Barcelona is a city as diverse as Freddie Mercury’s hit of the same name. It only takes a moment spent there for it to stay in your memories for a long time. Few European cities can offer this. Barcelona is a great choice for both families with children and solo travellers, students on a tight budget and lovers of luxury. Everyone will find there what they’ve been looking for. Beautiful beaches, breathtaking sights, cultural activities, markets with exotic fruits, tapas with excellent wine, warm weather, and a catchy Spanish atmosphere. The beloved city of the genius architect Antoni Gaudí enchants everyone. The Catalan metropolis is simply the perfect destination for a Euro weekend, a sightseeing trip, or a longer holiday retreat.
Things to See and Do:
- Admire exceptional buildings. Barcelona’s second name is Gaudí, a Catalan architect with incredible talent, imagination, and technical skill, who dedicated a large part of his life to buildings in this city, giving it a completely new look.
- Enjoy the sun and the beach as it is sometimes necessary just to relax.
- Taste local specialties, various exotic fruits, tapas, and excellent wines. You can also buy Spanish delicacies at favourable prices at a local marketplace or in a supermarket.
- Wander through the streets of the old quarter, admire street artists and buy trinkets in small shops or, on the contrary, go to the city centre’s famous shopping boulevard La Rambla, which is vibrant at any time of the day or night.
- Practice your Spanish in one of the local cafés with very friendly natives.
- Visit galleries and museums, go to the opera or a football game.
- Go out into the surrounding nature.
There’s a lot to choose from, and the only thing that’s certain is that there won’t be enough time.
The dominant feature of Barcelona is the Sagrada Família cathedral, an incredible work by Antoni Gaudí. Although he devoted the last 40 years of his life to its construction, it remained unfinished. At his request, the building is financed by donations only. Even if you choose just to relax on your holiday, it is still worth taking an evening walk to admire the details of the beautifully lit cathedral. Just be careful not to end up like its creator. It is believed that he was hit by a passing tram while looking at his monumental work in the early evening light. Gaudí was subsequently taken to a hospital for the poor because of his neglected appearance, which was the result of absolute devotion to work. Before his friends could find him, he succumbed to his injuries.
Gaudí’s unusual houses of Casa Milí (La Pedrera) and Casa Batllé, where he also skilfully designed the interior features, furniture, and overall functionality of the living space, are also definitely worth a visit.
If travelling with children, it is better to visit another example of Gaudí’s exceptional work, Park Güell, which offers a beautiful view of the city and a break from the busy surroundings. Even there, however, the creator’s signature is clearly visible, working with mosaics, arches, and colours, while drawing on inspiration from nature. The fairy-tale buildings right at the entrance are stunning, and the park is rightfully included in the list of UNESCO cultural heritage sites. You will also find the Gaudí Museum there. If you want to enjoy this part of the park without people, it’s a good idea to go there before eight o’clock in the morning.
Another option for families with children is to visit the ComoCaixa Science Museum, with completely free admission for children, and a rather symbolic entrance fee for everyone else. All visitors are sure to enjoy themselves there. Everything is interactive, and you can learn in a fun way a lot of interesting facts about the creation of the world, physical phenomena, and nature. The museum won an opinion poll as the most popular museum in the city. You can easily spend the whole day here.
An unforgettable experience is offered by the magical fountain – Font Màgica. During the season, starting almost every evening after sunset, there is a performance of various musical genres accompanied by coordinated lighting. The program is announced in advance. The show is free and very popular, so go early to secure seats with a good view. At the same time in the evening, street vendors and some artists move to the area.
However, this is only a very small selection of the choices. Barcelona offers much more. Don’t forget to visit the oldest part of the city, the Barri Götic district, walk through La Boqueria market, La Rambla boulevard, or just wander wherever your feet take you. You might discover a gem that you won’t find in regular guides.
Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital, has a mild climate throughout the year. For the average tourist, the period from April to November is considered the best. However, it really depends on what your plans are. Even in winter, the weather is very pleasant, and if you can do without sunbathing on the beach, you’ll be rewarded with a city almost without tourists, where you will still be able to enjoy plenty of sunshine. Did you skip your summer holiday and now you can finally relax? Buy a ticket and go to Barcelona. Here, you can really enjoy any part of the year.
As Spain is quite away from our end of the globe, the most convenient way of transportation is by air. Air connections from Prague to Barcelona are provided by several airlines several times a day throughout the year. You can often come across very cheap flights to Barcelona.
Aeropuerto El Prat is about 20 kilometres from the city centre and is well connected by public transport. The journey from the airport takes approximately 30-40 minutes by both public transport and by car.
Train – the train station is located at Terminal 2 and the train to the centre leaves every 30 minutes. The journey to the centre takes approximately 35 minutes.
Bus – a very convenient mode of transport is offered by the special Aerobus bus, which stops at both terminals and departs every five minutes during the day. By bus, you will reach the centre in 45 minutes.
Metro – since 2016, the airport has also been connected to the metro system. Line L9 Sud has intervals of several minutes and gets you to the city centre in 20 minutes.
City Transport – Metro
Barcelona is not exactly a small city, and some sights are quite far from each other. However, there is a well-functioning public transport network with metro being the most popular. It runs throughout the city. It is very easy and clear and ensures fast transportation. Entrances to the subway are marked with a red sign with the letter M. You can buy a single ticket or a ten-ride card. A special ticket is required to travel to the airport as it is outside the main zone and thus outside the main part of the city. You can easily download a map of Barcelona and the metro online.
It is necessary to use the train connection to the peripheral parts of the city.
Barcelona is a city ready for tourists. It offers a wide range of accommodation options from luxury hotels to cheaper hostels and guesthouses. Of course, the popular Booking.com and Airbnb.com networks work there. However, accommodation in Barcelona is not cheap and it is good to book it well in advance. The most attractive locations are around the beaches and in the centre, and the price, naturally, reflects that. For less demanding visitors, accommodation a little off the beaten track, but definitely with good public transport connections, can work very well. In this case, it is necessary to take into an account transport costs.