Spain has always been at the top of our travel list and what better way to get the first taste of this beautiful country than a weekend break, celebrating our 5-year anniversary in Barcelona city.
Where to stay
Barcelona city is a lot smaller than you might think. On average your metro journey to the city centre will typically be 10 – 15 minutes with the furthest metro stop being no more than 45 minutes. This means you could stay just about anywhere in the city and not be too far from the action.
The most central locations, with the best transport connections and ready access to sightseeing and attractions are:
- Plaça Catalunya: This is a lively area in downtown Barcelona and the metro station is located next to the centre square. It is the link of Barcelona city, where all roads start and from here you can go practically anywhere. It’s not a real tourist attraction but it’s the perfect location since it’s the main hub of transport.
- Las Ramblas: This is a street in central Barcelona that runs through the heart of the city. It’s a vibrant and lively promenade filled with the best that Barcelona city has to offer.
- Gothic Quarter (Old Town): This is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona and here you will find the best combination of restaurants and tourist sites. With narrow streets and antique buildings many areas are for pedestrians only, adding a little peace and tranquillity to your stay.
The public transport system is very effective and getting around in Barcelona is easy and hassle free.
- Cabify: There is no Uber but cabify works the same way. It’s cost effective and easy to use. You can just download the app and link your credit card details – the same way you would for Uber. We used cabify for our airport transfer and to get back to our apartment late at night.
- Hop on hop off bus: This is the BEST way to see the city and all of the main attractions. We purchased the 2 day pass as there is too much to try cram into one day and it’s also a great way to get around the city. You can get on and off the bus as many times as you like and switch between different routes. You can purchase tickets on the bus. From November to April the bus runs from 9am to 7pm and from May to October operating time is 9am to 8pm.
- Metro: Since we are currently living in London all metro services elsewhere seem extremely easy to use. We used the citymapper app to get around on the metro and had no problems. It’s also cheap (well in comparison to London everywhere is).
Where to eat
I don’t think I even need to mention how amazing the food in Spain is. I think it goes without saying. But for inside info into some of cities finest, check out this incredible guide to Eating Your Way Through Barcelona.
What to do
1. Explore the Gothic quarter
This is a beautiful and charming area, dating back to over 2000 years. Complete with narrow, medieval streets, trendy bars, shops and traditional restaurants, you could spend an entire day exploring this area.
2. Visit the Gothic cathedral
located in the heart of the Gothic quarter, this beautiful monument took nearly two centuries to build. Visitation is free from 8 am to 12:45 pm and 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A donation is required if you visit outside these times.
3. Coffee at Faborit
Situated in the Passeig de Gràcia area and next to one of Gaudí’s famous sites (Casa Batilo). The coffee here is amazing! It’s also the perfect spot for breakfast with a selection of foods including a variety of pastries and natural juices.
4. FC Barcelona Camp Nou Experience
Peter is a football fanatic and as a result this was on our must do list. Every football supporter can respect the history and achievements of FC Barcelona, one of the greatest football clubs in the world. This tour allows you to visit rarely seen areas, including the away changing room, the commentators box, the management teams seating area and you get the chance to walk through the team tunnel.
5. Have a cocktail at one of the beach bars
There are a variety of beach bars located along the promenade. I am a sucker for sunshine and the beach so I was in my element. See this article by AB Apartment Barcelona for 6 of the best beach bars in the area.
6. Get a photo at Parc de la Ciutadella
This is a beautiful and majestic oasis in the centre of Barcelona. Here you can enjoy a picnic in the park and long leisurely walks taking in the fresh air.
7. Visit the iconic Sagrada Familia
You have to experience it to appreciate it. Antoni Gaudí’s most iconic and beautiful pieces of architecture is still expected to be under construction until at least 2030.
If you enjoyed my Barcelona city guide you might also enjoy my Guide to Greece.