A blend of experiences – that’s what Barcelona offers its tourists. Anything you want, you may find there. Discover why it is a must to visit this city at least once in a lifetime.
Why is it worth visiting Barcelona?
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and is one of the most popular tourist destinations. There are about 3 million dwellers living in Barcelona and in the metropolitan areas surrounding the city. It’s the perfect place for all types of travellers: young people looking for fun and exciting things to do, couples looking for a romantic getaway and parents with children looking for an appropriate holiday destination.
Museums, impressive buildings, shopping areas, amusement parks and the beach – Barcelona has it all, so there’s no wonder why there are millions of tourists (around 7.7 million tourists in 2017) from all over the world. Barcelona is the fourth most visited European city, after Paris, London and Rome. There are plenty of reasons why you should add this city to your “to visit” list, but we will only present to you several tourist attractions and some less-known places, just to convince you about it.
10 tourist attractions not to miss in Barcelona
There are countless tourist attractions worth seeing in this stunning Spanish city, but the most popular ones are, by far, those related to Antonio Gaudi, as well as those related to the renowned football team FC Barcelona. If we had to choose only ten places to see in Barcelona, we would definitely stick to:
- Sagrada Familia, the symbol of Barcelona
A building like no others in the entire world, the Sagrada Familia church was designed by the famous architect Antonio Gaudi and it has been under construction ever since 1882. The church has 18 towers, picturing the 12 apostles, the 4 evangelists, Virgin Mary and, the tallest of all, Jesus Christ. It’s a representative building for Barcelona and a worth seeing attraction at least once in a lifetime.
- Güell Park, a unique garden
Güell Park is an amazing place due to both the panoramic view of the city and the abundance of greenery. What makes it even more amazing is that it hosts architectural elements designed by Antonio Gaudi and the House-Museum of Gaudi.
- Camp Nou, the stadium where world’s greatest football players come from
When you hear people talking about “FC Barcelona”, you no longer think only about sports. Whether you are a football lover or not, you have definitely heard at least once people talking about it. Camp Nou Stadium is definitely worth visiting, since this is the place where world’s most famous footballers have played, including Figo, Maradona, Ronaldinho and Messi.
- La Rambla, the boulevard that never sleeps
Once you arrive in Barcelona, you’ll eventually get to walk on La Rambla boulevard. This street is located right in the heart of the city and there are all sorts of shops, cafes and street animators, lights, restaurants and numerous tourists. It’s nearly impossible to miss it.
- La Barceloneta, the most famous beach in Barcelona
La Barceloneta is located on the coast of Mediterranean Sea and is one of the largest beaches in the area. Here, you’ll find the largest number of restaurants, but also the largest number of street vendors, which are ready to satisfy your needs with various drinks, as well as coloured sheets.
- Montjuïc, the perfect place for hiking
If you want to engage in a hiking trip, Montjuïc is the place to escape city madness and get closer to nature. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city while at Palau Nacional and don’t forget to visit the fortress dating from the 17th century.
- Tibidabo amusement park and an impressive view
Tibidabo is the highest point in Barcelona and the best place to have a panoramic view of the city. Here, you’ll also find an amusement park recommended to families with children, as well as the Sagrat Cor church. In order to get there, you’ll need to take the funicular.
- Aquarium – the biggest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world
Aquarium is the biggest Mediterranean-themed aquarium in the world and one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona. People passionate about sea creatures and underwater world can find here numerous species of fish. Additionally, the feeling you get while walking through a tunnel surrounded by water is unique.
- El Poble Espanyol, the place to find examples of architecture from all over Spain
El Poble Espanyol is a tourist attraction not very crowded, but truly spectacular, where you’ll find various types of houses and cottages that will give you the feeling you are taking a complete tour of Spain in just a few hours.
- The Picasso Museum, a must-visit place
Picasso is one of the most influential artists in the world, which is why you should include in your itinerary the museum that hosts a great part of his works. The Picasso Museum is located in the Barro Gotic area, which is also a tourist attraction itself.
Important festivals and events in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city that hosts various events and each of them could be a great opportunity to visit a specific area and to learn more about the Spanish culture. Here are a few examples:
The football matches played by FC Barcelona
The match of such a famous football team that has won so many titles in the past decades is definitely an event worth seeing, whether it’s a friendly match or a finale with an important stake. Everyone that appreciates football will find watching the world’s greatest players in action – such as Messi, Pique or Iniesta – an amazing experience.
The Sonar Festival
Sonar is an important European festival that brings together huge names in the electronic music industry and not only. The festival is hosted in June every year and attracts thousands of visitors interested both in the artists and in the destination.
The Monegros Festival
The Monegros Festival is another important event, especially for electronic music fans and thousands of tourists come to Barcelona just for it. The festival takes place in July, when the weather and time to visit this stunning city are just perfect.
The Marathon in Barcelona
The Marathon in Barcelona, which usually takes place in March, celebrates 41 years old next year, in 2019. The route will take you through various tourist attractions, such as the Camp Nou Stadium, La Pedrera, Sagrada Familia, the Arch of Triumph, the Gothic Neighborhood and the Port of Barcelona. Of course, you won’t be able to enjoy all these splendid attractions and analyse them in detail while running, but you can do it either before or after the marathon.
Formula 1 in Barcelona
The Spanish Grand Prix is one of the most important Formula 1 events which takes place annually, in May, in Barcelona. Those interested in these auto races should definitely add this event to their list.
Barcelona seen through the eyes of a gourmet. Traditional foods to try
One of the must-see places in Barcelona is La Boqueria market, especially if you’re a gourmet-type of person. You’ll find here plenty of traditional ingredients and seasonings of different colours and tastes.
While at the restaurant, don’t forget to try paella and all those sea-food-based meals. Other meals worth tasting are chuleton de buey, jamon, iberico and chorizo iberico.
The tapas are also a must-try, especially since they come in various forms, as they are considered a snack that can contain nearly any type of food. Here are some examples:
- Pa amb tomàquet – Slices of bread with tomatoes, olive oil and garlic
- Patates braves – Potatoes in hot chilli sauce
- Xipirons – Fried squid
- Truita de patates – Scrambled eggs with potatoes
- Formatge manchego – Manchego cheese
- Pernil iberic – Iberian ham
- Gambes a la planxa – Grilled shrimps with garlic
- Croquetes de pollastre i pernil – Chicken and ham croquettes
Sangria is their traditional drink and it’s also a must-try while in Barcelona. It consists of red wine or cava, which is a Spanish sparkling wine. If you want to feel the real taste of traditional Sangria, go to a restaurant, instead of choosing a bottled one bought in a store or market.
Your budget for a holiday in Barcelona
Even though Barcelona cannot be considered a low-budget destination, it isn’t an extravagant city with high prices either. The amount of money you have to spend on the plane tickets and accommodation depends mostly on the time of the year you choose to visit it.
How much do airplane tickets and accommodation cost in Barcelona?
Blue Air provides several flights to Barcelona from various countries, including Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Italy, Norway, Romania and Sweden. There are three travel classes to choose from (Light, Classic and Premium), and each of them comes with a set of advantages, designed to fit within the budgets of all passengers. By choosing the Light travel class, for instance, passengers will get not only the lowest fare available, but also free check-in service and the possibility to carry a 10 kg cabin bag.
The Classic travel class, on the other hand, besides the above-mentioned benefits, it comes with other extra services, such as: 50% discount for date or route change fee, reserved seat (except Extra Leg Room seats) and a 20 kg checked-in bag.
Last, but not least, the Premium travel class, which is also the most advantageous one, comes with the following benefits: the lowest fare available, free check-in, one 10 kg cabin bag, one 20 kg or 32 kg checked-in bag, no fee for date or route change, reserved seat (including Extra Leg Room seats) and complimentary meal.
For Barcelona flights, prices start from €43.99, but for more detailed and accurate information, we recommend you to visit this link and choose the city or country you want to travel to or from. Additionally, if you’re looking for accommodation in Barcelona, for instance, you can check for available hotel rooms here. There are plenty of options to choose from and they can fit within any budget.
Dining at the restaurant, public transportation and museum entries – total cost
When it comes to public transportation in Barcelona, everything is well established and organized. The bus, the subway and even the funicular railway are interconnected, and you can use the same travel card for all of them. The cost of one 10-journey travel card is around €10.
When it comes to dining at the restaurant, the cost varies. If you choose a restaurant located on the La Rambla boulevard, expect to see higher scores compared to other regions in the city. On an average, a couple would have to pay around €40 for their lunch meal, which would include one paella for each and one bottle of sangria. However, the price may vary, depending on where the restaurant is located, on the menu, the interior design of that local and so on.
For the most important tourist attractions, it is best to make online reservations in order to avoid overcrowding. Sagrada Familia, for example, is most of the time overcrowded by tourists, which is why you should book online the day and time you’d like to visit it, several days before going there, or even when booking the airplane ticket. Additionally, in most cases, the tickets bought online are cheaper than the ones available at the ticket offices or ATMs near the tourist attraction, and one good example is Güell Park, where you would pay €1 less if you purchase your general ticket online.
Just like in the case of many other tourist cities, Barcelona takes great care of its tourists by offering them the possibility to purchase the Barcelona discount cards that can be used on public transportation and museum entrances.
The weather in Barcelona. When is the best time of the year to visit it?
The temperature in Barcelona is rarely dropping below 8 degrees Celsius, which means that you can visit this wonderful city all year long. The number of tourists increases significantly during the summer season, but the city is just as charming during winter, spring or autumn, as it is during summer.
In early October, for instance, the number of tourists starts to decrease, not to mention the prices, which are also lower. At the same time, the weather is still great, and you can still enjoy a good beach day in October.
Barcelona is a unique city with breath-taking scenery and, at the same time, is one of those destinations that you just have to visit at least once in a lifetime. Because it has so many things to offer, you will definitely want to come back again after seeing it once.