There are many reasons to visit Barcelona - the architecture, bars and clubs tucked away in the historic old town, the shops on the busy Las Ramblas, the spectacular if somewhat bizarre architecture of Gaudi, the beaches (Barcelona has beaches which are walkable from the city centre), Barcelona FC, and that's just for starters.
Barcelona is the fourth most visited city in Europe, a good benchmark of its popularity as a tourist destination. Quirky buildings, centuries old churches and cathedrals and seven beautiful beaches are all the trademarks of this very vibrant city. It has something for everyone and it captivates and charms all those who spend some time here.
The avenues of central Barcelona never seem to sleep. They are throbbing with small and large shops, with eating places and with tourists and residents. Las Rambles is a haven of activity all through the day and through most of the night, and there are street performers at every corner.
The Musical fountain at Placa d'Espanya is a spectacular combination of music, lasers, light and water. Every session lasts for 30 minutes, the light shows are spectacular - check timings as it is easy to miss the show.
Parc Guell - designed by Gaudi and home to a number of his renowned statues and buildings, Parc Guell is a must for visitors to Barcelona.
If you are considering trying to catch a Barcelona FC game at the Nou Camp, many games tend to sell-out so you may be better to book tickets in advance. There are often large queues om match-day.
Flamenco dancers at a tablao. They are graceful and beautiful and they give you a glimpse into a centuries old tradition of Spain.
Must take a tour:
The hop-on, hop-off buses offer you excellent tours revealing the cities stunning architecture. You can choose a tour which focuses on the Gaudi buildings, or you can choose a more general tour visiting some of the most famous historic buildings.
When to go:
Barcelona is located on the Costa Brava, and has a warm Mediterranean climate. The best months to avoid are mid-June to August when the heat is intense.
During spring and autumn the rainfall can be quite high and there are occasional thunderstorms, but generally the days are sunny and warm. Winters are typically sunny with temperatures ranging from around 10-16 degrees maximum which is perfect for site-seeing.
How to get there:
Barcelona El Prat airport is the major airport, located a few kilometres to the south of the city. The airport is connected via the Metro to the city centre. Girona Airport is located around 1 hours drive to the north of Barcelona, but often has cheaper flights than El Prat. Ryanair fly from Girona to many destinations in the UK.
You can also enter Barcelona by road or by rail, as there are good connecting trains with many stations in Europe, and the inter-nation roads are also good. Many ships also use the Barcelona port, and it is a major cruise ship destination.