"The happiest street in the world, the street where the four seasons of the year live together, the only street of the land that I wish would never end”. - Federico Garcia Lorca.
Be it the Gran Via, the medieval alleys, the Gothic Quarter, or the seafront, Barcelona is wonderful. Cosmopolitan and animated, the city is nice any time of the year and is a hugely popular destination for both romantic getaways or trips with the family.
Spain is the second most popular tourist destination in the world and with nearly 20 million visitors a year, Catalonia is one of the most popular destinations ahead of both the Balearic and Canary Islands. The beautiful Catalan city of Barcelona has so much to offer with tonnes of places and attractions to visit, too.
In this article, we’ve got some advice for those looking to travel there.
History and Culture in Barcelona
Barcelona is perfectly situated along the coast of the Mediterranean and is a very multicultural city, too. You’ll hear many languages being spoken in its streets but the two official languages are Catalan and Spanish. You can feel the city’s history in every one of its neighbourhoods.
You can see remains from the Roman Bàrcino colony, the port that made the city an important trading hub, the Ciutadella Park where the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition took place, and Montjuïc, which leads to the location of the 1992 summer Olympic Games.
What would you like to know about Barcelona?
It should be known that the city is more than just its emblematic football team and as you walk around the city, you can enjoy the works of famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Along the Passeig de Gràcia, for example, you can see many excellent examples of Art Noveau architecture and the colourful houses and mosaics are a sight to behold.
Catalan Modernism is alive and well and there’s so much of it to see in Barcelona. You could travel to Barcelona just to see the wonderful architecture of Antoni Gaudi. Of course, there are certainly plenty of other beautiful buildings in Barcelona that you should also visit but you could spend your entire trip just enjoying the Gaudi buildings and not leave disappointed.
There are reasons beyond architecture to travel to Barcelona. The city is also very famous for its nightlife with tonnes of places to go for a drink or a dance. Similarly, those who love food can also enjoy some wonderful Catalan cuisine. Seafood, paella, sangria, tapas, etc.!
There’s something for everyone and even shopaholics can spend hours in the city’s shops. From luxury stores to artisanal boutiques, you’ll find something to buy.
There’s so much to see and do in Barcelona.
The Top 10 Places to Visit in Barcelona
To discover the city, you’ll want to plan out an itinerary of things to see. Thus, you’ll feel like you’re getting the most out of your trip.
Did you know that Barcelona is one of the cities with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites? Are you still thinking about what to see and do when you get there?
Here are some unmissable sites in Barcelona:
- The Aquarium Barcelona at Port Vell.
- The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)
- Tibidabo Amusement Park
- The Arc de Triomf in Ciutadella Park
- The Sagrada Familia Cathedral
- The El Born, El Raval, and El Gotico neighbourhoods.
- Plaça catalunya and the Ramblas
- Parc Güell and the Carmel neighbourhood.
- The Picasso Museum or the Fundació Joan Miró
- The roof terrace at Casa Milà
- And many others!
”There is no man more complete than the one who travelled a lot, who changed the shape of his thoughts and his life twenty times.” - Alphonse de Lamartine
In short, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting Barcelona. Your holidays in the city will be full of surprises so don’t hesitate to plan your trip to Barcelona to avoid being disappointing by missing something.
Where to Stay in Barcelona
There’s a broad choice of places to stay in Barcelona. However, we recommend that you find a hotel near the centre so that you can walk around some of the city’s best neighbourhoods.
You don’t want accommodation that’s out of the way. After all, it’d be a shame to go to Barcelona and end up spending most of your time on public transport. Furthermore, Barcelona has accommodation for all budgets. Whether you’re planning a trip last-minute or have spent ages organising your holiday, you’ll need to think about where to stay in Barcelona.
For young tourists, youth hostels are a good option. They’re usually very affordable and offer somewhere to keep your bags and sleep at night.
There are also plenty of flats in Barcelona. With Airbnb, for example, you can find tonnes of different holiday rents for all budgets, which will allow you a lot of freedom when travelling.
There are also aparthotels, which offer the best of both worlds between a hotel room and a flat.
If you’re visiting Barcelona for a short time, a hotel is probably what you’re after as the city's full of hotels for all budgets.
Looking for a cheap hotel? Or would you prefer something with an excellent view of the city?
Here are our 5 favourite hotels in the city:
- Negresco Princess, Roger de Lluria, 16-18, L’Eixample.
- W Barcelona, Plaça Rosa Del Vents, 1, Final, Passeig de Joan de Borbó.
- Novotel Barcelona City, Avinguda Diagonal, 201.
- Sallés Hotel Pere IV , Pallars, 128-130, Sant Martí.
- Hotel SB Diagonal Zero Barcelona, Plaça de Llevant.
There’s something for every budget. Whether you want to walk around the city or be near a metro station for quick access to the beach, staying in the city centre is a good idea. Just make sure you budget for your trip.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Barcelona?
Barcelona is a popular holiday destination.
There’s something for everyone. However, it’s still a good idea to plan out your budget before you go.
You’ll likely arrive via Barcelona airport. This is usually the cheapest option as there are usually very affordable flights to Barcelona from the UK. Budget airlines like RyanAir and Vueling offer flights for very little.
If you can afford it, you can get a taxi for around €25 from the airport to the city centre. If not, you can always take the shuttle bus which takes much longer but is also much cheaper.
For accommodation, you can expect to pay around €100 for two people for one night. At this price, however, you’ll probably have somewhere in the centre of the city.
There are some cards and passes you can get to save money on tourist attractions, too. The Barcelona Card and City Pass, for example, will give you:
- A tour of the city on a tourist bus.
- A tour around the city of the main attractions.
- Audioguides for the museums.
- A queue-jump ticket for certain monuments.
- Guided tours inside the city’s main attractions.
The cost of living in Barcelona is also quite affordable, which makes visiting Barcelona cheaper than you’d think. To give you a better idea, here are some of the typical prices in Barcelona:
- Bread: €0.70.
- A 1.5L bottle of water: €1.50
- Coffee: €1.25.
- A pint of beer: €2.50.
- A newspaper: €1.30.
- A shirt from Zara: €29.95.
- A packet of cigarettes: €5.
The transport, however, can be a little more expensive than you’d expect. However, for around €2, you can get on the bus, metro, or train for a local trip.
Now you should know a little more about visiting Barcelona.
Before you go to Barcelona, you might want to learn some more Spanish or Catalan from one of the many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof. You can get language tutorials face-to-face, online, or in groups and since each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons, you'll want to think carefully about which is right for you and your budget.
Group tutorials are great for those on a tight budget as you can share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with the other students. However, you won't get to enjoy tutorials that are fully tailored to you and what you want to learn.
Face-to-face tutorials, on the other hand, allow the tutor to adapt every lesson to the student and their learning objectives. Generally, these tend to cost more than other types of private tutoring but they're also very cost-effective as every minute you pay for is spent teaching you.
If you can't find any private tutors where you live, you can always opt for online tutors. As they don't have to travel to their students, they tend to charge less than face-to-face tutoring and when it comes to language tutoring, online tutoring can be just as effective as any other type of tutoring.