Versatility is one of the key reasons for Barcelona’s popularity as a holiday destination. There are countless museums for art lovers, a rich history dating back to Roman times, beaches right next to the city center, numerous beautiful parks, and world-famous festivals & sports events.
The neighborhoods of Barcelona differ greatly between each other, each having its own distinctive characters. There’s a favorite pastime to be found for everyone. Some love the buzz of the lively, narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, while some prefer the spacious avenues of Eixample. Contrarily, many are looking to get away from the city center and relax at the beachfront.
Barcelona is a fantastic destination to combine a city break with a relaxing beach holiday – the choice is yours. All these factors make the city of Gaudí a top candidate for your next holiday destination!
How to get from the airport
- Airport bus, Aerobús,is the easiest way to get to the city center. The last stop is at the Catalonia Square, in front of the department store El Corte Inglés. It’s the official shuttle bus between the airport El Prat and the Catalonia Square. Different bus lines operate between different airport terminals, so choose either A1 or A2, depending on whether you go to terminal 1 or 2. The destination terminal is indicated in front of the bus (A1 for T1 and A2 for T2).
The ride takes about 35 minutes and buses run frequently, every 5 or 10 minutes. Hence, there’s never a long waiting time.
There are three other stops between the airport and the Catalonia Square, and two when going the opposite direction. The stops, tickets and more information can be found at Aerobusbcn.com. There is a luggage rack inside the bus. Local traffic cards are not valid in Aerobús.
- A cheaper option than Aerobús, is the bus line number 46, that goes from terminal 1 and 2 to Plaça Espanya. Check schedules at TMB.cat. Night buses N16 or N17 go to Catalonia Square. There aren't any luggage racks available like in Aerobús. Therefore, if you travel with plenty of luggage, a local bus might be uncomfortable.
- Trains operate from Terminal 2 only. Check schedules at Renfe.com. The train ride takes 20 minutes to the main station Sants, and 27 minutes to the city center (station: Passeig de Gracía). You can buy e.g. a T10 Travel Card at the airport ticket machine; use one trip for this, and you have nine left. T10 card for Zone 1 costs 10.20 euros (it covers the whole city center). Zone 2+ is needed for neighboring towns. Metro Map.
- Metro is also an option. It's more expensive than a normal metro ride, since a special Airport metro ticket is needed. The line L9 doesn't go to the city center, but you can change to other lines closer to the city. There are metro stations in both terminals.
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Things to do in Barcelona
There are endless possibilities for activities in Barcelona. The city is full of parks to have a picnic, or spend the day tasting Spanish delicacies on a food walk.
Sometimes you just can't be bothered to do touristic things and prefer to do the same things you do at home. Some of the cinemas show films in their original language. And how about trying an outdoor cinema?
Read more about all the tips for Things to do in Barcelona.
The city is heaven for foodies - sit down to one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants for an unforgettable dinner or enjoy a paella lunch on a sunny outside terrace. Read more about Gate98 favorite restaurants in Barcelona.
Barcelona has a vast number of different venues to exercise during your holiday. Especially during a longer holiday, you might feel the urge to do some physical training. From gym day passes to bowling, check our tips do sports in Barcelona.
Pizza in restaurant
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Hotel, 3-4 stars (April)
Hotel, 3-4 stars (July)
Find the right hotel for you from the Booking.com Hotel Map
Where to stay
Staying in the right area is a very important holiday decision. Often, you may feel frustrated for having chosen an area far from the key places of interest. Barcelona is a big city, and there are many factors to take into consideration when choosing the right spot for accommodation.
There’s a good chance you’ll find the best compromise between prices and location a bit farther away from the very center. From our where to stay section, you'll find the pros and cons of each neighborhood in central Barcelona.
Weather in Barcelona
Winter: The winter months from December to February are often rainy, and average daily high temperatures vary between 5-15°C.
Spring: From March to May, it stops raining and the sun is out often. In March, daily highs climb to 15-20°C, and in May, they hit 20°C.
Summer: From June to August, sunshine is pretty much guaranteed, and daily highs exceed 30°C.
Autumn: September is still a warm month and it’s often beach weather throughout the month. In September, the daily highs stay well above 20 °C. In mid-October, the weather cools down to below 20°C and it starts to rain more often. In November, average daily highs drop to around 10°C.