Barcelona is the ideal city for anyone looking to wander along, soaking up the atmosphere of each distinct neighbourhood and explore some of the city’s most gorgeous spaces.
The city is both characterful and colourful, from the quirky Gothic Quarter, to the bustling shops and bars of The Rambla, through to the modernist buildings of The Eixample.
So whether you like the idea of climbing up Montjuïc Mountain to get a bird’s-eye view, discovering some memorable arty and cultural hangouts, or kicking back in a bar, you’ll be able to find the perfect spot for you.
Best time of the year to visit Barcelona
Pick autumn or spring for your city breaks to Barcelona. In summer, the influx of tourists and the scorching temperatures could put some people off. If you choose to go in September, try to go for La Mercè festival. An amazing atmosphere will welcome you!
Things to do in Barcelona
Everyone returns from a weekend in Barcelona with a smile on their faces. Discover our cheap flight + hotel offers in Barcelona. For a weekend of culture and partying, jet off to Barcelona, the Catalan capital and perhaps The European party city! Bathed in sunshine, the famous Barri Gòtic is hugely popular with young people.
The gallery: For a perfect Barcelona city break, visit the Casa Batlló, the unmissable art gallery. This is another architectural masterpiece from Gaudí, who left his mark on Barcelona. The facade gives the impression of waves undulating. The roof is reminiscent of the arched back of a dragon, and the ceramic tiles that cover it are its scales.
The Panorama: During your weekend in Barcelona, don’t miss the breathtaking views of the city from the top of the Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s cathedral. Guaranteed thrills.
The beach: A weekend in Barcelona can also mean swimming. The city offers 4.2 km of golden sandy beach, the best known being Barceloneta. If you’re looking for something calmer, leave Barcelona and go to Sitges or Castelldefels, which can be reached by public transport from Plaça de Catalunya.
The best places for partying
Barcelona is the perfect city for partying on a short trip or weekend away. You don’t need to look far. There are plenty of street performances. Head into the heart of Barcelona’s nightlife in the Barceloneta area or the Port Olímpic area. There’s something for all tastes: bars, theatres and nightclubs. You can’t miss out on the famous dance floors peppering the Catalan capital. Finally, a weekend in Barcelona is incomplete without a beach outing, and it offers little huts where you can drink, eat and listen to music.
For a weekend or a short stay, Barcelona is best visited wearing a good pair of trainers. Leave the main monuments to one side, those that you must see will stand out to you. Instead, wander around the narrow streets where the light creeps in furtively and where washing is hung out to dry outside the windows. With your nose in the air, you will not cease to be amazed by this stunning architecture. Lying on the grass in Parc de la Ciutadella, near the fountain, immerse yourself in a Pepe Carvalho adventure (a food-loving private detective created by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán) for an unforgettable weekend in Barcelona.
Keep going northwards to Parc Güell. Here you enter an imposing staircase blending perfectly into the landscape. In the park, among the little green paths, you will discover the garden city dreamed up by Antoni Gaudí. An enchanting environment. To finish, take a rest on the longest bench in the world, located on the Gran Plaça Circular.
We recommend taking the metro, which is clean, quick and reliable. Unless you feel tempted to check out the city by bike… Cycling is becoming more and more popular and there are many cycle tracks. However, make sure your respect the highway code to avoid fines!
Typical food and gastronomy
The gastronomic scene in Barcelona is definitely worth exploring, so make time to visit the city’s lovely restaurants during your break.
Barcelona’s delicious cuisine cannot be simply summed up by the “tomato, garlic and olive oil” trilogy. Of course, there are the unmissable tapas, the delectable wines and the escudella i carn d’olla (local beef ragout), but a short trip to Barcelona has plenty more culinary surprises in store. Be tempted by the amazing specialities such as arròs negre (rice with cuttlefish ink), or conejo con caracoles (rabbit with snails). Exoticism guaranteed!
To give you some inspiration, Els 4 Gats is an eatery where Picasso and Salvador Dali used to meet for a catch-up, so you can experience something a little different there. There are plenty of gorgeous little places serving local dishes too, from high-end restaurants to budget cafés, so find out what’s near you. Some popular places include Foc i Oli, Petit Pau Restaurant and Napa.
Where are the best restaurants in Barcelona?
Go to the restaurants in the Barri Gòtic, Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhood. You’ll be spoilt for choice: the many average-budget tapas bars are synonymous with a cheap weekend in Barcelona. In streets that are often no more than 1.5 metres wide, you can relax in one of the many authentic wine cellars.