Catalonia is completely unique to the rest of the Spain, which is reflected in its capital city. Positioned on the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona can only be described as perfection. Everything is art - the food, the sport, the architecture.
Barcelona's currency is the Euro (€). €1 = £0.83 / $1.10 (as of 2022).
Top 5 things to see
Where to eat and drink
Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world for food. A tapas crawl across the city is the best way to taste and see what Barcelona has to offer, especially in the Gothic Quarter. Don’t leave without exploring the markets, having a glass of vermouth, or trying a traditional Catalan plate of bacalhau.
Granja Dulcinea down the Gothic Quarter’s narrow alleys on Plaça del Pi is the spot to go. A fabulous rustic old-school café in a former tavern, where a hot chocolate and churros will cost between €3 and start your day off right.
La Boqueria, an authentic local's market on La Rambla will be one of the highlights of the trip and a perfect spot to get the best produce for far less than you would at a tapas bar, creating the perfect picnic! Now swarmed with tourists, make sure you get there early to sample some of the best sights, smells and tastes in Europe without being pushed about.
For alternatives, the less-touristic Sant Antoni or Santa Caterina markets in the Gothic Quarter will be a lot quieter and also provide excellent produce for a picnic.
Bodega La Puntual in the Gothic Quarter is rustic, atmospheric Catalonian restaurant with a tasty menu to match, along with a good wine list. Perch on the barrels and enjoy a cava or two!
Perikete in Barceloneta is a cosy, lively bodega by the sea and an absolutely must-visit. Small tapas dishes fly across the bar as you sit under heaps of hanging ham and by shelves of wine.
A good tapas crawl, complete with drinks, will cost around €35-45.
For the adults
Bormuth is a cost-effective, fun, casual bar in La Ribera with excellent homemade vermouth and tasty tapas.
Margarita Blue by the waterfront is for that time when you want a bright and vibrant cocktail bar.
Bodega Maestrazgo in El Born is Barcelona’s oldest wine bar and another must.
Barcelona has plenty of options to suit your plans whether you're going for just a few or out-out. A beer will cost €2.50 and a glass of red or white wine will cost anywhere between €3.
Tipping isn't required, but you can add an extra euro to your bill if the service was particularly good.
Barcelona is considered a safe city, but petty crime is a major problem, especially on beaches and La Rambla. Do your best to avoid El Raval and La Rambla very late in the evening, especially if on your own - as the night progresses it can feel increasingly seedy and a bit like a red light district.
Two Passports Top Tip: Don't be intimated by the tapas bars!
Restaurants and bars are always cheaper away from the tourist hotspots - nowhere more so than in Spain. The price can be twice/three times more than in local places for poorer quality! Local bodegas can be intimidating in Barcelona as they are smaller and filled with the usual clientele - but they are welcoming and can't wait to share their food with you! It's really worth it - we promise!
When to Go
Low Season: December to February
Chilly days and long nights. Some attractions will be closed, but the bodegas buzz with locals.
Shoulder Season: March to April, September to November
You'll be in for warmer sunnier days. Busier with tourists compared to low season, but good deals on attractions and hotels can still be found.
High Season: May to August
Very, VERY hot. Local bars and bodegas close and the beaches are packed.
How to Get There
El Prat (BCN)
If you're heading to Barcelona, you'll most likely be flying into BCN which is 12km/7.5m south-east of the city centre.
Despite having a metro stop, we recommend the RENFE or Aerobus (picture below) as both of these travel to Barcelona's notable landmarks, where we imagine your is probably located.
Aerobus has fewer stops and is useful for places west of La Ramblas and the R2 Nord (RENFE train) takes you further east towards Barceloneta.
A smaller European-serving airport located in 103km North-East of Barcelona, in the heart of Catalonia, GRO is the main hub of Ryanair, as well as the other budget European airlines. With easy access to Barcelona via coach and train, add a couple of days onto your holiday and visit the beautiful city of Girona.
Barcelona Reus (REU)
With routes fromthe UK, Ireland, Brussels, or west Germany, REU sits just west of the ancient, Catalonian port city Tarragona, on the coast and west of Barcelona. However, public transport from REU to Barcelona's city centre isn't convenient, so we would avoid REU.
Travelling by train
Interrailers can find their way to Barcelona from major cities in Spain and France with train journeys into central stations such as Barcelona Sants and Barcelona-Franca.
Travelling in the city
Barcelona has an excellent public transport system. A T-10 ticket will give you 10 trips on the city's network of buses and an easy-to-navigate metro - the Citymapper app is available too.