Barcelona is a city where culture is everywhere. Attachment to traditions, preserved for centuries, goes hand in hand with a desire to be at the forefront of the contemporary world. The Catalan capital is the ideal destination for your holidays, shared between culture and festivities. Our travel guide will help you get ready to visit Barcelona!
Barcelona, between traditions and avant-gardeArc de Triomphe
During your stay in Barcelona, you will perceive this duality in the geographical location of the city, between sea and mountains. Then, by visiting the architectural buildings of the capital of Catalonia, you will see how Gaudi's avant-garde works rub shoulders with Gothic monuments from the Middle Ages. The different eras that have made the history of the city mingle without being shy. This mix between past and future is part of Catalan culture.
Read also : History and Culture of Barcelona: all you need to know before your trip
Barcelona knew how to protect itself from the danger of the museumification of its city center. It is otherwise remarkable and filled with first-rate cultural amenities, such as the Picasso museum. Thus, it is above all a very important economic and cultural capital in Spain and in Europe. It teems with life, its dynamism invites you to get down to your own pace, between a frenzied night out (especially on weekends) and peaceful lunch on the terrace of a tapas bar.
When you travel to Barcelona and want to make the most of it, you don't sleep much. The rhythm of the city is thus made we go to bed late and get up early. The period between noon and 16 p.m. will be there to allow you a break. You will fully enjoy it by going to one of the city's large public parks or to the beach!
When to visit Barcelona?
Barcelona enjoys the sweetness of the Mediterranean climate. As such, the sun shines there eight months out of twelve and allows everyone to choose the period best suited to their holidays to enjoy its charms. From spring until early summer, prices are still affordable and the crowd is not yet omnipresent. Several important cultural events such as the Feria de Abril de Catalunya allow you to immerse yourself in the local fervor, witnesses of a strong and dynamic identity.
PRACTICAL TIPS : compare the climate in Barcelona and find the best time to go.
In the heart of summer, prices go up and so do attendance. However, there is no better season to visit Barcelona and enjoy its beaches of character. Barceloneta, Mar Bella and Nova Icaria, the choice is yours among the various spots in the city! It is also quite possible to stroll through the Catalan capital at the height of winter. Its mild and temperate climate will be perfect for an invigorating city-break during the gloomy season.
What budget should you plan for a stay in the Catalan capital?Barcelona
In this city so attractive to tourists from all over the world, hotel prices are as disparate as visitor profiles. The basic accommodation offered by the many youth hostels has rock-bottom prices, around 10 or 15 euros per night in a dormitory. The most demanding will be able to satisfy their ambitions with some of the most expensive palaces in Europe, but the whole range of intermediate prices is also available.
The food is relatively inexpensive, as are the restaurants. For 10 euros, you will eat in a small tapas bar while the mid-range establishments offer menus for two to 40 euros. Transport is a little more expensive. Count 2,20 euros for a metro ticket and 15 euros for an average taxi fare. For the festive aspect, Barcelona is on the other hand known for its lavishness and beers, alcohol or cigarettes are negotiated at very low prices!
How to reach Barcelona from France?
Low-cost airlines have made a major contribution to making certain European cities real hubs for short tourist stays. Barcelona was one of the first of them. Prat airport, located about fifteen kilometers from the city center, receives many visitors every year. They benefit from the exceptional rates offered by travel agencies and their acolytes, the low-cost companies. On average, a return trip from Paris costs 80 euros but can sometimes go down to 30 euros!
If the plane is the cheapest way but also the fastest, nothing prevents you from reaching Barcelona by train. All the same, plan 6h30 (compared to 1h30 by plane) from Paris and a larger budget since it will cost you on average 150 euros. Some prefer to use their car, especially if Barcelona is just a stopover in their journey. Watch out for traffic in the city, which can be very tiring, especially in high season.
How to move easily in the city?Montjuic
A visit without hindrance
Barcelona is a city that can be discovered without hindrance as it is so convenient to move around. If the city center only requires our legs to get around, there are a number of remarkable sites scattered throughout the city. For this, public transport is perfectly suited. To get around Barcelona, public transport and other alternative modes of circulation are numerous.
You can buy a card valid for an unlimited number of trips on public transport in Barcelona and its inner suburbs: it is la Barcelona Card. This card also gives free access to many museums and cultural spaces. Hola BCN metro maps allow unlimited travel on the metro, train and city buses. Several packages are offered depending on the number of days. Finally, be aware that children under 3 travel for free on all Barcelona transport.
To date, Barcelona has 12 metro lines and 198 stations. It is enough easy to find your way in the metro because each line is a different color. Remember to get Hello BCN if you plan to travel by metro regularly during your stay.
Barcelona has many lines serving all parts of the city. Know that all buses are accessible to people with reduced mobility. In general, buses run from 6 a.m. to 22 p.m. in Barcelona. There is also a night bus service, which start from Plaza Catalunya.
The tram network provides rapid access to the main industrial districts, shopping centers and residential districts. It exists 6 tram lines in Barcelona, which cross the city center. Note that its network is not as extensive as the metro!
Barcelona has many taxis easily spotted thanks to their yellow and black colors. When free, taxis display a green indicator light. Although it is the most expensive means of transport in Barcelona, the fare is nevertheless cheaper than in other major European cities.
The bicycle is an original mode of transport to discover the city. Barcelona has fitted out well-equipped cycle paths and set up a self-service bicycle system Vélib style: and Bicing. We quickly notice these bikes, thanks to their red color.
The funicular (or cable car) is an unusual means of transport in Barcelona. This is the best way to get to Montjuic a day of full sun. It will allow you to enjoy a panoramic view of beautiful Barcelona! To take it, all you need is a simple metro ticket.
Gastronomy with Barcelona sauceBoqueria market
In terms of gastronomy, Catalan cuisine will delight you, and a detour through the covered market of La Boqueria is more than recommended. You will find all kinds of stalls there: fresh fruits and vegetables, cold meats, etc. If you are there at 14 p.m., you will see that the atmosphere is in full swing. You can also eat on site in the many snacks and restaurants in the surrounding area.
Read also : 5 restaurants with the best value for money in Barcelona
Moreover, visiting Barcelona without tasting his famous tapas would be a big mistake. In Catalonia, the charcuterie tapas (embotits) are the most famous. But you will also find anchovies, fried calamari or cheese fritters. Something to delight your taste buds! During your stay, also try the paella, black rice or fish stew.
Sweet side, test the Gypsy Arm. It is a rolled cake stuffed with pastry cream. A real Catalan specialty, which will appeal to young and old alike.
Which neighborhood to choose to sleep in in Barcelona?
To visit Barcelona, several days are necessary as the city is teeming with activities of all kinds and monuments to contemplate. The choice of accommodation is very important depending on the nature of your stay and the different aspects of the city you want to explore. For those who like sunbathing and swimming, Poblenou is the district that goes up. Completely renovated and now pedestrianized, it is located a stone's throw from the seaside and is being transformed under the impetus of the high-tech industries that have made it their home.
Lovers of nightlife and warm atmospheres will prefer the central districts. The Gothic Quarter (or barrio gótico in Spanish) is one of the most beautiful in the city, but also the most touristic. Raval is the meeting point for artists and culture while El Born is more focused on shopping. These three extremely lively neighborhoods are not always suitable for those who want to rest.
For those, we recommend the district of Gracia (discover this district in video). Both calm and authentic, this remote district is perfect for discover the real Barcelona lifestyle. If you want to be a little closer to the center without suffering from noise and crowds, Eixample, another authentic district, can be a good compromise to visit Barcelona in peace.
The various monuments and museums of the citySagrada Familia
Barcelona is known to be the favorite playground of some of the most famous architects. As such, the city benefits from the brilliance of many monuments among which it would be difficult to forget the Holy Family. Designed by master Gaudi, this church alone reflects the soul of Barcelona. Do not miss it! Catalan modernism is also one of the symbols of the city. Through places like Parc Güell, the hospital Sant Pau or the Palace of Music, you will have many opportunities to marvel at these monuments, witnesses of the preeminence of architectural art in Barcelona.
[VIDEO] See also : Discover Sant Pau Hospital in Video
In the historic center of Barcelona, the famous Gothic Quarter, you will find many buildings whose structure itself is worth a look. But do not miss also some museums containing treasures, such as the Picasso Museum. On the hill of Montjuic, you will enjoy an exceptional panorama, especially from the Art Museum of Catalonia which presents the most complete collection of Romanesque art in the world. And what about the Joan Miró Foundation, which combines the works of the painter with a particular architecture, designed to highlight the treasures it contains.
Read also : What to see and do in Barcelona? The unavoidable
Walks and activities to do in BarcelonaBarcelona beaches
Visiting Barcelona thoroughly is above all accepting to lose yourself in its meanders ... whether with family, alone or with friends. From the contemplative stroll on the Ramblas to the visit of the new district of Eixample, passing by the obligatory immersion in the medieval history of the city within the Barri Gòtic, the walk is a necessary step to grasp all the complexity of Barcelona which is not limited to its pronounced taste for the party and its pleasures. Open to the sea, punctuated by green and relaxing parks, the city knows how to calm down when the hot weather assails it and guides the walker towards a languor conducive to total relaxation.
However, The city is nonetheless dynamic in nature and offers all kinds of activities to those who wish to visit Barcelona with a bang. The many guides offer tours on foot, by bike, by boat or even in a hot air balloon! You will also benefit from the footballing fervor by visiting the famous Camp Nou. You will learn about Catalan cuisine with the many courses offered by renowned chefs! Let yourself be hypnotized by the flamenco dancers to the muffled and melancholy rhythm of their creations ...
Practical information to know before your stayView of Barcelona
To prepare your trip to Barcelona with confidence, these few practical information will be of great use to you:
- Papers: For Europeans, a valid identity card is sufficient to visit Barcelona.
- health: Remember to take your European social security card with you.
- Barcelona Tourist Office: The main Barcelona Tourist Office is located right in the city center. You can find out about the visits to be made as well as the hotels and pensions in the city. This is where you can also buy tickets for shows that take place in Barcelona. There is also a souvenir shop.
- Barcelona Card : This card allows you to use public transport free of charge and to benefit from reductions or free admission to museums, cultural spaces, theaters, leisure areas, nightclubs, shops, restaurants, etc. Several options are available. offered depending on the length of your stay. You will be provided with a printed guide with tourist information by neighborhood, a general map of the city and a metro map.
- Important holidays: The Three Kings are celebrated on January 5 and 6. They are the ones who bring the toys to the children in Spain. The atmosphere is therefore to live, especially with family! Holy week, at Easter, is also a highlight of the Catalan city. In August, a colorful festival takes place in the district of Gracià: La Festa Major. At the end of September, it is the La Mercè festival that you should not miss! You will discover the Castellers, these famous impressive human towers.
Live the Catalan culture!
Have you ever taken a trip to Barcelona? Share your tips in the comments!