Know what to do when you touch down
There’s only one airport in Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat Aeropuerto. If saying that name isn’t a handful, navigating your way out of Spain’s second-biggest airport might be! Whether you’re flying in from abroad or you’re popping by your European neighbor on a quick trip, don’t worry about dragging your luggage around. Head to the ground floor lobby (it’s open 24/7) and store your bags for a small fee. From there, you can make your way to the city by train, bus, taxi, or private transfer.
Travelers with 3 hours or less can…
Swing by the Sagrada Familia
If you’re tight on time and want to see one thing in Barcelona, these experiences will give you a taste of the city in record time. Architecture fans can’t miss a 90-minute guided tour of the Sagrada Familia. You won’t just skip the lines with fast-track entry, you’ll also learn about the otherworldly basilica’s history. By the time you’re headed back to the airport, you’ll know all about the king of Catalan Modernism, Antoni Gaudí.
Whip up some paella
If you’re hungry for culture and only have 2.5 hours, paella is the name of the game. That’s right — this cooking course will have you whipping up the traditional dish with a local chef. Pick up some fresh ingredients at the world-famous Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria. Then, watch the chef cook your meal as you sip sangria. Not too shabby for a layover, huh?
Take a tour of Casa Batllo with a virtual guide
If you only have an hour, head to Casa Batllo. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is open daily from 9 AM to 8 PM and showcases some of Gaudí’s best work. Travelers strapped for time won’t feel rushed, as this tour’s virtual guide lets you see things at your own pace. Full of with colorful ceramics and glistening light, Casa Batllo is sure to keep adults and kids in awe (and provide you with the perfect Insta post).
Travelers with a free morning can…
Head for the hills at Montserrat
Go on a half-day tour of beautiful Montserrat. This 6-hour excursion to Catalonia’s most famous mountain range will clear your mind and fill your lungs before you hop onto a plane again. Once there, you’ll have 3 hours to explore, shop, lunch and take in the silhouette of Montserrat.
Paddle along Costa Brava
Feeling a little more adventurous? A half-day kayak tour may be the best way to experience the stunning landscapes of Costa Brava. This thrilling 6-hour tour includes snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. A perfect option to really enjoy a hot, sunny day in Spain (and wash the plane smell away).
Travelers with a free evening can…
Cruise along the coast
Leave the land behind and drift gently into the sunset on this sunset cruise. Hop off your plane and aboard a traditional wooden boat to get Barcelona vibes without lifting a finger (really). Between clinking cocktails with your fellow travelers and munching on tapas, you’ll have plenty of time to unwind and — of course — take some gorgeous pics.
Zip through the city
If you’d rather pack a little action into your evening layover, try zipping around the city on a nighttime Segway tour. This tour will take you around some of the city’s most iconic spots, starting at Barceloneta Beach.