Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.14 €

GBP | EUR

Gasoline £1.06 | 1.21 €

One-way ticket £1.89 | 2.15 €

Beer £2.20 | 2.50 €

Main Course £9.22 | 10.50 €

About Barcelona

Barcelona is a lively, cosmopolitan and free-spirited city, full of iconic and obscure art, buzzy late-night bars plus a Mediterranean beachfront location.

Psychedelic brickwork, rainbow tiled salamanders and geometric curiosities may sound like the aftermath of a heavy night out, but we're actually talking about things you'll find in Barcelona. This Mediterranean city is full of Anton Gaudí's modernist architecture, a thriving Gothic quarter and some of the tastiest tapas in Spain. And even though you're unlikely to encounter real-life multi-coloured reptiles, the nights out are nevertheless legendary.

This cosmopolitan hub is as lively as it is free-spirited and its energetic young population of one and a half million gives it a bright, buzzy vibe. From the eclectic Ravel area to swanky Port Olímpic, the city has many different sides and it attracted nearly six million visitors in 2014. Art is everywhere; from the imposing and surreal UNESCO listed Sagrada Família to the Picasso and Modernist Museums which contain world-class collections. Add vibrant Las Ramblas (perfect for shoppers), bizarre yet serene Park Güell and the multiple city beaches, Barcelona ticks all the right (rainbow-hued) boxes.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

May or June - you'll get plenty of sunshine without the oppressive heat.

Barcelona sits beside the Mediterranean Sea and enjoys a warm climate with hot summers and mild winters. The coldest month is January (with an average of 10 degrees Celsius) while the warmest is August (with an average of 24 degrees Celsius). Summers can be very hot, although the city's proximity to the coastline makes this time of year very appealing. Most rain falls in October.

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Travioor top tips

Free Entry
Art
Travel

Insider Info

  • Between 3pm and 8pm on Sundays, many museums are free, including the Picasso Museum.

  • Book ahead if you plan to visit the Gaudí sights; you'll skip the queue and tickets often sell out on the day.

  • Buy a T10 metro card which allows you ten metro journeys and works out cheaper than single tickets.

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Food and drink

Main Course £9.22 | 10.50 €

3-Course Meal £35.13 | 40.00 €

Cappuccino £1.50 | 1.70 €

Beer £2.20 | 2.50 €

The Scene

Food in Barcelona is as much about socialising as it is about eating. Because of its coastal location, fresh fish is widely available and tasting seafood paella is practically a rite of passage into Barcelona life. Catalan food has its own flavours and staples; expect plenty of aromatic herbs, locally bred meat and ripe fruits and vegetables. One of the best places for foodies is the Old Town - head to the Gothic quarter and the southern part of La Ribera for authentic tapas and Catalan eateries. In Ravel and Eixample, you'll find a more international mix, with African, Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants. Finally, La Boqueria Market is one of the best places in Europe to buy take-away street food and experience the real sights and flavours of Spanish cuisine.

Barcelona's reputation as a party city is lived up to with its countless bars and clubs - many places have happy hours in the early evening, where you can nibble on tapas and enjoy discounted aperitivos and cervesa (beer). Many clubs - and most restaurants - don't get going until late; one of our favourite activities is sipping an ice cold sangria at one of the bars along Carrer d'Ataülf at midnight (there's often live music too).

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History

Barcelona’s Story

There are several legends about the origins of Barcelona, including that it was founded by Hercules, who (while sailing in a fleet of nine ships) became shipwrecked and named the area Barca Nona (Ninth Ship). Whatever the origins, in the first century it was settled by the Romans under the name of Barcino and the subsequent centuries saw an influx of Germanic Goths, Jews and Muslims. In the 15th century, when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille married, Barcelona was the main city of Catalonia, one of Spain's many kingdoms. After the marriage, the kingdoms united, forming the modern basis of the country today.

The 18th century saw the city develop into a bustling Mediterranean port as industry grew throughout Catalonia. The city was heavily bombed pre and during World War II - including on the orders of Spain's General Franco, in retribution for Catalonia's largely Republican, anti-monarchy stance. After the war, under Franco's rule, Catalan language and autonomous institutions were supressed and abolished. When democracy swept through Spain in 1975, several protests were held in Barcelona to reinstate Catalan autonomy - it was granted in 1977.

Language

Hola | Hello
Gràcies | Thank you

Catalan

Barcelona (and the whole of Catalonia) has two official languages, Catalan and Spanish. Both are used in schools and the workplace, although Catalan is the dominant language. Catalans are likely to understand both, although you may meet with more resistance if you try to just use Spanish. If you're looking to impress the locals then give Catalan a go:

  • Please: Per favor
  • Excuse me: Disculpa'm
  • Do you speak English: Parles anglès
  • I'm learning to speak Catalan: Estic aprenent a parlar català

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Need to know

+34 Dialling Code
112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • The city has a problem with pickpockets who operate throughout the city, especially on Las Ramblas; keep your belongings close.
  • Barcelona does have bike rental, but is more suited to walking or taking the metro.
  • Walking from the city to Barceloneta (the main beach) takes about 25 minutes. Hop on the metro (yellow line) if you're feeling lazy.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Spain here.

 

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Travioor Recommends

1. Sagrada Familia

Climb the spires of the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí's magnificently other-wordly basilica. Begun in 1882, it is still being constructed today.

2. La Boqueria

Buy lunch at La Boqueria Market. One of Europe's largest, it serves everything from Spanish omelettes and charcuterie to fresh juices and handmade sweets.

3. Park Güell

Head to magical Park Güell for city views, bold Alice-in-Wonderland style art and mosaic fountains.

4. Gothic quarter

Get your drink on with a bar hop through the Gothic quarter, one of the city's liveliest nightspots.

5. Museums

Explore the art collections at the Picasso Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA).


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