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Barcelona Travel Essentials


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"Paris of Spain"

Barcelona Tourism

Located in north-eastern Spain, Barcelona is the country's second largest city. It is also the capital and the largest city of Catalonia. It is situated along the Mediterranean coast and its towering mountains bless the city with perfect backdrop. The city is filled with galleries, museums, medieval monuments and many other special attractions. It is also a major commercial and industrial centre. Its long sandy beaches and lush green parks attract tourists from all over the world. The city is specifically popular for its architectural marvels from architect Antoni Gaudi, its food and irresisitable nightlife.

Barcelona has everything a European city is famous for markets, restaurants, museums, churches, and shops. The town center provides life and enjoyment, whereas the beaches near the city allow complete relaxation. It is a gateway to a few of the best tourist spots in the entire world, like Costa Brava, Tarragona, and Costa Dorada. Barcelona is also the chocolate-producing centre for Spain.

Some of the best activities besides sightseeing in Barcelona are  hiking, cycling, and water activities. However, wandering around the city to soak in the architecture and culture and taking a food tour is highly recommended. Additionally, adjusting to the laid-back life of Barcelona and trying to be okay with the waiter taking longer to serve or shops remaining closed for siesta can come in handy.

Gràcia, El Born, Barceloneta, L'Eixample, El Raval, and ​​Barri Gòtic neighborhoods in Barcelona are the best areas to start with. In addition, there are several day trips from Barcelona to Girona, Montserrat, Figueres, Sitges, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Tarragona, Colònia Güell, and Vic, that will take you to a fresh scene away from the hustle bustle of the city.

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Must Know Before You Travel to Barcelona

  • Getting into the city: To enter the city from the airport, one can use the metro; however, air-buses that frequently run from the airport to the city centre save more and cost almost the same. Taxis also make a good option for the same.
  • Getting around: Metro is the best option to get around Barcelona, although one can opt for local buses or Hop on Hop off tours, too. There is also an option to rent a bicycle or a car to move around as well, depending on the distance one wants to cover.
  • Tickets to major attractions in the city sell out within days. Therefore, it is advised to book them in advance and opt for a skip-the-line ticket to avoid huge crowds.
  • Most attraction tickets in Barcelona are timed, so plan in advance to fit the visits into the itinerary. With Barcelona Pass, one can book timeslots for skip-the-line entry tickets in advance. It can be purchased from any tourist information office in Barcelona or online, starting from EUR 53.
  • Entry to several museums in Barcelona is free every Sunday of the month.
  • Bargain while shopping if there are no price boards to save yourself from overpaying.
  • Dinner usually starts late in Barcelona and most of the restaurants open for dinner only after 8:00 PM.
  • While visiting the narrow alleys in the Old Town of Barcelona, one might encounter unfriendly locals. Try not to be noisy to avoid getting drenched in a bucket full of water thrown at you.
  • Apart from Spanish, Catalan is widely spoken language in Barcelona.

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Nightlife in Barcelona

Barcelona offers a wide range of nightlife activities and there are numerous terraces, nightclubs and halls where you can enjoy. The city has an old heritage of local beers and wines and you can find them in the various bars of Barcelona. There are also different tapas bars and pubs in Barcelona. The best areas for enjoying nightlife are Gracia and the port.

Shopping in Barcelona

Barcelona has over 35000 shops and is considered to be the shopping capital of Spain. There is a shopping street that stretches along the Las Ramblas pedestrian pathway and that place has very little traffic. If you are in Barcelona, do not forget to pick up excellent antiques from Passeig de Gracia or Carrrer del Consell de Cent. You must also check out the two flea markets, one held at the Colum and the other in the square outside Barcelona Cathedral. La Boqueira is a huge public market at Ciutat Vella that can be visited for produce and goods.

History of Barcelona

The exact foundation of the city is not known, but the remains of the settlement suggest that thousands of years ago humans inhabited here. The legend says that Hannibal's father founded Barcelona in the 3rd century BC, but it has no clear evidence. The Romans established their military camp of Faventia around 15 BC and even now, there are places in Barcelona that hint towards its Roman Past. During the 5th century, Barcelona was captured by the Visigoths and it was then made the capital of Gothic Spain. By the 8th century, the city was invaded by the Islamic people, but the French wrested it into Christian hands in 801. The city remained the hot spot of insurgency for a long time. During the Spanish Civil war in 1930s, Barcelona stood by Republicanism, but then it was overrun by the communists and anarchists. In the recent decades, it has gained importance as an economic centre and one of the busiest ports in Europe.

Currency in Barcelona

Being a part of the European Union and the Euro Zone, the currency used in Spain is Euro. People from any of the countries under European Union could travel to Spain without worrying about exchanging currency. Notes with denominations of five ten, twenty, hundred, two hundred and five hundred are made available. 

Exchanging Money in Barcelona

The rate of exchange of currency keeps varying from time to time. Travellers are advised to bring traveller cheques, credit cards and about 2 days worth of Euros. There are Spanish auto banks where anyone with a visa based card can withdraw cash in Euro. One may also withdraw cashing using switch cards. The credit cards are acceptable in most shops and restaurants.

Daily Budget for Barcelona

The daily budget in Barcelona ranges from EUR 70-80 for budget minded traveller.. Apart from the accommodation charges, money is spent mostly on food and travel costs. A set lunch meal costs around EUR 10-15. Most people hire bicycles for getting around and those cost around EUR 6 per hour. The rent for the bicycle depends on the type of bicycle chosen.

Suggested Itinerary for Barcelona

Day 1: Start the day by heading towards La Ramble and visiting famous spots like the Juan Miro mosaic, La Boqueria Market, and Font de Canaletes fountain. Taking a northeast exit from La Ramble, head towards Barcelona Cathedral. After enjoying a rooftop view from the cathedral, wander around the mysterious alleys of the Gothic quarter. Next, head to the Picasso Museum or Parc de la Ciutadella & Arc De Triomf.

Day 2: Start the day by witnessing the architectural marvel of Sagrada Familia. Casa Batlló will be the second stop. Head towards Palau Guell and end your day with a fountain show at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic.

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FAQs on Barcelona

What are the top hotels in Barcelona?

There are 3075 in Barcelona which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Barcelona are Apartamentos Aragó 345, Villa Victoria Barcelona, WE Town House with Terrace, Be Barcelona Eixample Universidad, Petit Rosselló, Cardenal Reig. You can see all the hotels in Barcelona here

What are the places near Barcelona?

The top places near to Barcelona are Ibiza which is 269 km from Barcelona, Majorca which is located 201 km from Barcelona, Madrid which is located 505 km from Barcelona, Tenerife which is located 2242 km from Barcelona, Milan which is located 725 km from Barcelona

What are the things to do in Barcelona?

The top things to do in Barcelona are Sagrada Familia, Girona, Las Ramblas, Park Guell, Gothic Quarter, Casa Mila. You can see all the places to visit in Barcelona here

How much does a package cost for Barcelona?

The packages for Barcelona start at INR 35693 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What is the local food in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a city that has more than 20 Michelin star restaurants. However, the cuisine of Barcelona is pretty inconsistent, but you can still get good food at reasonable prices. You can get food from all over the world in Barcelona, but make sure to try some Catalan Food. One can get some amazing seafood here. Waffles are generally sold in street stands and they are really very tempting. The Catalans generally eat three course meals and you must surely try out those. You can check out these for some amazing food: Barceloneta, Barri Gotic, Eixample Esquerra, El Born and Carrer de Blai.¾
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What is the best time to visit Barcelona?

The weather in Barcelona is pleasant almost throughout the year, yet the best time is from May to August. The city has a classic Mediterranean climate and thus, travelling all throughout the year is pretty much comfortable. August is considered to be the busiest time in Barcelona and a lot of tourists visit during this time, creating huge rush. Barcelona can also be enjoyed in the off season during the winter months which are a bit cold.
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