Things to do in Barcelona

Your first visit to Barcelona? Here’s a comprehensive travel guide

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A jewel of a seaside town on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula; Barcelona is a heady mix of dramatic architecture, a vibrant city life, glorious weather and delicious food. From the whimsical creations of Antoni Gaudí to the contemporary designs that decorate the cityscape, Barcelona is a center for modernist art that speaks to the heart of every traveler. In addition to being known for its soccer team, the city is famous for its beaches and the inviting Mediterranean climate that makes it an ideal year-round destination. The city’s beauty cannot be expressed in a few words and the above details just scratch the surface. Read on to know the inside-out of Barcelona’s culture, hustle and bustle with this ultimate travel guide.

Why visit Barcelona?

Barcelona, as the city where Christopher Columbus reported to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand after his discovery of the New World, has been a cultural, economic, and social centre since the middle ages. The city underwent a transformation under the ingenious vision of architect Antoni Gaudí. His unique approach to the Modernisme movement is most famously showcased in the still-unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, which is as much a symbol of Barcelona as the Eiffel Tower is of Paris. The city's culinary delights are a strong draw too. Indulging in tapas, small dishes that are perfect for sharing, and sipping on local wine or vermouth is an experience that is quintessentially Barcelona.

Barcelona's cultural tapestry is further enriched by its association with legendary artists. Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí all found inspiration within its bounds, contributing to the city's artistic legacy. Moreover, the city is a pilgrimage site for football enthusiasts. Home to FC Barcelona and the iconic Camp Nou stadium, it offers an electrifying atmosphere on match days.

Top 10 things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona effortlessly marries the historic with the contemporary, offering a diverse tapestry of experiences for every kind of traveler. The Gothic Quarter whispers tales of ancient times while the modern Eixample district dazzles with its grid-like precision and architectural finery. The city's transformation for the 1992 Olympics still shines in the Olympic district. Turn any corner and you'll find an Instagram-worthy vista, from the medieval enchantments to Gaudí's modernist landmarks. Every nook of Barcelona promises an unforgettable memory.

barcelona bucket list
Barcelona Bucket List

44 things to do in Spain’s wonder city

Check out the must-do experiences in Barcelona and plan your itinerary like a pro!

Barcelona essentials


LanguageCatalan and Spanish


Time zoneGMT+2


Country Code+93


Socket Types C, F


CurrencyEuro (€ )

Barcelona trip planner

All you need before you book your tickets and zip your bag!

  • Weather

  • When to visit

  • Budget

  • Visa

  • Travel Tips

Weather in Barcelona

Barcelona is a vibrant city and enjoys a moderate climate throughout the year, thanks to the Mediterranean Sea. However, there are slight discernable seasonal changes. Here is a guide to the seasons in Barcelona. You can check the weather here.

spring in london
Barcelona in spring

Spring feels like watching Barcelona through a cool shade of tinted sunglasses. The sun is mild, the weather has cooled down, and the spirit of festivals is in the air. While it is not just yet time for bringing out the swimsuits, it is perfect to enjoy walking and exploring the city. The locals are in a festive mood, enjoying the pleasant weather, celebrating Easter parades among other festivals.

summer in london
Barcelona in summer

If a season embodied the vibe of Barcelona, it would be summer! The sun may be hot, but the sweat isn’t dampening anyone's courage. This is the season of outdoor concerts, street parades, and creative festivals. Barcelona is busy with tourists who enjoy the parties on the beach and sampling the best of Barcelona’s cuisine, culture, and history. It is the best season to experience Barcelona, if not for the heat and crowds!

autumn in london
Barcelona in autumn

The occasional rain and cloudy weather brings cheer and refreshes the grime off Barcelona. The temperatures goes down, and you get ideal weather meant for exploring the city without the tourist swarm. This is a shoulder season and perfect for those who wish to tour Barcelona like a local.

winter in london
Barcelona in winter

Barcelona is the perfect destination to enjoy the Christmas fervor and New Year festivities without the chilling snow and dreary weather like other European cities. Although your swimsuites may not be of use during this season, the Christmas markets and shopping sales more than make up for the pleasures of the beach. Wrap up in warm sweaters, and enjoy Barcelona in winter!

Detailed Barcelona itineraries

Look no further if you want a readymade itineraries to avoid the hassle of internet surfing and meticulous planning. Take a look at our well crafted Barcelona itineraries that have been designed to give you a hazzle free stay in Barcelona, even if you're popping by the city for just a day.

How to save money in Barcelona?

1. Visit museums for free
In Barcelona, the entry fee of many museums is waived on the first Sunday of every month. Given that these museums are the best places to discover the history and culture of Catalonia and Spain, you should not pass on this terrific opportunity.

2. Book tickets online in advance
If you are heading to Barcelona, you should book online tickets in advance for as many attractions as possible. Not only will you save time and dime, but also skip-the-line of long queue to the world famous attractions.

3. Haggle hard when shopping
Haggling is a skill and you can use it to your advantage when shopping in the streets of Barcelona. There are numerous outdoor markets in Barcelona that are perfect for shopping for souvenirs. If you are not shy and bargain a little, you can buy twice as much for the same amount of money.

4. Rent apartments and airbnbs instead of hotels
Hotels come with a certain level of luxury. However, if you want to divert more of your kitty towards exploring the gems of Barcelona, you should opt for an apartment or airbnb instead. You can save money on food by cooking for yourself in the kitchen. Hostels in Barcelona are great too and most of them have free food or even kitchens. This also gives you an advantage of getting to make a few local friends.

5. Visit during the shoulder season
The low seasons see a significant decline in the number of tourists. As such, it is not uncommon for hotels and renters to slash their rates by a great number to attract more tourists. Low season in Barcelona is between January and March.

Gaudi's wonders

Sagrada Familia. Park Güell. Casa Milà. Palau Guell. Casa Batlló. Casa Vicens. Everywhere you go in Barcelona, you will find a dash of Antoni Gaudí's magic. His work will stop you in your tracks and leave you awestruck with its rarity and grandeur.

Walking by his timeless architecture, with an expert historian guide narrating interesting lores and facts about the building is an experience of a lifetime. If you're not much of a guided tour person, you can do a Gaudi Tour in Barcelona all by yourself.

Day trips from Barcelona

You could spend a lifetime in Barcelona and never get tired of its charm and beauty. However, after you've spent an afternoon or two around the city admiring teh architecture, streets and museums, set off to explore a little more of Catalunya's coastline. Barcelona is the perfect base for a bunch of day trips - beaches, vineyards, monasteries and what not! Here are our top picks for the best day trips from Barcelona.

Public Transportation In Barcelona

Barcelona travel guide

Barcelona, home to FC Barcelona and capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia, is a globetrotter's heaven for all the right reasons. Officially the second most populous city in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona is perhaps best known for showcasing the now renowned works of Antoni Gaudi and Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Adding to that list, the city is also honed many UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a ton of other things including a robust public transport system that please tourists.

Hop On Hop Off Barcelona

Barcelona travel Guide

The people, the language, the food, the culture — everything and everyone in Barcelona is full of passion and excitement. As a tourist you will be enthralled by the quirky architecture of Gaudí’s creations from Sagrada Familia to Park Guell. Ideal for solo travelers, families and friends, Barcelona has something to offer for everyone. The best way to explore this lovely city is through Barcelona hop on hop off buses. The amazing double decker buses conveniently zoom through the city’s main attractions, allowing you to hop on and hop off as you wish, by saving a few pennies.

Read more about Barcelona Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours.

Aerobus Barcelona

Barcelona travel guide

Aerobus is the city’s shuttle bus that transfers people to and from the airport. Most importantly, it reaches the city from the airport within 35 minutes! This saves much time for the travellers to see a few more attractions, which Barcelona is never short of. Missing a bus is no big deal since there is one arriving every 5 minutes and runs every day of the year. The bus feels like a mini luxury van with air conditioning, TV and wifi. Space is the last thing to be worried about since the bus has ample room for you and your luggage.

Read more about Aerobus Barcelona.

iVenture Card Barcelona

Barcelona Travel guide

iVenture Card Barcelona is a pre-paid attractions pass that lets you explore the city in an easy, flexible and economical manner. Go cash-free, skip-the-line entrance to popular attractions across Barcelona, depending on the variant of card chosen.
The iVenture Card Barcelona includes:

  • A 3 day or 5 day or unlimited pass that gives you access to 3 or 5 or all attractions from a list of 35 attractions, within a 7 day period.
  • Each pass is valid for 7 days from the first day of use, which allows you to spread out your tours and be flexible with your adventures in Barcelona.
  • Enjoy hassle-free entrances and admission with one multi-attraction iVenture Card.
  • All variants include additional 3 free offers at Casino Barcelona, Matalaranya’s bar and Gaudi’s La Pedrera.
  • Navigate the city easily with a full-colour, fold-out guide with a map, itineraries and schedules included in the card.
  • An interactive online map on the app with directions and a feature to mark your favorites beforehand.
  • Enjoy 24 Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour (only with unlimited ticket variant).

Here is our complete guide to Visit Attractions For Free With iVenture Card Barcelona.

Hotels in Barcelona

We've rounded up the neighbourhoods to stay in Barcelona to suit all budgets. Book your stay in advance, especially if you're traveling around peak tourist season.

Barcelona Travel guide

Dining in Barcelona

While there are a wide assortment of dishes and desserts, here are some local favourites that you should bite into while in Barcelona.

Barcelona Travel guide

1. La Bombas

2. Manchego Cheese

3. Pa amb Tomàquet

4. Iberico Ham

5. Esqueixada de Bacalao

6. Churros

7. Patatas Bravas

8. Paella

Tips For Saving Money On Eating In Barcelona

Eat street food at the Gothic Quarters

The Gothic Quarters go back centuries when it comes to flavour and offer authentic recipes unique to the region. As you familiarize yourself with the history of this locality, try the delectable street food from the hawkers. The one item that you absolutely cannot miss is the churro con chocolate.

Discover local cuisine at Barcelona’s neighborhoods

Local neighborhoods of Barcelona aren’t just famous for the mind-blowing architecture and street art. The lanes of Poble Sec and Sants are lined with small but proficient restaurants and cafes. Instead of throwing money at the stalls at popular tourist spots, opt for the authentic dishes here.

Tip around 10% at restaurants

While it is not a stringent rule, a tip of about 10% is standard in Barcelona. So even if you are habituated to pay more than that in your country, remember that 10% is just enough. You may tip as much as your budget allows you.

Try the set menus for lunch

Menu of the day or menu del dia is probably the best and the cheapest way to explore the local cuisine. Eateries in the city offer a set lunch menu for as little as 15 euros. It includes a main, a dessert, and complimentary drinks.

Drink outdoors instead of bars and restaurants

This one is quite obvious. Restaurants charge steep service charges to bring your drink to your table. Bars also charge an entry fee late at night. Instead, grab a bottle of your favorite liquor from the shop and drink outdoors. It saves money and multiplies the fun.

Walking Tours in Barcelona

Barcelona Travel Guide

A guided walk is undoubtedly the most economical and indulging way to learn about a city. Touring by foot, lurking around the winding cobbled lanes adorned with Gothic spires, Gaudi's eccentricity and stareworthy graffiti is an all together different experience. These walking tours in Barcelona are not too heavy on your pocket, so you can buy an extra plate of tapas and thank us later!

Here are our top 5 picks for the Barcelona Walking Tours.

Barcelona With Kids

Barcelona Travel Guide

The balmy coastal city makes for an ideal vacation destination year round. Be it November or April, Barcelona is a delight year round with plenty to keep you entertained. If you're planning a trip to Barcelona with your kids, here are a few family-friendly, rather kid-friendly attractions you can squeeze into your itinerary. It doesn't take much to keep a child entertained in this city and you'll know why as you study our guide below.

Festivals in Barcelona

Barcelona has a year long festivities- some cultural, some religious, some patriotic, a few for the love of music. Here are the top recurring festivals that you should know of:

  • Holy procession of the Three Kings: January 5
  • Carnival: February
  • Festival de Sant Medir de Gràcia: March
  • Barcelona Marathon: March
  • Sant Jordi: April
  • The Tamborinada: May
  • Sant Ponç: May
  • Festival Sónar: June
  • Corpus Cristi - L'ou com Balla: June
  • Festa Major de Gràcia: August
  • Catalan National Day: September 11
  • La Mercè: September
  • Christmas: December

Barcelona Culture Tips

Barcelona is best explored on foot

An aerial picture of Barcelona's neighbourhood will tell you that you must be prepared to walk. This is a deliberate step taken to shape the city's lifestyle and reduce four-wheeler's dominance on the pavements.

Catalonia ≠ Spain

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, not Spain. Catalonia and Spain are not one and the same. Locals in Barcelona take offence if you call them Spaniards, hence read up about Catalonian history to remain politically and culturally right.

Vermouth or Cava over Sangria

Although Spain is known for sangria, Barcelona likes to differ. If you are eager to order sangria to taste the local flavour, know that it is common for many bars to add a ton of sugar to veil the cheap wine. Choose the local drinks - Vermouth or Cava, which Barcelona is known for and to get an acknowledging nod from the bartender.

In Barcelona, hills have eyes

High raised buidings offer beautiful night views of any city. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Barcelona has hills. Don't be afraid to run to the hills at night to catch some of the most stunning views of the vibrant city and the Mediterranean sea. Bunkers del Carmel, Tibidabo, and Montjuïc are a few where you can capture picture-perfect shots.


How do I get around in Barcelona?

The best way to get around Barcelona is on foot. The city is very pedestrian friendly and most of the sights are within walking distance of each other. If you need to go a little further, there are also plenty of public transportation options, including buses, metros, and trains.

What are some of the must-see attractions in Barcelona?

Some of the must-see attractions in Barcelona include the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Mila, and the Gothic Quarter. Of course, there are many other great sights to see as well, so be sure to do some research before you go and make a list of the places you want to visit.

Where can I find good food in Barcelona?

Barcelona is home to many great restaurants, so you should have no trouble finding good food. For some of the best Spanish cuisine, we recommend La Boqueria market or one of the many tapas bars. If you're looking for something a little different, there are also plenty of international restaurants to choose from.

What are some tips for shopping in Barcelona?

Some tips for shopping in Barcelona include checking out the local markets, such as La Boqueria or El Rastro, and looking for stores that sell Spanish products, such as olive oil, wine, and ceramics. You can also find good deals at the many outlet malls located just outside of the city.

What should I know about nightlife in Barcelona?

Barcelona has a great nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. If you're looking to party, we recommend heading to one of the city's many beach clubs. For a more low-key evening, there are also plenty of bars and pubs to choose from.

What are some other things to do in Barcelona?

In addition to the attractions and activities mentioned above, there are also a few other things to do in Barcelona. These include visiting the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, taking a cable car up to Tibidabo Mountain, and seeing a flamenco show.

Where can I find information on events in Barcelona?

There are a few different places you can find information on events in Barcelona. You can check the local newspapers, ask at your hotel, or look online. One good website to check is, which has a comprehensive listing of events taking place in the city.

How can I make the most of my time in Barcelona?

There are a few things you can do to make the most of your time in Barcelona. We recommend planning your trip in advance so you know what you want to see and do. It's also a good idea to purchase a city pass, which will give you access to many of the major attractions. Finally, try to avoid traveling during the peak season, which is from June to August.

All Barcelona Guides

Barcelona Travel Guide