month of August as it is closed. Rest of the months, the market is open from 7am to 2:30pm and then back at 5pm to 10:30pm on Monday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday the timings for the market are 7am to 10:30pm. The market is closed on Sundays. However, if you visit the market on a Sunday, then you can shop for antique coins, books, postcards, and comics that are sold outside the market from 8am to 3pm.
- Fira de Nautumismo: If you are a numismatist or philatelist, then you should visit the Fira de Nautumismo market where you will find innumerable types of coins and stamps for sale. Collectors can spend several hours in the market looking for rare varieties to add in their collection. Coins and currencies are sold at an affordable price so you will certainly get something to take back home. The market is open only on Sundays between 9am to 2:30pm. You may also find few shops that are selling handmade crafts, real antiques, and vintage jewelry.
- Encants Barcelona: One of the largest and most popular flea markets, Encants Barcelona attracts innumerable tourists as well as locals. Here, you will be able to purchase new and old items, so there is something for everyone! If you are a good bargainer then you will enjoy spending time in this huge market. Cosmetics, antiques, clothing, tools, or accessories – you name it and you get it! If you are planning to buy antiques then you should visit in the mornings to get some good stuff. However, avoid visiting the market on a Saturday as it is their busiest day and will be very crowded. To get products for a good bargain then you should visit in the early afternoon as the prices are dropped by then and sellers are usually set to pack up their things.
- Mercat De La Boqueria: If you are having a few hours free in your itinerary then a visit to the Mercat De La Boqueria will be worth it! It is one of Europe’s largest food markets, which is perpetually crowded with visitors and locals. Here, you will be able to find a huge variety of fruits and vegetables of several nations. And, if you get tired of shopping, then you can relax for sometime by ordering lunch at the bars and restaurants that are in the market. You can visit the market on Mondays to Saturdays from 8am to 8:30pm. On Sundays and festivals, the market is closed. So, before heading for the market, check their official webpage to know if the market is open or close. There are plenty of parking spaces available for vehicles. If you have purchased for more than €30 then you will get first hour free parking for your vehicle.
Passeig de Gracià
After doing some food shopping, you can head straight to Passeig de Gracià, which is considered to be the most-expensive street in Barcelona. The amazing architecture and innumerable luxury fashion stores will keep you occupied for the day. Some of the structures that you should not miss are The Palau Robert, Casa Batlló, and Casa Amatller, among others. The residents of Barcelona shop for designer clothing by visiting Passeig de Gracià as there are several top brands available like Channel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Guess, Cartier, and many more. If you need some rest after shopping, then you can visit the nearby cafés and restaurants to relish authentic Spanish cuisine. You can even spend time in the art galleries that are located at the top end.
‘Tapas’ means a small portion of any kind of Spanish cuisine that is commonly served in Barcelona bars. Tapas dishes can be anything – a bowl of pistachios or a plate of grilled chicken. There are several local bars on the streets that serve tapas with drinks. Some of the common tapas dishes that you will find in the menus of Barcelona are Patatas Bravas (French fries), Chipirones (baby squids deep fried), Russian salad, fried eggplant with honey, and Croquetas (deep fried dish made of chicken, fish, or ham), among others.
There are several tapas bars in Barcelona that serve authentic tapas dishes. You should spend one of your evenings at Bar Cañete, Bar del Pla, Tapas 24, Lolita Tapería, or Jai-Ca to relish scrumptious tapas cuisine with a local drink. You will find innumerable travelers from across the globe in these tapas bars, so ensure that you visit early evenings so that you get a seat to sit and enjoy your day.
Best Beaches In Barcelona
Whether you are looking for some extreme water sports or simply want to relax on the sands, you will get it all in Barcelona beaches! There are a number of awesome beach locations in Barcelona that can suit one and all. Here are some of the best beaches in Barcelona that you should visit during your trip:
- Sant Sebastià Beach: Located at the eastern end of Barcelona, it is among one of the longest beaches in the city. You will find several locals and visitors at Sant Sebastià beach. The beach provides various facilities like sunbeds and umbrellas for rentals as well as several restaurants. There is dedicated children’s play area as well as showers and public toilets for use. You can either play beach volleyball out here or participate in some water sports or try to snorkel if you have a snorkel gear. It is a perfect beach to spend an entire day.
- Barceloneta Beach: The Barceloneta beach provides a lively atmosphere for the entire year. Travelers enjoy spending their summers here while basking in the sun, which makes it one of the most crowded beaches in peak season. It is a family beach that has several seafood eateries and extreme water sports like kite-surfing, windsurfing, etc.
- Mar Bella Beach: Famous for its nudist stretch, the Mar Bella beach is a short walk away from the Barceloneta beach. On weekends, you will find several people spending time in the sands for the entire night. As nudism is perfectly legal throughout Spain, visitors usually carry nothing more than a beach towel to enjoy these beaches.
Where To Stay In Barcelona?
Finding an appropriate place to stay in a new city can be a daunting task. There are innumerable Barcelona Hotels that can suit everyone’s taste and budget. To make your pick easier, the top three Barcelona Hotels have been reviewed for you:
EasySleep Gaudi Terrace
If you are traveling on a tight budget, then the EasySleep Gaudi Terrace would be an apt choice for you. Here, you can get apartments for long-term stay and at affordable prices. So, if you are planning to stay in Barcelona for several weeks then booking an apartment here won’t hurt your pockets. As per your requirements, you can book a one-bedroom apartment that can accommodate two people or a two-bedroom apartment for six people. There are some rooms available with private terraces too. You will have a fully equipped kitchen with each room, so that cooking meals would be easier.
Cotton House Hotel
Located in the heart of Barcelona, the Cotton House is a lavish 5-star hotel, which is about 5 minutes away from Plaza Catalunya. It offers 78 comfortable rooms and 5 spacious suites, which are divided into different categories, so that you can pick the one that suits you best. Library, outdoor pool, terrace restaurant, gym, free Wi-Fi, etc. are some of the facilities provided by the hotel. Their restaurant “Batuar,” offers non-stop service for the entire day, which begins at 7am until midnight. So, whenever you are back to your room after shopping or sightseeing, you can enjoy your meals without any difficulties. As the hotel is about 20 minutes drive from airport and 10 minutes drive from train station, this would be the best choice for a comfortable and luxurious stay in Barcelona.
Hotel Barcelona Princess
The Barcelona Princess is a 4-star hotel, which is located at #1 on Avenida Diagonal. It is an apt choice for those travelers who are looking for a cozy and inexpensive hotel. The hotel offers innumerable rooms that are bright and elegant. You can select among the rooms that offer sea views or outdoor pool views as well as superior rooms with personal terrace. It is at 10 minutes walking distance from the beach and 100 meters away from Maresme Forum Metro Station. Free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, air condition, locker, minibar, free drinks, gym, sauna, etc. are some of the amenities that you will get here. Before booking a room with them, you can check the several offers that they provide so that you can get a room at a discounted price.
Traveling Around Barcelona
Hop-On Hop-Off Tourist Buses
First time travelers to Barcelona must use the hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses as it is an easiest way to view the famous areas of the city. You can get in and get out from the bus at any of the destinations that you prefer. As the bus reaches all tourist hot spots, it becomes simple and convenient for first time visitors to travel. Moreover, you can even have a full tour experience in one-go to see the famous spots of the city. The price for one day ticket is €27 and two days trip is €36 per adult. Cost of tickets for a child aged 4 to 12 years is €16 for one day and €10.5 for two days. Kids below the age of 4 travel for free. You can purchase the tickets online without any hassles.
Barcelona Metro is an extensive network of railway lines that makes traveling easier for locals as well as visitors. It is made up of 12 lines and most of the metros run underground. You can purchase the tickets for metro from your mobile phone by downloading the TMB App. If you are planning to stay in Barcelona for several weeks then you can purchase specific travel cards that allow 50 journeys to be made for a single person in 30 days, or 10 journeys to be made for multiple persons, or unlimited journeys to be made in a month. Depending on your stay and preference, you can buy the travel card.
Barcelona buses are the easiest form of public transport for locals as well as travelers. The buses ply day and night to make traveling easier for all. You can reach all neighborhoods of Barcelona by using their quick bus services. Before stepping out, you can check the timetable of the buses for the day by visiting their official website. This will make it easier for you to plan your travels daily. The tickets for traveling in buses of Barcelona can be purchased on the TMB App, which is also used for booking tickets for Barcelona Metro.
Many people rent a car to conveniently reach the Monserrat and other things to do around Barcelona. So if you are thinking about this option go ahead and rent yourself a nice car.
Traveling Tips To Make Your Stay In Barcelona Comfortable
- In all crowded areas, especially Barcelona markets and metros, keep your purses and wallets safely as there are chances of pickpockets.
- Don’t miss out the Montjuïc cable car, which provides amazing views of the city and takes you to Montjuïc Castle. Your cable car trip will start from the Funicular station and arrive at Montjuïc Park by traveling through the mountains in comfy 8-seater cabins.
- You should indulge in traditional seafood that is available in restaurants that are close to the beaches.
- To avoid long queues at touristy areas, it is advisable to book tickets well in advance.
Finally, Barcelona is a city that can impress one and all! You can easily spend more than a week in exploring this magnificent city. Now that you have read about numerous things to do in Barcelona, planning the itinerary won’t be difficult! So, start packing and have a safe trip to Barcelona!