BarcelonaSpain

Image for Barceloneta Beach which includes street scenes, a city and night scenes

The Catalan capital is a thriving hub for culture and art, home to spectacular buildings and famous museums.

As many as 2.5 million people call Barcelona home, making it Spain’s second largest city as well as the capital of Catalonia. Here you’ll find packed tapas bars down narrow, winding side streets, whilst in the teeming squares, traditional dancers captivate the crowds. The dramatic cityscape is a delight to behold, influenced by modernist architect Antoni Gaudí across town.

You can see for yourself the impact Gaudí has had on this city, exploring his work by delving through his life and times. Start off at his first house, Casa Vicens, before ending up at his final magnum opus, Sagrada Familia. On your way, stop off at Park Guell and admire its mosaic terrace, from which you can look out across the city and the harbour.

The busy pedestrian streets make driving around the city difficult. The metro system and the bus lines serve the heart of town, while many prefer to bike to get around. However, the best way to see the city and all it has to offer is to head out on foot and take in the sights for yourself. Head for Las Ramblas in the centre of town, the central boulevard of which runs south from Placa de Catalunya Square all the way to the seafront. While enjoying the street entertainment, visit the flower stalls and souvenir shops all around. Stop off for lunch at one of the nearby restaurants, or at night, head to one of the lively bars you’ll find here.

North of here, you can see the Gothic District, home of the 14th century Barcelona Cathedral. The remains of the city’s patron saint Eulalia are kept here. With dozens of museums to explore, art lovers are spoilt for choice. Learn about the legendary 20th century Spanish artist at the Picasso Museum before heading back in time to the 14th century dockyards and visiting the Maritime Museum (Museu Maritim).

Head a little further afield and take a cable car to the top of Montjuic, where you can enjoy what’s on offer. See the Magic Fountain (Font màgica de Montjuïc) by the neo-baroque National Palace (Palau National), then enjoy the classic cuisine and the art at the Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol).

Whether you want to enjoy the company of the locals, explore the depths of the sea at the Barcelona Aquarium or enjoy the lively Catalan culture at the Palau de la Musica Catalana, there’s something everywhere for you to enjoy.

Barcelona Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia
Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou, Barcelona, Spain

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

4/5Very Good!(13 area reviews)

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

Top hotels in Barcelona

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Barcelona Airport Hotel
Barcelona Airport Hotel
4 out of 5
Plaza de la Volateria, 3, Poligono Mas Blau, El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
NZ$122
per night
Mar 7 - Mar 8

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Fira Barcelona, Gran Via 2 and RCDE Stadium. Placa d'Espanya and Poble Espanyol are also within ...

4.1/5Very Good! (7,013 reviews)

"I liked the architecture and design. I didn't like the bed was too soft"…"

Reviewed on 19 Feb. 2020

Barcelona Airport Hotel
Hotel Colón Barcelona
Hotel Colón Barcelona
4 out of 5
Avenida Catedral, 7, Barcelona, Barcelona
NZ$245
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located in Gothic Quarter, this spa hotel is steps away from Portal de l'Angel and Barcelona Cathedral. Palau de la Musica Catalana and La Rambla are also within ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,155 reviews)

"Great hotel. Beatifull and clean. Nice rooms, big. Nice location"…"

Reviewed on 17 Feb. 2020

Hotel Colón Barcelona
Hotel SB Plaza Europa
Hotel SB Plaza Europa
4 out of 5
Calle Ciències 11-13, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona
NZ$135
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located in Sants-Montjuic, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via 2 and Fira Barcelona. Poble Espanyol and Placa d'Espanya are also within 2 miles ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,916 reviews)

"This hotel was perfect for my first time in Barcelona. The staff at the front desk was very friendly and helpful. They helped me book excursions everyday and gave me maps for routes on the metro and buses to get there. The hotel was clean, rooms were a bit small but only needed them to sleep at night. ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Feb. 2020

Hotel SB Plaza Europa

Popular activities in Barcelona

La Rambla
Image for La Rambla

La Rambla

4/5(170 reviews)

Soak up the atmosphere in Barcelona’s thriving heart, packed with tapas bars, flower stalls and lively street performers.

Sagrada Familia
Image for Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

4.5/5(160 reviews)

One of the most famous buildings on earth, Gaudí’s basilica is an evolving wonder that draws visitors from far and wide.

Placa de Catalunya
Image for Placa de Catalunya

Placa de Catalunya

4.5/5(134 reviews)

This bustling square in the heart of Barcelona is renowned for its festivals, shopping and monuments.  

Park Guell
Image for Park Guell

Park Guell

4.5/5(111 reviews)

Nestled in the north of Barcelona, you'll find this beautiful park designed by Gaudí himself.

Barceloneta Beach
Image for Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach

4/5(99 reviews)

Experience the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, sip on sangria in a beachside bar and take part in the city’s nightlife at the Barcelona’s renowned beach.  

Casa Batllo
Image for Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo

4.5/5(77 reviews)

Learn about the life of the great Catalan architect Gaudí at the signature house he built specially for an aristocratic family.

Top activities in Barcelona

Barcelona City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off
Image for Barcelona City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off

Barcelona City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off

88% of travellers recommend
NZ$51
Per adult
Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour
Image for Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

86% of travellers recommend
NZ$82
Per adult
Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)
Image for Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)

Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)

82% of travellers recommend
NZ$55
Per adult
Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic
Image for Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic

Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic

86% of travellers recommend
NZ$51
Per adult
Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour
Image for Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour

Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour

80% of travellers recommend
NZ$70
Per adult
Barcelona for kids Private tour
Image for Barcelona for kids Private tour

Barcelona for kids Private tour

NZ$143
Per adult

Reviews of Barcelona

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
225
5 - Excellent 61.64383561643836%
4 - Good
118
4 - Good 32.32876712328767%
3 - Okay
20
3 - Okay 5.47945205479452%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 0.547945205479452%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 5, 2020

Next time I will come for 3 weeks so I have time to explore everything

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Dec 21, 2019

Such an artistic city with so much art visible on the streets. Had to do a bit more research to find the good food places but definitely worth a visit.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Dec 14, 2019

The gothic quarter was lovely. The rest of the city was like any other big city in the world

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Dec 12, 2019

As a person with breathing problems, it was hard to breathe as it smelled like smoke and cigarettes. Sagrada Familia is a must go and I enjoyed having lots of paellas. Be careful of pickpockets and driver's- they are scary.

5/5 - Excellent

J

Nov 28, 2019

Loved it

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Nov 22, 2019

Barcelona - a city with lots of historical buildings, with various types of architecture, different to that of other European cities. Easy to get around , within the city centre , with lots of Restaurants and Tapas Bars and modern shops .

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