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Barcelona

Travel Guide
Barceloneta Beach which includes street scenes, a city and night scenes

Modernist art and Gothic architecture create a stunning backdrop in the Catalan capital, where sublime food and a sophisticated nightlife scene await.

Cultured yet trendy, Barcelona is one of Europe’s great cities. The Mediterranean Sea is just minutes from the center, its streets are filled with Modernist and Gothic treasures and the food is simply divine. Shop in bustling markets, take a stroll through the old city, stay up late and party with the locals and visit one of the city’s many world-class museums and galleries.

Be wowed by Barcelona’s eye-catching collection of architecture. Start in La Rambla, the famous tree-lined pedestrian street, which features flower stalls, sidewalk cafés, creative buskers and interesting shops, before delving in to the labyrinthine alleys of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). Among the 14th-century buildings sit treasures such as the spectacular Santa Maria del Mar Church and the grand Barcelona Cathedral, where gargoyles peer down from the ornate façade.

Spend some time in the Museu d'Història de Barcelona. Its exhibits bring to life the city’s long history. The impressive building is located on Plaça del Rei, where concerts are often held.

It is impossible not to notice the artistry visible in Barcelona’s public spaces. Gaudí, Picasso and Miró have left their indelible marks on the Catalan capital in monuments including the fantastical twisting turrets of La Sagrada Familia cathedral and the fantastical modernist sculptures and mosaics adorning Park Güell. Barcelona-born Joan Miró is honored in the Fundació Joan Miró while Picasso’s works are on display at the Museu Picasso.

To enjoy Barcelona’s nightlife like a true local, don’t even consider going out until midnight. Start with a late dinner in one of the city’s fabulous restaurants. Opt for acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurants or venture into El Born to find tiny tapas bars heaving with hip locals. Discover everything from jazz venues to nightclubs pumping out techno, or sip cocktails in alfresco bars.

Barcelona is one of Europe’s aviation hubs and welcomes flights from around the world. Explore the city on foot to really soak up the architecture and get to know the locals. Among the best places to people-watch are at the city’s busy markets such as La Boqueria.

Barcelona Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Barcelona

Arc la Rambla
Arc la Rambla
3 out of 5
La Rambla 19, Barcelona
The price is $79 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 17
Located in Gothic Quarter, this hotel is steps from Teatre Principal, Centre d'Art Santa Monica, and Palau Guell. Barcelona Wax Museum and Gran Teatre del Liceu ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,077 reviews)
"This location is good to walk to several points of interest, walk to pier and take a boat ride around harbor. Need to take transportation to Park Guell, do not walk it. Very busy street at night, nice to have view out window, got little sleep."

Reviewed on Aug 2, 2021

Arc la Rambla
Hotel Colón Barcelona
Hotel Colón Barcelona
4 out of 5
Avenida Catedral, 7, Barcelona
The price is $155 per night from Aug 5 to Aug 5
Located in Gothic Quarter, this romantic hotel is steps from Placa del Rei and Barcelona Cathedral. Palau de la Musica Catalana and La Rambla are also within ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (967 reviews)
"All of the staff was polite and accommodating. Traveling from the US to Barcelona for the first time during the newly rising covid numbers, we were nervous however Hotel Colon put our minds at ease with mask wearing, cleaning protocols & sanitizer upon entry of the hotel. They also provided us with ..."

Reviewed on Aug 2, 2021

Hotel Colón Barcelona
W Barcelona
W Barcelona
5 out of 5
Plaça Rosa dels Vents, 1, Barcelona
The price is $291 per night from Sep 1 to Sep 1
Located in Barceloneta, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Port Cable Car, Barceloneta Beach, and Port Vell. Barcelona Aquarium ...
4.3/5Excellent! (970 reviews)
"service, cleanliness and amenities were superb. Cost and quality of food was subpar, especially knowing how amazing culinary culture is in spain"

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2021

W Barcelona
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Capri by Fraser Barcelona
Capri by Fraser Barcelona
4 out of 5
Sancho de Avila 32-34, Barcelona
The price is $88 per night from Aug 6 to Aug 6
Located in Sant Marti, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museu de la Musica and Teatre Nacional de Catalunya. Torre Glòries and Arc de Triomf are ...
4.4/5Excellent! (789 reviews)
"Exactly as the photos represented. Very clean, quiet and nicely furnished. The staff was extremely helpful. I would definitely stay here again."

Reviewed on Jul 21, 2021

Capri by Fraser Barcelona
Camping 3 Estrellas
Camping 3 Estrellas
2 out of 5
C-31, km 186, Gava, Barcelona
Offering direct access to the beach, this Gava campground is in a regional park, 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Castelldefels Beach, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Placa ...
3.8/5Good! (506 reviews)
"I had a great time. Everything was perfect. I loved the communication."

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2020

Camping 3 Estrellas
Eric Vökel Boutique Apartments Gran Vía Suites
Eric Vökel Boutique Apartments Gran Vía Suites
4 out of 5
Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes, 454, Barcelona
Located in Eixample, this boutique apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Arenas de Barcelona, Placa d'Espanya, and Fira de Barcelona Montjuïc. Magic ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (1,093 reviews)
"The suites are near everything and its comfortable and clean. I will stay here again."

Reviewed on Aug 2, 2021

Eric Vökel Boutique Apartments Gran Vía Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Barcelona

Barcelona has an excellent public transportation network that covers the whole city, so you won’t need to rent a car. Travel on rail networks including the Metro (underground) and the FGC (overground), as well as by tram and bus. Alternatively, rent a bike and take advantage of the city’s miles of bike lanes. Look too for the unmistakable yellow and black taxis that can be hailed all over the city. Visit the Metropolitan Transport Authority website. Browse Barcelona rental cars.

Best time to visit

As with most major European cities, the best time to visit Barcelona is in the shoulder seasons, that is, in fall and spring. Expect the crowds to be smaller, the temperatures to be at their most pleasant, and the accommodations to be more affordable than in the busy summer months. Of course, the winter is quieter still, but traveling then will mean you will have to sacrifice the sunny weather.

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