Barcelona Travel Guide

Barcelona promises legendary architecture, delicious Catalan cuisine, a festive beach culture and plenty for party animals. This thrillingly unique city is home to some of the most famous and bizarre architecture in the world, and has been the playground of exciting modern artists such as Joan Miro, Picasso and, of course, Antoni Gaudi. Travellers who visit will land in sunny Spain's major holiday destination, which is cosmopolitan and lively, and has superb shopping, a great climate, beautiful beaches, a fun nightlife, and plenty of Spanish pizzazz. Barcelona is the gateway to the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, with their many popular beach resorts, but the interesting sightseeing and the treasures of centuries, not to mention the great restaurants and vivacious locals, will keep visitors happily occupied within the city itself. A visit to Spain is not quite complete without a stroll down the iconic Las Ramblas pedestrian street in Barcelona.

Best time to visit Barcelona

It's always the right time to holiday in Barcelona, with its long, hot summers and mild winters. The best months to visit are between June and September, but those who find the heat and crowds taxing should avoid mid-summer (August).

What to see in Barcelona

-Catch a football match and take a tour at the famous Camp Nou stadium and FC Barcelona Museum.

-Admire the bizarre and beautiful work of renowned Catalan architect and designer, Antoni Gaudi, at La Sagrada Familia and Guell Park.

-Visit the Joan Miro Foundation to see the colourful art of another iconic Catalan artist.

-Marvel at the views of Barcelona from the hills of Montjuic and Tibidabo, which boast many other attractions.

What to do in Barcelona

-Take the kids into the enthralling underwater world of the Barcelona Aquarium.

-Enjoy the sun, sand and sea, as well as the festive atmosphere, on Barcelona's beaches.

-Explore the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is a fun, creative space.

-Picnic and stroll in the lovely Parc de la Ciutadella in the centre of the city.

Beyond Barcelona

Many exciting excursions are possible from Barcelona, which is the gateway to the resort destinations of the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, including the popular Sitges, just a few miles south of the city, and the quaint Tossa de Mar, a short way north. Other wonderful daytrip destinations include the lovely Catalan town of Figueres, the birthplace of Dali; the famous monastery at Montserrat, founded in 1025; and the UNESCO-listed Parque Natural de Bardenas Reales.

Getting there

El Prat Barcelona Airport, situated seven miles (12km) southwest of central Barcelona, is one of the busiest international airports in Spain, with direct flights arriving from numerous cities in the US and UK, as well as Europe.

Did you know?

-Barcelona has 12 abandoned metro stations that are said to be haunted and can be explored on ghost tours.

-There were no beaches in Barcelona until 1992, when the coastal leisure zone was created for the Olympic Games.

-Barcelona's stunning and unique Sagrada Familia Church has taken longer to build than the Great Pyramids.