When you hear the word Barcelona, you are already expecting a colorful and spectacular city. And you wouldn’t be wrong. From the evergrowing La Sagrada Familia to the matchbox shops in the La Boqueria, Barcelona engages all your senses. 

Barcelona has a Gothic influence and you see it at the Gothic Quarter. You also get to see the remnants of many religious empires throughout the city and it never fails to amuse you with its rustic yet contemporary feel. Our Barcelona travel guide has all you need to know about the city, when to visit, the best attractions and much more!

Why Visit Barcelona

1. If you’re an Art Lover: Barcelona is the best place to experience a heady mix of contemporary and street art. After coming out of the MACBA, you just might get an idea of where art is headed next. A walk down any lane lets you admire the graffiti and street art.

2. If you’re a History Buff: The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for over a hundred years. The religious symbolism in it and its unique nature-infused construction, making it the crown jewel of Barcelona.

3. If you love Music Festivals: If you want to get familiar with the live music scene, Barcelona is the place to head at. The Sonar and Primavera Sound music festivals will astound you if you happen to visit Barcelona in spring. Other than those, the Razzmatazz and Sala Apolo would be booming with the hottest electronic music.

4. If you’re a Shopaholic: Head down to Las Ramblas. It is one of Europe’s most famous streets and houses scores of coffee shops, restaurants, shops, flower stalls, kiosks and stalls for souvenirs, etc. an entire day can be spent at these stalls as you try some of the extremely authentic dishes.

5. If you love Football: Last but not the least, Barcelona is home to one of the world’s greatest football clubs. Because Barcelona has mountains and beaches, there are so many sports that can be enjoyed on this terrain.

Barcelona Travel Essentials

Here's a quick round-up of essentials and tips you need to get planning for your Barcelona vacation! From the best time of the year to visit Barcelona, to tips and hacks no one has told you - we've got you covered.

Barcelona Essentials
Best Time to Visit
Itineraries
Public Transport
Travel Tips & Hacks
Barcelona Basics
  • Language - Catalan, Spanish
  • Currency - Euro (EUR)
  • Time Zone - GMT +1 hour
  • Country Code - +34
  • Socket Type - C and F
  • Visa Application For Barcelona
  • Barcelona Airport - El Prat de Llobregat Aeropuerto

Best months to visit Barcelona: March to May

Barcelona in Spring
Barcelona in Spring

Barcelona in Spring comes to life and you get to participate in a lot of activities, especially on the beaches. Visit all the main attractions in Spring and then cool off at one of the open bars next to the beach. You could also catch music festivals and celebrate local festivals.

Barcelona in Summer
Barcelona in Summer

If you are planning your trip to Barcelona in the summer, you are in for a visual treat. Barcelona is a vibrant city and in the summers, it treats you with delicious food, starry skies and neighborhood parties.

Barcelona in Autumn
Barcelona in Autumn

Autumns in Barcelona are believed to be the best. The Annual International Jazz Festival in Barcelona kicks off in the autumn bringing music lovers from all around the world to the city. In autumn, the queues are much shorter and one can completely take in the beauty of the city.

Barcelona in Winter
Barcelona in Winter

The winters in Barcelona aren’t freezing cold but you could take a swim in the thermal baths to feel warm and cozy. The adventurer in you could go for a quick skiing trip to La Molina or La Masella. As Christmas is also round the corner in winter, you could try and celebrate Christmas the Catalan way and try the local delicacies.

Barcelona
1 Day in Barcelona
  1. A day trip to Sagrada Familia and Passeig de Gracia.
  2. Followed by a walk down La Rambla will make for a memorable trip to Barcelona.
  3. Top it off by heading for scrumptious dinner at Barceloneta, the city’s beach neighborhood.
Barcelona City
2 Days in Barcelona
  1. Start your trip by diving into the rich cultural and historical neighborhoods of Barcelona.
  2. Visit the Sagrada Familia, Barri Gòtic, La Ramblas and the delightful Park Guell.
  3. Make time for a visit to Barcelona’s Boqueria Market for a savory retreat.
  4. On the second day, explore Barcelona’s unique architecture and the designs of Antoni Gaudi, like Casa Mila.
  5. A visit to Barcelona’s Palace of Catalan Music and the Barcelona Cathedral is highly recommended.
Barcelona City
3 Days in Barcelona
  1. Start your journey by exploring the awe-inspiring work of Antoni Gaudi by exploring Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, along the Passeig de Gracia.
  2. In the city center, there are multiple museums and restaurants like the Catalonia Museum, all within walking distance.
  3. Head over to UNESCO Heritage Sites in Barcelona on the second day, like the magnificent Recinte Modernista Sant Pau and Palau de la Música Catalana.
  4. Enjoy your last day by going to the Chocolate Museum, Picasso Museum, Gothic Quarters, etc. or take a trip to the famous Montjuïc Hill.
  5. And for the football fans, a trip to Camp Nou, the home stadium of FC Barcelona is a must-visit.

Barcelona Train
Train

The TMB website is very helpful when it comes to understanding the metro system of Barcelona. You can easily get a pass for the train from any metro station. You could also invest in a travel card that grants you direct access through public transport in the city.

Barcelona Metro
Metro

There are different metro lines that take you around the city. You could hop on any metro after checking the TMB website which shows the traffic on that specific line.

Barcelona Bus
Buses

Having the Hola Barcelona card really helps for up to 3-4 days of travel. Get it made at the airport metro station for an easy trip from the moment you enter the city. For all those who want a classic tour bus trip through the city, the Barcelona Bus Turistic will take you through. 

Rental Bikes
Rental Bikes

This is probably the best way to get to know the city. Bikes allow you flexibility and especially with the Coronavirus, you could avoid public transport by renting a bike. With companies such as Born Bike, Barcelona Biking, Un Cotxe Menys, etc, you can rent a bike any time and get around the city.

City Info
  • The top two languages spoken are the Spanish language and the more local, Catalan language.
  • Barcelona follows the Central European Standard Time.
  • As Spain is a part of the EU, the currency in Barcelona is the Euro.
  • The country code for Spain in 34 and the area code for Barcelona is 93.
Traveling with Kids
  • Barcelona for kids is all about FC Barcelona.
  • There are guided tours of the Camp Nou for all those who love to chant Forca Barca.
  • Other than that, if you are taking a day trip across the city, there is nothing to worry about.
  • Food is in abundance and there are a lot of places where both kids and parents can enjoy equally.
Shopping Hacks
  • Plan your day ahead of time if you want to shop.
  • Many matchbox shops dot any street in Barcelona, but if you want to shop local stuff, you better head to Las Ramblas.
  • Not only will you get to taste the authentic Barcelonian taste but also be able to shop as you go.
Public Transport Passes
  • If you have the Barcelona Pass, it allows you unlimited access to the city’s public transport for up to 3 days.
  • There is also a travel card system that allows you to take the metro, the TMB, the local trains, etc.
  • Get the Barcelona City Pass to get a combo package of entrances to the city's popular attractions and access to the public transport system.
Budget Hacks
  • The Barcelona Pass allows you to save a lot of money.
  • It offers guided tours and food and travel are taken care of with the pass.
  • There is also a Barcelona All Inclusive card that you could use to your benefit.
Dress Code
  • Barcelona is a liberal city but has some conservative pockets.
  • While going to these, people should resort to simple dresses or skirts or wear comfortable pants and cotton blouses.
Rules and Regulations
  • Even though Barcelona is liberal, the Catalan capital has certain rules that you should follow.
  • Consuming alcohol in the streets is illegal.
  • Wearing bikinis or going topless is only permitted on the beach.
  • Possessing drugs that aren’t prescribed is also a criminal offense under Spanish law.
Coronavirus Advisory
  • We are aware that the COVID-19 outbreak might put a pause on your plans.
  • We urge you to cancel all non-essential travel to Spain.
  • We also encourage that you check out the CDC and WHO websites for official updates.
  • Please don’t fall prey to fake news. Facts are paramount.

Fun Things to do in Barcelona

Looking for offbeat, fun experiences in Barcelona? We have a whole list of them and then some more! You can learn to make paellas under a local’s guidance, go bungee jumping with Catalonia Adventures or even learn to tap your feet to some flamenco! Check out our top picks for the most fun things to do in Barcelona.

Art & Culture in Barcelona

With umpteen art galleries, myriad festivals through the year, vibrant architecture and a rich historic past - the art and culture of Barcelona is an interesting exploit. Here's a capsule edit of the art and culture in the Catalonian capital.

History of Barcelona
History of Barcelona

Founded by the Romans and named after Barcino, Barcelona had a huge wall around town whose remnants are seen to date. It was under Muslim rule and then the Christians had a conquest and after that, Barcelona was the center of economics and politics in the Western Mediterranean. The Gothic Quarter bears witness to the splendor of the city from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

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Art in Barcelona
Art & Architecture in Barcelona

Gaudi was a man who completely owned Barcelona when it came to unique architecture. To experience that, you could just go around town and find yourself floored by his work. There are a lot of exhibits in different museums all around Barcelona like the MNAC or the Picasso Museum. The Galeria Artevistas would have you waiting to view some of the world’s most pricey art.

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Events in Barcelona
Events in Barcelona

Barcelona is home to a host of interesting events - from music festivals like Primavera Sound Festival and Sonar Festival to the exciting F1 Grand Prix in May and other cultural events like BCNegra, Santa Eulalia and Dia de Sant Jordi to name a few, events in Barcelona are aplenty. No matter which month you plan to visit Barcelona, you get to be a part of one event or the other!

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Festivals in Barcelona
Festivals in Barcelona

From processions to parades, festivity is all a part of everyday life in Barcelona. Some of the festivals to look out for would be Epiphany, Festa del Tres Tombs, Dia de Sant Jordi, Fira de Sagrada Familia, Sant Joan and for obvious reason Natal (Christmas). Try and coincide your vacation with one of the many festivals and partake in the local festivities!

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Eating in Barcelona

Catalonian cuisine combines the best elements of Spanish and French cooking with a unique Catalan flare - an unmatched palette. You can choose from an array of simple family-run restaurants or the city’s list of 23 Michelin-starred restaurants - whatever and wherever you choose to eat, your taste buds are in for a treat! Here are our favorite restaurants and must-have dishes in the city. Que Aproveche!

Restaurant
Top Restaurants in Barcelona
  1. Tickets
  2. Meneghina
  3. ABaC
  4. Alkimia
  5. La Vinateria del Call
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Tapas bars
Best Tapas Bars in Barcelona
  1. El 58
  2. Jai-Ca
  3. Quimet y Quimet
  4. El Vaso De Oro
  5. Lolita Taperia
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paellas
Must-Try Dishes in Barcelona
  1. Paella
  2. Bombas
  3. Escalivada
  4. Croquetas
  5. Pa amb Tomàquet
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street food
Best Street Food in Barcelona
  1. Patatas Bravas
  2. Entrepà
  3. Bikini
  4. Croquetas
  5. Tortilla de patatas
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Nightlife in Barcelona

From Flamenco and Tapas to night strolls in the Old City, Barcelona knows how to keep visitors engaged and enthusiastic. Nightlife in Barcelona is as vibrant as the city’s quirky architecture - it goes on till the wee hours of the morning and is said to be quite the scene! From techno to indie, you can vibe to any music of your choice, any given day of the week. You also get to choose from beachfront clubs, hole in the wall pubs or modern discotheques - as long as you’re wearing your dancing shoes, you’ll have a great time! 

Staying in Barcelona

Where you stay in the city makes a world of a difference. While budget is the most important deciding factor, there are multiple other factors you must take into considerations. Do you like staying someplace with good public transport connectivity, do you prefer staying within walking distance to the best bars in town or do you like staying in a secluded part of the city - away from the tourist hustle. After scouring the internet for the best places to stay in Barcelona, here are our top picks, basis budget and traveler reviews. 

Budget Hotels

For backpackers and budget-travelers there are many hostels and hotels in Barcelona you can stay for real cheap, without compromising on locality and quality. You can even wake up to a good breakfast spread here (sometimes)! Here are our top picks.

  • Hostal Barcelona Centro
  • Santa Marta Hotel
  • Hotel Canton
Economy Hotels

With slightly more frills than hostels, maybe a pool and closer to a star attraction in the city, these economically priced hotels are for those travelers looking for comfort at a reasonable rate. These hotels are a guaranteed value for money!

  • The Corner Hotel
  • Hotel Granvia
  • Hotel 1898
Luxury Hotels

For those who want to bask in the lap of luxury and take their vacation a notch higher, these luxurious 4 star+ hotels are just what you need. You'll have spas, splendid views, a feast for a spread and all that money can buy you!

  • El Palauet Living Barcelona
  • El Palace Hotel
  • Hotel the Serras
Boutique B&Bs

For the ones who like to live in style - boutique hotels are the obvious choice. Most boutique B&B buildings have a story to tell - old homes converted hotels with a charm like no other.

  • The Patio Barcelona
  • The5Rooms
  • Anakena House

Shopping in Barcelona

Shopping in Barcelona has everything from high-end foreign designer brands to clandestine local boutiques nestled in the backstreets. Some of the most popular things tourists buy from Barcelona include Artisanal Jewellery, Cava and Catalonian Cheese! You can also check out our souvenir shopping guide to Barcelona.