Barcelona

¡Hola Barcelona! Home to Gaudí’s magnificent architecture, Catalonian culture, bustling nightlife and one of the most famous football stadiums in the world.

Spain’s second largest city is an enchanting coastal destination teeming with culture, fabled architecture and a world-class drinking and dining scene.

Getting Around

El Prat airport is 9 miles (15 km) from the centre but taxis, buses and the metro offer quick, direct access into town. An extensive public transport network makes easy to get around the centre and its wider area by metro, tram, bus and rail service – not forgetting taxis, bikes and hire cars.

Time Difference

1 hr ahead of GMT

Currency

Euro

Language

Spanish

Neighbourhoods To See

Gothic Quarter

The city’s oldest, most atmospheric part is home to the grand Palau de la Generalitat cathedral and filled with small alleyways, historic buildings and hidden plazas scattered with century-old shops, bars and cafes. 

El Born

Formerly a craftsmen’s district, this historic neighbourhood has concept stores, art studios and an international vibe. Spot ancient shops and landmarks, including 14th century Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar and Palau de la Música.

Gràcia

Alongside local designer’s workshops, vegan restaurants and Japanese patisseries, traditional markets still thrive here – and the neighbourhood also plays host to popular events and festivals.

Essential Sights

Sagrada Família 

Gaudí’s magnificent masterpiece, in construction since 1882, features intricate grand facades, gleaming tiled towers and soaring tree-like columns inside.

Barceloneta 

A year-round vacation spot, Barceloneta (‘Little Barcelona’ in Catalan) has beaches, nightlife and plenty for families to enjoy.

Montjuïc

This green hill is home to the Olympic Park and many museums and gardens, including the grand stairs and cascading fountains at the magnificent palace housing the Museum Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC).

La Rambla

Easily the most famous street in Barcelona, this 1.2km boulevard starts at Plaça de Catalunya and ends at the statue of Christopher Columbus down by the port. Perfect for strolling.

Gaudí Architecture Walk

L'Eixample (‘expansion district’ in Catalan) has a street grid pattern crossed by wide avenues. Find Gaudí-designed buildings La Pedrera and Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gràcia, the most elegant avenue in Barcelona.

Food & Drink

Paella, tapas, plus all the international cuisine a palate could desire! Try out the food markets too – ancient La Boqueria is the most famous but each neighbourhood has its own worth a visit.

Events

MARCH | Barcelona Carnival 

A week-long street festival with float parades, dancing, costumes and fireworks.

JUNE | Barcelona Pride

An incredible celebration of diversity across the city.

JUNE | Fiesta de Barceloneta  

This spectacular festival features giant papier-mâché figures, sculptures, dancing devils, drummers and fireworks.

SEPTEMBER | Mostra de Vins i Caves de Catalunya

A showcase for the finest wine, cava and cheeses Catalonia has to offer.

DECEMBER | Fira de Sagrada Família

Begun in the 1960s, this traditional Christmas market sells everything from gifts to decorations, with the picture-perfect Sagrada Família as a backdrop.

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