Barcelona is a city that truly has something for everyone. Located on the northeastern coast of Spain, it’s a city that seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern sophistication. From the stunning Gothic Quarter to the colourful mosaics of Park Güell, the architecture in Barcelona is breathtaking.
But there’s more to this city than just beautiful buildings. Foodies will delight in the city’s culinary scene, which boasts everything from traditional tapas to cutting-edge cuisine. And when the sun goes down, Barcelona comes to life with a vibrant nightlife that caters to all tastes.
In this comprehensive guide to Barcelona, we’ll take a closer look at everything this magical city has to offer. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, we’ll help you make the most of your time in Barcelona. From must-see attractions to hidden gems, our guide will help you plan the perfect trip. So what are you waiting for? Come discover the magic of Barcelona today!
3 Days in Barcelona
Barcelona is a vibrant city that is full of energy, culture, and history. With so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to this popular destination. If you only have three days to explore Barcelona, here is a suggested itinerary to make the most of your time.
Day 1: Explore the Old City
Start your day with a stroll through the Gothic Quarter, also known as Barri Gotic. This area is full of narrow, winding streets and historic buildings dating back to mediaeval times. Highlights include the Barcelona Cathedral, Plaça del Rei, and the Roman Walls.
Next, head over to La Rambla, a lively pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and street performers. Stop at the Boqueria Market, one of the city’s oldest markets, to sample local foods and soak up the bustling atmosphere.
In the afternoon, head to the waterfront and visit the Barceloneta neighbourhood, known for its beaches and seafood restaurants. Take a walk along the promenade and soak up the Mediterranean sunshine.
Day 2: Art and Architecture
Begin your day at the iconic Sagrada Familia, the stunning basilica designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
Next, head to the Park Güell, another Gaudí masterpiece featuring colourful mosaics and whimsical designs. From there, take a taxi to the Passeig de Gracia, a major shopping avenue with some of the city’s most impressive modernist buildings, including Casa Batlló and Casa Milà.
End your day in the El Raval neighbourhood, a hip and diverse area full of trendy bars and restaurants.
Day 3: Montserrat and Tapas
Take a day trip to the nearby Montserrat mountain range, which offers stunning views of the Catalan countryside. You can take a cable car or hike to the top for even more breathtaking vistas. Don’t miss the famous Montserrat Boys Choir, which performs daily in the monastery.
In the evening, enjoy a tapas crawl through the Gracia neighbourhood. This lively area is full of bars and restaurants serving up small plates of delicious Spanish cuisine. Be sure to try the local favourite, patatas bravas.
Three days in Barcelona is just enough time to scratch the surface of this amazing city. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or just soaking up the Mediterranean vibe, Barcelona is a city that will leave you wanting more.
Just 1 day in Barcelona?
One day in Barcelona may not be enough to see everything, but with some strategic planning, you can still experience some of the city’s highlights. Here’s a suggested itinerary for one day in Barcelona:
Morning: Gothic Quarter and La Rambla
Start your day in the Gothic Quarter, the heart of Barcelona’s historic centre. Stroll through the winding streets, taking in the stunning architecture, including the Barcelona Cathedral and the Plaça del Rei. Don’t miss the Santa Maria del Pi church and the Roman Walls.
Next, head to La Rambla, a lively pedestrian street full of shops, cafes, and street performers. Check out the iconic Boqueria Market, one of the city’s oldest markets, to sample local foods and soak up the bustling atmosphere.
Midday: Park Guell and Gaudi Architecture
After lunch, make your way to Park Guell, a whimsical and colourful park designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudi. The park features beautiful mosaic designs and stunning views of the city. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
Next, head to Casa Batlló or Casa Milà, two of Gaudi’s most famous modernist buildings located on the Passeig de Gracia. Marvel at the intricate details and unique architecture that make these buildings so special.
Evening: Beach and Tapas
As the sun begins to set, make your way to the Barceloneta neighbourhood, known for its beaches and seafood restaurants. Take a walk along the promenade and enjoy the Mediterranean breeze.
End your day with a tapas crawl through the El Raval neighbourhood, a hip and diverse area full of trendy bars and restaurants serving up small plates of delicious Spanish cuisine. Be sure to try the local favourite, patatas bravas.
While one day in Barcelona is not enough to see everything, this itinerary will give you a taste of the city’s rich culture, history, and beauty.
How to get to and around Barcelona
Getting to and around Barcelona is relatively easy, thanks to the city’s well-connected transportation infrastructure. Here are some tips for getting to and around Barcelona:
Getting to Barcelona:
- By plane: Barcelona’s main airport is El Prat, which is located about 12 km southwest of the city centre. From the airport, you can take a taxi, bus, or train to get to the city centre.
- By train: Barcelona has several train stations, including Sants, which is the city’s main railway station. High-speed trains connect Barcelona with other cities in Spain, as well as international destinations like Paris and Geneva.
- By bus: Barcelona has several bus stations, including Estació del Nord and Sants Estació. Buses connect Barcelona with other cities in Spain, as well as international destinations like France and Italy.
Getting around Barcelona:
- Metro: Barcelona has an efficient metro system with several lines that connect most parts of the city. Tickets can be purchased at metro stations or at newsstands.
- Bus: Barcelona also has an extensive bus network, which is especially useful for getting to areas that are not served by the metro. Like the metro, bus tickets can be purchased at bus stops or newsstands.
- Taxi: Taxis are widely available in Barcelona and can be hailed on the street or at designated taxi stands. Most taxis accept credit cards.
- Bicycle: Barcelona has an extensive network of bike lanes, making it easy to explore the city by bike. There are several bike rental companies in the city.
When getting around Barcelona, it’s important to be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas like the metro and tourist attractions. Keep your valuables close and be cautious with your belongings. Additionally, Barcelona can be quite hilly in some areas, so be prepared for some uphill walks or bike rides.
Places to stay in Barcelona
Barcelona is a popular tourist destination with a wide range of accommodations to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a budget hostel or a luxurious hotel, there’s something for everyone. Here are some suggestions for places to stay in Barcelona:
- La Rambla: If you want to be in the heart of the action, La Rambla is a great option. This lively pedestrian street is lined with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Some popular hotels in the area include Hotel Royal Ramblas, Hotel Continental Barcelona, and Hotel Lloret Ramblas.
- Gothic Quarter: The Gothic Quarter is the oldest and most historic part of Barcelona, with narrow streets and beautiful architecture. Some popular hotels in the area include Hotel Neri, Mercer Hotel Barcelona, and Hotel Do Plaça Reial.
- El Raval: El Raval is a trendy and diverse neighbourhood that’s known for its nightlife and street art. Some popular hotels in the area include Hotel Barceló Raval, Hotel 1898, and Casa Camper Hotel Barcelona.
- Eixample: Eixample is a more upscale neighbourhood with wide avenues and beautiful modernist architecture. Some popular hotels in the area include Hotel Casa Fuster, Hotel Claris, and Hotel Majestic.
- Gracia: Gracia is a bohemian and artistic neighbourhood that’s popular with young travellers. Some popular hotels in the area include Casa Gracia Hostel, Generator Hostel Barcelona, and Hotel Casa Bella Gracia.
No matter where you choose to stay in Barcelona, be sure to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak travel season. Additionally, keep in mind that some areas of the city can be noisy at night, so consider bringing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.
What and where to eat in Barcelona
Barcelona is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse culinary scene that reflects the city’s cultural and historical influences. From traditional Catalan cuisine to international fusion dishes, there’s something for everyone. Here are some suggestions for what and where to eat in Barcelona:
- Tapas: No trip to Barcelona is complete without sampling some tapas, which are small plates of food that are meant to be shared. Some popular tapas dishes include patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), croquetas (deep-fried balls of ham and cheese), and pan con tomate (bread with tomato and olive oil). Some popular tapas bars in Barcelona include Quimet & Quimet, La Cova Fumada, and Bar Pinotxo.
- Seafood: Being located on the coast, Barcelona is known for its fresh seafood dishes. Some popular seafood dishes include paella (rice dish with seafood), fideuà (similar to paella but made with noodles), and grilled octopus. Some popular seafood restaurants in Barcelona include La Paradeta, Rias de Galicia, and Els Pescadors.
- Catalan cuisine: Catalan cuisine is the local cuisine of Barcelona, and it’s characterised by its use of fresh ingredients and bold flavours. Some popular Catalan dishes include botifarra (sausage), escalivada (roasted vegetables), and calçots (a type of onion). Some popular Catalan restaurants in Barcelona include Can Culleretes, Els Quatre Gats, and La Fonda del Port Olimpic.
- International cuisine: Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population, so there are plenty of international dining options as well. Some popular international cuisines include Japanese, Mexican, and Lebanese. Some popular international restaurants in Barcelona include Koy Shunka, Tlaxcal, and Aladdin.
When dining in Barcelona, keep in mind that some restaurants may charge extra for bread and water, so be sure to check the menu before ordering. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to make reservations in advance, especially at popular restaurants.
Coworking in Barcelona
Barcelona is a popular destination for digital nomads and remote workers, thanks to its vibrant culture, beautiful weather, and affordable cost of living. Whether you’re looking for a dedicated coworking space or a more casual cafe to work from, there are plenty of options to choose from in Barcelona. Here are some suggestions for coworking in Barcelona:
- Betahaus: Betahaus is one of the most popular coworking spaces in Barcelona, with locations in both the Gracia and Eixample neighbourhoods. The spaces offer both dedicated desks and flexible memberships, as well as networking events and workshops.
- MOB Coworking: MOB Coworking is another popular coworking space in Barcelona, with locations in the PobleNou and Eixample neighbourhoods. The spaces offer both private offices and shared coworking areas, as well as a cafe and event space.
- OneCoWork: OneCoWork is a luxury coworking space in the Gothic Quarter, with high-end amenities like a rooftop terrace, event space, and fitness centre. The space offers both private offices and shared coworking areas, as well as networking events and workshops.
- Café coworking: If you prefer to work from a more casual environment, there are plenty of cafes in Barcelona that offer coworking spaces. Some popular options include Satan’s Coffee Corner, SlowMov, and Nomad Coffee.
When coworking in Barcelona, keep in mind that most spaces require a membership or daily fee, so be sure to plan accordingly. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to bring a reliable VPN to ensure secure internet access.