Spain is one of the top destinations for British tourists heading overseas, and for those who are seeking a break in the city, there are few options to match Barcelona.
The capital of Catalonia is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe and has so many things to see and do that you won’t know where to start.
It’s also a city that can be visited throughout the year thanks to a Mediterranean climate that means temperatures are comfortable throughout the year.
Visit in the height of summer and the warm temperatures are ideal for spending some time on the nearby beaches, whilst in winter, you’ll not need to be concerned with packing your thermals before heading for the airport.
Barcelona is a fantastic destination for those who have a love of culture and arts. There are museums that cover a range of different themes, whilst stunning architecture can be found at every turn – with a large gothic quarter and the inspiring works of Gaudi simply begging to be explored.
Take a stroll through the cobbled streets and you’ll find plenty of options for sampling the best in Catalan hospitality in the various bars and restaurants, whilst anyone who wants to indulge in some shopping will be left spoiled for choice – with high end stores and smaller boutiques aplenty.
With bustling nightlife, family friendly amusement parks and top class sporting attractions, it isn’t hard to see why Barcelona is such a universally popular place to visit on a city break.
The Sagrada Familia is one of the most iconic buildings in Europe and sits in the heart of Barcelona. The work of famous architect Antoni Gaudi, the building is known for its unique gothic design and has yet to be completed despite work beginning back in the 1880s. In fact, it isn’t expected to be finished until at least 2026; some 100 years after Gaudi’s death. Visit early or book in advance to beat the queues.
For anyone with an interest in football, then a trip to Camp Nou – the home of Barcelona FC – is a must. On days when there are no matches or events scheduled, visitors can enjoy a full tour of the stadium, including the chance to take a walk down the tunnel and take seat in the first team dugout. There is also a museum that tells the story of the club and which houses the many trophies that have been won.
Another must see attraction for lovers of the work of Gaudi, Park Güell is a popular garden within the city that is packed with sculptures and architecture that were designed by the famous Catalan artist. The Gaudi House Museum is located within the park.
Montjuïc is a wooded hill that overlooks the harbour area of Barcelona and which offers the chance to take in impressive views of the city below. A cable car operates to the summit whilst the surrounding park is home to the stadium that hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic Games.
Tibidabo is a mountain that overlooks Barcelona and which is easily accessible by cable car from the city. As well as rewarding visitors with some of the best views imaginable, Tibidabo is home to the impressive Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor – or Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – as well as a family friendly amusement park featuring a selection of rides.
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Lovers of the arts will love the chance to visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia, which sits on the fringes of Montjuïc hill and houses works from the likes of Gaudi and Picasso. In front of the museum you’ll find the famous Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, where a special light and music show takes place throughout the week.
A great place for newcomers to Barcelona to head, Las Ramblas runs through the heart of the city and is home to plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants as well as a selection of shops.
The Gothic Quarter is home to some of the most impressive buildings in Barcelona but is also a good place to explore some of the best cuisine in the city. Head through the narrow maze of streets to find hidden treasures serving all manner of tapas and paella, alongside more modern bars where you can sip a cocktail or relax with a beer.
Located in Port Vell, a waterfront district of the city, the Barcelona Aquarium is a popular family attraction that is home to more than 11,000 different animals. One of the most exciting activities available is the chance to take to a cage and go diving alongside sharks, whilst there is a tunnel that heads through the shark tank for those who are happy to view from a distance.
Hit the Beach
Not many people consider the beaches when heading for Barcelona but during the summer months there is plenty of appeal to spending some time relaxing on golden sand. Barceloneta Beach is one of the most popular areas to head given how close it is to the city and is the place where many tourists will head if they want to spend some time away from the main city attractions.
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