Barcelona Spain is one of the finest destinations in Europe With its mild, sunshine-filled climate and cultural heritage
Based on the East coast of Spain on the shores of the Mediterranean, the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain has become a must-visit thanks to the brilliant works of the architect Antonio Gaudi, its thriving nightlife and captivating mix of the old and new world. Barcelona is also world-famous for its soccer team, and a tour around the legendary Camp Nou is a must for any sports fan.
A visit to Barcelona isn’t complete without a visit to the spectacular Sagrada Familia cathedral. Antonio Gaudi’s masterpiece is still under construction (and won’t be complete until 2028, or so they say!), but is open to visitors every day.
Gaudi’s intricate, symbolic carvings include lots of “Easter Eggs” for visitors to spot, including several columns supported by turtles.
If you don’t want to pay for a ticket to go inside, a walk around the outside of the cathedral is rewarding enough for anyone on a budget.
A short bus ride from the city, Park Guell is an idyllic spot that showcases some of Gaudi’s most famous works – including the endearing lizard statue that greets you into the park – a popular spot for photos. The park also has the world’s longest bench – designed by Gaudi, the mosaic-decorated bench has fabulous views over the city, from Sagrada Familia down to the blue ocean.
What to Do
Barcelona is a vibrant city with a lot to see and do. Here are some recommendations:
- Visit La Sagrada Familia: This stunning church designed by Antoni Gaudi is one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona.
- Stroll down La Rambla: This bustling street is filled with street performers, shops, and restaurants. It’s a great place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere.
- Explore Park Güell: Another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, this park features whimsical sculptures and stunning views of the city.
- Check out the Gothic Quarter: This historic neighborhood is filled with narrow streets, beautiful architecture, and plenty of shops and cafes.
- Visit the Picasso Museum: Barcelona is the birthplace of the famous artist Pablo Picasso, and this museum features many of his works.
- Experience the nightlife: Barcelona is known for its nightlife, with many clubs and bars open until the early hours of the morning.
- Relax on the beach: Barcelona has several beaches, including Barceloneta Beach, which is located right in the city center.
- Try the local cuisine: Be sure to sample some of the local dishes, such as paella, tapas, and churros.
- Take a day trip: There are many interesting places to visit just outside of Barcelona, such as Montserrat, Sitges, and the Costa Brava.
- Enjoy the festivals: Barcelona hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the La Mercè festival in September and the Festa Major de Gracia in August.
Where To Stay
Barcelona offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. Here are some popular options:
- Gothic Quarter: This is a historic and central neighborhood with plenty of hotels, apartments, and hostels to choose from.
- Eixample: This neighborhood is known for its modernist architecture and wide streets, and it offers a variety of hotels and apartments.
- Gracia: This trendy neighborhood is located just outside the city center and has a bohemian feel. It offers a mix of budget-friendly hostels and higher-end hotels.
- Barceloneta: This neighborhood is located right on the beach and offers a range of hotels and apartments with sea views.
- El Raval: This neighborhood is known for its vibrant nightlife and cultural scene, and it offers a variety of budget-friendly accommodations.
- Montjuic: This hilltop neighborhood offers panoramic views of the city and is home to several museums and cultural attractions. It offers a mix of hotels and apartments.
Keep in mind that Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, so it’s a good idea to book your accommodations in advance, especially during the peak travel season.
Barcelona is home to several festivals throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to experience the city’s vibrant culture and traditions. Here are some of the most popular festivals in Barcelona:
- La Mercè: This is Barcelona’s largest festival, held in late September in honor of the city’s patron saint. The festival features live music, parades, fireworks, and many other cultural events.
- Carnival: Held in late February or early March, Carnival is a lively celebration featuring colorful parades, costumes, and parties.
- Festa Major de Gracia: This festival, held in August, takes place in the Gracia neighborhood and features colorful decorations, live music, and street parties.
- Sant Jordi: Celebrated on April 23rd, this festival honors Catalonia’s patron saint and includes the tradition of exchanging books and roses between loved ones.
- Barcelona Beach Festival: This electronic music festival is held in July and features some of the world’s top DJs and performers.
- Grec Festival: Held in July, this festival features theater, dance, music, and other cultural events at venues throughout the city.
- Sónar: This electronic and experimental music festival takes place in June and features cutting-edge performances and installations.
These are just a few of the many festivals held in Barcelona throughout the year, so be sure to check the calendar of events to see what’s happening during your visit.