The Barcelona City Guide

Location: Barcelona, Spain

If you have been to Barcelona before then you know what an amazing city it is and if you haven't been to Barcelona before then you need to go! Anyone who visits the city falls in love. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventurous sightseeing holiday Barcelona has what you are looking for. The city has so many amazing sights to see that you will always have something fun to do. And if you came for a relaxing break the city also has a gorgeous beach and lots of pretty parks. 

The city is great to visit due to its beach location. You are able to do all kinds of city things such as shopping and sightseeing and relax at the end of the day at the beach. The city's location also makes it great whether you are visiting in the summer for the beach or during another season for the city. 
Getting to Barcelona . . . 

Getting to Barcelona from London is super easy. Every London airport has flights to Barcelona and with a flight time of only 1 hour 55 minutes it is quick and easy to get to. You will be able to find dates and times to suite your needs due to the vast number of flights to Barcelona. 

When booking your flight however make sure you check which airport you are flying into. Although Barcelona only has the one Barcelona Prat airport there are flights which fly into two airports outside of the city. The Girona and Reus airports are approximately 120km from Barcelona and take around an hour to get into the city. However London do have flights to these airports so when you search for flights to Barcelona make sure you check where you are flying into. 

You can find flights to Barcelona: here
Where to stay . . . 

I think where you stay in Barcelona depends on what you are planning to do in the city and how long you are here for. If you are not spending much time in the city and want to see a few things then it would be recommended by find accommodation near your sights of interest. Although the transport around Barcelona is good it can still take some time to get to certain places due to how busy it gets. 

The city is made up of different areas. Finding the right area for you is key to having the best stay. You have . . . 

Ciutat Vella: This is the area right in the middle of the city. Due to being the oldest part of the city you will find some of the oldest and most interesting architecture. Although Ciutat Vella is an area in itself it is made up of four neighbourhoods: La Barceloneta, El Gothic, El Ravel and Sant Pere. Out of these the most well known neighbourhood is the El Gothic which is famous for its little streets which are only accessible on foot and quirky buildings with little shops in. Here you will find everything you will possibly need from clothes shops, to ice cream parlours to restaurants for dinner. 

Eixample: This is above the Ciutat Vella area located within the middle of the city. This area is home to famous architectural buildings such as: Casa Battlo, Casa Mila and Sagrada Familia. Walking from the Ciutat Vella area you will notice little difference in the buildings appearance. However you will notice that the majority of the streets are wider with access for cars and the area is a lot busier to walk around.

Sant Montjuic: Although this may be one of the biggest districts within the city it can often be the least visited by tourists due to its outskirts location. However its location can also be perfect if you would prefer to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city but still be in walking distance from the beach and the centre. Within the Sants Montjuic district you will find the Font Montjuic Fountain which puts on a breathtaking music and light show at night and the Teleferic De Montjuic cable car which is a 750 metre long cable car which takes you to the top of Montjuic mountain to admire views across the city and out to sea.
Les Corts: This district is located on the outskirts of the city inland. The district is approximately a 15 minute metro journey from the city centre. This district is well known as the financial business district which is home to many restaurants and hotels. You will be sure to find a hotel you will love within the district if you don't mind being located away from the centres hustle and bustle. 

Sarria Sant Gervasi: This is the largest district of them all within Barcelona. Located north west of the city it is mainly residential due to its outskirt laid back location. You will find that the area is rather hilly due to its surrounding location of the city centre. Due to its location and residential majority the area is perfect if you are a returning tourist to the city and are looking for an authentic and peaceful visit. If you want the real Barcelona experience then you need to go where the residents are to get a feel for the place. 

Gracia: Like many of the other districts within Barcelona the area is home to many architectural buildings and monuments such as: the clock tower in Placa de la Vila, Gaudis Casa Vicens and on the outskirts Park Guell. You will notice when in the area that it is home to many artists among the small community. Within the area you will find the most foreign restaurants within Barcelona. This may be the perfect area for you to stay if you are looking for a quirky area full of sights to explore during the day and trendy terrace cafes to eat and drink at night. It may also be the perfect location - walking distance from the centre yet still far enough out of the hustle and bustle of the tourist hot spots. 

Horta Guinardo: This is one of the least known districts within the area due to its north east location which is on the outskirts of the city. The area is mainly residential with a quiet, suburban vibe. Surrounded by hills and mountains the area is home to some natural attractions and pretty scenery. Although the district is appealing to visit due to its laid back and stunning location it can be hard to get to due to the metro stopping before you reach the district. You can however get a free bus which will take you to the university which is located at the top of one of the hills within the district.  

Nou Barris: Located north of the city the area is known for its many green spaces: Parc de la Guineueta, Parc del Turo de la Peira and Parc Central de Nou Barris. Although located outside of the centre the area is perfect for a day of shopping with breathtaking views across the city from certain areas within the district. 
Getting around . . . 

With so many sights to see in the city and them each being rather spread around making sure you see everything during your trip can depend on the transport you use to get to every destination. Being a city the roads can get rather busy and it can take a while to get anywhere. However you can make traveling to each destination more exciting by choosing the best kind of transport. We found that by traveling to the destinations in a variety of interesting types of transport we was able to see more sights along the way!

Teleferic Cable Car: This may only be a helpful transport option if you would like to reach the  top of Montjuic Mountain to see the castle and the views. Other than being a mode of transport the cable car is more like an experience to see the city from above. Located in the Sant Montjuic area the cable car is perfect to explore the area which is home to the Olympic stadiums. With three stations to hop onto the cable car you are able to walk some of the mountain before hopping on the cable car. 

You can learn more about the cable car and where you purchase your tickets: here

Barcelona Bus Turistic: Previously discussed in our How to get around on a Barcelona tourist bus post the bus was our main mode of transport when exploring the city. Taking us to all of the sights that we wanted to see within the city the bus was perfect to sightsee on the way. Due to the height of the bus we was able to see sights and buildings which we would not notice from ground level. 

You can read about how we got around the city using the tourist bus: here

Metro: Although we only used the metro as transport to and from the airport the metro does have lines all across the city which makes it perfect to get to where you want to go. And with the purchase of multi journey tickets you are able to travel for a reasonable price. However the metro lines can be a little confusing as they run all over the city in all kinds of directions. As long as you know where you are heading and the lines which you will need to get to your destination then the metro should be quick and easy. The only let down with this type of transport is the lack of views out of the windows. 
Sights to see . . . 

Barcelona is home to many breathtaking buildings and sights to explore. Whether you are traveling to the city for a relaxing break; a sightseeing visit or a foodie visit the city has everything you will need. Being such a large city the sights to see are endless, even if you are staying in the city for a while. Therefor you want to see the best sights if you can not see them all during the one trip.  

Sagrada Familia: Probably the most famous building within the city, the church which is located within the centre is a must see sight to visit. Whether you are planning to purchase tickets to go inside the church or just want to visit the church to admire the architecture from the outside. Although the church is still currently under construction it is still breath-taking. If you are planning to purchase tickets to go inside though make sure you pre-book your tickets as the church is a big tourist attraction which sells out rather fast.

You can pre-book tickets to go inside Sagrada Familia: here

Font Montjuic Fountain: This may be one of the prettiest sights to see within the city. Among many stunning buildings the fountain can be a peaceful sight to visit and relax. Although during the evening the fountain can get very crowded with people gathering to see the light and music show which starts at 9pm most nights.

You can read more about the fountains: here
We would love to know what other sights you explored while in Barcelona? What would you recommend we do next time we visit?

You can see our other Barcelona posts here:

Love Chloe and Megan 

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