When it comes to European cities one of the most iconic and most widely loved is Barcelona and for good reason! Home to some of the most magical architecture, delicious food, wonderful weather and captivating scenery this city is a tourists dream. The city has evolved over the course of its history and in a span of only a few decades it has become a smart, modern and sophisticated city that is synonymous with excellence. With a rich heritage that spans back to Roman times Barcelona is also an important cultural hub which has experienced many decades of growth in culture and social life.
Where to Stay in Barcelona?
Gothic Quarter (Old Town): is home to most of the main attractions in Barcelona and is the center of most social life in the city. This is where many of the best restaurants are located alongside some of Barcelona’s highest end hotels. Its the original city and the architecture is truly mesmerising. Stretching across the corner of La Rambla and Carrer del Comte de Provenchères, this is where many of the city’s most famous sights central to its history are located.
Barcelona Port (New Town): is home to some of the world’s best shopping malls. Barcelona Port is also home to some of Barcelona’s widest range of hotels. It is ideal for those who want to be right in the center but without having to deal with the crowds or high price-tag.
L’Eixample: A trendy and emerging section of Barcelona , L’Eixample is well-known for its shopping mall, Diagonal Mar which is the largest shopping center in all of Spain. The area has some funky restaurants and bars where visitors can hang out after a long day of sightseeing in the city. There are several hotels to choose from also.
Gràcia: Mix amongst the locals who live in this neighbourhood having a real experience of Barcelona living. Gràcia is full of little cafes, shops and markets. Head to one of its parks or squares for a completely different experience with the local people.
Barcelona Must Dos?
Sagrada Familia: This is the most famous sight in Barcelona and is the reason why it is home to many of the city’s most famous monuments. The church has been under construction since 1882 and there are no signs of completion just yet. You can still see its impressive facade though. With multiple tours available, make sure you do them all!
La Boqueria Market: This is a vibrant marketplace that sits on a street called La Rambla. There are a range of fruits, veg and fresh fish to choose from. As well as being a place to buy some local produce, this is also a great place to have some tapas and have a chat with the locals.
Collserola: This is the highest point in Barcelona and offers stunning panoramic views of the city from atop of any building you find yourself looking down from. It doesn’t take long before you can see the whole city from up here. Some of the best hikes around Barcelona are located here as well as some of the highest-end restaurants and hotels.
Art Museums: Barcelona has several art museums that are worth a visit to view the city’s rich history. These include the Museum of Modern Art which houses an impressive collection of modern art as well as one of Europe’s largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. The Picasso museum is also another must do in Barcelona.
Placa de Catalunya: The amazing fountain is an absolute must see in Barcelona and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. It is the symbol of Barcelona and is situated in Plaza de Catalunya. It has been a popular meeting place for tourists and locals alike since it was first erected back in 1929.
The Gothic Quarter: The Gothic quarter is one of the cities best loved attractions and has been a tourist destination since it was first constructed back in the 16th century. It features beautiful views and lots of interesting architecture which makes it an ideal place to spend time in Barcelona.
Montjuïc Mountain: Barcelona’s famous Montjuïc mountain has been a tourist destination since it was first constructed. It is home to the Olympic Stadium which the city used back in 1992 for the summer Olympics. The views are amazing from Montjuïc.
Foods You Must Try
Jamon: This is a cured ham which is so typical of Spain. It is really important that you try this when in Barcelona or anywhere in Spain for that matter. It is a must have for any trip to Barcelona and Spain.
Paella: This dish has a lot of history and was invented back in the 1300s by fishermen who enjoyed cooking up their catch of the day over an open fire. Paella has been loved by the Spanish people ever since.
Tortilla Española: The Spanish tortilla is a type of omelette which is made up of potatoes, onions and sometimes even green peppers. It’s considered to be one of the national dishes in Spain!
Cava or Sparkling Wine: This is a wine that has been produced in Catalonia for hundreds of years. The name Cava comes from Catalan word for cave because this special kind of wine is traditionally bottled in the caves where the wine is stored.
Padron Peppers: This is a type of pepper that originated from the town of Padron in Spain and became popular across the whole country. They offer a distinctive smoky flavor and even have their own festival to celebrate them!
Plàtanos: This is one of the most traditional fruits that can be found growing in local orchards. The best ones come from Valencia but there are quite a few other varieties around Barcelona as well.
How to Get Around Barcelona?
Buses: The main forms of public transport in Barcelona include the Barcelona Bus system, Metro and Tram system. The bus system is the backbone of the public transport network in the city and runs from 5:30 a.m to midnight. There are over 100 different bus lines in Barcelona making it a cheap and convenient form of public transport.
Metro: The metro system runs from 5:30 a.m till 00:30 a.m and runs at intervals of approximately every 4 minutes during rush hour. It is relatively cheap away from peak hours but it can get very busy during the height of tourist season as well as weekends.
Taxi: Taxis in Barcelona are much easier to use than those in other Spanish cities and they are also quite cheap. The official rate is €1.33 (around $1.60) per km but if you find a good deal you can get it as low as €0.88 (around $1.00).
Walking: What better way to see a new city then going for a wander on your own feet! Barcelona is a truly magical city and walking is a way to find hidden gems lurking around every corner.