Perched on Spain’s northeast coast, Barcelona is one of the hottest holiday spots in Europe. With a population of 1.65 million people in the city proper, Barcelona is Spain’s second most populous city. Barcelona is one of the top destinations for art, architecture and sport especially, drawing thousands of football fans to the city each year. 

Barcelona has generally fantastic weather throughout the year. August is the hottest month, with temperatures averaging 30°C. Between May and July is generally considered the best time to visit Barcelona, and is when many of the city’s visitors holiday in the Catalan capital. 

The Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular tourist sites in Barcelona. The world famous cathedral, built by Antoni Gaudi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction on the cathedral began in 1882 and is still yet to be finished, meaning the Sagrada Familia presents many facades, as architectural tastes have varied over the years.

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a trip to FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium. The mammoth stadium seats over 93,000 football fans, and is jam-packed on match days. Visitors can take the Camp Nou Experience Tour and explore the stadium.

Despite being a city bustling with activity, Barcelona has several beautiful beaches for tourists to soak up the sun on. While Barceloneta Beach is the busiest of the beaches, Nova Icaria is well known for the young crowd it attracts. However, for those seeking a peaceful beach away from the hubbub, Caldetes Beach is the perfect spot.

Catalans are extremely proud of their history and cuisine, and this pride reveals itself in many of the foods and recipes found in Barcelona. Depending on the area of the city, tastes can differ. Although fish is one of the favourites of the city, people who live further inland tend to eat more pork-based dishes. One of the city’s more unique culinary tastes is the pa amb tomaquet. Tomato, olive oil, garlic and salt on toasted bread, the dish is a favourite amongst Catalans, and can be eaten at any time, from breakfast to dinner. 

For those travelling to Barcelona in the cooler months, they should try Escudella. This traditional stew is made by simmering pig cheeks and chicken, sausages, pork bones (for flavour), and a variety of fresh vegetables. Pasta is added at the end to complete the dish.

Barcelona’s nightlife is not concentrated in one area, rather it is all over the city. Las Ramblas is one of the most popular spots for nights out. Visitors can enjoy tapas bar hopping, as they make their way through the area. The Gothic Quarter features many areas frequented by locals, and is a maze of bars, nightclubs and discos full of people throughout the week. 

 

Overview

Spain's second most populated city, Barcelona is full of history, culture and is home to some of the worlds most famous landmarks. Whether you want a week-long holiday or a weekend city break, Barcelona is ideal for both. The warm weather that is received for majority of the year makes it a favourite destination in Europe, plus the architecture in the city is stunning and gives tourists plenty of opportunities for exploring. There's a variety of restaurants in Barcelona too, from tapas bars to 5* star dining.

From famous landmarks like the La Sagrada Família to the Santa Maria del Mar there's ample to learn about these historic monuments, plus, take in the incredible architecture of the buildings, don't forget you camera on this trip, there's so much to capture. The views around Barcelona are stunning, some of the best places to view the city are from The Palau Nacional roof terrace and Park Guell.

Barcelona is also popular for its range of shopping malls and busy streets full of cafes and restaurants giving a lively vibe, perfect for both days and evenings out. Other activities include museums and city tours, plus if you're looking to relax on your trip there's many parks to take a stroll through plus Barcelona is located on the coast. There's a couple beachs in Barcelona, Barceloneta Beach is the most popular and can become busy during the summer months, it's perfect for relaxing under the sun and swimming in the cool waters.

Key Facts

  • Currency: Euro
    Language: Spanish/ Catalan
    Approximate flight time from UK: 2 hours from London, UK
    Time zones: UTC+01:00

Great For

City Breaks: Barcelona is an incredible city, with so many historic sites to visit, plenty of culture to take in and learn about. It's the perfect destination for a city break. There's also beautiful parks to stroll through and many places to shop, La Rambla is a favourite.
Historical Sites: From La Sagrada Família to Montjuïc, there's so many beautiful monuments and landmarks to see and explore. The architecture of the buildings are worth exploring. Many of the landmarks were constructed throughout the Middle-Ages, however a breakthrough in the Art-Nouveau movement in the 1960's means there's great contrast in this intricate and fascinating city.
Shopping: Barcelona has a wide variety of shopping malls, outlets, and markets. You name it Barcelona has it. La Rambla is a popular place for tourists, this road has many shops from fashion to home-ware to restaurants and cafes there's something for everyone. The Tourism boom in the early 1990's ensured that Barcelona become an epicentre for trade and fashion in Spain.

La Sagrada Família

La Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church, located in the centre of Barcelona. The building of the La Sagrada Familia started in 1882, it's been in construction for over a 100 years and it's set to be completed around 2020's - 2040's. Josep Maria Bocabella was inspired to build the church, he returned from a trip in Italy and wanted to build the church inspired by Loreto. Loreto is a town in the Italian province of Ancona, in the Marche. The architecture is phenomenal and although it is not completed it attracts millions of tourists a year. It's full of history and culture, it's a must see!
Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Website: http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/

La Rambla

La Rambla is a street in Barcelona, it's most popular for its parade of shops and tree lined road, very picturesque. Not only is there plenty of shops there's also a variety of attractions which you will find such as live performers, painters and human statue art, not to mention the War Museum and Modernist Boqueria Market. There's a variety to see and do on La Rambla, it's also very central, cutting through the heart of the city, and it's a popular tourist destination and in peak seasons it can become busy. Also when the weather is sunny it's perfect for a day out.

Montjuïc

Montjuïc is a hill in Barcelona, the slopes used to be for growing food and plants and as time has progressed more and more attractions have been built plus it was the home ground to many venues for the Olympic Games in 1992. Today the Montjuïc is a mostly recreational area with a large number of sights and attractions such as the Palau Nacional, which is home to the Museum Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, there's also the Magic Fountain plus the Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring). It's a great place to spend the day, with different areas to be explored plus there are some great views of Barcelona from different points of Montjuic, The Palau Nacional is a popular place for tourists to visit to view Barcelona.

Santa Maria del Mar

This Gothic Styled was built in 55 years, from 1329 to 1384. Surrounded by narrow streets, the exterior makes the Church look smaller then it is however when entering the church, the interior is spacious, the nave presents itself, emphasising the height and length of the A narrow nave presents itself, which emphasises the height and length of the church. The stained-glass windows let the room flood with different colours. It's located in the middle of the La Ribera District.
Address: Plaça de Santa Maria, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Website: http://www.santamariadelmarbarcelona.org/home/

Camp Nou

The largest stadium in Spain by capacity, it can hold up to 99,354 people. It's hosted numerous amounts of international football matches, but is most well known for being the home ground of FC Barcelona, one of the most successful football clubs in the world. There is a tour and museum available for tourists to experience, which includes visiting the museum which holds several awards and trophies, plus there's the press-room, visitors dressing room and of course the football pitch to be explored. General admission fees are 23 Euros, more information can be found on their website.
Address: C. Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Website: http://www.fcbarcelona.com/camp-nou

Have you been to Barcelona recently? What are the must-do experiences that you'd suggest? Do you have tips on how to stretch that holiday budget a bit further or know of a hidden-gem that’s easy to miss?


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