Barcelona is a hot destination for all types of travellers. Foodies, sports fans, architecture fanatics, and sun worshippers are all welcome in this colourful and diverse city, with beautiful Gothic buildings, a rich history, blistering heat, and beaches that’ll keep you relaxed and at peace.
Knowing how to have the perfect trip, though, can be stressful. There’s so much to see and do, so you need to ensure that you know the top sights and indulge in the tastiest food. The following guide highlights the best of the best.
1. Getting from the airport to the city
Barcelona’s airport, El Prat, is located southwest of the city centre. You can easily reach the centre in no time and even on the smallest budget thanks to the trains that link the airport directly to the city.
If you land after the last train has departed, you can either take a taxi or rent a car. Otherwise, you can arrange a shuttle service to take you to the city, though you’ll need to book in advance.
It’s important to note that the train station is only linked to Terminal 2, so if you’re landing at Terminal 1, you’ll need to take the free shuttle bus to the train station.
2. Exploring the city
There are many ways to get around the city, but if convenience is what you’re after, you should use public transportation in the form of buses (TMB), trams (TRAM), and local trains. Once public transportation ends for the night, you can take a clearly marked cab to your next destination.
3. Visit La Sagrada Familia
The stunning La Sagrada Familia is one of the most unique churches in the world. Devised and designed by Antoni Gaudí, this absolute marvel is still under construction. 135 years have passed since its cornerstone was laid, but the end is in sight, with the project expected to be completed in 2026.
This doesn’t mean you should wait several more years to visit it, however. The completed parts of this beautiful basilica are worth seeing, especially when you consider that your admission fee has helped fund such an extravagant building.
4. Discover Park Güell
Another Gaudí marvel is Park Güell, which features stunning examples of Catalan modernism alongside Gaudí’s personal works. It also offers incredible views over Barcelona. This one is absolutely not to be missed!
5. Explore La Rambla
La Rambla is one of the most important streets in Barcelona. Walk along it and enjoy the beautiful buildings, shops, cafés, and restaurants.
6. See the Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is another great place to stroll in Barcelona. Filled with bars, restaurants, and boutiques, the small, winding streets are sure to enamour all who visit.
7. Eat at Mercado de la Boqueria
This famous food market is a must for everyone. Go for lunch, go for the sights, or just peek your head in. This beautiful market is a sight to behold and absolutely delicious to taste.
8. Visit the Gaudí House Museum
There are several house museums that feature Gaudí’s impressive eye for design, including Casa Batllo and Casa Mila. No matter what, you absolutely must make time to visit at least one of Gaudí’s masterpieces.
9. Be inspired by the Picasso Museum
There are over 4000 works by Pablo Picasso in Barcelona’s Picasso Museum, making it an absolute must for art lovers.
10. Visit the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
For more diverse collections of art, visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Here, you can enjoy a wide variety of artists throughout the ages.
11. Hike to Montserrat
For a unique and quiet excursion out of the city, visit Montserrat, a stunning hillside monastery that will captivate your imagination. Plus, it looks incredible in photos! Admire the mountains, the monasteries, and, of course, the Stairway to Heaven sculpture.
12. Experience Montjuïc
Reach this mountainside park by cable car for spectacular views of Barcelona. You can also come for the Magic Fountain, which provides visitors with stunning water and light shows at night.
13. Get a taste of authentic Spanish cuisine
Barcelona is heaven for foodies and should be indulged in as much as possible. From markets to butcher shops to some of the best restaurants in the world – Barcelona doesn’t disappoint.
Head to the beach during the day and then enjoy delicious burgers at Makamaka, or stop by any of the incredible seafood restaurants for a massive paella fit for your whole group.
14. Indulge in paella
You can’t take a trip to Spain without indulging in paella, especially in Barcelona where seafood takes centre stage.
15. Share tapas
Going to a tapas restaurant is the best way to explore the flavours and sensations of Barcelona. Try the amazing calçots in romesco sauce, fresh Parma ham, bombas, and so much more. Be adventurous – the small plate sizes mean you have nothing to lose!
16. Enjoy a night out
Barcelona is party-friendly and ready to set your night on fire. Just remember that you’ll likely need to pay more than you’re used to at the door, but don’t fret. In most cases, the entry fee includes a complimentary drink once you’re inside. You can also save on costs by booking in advance, so choose your destination wisely.
Dakota Murphey is an independent writer and self-proclaimed wanderlust. She enjoys sharing her travel stories and experiences through her writing. As a big foodie, she’s been lucky enough to try cuisines from all over the world. Find out what else Dakota has been up to over on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey