Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is one of the most visited cities in Spain; widely known as the most European city of Spain due to how open it’s always to new ideas, Barcelona has kept its innovative nature for over 100 years, making the marvels and wonders inside keep its visitors in continuous awe. This city exults life 24/7, and boasts centuries of history through its incredible Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance monuments.
This city is a 2,000-year-old master piece of perpetual art novelty. The best season to visit this city is in Autumn, when the heat of the weather decreases to a comfortable breeze and is not as crowded by tourists as the rest of the year, especially in August, when most European countries enjoy vacation and you’ll find the oncoming traffic from France, Netherlands and Germany starts to look like a migration. On this season you can also enjoy a swim through the ocean, which despite the temperature drop remains warm enough to swim, and on September 24 you can be part of the Festes de la Mercè, the biggest street party of the city.
While you take pleasure in your stay don’t forget to visit the following places:
- Casa Batlló
- Catedral de Barcelona
- Conjunt Monumental de la Plaça del Rei (Museu d’Història de la Ciutat and Palau Reial Major)
- CosmoCaixa (Museu de la Ciència)
- El Palau de la Música Catalana
- Fundació Joan Miró
- L’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
- La Pedrera (Casa Milà)
- La Sagrada Família
- Museu Marítim Museum
- Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
- Museu Picasso Museum
- Parc Güell
You can get to Barcelona by airplane, the national airline is Iberia, one of the One World Airlines, but there are also many options like Air Europa, Delta, British airways, Quantas, Singapore Airlines, and many others that have flights available in a daily basis. If you’re going through London make sure the airline that you take is a member of IATA, ABTA or ATOL so you can be protected if anything happens. Other options to reach Barcelona by land are by car, rented or otherwise, or by train, which is considered to be faster than the former.
Getting to Barcelona
With a balmy year round climate (not too steamily hot in summer and with few genuinely cold days in winter) it is not surprising that Barcelona is attracting an increasing number of visitors. The combination of tourists and business travelers visiting Barcelona means hotels are busy for most of the year. Indeed, with cheap air travel becoming more popular, Barcelona has entered the millennium as one of Europe’s most popular short break destinations. Spring and early summer is the best time to be in the city. The weather is usually pleasant, the number of tourists manageable and the city humming.
The easiest way of getting to Madrid is by air. El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona’s main airport is 13kms from the city center and there are several options you can use to get into town. The El Prat airport, with more than 21 million passengers a year, is Spain’s second largest in by passenger volume. It is located at El Prat de Llobregat, 12 kilometres southeast of the capital.
Getting to Barcelona by Train
“El Prat” (Barcelona’s airport) has its own train station. While this is convenient for those traveling further afield by train (the journey finishes at Sants, the city’s major terminal which also has connections to the Metro) the station itself is a short walk from the airport terminal, which makes it inconvenient for those with lots of luggage. Trains leave every 30 minutes from 6:15am to 11:40pm, and the 25-minute journey costs 2.50€ ($2.90).
In the same way, there are direct trains to Barcelona from Paris (11 hours and a quarter), Montpellier (4 hours and a half), Milan (13 hours and a quarter) and Zurich (13 hours). There are eight daily departures to Madrid (journey time – 8 hours), including three sleeper services.
Estació Central-Sants, located in Plaça del Països Catalans (tel: (93) 495 6215) is the city’s main railway station, serving national and international destinations as well as suburban routes. Estació de França, located on Avenida Marqués de l’Argentera, offers mainly southbound regional services. Another railway stations is Passeig de Gràcia station, located close to Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla. For further information visit Renfe.es.
Getting to Barcelona by Bus
Coming from the airport you can get into the city by taxi, bus or train. The Aerobús is the bus route that runs to Plaça de Catalunya Square: services run 6am-midnight Monday-Friday and 6.30am-midnight on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Route: Airport-Pl. d’Espanya/Av. Reina Mª Cristina-Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes/Comte d’Urgell-Pl. Universitat-Pl. Catalunya.(30 minutes).
Times: Monday-Friday 05.30am. – 01.00am./ Saturday and public holidays 6.30am. – 01.00am.
Frequency: daily every 9 minutes and Saturdays and holidays.
Fare: 3.45 € one-way/ 5.90 € return (valid for one week). 15% discount with the Barcelona Card.
Further information: Transports Ciutat Comtal, 934 156 020
Night Bus (Nit Bus):
These bus lines work at night time.
Route: Pl. Catalunya/ Rda. Universitat – Airport
Times: from Pl. Catalunya, 23 h to 5 h./ From Airport, 22.05 h to 5.05 h.
Frequency: every 60 minutes.
Price: 1.20 €
Getting to Barcelona by Ferry
Barcelona car hire is not necessary if you’re planning on staying in the city centre and don’t intend to wonder out of the city to areas around. Car hire in Barcelona may be necessary however if you are on business or have special needs. You could also consider Barcelona car hire rental if you’re intending to leave Barcelona to see the surrounding area like Girona, Penédes or the Dalí museum (Figueres).
The A-7 motorway links the Mediterranean motorway with France, and provides easy access to the tourist facilities on the Costa Brava and other regions of Girona. In the same way, the A-2 motorway leads to Zaragoza, from where you can go on to Madrid or Bilbao.
If you want to reach Barcelona by ferry, the Port of Barcelona, one of the most active in the Mediterranean, has ferry services to Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Italy, with the possibility of transporting private vehicles. It also functions as port of departure and port of call for many cruise liners.
Barcelona offers many ways of transportation that will make your life easy during your stay there. The city offers many options to move around it and most of them offer special discounts and facilities for tourists or Spanish living abroad. You can move around by metro, the most common and comfortable option, by car (rented or taxi); by train (to travel around or outside the city); by bicycle; taking a bus; using the tram, funiculars or car cables.
The metro system in Barcelona is more than just efficient, it can take you pretty much everywhere around the city, it’s the most often used method of transport by tourist and inside each station you can find maps, direction and Tourist information offices to help you find your way around.
The TMB or “Transports Metropolitans of Barcelona” is in charge of the metro and the local trains through FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat).
Stations can be distinguished by a red diamond-shaped signs with the letter “M” inside, they have color-coded and numbered lines: L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 and L11; the other three L6, L7 and L8, along a funicular railway going to Montjuïc are operated by the local trains regulator FGC. The tickets can be acquired from each station either in ticket offices or touch-screen vending machines. The most popular options are:
- A single ticket known as Senzill or Sencillo for 1.65 USD and allows you a ride of up to 75 minutes.
- A T-10 ticket for 8.95 USD that will give you ten rides and can be shared with other people.
- A T-día ticket for 6.85 USD to use as many times as you want during the day.
- Travel Cards for 12 USD to 18 USD can be bought to use for two, three or more days during your stay.
Metro schedules go from 5am to midnight everyday but Fridays and Saturdays, when it’s available until 2am. The site Tmb.net is easy to navigate and provides information in English, Spanish and Catalonian.
Although they are not perceived as convenient as the metro to move around in Barcelona because they rely on the very strenuous traffic of the city and they tend to operate during a shorter time than the Metro service, buses are plentiful, varied, and in the case of the Nitbus, the only option other than taxis at midnight, because it runs from 24:00 to 5:00 hours.
You’ll find the routes and timetables in the bus stops and find that most of them stop in Plaça de Catalunya; including the Aerobus and Turist Bus. There are 109 bus lines that cover the urban area of the city, especially the districts that have no access to the metro services. All the lines, maps and schedules are regulated by TMB (Metropolitan Transport of Barcelona) and their website offers all this information and more. To explain the kind of services they provide we named a few of the types of urban buses:
- Night Buses or “Nitbus” are a bright yellow and they are marked with the letter “N,” they depart from the area around Pl. de Catalunya, but they don’t use the TMB passes that are valid in daytime since tickets can be bought directly from the driver at 1.25€ (one way). The night bus covers the city and Greater Barcelona towns from 24.00 hours to 5.00 am and keeps a website that provides up-to-date information.
- Shopping Buses run along the main commercial streets of the city from pl. Catalunya to Paseo de Gracia and through Diagonal to pl. de Pius XII; they tend to be very spacious to provide room for the shopping lists, they have air conditioning and keep background music.
- The Tourist Bus is, as its name indicates, a bus to visit the attractions of the city, inside, a tourist assistant announces the stops in different languages and the guides offered provide information about the sites in six languages. It allows you to get on and off the bus as many times as you want with only one ticket, which you can get in the tourist office, TMB posts, in the bus, or online through the Tourist Bus site. This type of bus has three routes and 44 stops that cover all the attractions of the city; two of the routes start in Pl. Catalunya and the other starts at the Olympic Port, it runs from 9.00 am till dusk.
- The Montjuic Bus (PM) covers the Montjuic Mountain, it starts at Reina Maria Cristina Av (close to Pl. Espanya) and runs on Saturdays and holidays from 8.00 to 21.00, and on weekdays from 7:00 to 21:00.
- There’s a Tibidabo Bus called “TibiBus” that departs from Pl. Catalunya up to the summit of the Tibidabo Mountain but this bus only operates when the amusement park is open, it leaves every 30 minutes so the last bus returning from the Tibidabo leaves thirty minutes before the park closes, and the tickets are sold in the same bus.
- There’s also the bus of the port or “Port Bus” that operates only when Cruise ships arrive since it’s directed to transport cruise passengers, for this reason its timetable is varied and changes constantly adapting to the ships schedule. This buses part from the breakwater or “Rompeolas.”
The AeroBus, is an Airport bus that connects the center of Barcelona with El Prat Airport. The buses depart right in front of “El Corte Inglés” bus stop in Pl. de Catalunya every six to fifteen minutes) It costs around 4€ that you can pay inside the bus with a VISA card or TARJETA 6000, the rides from the Center to the airport are everyday (including holidays) from 5:30 to 00:15 and the rides from the airport back to the Center are from 6.00 to 01:00.
The ride lasts about thirty minutes to the airport depending on the traffic, and it stops in:
- Plaza de Catalunya
- Paseo de Gracia Corner (Diputació)
- Roma Av (Urgell)
- Sants station
- Airport (A,B and C)
On the way back to the center the bus stops at:
- Airport (A,B and C)
- Plaza de Espanya,
- Gran vía Corner (urgell)
- Plaza universidad
- Plaza de Catalunya
Trains in Barcelona are mostly used for transport in the region of Catalonia and the rest of Spain but they are very good options for short-distance trips as well; they are comfortable, fast, clean, punctual, and have special discounts for both tourists and non-resident Spanish. Some of the train stations connect not only with RENFE, the national red of trains in Spain, but with the underground stations of metros; which is why when acquiring a ticket leaving Barcelona is important to find out through which station it departs since it could be Plaça de Catalunya, Sants, or Passeig de Gràcia.
The three commuting lines operated by the suburban train service, FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya), have the main railway station in Plaça Catalunya, and connect Barcelona with Manresa, Terrassa and Sabadell, besides having four other lines travelling to close-by towns.
The Sants station is one of the most prominent because it runs most of the arrivals and departures of the city and is mostly used for suburban and regional transport to connect the French border trains. Another important station is França because it connects to Milan, Paris and Zurich.
The high speed train connecting Madrid to Barcelona is very popular because it’s known to reach its destination faster than the regular flight, and is operated by AVE (Alta Velocidad Española or Spanish High Speed), which offers a complete refund if the train arrives with a five minutes difference from the advertised program.
Among some other significant facts about transport by trains in Barcelona you can use “Cercanias” – the commuter train network that runs throughout Spain’s major cities – and know that RENFE operates the medium-distance train network through “Avant.”
Barcelona Funiculars & Cable Cars
Barcelona Funiculars & Cable cars, there are many ways to reach the mountains of Montjuďc and Tibidabo, but there’s nothing like doing it through the funicular and cable cars of Barcelona. You can take first the Funicular of Montjuďc that’s linked to the TMB metro lines (L2 and L3) at the Parallel (or “Paral•lel”) Station and let it take you to Miramar Avenue, just in front of the Cable car station.
The Cable car of Montjuďc since 2007 has adapted new and more spacious carts that can easily take up to eight people and take you through spectacular views of the city through Plaça Catalonia, the Sacred Family, the cathedral, the port, the Olympic Villa, the Forum, etc. It goes from Miramar Av., or “Avinguda de Miramar,” to the pinnacle of the mountain of Montjuďc; it makes a stop in the middle of the journey in the “Mirador” and also on top of the mountain to visit the Castle and the Military museum. Those that get a roundtrip ticket can return in the cable car but a simple ticket will allow you to descend through the gardens of Petra Kelly or the Park “Mossen Cinto Verdager”
To reach Montjuďc’s cable you can take the bus number 50, 55, 61 or 193 and come down on Miramar Av., you can access the cable car from across the street from Montjuďc’s Funicular so you’ll have to look for “Stacio del Funicular.” If you’re using a google map, this is near “Carrer de Tarongers.” You can also reach it taking the metro lines, L2 or L3. There are three stations:
- Montjuďc Park
- Montjuďc Castle
The tickets are available in the following prices:
- Adult simple ticket: 6,50€
- Infant Simple ticket (4-12 years): 5,00€
- Adult roundtrip ticket: 9,30€
- Infant roundtrip ticket (4-12 years): 6.70 €
The schedule is:
- April, May and October – Everyday from 10:00 to 19:00.
- From June to September – Everyday from 10:00 to 21:00.
- From November to March – Everyday from 10:00 to 18:00.
The Funicular of Montjuďc has been around since 1928 and ever since has been the most profitable, ecological and effortless way to reach Montjuďc, given that it’s linked to the TMB network, the same ticket is valid to take a ride in the funicular if you still have minutes left. Originally the funicular reached all the way up to the pinnacle of the mountain but nowadays, since the cable car started to operate, the second part of the funicular between the station of Paralel and the Castle station were suppressed. The funicular has two to three car train-sets; each can take 400 passengers from the Parallel station to Montjuďc’s Park at Miramar Av. in two minutes, taking it from 4 to 80 meters above sea level through 758 m at 36 kilometers per hour.
The now final station of the funicular in Miramar Av is very close to Mirö Foundation, the Olimpic ring and “Miramar,” a large public walk with excellent sights of the city and port.
Among other cable cars in Barcelona, there’s the Port’s Air Ferry that connects the port with the mountain of Montjuďc; it’s almost as old as the funicular of Montjuďc and has three stops, Sant Sebastiŕ, Jaume I and Miramar. There’s also Tibidabo’s Funicular that operates only when the amusement park is open and goes from Doctor Andreu Square in “Avinguda del Tibidabo) to the amusement park at the top of the mountain, this funicular can be reached though the tram Blau in John kennedy Plaza and leaves you at the Tibidabo Av in the entrance of the funicular.
As part of Barcelona transport there’s yet another funicular known as Vallvidrera in Tibidabo, it connects the village of the same name with the city and is open all year.
Taxis in Barcelona are fairly easy to find and identify, you will be able to get one in the street or taxi ranks fast enough but if you need to secure your time and punctuality at your destination it’s better to book one communicating with the “Institut Metropolità del Taxi.” Taxis are yellow and black colors and the green light they light-up when they are available makes them visible at blocks of distance during nights, they usually operate by GPS though, so most of the times the cab drivers won’t know your destination right away and use its direction to find it, the problem with that is that traffic planners in Barcelona frequently change the directions of streets and you’ll inevitably find your cab at one point or another turning in opposite directions than the one to your final destination.
Cab drivers are also well known for their lack of language skills, since most of them speak only Spanish and have the local Catalonians and tourist struggling to communicate. Still, knowing the name of your destination should help you reach it rather quickly.
When you want to tip a driver, a not so common but fairly known habit, a five to ten percent of the total charge should be enough. You should know though that the obligations of the drivers with each passenger are the following:
- Start the meter with the passenger inside at the beginning of the journey and stop it once the destination is reached.
- Have change available for a €20 bank note.
- Give a receipt with the date, license number, number plate, fiscal identity number and the amount charged.
- Accept any passenger with a guide dog at any time.
This along other regulations and obligations of taxis by law, are pasted in the back of the seat in front of passengers or in a sticker in the backseat window.
Another important fact about Barcelona taxis is that they have two rates, “T-1” and “T-2;” T-1 operates on holidays, Saturdays, Sundays and the rest of the week from 20:00 hours to 08:00, and T-2 starts working the rest of the time from 08:00 to 20:00; the expression “Bajada de bandera,” literally meaning putting down the flag, refers to the charge every passenger must pay just to get into the taxi and have the green light of availability put out, (the reference to the flag is because back in time taxis used flags instead of the green light).
Below we portray a chart with the current (2011) taxi fares for Barcelona:
- Bajada de Bandera: 2.00 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Price per kilometer: 1.15 € (T-1) 0.90 € (T-2)
- Hour of wait: 19.59 € (T-1) 19.49 €(T-2)
For taxis booked from a station:
- Minimum fare: 7.00 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Maximum Price at cork: 4.20 € (T-1) 3.40 € (T-2)
- Airport Minimum Fare: (Including fee of 3.10€) 20.00 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Airport entrance – exit fee: 3.10 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Luggage or similar (bigger than 55x35x35cm): 1.00 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Muelle Adosado’s Exit: 2.10 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Fira Barcelona Gran Via Montjuïc 2 Exit: 2.10 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Sants Station exit: 2.10 € (for T-1 & T-2)
- Bags under 55x35x35cm: (Free)
- Guide dogs: (Free)
- Wheelchairs: (Free)
- Baby baskets: (Free)
- Pets: (Free)
- Special nights and holidays (20:00-08:00) 3.10 €
Barcelona Driving & Car Rental
Driving to Barcelona is a relatively good idea. Driving in Barcelona however, is another matter altogether. To think drivers in Barcelona are more disciplined than those in the rest of the country seems amusing when one experiences how jam-packed traffic can get. Despite this, car rental can be sometimes necessary to cover the specific needs of a business trip or when your hotel is outside the city or far from the metro stations.
Although car rental offers you a great deal of freedom and advantages such as visiting the main attractions of the city how and when you like it, and enjoying experiences such as heading to the Mediterranean beaches at Badalona or heading towards the inland mountains; Barcelona traffic tends to be too congested most of the time to really enjoy all of these wonders. There are few parking spaces in the center of the city, and garage or lot parking tend to be too expensive, (when and if you happen to find one), so indeed driving in Barcelona can be easier than attempting to park.
In Plaça de les Glories though, the Metropark allows you to leave your car and have unlimited access to metro services all day for ten Euros, and to protect yourself from car theft, make sure you always lock the car and never leave your valuables and documents inside. For a better orientation throughout your journey it’s better to stick to Ronda de Dalt and Litoral, these two roads will grant you easy access to most of the attractions of the city.
In theory, rush hours are on Monday through Saturday from 8:00 to 10:00 and 16:00 to 19:30. Reality though seems to be completely different since it’s always busy, especially in the center. Still a car is very useful when you’re touring the Catalonia province (although bus and train transportation to the main attractions outside the city are extremely efficient and cheap).
Now, renting a car in Barcelona is relatively easy and economic, there are many big American companies like Avis, Hertz, and Budget, that keep offices in Barcelona. Besides there are also companies from Spain like Auto Europe or Europe Car, but keep in mind that they sometimes have different billing and insurance regulations, so make sure you ask explicitly what’s included and what’s not, like taxes, which are usually collected at the rental stand.
Speed limits in Barcelona, Spain run as follows:
- In town: 50 km/h
- Outside built-up areas or Highways: 90 km/h
- Expressways or Motorways: 120 km/h
Regulations are similar, don’t drink & drive, don’t use your mobile while driving and children under 12 years old should always seat at the back.
Cycling in Barcelona and all of Spain is a growing trend of transport; there are myriad bicycle lanes and bike paths throughout the city, so there are a lot of facilities provided to cyclists, you don’t have to wear a helmet, and if you’re planning on having a long stay in Barcelona, the Bicing scheme will allow you thirty-minute rides on public bikes, parking in racks next to metro stations, transport hubs, among other sites of interest for thirty Euros a year; if you want thirty minutes extra you just add 50 cents. You can also take your bike in the metro from 5:00 to 6.30, from 9.30 am to 4.30pm and then from 8.30pm until the closing time on weekdays, on weekends, holidays and during all July and August, you can travel on the underground with your bike all day.
Nonetheless, if you’re staying in Barcelona for only a few days, renting a bike is a great idea to visit and experience this city from a different point of view. There are many bike- hiring agencies that offer guided tours of groups or individuals. Cycling in Barcelona is an alternative way that will allow you to enjoy of the mild warm climate of the Mediterranean costs; you can rent a bike per hours, days or weeks according to your itinerary, the guided tours tend to last three to four hour and take you to Parc de la Ciutadella, Rambles, Gothic Quarter to Port Vell, Barcelonetta, Montjuic, the Olimpic Port, etc.
If you don’t want to take a guided tour, the main bike lane is in Diagonal, although it is very busy on weekdays, taking the turn in Enric Granados Street will lead you to Barcelona’s modernistic heritage, turning left in Consell de Cent and going through Pl. de les Glňries will land you in Torre Agbar.
The most frequent tours are:
- The Classic Bike Tour goes through Old Town and Modernist Barcelona
- Night Bike Tour Barcelona
- Tapas Bike Tour Barcelona
- Theme Tours By Bike in Barcelona
- Montjuďc/Olympics Tour.
- Panorama Tour.
- Tailor-made bike tours
- In Barcelona Province
- Montserrat – Garraf
- In Girona Province
- Ruta del Hierro “Iron Route“. Ripoll – Olot (40km)
- Via Verde “El Carrilet“. Olot – Girona (60km)
- Via Verde “El Carrilet“. Girona – Sant Feliu de Guixols (40km)
- The vineyards and the olive yards of l’Empordŕ (average km/day: 44km)
- In Barcelona Province
Arriving to Barcelona
Arriving to Barcelona and reaching your destination or learning to move around is not very difficult, Barcelona has a very effective urban transportation; even if you arrive by Air, there are buses that take you from The Prat Airport to the centre of the city or even to Gerona Airport. You can also take a taxi, without being worried for security, they are very easy to recognize due to their black and yellow colour and they keep a visible list inside with the regulations and tariffs to everything.
Buses accept Visa and you can buy a ticked inside the bus with cash as well, most of them end or start in Plaça Catalunya, where you can reach the Metro, the most popular media of transport for tourists. Inside there are tourist offices and maps that will help you find your way around the city.
Whether you arrive by train, bus, ferry or car; you’ll be able to find your way around without any problem. Barcelona is also known for its unavoidable jam-packed traffic so we recommend you to use other mediums of transport to reach your hotel or accommodation at your arrival.
Arriving to Barcelona by Air
Contrary to popular belief, there’s only one airport properly acknowledge to the city of Barcelona with the code BCN, El Prat de Llobregat, although some airlines will market a trip to Barcelona and land you in Gerona Airport, around 100 km from the city and an hour and 10 minutes away instead of the 10km and thirty minutes of distance of the El Prat Airport. Still if the trip suits your pocket both airports have easy access to the city of Barcelona and from one airport to the other as well.
Worth mentioning is The Sabadell Airport, an aerodrome in Sabadell city 10km away from Barcelona used for training flights of Airplanes, helicopters and pilot training.
El Prat de Llobregat Airport receives flights from all over the world and vice versa, it’s located in the town of the same name, 3 km away from Barcelona. This is Spain’s second-largest airport & the largest on the Mediterranean coast. It’s connected to city by highway, commuter train and scheduled bus service.
The airport has two terminal buildings, “T1” and “T2”, the latter is divided in two areas “A” and “B”. El Prat splits the landing in each terminal building according to the airline. You can arrival to Barcelona by air.
Following is a list of the airlines each terminal building receives:
Terminal 1 hosts the following airlines:
Terminal 2 hosts:
Terminal 2B hosts:
Arriving to Barcelona by Train or Metro
The information about the trains companies in Barcelona has different types, depends of the kind of your travel, international train, national train and local train. The principal line London to Barcelona is Eurostar Company the most important National train company is RENFE. There are a lot of travels to around the Spain, to Madrid, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Málaga, Barcelona, Santander, Valencia and others of course in different classes. The RENFE is a rail network of Spain that almost travel to every city of this country. This company has the maximum support for the people because is considered the safety, comfortable, best quality and innovation. The principal train station is in Madrid, almost has all the connections with the cities of Spain, Barcelona has just three train connections with Madrid, Malaga and Bilbao.
Clot – Arago
Clot Arago is a railway station located in El Clot – Camp de l´Arpa in the district of San Martí. The service of this station is provided by Rodalies Barcelone in the different lines that has on the entire city. Some of the mid-distance are provide by Catalunya express lines, and the principal communication of this station Is the Barcelona Metro station Clot. Like every train station the construction is underground, under the Carrer de Aragó and Avinguda Meridiana.
Arc de Triomf
The Arc de Triomf station has this monument name cause the located near to the Arc de Triomf, but a many years before was the just Rodalies de catalunya railway station. The direct connection with the Metro network located in Eixample district, of course underground to, near to the Estació del Nord the principal international and national Europe bus station, The lines of Rodalies de Catalunya are: R1, R3, R4, R7 and regional line R12 operated by TMB Barcelona Metro line L1.
Plaça de Catalunya Metro Station
Cosiderate the principal station of Barcelona. The Plaça de Catalunya or commonly call just Catalunya is located in the region with the same name, the different system and controllers are: Rodalies de catalunya, Barcelona Metro and Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, these different operators has different lines with routes of the city crossing the entire city. The three operators has a small station in the same Plaça station.
Sants Metro Station
The Sants station is the main station of the Metro and the principal operator is the Adif, and the last years become in the most used for the Spanish people. The different lines of Rodalies de Catalunya, Barcelona suburban railways services and regional services with different destinations. The name is because the neighborhood Sants. Couple years ago new parts of the station has been build and put the Spanish hight-speed train AVE.
Arriving to Barcelona by Bus
The long distance buses have national and international destinations; there are many companies that travel to Barcelona. The most important companies and stations of arrival are:
- Barcelona Nord Bus that offers tickets online through its website with all the information of destinations, schedules and prices, parts through station “Arc de Triomf” in Alí-Bai St, and is reached through metro lines L1, L3 and L4. Offices usually available from 7am to 9pm.
- Sagalés Company that gives rides to Girona’s Airport and other destinations in Gerona.
- The company Alsina Graells goes to the Pyrinees and Sarfa, covering Costa Brava.
- Enatcar-Alsa covers many national destinations like Barcelona – Madrid that takes five and a half hours.
- Barcelona Sants Bus Station, in Viriato St in Plaça de Joan Peiró, (through metro lines L5 and L3), gets buses to the precincts at the back of the Sants Train Station, where one can also find the company offices.
- Along the Sant Andreu Arenal Train Station is the Fabra i Puig Bus Station, reached through metro line L1 in Meridiana Av.
- Ronda Universidad Bus stop and Diputació Bus stop are in Passeig de Sant Joan.
Arriving to Barcelona by Ferry
Despite Barcelona becoming the Mediterranean’s foremost cruise ship harbour. There are very few companies and locations traveling to the city. This might be because up until the 1970s, before General Franco decided to make the port contribute to the mass tourism, Barcelona’s port didn’t offer much of scenery from any point of view. The port is located to the south of the Columbus monument, below “Ramblas,” and extends to Zona Franca.
Barcelona receives ferries from Rome and Livorno in Italy, and Palma de Mallorca and Mao in the Balearic Islands. The typical boats from the Balearic Islands offer beds in cabin of up to 4 people as well as high-speed-boats that make the sleeping arrangements unnecessary.
Barcelona’s port has nine terminals for passengers, three of them are destined for ferries while the rest are for Cruise ships.
Ferries depart daily for the Balearic Islands and there is a direct service to the port of Rome, Genoa and Algiers-Oran. Some of the companies that arrive to work in Barcelona are: In Spain
- CondeMar – Grimaldi Group Grandi Navi Veloci
- Grimaldi Ferries/ Trasmediterranea
Arriving to Barcelona by Car
You can reach Barcelona in many ways, arrival Barcelona by Car, the most popular ones are:
From the north:
- Coming from France and North Catalonia – taking the AP7 for an average of 12 hours.
- Coming from Perpignan – A trip of around 120 miles.
From the south and west:
- Coming from Madrid – 384 miles.
- Coming from Tarragona – 68 miles.
- Coming from Valencia – 224 miles with some fantastic sights of the Mediterranean ocean.
From the north, once you get to the French border, La Jonquera, there’s an hour and a half left to reach Barcelona through AP7 that connects to Meridiana Av or “Avinguda Meridiana,” inside the city of Barcelona, and will help you reach the center of the city.
From the south or west, from any region already inside Spain, you’ll arrive through AP2 that connects with Diagonal Av or “Avinguda Diagonal” and eventually the center of the city.
Once in the center of the city it will be easy to locate a car parks; parking costs about 1.70 to 2 Euros per hour, although you can pay 22 Euros for a whole day.
Traffic in Barcelona is known to be very heavy during rush hours and traffic planners can change the direction of the streets very frequently to make it faster.
What to See in Barcelona
Bacelona, the capital of Catalunya and the second most important city of Spain, has myriad places to satiate the tourists thirst. This rich historical city provides one of the finest city-walks in the world, with streets filled with museums, squares, churches and street sides of breathtaking sights of the Mediterranean cost.
The old quarter, known as Ciutat Vella, withholds the most popular attractions of the city; including the Gothic Quarter, in Catalonian Barri Gòtic, and its infamous cathedral, the Episcopal Palace. Here’s a short list of the places most important here:
- Barri Gotic
- Conjunt Monumental de la Plaça del Rei
- Catedral de Barcelona
- Barcelona’s Patron Saint: Santa Eulalia, whose monument lies in Plaça San Pedro where she died. Her remains are in the crypt of the cathedral.
- El Call – the Jewish Quarter
- The neighborhood La Ribera:
- Picasso museum
- The church of Santa Maria del Mar
- El Palau de la Música Catalana
- The neighborhood El Raval with its creative new buildings remains a quarter of contrasts.
- Palau Güell
- Mirador de Colón
- Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Bar
- Foment de les Arts Decoratives i del Disseny
- La Mercè
- Mercat del Born
- Museu Barbier-Mueller
- Museu Frederic Marès
- Museu d’ Textil i d’ Indumentària
- Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
- Museu de Ciències Naturals de la Ciuta
- Museu de la Cera
- Museu de la Xocolata
- Palau de la Virreina
- Parc Zoològic
- Parc de la Ciutadella
- Plaça Sant Jaume
- Sant Pau del Camp
L’Eixample, is the “extension” of the city that was built outside its original walls, surrounding the old quarter and exposing its wide avenues, filled with most of Barcelona’s modernist heritage and the key buildings representing more than a hundred years of history; it’s known as the new town and its most popular attractions are:
- Casa Batlló.
- La Sagrada Família and Gaudi’s resting place in its crypt.
- The block of Discord (La manzana de la Discordia or in Catalonian “Illa de la Discordia”).
- Casa Amatler – The center of modernism.
- The modernist walk – a tour to explore modernism in Barcelona.
- The Golden Triangle (Quadrat d’Or) – vivacious sample of the modernist movement.
- Gaudi’s “La Pedrera” (Casa Milà)
- L’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
- Casa Lleó Morera
- Fundació Antoni Tàpies
- Fundación Francisco Godia
- Museu Egipci de Barcelona
Barcelona is filled with landmark buildings and portrays an impressive architectural heritage and world-class museums. Its most popular green areas and parks are in Montjuïc and Tibidabo; both surrounded by stunning attractions as well like:
- Castle of Montjuïc
- Miró Foundation or “Fundació Joan Miró”
- Montjuïc’s Militar Museum (Museu Militar de Montjuïc).
- Font del Gat – a modernist café built by Josep Puig i Cadafalch
- The Fine Arts Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)
- The Magic fountain or Font Màgica
- The Trasbordador Aeri also known as the Port’s Air Ferry.
- Museu Olimpic i de l’Esport
- Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya
- Pavelló Mies van der Rohe
- Poble Espanyol
- Jardí Botànic
Best of Barcelona
We recommend some important places to visit in Barcelona, with a brief description and further information on each attraction; Barcelona is seen as an open air museum, because while you visit different places by bus, bicycle or by foot, you can discover lots of things to do, to learn and to see about culture, entertainment and shopping in Barcelona.
Some of the most visited places are:
In English “The Rambles” is a popular thoroughfare in Barcelona; it goes from the Catalonia Square to the old harbor, towards the “Mirador de Colón”, Columbus Monument; day and night the thoroughfare is crowded with people who gather to enjoy the Kioskos, flowers, birds, actors, coffees, restaurants and more.
Some places you can see while walking across this attraction are:
Palacio de la Virreina.
La Boquería market.
La rambla takes different names: The Rambla de Canaletes, the Rambla dels Estudis, the Rambla de Sant Josep, the Rambla dels Caputxins, and the Rambla de St Monica.
Fundació Joan Miró (Joan Miro foundation)
You can find the works of Joan Miró in the museum of the Joan Miro foundation, a major point of reference on the international art circuit; its exhibitions contain various aspects of Miró’s art and the work of some of today’s leading artists.
The Tibidabo is a mountain located in Catalonia, in this place you can find an amusement park, and The Torre de Collserola (a telecommunications tower) and the Temple de Sagrat Cor (The Sacred Heart Temple), which is visible from almost every corner in the city. Considered as a decadent attraction park because it is the oldest in Barcelona and its rides date back to the 20th century.
You can enjoy an excellent panoramic view of the city from the top of the Tibidabo. The mountain is accessible by railway, bus and car. Its name comes from a Latin verse, which means “I will give to you”, which was said to Jesus by the devil in the bible.
La Font Màgica (The Magic Fountain)
Situated in Plaça del Marqués de Foronda, near the Spain Main Square.
This attraction was built as part of the stetting of the Great Universal Exhibition of 1929 by Carles Buigas, it is a really magical place and offers a nice display of light, water and music, although it is not unique around the world, this one is the oldest one of its type. The show runs every thirty minutes.
Milà house is the last and most famous secular building of Antoni Gaudí and it is more of a sculpture than a building as it is one of the most imaginative houses in architecture which was recognized by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site” in 1984. This undulating house is one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, built in 1905.
Nowadays the ground floor is occupied by offices of the Caixa de Catalunya, which is responsible for the conservation of the building, and some shops. The interior of the building is not open to the general public.
L’Aquàrium (The Aquarium)
It is the most important aquarium, a marine leisure and educational centre on the Mediterrean, offers tourists more than 11000 animals from 450 different species; belongs to the Aspro group, the operator with the largest number of leisure parks and centers in Europe also offers the Aquarium Shop, where you can get music, reading material, decoration, stationery, souvenirs, thematic products and anything you can imagine.
La Sagrada Familia
The Sacred Family church is the most famous sight in Barcelona and also one of Europe’s most unconventional churches, which although incomplete is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the constructions started in 1882 by Gaudi but the church was not finished because of his death. The Sacred Family church counts with a Nave, Crypt, Museum, Shop, and the Passion and Nativity towers accessible for visitors.
The MACBA Museum (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona) or in English, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona was designed by the American architect Richard Meier and opened to the public on November 28th, 1995. It hosts temporary exhibitions, a cinema, concerts and other cultural events to make an objective possible: to growth of its permanent collection so the Contemporary Art Museum can develop constantly.
Museum Picasso is Barcelona’s most visited museum. This museum features numerous works about the formative years of Pablo Ruiz Picasso and is very rich because it contains the youthful work of one of the most important artists in the last century; it constantly is renewed starting with the programs, the activities and more.
One of the Works of Antoni Gaudí, considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a sort of palace situated in a narrow street in Barcelona, the Carrer Nou de la Rambla, near the harbor.
Gaudi puts his major effort into this building because it was his first important work; it is an impressive building from the entrance, because Gaudí designed monumental entrance doors of impressive dimensions; designed so that visitors could access it on horseback or in carriages.
Barcelona Zoological Park or Barcelona Zoo is a popular attraction in this city; for both locals and foreigners, with an special style which consists of an integral approach to animals, recreating the natural habitat for each one; and offers tourists wildlife, flora, services, food services, art and awesome highlights you will not forget.
Christopher Columbus Monument
Known as the “Mirador de Colom”, it is a monument to Cristóbal Colón (in English Christopher Columbus) situated at Portal de la Pau Square; commemorates the discovery of America, when Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean and landed in the “new world” of the Americas, next to this attraction you can also find a souvenir shop and bicycle-hire service.
Passeig de Gràcia to Gràcia
It is the most popular and most important street in Barcelona because of the business areas and some notable buildings as La Pedrera, Casa Pons, Museu del Perfum,Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Casablanca-Kaplan among other hotels, cinemas and luxury establishments; that’s why it is considered as the most expensive street in Barcelona and also in Spain.
Eating in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city placed near the sea. Barcelona has a lot of particularities that make it a very endearing place. One of those characteristics is its cuisine. The specialty of Barcelona are sea food dishes like the Sarsuela which is a dish that consists of fresh fish and shellfish cooked with olive oil and with a sauce made with onions, garlic, sherry, tomatoes and paprika.
Just like the dish described before, many of the Barcelonan dishes are made with olive oil; this is because the city is a main producer of olive oil and it’s known for making one of the best olive oil in the world. Another main Barcelona’s product is the garlic; a delicious ingredient that can be used for soups and sauces.
It is said that the origins of Barcelonan cuisine come from the Phoenicians, Romans, and Greeks. They were known for eating a lot of seafood and for having advanced fishing methods.
When visiting Barcelona you will realize that many restaurants use antique recipes; some of them are even from the middle age-some recipes may have been modified a bit but the food still keeps the essence that made it last so long. You will not miss the beverages either; there is a great selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages that delightfully accompany the food.
To summarize, cuisine is one of the best Barcelonan features. It has diversity, new flavors, and delicious ingredients. Some restaurants of Barcelona offer a beautiful view of the Balearic sea which will serve as a delightful complement to your dining experience.
Cafes & Bars in Barcelona
The variety of cafes and bars in Barcelona is larger than you could ever imagine. Considering that Barcelona is a place with much diversity and tourism; there are all types of food and drink businesses. The most popular are the tapas bars which are like small restaurants; people prefer them because they are cheaper and open all day long.
Of course you can find bars of all kinds; if you are in a great partying mood you can find bars open even until 10am, but you have to be very lucky to find them. But if you are looking for something a little bit quieter, there are cafes where alcohol drinks are also served.
You can find a lot of bars and cafes in Barcelona that can suit every taste.
Address: Placa de Vincenc Martorell 4 , 08080 Bacelona (Catalunya)
Phone: 933 022 072
Open daily from 9 a.m. to midnight (closed all January)
|Kasparo is a Bar/Cafe and Restaurant with a large outdoor terrace in the arcades of one of the city’s more peaceful squares. Run by two Australians, Kasparo has good, cheap food and plenty of soups, salads and pasta, curries Thai and Indian, stews and chilli, with tapas and bocadillos available all day.|
Address: Carre dels Escudellers 31 , 08080 Bacelona (Catalunya)
Dishes: Falafel, shawarma, pasties, rastern sweet desserts.
Open dayli from 9 a.m. to midnight (closed all January)
|Buen Bocado is a place where serve one of the best shawarmas in Barcelona. This is a simple place in the centre of the city where don’t serve alcoholic drinks. Keep in mind that in “Buen Bocado” don’t accept any kind of credit cards.|
|Cafe de l’Opera|
Address: La Rambla 74 , 08080 Bacelona (Catalunya)
Open 8.30am-2.15am Mon-Thur; 8.30am-2.45am Fri-Sun. No credit cards. Cafe.
|A popular cafe on La Rambla close to the junction to Calle ferran. In this place, attentive bow-tied waiters serve a reasonable selection of tapas. L’Opera is a fun cafe where you can often see the street performers and mimes of barcelona hang out in during their “publicity break”. Given the atmosphere there’s no better place for a coffee on La Rambla.|
|English Oasis Cafe|
Address:C/Sotstinent Navarro, 18, Gotico , 08002 (Barcelona)
email: [email protected]
|The English Oasis is a “Language Café” that was conceived as a place to meet, mix and network through English. They have language exchange two nights a week, pub quizzes, board games and more! The English Oasis Café offers a “taste of home” for those new to Spain, and for non-native speakers of English it offers the opportunity to practice English in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.|
Address:Placa de Gardunya s/n , 08080 Barcelona (Catalunya)
Phone: +(34) 9 34 23 18 68 – Reservations : +(34) 6 15 95 98 72
|Xocolateria la Xicra|
Address:Place de Sant Josep Oriol 2 , 08080 Bacelona (Catalunya)
Open 9.30am-9:00pm Mon-Fri; 09:30h a 21:30h Sat-Sun
Breakfast, Snacks & Sandwiches
When staying in Barcelona, one thing that you cannot miss is a good typical Catalonian breakfast; it’s where sweet and savory specialties are mixed to create a tasty breakfast full of new flavors. Spanish people consider meals as an important social activity; they usually start their mornings with a continental breakfast; a ritual they call “ir a desayunar” (go out for breakfast), they enjoy drinking coffee and eating churros (strips of fried dough dipped in a cup of thick hot cocoa). Foreign people consider Spanish coffee very strong and bitter for their tastes so they usually ask for a more diluted American coffee.
Snacks and sandwiches are a very important part of the food culture of Spain; one can find small food shops around all of Spain that offer traditional snacks known as tapas. Snacks in Spain include coffee or tea with milk and sandwiches or pastries. Sandwiches and snacks are the key to a Mediterranean diet, if you want to experience the feel of a native Spanish, you can adapt your culinary habits to the several interesting culinary details that this country has to offer.
One of the most popular foods in Barcelonan breakfasts is pastry; they prepare pastry with a lot of diverse ingredients. The most used ingredients are the tomato and the Catalonian paste. They also prepare sweet pastry such as croissants, cupcakes (these are called magdalenas), brioche, ensaimadas and torrijas. The recipes are varied, but the prices should be very similar.
Bread with tomato (Pan a la Catalana) is so typically served at breakfast. Barceloneans tend to add other ingredients like ham and sausage to their sandwiches. Another thing that you should not miss is the Spanish omelet; it is very famous around the world. It is made of potatoes and eggs and it may be served accompanied with mayonnaise. A Barcelona breakfast is a meal that you will always remember.
Tapas in Barcelona
Tapas bars are typical Spanish and Barcelonan places to eat and drink. It is said that the origin of such bars comes from the 13th century when King Alfonso X had a health problem. The treatment consisted of drinking wine and eating something small at the same time. This is how everyone else acquired the custom of having a little snack while drinking.
This led to the opening of little bars where one can order all kinds of typical Spanish drinks and snacks. The snacks used to be free when a customer ordered something to drink. Of course, once business owners realized that Barcelona attracted too many tourists to the point that they started charging the snacks provided to customers. However, you can still find a few bars that offer free tapas. Tapas bars in Barcelona are places where you can spend a nice time talking to friends and enjoying delicious food snacks.
Restaurants in Barcelona
There are different types of Barcelona restaurants. These restaurants are classified by the type of food, the price and the location. There is every kind of food for every kind of taste. The Verdi Park Street and Plaza del Sol street are good locations where you will find restaurants that offer international cuisine.
But if you’re going to visit Barcelona, you will possibly going to be more interested in trying typical Barcelona food. Catalonian traditional food includes fresh fish, olive oil and mushrooms that are produced in the city. A good place to find good traditional food is The Born which is a very popular neighborhood because of its architectures and beautiful stores, restaurants and cafés. You may find it a little expensive; it is considered as one of the most chic and cosmopolitan areas in Spain.
Fusion cuisine also has a place in this beautiful city, Doctor Dou and Carme Street are the locations where you’ll find the best selections of restaurants that serve a combination that is called Mediterranean Fusion cuisine, a delight to any palate. Restaurants in Barcelona also have a great atmosphere with a great decoration and a good food service.
Some of the best restaurants around Barcelona are:
Restaurante Can Fabes
Sant Celoni-Sant Joan 6
Tel. 938 672 851
Just a 50 km. drive away from Barcelona, Can Fabes is considered to be one of Barcelona’s two top restaurants (the other is San Pau).
Restaurante San Pau
Sant Pol de Mar Nou, 10
Tel. 937 600 662
One of Spain’s top and most international women chefs, Carme Ruscadella’s restaurant San Pau is set in a villa overlooking the sea and is a perfect example of how to create unique dishes by combining her imagination with traditional Catalan ingredients.
Restaurante El Raco d´en Freixa
Sant Elies, 22
Tel. 932 097 559
Ramon Freixa, another top chef, leads this restaurant and if you want to try one of Barcelona’s elite establishments, this is probably the best as far as the price:quality ratio is concerned. Freixa’s speciality is blending modern cooking techniques with traditional Catalan cooking, and the result is a selection of marvellous tastes and inventions.
(Arenys de Mar)
Tel. 912 108 840
42 km from Barcelona centre, this restaurant is one of Barcelona’s most prestigious and consolidated establishments. Also, it is quite a relief to find a relatively normal, if high-class, restaurant, serving good quality dishes with normal names.
Paseo de Gracia 68 -70
Tel. 934 967 710
People looking for sophistication and luxury should try this restaurant set in one of Barcelona’s best hotels, el Hotel Majestic.The menu is short, offering classical dishes and is accompanied once again by an outstanding wine list.
Markets & Supermarkets in Barcelona
When someone visits a city it may be for many different reasons: tourism, to visit a friend, stopovers, etc. but while they’re staying at the city, it is very common to feel attracted towards the charm of the city and end up buying something as a souvenir. In Barcelona you can find abundant places where you can go shopping, even if you are on a tight budget.
In Spain there are many flea markets that they know as “mercadillos” and it’s where you can find a great diversity of things, from handicrafts and furniture to secondhand clothes and books. Of course, the prices in the “mercadillos” are really low and they usually do not exceed the 50 Euros. There are also markets where you can buy all kind of foods and major products like olive oil and mushrooms.
There are many well-known supermarkets in Spain too; there are also department stores, drugstores, delicatessen, bakeries and all types of products that you may need during your visit or just to take them home. These stores can be found all around the city and some of them are open the 24 hours.
Gay & Lesbian Barcelona
Barcelona is a very liberal city in which many gay and lesbian people have found a place to spend their spare time and to organize events. Being a beautiful city with the most attractive beaches, it is a good thing that Barcelona is a city that’s open to cultural diversity and activities.
A place where you can find a great number of gay bars and clubs is the district of L’Eixample, which is located in the center of the city. You can find an incredibly big arrival of gay and lesbian people; it has become the favorite place for the gay and lesbian community.
In L’Eixample you can also find accommodations at very reasonable prices, as well as cafés, bars and shops; some of them are frequented for gay and lesbian people only. It is a very entertaining place to visit since everyone is trying to spend a good time in a foreign city.
Sitges is also a place where there is a big concentration of gay and lesbian people. The Girlie Circuit Festival, a lesbian big festival, is performed in Sitges. It is a big event; it lasts an entire week with parties at night and sport & cultural events during the day. It is one of the most important gay festivals in all Europe.
Of course gay and lesbian people do not only gather in the cities mentioned above. Barcelona is a broad minded city that holds no prejudices. Barcelona, a city that has a great history and a lot of cultural attractions, is an example of cultural diversity, history, beauty and art that converge to create a distinguished and memorable city.
|Hotels & Hostels|
Calle Aribau, 33
Metro: Universitat, (Red Line, L1) 5 mins walk from metro
Tel: (0034) 93 323 9393
Calle Balmes, 28
Metro: Passeig de Gracia, (Green Line, L3) 10 mins walk
Tel: (0034) 93 301 9341
|Beauty and the Beach Bed & Breakfast|
Passeig Taulat, 136
Metro: Poblenou, (Yellow Line, L4) 15 mins walk from metro
E-mail address: [email protected]
Tel: (00 34) 93 266 0562
Single: 80 euros, Double, 110 euros
Men only accommodation
Calle del Bruc, 58
Metro: Urquinaona, (Red Line, L3) or (Yellow Line, L4)
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (0034) 93 317 5464
|Bars & NightClubs|
Metro: Universitat, (Red Line, L3) or (Purple Line, L2) 10 mins walk
Tues, Wed, & Sun 20:00 – 24:00
Thurs, Fri, Sat 20:00-03:00
Metro: Universitat, (Red Line, L1) or (Purple Line, L2) 7 mins
Consell de Cent, 257
Metro: Urgell, (Red Line, L3) 7 mins walk
Pasaje Domingo, 3
Metro: Passeig, de Gracia, (Green Line, L3) 3 mins walk
Fri & Sat 23:00 – 03:00
Barcelona nightlife is wild; in fact, Barcelona nightlife is known for being one of the most intense around Europe. Being a city with great history and art, Barcelona has an attractive contrast with the nightlife which gives a cosmopolitan air to the city itself. In Barcelona, you will find many clubs, bars and parties of all kinds where you’ll spend a nice time with friends and make new ones.
The neighborhood of Barri Gòtic is a place where you can find many clubs and bars with varied prices, but most of them are very cheap. This particular neighboord, for its big influx of tourists, is a target for pickpockets; so, you must be careful at all times.
Then we have the neighborhood of the Ensanche, most known for its Catalan name which is L’Eixample. This neighborhood is well-known for the large number of gay bars that are located there; for that reason, it has also become one of the most important gay community’s touristic destinations.
Another place not to miss is the complex Maremágnum, a huge mall full of stores, cafés, restaurants and clubs. Almost the half of the mall is full of clubs that open at night and close first thing in the morning. The mall is located near the port, so, it has a beautiful view of the sea. Club prices may be a little expensive, but it is totally worth it.
Barcelona Nightlife has options that will be suitable for every taste to spend a perfect party time, and also to know the beautiful city. To find a bar or club of your preference, you can take a look to a Barcelone guide; these guides are usually found in hostels around the city.
Shopping in Barcelona
The city of Barcelona is an excellent place to go shopping. The city has a large number of stores, department stores and malls. There is even a very famous place called “Barcelona shopping line” which is a five kilometers long shopping street that is totally full of stores and it is exclusive for pedestrians. Department stores like El Corte Inglés and Fnac are very famous in Barcelona.
Going shopping in Barcelona is a very pleasant experience. For instance, Barcelona is one of the most important cities of high fashion in Spain, being the Barcelona fashion week one of the most important fashion events; it used to be named Gaudí catwalk, in honor to the great Barcelonan architect Antoní Gaudí. Also, Barcelona is one of the fashion capitals of Europe, with designers like Custo who is internationally recognized.
Barcelona has stores of the best brands of clothes, shoes, accessories and make-up of the entire world. Boutiques of brands like Christian Dior, Channel, Roberto Cavalli, and Versace are of the most distinguished stores that you will find when you are shopping in Barcelona. Of course such stores sell their items at very high prices, but there always are summer and winter sales where you can find things with reduced prices.
There are also other Spanish brands that offer beautiful things at lower prices than the most popular brands. One can find such stores just by walking through a street of stores like the Portal D’Angel Avenue. Such stores offer quality clothes at reasonable prices.
Also, there are many markets and flea markets where one can find secondhand and handmade clothes, accessories and shoes. It is amazing the variety of things that you can find while going shopping around the streets of Barcelona.
Antiques, Arts & Crafts in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city where you will find special things. You can find antiques in many city streets like Passeig de Gracia and Carrer Consell; both of them in L’Eixample, where small flea markets and shops open their doors for customers. There are also some streets of antique shops in the Ramblas, Carrer dels Tallers and Port Vell, the latter has a beautiful flea market next to a Christopher Columbus statue.
Barcelona also has a great art history; it is the city of Gaudi and Picasso. There are many art and crafts fairs, also a large number of art galleries. There is a big art and crafts fair in the Reina Maria Cristina avenue where you’ll find excellent prices.
| Angel Batlle|
Address: Palla 23
Transportation: Metro: Liceu
| El Bulevard des Antiquaris|
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 55
Transportation: Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Phone: No phone
| Sala d’Art Artur Ramón|
Address: Palla 23
Transportation: Metro: Jaume I
Address: Còrsega 258
Transportation: Metro: Hospital Sant Pau
| L’ Arca de l’ Aviva|
Address: Banys Nous 20
Transportation: Metro: Liceu
Address: Comerç 15
Transportation: Metro: Jaume I
| Art Picasso|
Address: Tapinería 10
Transportation: Metro: Jaume I
| Sala Parés|
Address: Petritxol 5
Transportation: Metro: Plaça de Catalunya
Address: Canvis Vells 2
Transportation: Metro: Jaume I
| Art Escudellers|
Address: Escudellers 23-25
Transportation: Metro: Drassanes
Address: Ferran 26
Transportation: Metro: Liceu
| Artesana Coses|
Address: Placeta de Montcada 2
Transportation: Metro: Jaume I
Bookstores in Barcelona
There are a lot of bookstores in Barcelona; probably because Spain has many publishing houses. You can find a good bookstore in places like the Barri Gotic. The bookstores have large and varied catalogs where you will find different book sections.
The Ramblas is also a good place to find bookstores. Books in Spain can be a little expensive, that is because of high printing costs. However, you will realize that you can find every book that you need; Spain is truly a place where you can find books and comics that are difficult to find somewhere else.
|Llibreria & Informacid Cultural de la Generalitat de Catalunya|
Address: Rambla dels Estudis 118
Phone: 93 302 64 62
This is a good first stop for books and pamphlets on all things Catalan.
|Llibreria de la Virreina|
Address: Palau de la Virreina, La Rambla de Sant Josep 99
Phone: 93 301 77 75
Here you’ll find an assortment of art/architecture and art history books (related to Barcelona)
|BARRI GOTIC & EL RAVAL|
Phone: 93 301 90 70
Address: Carrer Josep Anselm Clave 6
Gay bookshop and cafe.
Phone: 93 412 72 83
Address: Carrer de Cervantes 2
This bookstore has gay and lesbian books.
Phone: 93 317 25 27
Address: Carrer del Cardenal Casanas 4.
This bookstore has novels in English and French, and maps.
Phone: 93 319 24 25
Address: Carrer de la Dagueria 13.
Proleg is a women’s bookshop.
Phone: 93 318 07 43
Address: Carrer de Petritxol 2
You’ll find here lots of maps and guides, including for walking and trekking.
Phone: 93 317 05 78
Address: Carrer de Balmes 26
One of the best general bookstores, with a wealth of material and foreign language books as well.
Phone: 93 342 71 71
Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 616.
This is a great travel bookshop with maps, guides and travel literature.
|Casa del Libro|
Phone: 93 272 34 80
Address: Passeig de Gracia 62.
The ‘Home of the Book’ is a well-stocked general bookshop and it has many branches around Spain.
Phone: 93 453 12 04
Address: Carrer de Provenca 203
It has lots of English-language teaching books and plenty of novels and books on Spain, in English and French.
|The English Bookshop|
Phone: 93 425 44 66
Address: Carrer de Entenca 63.
A good range of literature, teaching material and children’s books can be found here.
Phone: 93 518 17 39
Address: Carrer de Pau Claris 85
Laie has novels and books on architecture, art and film in English, French, Spanish and Catalan. It has a great cafe where you can examine your latest purchases.
Clothes, Shoes & Accessories in Barcelona
– I’llla del Diagonal shopping complex;
– Avinguda Diagonal 584;
– Hostal Lausanne, Avinguda del Portal de I’Angel 24
Phone: 93 216 04 00
Address: Avinguda Diagonal 570
Address: Carrer del Consell de Cent 349
Address: Passeig de Cracia 32
Phone: 93 488 17 77
Address: Passeig de Cracia 23
Address: Carrer de Bon i Fontesta 10
Phone: 93 301 24 20
Address: Carrer d’Avinyo 22
Phone: 93 301 04 12
Address: Carrer d’En Rauric 8
Phone: 93 318 40 94
Address: Carrer del Call 2
|La Boutique del Hotel|
Address: Aribau 33
Department Stores in Barcelona
The most popular department store around Spain is ‘El Corte Inglés’; it has been open since 1940. It has three locations: one in Portal de l’àngel, another in Plaça de Catalunya and the last one in Plaça Francesc Macià. El Corte Inglés is known for the variety and quality of its products. Another well-known department store in Barcelona is Diagonal Mar which is located in Diagonal Avenue. People prefer to go shopping in Diagonal Mar because they find a variety of items. There are many other department stores in Barcelona such as Fnac that has five locations around Barcelona: L’illa, Triangle, Diagonal Mar, Le Maquinista and Les Arenes.
Address: Tenor Viñas, 12-14, Barcelona, 8021
Phone: +34 93 2014724
|El Corte Inglés|
Address: Plaça Catalunya, 14, Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 306 3800
Address: Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona, 8007
Nearest Station: Catalunya
Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 557, Barcelona, 8021
Phone: +34 93 444 0000
Address: Moll d’Espanya, s/n, Barcelona, 8003
Phone: +34 93 225 8100
Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 208, Barcelona, 8018
Phone: +34 93 486 0404
|Galeria Comercial Avenida|
Address: Rambla Catalunya 121, Barcelona, 8008
Phone: +34 (0)93 488 2251
|La Roca Company Stores|
Address: Autopista A7, Salida 12, La Roca Village, La Roca del Vallès, 8430
Phone: +34 93 842 39
Address: Paseo de Gracia 55-57, Barcelona, 8007
Phone: +34 93 215 8331
Address: Carrer de la Portaferrissa, 22
Nearest Station: Liceu
Markets in Barcelona
One of the most popular markets in Barcelona is the Boqueria market located in the Rambla; it is one of the most important markets in the history of Barcelona. It offers a great variety of food, and you can also eat in some of the bars located in the market. Another popular market in Barcelona is the Mercat de Sant Antoni, or the Saint Anthony market. It is located in L’Eixample and there is a famous flea market where you can buy and exchange secondhand books, comic books, clothes, and records. You can also find many other markets around Barcelona.
|La Botifarreria de Santa María|
Address:Santa María 4
Metro: Jaume I and Barceloneta
Address:Les Ramblas 83
Address: Petritxol 11
Address: Vidrería 6-8
Metro: Jaume I and Barceloneta
|E & A Gispert|
Address: Sombrerers 23
Metro: Jaume I
Address: Vía Laietana 28
Metro: Jaume I
Address: Palla 8
Address: Consell de Cent 292
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
Music Stores in Barcelona
There are many music stores in Barcelona where you can find musical instruments and recordings. Tallers Street is well-known for having exceptional music stores. It is an old street that has gothic architecture, and it is very nice to go for a walk. Also, many cafes and pubs can be found around there. Music Stores like CD-Drome, Discos Revolver, Wah-Wah, Discos Castellò Clàssica and Edison’s are very popular in Barcelona.
Address: C/ Villarroel, 214, Tranvía Francesc Macià
Big selection, particularly good on flamenco, classical and world music.
Address: C/ Rosselló, 201
Smaller music shop specializing in rock and pop as well as tickets for live shows.
Address: C/ Tallers, 7
Large record and CD shop with a good popular section and a separate store for classical (no. 3).
Address: c/Tallers 13
Transportation: Metro: Catalunya Barcelona’s most famous record shop for rock and popular music. It’s one of the most important ticket outlets in Barcelona.
Address: Les Ramblas 97
Transportation: Metro: Liceu
Address:Plaça de Catalunya 4
Transportation: Metro: Catalunya
Barcelona, one of the most popular cities of Europe, has the complete package of fun and beauty; it’s a mandatory place where you will spend a marvelous time. Barcelona is a city located in the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, a sea that is known for being one of the places with the most biodiversity in the world. Also, Barcelona beaches are truly beautiful to see.
In the city there is something that is captivating. The city combines classic, gothic and modern styles to construct their buildings. Barcelona’s greatest representative is Antoní Gaudí. The parks, museums and emblematic buildings of the city make Barcelona seem a paradise. Some of the most visited places around Barcelona are: the Parque Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens and the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família( an uncomplete but still amazing basilica.) The Picasso museum, National Museum of Art of Catlonia and the Joan Miró Foundation are the most popular museums in Barcelona.
If you go shopping you will also be exploring Barcelona. Barcelona is also a city that holds renowned designers. The city of Barcelona is recognized for its great cuisine; it has restaurants and tapas bars all over the city. You will enjoy the food delicacies that are offered by this fascinating European city.
Just in the historical center you’ll find most cheap hostels in Barcelona, improving your experience in the city.
Barcelona is divided into twelve districts. The most popular are Ciutat Vella and The Ensanche; these districts have the most famous neighborhoods in all Barcelona. The most popular neighborhoods are the barri Gòtic, the Raval, and L’Eixample. They are popular for its shopping places, architecture, clubs and bars.
In the Raval neighborhood, there is a very crowded street called the Ramblas which is a street full of stores, department stores, cafés, museums and art-galleries. It is a very nice place where you can take a walk and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere as well as the urban artist that usually perform along the street.
Barcelona has six beaches that have the blue flag of the European Union. The beaches are equipped with areas to practice summer sports. There are also places to eat and drink; these are called “chiringuitos.” You can find hotels around the beach that offer excellent service and rooms with a view to the Mediterranean Sea.
Ciutadella & Barceloneta
In the neighborhood of Ciutat Vella there is a park called Ciutadella. It is a historic park built in the field of the old city fortress that was built in the 18th century. It was the only park in the city for a really long period of time. It is an enormous park, the biggest around the entire city and there is a zoo inside the park. The city zoo is very famous for having the only known albino gorilla in the world; its name was “Copito de Nieve” which means little snowflake.
The Ciutadella Park is one of the biggest attractions, also because it was originally designed to be a residential area for the richest people in the city but due to failed intents of selling the lands, it became a part of the city. The famous Antoní Gaudí was a part of a big project that designed the structures of the waterfalls.
Near to the Ciutadella there is the La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou, a very famous neighborhood because it held the Barcelona Olympic Games of 1992. The entire city of Barcelona went through an period of improvements due to the Olympic Games.
The district of L’Eixample is a very touristic place; in fact there is a big number of Barcelona’s main tourist attractions that are located in L’Eixample. Let’s take for instance, the great work of a Barcelonan architect whose name was Antoní Gaudí. He built “Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família” which is located in L’Eixample; this particular construction is famous for not being finished by the designer. By the time of his death, it was less than 50% of what it was actually going to be once that the construction ended.
There are other places with Gaudí’s emblematic works; there is the Casa Milà, the Casa Ametller, the Casa Batlló, and there are also the schools of the Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) that are located right next to the Basilica of the Sagrada Família. The schools were destinated to the children of the people who were working on the construction of the Basilica.
Following the special architectural characteristics of L’Eixample, it is worth pointing out that the block of the city was designed in a very unusual way: the road was wider than the houses. It caused discomfort among the habitants of the city back in the day. Nowadays it is considered as a symbol of architectural beauty.
If you looking for a place to eat and drink quietly, there is a street called the Rambla of Catalonia; a rambla is a wide street with trees. The Rambla of Catalonia has many restaurants and sidewalk cafés where you can enjoy a good conversation. There are also many stores: Barcelona is a fashion city that embraces many designers who open stores where you can find good quality and good prices in clothes, shoes and accessories.
Last but not least, it is the well-known nightlife of L’Eixample, with its many bars and clubs; it is a city where people search for a good party time. There is also one attractive characteristic about the nightlife in L’Eixample; it’s a place where there is a big concentration of gay and lesbian bars. L’Eixample is really a place with a variety of touristic attractions.
Montjuïc is a neighborhood in Barcelona. Montjuïc, according to some studies, literally means mountain of the Jewish. It is famous for having many of the sport facilities that were used in the Summer Olympic Games of 1992, like the Olympic Stadium of Lluis Companys.
A nice place to visit in MontjuÏc is the Poble Espanyol; it is an outdoor museum that exhibits many Spanish typical houses and streets. It is very beautiful, and it is located in the mountain. You can take the cable railway that is located in the Montjuïc Mountain or the other one that is located in Barcelona to get to Montjuïc.
The Ramblas & Old Town
The Ramblas are wide streets with trees. These streets are only available to pedestrians. The Ramblas is located in Ciutat Vella which means Old Town in Catalan and holds two of the most popular neighborhoods in Barcelona: The Raval and Gothic Quarter.
The Ramblas is famous for being a big commercial street where anyone can find a diversity of stores, cafés, restaurants, flea markets, street artists and newspaper stands, flower shops and bird stores. It is a beautiful street to take a walk even if you don’t have any intentions of buying something.
Some of memorable places in The Ramblas are the Gran Teatre del Liceu (which in English means Lyceum Opera Theatre), the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria or just The Boqueria, the Palau de la Virreina and the Font de Canaletes, which is a fountain that according to a popular legend, anyone that drinks from its water will inevitably return to Barcelona.
The nearest place to the city that is highly recommended to visit is the district of Gracia; it is the smallest district of Barcelona. Inside Gracia there are some Barcelonean architectonic treasures like Antoní Gaudí’s Güell Park and the Església de la Mare de Déu del Coll; the latter is a church from the 11th century.
In the district of Gracia, there are many stores, bars and restaurants where you can go and have a good time. It is considered as one of the most touristic places in Barcelona. Next to the district of Gracia is the district of Horta-Guinardó that has a neighborhood with the name of Horta. This neighborhood is truly enchanting; its historic street constructions come from the 19th century. The Parc del Laberint d’Horta, a beautiful garden divided in sections and with a labyrinth in the middle. The garden was built in 1791, designed by the owner of the lands with the help of an Italian architect. The garden is a beautiful combination between neoclassical and romantic styles, with statues and fountains all around the garden. A big quantity of the statues has Greek mythology motifs but there are some of rustic motifs.
Between the district of Gracia and Horta there is another park that calls the attention of people who for a visit, the name of the park is Parc de la Creueta del Coll; an enormous park that has great variety of flowers and trees. The park has two well-known sculptures, one from Ellsworth Kelly called “Tótem” and another from Eduardo Chillida called “Elogio del Agua”; the latter is hanging from steel wires up at the lake. The park also has a sports center and an area for children’s games.
In the suburbs of Barcelona there is the hill of Tibidabo; it is very famous for having an amusement park and a temple in the top of it; it is a beautiful hill where you can have an exceptional view of the city. There is also another neighborhood not to miss when visiting the suburbs of Barcelona: it is the neighborhood of Pedralbes. It has a beautiful gothic monastery that gives the name of the neighborhood. This place is also famous for being home to the richest people of Barcelona and Spain.
Learning Spanish in Barcelona (or Catalan)
Why is it important to study Spanish? Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, and it will surely open many professional opportunities to you. It will help you tremendously if you want to travel to Spain or Latin America; besides, Spanish is a beautiful and vast language. That being said, what better place to study Spanish other than its own birthplace, Spain?
In Spain, there is a city that calls the attention for its architectural beauty, beaches and culture; that city is Barcelona. There are many advantages for people who wish to study Spanish in Barcelona; for instance, there are many museums and art representations that are a live picture of Spanish culture; such knowledge will be very helpful to improve the learning of the language.
In Barcelona you can find many Spanish schools that provide great facilities and are located in the most representative areas of the city. Barcelona has two official languages Castilian (which is Spanish in its official name) and Catalan. You will have the opportunity to learn both languages and be able to expand your culture about the world even more.
Maps of Barcelona
The city is well known for its culture, finance, trading and tourism. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Cataluña, located on the Mediterranean coast with a total area of 803 km2 (310 sq mi), being the second largest city in Spain.
The city borders are the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs on the north; the Mediterranean Sea on the east; El Prat de Llobregat and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat on the south; and Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sant Just Desvern, Esplugues de Llobregat, Sant Cugat del Vallès, and Montcada i Reixac on the west.
Since 1987, the city has been divided into 10 administrative districts , each one with its own council led by a city councillor.
The districts are: Ciutat Vella, El Ensanche, Sants-Montjuïc, Les Corts, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Gracia, Horta-Guinardó, Nou Barris, San Andrés, Sant Martí. Click on the maps to enlarge them:
Weather in Barcelona
The weather in Barcelona is never too cold; so, it is a friendly place even in winter where one can go for a nice walk or a cup of coffee. Still, one cannot be over confident during winter time. If you can’t really stand hot days, it is not recommended to go to Barcelona during August; it’s where the temperature can go up to 28ºC (82 F) on the hottest day.
The best time to visit Barcelona should be spring and autumn. The temperature of Barcelona is perfect to visit the city in the day and go to parties at night. You must also consider that if you are visiting Spanish for a long time that the weather can vary from town to town; so, it is advisable to check the weather information before you decide to visit another city.
When traveling abroad, it is very common to take pictures of your visit to a certain city. Visiting Barcelona is a perfect excuse to take pictures because of its beautiful architecture, beaches, art and culture.
The most photographed places in Barcelona are: the architectural work of the renowned Antoni Gaudi, whose work is all over the province of Barcelona. Then Barcelona also has parks and museums like the Parc del Laberint d’Horta that is located in Horta-Guinardo. And of course, in every walk taken on the city you will find details and you will be engaged in activities to take gorgeous pictures.
This page contains a large selection of Barcelona photos, city views, monuments, churchs, streeets, attractions, etc.