BarcelonaSpain

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, Catalonia, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is a destination travellers like for its churches, and you might hop aboard the metro at Sagrada Familia Station or Sant Pau Dos de Maig to explore sights like Sagrada Familia.

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

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

4/5Very Good!(13 area reviews)

The stunning beaches and popular shops are a few things travellers love about Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou. Check out Diagonal Mar Shopping Mall or Mar Bella Beach while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Selva de Mar Station to get around town.

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

Top hotels in Barcelona

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Travelodge Barcelona Poblenou
Travelodge Barcelona Poblenou
1 out of 5
Carrer de Llacuna 32, Barcelona, Barcelona
The price is NZ$77 per night

Located in Poblenou, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bogatell Beach and Mar Bella Beach. Barcelona Zoo and Torre Glòries are also within 1 mile (2 km). ...

3.9/5Good! (988 reviews)

"Location was excellent with bars , restaurants and supermarket on doorstep"…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar. 2020

Travelodge Barcelona Poblenou
Arc la Rambla
Arc la Rambla
3 out of 5
La Rambla 19, Barcelona, Barcelona
The price is NZ$95 per night

Located in Gothic Quarter, this hotel is steps away from Teatre Principal, Centre d'Art Santa Monica and Palau Guell. Barcelona Wax Museum and Gran Teatre del ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,585 reviews)

"Clean and modern rooms. Igor at the front desk was helpful with directions to local attractions."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar. 2020

Arc la Rambla
Negresco Princess
Negresco Princess
4.5 out of 5
Roger de Lluria, 16-18, Barcelona
The price is NZ$183 per night

Located in Eixample, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Casa Calvet, Teatre Museu El Rei de la Magia and Tivoli Theatre. Espai Volart and Jardines ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,263 reviews)

"This is my 2nd time and I would like to stay again in this hotel when I am back in Barcelona. Great location and very nice staff."…"

Reviewed on 18 Mar. 2020

Negresco Princess

Popular places to visit in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia
Image for Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

4.5/5(161 reviews)

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

La Rambla
Image for La Rambla

La Rambla

4/5(171 reviews)

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

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.

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.

Barceloneta Beach
Image for Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach

4/5(100 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.  

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

NZ$52
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Small-Group Medieval Villages Full-Day Tour
Image for Small-Group Medieval Villages Full-Day Tour

Small-Group Medieval Villages Full-Day Tour

NZ$155
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Montserrat Monastery Tickets with Transport Pass & Lunch
Image for Montserrat Monastery Tickets with Transport Pass & Lunch

Montserrat Monastery Tickets with Transport Pass & Lunch

NZ$92
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Skip-the-Line Casa Batlló Tickets with SmartGuide
Image for Skip-the-Line Casa Batlló Tickets with SmartGuide

Skip-the-Line Casa Batlló Tickets with SmartGuide

NZ$45
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Small-Group 3 Countries in 1 Day - Spain, France & Andorra from Barcelona
Image for Small-Group 3 Countries in 1 Day - Spain, France & Andorra from Barcelona

Small-Group 3 Countries in 1 Day - Spain, France & Andorra from Barcelona

NZ$225
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Taxi Transfers from Barcelona city to airport
Image for Taxi Transfers from Barcelona city to airport

Taxi Transfers from Barcelona city to airport

NZ$91
Per adult

Reviews of Barcelona

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
226
5 - Excellent 61.58038147138964%
4 - Good
119
4 - Good 32.42506811989101%
3 - Okay
20
3 - Okay 5.449591280653951%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 0.5449591280653951%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

10 Mar. 2020

Great

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Feb. 2020

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

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

21 Dec. 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

14 Dec. 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

12 Dec. 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

28 Nov. 2019

Loved it

Cities near Barcelona

Granollers which includes street scenes as well as a large group of people

Granollers

Photo "Caldes de Montbui" by jordi domènech (CC BY-SA) / Cropped from original

Caldes de Montbui

Other places like Barcelona