Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is an charming seaside city with famous architectural treasures, inestimable culture, and a world-class drinking and dining scene.
The Catalan Antoni Gaudí, one of the most eminent architects, designed buildings such as the Sagrada Família church, the Casa Milà (known as La Pedrera, the Catalan for stone quarry) and the Casa Batlló, which have become world-famous landmarks.
Barcelona has also long inspired artists, including Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, both of whom have major Barcelona museums devoted to their works.
Wherever you are in Barcelona, there’s always something to see nearby around the neighborhood or district: there’s almost always some type of festival going on which brings the city to life with free concerts, dancing, fireworks, acrobatic feats, jewels of home-grown Catalan architecture, modernisme and contemporary architecture, La Rambla, lined with regal historical buildings is a great place to stroll especially in the early mornings, markets filled with an explosion of fruit, vegetables, seafood and rows and rows of cured jamón, treasures of the ancient Roman and medieval city, parks where you can unwind, endless exploring amid botanic and sculpture gardens, the rolling forest-covered Collserola hills provide a scenic setting for hiking, mountain biking or just admiring the view … And the best thing of all is, you don’t have to be a great explorer to find and discover all of Barcelona’s neighborhoods.
You can also enjoy the view from out on the water while kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding or taking it easy on a sunset cruise. After days of sightseeing, Barcelona has some wonderful beaches perfect for resting your aching feet.
The nightlife in Barcelona holds limitless possibilities. You may start with sunset drinks on a panoramic terrace or dig your heels in the sand at a rustic beachside chiringuito, temporary snack bar and when the darkness falls, the city is transformed by live music: the rapid-fire rhythms of flamenco, brassy jazz spilling out of basements, and hands-in-the-air indie-rock at vintage concert halls. The bars start filling towards midnight. You may chose from old-school taverns adorned with 19th-century murals, plush lounges in lamp-lit medieval chambers or vibrant cava bars and if you’re still standing at 4am in the morning, hit the clubs and explore Barcelona’s bold wild side.
And to not forget about the food. Part of the long and celebrated tradition of Catalan cooking, the masters of molecular gastronomy Albert Adrià and Carles Abellan et al, transform simple and flavorful ingredients like seafood, jamón (cured ham), market-fresh produce, into remarkable delicacies and then served in captivating settings. Rich paella at an outdoor table overlooking the sea, how does this sound? Basque-style tapas bars, Galician seafood taverns, avant-garde Japanese restaurants and sinful chocolate shops are all essential parts of the culinary landscape.
Barcelona is Spain’s busiest international transport hub, after Madrid. A lot of airlines, including many low cost, fly directly to Barcelona from around Europe and most intercontinental flights require you to change flights in Madrid or another major European hub.
Barcelona is also well-connected by bus to other parts of Spain, as well as to major European cities.
Train is the most convenient overland option for reaching Barcelona from major Spanish centers like Madrid and Valencia but it can take a long time from other parts of Europe, it is better to opt for a budget flights that frequently offer a saving in time and money.
The Mediterranean sea breezes mean that Barcelona enjoys pleasant weather.
The peak season is from July to August, and the city and the beaches are very crowded. September is more manageable and the sea still warm. If you want a pleasant weather, but without the sea dips, May is for you.
There are plenty hotels in Barcelona for all your needs: great location, close to major sights, perfect area for exploring on foot, good nightlife and dining options, bohemian vibe with lots of locals, great restaurant scene and neighborhood exploring, excellent seafood restaurants, easygoing local vibe, handy access to the promenade and beaches, well a wide range of options for all budgets and desires.
Are you ready for your next trip?