The best Barcelona Travel Tips. Barcelona is a vibrant and beautiful city located on the coast of northeastern Spain. With its rich culture, world-class architecture, and stunning beaches, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
To help you make the most of your trip, here are some travel tips for Barcelona. From exploring iconic landmarks to enjoying delicious local cuisine, these tips will ensure that your visit to Barcelona is unforgettable.
Barcelona is not too big and enjoys very adequate public transport. That makes it easy for us, both for those who live daily and for tourists who want to cover several places in the same day.
Essential places to visit in Barcelona
These tourist attractions of the city would make a nice top 10:
- Visit the Sagrada Familia
- Visit “La Casa Batlló” on “Paseo de Gràcia”
- Enjoy one of Barcelona viewpoints
- Stroll through the “Park Güell”
- Climb the magical mountain of Montjuic
- Stroll along “la Rambla”
- Visit the Cathedral and stroll through the Gothic Zone
- Going through “Sant Antoni de vermutillo”
- Take off your slippers on the Barceloneta beach
- Discover the Gracia neighborhood
How many days are necessary to spend on Barcelona?
The more the better, obviously. However, with three days in Barcelona we can cover those 10 essential places or make a good approximation to the city. If we have more days we can go in depth into the various modernist visits that exist, stroll through other less touristy neighborhoods or make a getaway in the surroundings.
If you only have one weekend, the best advice for visiting Barcelona is to focus on the places that most attract your attention and not try to cover too much. In those cases, a good tip is to get on the tourist bus on the first day to get an idea of the city and visit several of the most outstanding places in the same day.
What is the best time to visit Barcelona?
The Mediterranean climate of the peninsula invites the best weather during the months of spring, summer and part of autumn. Climate change has been distorting the proverb and that of “in April, thousand waters”, ” per Maig, every day a raig ” (in May, every day a lightning strike) is no longer so common and strong storms usually occur in October . In winter, temperatures do not usually drop below 5 degrees, although the humidity creates a cold thermal sensation that does not seem to affect tourists from northern Europe too much, given their summer clothing throughout the year.
Mainly try to avoid the summer months or Easter where the flood of low cost flights from all over Europe and cruise ships take over the city.
How to get from El Prat airport to the city center?
There are two terminals at El Prat airport. Both are connected to the center with the Aerobús that leaves for just under 6 euros and will leave you at Plaza Espanya or Plaza Catalunya in more or less 30 minutes.
There is also a new metro line that takes a rather strange route (for now) and the Renfe commuter trains are a bit far from T2. In both cases you can buy single tickets but it is more expensive than if you already buy the T-Casual. And you can do that directly at the metro station or the suburban train station.
If you do not want to complicate your life you can always book your transfer in advance.
Tips for visiting the Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia receives more than 4.5 million people a year. With this information, you can already imagine the crowd of people who gather and the queues that are generated both to purchase tickets and to enter the venue.
We advise you to buy tickets in advance. There are even passes with modalities that allow you to avoid the queues and climb the towers to have incredible views. Likewise, whether you are an early riser or not, try to avoid visiting at 10 in the morning, which is the time when all the troops leaving the cruise ships usually gather.
Tips for visiting Casa Batlló
The most impressive modernist works in Barcelona crowd the Paseo de Gracia. The corner of Calle Aragó and Consell de Cent is also known as La Manzana de la Discord due to the professional rivalry between the architects Antoni Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch. And that same rivalry has turned this corner of Barcelona into an explosion of genius and the best expression of Catalan modernism.
Visiting Casa Batlló, La Pedrera and Casa Amatller in the same trip would take a lot of time and money. If we had to recommend a modernist visit to Paseo de Gràcia, we would go for Casa Batlló.
Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, Casa Batlló not only stands out for its beauty but also for the originality of the visit . Not surprisingly, its cultural proposal has been awarded the prize for the best visit of the year 2022 in Europe according to ICOM (International Council of Museums).
Together with the ticket, they offer you a mobile phone with an augmented reality application with which you can enjoy the visit and get much closer to the genius of Antoni Gaudí’s mind. An immersive visit that will leave your mouth wide open.
What types of tickets are there to use public transport around Barcelona?
Even if you are going to be alone for a couple of days, the best thing you can do is buy a T-Casual card . You can buy them in the subway vending machines or in tobacconists. It costs a little more than 10 euros and allows you 10 trips combined with the metro, bus, suburban train, Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat and tram. The same ticket works with more than one combination but when you repeat one of the transports it will tell you a new trip. And beware, it is personal and non-transferable, which means that you cannot buy the ticket for more than one person and you must buy one each.
Another interesting option is to purchase the Hola BCN! card. which allows you unlimited use of public transport (train to the airport included) and costs about 15 euros for two days.
I like to kick cities from start to finish: what itineraries do you recommend?
Without a doubt, if your pleasure is walking and your legs don’t hurt at the end of the day, walking is the best way to get to know the details of the city. I recommend you read our article dedicated to touring Barcelona through 3 different itineraries .
With them we will dominate the Modernist section of Barcelona, the entire old town, Montjuic, Sant Antoni, Turó de la Rovira and Barceloneta.
Barcelona Travel Tips: Alternatives to public transport and walks
Barcelona’s public bicycle system (Bicing) is a success. Thanks to him and to changing times, the number of bicycle lanes has increased exponentially throughout the city and it is a joy to circulate around Barcelona at your leisure. However, this service is exclusively for residents.
There are a lot of companies dedicated to renting bicycles throughout the city. There are also tours of Barcelona by bike if you want to go accompanied and have an accredited guide tell you about it.
On Sundays it’s time for culture: free museums
There are many museums that open for free every Sunday afternoon from 3. Among them we find pearls such as the Barcelona History Museum in the Plaza del Rei , the Frederic Marès Museum, the Montjuic Castle, the Monastery of Santa María de Pedralbes or the Museum of World Cultures.
In addition, on the first Sunday of each month you will have the opportunity to visit many other museums for free throughout the day. Among them the Picasso Museum, the MNAC, the Montjuic Botanical Garden or the Blau Museum (very suitable if you go with children).
Top places to get the best photos of Barcelona
10 really nice places to get the best panoramic views of the city :
- From the architectural area of Parc Güell playing with modernist ceramics and the panoramic view of Barcelona.
- From the Parc de l’Oreneta, in the northwest area of the city
- From the bell tower of the Basílica dels Sants Just i Pastor, just behind the Plaza de Sant Jaume
- From the breakwater of Port Olímpic
- From the castle of Montjuïc
- From the roof of the Museum of Art of Catalonia in Montjuic
- From the Turó de la Rovira viewpoint
- Following the Aigües road through the Collserola mountain
- Climbing the elevator that reaches the top of the Collserola Telecommunications Tower
- If you are lucky enough to stay at the Hotel W (Vela) from any of its rooms with views of the city
What restaurants do you recommend in Barcelona?
First of all , avoid eating in very touristy places like La Rambla, one of the best Barcelona Travel Tips je. Even if you ask for paella, they will offer you anything but paella. A good blogger friend wanted to speak properly about the issue and plucked up the courage to try the experience for himself, don’t miss it if you want to have a laugh .
If you want to taste a quality paella , I recommend that you try La Mar Salada, El Suquet de l’Almirall or the Barceloneta restaurant. Classics from Paseo Borbón that resist changes.
During the day you will find many restaurants with a very decent menu for around 10 euros. Try to escape tourist areas if possible. With our articles dedicated to our favorite restaurants in Barceloneta and those in Gracia you will be able to make a good list.
Nor is it bad at all to take a look at the ranking of the best restaurants in Barcelona according to the users of The Fork (owned by TripAdvisor) where you can also find discounts and reserve a table.
What is the best area to go for drinks and party at night?
About fun Barcelona Travel Tips. We could divide the nightlife areas of Barcelona into five key points in the city:
The Paseo Marítimo and the Olympic Port
Classic area among foreigners , the fashionable places facing the sea are usually very close to each other, such as Carpe Diem, Shôko, Opium or Cat Walk
The quintessential gay neighborhood of Barcelona offers many bars and clubs. This area is more or less delimited by a rectangle that goes from north to south from Aragó street to Gran Vía and from west to east between Urgell and Balmes.
Legendary nightclubs like Arena and newer ones like Atame and a lot of bars and new establishments will make you have a great time.
The center: Raval, Paralel and Gothic
Classic clubs like the Moog with electronic music , the Crab or the Apolo room. Bars where several generations have passed that close late like the Kentucky or nightclubs like Les Enfants where you always end up with a croissant in your mouth when leaving the nearby bakery that is already open at 5 in the morning.
If yours is more of a medium or low budget and you prefer to sit down to have a few beers until very late with rock music and in several only Spanish places, Poblenou is your area. The great Razzmatazz can be the icing on the cake to a memorable night.
If you are looking for more exclusive places , around the Francesc Macià square you will find many options at higher prices. Make sure you dress for the occasion. Classic clubs like Sala Bikini, Otto Suzz or Soho would be the best.
What beaches do you recommend for sunbathing and swimming?
The coast of Barcelona offers beaches for bathing from Barceloneta (from the corner of the Vela hotel) practically to the Forum. They are about 5 kilometers of pleasant walk or bicycle where you can soak.
However, the influx of people, the usual rush of people selling pseudo-mojitos, beers and massages is far from the relaxation we expect from a day at the beach. The beaches of Barceloneta would become the epicenter of the tourist earthquake, while if we approach Bogatell and Mar Bella, the tectonic plates tend to relax and the outlook improves.
You will find several beach bars along the beaches. The prices are quite high.
If you can, get on the suburban train and go to the beaches of Castelldefels or Montgat . In half an hour you will be planted on cleaner and less oppressive beaches.
In which establishment or area do you advise us to stay in Barcelona?
You have options in apartments, hostels or hotels throughout the city. Personally, I would look for a place that is not too central to escape the hustle and bustle and take advantage of the best value for money that you will find in establishments away from the tourist area. The entire Eixample area is a good option as it is excellently connected by the metro and has a lot of services around it.
Likewise, if you want to enjoy a more authentic experience with the day-to-day life of the city, the heart of neighborhoods such as Poblenou, Gràcia or Sant Andreu are ideal for taking the pulse of the rhythm of life of the locals and feeling like one of the locals.
Remember that Barcelona is not a big city like Madrid, London or Paris. As long as you have a metro stop close by, it will allow you to access almost any site without too much effort.
Watch out for pickpockets
The police stations in Barcelona during the summer months are usually full of tourists whose mobile phones or wallets have been stolen. In places like the metro, the Rambla or other tourist places, try to be alert. Take as usual practice to avoid putting your wallet in the back pocket of your pants. Don’t even think about leaving your mobile on the table on any terrace or table in a restaurant.
Among several of the usual tricks, the following stand out:
- The trap of showing you some drawings or postcards with which they cover your possessions on the table and which you lose track of has already disappeared.
- The so-called ” Ronaldinho “: a boy with a ball and a funny look approaches you and simulates a kind of dribbling, if you dare to play, without you knowing it they will have stolen what you have in your pocket.
- The thief posing as a tourist. He shows you a wide map pointing to some point and his colleague is already reaching into your bag while you are distracted.
Do I need travel insurance to go to Barcelona?
It never hurts to be cautious and travel with insurance. Especially when you do it as a family.
A 3-day family insurance to Barcelona can cost just over 20 euros (it doesn’t even reach 7 euros per day). We recommend arriving in Barcelona with standard insurance that includes a minimum of 60,000 euros in hospitalization, repatriation, theft and cancellation fees. We have tried several companies and the last few times we have repeated with Iati because everything has gone perfectly. You also have a 5% discount when coming from us through this link .
Do you recommend a special plan to enjoy a romantic moment as a couple?
All the locals have gone as children at night at night to see the Magic Fountain of Montjuic illuminated. A spectacle of light, colors and music that will leave you speechless. During the summer months they are activated from Wednesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 at night. Take a look at the different schedules as they change according to the season through the official website of the Town Hall .
If you are looking for a surprise gift for your loved one, we recommend you read our article dedicated to romantic plans in Barcelona ; sure you succeed.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a romantic dinner with good views, the Mirablau restaurant on the Tibidabo mountain could be a great option. If you also want to add a special touch, how about a dinner with stars at the Fabra Observatory with the whole city under your feet?
What other places do you recommend we visit in Barcelona outside of the usual ones?
If you are looking for more remote places, get away from the tourist crowd and discover charming corners of Barcelona that have yet to be explored, you are in luck because they still exist.
Take a walk around Plaza Orfila in Sant Andreu, Plaza de Masadas in La Sagrega, Plaza d’Osca in Sants or Plaza de Sarrià. Different neighborhoods and ends of the city that offer a rhythm of life completely alien to the tourist bustle of the center and that you will love.
What excursions do you recommend if we can make a day trip out of Barcelona?
If you have an extra day, take the opportunity to make a getaway around Barcelona. If the weather is good, you can dedicate it to lying in the sun on one of the beaches to the south of Barcelona , if you like hiking, take the opportunity to follow a simple route among these proposed walking routes through the mountains near the city .
Signing up for an organized excursion with a guide in Spanish is never a bad idea. This way you will have everything prepared and you will optimize the time. An excursion to Montserrat aboard the rack railway , a visit to Girona and the Dalí Museum , another to discover the best coves on the Costa Brava in Tossa de Mar or even a trip to Roca Village to go shopping are excellent options to give you the final climax to a splendid trip to get to know Barcelona. Barcelona Travel Tips.