Welcome to Barcelona

One of the world’s most enchanting cities, Barcelona offers beaches and sea as a captivating backdrop to architectural gems from Gothic to Gaudi, world class museums and galleries, an Olympic park, a peerless cathedral, a world famous boulevard and one of the most extensive medieval cities in Europe. Barcelona’s architectural treasures are reason enough to visit the vivacious and creative capital of Catalunya.

When to visit

When to visit Exuberant Barcelona is a city that likes to party and when planning your visit it pays to keep an eye on the events calendar. Many of Barcelona’s festivals are steeped in the colourful tradition and independent spirit of Catalunya. January features the Festival of Kings, June honours Saint Joan with beach parties, August has the Gracia festivities and September sees the largest celebration in the city with the four days of celebration surrounding the Festes de La Merce. For spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration Placa Catalunya is the prime gathering spot. Barcelona is good to visit at any time of the year and is ideal for a long weekend. If a beach element to your city break is a priority then June, July and August would be best. A common feature of September is stunning thunderstorms.

The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, National Art Museum of Catalonia, in Barcelona

The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, National Art Museum of Catalonia, in Barcelona

Experience Barcelona

We’re delighted to highlight a few holiday experiences to enhance your visit to Barecelona. Simply confirm at the time of booking or prior to travelling.
For further details and prices of private excursions and small group escorted tours, to visit some or all of these places of interest, please ask our Personalised Travel Team about pre-bookable experiences and excursions on 0800 008 7288.

We highly recommend…

Three top sights

Do see the interior of Sagrada Familia, it might just be more spectacular than
the exterior. The Olympic Park is a fine space with great views, and
La Boqueria is packed with colourful, amazing food.

Sagrada Familia (2 hours)

Explore Barcelona’s most magnificent and iconic landmark, Sagrada Familia with this fantastic priority access tour. Skip the queue to Gaudi’s masterpiece, learn about the history and ascend to the top of the tower where you can marvel at panoramic views.

From £55 per person

Best of Barcelona (full day)

A tour of the city in the morning and the mythical mountain of Montserrat in the afternoon via cog wheel train. Highlights include the Gothic Quarter, cable car to Montjuic and the Olympic Ring, and a visit to the picturesque Poble Espanyol.

 

From £93 per person

City sightseeing bus (full day)

A hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour which allows you to discover every corner of Barcelona. Make the most of your time in this enchanting city. Routes cover all the main landmarks and audio guides are available.

 

From £28 per person

FC Barcelona: Camp Nou (3½ hours)

A guided tour of the stadium including the museum and trophy room, visitors’ changing room and the tunnel onto the pitch, from where a panoramic view of the whole stadium can be enjoyed. Enjoy a tapas brunch too.

From £46 per person

Gaudi tour (half day)

The most complete tour of Gaudi’s work, skip the long queues to wander beautiful Park Guell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera and an extended exploration of La Sagrada Familia.

From £140 per person

Hot air balloon (1 hour)

Float high in the air over the Catalan mountains and the Montseny Natural Park region. Enjoy a champagne lunch and take in the spectacular views, before receiving a personalised flight certificate.

From £351 per person

Out and about

La Rambla and Barri Gotic are the true heart of Barcelona featuring 14th century cathedrals and palaces towering above an ancient maze of narrow streets. In the L’Eixample area the spectacular modernista creations of Gaudi and his contemporaries are dotted around and evidenced in Park Guell, and the soaring, sinuous spires of Sagrada Familia. Artists have long been inspired by the city and myriad museums are devoted to the works of Miró, Dali and Picasso.

The capital’s féted and illustrious food scene is driven by a tasteful blend of superlative chefs, inventive cooking and rich, fresh ingredients in captivating settings: elegant Art Nouveau dining rooms and Michelin-starred restaurants. However traditional cuisine is yet to be fully eclipsed by the product of more youthful culinary masterminds, and there remains a profusion of Basque-style tapas bars and rustic beachside chiringuito. For a winning combination of art and food, La Ribera is the area in which to stay. Barcelona’s waterfront offers handy access to the promenade and beaches, and has an easy-going local vibe punctuated by excellent seafood restaurants.

The Montjuic area features the delights of the Poble Espanyol, with its full size replicas of buildings, streets and squares from many of the different regions of Spain. Take in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya with its Gothic art, the Olympic Stadium and Museum, the dancing fountains, the Joan Miró Gallery and the fabulous panoramic view of Barcelona.

Good to know

Like most cities Barcelona is great to explore on foot but it also has a clean, punctual, air-conditioned metro system that will take you to most of the major sights and attractions. There’s also an efficient public bus service that serves Barcelona centre. A T10 ticket allows ten trips on the metro and buses. The Barcelona Card entitles you to free or discounted entry to many attractions and museums, as well as free public transport within central Barcelona and on the Montjuic funicular. To book visit www.barcelona-card.com or speak to our travel consultants.

Luxury hotels in Barcelona

H10 Metropolitan

Barcelona

  • Boutique Hotel
  • Central Location
  • Outdoor Pool & Rooftop Plunge Pool

The One Barcelona

Barcelona

  • Exclusive Area
  • Stunning Views
  • Recommended Spa

Sir Victor

Barcelona

  • Boutique Hotel
  • Recommended Spa
  • Member of Design Hotels

Barcelona musts

La Sagrada Familia

Work started on Gaudi’s monumental cathedral in 1882 and is due to be completed in 2026, the centennial of the architect’s death; Barcelona’s most iconic building is a towering and awe-inspiring must see.

Montjuic

The hilltop retreat of Montjuic features the grand Palau Nacional, the Olympic stadium, the ornate Font Màgica fountains, and offers endless exploring amid sculpture parks, botanical gardens, first-rate museums and beautiful panoramic vistas.

Picasso Museum

Displayed in a cluster of medieval stone mansions and courtyards, which are as delightful as the art collection within, the Picasso Museum houses more than 3,000 pieces of the artist’s earlier works.

Park Guell

Gaudi’s magic suburb, now a public park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a whimsical, magical and enchanting space of fairytale gatehouses and a giant mosaic lizard guarding a magnificent staircase.

Las Ramblas

In Gothic times a riverbed, this mile-long boulevard, running from Placa de Catalunya to the Columbus Monument, is Barcelona’s most famous thoroughfare and an essential part of any visit to the city.

Casa Mila/La Pedrera

In the very top tier of Gaudi’s architectural achievements, this extraordinary masterpiece, with 33 balconies, was built between 1905 and 1910 as a combined apartment and office block.

Twin centre

Ask our travel consultants about combining a stay in Barcelona with a visit to Seville, or the Canary Islands.
See our dedicated Canary Islands brochure for further details.