Insider tips: Planning a trip to Barcelona
Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He has visited Barcelona many times, and you can see his guide to spending three days in Barcelona.
What should I do on my first trip to Barcelona?
A trip to the Sagrada Familia should be at the top of the list for any visitor to Barcelona. This incredible organic cathedral is the masterpiece of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, and is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Definitely take the time to go inside and explore as well, because the inside is just as impressive as the outside!
What are some hidden gems to see in Barcelona?
The Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi, in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, is definitely worth a visit. It's a 14th century gothic church with a massive bell tower you can climb. The views from the roof across the Gothic Quarter are excellent, and from here you can really get a feel from the different epochs the city has gone through from Roman times.
How much time should I spend in Barcelona?
Two days would be the minimum amount of time to see the highlights of the city, whilst three days would let you add in a few of the hidden gems.
What food is Barcelona known for?
No trip to Barcelona would be complete without trying some tapas. These small plates features all sorts of different dishes, from patatas bravas (fried potatoes), through to squid, meatballs and lots more. Tapas can be found throughout the city, with many bars serving them as snack food as well.
What is the best way to get around Barcelona?
The majority of Barcelona can be easily explored by foot, although the city also has an excellent metro system that will get you around a little bit quicker. If you are aiming for the main tourist sights, the Hop on Hop off bus is also a good option.
What are the best months to visit Barcelona?
Barcelona can be visited most times of the year. Whilst the Mediterranean climate means the summer months are obviously hotter, the city conveniently has a lovely beach with swimming so you can cool off. However, if you want to do more sightseeing, the months of April - June are a good option. The city also hosts a number of festivals at this time of year which are worth checking out.
What is neighborhood "The Gothic Quarter" known for?
The gothic quarter is perhaps the most interesting neighbourhood to explore from a visitors point of view. The maze of winding streets is largely pedestrianised, and filled with interesting shops and tucked away churches and restaurants. Do expect to get lost though, as it's quite a maze!
What are the best neighborhoods for food?
For tucked away bars and courtyard dining, it's hard to go wrong with the Gothic Quarter, which is great for tapas and casual fare. For a quieter experience away from the tourist crowds and more of a focus on traditional Catalan cuisine, had to the Gracia neighbourhood.
What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?
The Passeig de Gracia, which leads away from the central square in the city, is well known as a good shopping destination if you're interested in luxury brands. If you're more of a market person, head for La Boqueria on Las Ramblas!
What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Barcelona?
If you'd prefer to be centrally located and within easy walking distance, or a short metro ride, from all the major attractions, then you'll want to stay in the Gothic Quarter. This part of the city is home to many of the attractions as well as plenty of dining, and it's easy to reach from the main transport hubs in the city.
What are the best beaches around Barcelona?
Barcelona has a series of incredible beaches with are popular with both locals and tourists alike. The closest, and one of the best, is definitely Barceloneta Beach, just a few minutes walk from the city.