Visit Barcelona: Your Travel Guide

There’s an undeniable ease to life in Barcelona. Its glorious climate and lively beach culture dare you to live your life in the sun. For an adventure, head to the Gothic Quarter to find intriguing alleys and artist haunts from days gone by.

Things to Do in Barcelona

Passeig de Gracia
Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop. The strip between Gràcia to Plaça Catalunya is a shopper’s paradise. The avenue is also home to some of the city’s most stunning architecture. Casa Batlló and its iconic snakeskin roof have a visceral quality that's typical of Gaudi. It’s also worth wandering among the modernist chimneys of La Pedrera.
Passeig de Gràcia, 08007 Barcelona
Open every day 9 am – 9 pm
Palau de la Musica Catalana
Architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner infused the Art Nouveau style into this ornate theater. Built in the early 20th century, it features playful accents reflecting the symphonies played here. The focal point is the auditorium itself, where Antoni Rigalt’s stained glass skylight hangs from the ceiling. The Palau regularly hosts concerts featuring chamber music to jazz.
Carrer Palau de la Música, 4-6, 08003 Barcelona
Open daily from 10 am – 3:30 pm, changes seasonally (later summer hours); Check website for details
Las Ramblas
The atmosphere around Las Ramblas is a never-ending carnival. Pick up some roasted nuts from a street vendor, shop at local and brand-name stores around Plaça de Catalunya, or just wander and soak up the unique Catalan flavor. If there’s an FC Barcelona victory, crowds of soccer fans celebrate around the Canaletes Fountain. Watch out, there are plenty of pickpockets.
La Rambla, 08002 Barcelona
Sagrada Familia
Don’t throw stones anywhere near the enormous stained glass windows of Sagrada Família, the church that dominates the Barcelona skyline. Gothic and Art-Nouveau influences collide in this spectacular monument to Christendom, with beautiful interior spaces. Still actively under construction, its completion is expected by 2030 when Gaudi’s grand design will be realized.
Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
Open 9 am to 6 pm (October to March), 9 am to 8 pm (April to September)
Barceloneta Beach
While the rest of Europe is starting to shiver, you’ll be sunbathing well into November. Laid back and friendly, spend a lazy day sipping cocktails at the beachfront bars, or just go soak up the sun. The seafood restaurants along the pier feature outdoor dining with a gentle sea breeze. Leave your inhibitions at home – there's also a nudist section of the beach.
Passeig Marítim Barceloneta, 08003 Barcelona
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
This is one fountain that you don't need to throw pennies into. Join the masses every 15 minutes after dark to watch water shoot upwards to the sound of contemporary pop, the Lord of the Rings theme, or "Barcelona" from the 1992 Olympics. The color, light and sound spectacle is so dramatic that you almost expect fireworks and fanfare to erupt from the fountain.
Pl. Carles Buïgas, 1, 08038 Barcelona
Joan Miró Foundation
Joan Miró was a visionary artist ahead of his time. Take a journey into Miró’s mind with paintings, sculptures and tapestries that stand as a testament to his life’s work. Works of modern art from his contemporaries are also on display, as well as from up-and-coming artists. This magnificent space is one of the most popular museums in Barcelona, so expect lines.
Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 10 am – 2:30 pm, Thursdays until 9:30 pm
Park Güell
If you'd like a "dalliance" with the surreal, journey into Gaudi’s imagination at Park Güell. Starting in the Gràcia district, this 42-acre garden showcases Catalan modernism at its greatest. Fairy-tale cottages and mosaics fill the park, where you can discover glorious views of the city. Just be ready for a steep walk from the metro stations, Lesseps and Vallcarca.
Carrer d'Olot, 5, 08024 Barcelona
Open daily 8 am – 8 pm, changes seasonally (later hours in spring & summer); Check website for details
Camp Nou
Even when it’s empty, you can still sense the electric atmosphere in this iconic soccer stadium. With a capacity of 100,000, the stadium is home to Football Club Barcelona. During the soccer season, fans clog the metro stations and the city comes to a stop, so plan accordingly. For tickets, visit FCBotiga (the FC Barcelona branded stores around the city) or book online.
Carrer d'Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona
Open Monday to Saturday 10 am – 6:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am – 2:30 pm, can change per event
Tibidabo
Sending your children on a rocket to the moon is not advisable, but at least they’ll be a bit closer at the theme park atop Tibidabo Mountain. Take your miniature humans on the funicular to the fairground and spend an afternoon in the clouds. Stargazers shouldn’t miss the beguiling Fabra Observatory – built in 1904, it’s one of the world’s oldest functioning observatories.
Plaça Tibidabo, 3-4, 08035 Barcelona
Check website for details.
Sitges
This pretty little town is just down the coast from Barcelona. Take the 45-minute train from Passeig de Gràcia or Estació de França, which winds through the coastal cliffs and offers beautiful views onto the glistening Med. There, 17 fine-sand beaches await sun seekers. And there’s plenty to do for gourmands – from the upscale La Fragata restaurant to the “pintxos” of La Donostiarra.
Nova Icària Beach
If you’re looking to skip the crowds at Barceloneta Beach, all you have to do is go one stop further on the metro to Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica. Though it’s only a couple of minutes further, this beach gets way less visitors than its always-popular neighbor – which is a total plus if you’re looking for a little bit of peace and quiet while you lie in the sun.
Parc Güell
Parc Güell is one of Barcelona’s best-known landmarks – and with good reason. Created as a hillside wonderland by iconic architect Antoni Gaudí, it’s a unique space in the city. There are winding pathways, optical-illusion colonnades, fairy-tale cottages, and an undulating mosaic-coated bench where you capture your Barcelona panoramic picture.
Montjuïc Mountain Cable Car
Get a different view of Barcelona – this cable car runs from the city up to Montjuïc, the hill that dominates the city skyline. The trip gives you unrivaled panoramas right across the city skyline all the way up to Mount Tibidabo. There’s plenty to keep you entertained when you get to the top, from the National Art Museum of Catalonia and Montjuïc Castle, to the amazing Miró Foundation.
Tibidabo Theme Park
This theme park feels like it sits on top of the city. On Mount Tibidabo, it's filled with old-school charm. Among its attractions is a cutesy ferris wheel, and an old airplane ride that chugs around in a circle while dangling you above the city skyline. Pick up some cotton candy and prepare for some retro fun!
Water World Water Park
There's no better way to spend a scorching day than in a water park where you can cool down splash after splash. Just an hour’s drive outside Barcelona, whether you want to wallow in the Wave Pool, whizz down Rafting River, or hurtle down the chute of Kamikazes – there’s something for the whole family here.
Sagrada Familia Basilica
Think of Barcelona and you think of the Sagrada Família. Gaudí’s masterpiece has been under construction for over 130 years and won’t be completely finished until 2026. Its interior is a palatial hall of soaring columns and heavenly stained glass, with awe-inspiring views from the top of the spire making the hundreds of steps well worth it.
Montjuic
This seaside hill is Barcelona’s natural lookout spot. A cable car runs up to the castle on the top for bird’s-eye views, with the Miró Foundation, Poble Espanyol and MNAC Art Museum adding a touch of culture. At the foot of Montjuïc, water, light and music combine in the spectacular Magic Fountain show.
Casa Batlló
The jewel in Barcelona’s architectural crown, Casa Batlló is Gaudí at his finest. Even sandwiched between stunning Modernista buildings on Passeig de Gràcia’s most famous block, this fairy-tale house stands out. A camera is a must to capture its kaleidoscopic colors, dragon-scale roof and cave-like interiors, lit up by the glittering stained glass.
La Pedrera
Give us a wave! Officially called Casa Milà, La Pedrera—the Quarry—got its nickname thanks to its rippling stone facade. Gaudí's signature style can be seen in the undulating interiors and spiral staircases that coil their way up to a rooftop terrace lined with colorful chimney pots and spires.
Gothic Quarter
Colorful Gaudí buildings usually take the spotlight, but Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter proves that shadowy ambiance can be just as beautiful. Ancient alleyways lined with shops and bars lead from La Rambla towards hidden churches and secluded squares, before opening out to the Town Hall Square and Barcelona Cathedral.
Palau de la Musica
Concerts at Palau de la Música are a real treat for the eyes, not just for the ears. This hall’s intricate architecture and multicolored mosaics earned it UNESCO World Heritage status, and the enviable acoustics make it one of Barcelona’s finest music venues. Daily tours are available, but try to catch a show to take in the building’s full effect.
La Rambla Area
No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a stroll down La Rambla. Cutting through the center and down to the sea, this tree-lined avenue is bustling with shoppers, street performers and streetside cafés – perfect for people-watching. If you’re feeling a little hungry, why not grab a snack from La Boqueria Market on the way?
Mini Estadi
This 15,000-seater stadium is right across the road from FC Barcelona’s main base, Camp Nou. It fills up with loyal fans every weekend when the lower-league Barça B team takes on its soccer rivals. The Mini Estadi is also home to the FC Barcelona women’s side and the club’s main youth team, Juvenil A.
La Taverna de Barcelona
You can’t get much more central than La Taverna de Barcelona. Right on one corner of Plaça Catalunya, this cozy bar is a top spot to catch a game or two. Its ridiculous number of large screens make sure you’ll never miss a goal. Plus, the wide selection of beers, traditional tapas, and good old-fashioned bar snacks will keep you going even into extra time.
The Black Lion
A little slice of England in the heart of Barcelona, this authentic local bar attracts an international crowd. Its Les Corts location makes the Black Lion a popular pit stop for soccer fans on their way to Camp Nou Stadium, even though you might end up staying to catch the game on TV instead over a craft beer (or three)!
Park Guell
If you fancy a dance with the surreal, journey into Gaudi’s imagination at Park Güell. This sprawling 17-hectare garden showcases Catalan modernism at its finest. Fairytale cottages, mosaic dragons and intimate enclaves fill the park, which has glorious views over the city. Be ready for quite a steep walk from the nearest metro stations at Lesseps and Vallcarca.
Sagrada Família
A towering palace of twisted spires and kaleidoscopic stained glass, the Sagrada Família is a Barcelona must-see. After checking out Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece up close, wander around the square to get some picture-perfect views from every angle. Want to explore more? It’s also an easy stroll from Passeig de Gràcia, a boulevard lined with designer shops and dreamy architectural styles.
Montjuïc
Montjuïc Hill is a natural lookout point in the heart of Barcelona. The steep climb up is more than worth it for the fresh air and stunning views of the city and sea once you get to the top. If you don’t want to walk the whole way, combine your trek with a ride on the cable car or funicular railway.
Santa Maria del Mar Church
The 14th-century Santa Maria del Mar is one of the finest examples of Catalan Gothic architecture around. The must-see highlight is actually the interior. There isn't that much iconography due to a fire in 1936, but the resulting simplicity just accents the soaring columns and beams of light that melt through the windows. Beautiful!
Palau de la Música Catalana
This unusual concert building was part of a Catalan cultural revolution. It was built in 1905 for the Orfeo Català, a choral society that was one of the leading lights of the “Renaixença” – or Renaissance. The architecture is impressive, especially the auditorium, but it really pays to see a concert and experience the building in its true context.
Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau
Definitely not your average hospital – this impressive Modernist complex is one of Barcelona’s lesser-known architectural jewels. Even though most of its medical offices have been taken elsewhere, it still stands as a monument in its own right. It’s also just up the road from the Sagrada Família, so you can see two architectural gems one right after the other.
Casa Amatller
The camera-toting crowds might focus on Casa Batlló’s flashy curves, but architecture buffs are equally intrigued by its neighbor, Casa Amatller. The facade’s checkerboard right angles contrast perfectly with next door’s colorful nooks and crannies. Inside, there’s a pleasant harmony between traditional Catalan residential architecture and German-style elements.
Torre Agbar
This is the newest addition to Barcelona’s architectural icons. Opened in 2005, this tower—mostly made up of offices—stands proudly above the Glòries neighborhood. It’s made up of 4,400 windows and 56,619 translucent glass plates, all of which create a mosaic effect. It's maybe best appreciated at night though, when the tower's illuminated by thousands of blue and pink lights.
Mercat de Santa Caterina
Wavy roofs and technicolor palettes are synonymous with Barcelona’s architectural landscape, and this place is no different. Inside, it’s a market just like any other, with stalls selling fresh fruit, cured meat and the rest. It stands out because of its dazzling roof – a huge, undulating mosaic made up of multicolored ceramic tiles.
Poble-sec
Pretty squares and narrow streets give this central Barcelona neighborhood a small-town vibe. Day and night, Poble sec’s terraces and tapas bars fill up with both locals and visitors. Today, traditional eateries like Quimet & Quimet compete with trendy brewpubs and organic cafes, but bar-hopping down bustling Carrer Blai will never go out of style.
Gràcia Neighborhood
Once a separate town, Gràcia is fiercely proud of its independent spirit and village-like feel. Narrow streets lead into sleepy squares lined with bars and cafes that make for perfect people-watching territory. In mid-August, the annual Gràcia Festival sees the area come to life in a whirl of colorful homemade decorations and rowdy street parties.
Port Olímpic Area
Follow the sea breeze to Barcelona’s Port Olímpic. Jam-packed with restaurants, bars and clubs, this trendy harbor district is always popular. Long summer days see visitors competing for space on Vila Olímpica Beach, before dancing the night away in Opium or Shôko. In winter, the waterfront is a favorite hang-out for locals to stroll, skate, or just watch the world go by.
Picasso Museum
Picasso’s iconic paintings might grace galleries around the world, but this is where it all started. The artist spent his formative years in Barcelona, and this compact museum houses a world-class collection of his early works. As you wander the Picasso Museum’s medieval halls and stone staircases, you’ll see his shifting style unfold through line drawings, Blue Period oils, and the entire Las Meninas series.
National Art Museum of Catalonia
This museum’s comprehensive collection spans a thousand years of Catalan art. Known locally as MNAC, the National Art Museum of Catalunya brings together everything from 11th-century Romanesque murals to modernist paintings and sculptures. Even better, its elevated location on Montjuïc Hill means the views are every bit as stunning as the artwork inside.

Videos About Barcelona

  • Best places in Barcelona to hang out like a local

  • Best places in Barcelona to eat like a local

  • Local tips for going out in Barcelona

  • Barcelona local, Marina, shares her favourite places in Barcelona

  • Barcelona locals, Anarosa and Ricardo, share their favourite places in Barcelona

When to Go to Barcelona

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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
Beautiful city, very organised, good transportation, delicious food, shopping heaven! Visit the magic fountain when it performs, is a MUST. The tickets for some museums were TOO expensive and didn't worth it. Choose carefully what you want to see.
Eleftheria
Greece
May 21, 2017
10
Exceptional
Great places to see. My favorites are Gaudi houses and Park Güell. Great food to enjoy, especially Salamanca restaurant (Carrer de l' Almirall Cervera, 34). Such a nice service and smiling people, all the staff!
Krassimira
Bulgaria
May 21, 2017
6
Review score
The easy of getting around the city via the metro so easy to use and very cheap. Bus tour is a good way to see the city. Nou Camp tour was a good for all those football lovers out there. City full of culture beautiful buildings lots of history
Lewis
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
8
Very Good
Beautiful city with many beautiful buildings, museums, beaches and wonderful places to eat. Metro very user friendly.
Lizzy
United Kingdom
May 21, 2017
10
Exceptional
Lots to do and to see. City views on mountains ate amazing. Culture and weather were amazing as well. Sangrada Familia was absolutely breathtaking. Would go back.
Danielle
United States of America
May 21, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Barcelona

Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel GL

8.5 Very Good

Score from 4,578 reviews

$195

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    312 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    291 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    211 related reviews
Royal Ramblas

8.4 Very Good

Score from 3,328 reviews

$179

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    498 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    216 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    106 related reviews
Catalonia Ramblas 4* Sup

8.6 Excellent

Score from 4,180 reviews

$123

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    438 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    267 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    163 related reviews
Catalonia Portal de l'Angel

8.9 Excellent

Score from 2,448 reviews

$112

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    423 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    235 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    113 related reviews
Catalonia Plaza Catalunya

8.6 Excellent

Score from 4,181 reviews

$112

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    549 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    358 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    151 related reviews
Catalonia Passeig de Gràcia 4* Sup

9.2 Wonderful

Score from 2,174 reviews

$134

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    299 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    279 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    167 related reviews
Hotel Turin

8.4 Very Good

Score from 2,921 reviews

$119

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    323 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    177 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    147 related reviews
Catalonia Catedral

9.2 Wonderful

Score from 2,012 reviews

$134

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    345 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    293 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    138 related reviews
Hotel Barcelona Catedral

8.9 Excellent

Score from 2,753 reviews

$189

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    451 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    274 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    179 related reviews
Discover Barcelona

Popular Neighborhoods in Barcelona

Eixample

1078 properties

L’Eixample’s large, grid-like avenues (modeled after New York) are easy to navigate. Passeig de Gràcia (in the center) is a tourist hot-spot, with Gaudí's Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, as well as Puig i Cadafalch's Casa Amatller within easy reach. Carrer Balmes is a safe and tolerant area for all kinds of travelers.

Downtown Barcelona

937 properties

Barcelona's city center effortlessly melds the present with the past. Head to the Gothic Quarter to explore the city's Roman foundations, or to the cosmopolitan Rambla del Raval for the best Barcelona vibes. Gaudi's playfully curvy houses decorate Passeig de Gràcia, which is also home to fantastic brand-name and luxury shopping.

Ciutat Vella

395 properties

Ciutat Vella ("Old City") is comprised of several neighborhoods: Barri Gòtic, Raval, El Born and Barceloneta (all in more detail in separate descriptions). As a whole, the district’s characteristic features include narrow, winding streets that reach from Las Ramblas to the coast.

Sagrada Familia

253 properties

The enormous Roman Catholic church designed by Gaudi dominates the skyline. Construction on the UNESCO World Heritage building began in 1882 and continues to this day. Visit the neo-Mudéjar Monumental bullring, which once hosted a concert by The Beatles, as well as bullfights until 2012 (when the practice was banned in Catalonia).

Sants-Montjuïc

247 properties

This district retains a lot of its traditional character. Tourist hot-spots surround Montjuïc Hill, next to Plaça Espanya. Visit the Joan Miró Foundation and Catalonia National Art Museum (MNAC) in the Palau Nacional. The 17th-century Montjuïc Castle stands on the hill, and there are also the colors of the Magic Fountain to enjoy below.

Gothic Quarter

195 properties

The city walls are remnants of the Roman Empire, while Placa de Sant Felip Neri is riddled with bullet holes from the Civil War. Portal de l’Àngel and Carrer Avinyó have an array of brand-name and vintage boutiques. Dance the night away at the trendy clubs on Plaça Reial.

Gràcia

194 properties

There’s a youthful energy in this dynamic area. Plaça de la Virreina, Plaça del Sol and Plaça de Rius i Taulet are charming squares to relax in and people-watch. Take a stroll through Gaudí’s Park Güell, with its unique architectural spaces that offer wonderful views of the city.

Raval

139 properties

Rambla del Raval is a cosmopolitan area with a wide tree-lined pedestrian avenue, home to Gaudí’s Palau Güell mansion, the Liceu Opera House and La Boquería Market on La Rambla. MACBA, the city’s modern art museum, doubles as an informal skate park and meeting point for the city’s younger inhabitants.

Sarrià-St. Gervasi

104 properties

Accessible only by train or bus, this primarily residential district has a range of local restaurants. For families traveling with younger children, the CosmoCaixa science museum showcases a range of exhibitions. Les Planes, an outdoor picnic area, is nestled on the farthest edge of the district.

El Born

51 properties

This trendy neighborhood features designer boutiques, quirky cafes and a variety of restaurants to explore off Passeig del Born. Cultural activities include the Picasso Museum, Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral and Born Centre Cultural. The sprawling Ciutadella Park borders the neighborhood, home to the Barcelona Zoo and Zoology Museum.

Barceloneta

18 properties

Running from Olympic Port to Torre Sant Sebastia, Barceloneta was completely revitalized for the 1992 Olympics. For a beautiful full-scale city panorama, take a trip on the cable car from Torre Sant Sebastia to Montjuïc Hill, or explore the popular seafood restaurants on Passeig de Joan de Borbó.

Local Tips for Barcelona

Carretera de les Aigües
Javi by Javi

Javi was born and raised in Barcelona and is crazy about sports, especially FC Barcelona.

Carretera de les Aigües is a flat mountain path in the Collserola Hills that spans the width of the city. It's a great place to go for a run, cycle or walk – it's a joy to exercise in the fresh mountain air, with amazing views over the city.

  • Carretera de les Aigües 157, 08017, Barcelona
  • Open every day
Plaça dels Àngels
Ric by Ric

Ric moved to Barcelona for its vibrant skateboarding scene, street culture and creative vibe.

Skateboarders around the world revere the square around the MACBA. You’ll find a mix of skaters, tourists and locals in the area. It’s a gathering place for young people and watching the world go by – just make sure you watch your stuff!

  • Plaça dels Àngels, 08001 Barcelona
  • Open every day
Mercat de la Princesa
Carla by Carla

Carla is super positive and loves seeing new places and spaces with her loved ones.

This is Barcelona’s best-kept secret: a show-cooking market set in a restored 15th-century palace. There are all sorts of stalls with gastronomic delights: eggs cooked in a hundred different ways, Japanese, Spanish, Italian food – it's a charming place to grab a bite to eat!

  • Carrer Flassaders 21, 08003
  • www.mercatprincesa.com
  • Open Monday to Thursday 9 am – 12 am, Friday 9 am – 12:30 am, Sunday 9 am – 11 pm
Carrer de Blai
Alba by Alba

Travel-crazy Alba loves to return home to Barcelona, which always welcomes her with open arms.

I really recommend visiting Carrer de Blai for the tapas route. One of the central streets in the Poble Sec district, beer or wine plus tapas or pintxo are two euros on Thursdays. The quality far outstrips the price, which is much cheaper than the regular tourist spots!

  • Carrer de Blai, 08004
  • Open every day
Torre Rosa
Noemi by Noemi

Noemi is crazy about reading and jigsaw puzzles, especially of cities she has visited.

Torre Rosa is a unique bar set in an old colonial house with a peaceful terrace outside, isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city. I used to go out with my friends to places around Marina or in the Old Town, but nowadays I prefer to go to quieter places with a bit of background music where my friends and I can sit and chat.

  • Carrer de Francesc Tàrrega, 22, 08027 Barcelona
  • www.torrerosa.com
  • Open Monday to Thursday 7 pm – 2:30 am, Friday 7 pm – 3 am, Saturday 12 pm – 3 am, Sunday 12 pm – 2:30 pm
Fabrica Moritz
Arlette by Arlette

Arlette is passionate about discovering unique places that are original, historical and beautiful.

If you are a beer lover, La Fábrica Moritz (Moritz Brewery) is the perfect place to discover more about this Catalan beer brand and its history, while enjoying the beautiful rustic architecture that’s on offer.

  • Ronda de Sant Antoni, 39 - 41, 08011 Barcelona
  • moritz.com
  • Open every day 6 am – 3 am
The Courtyard of the Pati Museu del Marés
Alfonso by Alfonso

Photographer Alfonso has lived in Dublin and Madrid but always returns home to Barcelona.

If you love taking photos as much as I do, you must visit Pati Museu del Marés, the courtyard of the Marés Sculpture Museum. It’s a perfectly relaxing spot in which to read a book, grab a coffee, look at the water or simply enjoy contemplating life among the orange blossoms.

  • Plaça de Sant Iu, 5, 08002 Barcelona
  • w110.bcn.cat
  • Open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 11 am – 8 pm
Monastery of Sant Miquel del Fai
Laura by Laura

Laura moved back home to Barcelona from Amsterdam to be closer to nature.

My favorite place near Barcelona is Sant Miquel del Fai. It is an amazing Romanesque church set in the cliffs, next to a waterfall. It is about 50 km (31 mi) from Barcelona and there are some really beautiful walking routes in that area.

Teatre Grec
Virginia by Virginia

French-born Virginia loves green spaces and has called Barcelona home for 25 years.

I love green spaces so the gardens around Teatre Grec (Greek Theater) are some of my favorite in Barcelona. Enjoy the sun and wander among the ash trees, cypresses, rose bushes and bougainvillea or come here later in the day to enjoy the sunset over Barcelona.

Granja Viader
Jordi by Jordi

Music and sports lover Jordi has lived most of his life in Barcelona.

Granjas are cafés that serve breakfasts and brunches. The experience of eating in one of these traditional cafes has hardly changed in 140 years. It's also special to me because the family who run it are from Cardedeu, a town where my family is originally from. I recommend the suizo (hot chocolate with cream on top).

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Recommended in Barcelona

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Barcelona for food?

Food, as with the whole of Spain, is a way of life. Whether enjoying sangria and olives outside a quiet cafe on ramble del poblenou or eating tapas at one of the many bars in La boquieria, you're pretty much surrounded by excellent fresh food. If you're a sea food lover, then you're in for a real treat. La boquieria market just off las ramblas is the place to be. You can't help but be inspired by the wonderful ingredients. You can either buy from the market and take away to cook yourself or as previously mentioned, eat from one of the many tapas bars, such as El quim or Barcentral, they're all amazing. Good food is everywhere in Barcelona. I recommend also you try Bar Mut. I could go on forever. Just go and eat!

The best way to explore Barcelona is to buy ticket for double-decker (bus with 2 floors). You can see them everywhere in the city. One day ticket is 27 euro, 2 days ticket 38 euro. They have 2 routs (1 route for 1 day, but if you wish and have energy, you can make 2 routs on 1 day). So, you can drop off on every stop, walk as long as you want there, and then get on the bus again. This bus goes to every attraction place in Barcelona, so by this way you can see ALL Barcelona. It is very convenient.

Taking the open top bus tours is best way to see so much. They were frequent and had running documentary to listen to. Hop on hop off stops but feel going whole way round on first bus then stay on and get off where you like. Probably 2 day pass best value as so much to see and visit Trains efficient but miss sights from under ground and beware as had purse taken while on train from castle to Ramblas

Do eat anywhere that isn't a mom and pop shop or where tourists go. Eat fancy one day or so but visit all the little restaurants and ask them to give you some authentically Spain. Get different tapas, bocadillas, eat patatas bravas but don't order food that "your used to" otherwise why go on vacation. You will love what the Spainards eat, its healthy, portioned right and different.

Cleanest city beach ever seen, impressed with maintenance. Rare that a major metropolitan modern city has such nice beaches and a very clean sea with good underwater visibility. Yes, there are crowds, but there is mostly a respectful and peaceful atmosphere. Also a choice of beachwear, topless is optional and beaches to the north are optionally nudist.

A fantastic choice of shops to suit all ages and so reasonable. For gifts I recommend going up the cobbled side streets around the Gothic Quarter for bargains eg tourist gifts etc ( never pay the price as marked on the item, barter for the best price. Great for clothing and some great shoe shops etc.

There are shops everywhere in Barcelona, you just need to move away from the areas around Passeig de Gracia/Placa de Catalunya/Rambla de Catalunya (though they also have good shops).

Visit somewhere off las rambles. Food is cheaper and also quite tasty. We love to eat locally.

Willing to help always and most people can speak English so did not have problem with language

Transportation

Barcelona Transportation

Air – El Prat

El Prat is Barcelona’s main airport. A 7-mile train ride gets you to Passeig de Gràcia and takes approximately 26 minutes (operating from 6 am to 11:30 pm every day). Taxis take approx. 20 minutes and it’s not necessary to book in advance. Another convenient option is the Aerobus, running every 15 minutes from 5:30 am to 1 am, 7 days a week. The Aerobus stops at Carrer Sepúlveda and Plaça Catalunya.

Air – Girona

Budget airlines usually fly to Girona Airport near the Costa Brava, about 54 miles from central Barcelona. Rental cars and taxis are available. The bus to Estació del Nord takes 70 minutes – departure times depend on incoming flights, but they usually run every 3 hours. Advance bookings are not essential. If you want to catch the train, you’ll need a taxi to Riudellots station 2.5 miles away.

Metro

Barcelona's relatively modest size and reliable Metro network make it an easy place to travel around. You can buy single, monthly or ten-journey tickets for the Metro. The ten-journey option costs around EUR 10 and can be used by several people, so you don't necessarily have to buy one each. These tickets can also be used on the bus. There are plenty of well-marked stations scattered throughout the city.

Train

There are two main stations for train travel within Barcelona – Barcelona Sants (the main transportation hub) and Passeig de Gràcia (the most central). Both stations have shops and restaurants nearby and offer easy and quick connections to local trains and the metro. If you’re traveling to destinations outside of Barcelona, you’ll probably depart from Barcelona Sants; tickets can be booked online in advance or purchased from a service desk.

Taxi

Taxis are well marked and readily available throughout the city. Official taxis are black with yellow stripes. Simply go to a taxi stand or hail one from the street – taxis that are available will have a green light on top. If you have special requirements (for instance, facilities for wheelchairs, larger vehicles) it’s best to book in advance.

Car

If you rent a car at El Prat Airport, getting to the city is simple. Follow the signs to Centre Ciutat on the C-31 highway. There are very few turns involved. If you’re looking for a rental, there are plenty of options available at the airport and most international chains (Hertz, Budget, etc.) are represented. On-street parking can be difficult, but there are plenty of "Saba" brand garages around the city.

Bus

Bus travel within the city is not recommended – the metro is extremely efficient and easier to understand for non-locals. If you do need to catch a bus, bus numbers are listed on the signs and stops are clearly marked throughout the city. Unfortunately, there are no maps displayed at the bus stops, so you might need to ask a local for help. Single-journey tickets are available on board.

Bike

Barcelona’s relatively compact size and growing number of bike lanes make it a great place to explore on two wheels. There are many bike rental places in the center of town, such as Green Bikes in the Gothic Quarter and Bornbike in Born. Both of these operators offer bike tours of the city where you can take in some of the most popular sites.

Food in Barcelona

Top Restaurants in Barcelona

Upscale Dining
Spanish
Els Quatre Gats

Open since the late 19th century, this traditional and lovingly preserved restaurant was once a haunt of Picasso and Rusiñol. Their extensive lunch menu features mainly local Catalan cuisine. Enjoy live jazz on Tuesday evenings.

Cheap Eats
Spanish
100 Montaditos Urquinaona

This chain restaurant is great for budget-conscious travellers looking for a friendly place to eat. It has a very informal but lively atmosphere that occasionally gets quite busy. They also serve a variety of tapas-style dishes, as well as a selection of beers.

Upscale Dining
Spanish
El Asador de Aranda

Vegetarians definitely need to steer clear of this restaurant, which features a huge range of meat options. Their menu is mainly traditional Castilian fare, including a delicious roast lamb. There are a few other branches around the city. Traditionally decorated, it's great for group meals and attracts a mixed clientele.

  • Pau Claris 70, 08010 Barcelona
  • Open Monday–Saturday 13:00–16:00 and 21:00–00:00
  • 0034 93 342 55 77
Mid-Range Fare
Catalan
Julivert Meu

For something a little bit different, Julivert Meu serves do-it-yourself style Catalan cuisine. Pa amb tomàquet (a traditional Catalan dish of bread, salt, garlic, oil and tomato) - is served in a DIY sort of kit that you prepare yourself. With its very rustic vibe and traditional accents on the wall, it's unusual to find a place this authentic next to the tourist-heavy Las Ramblas.

Upscale Dining
French
Brasserie Flo

Enjoy traditional Mediterranean food in an Art Nouveau-inspired restaurant. It's spacious and suitable for larger groups of people or travellers with children. They offer a set menu with mainly seafood that varies between the week and weekend.

Upscale Dining
Japanese
Dos Palillos

A one Michelin star restaurant with Asian-Fusion style tapas, Dos Palillos's head chef is Albert Raurich, formerly of El Bulli. Located in the stylish Casa Camper hotel, it's pricey but not totally out of the question. Make sure that you book well in advance.

Cheap Eats
Spanish
Bilbao Berria

Bilbao Berria is known for being somewhat of a tourist trap, but its central location is a huge draw. There are cheap pintxos and a modern ambience that attracts an international crowd.

Cheap Eats
Mexican
La Rosa Negra

Locals and tourists alike flock to La Rosa Negra for some of the best Mexican in town. They serve cheap mojitos and make nice ceviche (cold citrus and coriander soup with seafood.) It's always buzzing and often hard to get a table - so try and book early!

Mid-Range Fare
Vietnamese
Bun Bo Vietnam

This Vietnamese restaurant has cute and colourful modern décor and features an outdoor eating area. Drawing a mixed crowd, it's great for younger travellers who want to relax in an informal environment. They also stock a range of Asian beers.

Mid-Range Fare
Thai
Thai Gardens

Traditionally inspired Thai décor adorns this most lovely of restaurants, with cushioned seats and low tables. The menu features standard Thai cuisine served on flamboyantly decorated plates. Great for groups or an intimate evening, the spacious restaurant has quiet corners surrounded by greenery that are good for a bit of privacy.

Upscale Dining
Spanish
Tapas 24

Tapas 24 is a fairly upmarket tapas restaurant. They serve classic tapas staples such as patatas bravas, croquettes and bombas, as well as more innovative dishes. It tends to attract a younger crowd and can get very busy, due to its small size.

Mid-Range Fare
British
Caravelle

Caravelle is a gastropub that tends to draw people in for its extensive brunch menu. Also a good coffee spot with ethically grown beans, it has an expatriate feel given their majority English and Australian staff. The interior is quite minimalist and charming.

  • Pintor Fortuny 31, 08001 Barcelona
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 08:30–18:30, Thursday and Friday 08:30–01:00, Saturday 10:30–01:00, Sunday 10:30–18:30
  • www.facebook.com
  • 0034 933 17 98 92
Cheap Eats
Italian
La Tagliatella

This Italian restaurant chain is fairly cheap and cheerful - their menu consists of pasta, pizza and risotto-based dishes. La Tagliatella has traditional décor with maroon walls and accents, as well as a large mezzanine to accommodate groups.

Cheap Eats
Mexican
La Rosa del Raval

La Rosa del Raval serves very affordable Mexican food in a bustling, often extremely busy environment. Attracts a younger crowd of locals and is also popular with tourists. They serve delicious soups and cocktails, like raspberry mojitos. It's often hard to get a table, so get in early!

Cheap Eats
Indian
Veggie Garden

With a smorgasbord of options for the vegetarian, Veggie Garden is great for big portions on a budget. It has an Eastern vibe that attracts a more alternative crowd, particularly for their thalis (an Indian and Nepalese style set menu with various dishes).

Upscale Dining
Italian
Bacaro

Bacaro is a small Venetian tavern that serves tapas-style dishes and great gnocchi. Suitable for small groups and couples, it attracts a mixed crowd of locals and tourists.

  • Carrer de Jerusalem 6, 08001 Barcelona
  • Open Monday–Saturday 12:30–16:00 and 20:00–00:00
  • 0034 695 79 60 66
Mid-Range Fare
Middle Eastern
Arabia
  • Carrer de Sant Pere Mes Alt, 18 - 08003
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–02:00.
  • 0034 933198793
Mid-Range Fare
Spanish
La Flauta

For a tapas restaurant slightly off the tourist map, this restaurant serves high quality, fresh tapas - especially 'flautas' - small baguettes with a range of fillings. It's good for a relaxing evening and more informal dining occasions.

  • Aribau 23, 08011 Barcelona
  • Open Monday–Saturday 13:00–16:30 and 20:00–01:00
  • 0034 933 237 038
Upscale Dining
Japanese
Doble Zeroo

Fresh and healthy Japanese fusion, which blends Japanese food with Mediterranean and Latin American influences. The slick and modern décor combines wood with accents of exposed wood. It's popular with young people and has a relatively informal atmosphere.

  • Carrer de Jaume Giralt 53, 08003 Barcelona
  • Open Monday 20:00–23:30, Sunday–Thursday 13:00–16:00 and 20:00–23:30, Friday and Saturday 13:00–16:00 and 20:00–00:00
  • www.doblezeroo.com
  • 0034 933 151 744
Cheap Eats
Mediterranean
Tasca i Vins

Tasca i Vins is perfect for lunch on a low budget. They have an extensive lunch menu serving Mediterranean food, as well as hearty roast lunches. The interior is like a traditional tavern, with lots of beams and rustic accents. Attracts a mainly young crowd.

Cheap Eats
Spanish
O Toxo Tres Hermanos

A traditional restaurant that serves Galician food, including baby octopus and many other fresh seafood specialities. It's more of a local place, but great for groups because dishes are served with sharing in mind. Gets quite busy on the weekend, so get in early to avoid disappointment.

Mid-Range Fare
Indian
Bembi
Cheap Eats
Argentinian
Café Alsur

On a sunny day, pull up a chair at this café located in a quiet square. With mainly Argentinian fare, it features free Wi-Fi and a separate lounge area with sofas. The cafe generally attracts a young and modern crowd. They do nice cakes, including Argentinian alfajores - and cheap cocktails!

  • Plaça de Sant Cugat 1, 08003 Barcelona
  • Open every day 12:00–00:00
  • 0034 931 825 407
Cheap Eats
Middle Eastern
Maoz Vegetarian

This cheap and cheerful chain restaurant is popular with vegetarians. It has multiple locations throughout the city and has limited space to sit down. The cuisine is typically pita bread filled with salad of your choice.

Mid-Range Fare
Catalan
Can Culleretes

For a touch of authentic tradition, this restaurant has been in operation since 1786. It has a traditional environment to match its cuisine, which is made up of various seafood options and home-made desserts. Tends to attract a more mature crowd.

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