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Barcelona Tourism: Best of Barcelona

Perfect beaches, world-famous tapas, and Gaudí—the Catalan capital is a Mediterranean dream
There’s nowhere in the world like Barcelona. From days spent strolling the Gothic Quarter to afternoons at the beach and nights partying ‘til dawn, the city is magnetic. While tapas and bustling mercados are worth every bit of attention they get in guidebooks, Barcelona’s true crown jewel is the work of Antoni Gaudí. His iconic creations, like the jaw-dropping Basilica of La Sagrada Familia, are instantly recognizable and have fueled millions of travel dreams. You won’t be the only tourist here (especially during the summer), but even amid the crowds you’ll find your own Mediterranean magic any time of year.

Travel Advice

Essential Barcelona

Traveler Spotlight

My favorite design-forward places to eat & drink

Interior masterpieces designed by Lázaro Rosa-Violán. Bold branding conceptualized by Mucho. Relish in the detail and charm of these aesthetically pleasing eateries, realized by Barcelona’s creative and culinary geniuses.
  • El Nacional
    Since it's inception in 1889, this architectural marvel has housed many businesses, including a café-theatre, a textile dyeing factory, a car dealer shop and then a garage. Today, it stands as an iconic culinary concept, broken up into four distinct eateries, each with their own look. See (and eat) for yourself!
  • Casa Lolea Barcelona
    Strolling through El Born? Looking for that quintessential glass of sangria? This is your place. Lolea serves over five artisanally crafted varieties from their "Sangria Lolea" brand. Paired with some classic tapas...bam. A beautiful combination. Oh, and take a coaster or two for the road. They're just so darn cute!
  • Collage Art & Cocktail Social Club
    ¡Chinchín! Craft cocktails, done right. Collage serves up just about any drink you can imagine....and then the ones you can't. Make small talk down at the bar or relax with friends up in the balcony. The funky living room vibes make you feel right at home.
  • Palo Market Fest
    Located in the creative barrio of Poblenou, Palo Market is open the first weekend of every month. Grab lunch from one of the many food trucks and spend the afternoon getting lost among craft tables, dessert stalls, art prints, beauty products, handmade apparel and more, all for a small entry fee of €4.
  • Batuar
    One of the many interiors by Rosa-Violán, Batuar is located inside the historic Cotton House Hotel. Have brunch on the terrace or grab a drink at the bar, but don't forget to snap a photo...for the gram of course.
  • Casa Bonay
    A boutique hotel concept by entrepreneur Inés Miró-Sans, Casa Bonay is the product of a collaboration between lighting designers, furniture makers, graphic artists, interior decorators, food experts and many more. Whether it's a refreshing Saturno at hotel bar Libertine or aceitunas at the rooftop restaurant Chiringuito, this is the place to get a taste of everyday life in Barcelona.
  • Entrepanes Diaz
    This may seem like your ordinary bocadillo joint, but the old-fashioned ambiance and charming service makes you feel like you've taken a leap into the past. The space itself is small, perfect for dining solo. And on your way out, ask for "un tarjeta." The one-of-a-kind momento you're handed is far more special than a mere business card.
  • Chaka Khan
    No, not the singer. Take a break from traditional Spanish tapas and eat at Chaka Khan. This exotic restaurant serves up flavorful dishes from Mozambique to Ecuador. And the custom built furniture and African textiles help bring the brand to life.
  • Bubo Born
    The decadent dessert shop where everything is crafted to perfection and no two treats look the same. Try to eat here without snapping hundreds of photos of the sweet sculpture before you. Bet you can't.
  • Parallelo
    Tucked away on a quiet street in Grácia, Parallelo might just be the best gelato in the city. Stop in for a scoop, or three, and watch the founders (four childhood friends hailing from San Remo!) create seasonal & innovative flavors in the funky shop lab.
  • Tickets
    Delicious and imaginative tapas, à la Adrià. Be prepared to dine with an open mind. This artistic culinary production is well worth the money.
    Bold velvet banquettes. Rococo wallpaper. Elevated and sophisticated dishes. This place is great for an intimate dinner or date.
  • Disfrutar
    A beautiful orchestration of tastes so good, you might cry. This gastronomic gem isn't ranked No.9 in the world for nothing. Behind each plate is an inventive world of flavor. And it's bright and airy interior makes you feel like you are dining in a dream. Come y disfruta!
  • Tragaluz
    Oof. There's just something so magical about the way the sunlight filters down through the ceiling windows and onto your plate.

Rent a Home for Your Next Escape

Popular homes in Barcelona

Barcelona Is Known For...

Tapas, tapas, tapas

Exploring incredible architecture, ancient and modern

Sunbathing by the coast or by the pool

Sipping copas and gin tonics

Barcelona Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Barcelona

Do not be afraid to get lost in the winding back streets! Ditch your tourist map!
Barcelona is deeply proud of its Catalan heritage. I once went to the tourism office to ask for information about Spain and was roundly chastised as I was in Catalunya. I never made that mistake again!
Michael B
It is a good idea to learn a few basic Spanish words for politeness and you will garner more respect and pleasant service.

In the words of those who've been there before ...

Food, Art, Beach, Streets...Barcelona is all-inclusive.
Peter K
Barcelona is a city rich with history, beautiful architecture, a cool beach culture, friendly people and some great food.
Barcelona is a buzzing city that's so easy to fall in love with.

What is the best way to get there?


Barcelona is mainly served by the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport International Airport, but can also be reached by transport links from other regional airports, including Girona, Reus, and Lleida-Alguaire.


Barcelona Sants Station is the city's main railway station for national and international destinations in France.


Estació d'autobusos Barcelona Nord is Barcelona's main bus station operating services to other Spanish cities and cities throughout Europe.

Do I need a visa?

Spain is part of the Schengen Area with many other European countries. This means tourists from certain countries don’t require a visa for trips less than 90 days — as long as your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned departure date. Find more information about the Schengen Visa and what countries are exempt here.

When is the best time to visit?

Summer (June to August) and fall (September to November): Summer is fiesta time in Barcelona, when the city hosts some of Europe’s biggest music festivals, including Sonar and Primavera Sound. Average temperatures in summer have a high of 82°F (28°C) and a low of 71°F (22°C).

While soaring temperatures send summer visitors to the beach, the cooler months of fall are ideal for exploring Barcelona’s colorful neighborhoods. In November, the scent of roasting chestnuts fills the air during the Catalan festival of La Castanyada. Average temperatures in fall have a high of 68°F (20°C) and a low of 60°F (16°C).


There are a number of companies in Barcelona that offer bike rental or bike tours including Barcelona Biking,AJO Bike, and Barcelona E-Bike.


The Barcelona Metro, run by TMB and FGC, operates 12 lines which run from about 5 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, and 24 hours on Saturday.


TMB operates a fleet of more than 1,000 buses that operate more than 100 routes. Most services begin between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. and end between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Barcelona also operates a night-bus service (Nit Bus) which serves most of the city and its suburban area. Services begin after 11 p.m. and end between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.


Barcelona’s taxis are easily spotted with their black and yellow livery. They can be caught from one of many taxi stands, hailed on the street, or booked via telephone.


The ridesharing company Cabify is available in Barcelona on your smartphone.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Central European Standard Time
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in Spain is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz. Wall outlets typically accommodate plugs with two round pins.
What is the currency?
The Euro.
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Is it easy to find a bank?
How much do I tip?
Tipping isn't obligatory, but people usually leave 5% if they are satisfied with the service.

Are there local customs I should know?

The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.
Spaniards usually greet friends and strangers alike with a kiss on both cheeks, although two males rarely do this.
Spaniards take great pride in their appearance so dress elegantly, even for casual occasions.
Visiting churches
Visiting churches as a tourist during Mass and other worship services is considered disrespectful.
Personal space and eye contact
Spaniards are known to stand very close while talking and speak a lot with their hands — don’t mimic them and don’t step away. Eye contact in Spain is also very important.
Learning a few basic Spanish phrases will go a long way as a sign of respect.
Frequently Asked Questions about Barcelona

We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in Barcelona, which include:

Barcelona is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:

If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Barcelona between September and November, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between March and May.