View of Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Travel Guide: Tips When Traveling to Barcelona

April 19, 2024

Barcelona is a Spanish cosmopolitan city whose name is known by almost everyone. Barcelona is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. Barcelona is a major cultural, economic, and financial center in southwestern Europe. It is also the most visited city in Spain according to many surveys.

Barcelona is a city to visit for its stunning art, modernist architecture and rich historical heritage. Barcelona is recommended for visitors with a cultural interest who want to explore museums, galleries and fascinating buildings, as well as enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere and gastronomy.

First, let’s take a look at some of the basic questions you might have when planning a trip to Barcelona.

How much time to plan to visit Barcelona

We think the ideal duration of a visit to Barcelona is between 3 and 7 days.

In 3 days in Barcelona, you will probably only have time to see a few of the most important attractions.

In 6–7 days, you will have time to see not only Barcelona, but also the surrounding interesting places.

Because Barcelona is huge and transport is difficult, as in all major European cities, you need to plan a lot of time just to get from one point to another. So you can’t fit more than 2–4 places into a day.

If you only have a short amount of time, like just a day, you can still see the most important places with a perfect one-day Barcelona itinerary.

When to travel to Barcelona

Catalonia has a mild Mediterranean climate. So the winters in Barcelona are mild, and the summers are hot.

Therefore, we think spring and autumn are the best times to visit Barcelona. We think May, June and September are the best months.

Transport within Barcelona

We recommend that you do not drive by car to Barcelona, as it has become very difficult to get around by car in recent years. A low emission zone has been created for almost the entire city, which requires a special permit to enter, but the authorities are very slow to issue it (we received it 1 month after we got home!). For us, the best idea so far has been to rent an electric scooter or a bicycle, as it is flexible and Barcelona has a good network of cycle paths. Another good idea is to pay for the bus tours, which take you around the city and you can get off at different stops to see the sights of Barcelona.

What else to know about Barcelona

A major disadvantage of the city is public safety, about which you can find many stories on the internet. Unfortunately, it’s no lie, we also think Barcelona has poor public safety. Pay particular attention to your values near the tourist attractions. For example, pickpockets are very common near the Sagrada Familia. We could tell you stories about this, unfortunately in one of the restaurants there they took the bag of the girl sitting next to us without our noticing anything. They often steal in groups, one distracting the victim while the other robs him. They are on the streets, in the metro, on La Rambla, almost everywhere in Barcelona. Be very careful in Barcelona.

In addition, Catalans have their own language and culture, which is slightly different from Spanish. It is worth taking this into account. We have experienced, for example, that some Catalans do not like to speak Spanish, only Catalan or English. This and the frequent street riots can be disturbing as a tourist.

So we suggest that if you are looking for a real Spanish experience, you should visit destinations in Spain such as Andalusia or Madrid.

Costs in Barcelona

In budget terms, Barcelona can be described as relatively medium expensive. It is expensive within Spain, but not in the Western world. If you are traveling in off-peak season, you can find hotels in the city center quite cheaply, and almost everything else is also cheaper.

Where to stay in Barcelona

We can recommend some good hotels in Barcelona where you can book good value for money.

One of our big favorites among Barcelona hotels is the Hotel SOFIA Barcelona near Camp Nou, a five-star hotel at an affordable price.

Another very good hotel near the Sagrada Familia is the Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, which has a fantastic outdoor terrace, Sagrada Familia views and a private underground garage if you arrive by car.

If you are looking for a different hotel for your trip to Barcelona, you can find the best hotels on

The best places to visit in Barcelona

As described, in this article, we show you how to spend 3–7 days in and around Barcelona. The travel guide includes highlights of the city center, both new and old, and also shows you the countryside, where you can see some wonderful natural and cultural attractions.

So let’s see what to discover on your trip to Barcelona.

Sagrada Família

The Sagrada Família is an unfinished church in the Eixample district of Barcelona. It is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, his work on Sagrada Família is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The interior of the Sagrada Família is very natural, with nice warm colors and a modern look. What we like the most is the colored glasses. The huge columns make you feel like you are walking among trees. Gaudí was often inspired by the forms of nature, and in this masterpiece he depicts a forest. The Sagrada Família is under construction and is expected to be completed in the second half of the 2020s.

Park Güell

Another masterpiece designed by Antoni Gaudí is the Park Güell in Barcelona. Park Güell is a privatized park system composed of gardens and architectural elements. Park Güell is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona.

It is an important destination not only because of the interesting geometric shapes, the wonderful tile decorations and the unique vegetation, but also because of the breathtaking panorama of the city.

Pro tip: In Barcelona, perhaps the most important thing to do for Park Güell is to get tickets in advance, as they often sell out.


The Montjuïc is a huge park in Barcelona that was an important venue for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The Olympic stadium is located here, as well as some museums. The top of the hill can be reached by stairs or escalators from Plaça d’Espanya. At the top of the hill overlooking the city is Montjuïc National Palace, from where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the city. On the other side of the hill, from the coast, you can take a cable car or any other mode of transport to the Castell de Montjuic. From the seaside of Montjuïc, you can enjoy a stunning panorama of Barcelona’s cruise port and the sea.

Plaça d’Espanya

Plaça d’Espanya is an important transport hub with several attractions, located next to Montjuïc. It is a famous plaza bordered by architectural landmarks, shopping and an arena.

From the Plaça d’Espanya, you can admire the Font Mágica de Montjuïc, a musical fountain in different colors. Also known as the dancing fountain, the attraction changes its colors and shapes to the rhythm of the music. Check the website for details of the days on which the fountain offers a show.

Camp Nou

When in Barcelona, football fans can also visit the home of FC Barcelona, the largest capacity stadium in Spain and Europe. Both guided and self-guided tours are available at the stadium by paying a ticket. Camp Nou also has a huge souvenir shop where football fans can buy almost any souvenir or sportswear.

Casa Batlló

A popular attraction in Barcelona is the Gaudí-designed Art Nouveau masterpiece Casa Battló. Gaudí also designed the interior, taking care of every detail and creating the furniture according to his own ideas.

Casa Batlló is open almost every day of the year and tickets are available online. The interiors are even more breathtaking than the exterior, so we recommend you check out this Barcelona attraction and get your ticket to Casa Batlló to explore Gaudí’s magical world. The building has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005.

Casa Milà

Gaudí designed this beautiful building for the Milà family, which is now open to the public. It’s worth taking a look inside, as you can admire its unique structure and decorative elements. It was the last residential building ever designed by Gaudí and was built between 1906 and 1912. Casa Milà is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ciutadella Park

Located in Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella district, Ciutadella Park is a pleasant green area for those who want to escape the hustle of the city. Here you’ll find the zoo, the natural history museum, the Catalan parliament building, a huge fountain with sculptures and a small pond where you can even go boating. One of the park’s most famous attractions is the fountain, known in Spanish as Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella. The design of the waterfall was inspired by the Trevi Fountain of Rome. The Ciutadella Park is also a perfect destination for a walk or a picnic in the shade of orange and magnolia trees.

Close to the park is the Arc de Triomf, a triumphal arch that is well worth a visit if you visit the park.

Gothic Quarter

The charming Gothic Quarter in Barcelona has narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and Catalan restaurants. The Museu d’Història de Barcelona shows remains of the Roman city. Artisans sell leather and jewelry near the Cathedral of Barcelona, while flower stalls and street-food vendors line busy avenue La Rambla.

Attractions near Barcelona

If you still have time, it’s well worth a visit to other places outside Barcelona. In the countryside, relatively close to Barcelona, the most famous sights are the following:


Montserrat is one of the best day trip destinations from Barcelona if you want to spend a day in the countryside close to Barcelona.

Montserrat is a stunningly beautiful mountain retreat for Benedictine monks, an hour northwest of Barcelona. Not only is Montserrat Monastery of significant religious importance, but the natural beauty surrounding the monastery is simply breathtaking. For those who like to relax in nature and enjoy hiking in the mountains, it could be a perfect place.

The easiest way to get there is by car, although public transport is also available. There is also a funicular next to the monastery, which takes you to the top of the mountain, where the view is magical. You can also hike up, but perhaps the best idea is to take the funicular up and walk down the hiking trail.

You can also visit the monastery from the inside, for which you need to buy a ticket. The exterior is open to the public free of charge.


Tarragona is a Catalan city an hour’s drive from Barcelona near the coast. It is also worth spending a day in the city. Tarragona is rich in ancient Roman monuments, which are relatively well-preserved.

Tarragona’s most interesting attraction is the amphitheater, which is a Roman amphitheater. It was built in the 2nd century AD, sited close to the forum of this provincial capital. The amphitheater could house up to 15,000 spectators.

Another interesting attraction is The Ferreres Aqueduct, located on the north side of the city, next to the AP-7 highway, which can be accessed from the highway rest area via narrow paths. The ancient Roman aqueduct was built in the 1st century, now a popular spot for scenic walks and picnics.

If you still have time left in Catalonia, a trip to Cambrils, just a 20-minute drive from Tarragona, is a good option. If you are planning a visit to Cambrils, check out this travel guide to the best of Cambrils.

Barcelona, with all its advantages and disadvantages, is an unmissable city for any world traveler. Barcelona has some great attractions that are definitely worth the trip. And we hope we have given you enough ideas and inspiration for your next trip to Barcelona.

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