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Experiences in Barcelona
Where to go
Things to do in Barcelona
Top 6 things to do in Barcelona This sun-blessed city tops everyone’s destination list, whether it’s for the storybook architecture, glorious food, or simply the lure of a city that’s like a massive beach town. It hits that sweet spot where history and hedonism meet. By day marvel at architectural gems that go from towering Roman-era columns to Gaudí’s masterpieces. By night feast on tasty tapas before hopping to numerous bars and clubs that only get started around 2 am. Best of all, whenever you need a nature break, the beach is right there and waiting. With so much on offer, we make it easier by sharing our top picks. From Gaudí’s spectacular unfinished Sagrada Familia to a museum dedicated to Picasso, we show you the best on offer. 1. Sagrada Familia No visit to Barcelona is complete without visiting Gaudí’s most staggering work. Started in 1812, the sheer magnitude of this project means its construction has continued into the present. Love or hate this twisting turreted masterpiece, there’s nothing quite like it. Head to the Bell Tower for charming views. 2. Casa Batlló With its swirling facade that resembles boney gaping mouths, the Casa Batlló looks like something out of a dream. Commissioned as a home for the well-to-do Battlò family, Gaudí was given full creative power to create a house like no other. He succeeded; this is Gaudí at his most mind-blowing and surreal. 3. Picasso Museum Focusing mainly on Picasso’s early formative years, many of which were spent in Barcelona, there’s plenty to enthrall even moderate fans of the artist’s works. With over 3500 pieces, the breadth and versatility of his pieces will impress upon you his undeniable genius, evident even at the tender age of 15. 4. Park Güell This UNESCO-listed park was originally meant to be a network of houses and landscapes for the rich. Before the project commercially flopped and was finally abandoned, Gaudí created the enchanting park we know today. Explore 2 miles of winding pathways, grottoes, and mosaicked galleries in Gaudí’s inimitable style. 5. Montjuïc This hilltop overlooking the port is not only packed with lush lawns and tranquil gardens but also top-notch museums, architectural gems, a castle, and an Olympic pool. The Joan Miró museum, in particular, is well worth a visit. This is also the perfect place to escape the crowds and enjoy fantastic city views. 6. La Pedrera Named for its grey stone facade, La Pedrera (the Quarry) was commissioned as an apartment and office block in 1906. Now it’s recognized as a UNESCO-listed masterpiece in Gaudí’s trademark style. Admire the smoothly curving walls and twisting wrought iron that add a sense of movement and life to the building. Planning your Barcelona visit When to go? Boasting sunny days and moderate weather all year round, there’s no bad time to visit this charming city. July and August is the peak time for tourists, so you can expect accommodation prices to go up and queues for attractions to get long. The weather will also be sweltering hot, and many small businesses will close as locals go on vacation. On the other hand, this is the perfect time to hit the many beaches and the city will be buzzing with a whole host of fun festivals, which include everything from international music to cultural events. If you’re looking for less crowds and milder weather, then spring and autumn are ideal. Winter also has its own appeal; the weather is crisp but not freezing and you’ll still enjoy some sunny days. How many days should you spend? In three to four days, you’ll be able to see Barcelona’s main attractions, but if you really want to get into the flow of city life then we recommend staying for seven days or more. It’ll give you the chance to not only see lesser-known gems such as Montserrat, but also enjoy local activities, such as a picnic on Montjuïc, a bike ride along Barceloneta, or a friendly language exchange. It’ll also give you time to feast on all kinds of tasty tapas and explore the non-stop nightlife scene. How to get there? El Prat is the only airport in the city and is the main international airport. Aerobúses run regularly (from 5 am to 1 am) to the center and take around 30 minutes; one-way tickets cost (€5.90). A taxi costs around €25. Outside of Barcelona there are two smaller airports: Girona-Costa Brava and Reus. They service mainly low-cost airlines. From Girona airport, there is a direct bus to the Estació del Nord station in Barcelona. It takes around 75 minutes; tickets cost €16. From Reus airport, the most direct way to get to Barcelona is by bus, which will take you to Estació d'Autobusos de Sants. Tickets cost around €15.50 one-way, and it takes around 90 minutes. How to move around the city? Barcelona offers plenty of transport options that’ll get you around town easily and efficiently. The Metro system is excellent and for the most part, all you’ll need. It runs from 5 am to midnight most nights and then till 2 am on Fridays and 24 hours on Saturdays. There’s also a large network of trams and buses. Single tickets for all main public transport cost €2.20, in which case a 10-trip ticket (€11.35) is a good deal if you’re staying for a few days. If you’re up for a spot of exercise, Barcelona is an excellent city for bike riding. The weather is ideal and there are many dedicated bike lanes. Otherwise, it’s relatively easy to get around on foot, especially if you’re in the historic center, while taxis are quite affordable compared to other major European cities. Where to shop? Whether you’re looking for high-end boutiques, historic markets, vintage treasure troves, or hip local design shops, the city more than provides. Top of the list is the city’s main market; La Boqueria. Immerse yourself in its kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and wondrously enticing scents, as you sample all kinds of fresh foods and Spanish snacks. The elegant Passeig de Gràcia instead is worth a visit for power fashion brands, such as Stella McCartney and Louis Vuitton, and also to take in some gorgeous modernist buildings. If you’re looking for something more distinctly local, El Born is where you’ll find home-grown designer boutiques. Finally, El Raval is the place for eclectic design and those hard-to-find vintage gems.