Barcelona is one in all Spain’s and Europe’s most awesome cities to visit once a while. It’s an amazing place to experience Catalan culture, incredible views and beautiful architecture. Obviously, with any visit to a new exciting city, costs can spiral.
Barcelona still remains the perfect location for your next holiday destination. With many beautiful beaches, Barcelona has many wonders to offer the world, the number of things to see and do is inexhaustible and beyond exciting, therefore planning a trip to Barcelona could be overwhelming especially for someone planning a trip for the first time, so let’s simplify it for you.
This travel guide entails detailed information on how to get to Barcelona, where to stay in Barcelona, how to get around once you arrive as an English speaker and the places to visit in Barcelona.
Below are the best tips to help you plan your trip to Barcelona
1 – How to Get To Barcelona
There are various ways you can get to Barcelona from all around the world, depending on where you live, you can get to Barcelona by flight, bus, train and ferry.
I’ll sincerely advise that you get the best flight deal to Barcelona using QuoteRadar, you can also book your hotels, that’s probably the best tip you’ll get today. Depending on which nation you’re coming from, you can get a direct flight to Barcelona and if you can’t, you can get a connecting flight from London or Madrid depending on which flight you board.
Barcelona’s El Prat airport is the closest to the city centre, so plan to fly here if you can. The airport got his name from El Prat de Llobregat, the area is situated around the Catalan famous Llobregat river just by the side, bordering the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between Barcelona and viladecans El prat is an important part of the city and it also enjoys a huge tourist inflow as a result of the airport.
The airport occupies a significant portion of the locality probably 25%. There is also a small beach and a nature reserve if you want to have some meditation time with Mother Nature, If you’ve never seen a blue-legged chicken, then you can add it to one of your reasons of visiting Barcelona.
Blue-legged chickens (known as gall potablava in Catalan) are quite a thing of attraction in Barcelona.
There are arrays of bus companies in Europe that can transport you to Barcelona. You can take coaches from Major cities like London, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris. To give you an idea, Madrid to Barcelona by bus is about 8hours (approximately) and London to Barcelona is about 16 hours, if you love this kind of mode of transport then give it a trial, for me?, nah! Not when I have QuoteRadar to flight compare prices.
You can travel by train if you live in areas that link up to Barcelona by train. The railway station in Barcelona is the second busiest train station in Spain after Madrid’s Atocha railway station.
Barcelona high speed(AVE)trains. Credit-;Shutterstock
Spain has high-speed trains (AVE) that connect Madrid to Barcelona in approximately two and a half hours and recently in its drive to improve tourism, the AVE inaugurated a new line between Paris and Barcelona with this, you can move from Paris to Barcelona in just 6 hours.
If you have plans to visit one of the Balearic Islands before travelling to Barcelona, know that you can make your journey by ferry to Barcelona. This will avail you the opportunity to enjoy some water life and see some aquatic beauty while making your journey. The two known companies that offer this journey are called Trasmediterranea and Balearia. Tips-; Prices can be higher during peak periods or during holidays.
2 – How to navigate Barcelona
Barcelona is a very walkable city, Depending on where you lodge, there is a great chance that you may never set foot on public transport although certain places can prove to be quite a challenge if you decide to take a hike by foot.
You can make use of the metro system in Barcelona which is quite easy to understand and functions flawlessly if you aren’t walking with a map in hand. Metro stations are the best way for you to move around and also the fastest way.
With the public system, you will save time and money, who doesn’t want to? If you’re the bicycle type, Barcelona is an attractive city to see from the seat of a bike. Bike renting is quite easy as there are many bike rentals and they will give you a map of the city’s bike lanes. Local’s tip: if you have plans to take the metro several times, then get a T-10 abono, or 10 ride pass, which is about half the price of buying individual tickets.
You can buy the pass at any tobacco stand or inside the metro. This is the best value for money when it gets to transport after using quote radar for flight prices comparison. Also, the Barcelona card gives nice discounts on transportation and museums.
3 – Places to Stay in Barcelona
For a first time visitor, It’s recommended to stay in the most central locations, with the best transport connections and ready access to sightseeing and attractions. These areas are: placa de Catalunya, Las Ramblas, Gothic Quarter. These areas have quick access to the rest of the city by bus and metro systems and to Barcelona airport TMB bus and Aerobus running from Placa de Catalunya. If you have financial concerns then you can opt for areas out of the heart of the city but still with good access. E.g. Poble Sec. Poble sec is about 8 minutes from La Rambla on the metro yet the hotels in this area are relatively cheaper than the ones in the centre of the city. I recommend that you ensure the hotel you’ll lodge to be a short walk to a metro stop. You can lodge in a hotel of close proximity to the city centre and still access the attractions via the metro system.
Best hotels in Barcelona
4 – What are the best places to visit in Barcelona?
Where there are so many places to visit in Barcelona, this article will focus on a few. From architecture to theatre, monuments, history and food. Barcelona has it all.
- El Raval
El Raval to Barcelona is what Shoreditch is to London, At least to an extent. A neighbourhood that wasn’t really loved, it’s been polished into a proper diamond in the rough, along the line retaining its former edginess. Explore the streets and its cutting edge street arts.
Photo credit gettyimages
- Sagrada Familia-; Truth be told, entering Sagrada Familia is not a waste of time and money. Even if it’s not free but you want to keep costs lower then it’s also cool if you head to see those gorgeous buildings from the outside.
12 times a year entry to the Sagrada Familia is free for mass but you still need a ticket though it’s free to enter. Just so you know, this ticket isn’t for sightseeing and is purposely for religious folk that want to attend, if that’s you? They will gladly welcome you. This is a must-see spot and in my own view, one of the best things to do in Barcelona.
- Ciutadella Park-; it features a zoo and the Museum of Natural science. It is home to one of the city’s most beautiful fountains and expanses of green space. There’s also a large lake in the middle where you can rent a boat if you desire. You can enjoy Barcelona’s balmy climate in this attractive Ciutadella Park.
- Santa Maria Del Mar Cathedral -; Located in Ribera district, Santa Maria del Mar is probably the best looking gothic cathedral in Barcelona and can be visited without paying a penny. It is not far from the Picasso museum and you can cool off while you admire the architecture. Just remember to prepare to be amazed.
- La Rambla -; it is one of the busiest streets in the city, a very good place to walk around, interact will locals and other nationals. It offers a colourful display of the best of the street artist the city has to offer and you can visit shed of juices, crispy churros and creamy ice cream. La Rambla is the city main artery and it is a good spot to while away a sunny afternoon watching the dazzling display of street artists. You’ll want to live here if your hobby is meeting new people.
- La Boqueria Market
A totally free market but you should always hold some cash as you will see some mouth-watering amount of cured meats, local spreads and more. You should consider grabbing a few pieces for lunch here if you’re going to one of the parks.
Photo credit- shutterstock
Taking a bask in Barcelona beaches might become more of a necessity than a want during the summer, some spots on the city’s coast are Nova Icaria Beach or Playa de la Barceloneta. If you want a stunning beach that’s away from the city life then you should go to places like Fornells (about 80km from the city), they are amazing little spots.
The best day to visit museums is the first Sunday of every month, museums are free for all on this day, totally free. Picasso museum is the most popular museum in Barcelona has it features thousands of Picasso’s work. It is important for anyone interested in arts to visit there.
The artworks are stunning; words can’t express how elated I was on my first visit. Also handy, if the weather takes a turn for the worse, most museums are totally free after 3 pm on Sundays.
Picasso museum ticket (photo credit –leah wilce)
Picasso Museum (photo credit-iStock)
- Sagrat Cor -; Barcelona is such a place that gets even better at sunset, Sagrat Cor should be where you’re headed at twilight to watch the sunset glow over the city. It really is a beautiful location and one of the best things I love to do in Barcelona and you will probably love it too.
SAGRAT COR (photo credit-unsplash)
Violent crime is almost unheard of in Barcelona, but pickpocketing and bag-snatching are rife – bag snatching occurs mostly on the beach while pickpocketing occurs on the public transport and along La Rambla.
Leave your properties in your hotel and be careful of those trying to sell you things and people from your country wanting to swap a coin for one.