City Guide

Barcelona

Make Barcelona the right way!

Barcelona is Spain´s second largest city and the capital of Catalonia. The city has something from everyone. Its Mediterranean character contrasts its gothic roots, which also contrast with its wide avenues and beautiful modern buildings. Discover in this Barcelona city guide the best way to spend your days in “La Ciudad Condal”

Barcelona is a place where architecture and art melt together. The influence of Gaudi has been profound and exceeds his masterpieces. 

Food markets, nightlife, art galleries, FC Barcelona and the Barcelona football stadium, the beachfront… No matter what you are looking for you will probably find it here! 

Barcelona city guide - Contents

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Park Guell archs
Parc de Montjuïc 9
Parc de Montjuïc - Views of Barcelona
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Las Ramblas, the heart of Barcelona

Practical information to plan your visit to Barcelona

5 top reasons to visit Barcelona

Gaudi. Few architects have shaped a city to the extend Gaudi did with Barcelona. It is not so much the number of buildings, but their importance and his later influence. La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Casa Batlo and Güell Park are all 4 top attractions in Barcelona.  

Las Ramblas. This street (or better said streets) show the most lively face of Barcelona. Las Ramblas start in Plaça Catalunya and will lead you to the gothic district. The Ramblas are full of shops, terraces (better places for a drink than for a meal) or flower stands. The famous Boquería market, Miro´s Mossaic or the Canaletas fountain are among Las Ramblas top highlights.  Find more information and a complete Las Ramblas guide in this section. 

The Gothic quarter and the Cathedral. The old district in Barcelona with narrow and twistling streets boasts some fantastic plazas (Sant Jaume or del Rei), the city hall and the Barcelona cathedral, which is one of the cities top sights. 

The Barceloneta beach and the olimpic district by the sea. One of the best things of being in Barcelona (and which makes it a top place to visit in Spain)  is that you can combine culture, art, nightlive gastronomy and the sea. La Barceloneta is not a huge beach (around 600 meters long) but it is very easy to access and has (when not too crowded) great atmoshphere. The seafront continues to the Port Olimpic, an area of Barcelona totally rebuilt for the ocassion of the 1992 olimpic Games.You will enjoy Frank Gehry´s copper peix (fish) Sculpture which will make you think of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.  There are lots of bars, terraces and restaurants in the olimpic port area. 

We would recommend you to stay a bit longer and enjoy a tour to Montserrat. This is the day excursion from Barcelona most people take. Montserrat is almost a day tour to Montserrat.  

Best time to visit Barcelona

Our favorite months to visit Barcelona are March, April, May, first half of June, September and October. 

Bear in mind that most restaurants will be close on Sunday nights. Also bear in mind that many attractions close on Mondays.

Weather in Barcelona

Barcelona`s mediterranean weather  

Complete 2 day itinerary in Barcelona

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vacations

Barcelona trip 2 day city break

Barcelona in 2 days. A complete itinerary to enjoy a short-break in Barcelona. Day to day activities, recommended hotels to fit the itinerary and restaurants to enjoy local gastronomy. Budget per person per day in Barcelona and daily activity plan maps and timing per day. You will also find ideas to adapt the itinerary to your budget and travel style

Recommended attractions in Barcelona

Barcelona is not “just” a Mediterranean capital, home of Gaudi´s architect genious and of FC Barcelona.  This vibrant city has interesting things for everybody.  You can find all our favorite Barcelona attractions here. Fantastic parks, the beach, FC Barcelona Stadium, Gaudi´s master pieces, its Gothic Cathedral, Picasso´s museum, Las Ramblas… 1 day is for sure not enough to enjoy the marvels of Barcelona!

Camp Nou

Camp Nou- Barcelona

Camp Nou: Overview The Camp Nou stadium is located in the center of Barcelona in Les Corts district and is the official stadium of FC

La Boquería

La Boquería market in Barcelona

La Boquería market is the most famous in Barcelona for purchasing fresh products. This emblematic market is located in La Rambla, the most commercial street

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia- Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona´s most important sight,  is an unfinished Catholic church which was designed by Antonio Gaudí after its construction had already begun. In

Recommended hotels in Barcelona

Barcelona has probably the widest offer of hotels in Spain. The city receives millions of tourists every year and it is also an important business destination. Hundreds of congresses are held in Barcelona every year and this can impact prices widely.  Our team of experts has put together a complete guide with our recommended hotels in Barcelona.  We include below 3 of our favorite hotels in Madrid adapted to different travel budget but there are many more hotels to enjoy in our complete Barcelona hotel guide.  

Recommended restaurants in Barcelona

Catalan cousine is purely mediterranean and has some very distinctive dishes which are a must to stay during your stay in Barcelona. Paella, typically from Valencia, has developed as one of the most frequent dishes in Barcelona and we recommend to have a look at the paella restaurants in Barcelona to ensure you avoid the “tourist versions”. Our local team has also put together a recommendations with the most romantic restaurants in Barcelona, or the best places to enjoy Catalan food.  Find in our complete Barcelona restaurants guide the best options to enjoy during your vacation. c

Build your itinerary with our interactive map of Barcelona

Top things to do in Barcelona

Our team of local experts thought that it makes all sense in this Barcelona city guide to ensure you find ideas to enjoy the city based on your travel group or tribe. You will be able to find in our Best things to do in Barcelona guide  ideas, activities and plans for everyone, every budget and every time of the year, including the best parks in Barcelona, activities for children, fun plans, etc. 

Barcelona - short history

Barcelona - Between France and the islam

In the 8C it was taken by the Arabs and in 801 recaptured by the French King Louis. From this time the Garraf massif became the dividing line between the French and

the Mohammedans, and what is now Catalonia became part of the Spanish border. The province became an organized unit, and the Counts of Barcelona held

Sway over much of the surrounding area.

Expansion and development

.After Wilfred ‘el Velloso’ (the Hairy, 878 -97) the title became hereditary, and under Borrell II (947-92) Barcelona became the capital of an independent state (988).

Ramon Berenguer I and his brother linked the old border territories under their command, and the kingdom of Catalonia was born. The first nobleman to hold the title of king was Alfonso I (1162-96), who reigned over Catalonia and Aragon (united by marriage), but also Provence, Béarn, Bigorre, Carcassonne,

Béziers, Nîmes and Nizza.

The Catholic King Pedro I (1196-1213) lost most of the French provinces as well as his life by taking part in the Crusades; the Catalans only managed to hold on to Roussillon and Montpelier. His successor, James I, known as the Conqueror, started by moving into the Mediterranean. He took the two largest Balearic Islands (Mallorca in 1235, Ibiza in 1238), and also the province of Valencia. Succeeding kings annexed Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Greece. Barcelona remained the capital until the reign of the

Catholic King Ferdinand II, after which the royal seat moved first to Burgos and then to Madrid.

Barcelona kept a viceroy and remained capital of its province, representing Barcelona in general, until Philip V, on the side of Charles of Austria,

stripped it of its rights during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13). In 1860 the city we see today began to develop

Why Barcelona ? - Discover fantastic ideas top enjoy

Barcelona-articles

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Barcelona art galleries

Madrid and its “Paseo del Arte” (The local name given to the distance between the top 3 art galleries in Madrid (The Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemiza and the Reina Sofía museum) set Madrid amongst the top art destinations in the world.

Besides this 3 top museums, there are other smaller art galleries which would stand out at most cities in the world: The Real Academis de San Fernando, the Lazaro Galdiano museum he Casa Sorolla museum and the Cerralbo Museum.

FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona – The incredible history of Barcelona’s team

FC Barcelona is one of the most popular football clubs in the world. The teams popularity is thanks to many factors, but success on the pitch is the main reason. FC Barcelona or Barça for short is one of the winningest teams in Spain and in Europe with many league and European titles to their name. Let’s take a look back at the history of this storied football club.

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Best catalonian restaurants in Barcelona

Food in Catalonia is rich and full of traditional dishes. A short visit to Barcelona is a good opportunity to enjoy local dishes and ingredients. Find some fantastic options to ensure you find good examples of traditional Catalan gastronomy

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Restaurants to enjoy the best paella in Barcelona

Paella was not born in Barcelona but the city offers many restaurants to enjoy quality paella and other sorts of rice dishes. This list includes restaurants that serve paella in different areas of Barcelona and with different styles and budgets. Enjoy!

La Merce in Barcelona, a colourful festival

The patron saint of Barcelona is the Virgen de la Mercé, and is celebrated every September 24TH since the nineteenth century to dismiss the summer solstice and prepare for the arrival of the colder months.

A Mediterranean feast that brings back all the inhabitants of the city to enjoy music, dance and street entertainment with Giants, Castellars and Sardanas that dance to traditional instruments such as the “chirimía” a kind of hornpipe.

Things to enjoy near Barcelona

Barcelona-articles

sitges

Sitges City Guide

Sitges is a beautiful beach town just south of Barcelona, known for its artsy and laid back vibes and spectacular beaches. Sitges is also very well known for its film festival and for its vibrant LGTB community and the cities pride week which is celebrated every June.

Dragon Khan roller coaster at Port Aventura

Port Aventura

Portaventura theme park Port Aventura is one of Spain’s most impressive amusement parks, located within the PortAventura World entertainment resort in Salou and Vila-Seca, Tarragona,

Montserrat monastery

Montserrat monastery- Montserrat

Why do we recommend Montserrat monastery? The monastery played an important role in the political and cultural life of Catalonia. Since 1918 the monastery’s own

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