Barcelona

This is your free Barcelona City Guide!  It’s a city which has everything from fantastic architecture to impressive beaches.  You can’t fail to like it, as Barcelona has something for everyone. Here are our personal recommendations…

WHAT TO DO IN BARCELONA

Barcelona Sagrada Familia Full (1)

Sagrada Familia – No trip to Barcelona would be complete without seeing this building’s crazy curves and mosaic topped towers. Gaudi’s grand church was started in 1882 but still isn’t finished! Much work has been done in recent years though. There is often a queue to get in, but it’s worth it. Inside, you’ll find another queue and charge for the lift up the towers and this is usually a long wait. Make no mistake, the view from the top is stunning, but you have to weigh that against the time you have to wait to get in the lift.
Sagrada Familia: Full Review, Pictures & Map…
Sagrada Familia: Fast Track Guided Tour…

Barcelona La Rambla Large

La Rambla (Las Ramblas) – Probably one of the world’s most famous streets full of vibrancy and atmosphere. It’s best walked from Placa Catalunya down to the harbour although it really is a matter of personal preference which way you go and whether you see it all.  It’s a street like no other with traders selling everything along the way from souvenirs to live chickens, mixed in with street entertainers and restaurants.
La Rambla: Read More, Pictures & Map…

Barcelona Harbour Marina Large

The Harbour – This is one of the areas that draws a real mix of people in Barcelona from locals to tourists. It’s nice to walk around and there’s a lot to see. In the traditional port area there is a huge walkway which crosses the marina to the large Maremagnum shopping centre. On one side of the walkway there are hundreds of sailing boats moored and on the other side, the larger ships can be seen. Further along the harbour promenade you will find the Olympic Port which was used in the 1992 Olympic Games for the sailing activities but is now a thriving area with restaurants and bars.
Barcelona Harbour: Read More, Pictures & Map…

La Pedrera Large

La Pedrera/Casa Mila – We became somewhat obsessed with Antoni Gaudi’s buildings when we last visited Barcelona. Even if you’re not into architecture, this one is certainly worth seeing. This weird shaped building was created as offices and apartments and now houses a museum. The best bit by far is the roof top. Nobody designs chimneys like Gaudi!
La Pedrera: Full Review, Opening Times & map…
La Pedrera: Best-Priced Admission Tickets…

Barcelona Parc Guell Lizard

Parc Guell – Another Gaudi project which is on the outskirts of Barcelona. This park has a large area which Gaudi designed including some fascinating buildings. These days, it’s so popular that most of the daytime access is restricted and you need to buy a ticket to see it. These sell out fast, so we’d certainly recommend buying in advance. The park has lots to see and enjoy though, just bear in mind it will be busy.
Parc Guell: Read More, Full Review, Pictures & Directions…
Parc Guell: Restricted Area Tickets

Barcelona Cable Car Castle

Montjuic – This huge hill overlooking Barcelona is home to many of the city’s most memorable sights. Here you’ll find the Montjuïc Castle right at the top which has been a defensive position for hundreds of years. The height of Montjuic park means it offers some of the best views over Barcelona and there are many places to stop an take it all in. There’s also a great cable car ride, attractive gardens, the beautiful Palau Nacional building (National Palace), the Olympic Stadium from 1992 and a performing fountain!
Montjuic: What To See, Pictures & Directions…

Barcelona Cable Car Cab

Montjuic Cable Car – This is two attractions in one. It’s one of the best ways to get to the top of Montjuïc but it’s also one of the best ways to experience the incredible views over the city of Barcelona. Don’t underestimate how good the view is – we absolutely loved it! At busy times you do have to wait in line for a while, but it’s worth it.
Montjuic Cable Car: Full Review, Pictures & Directions…
Montjuic Cable Car: Buy Tickets in Advance (Recommended)…

Barcelona Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Park – Barcelona held the Olympic Games in 1992 and all the facilities are still there to see.  Most impressive is the Olympic stadium, but the swimming facilities and sports hall are here too. The park and plazas surrounding the facilities are lovely and it’s worth spending a bit of time here to get the feel for the place.
Barcelona Olympic Park: Full Review, Opening Times & Map…

Barcelona Magic Fountain New

Magic Fountain – You have to see this!  It’s free but very busy when it “performs”.  The fountain is basically a music, light and water show. Shows don’t happen every night, so check out the days and times before heading to the fountain.  There is a big flight of steps which everyone sits on to get a better view.  
Magic Fountain: Read More, Show Times & Map…

Nou Camp (Barcelona FC) – There are stadium tours and visits to the museum here.  If you like football, you’re sure to get something from a visit to one of the best known clubs in the world but it’s not recommended if you don’t!  It’s quite a way out of the city – metro stop: Collblanc or get there using the Barcelona Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour which stops outside.
Nou Camp: Organised Tour…

OUR TOP TIP IN BARCELONA

Most of the coastal resorts in Catalunya are on the direct railway line to Barcelona, so think about incorporating your “city break” into your “beach” holiday and vice versa. The trains are reasonable and fast and you could even book a hotel in Barcelona for an overnight stay.  We’ve done Barcelona both ways, but travelling from Salou on the Costa Daurada was certainly the cheapest and the journey time was only an hour. If you are staying in Barcelona anyway, think about using the trains to get to some of the places worth seeing tat are in easy reach. We’d recommend these places…

Reus Square

Reus – Birthplace of Antoni Gaudi and home to a large interactive museum which explains the origins of his work and architectural ideas. It’s also got loads of history with an impressive church, vibrant market and atmospheric plazas. The journey time by train from Barcelona is just over an hour.
Reus: Read More, What To See, Pictures & Map…

Cambrils Church

Cambrils – A lovely, traditional, Spanish seaside town with fishing at its heart. There’s a great marina to see, a lovely beach, enjoyable walkways along the sea front, good restaurants and an attractive old town. Cambrils is also home to Parc Sama where Gaudi worked as a young man and many of his influences and early ideas can be seen in the park. The journey time by train from Barcelona is around and hour and a quarter.
Cambrils: Read More, What To See, Pictures & Map…

RECOMMENDED HOTEL IN BARCELONA

H10 Montcada Hotel, Barcelona
H10 Montcada Hotel, Barcelona

We stayed at hotel H10 Montcada when we were last in Barcelona. We thought it was lovely!  It’s in a great position close to all the main sights, and right next to a Metro station.  Our room was modern, comfortable and tasteful and there’s even a terrace on the roof with a hot tub and sunbathing area.  We would thoroughly recommend it. For more hotel advice, go to Hotels.com where you can see insight from previous travellers, hotel rankings and pictures.

MORE THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA

GETTING AROUND BARCELONA

Central Barcelona is fairly compact and you’ll find most sights within walking distance. The Metro system is very easy to use though and you will need it to get to places like the Sagrada Familia. You can also use the Barcelona Hop-on, Hop-off Tour Bus to get around.

We think the easiest and cheapest way to get to the city from the airport (El Prat) is by train. For more Barcelona Airport Transfer options, we’ve found reasonable prices here:
Barcelona Airport Transfer Options (US Dollars)
Barcelona Airport Transfer Options (UK Pounds)

MORE ON BARCELONA

Barcelona Hotels – We recommend Hotels.com
More Things To Do In Barcelona
Bcn – The official Barcelona city website