Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona was first placed under the spotlight during the 1992 Olympics. This event did a lot for the city’s tourism and since then, travelers from many parts of the world have become interested to explore this Catalonian capital. Barcelona is a modern city yet remnants of its past remain beautifully preserved and can be seen in its ancient structures. This complex mix of the old and the new adds a unique charm to this destination.
Being a relaxed city, Barcelona has a distinct European flair and can be enjoyed tremendously while walking. It is filled with interesting shops, ancient cathedrals, open markets, and old towns that anyone will surely love to explore. Its warm weather makes it very appealing for guests who would like to escape the chilly winter and spend most of their time outdoor.
Best Time to Visit Barcelona
January to February is a great period to visit the city. While this is winter season, the weather is not that cold and people can still enjoy sunny skies. Plus, during this time the crowd is not that thick so exploring the city is a bliss. The busiest time in Barcelona is the month of August. If you have a flexible holiday schedule, it is recommended that you avoid this time as there are many tourists.
Toddler Friendly City
Barcelona is probably one of the best places to visit if you are travelling with small children. The locals love kids and most of the establishments are oriented towards making toddlers happy. In fact, toddler happiness is a public responsibility in Barcelona and in the whole of Spain, making the city a highly recommended family destination.
Things to See and Do in Barcelona
La Sagrada Família
Definitely one of Barcelona’s tourist magnets is La Sagrada Família. While construction began in 1882, the structure is not yet completed and is projected to be finished in 2041. Designed by top architect Antoní Gaudí, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a known city pride.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
Located on Montjuïc hill, this is a recommended attraction for art lovers and is a must see because of its Romanesque church paintings.
Perhaps the most famous street in the city, this is a great place to hang out and go people watching. Located at the heart of the city, this place is busy day in and day out. This is a good place to shop, dine, and admire statues.
Known for its golden fine sand, this is a great place to visit if you love the beach and you want to have a tranquil afternoon.
Walking along the Gothic Quarter is one of the many pleasures of being in Barcelona. Here you can watch the Sardana dance, see the Barcelona Cathedral, and be able to discover a number of affordable dining places.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Claimed to be one of the city’s loveliest places, this park is recommended for couples who are looking for a relaxing place to unwind. Here you can enjoy the fresh air and be surrounded by tall trees and dense greenery.
Barcelona is world famous for is relaxing beaches. May to September is a peak period for the city beaches. For those who would like to unwind and experience the waters of the city, some of the highly recommended beaches are Somorrostro Beach, Sant Miquel, and Mar Bella.
Tibidabo Amusement Park
Those who are travelling with kids should definitely stop by the Tibidabo Amusement Park. Built in 1889, this is a great venue to enjoy the rides and some really amazing scenery. Here you can find a church that is perched on top of a mountain. It is worth a visit.
Barcelona Travel Tips
- Save on accommodations by choosing hostel over hotels. Hotels, especially those that are within the city proper can be pricey.
- You can save on food by buying your own groceries and making your own meals. While food in Barcelona is more affordable than the food in most European cities, you can secure your budget if you avoid eating out often.
- Enjoy the seafood. The local sea catches are impressive so head out to the beach for lunch and have a wonderful seafood feast.
- If you will be in the city for an extended period, save on transportation by availing of your bus tickets in advance. A pack of ten tickets is discounted.
- Take advantage of the free attractions. There are a number of museums that you can check for free while here.
- Avoid wearing flashy jewelry. While Barcelona is generally a safe destination, there are some issues of pick pocketing and street robbery. Keep a low profile especially if you are travelling alone and always keep an eye on your belongings.
Best Places to Stay in Barcelona
Being one of Europe’s top cities, Barcelona is a home to some of the finest hotels and accommodations in Barcelona. For those who are looking for value and quality, the Park Hotel is highly recommended. Those who fancy beautiful surroundings and a rich history will enjoy the accommodations offered at the Neri Hotel.
Where to Eat
Dining in Barcelona is a pleasant experience as there are a number of interesting dining places to choose from. For those who would like to try Catalan cuisine, there’s Agut, 7 Portes, and Can Culleretes. For Basque specialties, guests must visit Ipar-Txoko, Igueldo, and Gorria. Vegans will also be able to find great vegetarian restaurants in the city. Among them are Raso Terra, Cat Bar, and Teresa Carles. For paella lovers, make sure to stop by Les Quinze Nuits.