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Hugging the eastern coast of Spain, the organized grid of streets of Barcelona gives way to a number of delightful tourist attractions in the open. The Catalonian capital has a reputation as a bustling urban center, filled with renowned architecture, gourmet restaurants, lively clubs, and a thriving nightlife. Yet visitors won’t have to look far to enjoy the sights that the city has to offer while taking in the city’s fresh sea air.

While traveling in Spain visit Barcelona and see the works of Gaudi in the architecture including the famous Sagrada Familia. During this trip, the local culture is also seen in the big cities like Barcelona which is a lively and animated city.

things to do in barcelona travel guide

Weekend in Barcelona


Who doesn't like a weekend away? Especially from rainy England in the Spring. I had a free weekend in April and was interested in travelling out a bit to get a chance to explore a new culture and all it entails. Prices for hotels, flights, and package holidays are usually at their highest for last minute buyers like me. I couldn't afford to pay so much. After some research I found my solution to enjoy a weekend away from the gloom.

Flights to Barcelona


I came across SpareFare and it has made travelling so much easier for me. SpareFare is an online platform connecting people with non-refundable travel reservations with people seeking discounts or last-minute travel options. This concept of transferring tickets over to another person was completely new to me.

Apparently over sixty airlines allow passenger name changes from EasyJet to AirCanada. Even hotels allow name changes on a non-refundable reservation, and it's not limited, all hotels allow it. This allows people with non-refundable flights, hotel reservations, or package holidays to transfer their unused trips over to potential buyers!

By selling me his non-refundable tickets, the seller was able to recover some of the money he paid for his holiday. The process was very simple - I had specific dates in mind but was unsure of my destination. I entered my dates to find that someone was offering their future flight from London to Barcelona, Spain the same weekend I was interested in.

I figured Barcelona would be an amazing option as I have been before and had no complaints. Through SpareFare I was able to make an offer on the round-trip flight which was luckily accepted by the seller! I got a true discount of up to 50% by not paying the current price of the tickets, which were quite pricey. At that point I was set to relax in a local Catalan cafe while sipping on some Cava.

Hotels in Barcelona


Among the best place to stay for solo female while visiting Barcelona is the Poble Nou, a neighborhood known for its numerous clubbing nightclubs.

We stayed at Acta BCN 40 right by the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. Although the hotel was rated at 2-stars, the customer reviews were above 4-stars. The hotel was clean, modern, and had exceptional security with someone at reception 24 hours of the day. The hotel was based between Eixample and the Gothic Quarter, the most popular areas of Barcelona for most travellers.

This meant we were able walk to most of our destinations without getting too tired. Had we not wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather and walk, we were surrounded by transport links. Since I'd been to Barcelona before, I took on more of a relaxed approach to sightseeing, rather than a laid-out plan.

Restaurant in Barcelona


On our first day we stumbled upon the restaurant 'Brunch and Cake' featuring dishes like Brownie pancakes and waffles with caramelized onions, as well as healthy dishes. There was a bit of a wait as the restaurant was obviously popular for its unique menu. It was definitely worth the wait as the food was beautiful and delicious, the service was very friendly and prompt, and our bill didn't exceed 20 Euros in total!

9 Places to Visit in Barcelona


1. Parc de la Ciutadella


We continued our journey through Ciutadella Park to enjoy the greenery and most importantly indulge in the beauty of the Cascada fountain designed by Josep Fontsere.

2. Port Vell


After passing through the park we continued our long walking journey through Port Vell where we stopped at La Gavina to enjoy some Cava wine beside the yacht-full port.

3. Las Ramblas


Finally, we reached Las Ramblas. We entered the Boqueria Market, considered to be the best market in the world, where we took advantage of the cheap prices of market food and exquisite taste of Spanish tapas. Having spent about two hours in the market, we browsed all the different Spanish dishes offered, from all types of Paella to all the cured meats you can imagine. There was a lot to see, eat, and explore.

4. Rambla del Mar


Running through Barcelona’s core, Rambla del Mar holds the pulse of the city on its leafy streets. From Placa de Catalunya to the Christopher Columbus Monument, follow the crowds from one street performer to the next. There are few better ways to get a feel for the city and soak up Catalan culture than with a stroll down the city’s popular avenue.

5. Camp Nou


On our final day we were fortunate enough to receive tickets to see FC Barcelona play home in Camp Nou, versus Atletico Madrid. The energy in Camp Nou was a feeling that could never be replicated when watching football games in a pub or at home. Comparing to other teams previously watched like Tottenham Hotspur FC and FC Bayern Munich, the fans of Barcelona had so much love and appreciation for their team; I could feel it myself.

The stadium was organized and simple to get around. That evening FC Barcelona took home the win at a lead of two to zero. The cheer and celebration of the Barcelona fans made it an unforgettable experience.

6. La Barceloneta


Without leaving the city, you can also sunbathe in La Barceloneta and from there, jump on board a cable car that will take you to the top of Montjuïc. Easily one of the most popular beaches in Barcelona for tourists and locals alike, Barceloneta Beach attracts a loyal fan base with its soft sand, warm water, and fresh fish dishes.

Visit the beach to while away a relaxing day under the gentle sun, the Mediterranean lapping at your sun-dappled toes. Not just for sunbathers, the beach offers facilities for games like volleyball and table tennis to test your athletic prowess, if swimming out to sea isn't enough.

You may not expect to find modern art on the shore, but it’s here nonetheless: monuments and sculptures adorn the golden sands. Plan your Barcelona vacation to spend a few days here.

7. Park Guell


Park Guell is a well-known and well-visited Barcelona landmark in the portfolio of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, whose buildings line Barcelona’s streets and draw hordes of tourists to the city. A World Heritage Site, the park was completed in 1914 after 14 years of construction.

Gaudi designed the complex during his Naturalist phase, when he was most inspired by shapes found in nature. A steep walk uphill gives way to the massive park, and the views of Barcelona's perfectly gridded streets are hard to beat. Between the panoramas awaiting you and Gaudi's unique architecture, it’s difficult to say what lingers most after your Barcelona trip.

8. Columbus Monument


Standing proudly at 60 m (197 ft), the Columbus Monument marks the lower end of La Rambla, a bustling pedestrian zone in the city’s core. Built in honor of the explorer, who is widely given credit for discovering the New World, the monument commemorates the visit Columbus paid to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella upon returning from his historic journey.

Atop the monument, the figure of Columbus points south, towards Algeria, although many mistakenly believe he is gesturing in the direction of his discovery. Crane your neck upwards to catch the adventurer in the sun, and then enjoy the sights awaiting you on La Rambla.

9. Passeig del Born


A colorful pedestrian avenue with a not-so-subtle hint of medieval flair, Passeig del Born fills with people day and night to admire the street’s vibrant bars and charming architecture. Flanked by the Born Market on one end and the church of Santa Maria del Mar on the other, the avenue has an air of the Barcelona of days gone by. Once host to tournaments, jousting matches, and Holy Week processions, today the avenue is lined with vendors and lively cafes.

Places to Visit near Barcelona


1. Vilassar de Mar


Vilassar de Mar, 30 minutes from the center of Barcelona is where to enjoy an evening.

2. Montserrat


Montserrat, located about 30 kilometers from Barcelona, ​​is one of the best excursions in Barcelona that you can do. This massif that stands out for its large rocks with surprising shapes, product of erosion and the Benedictine monastery located at the top, is one of the places that we are sure will surprise you. Another of the essential visits in Montserrat is Santa Cueva, a small chapel in which La Moreneta was found.

Montserrat is also a paradise for climbers and lovers of hiking, in which one of the most common routes is the one that climbs to the top of Sant Jeroni.

3. ​​Catalonia


Beyond its capital Barcelona, ​​Catalonia is also to discover for its hinterland, its culture and its traditions while travelling to Spain. You can make a trip to a town on the Costa Brava in the day from Barcelona. Costa Brava is a portion of the coast (precisely) within the province of Girona, which is within Catalonia and on the border with France.

What essentially characterizes this region is its rugged coastline through the Pyrenees and the pre-Pyrenees. That is, here the mountain foothills meet the Mediterranean Sea, giving rise to rocky landscapes, small coniferous forests, and beaches enclosed and even hidden among all those landscapes. But the Costa Brava is not just beaches and mountainous coast.

There are also extensive flat sandy beaches for kilometers, and above all, charming medieval towns in the interior, or old fishing villages on the coast. It extends through the counties of Alt Empordà, Bajo Ampurdán, and La Selva between the city of Blanes. The most important cities and at the same time most urbanized in every way are Roses, La Escala, L'Estartit, Palamós, Playa de Aro, San Feliu de Guixols, Lloret de Mar.

There is a good collection of charming villages directly on the coast, and many of them surrounded by coves and beautiful beaches that are the postal features of the Costa Brava. They are (ordered from the closest to Barcelona to the most distant) Tossa de Mar, Calella de Palafrugell, Llafranc + Tamariu, Begur, Cadaqués, Port de la Selva.

El Golfet is one step away from the city of Calella de Palafrugell. But there are also other coves that are further away and require a walk. For example, this marvel of a cove that looks like a natural pool is inside the path that was born in Palamós. The most famous coastal path of the Costa Brava is the Camí de Ronda.

Shopping in Barcelona


For shopping, there is nothing better than the shops and kiosks of the Ramblas, a bustling artery that runs from Plaza Catalunya to Port Vell.

Best Time to Visit Barcelona


This question has several answers. For a start, it is lovely to visit at any time of the year, because its landscapes are worth seeing even in winter, and not to mention its heritage, its villages, museums and charming attractions at any time of the year. But spring and especially summer will be its highlights due to the attractiveness of its beaches.

The best time for me is from the middle of May to the beginning of July, and from the end of August to the middle of October. In those dates it will be the middle season (less people) together with a pleasant climate and without the excesses of heat from the peak of Summer. It is the perfect combination of good weather, few people, and by default, better prices.

As a city famed for the unique architecture that forms the urban core, it's no wonder there’s no shortage of things to do outdoors. From marveling at Gaudi’s work to swimming in the Mediterranean, Barcelona was built to be explored outside. So use an itinerary planner and when it comes to taking a load off and enjoying a glass of cava, you’ll catch locals spilling out of the bars and into the city streets.
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for your excellent post. Two things I found very helpful. Firstly, I'd never heard of SpareFare so will be checking that out. Secondly,just yesterday we were chatting with some family about a trip to Spain. Your article will come in very handy. Thank you.

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  2. I´ve been to Barcelona so many times,and wish I could go again soon! I haven´t made it to Vilassar de Mar though, hope to explore more of Catalonia as well! Camp Nou has such a great energy - besides Barcelona vs Atletico is always a great football to watch! "El clasico"(Barcelona vs Real Madrid) has always quite tensse atmosphere!

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  3. Barcelona is a dream destination in Spain. It became more popular for Camp Nou. SpareFare sounds a cool platform for budget traveler. Informative tips!

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  4. Fantastic list. I’ve been to Barcelona and dying to go back. I particularly adore Gaudi’s architecture but as you’ve pointed out, there’s more to Barcelona. I didn’t get to get to the top of Montjuic and watch Barcelona FC play at Camp Nou. So I have a couple of reasons to go back there. And as a keen hiker I must check out Montserrat too next time.

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  5. How wonderful to visit Barcelona! For sure on my list of travel. Thanks for sharing! It will be real soon thanks to you!!!

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  6. Barcelona looks really lovely. Great atmosphere and great pictures.

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  7. Barcelona is one lovely city. I enjoyed my trip there. Wounldn't mind coming back is there is lots to see and learn

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  8. Barcelona is high on my travel bucket list! All of your suggestions are going to be very helpful in my trip planning.

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  9. I love Barcelona - it's without doubt my favourite European city visited so far. I really had a fantastic weekend there and would love to go back again soon x

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  10. I have never been to Barcelona but I always wanted to visit. Such a wonderful place.

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  11. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world. So much to do and so much to see and such a good vibe everywhere you go!

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