Barcelona - Complete tourist guide

Who I am
Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
Author and references


You made a good decision when taking a vacation in Barcelona.



But in a city of tourist traps, you will need information like a freshly chopped mojito under the Spanish sun.

What i'm talking about is local information. I've been here for six years and here's the result: my Barcelona travel blog. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.



Now here is the only one Barcelona tourist guide free will need:

Time

For seasoned meteorologists, it is quite difficult to predict what the weather will be like six months from now or even next weekend. So let's watch averages and I hope everything goes well.

I never had to wear a pair of gloves or go to great lengths to go out and the climate rarely drops below 5 ° C.

  • January February: the coldest months. Bring a coat and a hat and a scarf. It is not an unbearable cold, but you have to cover yourself well.
  • Mars: unpredictable. It's cold in February or hot in April, so check the forecast. During the day, a windbreaker or light sweater will generally work, although a thick jacket may be necessary afterward.
  • April May: t-shirts and shorts. At night you will still need a hoodie or a light jacket. It's too early to go swimming at one of the best beaches in Barcelona, ​​but we're getting there!
  • June , July: it's hot! Put on your flip-flops, bikini, and speedos and take a dip.
  • Augusto , September: It is very hot until September and it is even difficult to sleep at night. It is quite wet so there is less on the front of the clothing.
  • October November: essentially the same as March and April.
  • December: It's not a big deal, but you'll still need a sweater and a scarf.

I advise you to take a look at my guide to the weather in Barcelona by month and complete my advice on a trusted site.





The main attractions

A spectacular interpretation of Gothic architecture and the most fascinating church you have ever seen is every tourist's priority at the Sagrada Familia. The next step is to go up the hill to the utopian urban park with the best view of the city at Parc Güell.

No guide would miss Casa Batlló, the marine-inspired residence of architect Antoni Gaudí, and its counterpart, the gelatinous, wobbly, straight-line building called La Pedrera.

Soccer fans can't go wrong taking a tour of the Camp Nou football stadium or watching some FC Barcelona matches if you're there during the season.

The best free attraction in Barcelona is the Magic Fountain show. For better or for worse, you will have to stroll along the famous pedestrian boulevard La Rambla and taste some delicious sandwiches in the La Boqueria market.

Need more? You can find detailed information on all these attractions in my 1-4 day Barcelona itinerary.

The transports

Almost everywhere you will have to go to zone 1 of the Barcelona transport network.

Single tickets for each mode of transport in the system (airport not included) cost € 2,20. For this reason, it is recommended to obtain a discounted transportation card, which could cut costs in half.





The two cards most used by tourists are the Barcelona Card and the Hola BCN - read my article comparing the differences and find the one that suits you best.

metro

Il ya 11 metro lines They cover the entire city, so after your subway ride, you'll rarely end up walking more than 10 minutes to reach your destination.

The system is quiet, clean and efficient. The air conditioning in the trains is excellent although on the platform you can have the same feeling as in a sauna in summer. It is your main means of transportation.

Check my article about the Barcelona metro.

Bus

Barcelona bus system covers a large area and works regularly. You will never wait more than 15 minutes.

The new fleet of futuristic-looking buses is electric, quiet and equipped with Wi-Fi. The only problem you will face is the need to slightly improve your knowledge of the city and your navigation skills, so study well!

Car rental

Although parking in Barcelona is not the cheapest option, if you are a driver and plan to take trips outside the city to places like Lloret de Mar, Sitges or La Garrotxa, this is a great option. .



For the best prices and ease, I prefer to rent my cars online at Rentalcars.com.



What to eat

We will start with the culinary symbol of Spain: Serrano ham. You have to try this thinly sliced ​​smoked ham and you can't go wrong with the high quality acorn variety called Acorn.

For the regional specialties of Catalonia we find a bread with tomato Irresistibly simple: it goes with any tapa or main dish. The toast is rubbed with garlic and fresh tomatoes and drizzled with a good olive oil.

The tastiest are the sausage with beans (sausage and beans), patatas bravas (chunks of potato sauteed with hot sauce) and the legendary aioli - a mayonnaise-style garlic sauce that goes with just about anything, especially Fideua (a kind of noodle paella).

If you are in Barcelona in March or April, the Shorts A Must-Have: These large onions are grilled and dipped in a rich red pepper and almond flavored sauce called romesco.

For breakfast, the most popular are the famous churros con chocolate, while the Catalan cream It is an excellent dessert: similar to crème brûlée but with milk instead of heavy cream.

Do not forget to consult my list of the best restaurants in Barcelona to savor any of these dishes.

The neighborhoods

Gothic Quarter

Ce trendy neighborhood It is part of the historic center and extends to the famous Rambla. To fully understand this district, I divide it into two.

From the Liceu metro, stop at Plaça Catalunya, it is a commercial area very famous for its shopping streets, Portal de l'Angel and Portaferrissa. Here you will also find the Barcelona Cathedral and some of the best hostels in Barcelona.

The other part goes from the Liceu to Drassanes and is characterized by alleys, lots of bars and a bit of chaos caused by tourists.

La Royal Square It is the center of all the action in Barcelona and a stroll through the streets will get you out. The prices here are medium-low except in the square itself, which is a bit more touristy.

If you want to be super central, check out my article on things to do in the Gothic Quarter.

Raval

The other part of the old town is on the other side of La Rambla and constitutes a ethnic zone Barcelona indisputable. Pedestrian traffic is even more important than Gothic.

Here you will find a lot of cheap bars open late at night. Keep this in mind if you see a hotel or hostel in this area, as there will surely be a lot of noise.

Much of this travel guide is aimed at youth looking to have fun and spend little; if that's you, you will love this place especially on bar street Joaquin Costa Street.

This area naturally becomes a magnet for walkers, pickpockets, and drug dealers, so be on your guard. On the other hand, it is home to some of the best rooftop bars in the city.

If you're looking for a little excitement, check out my list of things to do in the Raval.

El Born

We could call it the more elegant cousin other areas of the historic center and you will find it on the other side of Via Laietana, near the Gótico.

Although the cozy streets They look a lot alike, that's where the similarities end: in El Born you will find plenty of quality clothing stores and cocktail bars.

The prices here are naturally a bit higher, but what do you do when you stroll through the picturesque squares of El Born?

To get closer to the class, check out my article on things to do in El Born.

Barceloneta

What Barcelona tourist guide does not include this? coastal district?

The last part of the historic center was once a district of fishermen and it still shows canutillos of yesteryear with its characteristic "parade" of old people sitting in front of its door socializing, knitting or drinking vermouth.

You will find the best seafood restaurants from the city as well as one of the best beaches in Barcelona to observe passersby.

Although the old time charm gradually giving way to tourists, yet it remains a must-see district.

If you are going to spend a lot of time on the beach, check out my activities in Barceloneta.

Grace

One of my favorite neighborhoods is the Fontana and Joanic metro stops. Here you will find a mix of Catalan local and travelers (not as much as the Gothic or Barceloneta) who created a bohemian atmosphere.

There are no American fast food chains or creaking street vendors to bother you here. the lovely places That define Gracia are the main reason the locals go there for a beer at sunset.

To put a little more grace in your stay, go to my article about things to do in Gracia.

Olympic Villa

Yes, it is difficult to write a Barcelona tourism blog with insider information, then turn around and talk about a neighborhood characterized by tourist shit. But here she goes:

Located around the Ciutadella-Vila Olimpica metro station (yellow line), it is famous for its beaches and discos. The chaos is palpable here, especially in the summer, when the twenty commercial music, reggaeton, house and salsa clubs are in full swing.

Here you will find tourists from all over the world, but there are hardly any locals in sight. Those looking for an opportunity to loosen up (really a lot) would do well to go to this neighborhood.

Sant Marti

The second most populated district of Barcelona borders the Mediterranean. There you will find many beaches and its Central Business District.

It is much less dense than the more central neighborhoods and, therefore, it is less crowded and has moreparking spaces - which makes it an ideal place for people traveling to Barcelona with children.

Eixample

Seen from the sky, this impressive neighborhood with a grid appearance, crossed by wide straight streets.

Those looking for real information about Barcelona: This is the best place to stay due to its transport connections, Its fullfilment of security requirements and its wide variety of shops and services.

Finding a hostel or hotel near one of the metro stations (Hospital Clínic, Diagonal, Universitat) will put you within reach of practically everything, avoiding the noise of other tourist areas.

Plaza España / Santos

It is close to the main points of interest, such as the Magic Fountain, Poble Epsanyol, Montjuic but at the same time it is a bit far from the center.

Book your accommodation here for save some money in your room and benefit from convenient transportation to the airport. The neighborhood is quite relaxing and well connected.

Find a home

I live here, so I will not talk about experiences in hotels, but I can comment on some of those points to know where to look for accommodation and how to book it correctly.

I have also prepared an article on the best area to stay in Barcelona, ​​based on the diverse needs of my blog readers.

It is not an exact science, but here are suggestions:

  • Solo trip: Barceloneta (near the beach, easy to meet people).
  • Committed: Gracia (quiet, full of romantic squares and cool cafes).
  • PARTY: Le Gothique (full of nice bars and clubs).
  • Luxury: El Born (shops and cocktail bars).
  • Cheap: Raval (street food and multicultural space).
  • Curiosities: Eixample (home to a lot of main attractions).

How to book?

Since I haven't stayed in many places, I always recommend stopping by Booking.com.

First of all, you get the best price due to the price match guarantee. You also get a ton of extra information 123 reviews from our community. You also get flexibility without deposit and with free cancellation.

To directly access the accommodation offers, click on the following button:

Important popular festivals

Barcelona is no different from other cities in Spain: everything is an excuse to set a stage, celebrate and go out!

This Barcelona tourist guide will not forget anything. the festivals, A species of annual neighborhood party Filled with concerts, dances, floats and more, they are a good place to start.

the mercy

This festival takes place on September 24 of each year, although the celebrations usually begin a few days before.

The people of Barcelona pay tribute to the Patron saint of the city with hundreds of events and concerts. Among the most popular are human castles, The correfoc lights and its fire-breathing dragons, the parade of papier-mâché giants and the famous Catalan dance called "La Sardana".

Best of all? It's free.

The feast of Grace

Every year, from August 15 to 22, the entire Gracia neighborhood becomes a chaotic atmosphere carnival. Since entire streets are decorated according to a theme Chosen by the city and it's like they're wearing Halloween costumes, definitely a show to see.

At night, Sets de DJ and all kinds of Concerts they are organized in the many squares and alleys. Add food trucks, workshops, contests, parades, sports activities and even beer tastings and you have the party of the year.

San Juan

On June 24 (the festivities begin on the night of the 23) the Spanish uniqueness of summer solstice.

Again you will find a ton of free concerts all over the city, but locals flock to the beach by the hundreds of thousands to activate Fireworks, take a midnight swim in the sea and welcome summer in style.

A little more ...

Some other festivals in Barcelona that you will see in any tourist guide worth its salt.

  • The Sitges carnival - the biggest carnival party in mainland Spain.
  • Sant Jordi - Catalan version of Valentine's Day that involves the simple exchange of a flower and a book between lovers (April 23).
  • Independence Day - Every September 11, the Catalans take to the streets to show their solidarity with the Catalan independence movement. More protest than party, but something to see.
  • Whenever FC Barcelona plays - The strength of this team makes it very likely that they will compete for a trophy during the months of May and June. You can easily tell if they are playing against Real Madrid, since the city closes and turns into a great party (if they win, of course!)

Night life

In Barcelona we have a lot of fun and something always happens. International DJs line up to play the best nightclubs in Barcelona. If Berlin weren't in the running, it could be the European capital of electronic music.

Not a fan of this repetitive din? Don't worry, there is something for everyone.

Music festivals

  • SOUND. Every year, Barcelona hosts one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world. Almost 100 people flock here looking for a long list of local and international DJs. You will also find a lot of audiovisual shows here. This year the festival takes place in July.
  • SOUND OFF. People who don't have enough money for Sonar can rest assured, there is no shortage of activities around the festival. Most of the big clubs in Barcelona organize "off-sound" events at the same time as the festival. The music is the same, the prices are cheaper. Check the surroundings.
  • SPRING SOUND. Another institution of festivals in Barcelona that takes place every March. With 200 participants a year, it is one of the largest rock / pop / indie festivals in Europe.
  • BRUNCH IN THE PARK AND BRUNCH IN THE CITY. For those looking to have a drink and dance on Sunday afternoons in the heights of Barcelona, ​​this festival and its long list of international DJs would be very well advised at this festival.
  • DGTL FESTIVAL. Another techno and house festival focused on eco-responsibility. A weekend in August, with impressive artists, groundbreaking artwork, and groundbreaking production, quickly sold out in previous years.
  • HOLI FESTIVAL. There are versions of this colorful Indian festival all over the world and the Barcelona version is just as colorful. You will find several of them in spring and summer.
  • INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL. In October and November, you'll find some of the biggest names in jazz throughout the city.
  • JARDINES PEDRALBES FESTIVAL. It is a quieter music festival. Big names from the international music scene of all musical styles meet in June and July.
  • CRUILLA. Another music festival in July with a variety of local and international artists. This year, among others, the Black Eyed Peas, Kylie Minogue, Parov Stelar and Zaz are scheduled.
  • BBF BARCELONA BEACH FESTIVAL. A music festival on the beach that we can only love! Every June you will find it at the famous Forum and last year it brought together artists like Hardwell, Alesso and David Guetta.
  • FESTIVAL CIRCUIT. Important gay festival that takes place in August.

Barcelona in general is a city in constant effervescence with a large number of events, find out what are the next ones!

Excursions around Barcelona

Catalonia has a lot to offer! When people ask me what I like about Barcelona, ​​I always start by talking about its surroundings.

The coves of the Costa Brava, just an hour's drive away, offer turquoise waters and a paradisiacal mountain landscape. Some are difficult to access without a car and are often crowded on weekends, so go on a weekday.

I advise you in the disorder: Tossa de Mar, Begur, Cadaqués, Palamós, Cala del Señor Ramón, Sant Pol de Mar and Sant Pere Pescador ...

South of Barcelona there are other beaches, wider and less crowded. It's worth the trip if you can't stand the crowds on Barcelona's beaches. My favorite destination is Gava Mar but the beaches of Castelldefels, Sitges and Calafell do it very well.

Let's not forget the Montserrat, to which we have dedicated an article. The city of Girona is pleasant, but Taragonne is more so. If you have time, the volcanic area of ​​La Garrotxa is a must for lovers of nature and gastronomy.

Finally you will find in the Ebro delta a natural park little frequented by tourists.

Emergencies and hazards

In general, Barcelona is a fairly safe city, I feel less safe in Paris, for example. The biggest risk here is being mugged by the many pickpockets that populate the tourist areas.

By being very attentive and keeping your eyes open, nothing will happen to you! Beware of cars and motorcycles that start when the traffic light is still red (actually when the light turns red…) and with buses that brush the sidewalks.

Remember that Gaudí himself ended up under a tram!

If you come by car, be very careful with other drivers who will ask you to stop claiming a problem with your car, who follow you to the next area to undress.

The only emergency number is 112. In case you need to file a complaint with the Mossos d'Esquadra police station, click on the link to find the closest one.

If your papers are stolen, you must also report it to the French General Consulate at 22b Ronda d'Universitat and request a provisional document. Visit the consulate's website for more information.

health

If you have a health problem and need to be hospitalized, you will only need your social security card European Be covered.

The most important hospitals are the Hospital Clínic at 170 carrer Villarroel (Hospital Clinic metro, L5) and the Hospital del Mar at 25-29 passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta (metro Ciutadella-Vila Olimpica, L4). In pharmacies you can buy common medicines without a prescription.

Ask for more advice in the comments.

What else do you want to know about Barcelona?

I'm always afraid of missing something so feel free to contact me if my Barcelona travel guide is missing - I'll answer any questions to the best of my ability!

Also, don't be afraid to join the discussion on my new Facebook group called "For City Lovers." Here you can ask questions, voice your complaints, chat with other travelers and more - anything goes!






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