- Capital of Catalonia and second largest city in Spain, with 4.5 million residents.
- Home to the world famous football club FC Barcelona (Barca).
- A leading tourist destination, Barcelona has had a history of at least 2000 years.
- Nicknames: Ciutat Comtal (City of Counts), Barca, BCN.
- Currency: Euro (EUR).
- Spoken languages: Catalan, Spanish, Aranese.
- Best time to visit: early summer and fall are ideal, but a pleasant Mediterranean climate year-round.
- Arriving via airport: Airport to Placa de Catalunya by Express Bus Service – Aerobus is available from Terminal 1 and 2 and costs € 5.75 for a single ticket and € 9.95 for return. Taxi is around € 30.00.
WHERE TO STAY
The famous Las Ramblas is the place to stay in Barcelona. It is a 1.2 kilometer long boulevard which cuts through the centre of the city – there are several hotels and hotels located in close proximity. It is the most lively and vibrant part of the city, with plenty of street cafes, restaurants, artists, street buskers and tourists. Las Ramblas is truly Barcelona in action!
- The Metro (subway) – € 2.00 single ticket for individual journeys. A good option is to buy a Zone 1 Transport Card – the T10 ticket is good for 10 rides on the metro system, FGC bus services and tram to all Zone 1 areas. The T10 Ticket costs around € 9.80, which means you save € 10.20 for 10 journeys.
- Transport Cards can be used on more than one means of transport and still count as a single journey if consecutive rides are made in less than 90 minutes.
- Taxis can be called at +34 93 225 0000, +34 93 433 1020, +34 93 357 7755, +34 93 300 2314, +34 93 300 1100, +34 93 303 3033, +34 93 284 8888, +34 93 330 0300, +34 93 339 9262. Taxis are quite affordable and will cost around € 10.00 for a 15 minute city journey.
- Drinking age is 18, last call is 2 AM. Barcelona is nightlife central!
- Hip/local scene: traditional Spanish bars to chic night clubs are spread all over the city. There are cool lounge clubs right on the beach.
- Trendy scene: lounges and clubs on Barceloneta Beach.
- College crowd: bars along the Gothic District (Barri Gotic), Raval and Born.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- The Sagrada Familia is a must-see. A yet unfinished masterpiece (under construction since 1882), it is a famous Roman Catholic Church designed in a neo-gothic style by Antonio Gaudi.
- See some of the other renowned Gaudi Buildings, including: Casa Vicens, Park Guell, Casa Mila, and Casa Batllo.
- Check out the wide range of species inside the L’Aquarium de Barcelona.
- Take a chance to see the Picasso Museum, which houses the most extensive collection of artwork by the renowned Spanish artist.
- Treat yourself to a view of the city from the Montjuic, a hill located near the port of Barcelona. There is a also a fountain featuring spectacular displays of light, colour, motion and water acrobatics.
- Check out the shops and cafes along Las Ramblas.
- Walk through the Gothic Quarters and the Barri Gotic area. There are tour organizations which offer free walking tours around this area.
- Walk the entire stretch of Las Ramblas, starting from the north of Liceu Theatre to Port Vell. Check out the city’s famous street buskers performing all along the promenade.
- Tapas are a must try in Barcelona. This classic Catalan appetizer is usually served with beer or wine.
- Where to find good cheap eats: Catalonia is a gastronomic centre and the city is flooded with famous Spanish restaurants and Tapas bars. Cheap eats can be found on the streets connecting to Las Ramblas, as well as in the Eixample District. The beach restaurants are usually quite expensive.
- Dangerous areas: Incidents of violent crime are rare, but pick-pocketing is quite common. The Barcelona metro is a haven for petty thieves.
RECOMMENDED BARCELONA GUIDE BOOKS
- Top 10 Barcelona
- Rick Steves Pocket Barcelona
- Fodor’s Barcelona: with Highlights of Catalonia & Bilbao
Recommended trip duration: 3-4 days