When you think about Barcelona, you think about Futbol Club (FC) Barcelona, but Barcelona has so much more to offer! It has a very rich history that dates back to the middle ages when Barcelona was the capital of the County of Barcelona. It has many historical places declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It also has many other historic buildings and monuments, beaches, museums, and parks, so it has something for everyone to enjoy! Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia and is located in the north-east of Spain. It has a population of around 1.6 million, but if you also count the population in the urban areas, this number comes closer to 6 million. Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate and the average temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius, with temperatures reaching 25-31 degrees in the summer and 7-17 degrees in the winter.
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You can visit Barcelona by several means of transportation which bring you right into the heart of the city. If you want to travel by plane, there are several airports to choose from, but Barcelona-El Prat Airport is the biggest and closest by, and from there you can take a taxi, train or bus right into the city. Another popular way to visit Barcelona, is by joining a cruise liner which dock at the cruise terminals in the Port of Barcelona from where there are several day trips arranged into the city. You can also use the train to get to Barcelona, by taking the train to Barcelona Sants railway station which is located in the Sants-Montjuïc district of Barcelona, just outside the center. If you want to travel to Barcelona by car, feel free to visit the Barcelona Turism site by clicking here, where they offer you great information on how to get there by car.
Check some of the highlights from Barcelona in the below videos!
When visiting Barcelona, you need a place to stay of course but the kind of accommodation all depends on what you wish for. If you visit Barcelona on a business trip you will likely be spending your time in one of the hundreds of hotels in the city, but if you come to just enjoy your holiday, there are several other ways to spend your time there. There are dozens of campsites just outside Barcelona near the beaches where you can stay for cheap prices. But you can also stay in a cheap apartment in the city and pay for your own meals and drinks all day and don’t have to get out of bed too early for breakfast, or stay in a more luxurious hotel where breakfast is included in the price. For young people on a round trip of Europe for instance, a Hostel is also a cheap way to spend a few days in Barcelona. Most of the hostels are located in the old town, but the city center is easily reachable on foot, or by public transportation.
If you come to Barcelona just to relax and hang out on the beach, there is more than enough room to lay down a blanket, towel, or hire a bench to bake in the sun all day, and get your feet wet in the sea. The average sea temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius, with temperatures reaching 25 degrees in the summer, so great to enjoy a nice swim in the summer! Barcelona has 7 beaches, but we list only 2 of those, because those are the most known and popular beaches.
Barceloneta and Sant Sebastià beach – These are two beaches located in the Ciutat Vella district and are very popular among the local people, because they can enjoy some really good seafood at the restaurants along the boardwalks. There are also lots of nightclubs there so this is a good place to go out and meet new and interesting people while on holiday. During the day you can enjoy beach umbrellas, drinks and ice cream kiosks, restaurants and Wi-fi, and you can also hang out at the gymnastics area, or play beach volleyball, beach tennis, and table tennis. Both beaches have a length of about 1.1 km so enough room to just relax!
If you want to go out at night in Barcelona, you have really gone to the right place because this is a city that never sleeps. It has many clubs, bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a great time and spend the rest of the evening and night partying at some of the coolest clubs and bars around. One of the most popular clubs in Barcelona is Opium, and this is located at the Barceloneta beach and is open every day from 10:00-06:00. Some of the world best known DJ’s have performed there, like David Guetta, Armin van Buren and Tiesto. If you are more into visiting a bar, you have to check out Princesa 23, which is located in the heart of the city at Princessa street. Its opening hours are: Sunday – Thursday 12:00-02:30, Friday – Saturday 12:00-03:00 and its a great meeting place with a unique atmosphere. Since its to much to name all the restaurants, bars and clubs, we would like to point you to the Barcelona Nightlife website, where you can check out all everything you want to know about Barcelona Nightlife, so click here to visit that site!
Barcelona has many museums to visit, but there are too many to list them all, so we will give you some information about the most interesting ones.
Picasso Museum – If you are visiting Barcelona, you really need to visit this museum of course! The museum was opened in 1963 and has a permanent collection of 4.249 works from Pablo Picasso. The museum is housed in 5 large townhouses on the street Montcada. You are not allowed to take any pictures while visiting the exhibitions, and make sure you check the opening times before you head out to the museum, and it turns out its closed. You can do group tours, or visit the museum on your own. You can check the opening times, by clicking here. Pablo Picasso lived in Barcelona from 1895 till 1904, and in later years he returned regularly. He was not just a painter, but also a sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright.
The Maritime Museum – Another great museum to visit, is the Maritime Museum, located in the old Barcelona Royal Shipyard at the port of Barcelona near the rambla, where it was opened in 1941. The Barcelona Shipyard itself dates back to the 13th century. In the museum they have a real size replica of the Royal Galley of Don John of Austria.The ship is 60 meters long and 6.2 meters wide, and is located in the central nave of the old shipyard. They also have a big collection of 6.600 pieces which consists of models from galleons, frigates, corvettes, brigs, schooners or polacres, navigational instruments, and galleon figures. So if you are a maritime lover, you really need to visit this museum!
Archaeological Museum of Catalonia – If you are interested in the history of Barcelona and Catalonia, then you really need to visit the Archaeological Museum, which is located in the former Palace of Graphic Arts which was built for the 1929 World’s Fair. The collection takes you on a tour through the ages, and is a great way to learn more about the Catalan history. You will learn how the Phoenicians and Greeks colonized the area between the 9th and 3rd centuries BC. How the Romans introduced a new social, political and economic structure until the 5th century AD., and how the Visigoths introduced religion to the region in the 5th century. Some of the most interesting exhibits in the museum are from the Roman empire, which consists of two large mosaics which are inset in the museums floor. Another great piece on display, is the Visigothic votive crown, which was discovered in 1926 in an olive field. The crown is made from gold and diamonds, and is part of the Torredonjimeno of Jaen treasure.
President Nuñez Museum (FC Barcelona Museum) – If you love football, you must also love one of the most famous football clubs in Europe. So if you are visiting Barcelona, you really need to check out the museum which is housed in the Camp Nou stadium and was inaugurated in 1984. They have all their trophies on display, which they won over the years. You can also learn the history of FC Barcelona through video and image walls which are interactive. They also have several club memorabilia on display, including Maradonna’s shirt and Ronald Koeman’s boots from the 1992 European Cup Final, which he used to score the winning goal and deliver FC Barcelona its first European trophy.
Unesco has declared several sites in Barcelona, World Heritage sites over the years and below we will highlight some of the most notable ones.
Expiatory church of La Sagrada Família – This is probably one of the most famous Roman Catholic churches in Spain, and well worth a visit. Construction of the church started in 1882, after a design of architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano. One year later, Antoni Gaudi took over after Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, resigned after a disagreement with the promoters. Gaudi redesigned the church to fit his own style, and he worked on it till his death in 1926, when the church was only less than a quarter finished. The construction of the church relies on private donations and ticket sales to visit the church, so that’s why its taking so long to complete, but they hope to finish the construction in 2026, although this might not be a feasible goal.
Casa Batlló – This is another building designed by Antoni Gaudi. The original building was built in 1877, but in 1903 the new owners of the building, the Batlló family, wanted Gaudi to redesign the building, so Gaudi created one of his masterpieces. From 1904 till 1906, the building was completely renovated and refurbished after Gaudi had convinced the new owners that they would not have to tear down the old building but that it just needed to be renovated. In 2002 the Casa Batlló was turned into a museum and became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2005. The building can be found at the Passeig de Gràcia, which is one of the main roads of Barcelona.
Palau de la Música Catalana – This has to be the most beautiful concert hall in the world, and should definitely be on your list of places to see while in Barcelona. The Palau was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the Catalan modernista style, and construction started in 1905 and ended in 1908 when it was opened. Its located on the Carrer de Sant Francesc de Paula street and is easily recognized between the dull buildings next to it by its rich decorated facade. The facade is a mix between Spanish and Arabic architecture, which works very well. The ceiling of the Palau has a big skylight made from stained glass for natural lighting and depicts the sun and the sky. There are also large stained glass windows inside the walls to add more natural lighting. There is room for around 2.200 people in the Palau during concerts, and each year around 500.000 people visit a concert in the Palau.
Park Güell – You really need to visit this park while on holiday in Barcelona, because this was also designed by Antoni Gaudi and well worth the visit. It was constructed between 1900 and 1914 after Count Eusebi Güell envisioned a housing complex inspired by the English garden city movement where rich families could watch the sea and the Plain of Barcelona. There was room for 60 luxurious houses on triangular lots, but only 2 houses were actually built, and neither one was designed by Gaudi. Gaudi lived in the park till he died in 1926, and they turned his house into a museum, so if you want to know more about Antoni Gaudi, check out the official website of the museum by clicking here. In 1926, they converted the site to a municipal park and so it became open for the public for a small fee. You can find the Park in the Gràcia district and it is easy to reach by public transportation.
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