Barcelona

Image for Barceloneta Beach featuring street scenes, a city and night scenes

Spain’s colourful second city offers world-class culture, breathtaking architecture and delicious cuisine.

Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city and capital of Catalonia, is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for a city break. It’s easy to be captivated by its charms the minute you set foot on its vibrant streets. And by foot is definitely the best way to explore this relatively flat, compact city, although there is an excellent public transport system to whisk you around efficiently to all the major sights.

One of Barcelona’s biggest draws is its world-famous architecture, crowned by the extraordinary buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí. The Sagrada Familia, his outstanding masterpiece, has become a worldwide symbol of the city. The fairytale towers of the basilica can be seen from all directions and offer wonderful panoramas from the top. Several of the lavish mansions he created for Barcelona’s high society are open to the public, including Palau Güell, built for his patron, who also lent his name to the weird and wonderful Park Güell, home of the famous mosaic-encrusted lizard fountain which has become one of Gaudí’s most recognisable images.

The main artery of the old town is Las Ramblas, a leafy pedestrian promenade lined with shops and restaurants which buzzes with life day and night. From here it’s easy to explore the Gothic Quarter, stopping to pay your respects to Saint Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona, in the atmospheric 14th-century Barcelona Cathedral.

Head to Port Vell, the old port, at the southern end of Las Ramblas and ride the cable car to Montjuïc. This airy country park offers a host of attractions, including the fascinating Poble Espanyol, a living museum of traditional Spanish architecture and cuisine.

Barcelona is a culture vulture’s dream come true. Check out priceless works of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century in the neo-Baroque Palau Nacional, or visit the Picasso Museum to view one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of paintings and sculptures by the legendary Spanish artist, who spent his childhood in the city. Book a ticket for a concert at the Palau de la Musica Catalana and enjoy world-class music-making in this fabled modernist masterpiece, then head for the clubs and bars of the old town to keep the party going into the early hours.

Where to stay in Barcelona

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

4/5Very Good!(130 area reviews)

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

Top hotels in Barcelona

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Barcelona Airport Hotel
Barcelona Airport Hotel
4 out of 5
Plaza de la Volateria, 3, Poligono Mas Blau, El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
€72
per night
Feb 28 - Feb 29

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Fira Barcelona, Gran Via 2 and RCDE Stadium. Placa d'Espanya and Poble Espanyol are also within ...

4.1/5Very Good! (7,003 reviews)

"Friendly staff, computer availability, great restaurant, comfortable quiet room."…"

Reviewed on 17 Feb 2020

Barcelona Airport Hotel
Hotel Colón Barcelona
Hotel Colón Barcelona
4 out of 5
Avenida Catedral, 7, Barcelona, Barcelona
€145
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located in Gothic Quarter, this spa hotel is steps away from Portal de l'Angel and Barcelona Cathedral. Palau de la Musica Catalana and La Rambla are also within ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,156 reviews)

"Great hotel. Beatifull and clean. Nice rooms, big. Nice location"…"

Reviewed on 17 Feb 2020

Hotel Colón Barcelona
Hotel SB Plaza Europa
Hotel SB Plaza Europa
4 out of 5
Calle Ciències 11-13, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona
€74
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located in Sants-Montjuic, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via 2 and Fira Barcelona. Poble Espanyol and Placa d'Espanya are also within 2 miles ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,915 reviews)

"This hotel was perfect for my first time in Barcelona. The staff at the front desk was very friendly and helpful. They helped me book excursions everyday and gave me maps for routes on the metro and buses to get there. The hotel was clean, rooms were a bit small but only needed them to sleep at night. ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2020

Hotel SB Plaza Europa

Popular things to do in Barcelona

La Rambla
Image for La Rambla

La Rambla

4/5(1,613 reviews)

These lively pedestrian streets in the heart of Barcelona are filled with flower stalls, tapas restaurants and street performers. 

Sagrada Familia
Image for Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

4.5/5(1,425 reviews)

Gaudí’s basilica in the center of Barcelona is an architectural marvel and offers views across the city from eight towering spires.

Placa de Catalunya
Image for Placa de Catalunya

Placa de Catalunya

4/5(1,202 reviews)

This popular Barcelona meeting point connects the old city with the new and is famous for its shopping, monuments and festival celebrations.

Park Guell
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Park Guell

4.5/5(1,016 reviews)

Look out over the city from a Gaudí-designed terrace in this park in the city’s north.

Barceloneta Beach
Image for Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach

4.5/5(1,291 reviews)

The warm water of the Mediterranean Sea and aquatic sports, beach bars and nightlife combine to make this Barcelona’s most popular urban beach.

Casa Batllo
Image for Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo

4.5/5(628 reviews)

Gaudí designed this house for a family in the early 20th century and incorporated his signature elements into the design, including curved lines and bright colors.

Top activities in Barcelona

Barcelona City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off
Image for Barcelona City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off

Barcelona City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off

€30

Explore the city in comfort aboard one of our double-decker buses. Discover Barcelona in detail with a single ticket. Hop-on and hop-off our buses as many times as you wish and enjoy the city at your own pace.

Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour
Image for Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

€48

Visit the most important landmark in the city of Barcelona. Admire Gaudi’s mastery and make sure not to miss out on the rich symbolism of his works. Learn about the history and significance of Sagrada Familia by the hand of your local guide.

Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)
Image for Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)

Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)

€33

Remember to exchange your voucher for the tickets at the Julià Travel office in Balmes Street number 5 before heading to the stadium. Home to FC Barcelona, this visit will not leave any soccer – or football – fan indifferent.

Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic
Image for Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic

Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic

€30

Bounce around Barcelona at your own pace with this convenient hop-on hop-off bus tour. Take in the Catalonian capitol's Gaudi-filled streets, visit the city's famous monuments and architectural wonders, and enjoy discounts to area attractions and local businesses along the way.

Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour
Image for Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour

Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour

€41

Still unfinished over 100 years after its construction began, La Sagrada Família is unlike any other church you've visited. On a guided tour of this architectural wonder, witness the ornate towers and multifaceted exterior before skipping the long lines and venturing inside to learn about the basilica's complex history.

Barcelona Mosaic Classes
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Barcelona Mosaic Classes

€62

studio workshop

Reviews of Barcelona

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
2124
5 - Excellent 69.70790941910076%
4 - Good
845
4 - Good 27.7321956022317%
3 - Okay
70
3 - Okay 2.297341647522153%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 0.13127666557269446%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.13127666557269446%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Feb 18, 2020

Wouldn't visit at valentines. Most places are under construction or not available.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 15, 2020

Excellent vibrant city. Alive and with plenty to do and see.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Feb 11, 2020

Enjoyable long weekend away . Very clean . Excellent transport . Was told it was expensive to eat and drink there but I did not find this the case . Was a nice break

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 11, 2020

Lovely city with many great sights and the bonus of a lovely beach as well. A much more relaxed atmosphere than other cities So many bars and cafes to chill and people watch Great to walk miles but great metro to get from place to place

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Feb 9, 2020

Lovely little break away with teenage son, who even appeared to enjoy the experience!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Feb 4, 2020

Excellent city break - fabulous vegetarian and vegan options!

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