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These issues regarding language, national identity, and politics are like politics anywhere, and there's no way to summarize here (nor is it necessary in a travel guide) all the views that exist. While a significant number of Catalonians are anti-Spanish (and feel opposed to Spain and the Spanish language), many are simply indifferent.
These issues regarding language, national identity, and politics are like politics anywhere, and there's no way to summarize here (nor is it necessary in a travel guide) all the views that exist. While a significant number of Catalonians are anti-Spanish (and feel opposed to Spain and the Spanish language), many are simply indifferent.
In tourist areas, almost all shops and bars have some English speaking staff. However, like in the rest of Spain, English is not widely spoken, though it's still more widespread in Barcelona than in the rest of Spain. They are kind and will make an effort to try to help you if you speak in English, but their vocabulary will be very limited. If you do find a fluent English-speaking Barcelonian, the person is most likely to be born or have lived outside of Spain, usually a European or North American immigrant (both groups being a very significant part of the city center inhabitants along with the not-so-very-well-integrated Asian and African immigrants, who, of course, also often know English).
In tourist areas, almost all shops and bars have some English speaking staff. However, like in the rest of Spain, English is not widely spoken, though it's still more widespread in Barcelona than in the rest of Spain, and you are more likely to encounter an English speaker in Barcelona than in [[Madrid]]. People will generally make an effort to try to help you if you speak in English, but their vocabulary will be very limited. If you do find a fluent English-speaking Barcelonian, the person is most likely to be born or have lived outside of Spain, usually a European or North American immigrant (both groups being a very significant part of the city center inhabitants along with the not-so-very-well-integrated Asian and African immigrants, who, of course, also often know English).
Your best goodwill in communication would be to try speaking in Catalan if you can. The locals learn both Catalan and Spanish in school (and are completely fluent in both), but Catalan is definitely the preferred language. Even for those who do not support independence from Spain, clearly Catalan is the first language, and if you can communicate with the locals in Catalan, this is really appreciated. While most locals understand that Spanish is more prevalent and are willing to converse with outsiders in Spanish, any attempts to speak Catalan will be met by smiles and encouragement, by and large. As such, visitors should make an attempt to say some basic greetings in Catalan, even if the rest of the conversation is held in Spanish.
Your best goodwill in communication would be to try speaking in Catalan if you can. The locals learn both Catalan and Spanish in school (and are completely fluent in both), but Catalan is definitely the preferred language. Even for those who do not support independence from Spain, clearly Catalan is the first language, and if you can communicate with the locals in Catalan, this is really appreciated. While most locals understand that Spanish is more prevalent and are willing to converse with outsiders in Spanish, any attempts to speak Catalan will be met by smiles and encouragement, by and large. As such, visitors should make an attempt to say some basic greetings in Catalan, even if the rest of the conversation is held in Spanish.

Revision as of 12:17, 8 March 2011

Discussion on defining district borders for Barcelona is in progress. If you know the city pretty well, please share your opinion on the talk page.

Barcelona is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
View of La Rambla, Barcelona

Barcelona [32] is Spain's second largest city, with a population of nearly two million people, and the capital of Catalonia. The city, located directly on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, has a rich history dating back at least 2,000 years when it gained prominence as a Roman town under its old name, Barcino.

In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic games which brought a massive uptick to the tourism industry in the city. This had the effect of changing the city in ways that are still felt today with neighborhoods renovated (and in some cases leveled) and the intense focus of modern design permeating all aspects of life in Barcelona from public buildings to something as simple as a park bench or an event poster. For visitors, this has translated in to the very modern, yet incredibly old city you see now in the 21st century where the new elements work to both preserve and celebrate the ancient.

This beautiful city is full of what European cities are known for (outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums, and churches) and is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations. The core center of town, focused around the Ciutat Vella provides days of enjoyment for those looking to experience the life of Barcelona while the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation during the long periods of agreeably warm weather.


Parc Diagonal Mar

Barcelona has many neighborhoods, but the most important and interesting for visitors are:

  • Ciutat Vella - Barcelona's old town, including the medieval Barri Gotic, Las Ramblas, Raval, and El Borne (also known as La Ribera)
  • Eixample - Modernist quarter, noted for its art nouveau buildings.
  • Gràcia - Formerly an independent town, it joined the city in the XXth century. Narrow streets and a cosmopolitan and young atmosphere with not too many tourists.
  • Barceloneta - Known for its sandy beaches and many restaurants and cafes along the boardwalk.


When to visit

August is probably the busiest time in Barcelona; at the same time about 10% of shops and restaurants can be found closed from mid-August to early September, when the owners go on vacations. You'll find cheap accommodation and a much quieter city as a vast majority of Spaniards go on vacation in August. Business is low, people from Barcelona tend to be on vacation, hotels that remain open but don't have their business customers tend to lower prices and make offers. However there will still be plenty of tourists. Barcelona has decent enough beaches but the locals will really appreciate it if visitors do not consider it a beach resort and don't wear beachwear when visiting churches, restaurants, etc.

Barcelona is great off-season and is a lovely city even in winter months of January and February as long as the possibility of rain is low. Given the high humidity, 19-23°C is considered comfortable weather, which is normally the temperature between April and June and between late September-November. This is the best time to visit the city. Anything warmer than this can feel too hot.

Festivals and events

Barcelona hosts a number of annual fiestas, many of which are unique to Catalonia and offer an insight into its distinctive culture.

  • Sónar. A annual three-day music festival held in Barcelona, Spain. It is described officially as a festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art. Music is by far the main aspect of the festival. The festival runs for three days and nights, usually starting on a Thursday in the third week of June.
  • Festes de la Mercè. Barcelona's main annual festival around the 24th of September, encompassing many events such as which group of 'castellers' can form the highest human tower, live music events, firework displays and processions involving wooden giants. All of this is accompanied by a heavy consumption of Cava, the national drink of Catalonia.
  • Festes de Gràcia. The Festes de Gracia is a Catalonian celebration, held around the 15th of August each year to commemorate the Assumption. During the week of festivities that mark one of Barcelona's most important fiestas, the city of Gracia explodes with fun, excitement, color and fireworks. Many streets are decorated by the neighbours, live music, food in the street, and the parties continue all night.
  • Festes de Sants. Similar to Gracia's event, but smaller and later on in August. If you can't go to the Gracia's, try go to this festival instead.
  • Sant Jordi. 23rd of April. Considered to be like Valentines Day. People give roses and books around the streets. Traditionally men give women roses and women give men books. It is one of the most popular and interesting celebrations in Catalonia.
Casa de l'Ardiaca during Corpus
  • Corpus. Late in May (Corpus Christi day). An egg is put over the fountains (most of them in the churches, and decorated with flowers), and "magically dances" over the water. Most of the churches are in the city center: Cathedral's cloister, Santa Anna, Casa de l'Ardiaca, Museu Frederic Marés, and over 10 more fountains there are over 15b people live here.
  • Fira de Santa Llúcia. From December 2nd/3rd to December 23rd, to commemorate Sta Llúcia (December 13th). In front of the Cathedral, is where the Christmas objects are sold. Some places sell Christmas trees, but most of them sell elements for making the pessebres, the representations of the birth of Jesus that people uses to put at home. These include small sculptures, wooden pieces and moss used to simulate grass.
December 13th is the feast day of Santa Llucia, patron saint of fashion designers and blind people, who gather at the Santa Llucia chapel in the cathedral to pay their respects.
  • Revetlla de Sant Joan. This is the midsummer solstice celebration. It is celebrated on 23rd June every year and is signified by the fireworks (note that there are frequent and loud amateur fireworks all night long, which may make it hard to sleep) that are permanently on display during this time.
  • Fira de Barcelona. There are trade events all year round [33] in Barcelona.
  • La Mercè. (few days before Sept 24): Another day that is famous, but not that important. It is holiday and the city offers a lot of activities to have fun. Enjoy fountains and fireworks show at the base of the Montjuic hill.

During festivals and especially during mobile world congress[34] which is major trade show at the Fira, accommodation in Barcelona and especially near the Fira is much more difficult to find and more expensive than usual.

With children

Toddler happiness is considered a public responsibility in Spain: in any public place people around you put every effort into making your toddler happy: whenever he looks bored or is crying, everyone does their best to entertain or to calm him.

Get in

By plane

Low cost carriers operating to Barcelona include: Norwegian [35], Air Berlin [36], Monarch Airlines [37], [38] , Vueling [39] (a discount subsidiary of Iberia), Wizz Air, easyJet [40], Ryanair [41] , Blue Air [42], Transavia [43] among many others.

Barcelona International Airport

Barcelona International Airport [44] (IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL), also known as El Prat, is a major transport hub and fields flights from all over Europe and beyond.

Terminals: There are now two terminals, T1 and T2, the latter with A, B, and C subdivisions. T1 and T2 are linked by a bus shuttle (every 6 to 8 minutes, travel time 10 minutes).

at the gate

T1, the new terminal, opened in June 2009 and hosts Spanair and a variety of major international airlines (e.g., SAS, TAP, Lufthansa, Austrian).

Sectors A, B and C of T2 are all within fairly easy walking distance of each other. T2 B is used by some Spanish carriers (Iberia, Air Europa, Vueling) and their partners (e.g., members of Oneworld alliance for Iberia). T2 C is smallest and used for all domestic flights, including the Puente Aereo (Air Shuttle) to Madrid. T2 A is used for all other flights except those now departing from the new T1.

Please be aware that you can check in for your flight only at the respective terminal T1 or T2, and since they are miles apart and there is little information available at the train station and bus stops, it's good to know which terminal you need before arriving at the airport. AENA provides information about the allocation of airlines to terminals [45].

Transfer to/from the airport: The airport is only about 10 km away from the city center. Airport transfers can be arranged for groups, taxis are available but expensive (€20-30 to the city center). Taxis and Minibuses can be pre-booked online [46]. A cheaper and often faster option is the half-hourly RENFE C-2 suburban train line calling at Sants (travel time is 20 minutes, but up to 40 minutes if slow or late), Passeig de Gràcia (25 minutes) and El Clot in the city center. Please be advised that this airport train has changed, and no longer terminates at Estació de França (it now goes through the center of Barcelona and into the suburbs, so it is important to know at which station you should get off). The train terminates next to T2 by section B, with a connecting green colored bus service to T1 (plan for an extra 15 minutes of travel). The drawback of arriving at T2 by train is that you'll have several sets of stairs--think twice if you have huge luggage, a stroller or a wheelchair. A single ticket is about €1.45, but you can also buy a T-10 ticket (€8.25 for ten trips, including all bus and metro transfers made within 75 minutes) instead. You can buy a T-10 from the ticket vending machine at the airport station.

Also bus 46 runs from both terminals (downstairs at T1) to Magic Fountains (1 hour)

Alternatively, the Aerobús A1 line stops at T1 and between T2A and B and travels along Gran Via to Plaça Catalunya (at the El Corte Ingles). Buses depart every 11 minutes, the published journey time is 35 minutes (although can take considerably longer during rush hour) and costs €5.05 one-way (cash only). Buses are heavily air-conditioned in summer: have something extra to wear during the journey. Aerobuses stop running at midnight, but you can catch a Nit Bus night bus service instead (Nit Bus N17, between 22.00 and 05.00. The ride from Plaça Catalunya to Airport El Prat takes about 40 minutes).

Duty-free shops. Open from 6/6:30AM to 9:30PM (few to 10PM). Shops are numerous and some are hard to find elsewhere in the city. After security check, most shops are before the passport control; there are only one or two afterwards.

Tax-free shopping refund. Office closes at 10PM without compromises. After that time checks can be processed only by mail: complete your tax-free forms with your passport data and addresses, stamp them with the custom office (a window next to arrivals gate door; they don't ask to see your purchases); put them into envelope you were given in the shop--and wait for several months.

Cafes, pre-security check. Limited options, sub-standard fare. Food at Ars is awful and not cheap. Pans & Company have almost no hot meals.

Cafes, post-security check. Numerous options, all close at around some time between 10PM and 11PM.

Parking: Costs €1.35/hour, €9.45/day, €6.75/day from the 6th day.

Luggage lockers: Baggage storage is €4.60 per day for a large locker that easily fits 2-3 serious suitcases. Left-hand end of Terminal 2B, behind the Ars cafe.

Departure gates: For T2, poorly conditioned at ground level (at least gate #57, sector 2A, after 11PM). T1 is hyper-modern and comfortable.

WiFi: Available throughout the airport, operated by KubiWireless [47]: €7.5 for 45min, €9 for 1 hour, €15 for 24 hours.

Nearby airports

Some low-cost carriers, notably Ryanair, use the airports in Girona, nearly 100km to the north, or Reus, around the same distance to the south, instead. Since Ryanair recently started operating at Barcelona El Prat (airport code BCN), you might be in the case mentioned above, but check using the three-letter airport codes where your flight actually goes. Girona's airport code is GRO and Reus's airport code is REU.

For Girona Airport [48] : The Barcelona Bus service runs a shuttle bus from Estació del Nord (which is walking distance to the Arc de Triomf metro stop) in Barcelona to Girona Airport and this ties in with various flight times. A one-way ticket costs €12 and a return ticket costs €21. The journey takes approximately one hour and ten minutes. Timetables are available online [49].

For Reus Airport, the easiest way is to get there is to take the train from Barcelona Sants station to Reus and then the local bus to the airport. The train costs €6.45 and then the bus costs €2. This takes roughly about an hour and a half.

By rail

Several trains per day (including overnight hotel trains) from other parts of Europe (via France) are regular & reliable.

Main train stations:

  • Barcelona-Sants (to the south west of the center).
  • Barcelona-Estació de França, Avinguda Marquès de l´Argentera (on the edge of the old town next to the seafront district of Barceloneta).

From/to Estació de França there are several connections per day to Cerbère (France), connecting there on trains towards Marseille and Nice. There are also 2 direct trains a day from Sants and Passeig de Gracia to Perpignan, Beziers, Narbonne and Montpellier in France. The long awaited TGV to France is not yet open, but will be expected in 2012.

The long-delayed AVE high-speed train line to Madrid finally opened in February 2008. Travel time is 3 hours 23 minutes with intermediate stops (11 trains a day) or 2 hours 38 minutes non-stop (6 trains a day during morning and evening peak hours).

By sea

The city's port is one of the busiest on the Mediterranean. It supports both ferries and cruise ships. Large cruise ships dock 1-2 kilometers to the southwest. Many offer bus-shuttles to points near the south end of La Rambla.

You can arrive to Barcelona by boat from the Balearic Islands, from Genoa and from Rome. From Rome (Civitavecchia) it is actually cheaper than the bus. The ferry docks almost directly on the Ramblas.

  • Alquiler de yates, 902 022 491., [1].

By bus

Contact Barcelona Nord for all bus connections, national(e.g. 18 buses per day from Madrid) and international.

  • Barcelona Nord, 902 303 222., [2].

By car

There are several main roads leading to Barcelona from France and Spain and traffic is usually relatively light outside of peak hours. It is possible to find free parking spaces a few metro stops from the center of the city.

Blue parking spaces are paid between 9am and 2pm and between 4pm and 8pm Monday to Saturday. At some crossroads the pay time starts at 8am. Anyone can use a blue space but they aren't that easy to find. You pay at the meter and put the ticket on the dashboard. Green parking spaces are for residents only. White parking spaces are free at all times but there aren't any in the city centre.

The city car parks have some special offers for tourists [50]

Get around

The department store El Corte Ingles publishes a helpful (and free) street map for tourists. You can pick a copy at the store, or from most hotel front desks. They're also available at the tourism information offices (including one at each terminal at Barcelona El Prat Airport).

By public transport

  • The Bus Turístic [51] links all of the Barcelona tourist sites you could possibly want to visit. It has three routes (map provided as you board), including a northbound and a southbound line that leave from opposite sides of the Plaça de Catalunya. Each takes 1-2 hours. The hop-on/hop-off format lets you get-off risk-free at any interesting stop, see what interests you, then get back on any later bus at that or any other stop. One approach is stay on for an entire route, then continue while getting off at locations that interested you earlier. Buses are double-decked, with the open-air upper deck offering much better views...sunscreen essential in summer months, jackets in winter/early spring/late fall. As you first get on, you are offered earphones. Outlets near every seat let you choose among many languages and playback volumes. As you approach each significant location, you receive audio describing it. You can buy tickets at the bus stops and elsewhere (e.g., better hotels) valid for one day (€23) or two consecutive days (€30).
  • The metro [52]can take you to many places. Stations are marked <M> on most maps; every station has a detailed map of exits to the city. A one-journey ticket cost €1.45, so it's best to buy a multi-person 10-ride ticket for €8.25 for Zone 1[53] which includes most tourist areas (called a T-10) or a personal 50-ride monthly ticket for €33.10. These tickets are also valid on the buses, trams, FGC (Catalan Railway Network) and on the main Spanish Trains (RENFE). 1- to 5-day public transport tickets are available that allow unlimited travel on the metro and bus networks (€5.90 for one day, €11.20 for two days, €23.10 for five days). These are an excellent value. Be sure to look after them well as bent or damaged cards will not be read by the ticket machines (such cards can be replaced at one of TMB's customer service centers). Metro operating hours are: Sunday and Mon-Thur 5:00 to 24:00, Fri 5:00 to 2:00, Saturday 24 hr (continuous service from Saturday at 5:00 until Sunday at 24:00). Trains are fast, often coming in two minute intervals. Announcements are made only in Catalan, though signs are generally trilingual in Catalan, Spanish and English.
Pay attention to the fact that to get from metro lines operated by TMB (1,2,3,4,5, 9/10 and 11) to the ones operated by FGC (6,7 and 8), or vice versa, you need to exit and then enter through a new pay-gate. In this case, if you had a one-journey ticket, you need to get a new one. If you used a multiple journey ticket (such as the popular 10 rides T-10 ticket -the one that locals use the most-) you won't be charged for a second time when changing lines (as long as you are within the stated travel time for a single journey). To be clear, you get 10 journeys on a T-10 ticket, and once a journey begins, you have a certain amount of time (stated on the card) where you can use the pay gates the TMB metro, the FGC metro (6/7/8), TMB bus, tram, and local RENFE lines up to once on each journey.
Unusual features are: all cars are air conditioned; there are large screens for video advertising between lanes (e.g. at Universitat).
  • The Barcelona Card [54] features unlimited free travel on public transport and free admission and discounts at around 100 visitor attractions. The card is available for purchase for periods of between 2 and 5 days, costing €24 for a 2-day card and €34 for a 5-day card. If you don't plan to see lots of museums every day, then it is cheaper to buy transport-only tickets (see above).
But there are many things that you will want to do in Barcelona that are not eligible for discounts. You can't use the Barcelona card on fun transport options like cable cars, funiculars or trams, for example.

Exotic transport

  • Tramvia Blau is an old tram (beginning of the 20th century) connects Av. Tibidabo metro station and Funicular station at the foot of Tibidabo. Costs: €3.10 for a two-way trip.
  • Funicular connects the foot of Tibidabo with view point. Costs: €9 for two-way trip.


  • GoCar, [55]. is a two-seater, 3 wheeled vehicle that runs with a 49cc size scooter engine. It is legally classed as a scooter to drive on the roads. The GoCars were created with the purpose of being rented to tourists as a different way to see a city.
  • Scooters, for singles or couples are a great way to explore Barcelona at their own speed. If you are coming as a group you can get a personal tour of all the places you like to see.

By bicycle

  • Terra Diversions, [56]. Bicycle hire in Barcelona city center: You can rent a bike or do a tour. Big selection of city bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, road bikes and children bikes in different sizes.
  • Barceloneta Bikes, [57]. One of the cheapest places to rent a bike in the city. Very close to the harbor and the beaches, this company has different kinds of bikes you can choose to rent, but it doesn't organize tours.
  • Bicing, [58]. (Barcelona's bike-sharing program, started in March 2007) is another option for an environment-friendly in-city transport. Unfortunately, it is just for residents.
  • Biking in Barcelona, [59]. Backed by Biciclot, a cooperative that promotes the use of bicycles in Barcelona. They offer high-quality tours for groups (from 12 to more than 100 people), private groups or individuals, as well as bike rentals.
  • Budget Bikes [60]. With top quality Dutch bicycles on hire, Budget Bikes offers good group reductions as well.
  • Fat Tire Bike Tours, [61]. You can either rent a bike from them or take one of their tours. The tour charge is around €22.

By car

Parking around all major tourist destinations is costly (€1.5-2.5/hour, €20/day) and the spaces are difficult to navigate, as there are several classes of public parking space, with complicated rules for each class. Barcelona is plagued with the same problems that plague other major European cities; massive traffic jams and extremely narrow streets in some areas, coupled with a very complicated road system. As such, driving yourself around is not recommended for toursits, especially those with no driving experience in large cities. Public transport will get you to all the major areas, and you should use that as your main mode of transport.

Having a driving map is essential - plan your route before you set off. Navigating with an average tourist map is frequently misleading: many streets are one-way; left turns are more rare than rights (and are unpredictable). As an example, Gran via de Les Corts Catalanes is technically two-way, but in one direction supports only minor traffic: after every crossroad you'll find the traffic light on the next crossroad turns red by the time you reach it.

Some free parking spots reported by travelers are:

  • Near Moll de Sant Bertran (which is south-west from Museu Maritim) - driving at B-10, exit to WTC and make a complete round at roundabout, heading to warehouses - and park next to its employees cars.
  • Somewhere near Guell Park.
  • Outside of term time, near Universidad.

Getting around by car makes sense if you plan to spend much more time driving outside the city borders than inside it - and ideally if you don't plan to park overnight at all. Otherwise, for purely in-city transportation, consider renting a scooter, or using public transportation instead.


See also: Catalan phrasebook, Spanish phrasebook

Barcelona's official languages are Catalan and Spanish. However, most signs are indicated only in Catalan because it is established by law the official language. Yet, Spanish is also widely used in public transports and other facilities, though announcements in the Metro are made only in Catalan. As in most other countries, any attempt by visitors to use the native language (in this case Catalan, not Spanish) is always appreciated. Most Catalans are bilingual in Catalan and Spanish, and instinctively address foreigners in Spanish. Catalan is a language, not a dialect, and sounds closer to Italian, Portuguese, and French in many ways. Avoid referring to Catalan as a dialect, which will totally offend Catalans.

The issue regarding the language is intertwined with Catalonian nationalism. Around 70% of local people consider Catalonia to be a separate nation, with its own culture, history and traditions, different from the other regions in Spain. Contrary to stereotypes, bullfighting and flamenco are not so popular in this region (as in many other Spanish regions), but there are also quite a few other differences. The identity subject might be a very sensitive one among certain traditional Catalans. Moreover, speaking in Catalan to Spanish-speaking Catalans might also be a sensitive issue.

These issues regarding language, national identity, and politics are like politics anywhere, and there's no way to summarize here (nor is it necessary in a travel guide) all the views that exist. While a significant number of Catalonians are anti-Spanish (and feel opposed to Spain and the Spanish language), many are simply indifferent.

In tourist areas, almost all shops and bars have some English speaking staff. However, like in the rest of Spain, English is not widely spoken, though it's still more widespread in Barcelona than in the rest of Spain, and you are more likely to encounter an English speaker in Barcelona than in Madrid. People will generally make an effort to try to help you if you speak in English, but their vocabulary will be very limited. If you do find a fluent English-speaking Barcelonian, the person is most likely to be born or have lived outside of Spain, usually a European or North American immigrant (both groups being a very significant part of the city center inhabitants along with the not-so-very-well-integrated Asian and African immigrants, who, of course, also often know English).

Your best goodwill in communication would be to try speaking in Catalan if you can. The locals learn both Catalan and Spanish in school (and are completely fluent in both), but Catalan is definitely the preferred language. Even for those who do not support independence from Spain, clearly Catalan is the first language, and if you can communicate with the locals in Catalan, this is really appreciated. While most locals understand that Spanish is more prevalent and are willing to converse with outsiders in Spanish, any attempts to speak Catalan will be met by smiles and encouragement, by and large. As such, visitors should make an attempt to say some basic greetings in Catalan, even if the rest of the conversation is held in Spanish.


What to see in the dark
The most spectacular sights in the night are:

  • Musical fountains, in Plaça d'Espanya. From Thursday to Sunday, May to October, 8:30PM. Each session lasts 30 minutes, with the last one starting at 11PM.
  • Casa Batlló.
  • Torre Agbar office tower, highlighted Fri-Sun 7-11PM.
  • City views from Montjuic hill

See the district articles: Ciutat Vella (Gothic Quarter), Eixample, Gràcia and Barceloneta for detailed listings of sightseeing, museums, churches and other individual places to see in Barcelona.


Walk around the winding streets and hidden squares, fountains and palaces in the Barri Gòtic (Ciutat Vella).

If you are thinking of visiting several museums, an "articket" will save you some money. It is a combined ticket costing €20 and covering admission to eight museums.

Attractions spanning several districts

  • Harbour Cable Car. Jun-Sep: 11AM-8PM. The 1450 metre long harbour aerial tramway with red cars connects Montjuic and Barceloneta. It starts in Barceloneta on the top of 78 metre tall Torre San Sebastian tower, which has also a restaurant on its top accessible by an elevator. It has an intermediate stop at Torre Jaume I tower (close Columbus monument), which can be reached by elevator from ground--107 metre tall tower, the second tallest aerial tramway support tower in the world. The final point of the tramway is Montjuic. Overall, the tramway is quite old (built in 1929), and the car is packed with tourists during the daytime--particularly sensitive for a stroller or a wheelchair. Currently, the Torre San Sebastian tower in Barceloneta is temporarily closed for renovation, while two other stops work as usual. One-way €9, round trip €12.50.

Sants-Montjuïc "district"

Estadi Olímpic Communication Tower, Barcelona
A view of Barcelona from Montjuic
place Espanya
Game at Camp Nou
  • El Poble Espanyol, Av. Marques de Comillas, 13, +34(93)508-6300 (, fax: +34(93)508-6333), [3]. A fake village built in 1929, with replicas of characteristic buildings in Spain (like the Avila walls, the Vall-de-roures town hall, etc). The village hosts the Fondation Fran Daurel, where you can enjoy an interesting Modern Art collection boasting Miró, Picasso, Tapiès and other, mostly Spanish and Catalan, contemporary artists. The audio tour is very worthwhile here. Also worth seeing- the flamenco show at Tablo de Carmen. You can also step into several of the workshops to see craftsmen at work such as glassblowers and leather workers.
  • Miramar viewpoint. This is where you arrive by a harbour cable car. Marvelous place in the spring, full of roses and fountains. Entrance to the cactus garden is nearby.
  • The Montjuïc Castle. Provides a beautiful panorama view over the rest of the city. The Montjuic Castle is in the Montjuic Mount. From the Montjuïc Castle, take the harbor cable car to Barceloneta for more splendid views.
  • Telefèric de Montjuïc cable cars [62]. Newer analogue of the harbour cable car that opened after total renovation in May 2007. Runs between Montjuic Funicular (Parc Montjuïc station) and Castell (Montjuic Castle). Open hours: Apr, May and Oct: daily 10AM-7PM; Jun-Sep 10AM-9PM; Nov-Mar 10AM to 6PM. Adult: one-way: €6, round-trip €8.30. Child (4-12yrs): one-way €4.70, round-trip: €6.30.
  • Montjuic Funicular [63]. Runs from Metro Parallel to Joan Miró Museum.
  • Plaça d'Espanya. Once used for public hangings, Placa d'Espanya was created for the 1929 World Exhibition. The fountain in the center of the square is a great attraction and plays music during the summer. Plaça Espanya is located at the base of Montjuic mount.
  • FC Barcelona, [64]. If you're a football fanatic, then you can't miss a visit to Camp Nou, the home ground for Barcelona's biggest and most popular team and one of Europe's greatest footballing 'cathedrals'. FCB are the only major football club in the world that does not sell advertising space on its strip, and because the club does not want to spoil the aesthetics of its famous red and blue jersey. While they now have a logo on their jersey, they pay for the privilege of using it—FCB contributes millions of euros a year to UNICEF. During the Franco era, FCB were the only way that suppressed Catalans could vent their anger against his dictatorship. Because of that, it became and stil is a symbol of Catalan identity. Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 98,600 people, with shops and a museum of the club's history. Match tickets start at about €42 and games hardly ever completely sell out, unless it is a match against the hated rivals Real Madrid (a match commonly dubbed El Clásico), one of the other top teams (currently Valencia or Sevilla) or in the Champions League. With the quality in the current team, there are always a few goals, and it is nearly always a resounding win for Barca. Stadium tours are not fantastic, and the audio tour is not really worth it also, but for a quick recent history of matches played there, consult the backs of the doors in the cubicles--most have a lot of graffiti championing their team that played here. It is also unfortunate that the home team changing rooms are not open to the public, only the somewhat dated away dressing rooms, which are not that impressive.
  • FC Barcelona Tickets, Barcelona Football Club [65]. Official Ticket agent for FC Barcelona Tickets. It is a little overpriced than in the stadium but you skip long queues and are assured with the seats you want, and the tickets will be sent to the hotel. Tickets can also be purchased online from a number of websites, such as fc barcelona tickets - [66] and Spain Ticket Bureau [67].
  • FC Barcelona basketball: FC Barcelona has professional teams in many other sports, with the most notable being their basketball team ([68]). Barça's basketball section has boasted countless Spanish and international stars, and it regularly contends for top honors in both the domestic ACB and continent-wide Euroleague. Note that unlike Barça's football team, the basketball team does have a sponsor's name on its jerseys, namely Spanish insurer Regal. FCB basketball plays at Palau Blaugrana, next to Camp Nou; tickets range from €12 to over €60, depending on the quality of seats and desirability of the match. FCB members receive discounted prices. Barça provides basketball ticket information in English here.
  • Botanical Garden farther after the stadium.


  • Caixafòrum, Avda. Marquès de Comillas 6-8 (Plaça Espanya) [69], phone 934768600, open Mon to Sun 10am to 8pm, Sat until 10pm. This place hosts great exhibitions. Admission free.
  • Joan Miró Museum (Fondacio Joan Miró), [70]. Parc de Montjuic s/n. Phone 934439470. Open Oct to Jun Tue to Sat 10am to 7pm, Thu 10am to 9.30pm, Sun 10am to 2.30pm, Jul to Sep Tue to Sat 10am to 8pm, Thu 10am to 9.30pm, Sun 10am to 2.30pm. This museum is on the Montjuïc accessible by the metro (L3 Parallel and then the funicular). Treasured museum dedicated to Joan Miró and always has interesting temporary expositions on display. Admission €8,50.
  • Military Museum. In the military fortification on the Montjuic. The museum was closed definitively on 24th May 2009.
  • Palau Nacional. Hosts the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (Catalan National Museum of Art).
  • MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) in the Palau Nacional, [71]. Has the single best collection of Romanesque art in the world, and a fine Gothic collection as well. Includes the Pantocrator from the Taüll Romanesque church. Free on the first Sunday each month (but they close at 14:30).
  • Futboll Club Barcelona Museum, [72]. This is one of Barcelona's most visited museums near the stadium.
  • Catalan Archaeological Museum, [73]. Situated on the Montjuic, it exhibits archaeological findings from Catalunia from different periods.
  • Museu Etnologic (Catalan Ethnographical Museum), [74]. Passeig Santa Madrona, 16*22 (Montjuic); 934 246 807‎. This museum mainly exhibits exponents, which were imported by Catalan sailors as they explored the new world. Free on the first Sunday each month (11:00AM to 3:00PM)
  • El Museu de l'Esport Olímpic
  • The German Pavillion (El pavelló Alemany) A must-visit if you like architecture, it was designed by Mies van der Rohe.

• Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso) Carrer de Montcada 15 presents an amazing array of Picasso's work, from early pieces created while he was in barcelona to examples of his most well-known stylistic periods. Many museums have free entry on the first Saturday or Sunday of each month.

Other districts

  • Tibidabo. Located on the mountains of Barcelona (farther north from Gracia) and offers a spectacular view of the city (532 m high). This is a place where according some legends, the Devil tempted Jesus Christ offering him the whole world in exchange for his worship. At the top there is an awesome church, which offers panoramic views of the city. The church is almost surrounded (bizarrely) by a big funfair. You will also find an observatory and an ascendable communications tower nearby. To get there, take the metro to Av. Tibidabo Station, then Tramvia Blau, and then Funicular up to the mountain. It takes a good hour or more from Sants, and a little longer from the center. The beautifully scenic walk down is lined with some un-missable Spanish architecture for your photo album. You can not take photos very well from the tram, but the walk is wonderful. The cafe con leche at the cafe near the church is terrible. Try at the bottom of the funicular.
  • Monestir de Pedralbes, Baixada del Monestir, 9. A beautiful Gothic monastery near the university, there are a picture gallery (the Thyssen Bornemisza Collection), a museum which depicts the monastery life, a church, and a marvelous chapel covered with medieval frescoes.


  • Museu de Ceramica (Ceramic Museum), Avenida Diagonal 686. At the Gaudi Pedralbes Palace, [75]
  • CosmoCaixa, [76]. Isaac Newton 26; 932 126 050. The city's science museum and probably one of the best places to visit in Barcelona. One of the best science museums in Europe. Located near Avinguda del Tibidabo.

Gaudi architecture and Modernist Barcelona

Gaudi architecture includes the Parc Güell, the still unfinished Sagrada Família and the houses; La Pedrera/Casa Milà and La Casa Batlló.
Gaudi's Parc Guell is a must see in Barcelona

The Ruta del Modernisme [77] run by Modernisme Centre (Pl. de Catalunya, 17, subterráneo; phone +34 933 177 652): guidebook and discount voucher book for €12. Takes you round all the best Modernisme (art nouveau) buildings in Barcelona. The main part of the route can be walked in a couple of hours, providing you don't stray too far from the main routes. The Tourist Offices offer a pack that includes discounted tickets to many attractions such as La Pedrera and La Casa Batlló. All can be seen from the outside for free.

  • Casa Vicens, Gracia, C/de les Carolines 24 (buses 22, 24, 31, 32), [4]. The first building Gaudi has built himself in Barcelona. Can be seen only outside, as it is a property of a private owner. The only exception is May 22 every year, when it is open to "neighbours and citizens". In Unesco World Heritage Sites list since 2005
  • La Pedrera (Casa Mila), (Diagonal metro station), 644 291 481, [5]. Hosts a large exposition of Gaudi works, covering Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlio, not only La Pedrera itself. The exposition is a good place to start your exploration of Gaudi; it reveals many hidden details for the art novice. Entrance: approximately €10.
  • Güell Park (Parc Güell), [6]. This is on a hill overlooking Barcelona, so expect a relatively steep walk to the top (Gracia, Lesseps metro station, then follow arrows that are every 300 m); you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the whole city. For more off the beaten track, the park can be also reached from metro Vallcarca. The park has two distinct parts, a relatively undeveloped (and uncrowded) natural area near the top of the hill, and the more famous sculpture park below (really crowded most of the time). The sculpture portion is full of walkways and other structures exhibiting the distinct and colorful style of Gaudi, including the famous terrace. The undeveloped part is isolated(?) from the sculpture park with a fence. If you take the bus 24, it is full of pickpockets--be careful) Free entrance..
Sagrada Família Crucifix
  • Sagrada Família. Getting up to the tower by elevator costs €2.5, and believe the signs that tell you that the wait could be 120 minutes to ascend. Previously, it was possible to go up the spiral stairs, but now, they allow you only to get back down. The most impressive thing is to see Sagrada Família at night with lights on, this is the time when you understand why people say that it is built of bones. Entrance costs €12. Get the audio commentary for €4 as it is well worth it. You will gain a much better appreciation of the Sagrada Família. Sagrada Família metro station. At busy times, you would be well-advised to take snacks, refreshments and maybe even a personal music player to pass the time in the queue. As of August 2010, there will be a new service of fast entering. Visitors can buy their tickets for future dates at any Servicaixa ATM (part of 'La Caixa' bank, easily recognizable by their blue logo and also because there is one just across the street from the entrance) or, they will get a code with which they are going to be allowed to enter the Temple by a fast line. The service has a fee of 1'30€ extra.

Since November 2010, you must buy tickets for the lift at the same time you buy your entry ticket because they have time slots. Make sure you know which life you are going to take (There are two: Nativity lift, lower but you get to walk on two different towers and you walk down so you can see the famous stairs and Passion lift, it goes up to 85m and it offers you a panoramic view of the city, you can walk down or take the lift down. If you go later than 10am, you are going to get tickets with at least one hour waiting, but they are worth and also there is no real waiting because you buy the entry ticket and the lift ticket for the following hour, you go inside and then to the museum and before you realize you may have even missed your ride, time goes fast inside. Take into account that if you ask for an audioguide, it lasts over 90 minutes.

  • La Casa Batlló, [7]. 9AM-8PM. Often overlooked for La Pedrera, (also by Gaudi), La Casa Batllo is equally as stunning with its unique architecture and infamous two ornamental pillars in the entrance to the terrace. Open for visitors from ground floor to a roof, and down by an old-time elevator. Entrance: adults €16.5, which includes an audioguide.

Non-Gaudi modernisme:

  • Casa Amatller, [78] by Puig i Cadafalch, is a fine work of Modernisme. Open for visitors (free entrance), only ground floor. Check detailed photos and explanation of facade sculptures. It also has a shop that sells fine chocolate (the Amatller family made its money out of cocoa).

With children

  • Museum of Natural History in the Ciutadella Park (Barceloneta)


  • Stroll along the following famous streets:
    • La Rambla, a gorgeous tree-lined pedestrian walkway, the busiest and most lively street of the city. Mostly occupied by tourists, expect to pay higher prices for food and drink. Avoid the groups of people supposedly betting on a game played on a cardboard table, they are thieves. Head off into some of the side streets for a cheaper, more local, and authentic experience of Barcelona. Often called Las Ramblas, because it is actually a series of several different streets each called 'Rambla de ____', the sections also have distinct feels. As you get closer to Placa Catalunya, you find more street performers doing stunts. In the middle, you'll find street performers in costumes. Towards the pier, there are artists who will do pencil drawings, paintings, etc.
    • La Plaça Catalunya. Connecting all the major streets in the city, the Placa is known for its fountains and statues, and the central location to everything in the city. A favourite meeting spot for locals.
    • El Portal de l'Àngel. Large pedestrian walkway with many new and stylish shops to browse in.
  • Cruise miles of beachfront boardwalk starting from Barceloneta or get a tan on the beach.
Platja de la Barceloneta Looking onto Port Olímpic
  • Sit on a wooden bridge to Maremagnum and cool your toes at the waters edge: with a book, sandwich or just for a short rest.
  • Wander the Barri Gotic, the largely intact medieval center of the city.
  • Enjoy your Sangria at La Plaça Reial, near the La Rambla Street. Great place to sit,relax and drink.
  • While visiting La Placa Reial, check out a Flamenco show at Los Torantos for just 7 euro [79]. Tarantos is a small bar and theatre on the Placa Reial just off La Rambla. If you just want a half hour taste of Flamenco then check it out. Admission is €7 (2009 prices) for a a 30 minute show of flameno song and dance. Three performances nightly at 20.30, 21.30 and 22.30. There are plenty of other clubs on the Plaza Reial, but watch out for pickpockets in the early hours of the morning!
  • Shake to the beat and dance the night away at one of Barcelona's 200 or so nightspots.
  • Walk in Born, a very popular area with great restaurants and places to have a few drinks. If your accommodation is on Rambla, Born is a great place to escape the crowds, enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and meet off-the-beaten track travellers and non-tourist-industry locals--especially in the evenings.
  • Stroll across the sand on the beach every Sunday night throughout the summer for live music, drinks and swimming.
  • Check out Gràcia: a neighbourhood just off Park Guell, full of local culture, few tourists, and tons of places for relaxing and eating.
  • Visit a Flamenco Show in a real tablao. Tablao de Carmen [80], which is situated in Poble Espanyol, offers a spectacular flamenco evening. The entrance fee (€31) includes the 1.5-2 hour show, drink and free of charge entrance in Poble Espanyol. A cheaper alternative is the flamenco night in jazzclub Jazz Si [81] in the Raval neighbourhood.
  • Ride the Cable Way to get from the sea front to Montjuïc mountain. €7.50 for one-way ticket. Rides on the Montjuic cable are not included in transit tickets like the Barcelona Card.
  • Check out Montjuïc and its green surroundings, where you can also admire the German minimalist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1929 Pavilion [82] or the interesting Caixa Forum building (right in front of the Pavilion).
  • Sit and sip on a coffee in Plaça dels Àngels, while admiring the whiteness of the MACBA [83] and the best street skate tricks in town.
  • Catch a performance at the beautiful Teatre del Liceu and the Palau de la Musica Catalana.
  • Rent a bike or join a Biketour and get to see the highlights of the city in a different way. Ride from the magic beaches of the Mediterranean, to Gaudí's modernist buildings through the medieval atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter. More info: Biking in Barcelona [84].
  • Sail 3 hours to see Barcelona from the sea. Together with professional skippers with proven experience you will be pratice costal sailing in all its aspects and enjoy a beautiful view of the city. More info: Business Yachtclub Barcelona [85]
  • Cook&Taste ([email protected]), Carrer del Paradís 3, (+34) 93 302 13 20, [8]. Cooking class on traditional Spanish dishes. Get ingredients from La Boqueria; then together with a small group led by a profession chef, cook a few dishes: tortilla, paella and crema catalan; enjoy the meal you prepared. ~€60 per person.

  • Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. Stroll around the beautiful grounds of this hospital. Check out the tiles in the convalescent home, and see if you can sight any of the stray cats. Due to construction in some of the wards, enter the grounds of the old hospital either through the beautiful chapel or the garden near the new hospital.
  • Parc del Laberint d'Horta. Try out the labyrinth in the center of this park. The park also has a nice waterfall, a romantic canal and gardens. A quiet place to relax for several hours away from the busy city. €2.07.


  • Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc (Swimming pool on Montjuic), Av Miramar 31, 934430046, [9]. Mon-Fri 11.00-18.30. In the summer months July and August the outdoor swimming pool is open for public. This pool offers spectacular views over the whole city. The pool is close to exit from the funicular that departs from metro station Parallel; metro ticket is a valid for the funicular. €5,05 for adults.
La Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc - for majestic swimming.


For those wishing to make a real attempt at learning the language, there are plenty of Catalan and Spanish language schools in Barcelona.

  • The University of Barcelona [86]. Tel: +34 952 222 998
university library

  • Olé Languages Barcelona [87]. Av Mistral 14-16 Local 6, Tel: +34 93 185 15 18
  • C-2 Barcelona [88]. Tel: +34 932 72 16 34
  • UAB [89] Tel: +34 93 581 13 25
  • BCN Languages [90] In Barcelona: Gracia, Sants, Eixample, Sagrada Família and Palma de Mallorca.

C/de Balmès 129 bis(planta principal).Spanish courses,Cursos de inglés .An effective way to learn to speak and understand foreign languages rather than just reading comprehension . Based on "one to one" teaching, so you can start any time and choose when you want your lessons, which makes its really flexible.

  • Don Quijote [92] You can take 4-6 hours of courses a day. All courses including beginner courses are taught entirely in Spanish.
  • Linguaschools Barcelona [93] organizes Spanish courses for foreigners. The school is open all year round. On 5 min. from Plaza Catalunya.


Barcelona is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

Most shops and Shopping malls are closed on Sundays because of law restrictions, but not all. On the Ciutat Vella area as well as the Barceloneta area you will find plenty of small fashion shops, souvenir shops and small supermakets open on Sundays. Moreover on the the Port Vell, right at the end of The Ramblas there's Maremagnum a Shopping Mall that stays open all Sundays.

  • Secondhand English books in Grácia.
  • La Central del Raval is a bookshop with really 'huge selection' of books on art, architecture and design. C/ Elisabets, 6 (between MACBA and La Ramblas). [94]
  • El Corte Inglés, [95]. Spanning several floors and several buildings, and in several locations around town, you can find anything and everything in this department store, from gastronomy to pneumatics. Tax return checks are made on a separate floor of the store, whatever are your purchases. See review for the whole chain in the Spain article.
  • Fnac, [96]. Sells books, music, games, and many other interesting items. Fnac is in the El Triangle shopping center in Plaza Catalunya (Opposite El Corte Inglés).
  • Maremagnum. Nice shopping mall by the sea at the end of The Ramblas. The only shopping mall in the city open on Sunday and public holidays. Clothes: mostly mass-market brands; no independent designers; only a few outlets of national chains
  • Kelkom, • Gràcia's neighborhood. Street Còrsega 393. Between Bruc and Girona Street.Underground L5 Verdaguer ó L3 Diagonal. Shop of gifts and accessories where you can find from necklaces, earrings, bracelets, shirts, bags, clocks, gifts and many things more, of different styles and prices.

  • Escuela Mediterraneo, (Sta. Mónica, 2), 93 318 70 70, [10]. 16h/week. Easy to reach by metro and bus. Near the Ramblas and the beach. 90. (1 week,)


  • La Boqueria. In Ciutat Vella. Large public market with a diverse range of goods and produce. Enjoy freshly squeezed organic fruit juices for €1.5 per cup. Closed Sundays.
  • Cacao Sampaka [97] (C/. Consell de Cent, 292), Xocoa or The Chocolate Factory are must for chocolate lovers. There's also a Chocolate Museum in Carrer Comerç, 36. The Museum is rather lousy: it consists just of one room next to a cafe. Different sculptures made of chocolate build the core of the exposition. Do not expect much information about recipes or different chocolate types. This part of the exposition is really rudimentary and provides at most 3-4 text paragraphs.
The sign of the famous shop.
  • Happy Pills, C/. Els Arcs. A petite candy store located next to the Cathedral Square noted for resembling a pharmacy and packaging their product in plastic medication bottles or first aid kits.


  • Art Montfalcon, Boters 4 (Final Portaferrisa), 93 301 13 25 (), [11]. Probably the largest souvenir shop in the city at 1000 sq. m. Almost no ordinary souvenir-shop trivialities; really good choice of creative and artistic souvenirs: watches, plates, jewellery, mugs. Creative mechanical toys: spiders etc. The only missing thing is Kukuxumusu, but there is a choice of other souvenir t-shirt brands.
  • There is a lovely shop in Carrer Bisbe selling crafts including miniature versions of the dracs (dragons) and gigants (giants) that feature in Catalan processions and fiestas. El Ingenio, in Carrer Raurich, sells the real ones and is worth a visit just to look - you can also buy confetti, jokes, rubber snakes and other amusements.
  • Wawas Barcelona, c/Carders, 14 (off Via Laietana, near Picasso Museum), (+34) 93 319 79 92, [12]. Mon-Sat 11-2, 5-8:30. A truly new and innovative souvenir shop featuring its own line of postcards, magnets, mugs and trays, all of which being of artistic images of a Barcelona we see every day but hardly ever stop to look at. Also offers chocolate bars by Xocoa, one of the most renowned chocolatiers in Barcelona, wrapped in a photo of the city. Wawas sells guidebooks, and has a selection of products and gifts designed, made, and marketed by the best designers and creators in Barcelona. A must-see for visitors and locals alike.
  • Stamps are actually sold in 'Tabacs' or tobacconists. Once you know what they look like, you'll notice them on every block or so. To post your mail, you need to find one of the yellow letter box located rather infrequently along the sidewalks.

Places to avoid:

  • The souvenir shopping scattered throughout the Barri Gotic (the old city) and all along La Rambla are tourist traps, none of them sell Catalan or Spanish products but the typical array of Chinese general souvenirs, they should be avoided.

Clothes, shoes and accessories

  • Bolsos Turo - Pilar Guardia Located in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood, at 10 min from Ramblas and Plaza de Universitat you will find this Spanish Leather Bags and Accessories shop. Calle Manso 76 (Cornering Ronda Sant Pau). Metro L2 Sant Antoni or L3 Poble Sec. Bolsos Turo is a shop for affordable and fashionnable leather handbags, suitcases, travel bags, leather belts and more.
  • Kelkom Barrio de Gracia. Street Còrsega 393. Among Bruc and Girona. Metro L5 Verdaguer or L3 Diagonal. Gift shop and accessories where you can find everything from jewellery, shirts, handbags, watches, gifts and much more, of different styles and prices.
  • Designers and chic fashion clothes are widely available in Born (Jaume I Metro station).
  • Most of the luxury international brands can be found at Passeig de Gracia.
  • Amateur, c/Riera Baixa 16, Raval (m. Liceu / Sant Antoni), +34 93 329 1721 (). Mon-Sat 10:30AM-2:30PM, 4:30-8:30PM. Small boutique shop featuring several independent designers.
  • Custo Barcelona, [13]. Popular designer clothing brand with 3 stand alone stores--plus Ministry of Sales (Placa del Pi, 2).
  • Juan-Jo Gallery, C/Elisabets 20, El Raval. 50 meters to MACBA Museum. (m.Liceu/plaça Catalunya), 933028900 (), [14]. 11.00-20.30. Fashion leather. Jaquets, bags, hats and complements designed and made in Barcelona with Spanish leather.

  • La Gauche Divine. See in Ciutat VellaA multi-functional space that combines fashion, music, art and design.
  • Jordi Labanda, C/del Rosselló, 232 (between Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia), +34(93)496-1403 (), [15]. Brand store of famous Spanish designer.
  • Lluch Sabates, d'Avinyo 14. Tempting Italian shoe store with gorgeous designs. Features oXs.
  • Miriam Ponsa, Career de la Princesa, 14. Boutique shop offering designer wares.
  • Nice Day, Nice Things, 1) Maremagnum shopping center; 2) Carrer de Pau Claris, 172, +34(932)157-479, [16].
  • Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, C/ Consell De Cent 314, 932 155 288.
  • Camper, multiple locations, [17]. (10AM-10PM; vacation from mid-Aug to Sep 5). Standalone store at El Triangle shopping center at Placa de Catalunya seem to have widest choice of models and sizes in the city.
  • Desigual Shops all over town especially en Paseig de Gracia. Different Stylish clothes for men, women and children.

With children


  • Bobolino brand is good value-for-money garments for babies. Sold in Maremagnum and other malls.


  • La Pedrera (Casa Mila). At the exit from museum part (same floor as The Pedrera Apartment), La Pedrera hosts a small toys store. Mid-XX century-style metal toys (including musical boxes and whirligigs); fascinating books with pop-up pages (especially check Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, €30 each). Check also several books How to Speak to Children About Art from several galleries (Tate Gallery, Metropolitan Museum). To get to the shop, you need to buy a standard ticket to La Pedrera.
  • There is a underground mall somewhere between Placa del Pi and Born area, with a good selection of child shops.


Barcelona is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

Barcelona's cuisine is inconsistent in quality, as with all highly touristic cities, but good food does exist at reasonable prices. The golden rule of thumb applies well in Barcelona; to save money and get better food, look for places off the beaten track by fellow travellers and seek out cafes and restaurants where the locals frequent. A good idea is to avoid restaurants with touts outside.

Where to eat during siesta
Majority of restaurants and cafes are closed between 4PM and 8PM for migdiada. If you failed to plan for that, here are some places you can eat during this period:

  • tapas in bars (not too healthy nor cheap to substitute a full meal)
  • international chains
  • selected restaurants who are flexible enough to cater for tourists all day long: Origen 99.9%, Udon, Vegetalia.

Set menus (menú del dia) Most restaurants (and some bars) offer a menú del dia (menu of the day), which usually means a simple and unpretentious two course meal (one salad, main dish and a drink; plus a dessert sometimes), 3 or 4 options each, with a drink and a dessert, for €8 to €15-20, depending on a restaurant. During the week, some smart restaurants offer lunch specials from 2PM to 4PM. The savvy traveler will try the hip places for a fraction of the price during the day.

If you're looking for a place where everyone can choose their own meal, ask for restaurants that serve platos combinados, which is the closest thing to an American/Northern European meal.

Smoking: The bigger restaurants (more than 100 square meters) have non-smoking areas. In most of the smaller places smoking is permitted.



You can get food from any part of the world in Barcelona, but make sure you try some Catalan food.

See Catalan cuisine section in the Catalonia article.

The selection of seafood is consistently great, although not a lot of it is local (this part of the Mediterranean is pretty well fished-out).

A treat to try that no travel guide mentions is waffles sold at street stands. They will tempt you with their mouth watering smell and taste.

Even though tapas restaurants are now all over the city, tapas itself originated in Andalusia in the south of Spain and is NOT native to Catalan cuisine. Catalans generally eat three course meals (appetizer, main dish and dessert) and would more likely go for a pre-dinner drink and pintxos (Basque counterpart for tapas) at a Basque taverna than for a meal consisting entirely of the new trend in tapas-only dining. As you travel to smaller towns in Catalonia outside of Barcelona, it is less likely that you will find tapas and more likely to see restaurants serving traditional Catalan food in three courses.

Areas to eat

Depending on where you are in the city, there may be restaurants galore, or none at all. The following areas tend to be restaurant "hubs", with a large variety of restaurants to choose from:

  • Barceloneta: A popular quarter for locals, where you can try fish based dishes, such as Paella (a name that may hide many different kinds of rice concoctions) or Arròs negre (Black Rice), that takes its colour because it is made using squid ink. It's a very good place to eat tapas as well.
  • Eixample Izquierda (between Gran Via and Mallorca)
  • Barrio Gotico (especially for tapas)
  • "El Borne" (next to Barrio Gotico)

Around Plaza Catalunya there are dozens of restaurants serving excellent tapas.

For budget eating you may choose "menu del dia" in small bars on the Avinguda del Parallel for €9-€11 per person. Be aware that sometimes the menu and the staff are only in Spanish.

The large cafes that line the Passeig de Gracia and the Rambla de Catalunya, just north of the Plaça de Catalunya, offer a variety of acceptable tapas. This part of the town is quite touristy and a bit expensive.


€10 is the lowest price for a standard menu del dia; for less it can be only canteen or budget-style eating--or fast food.

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Up to €10
Mid-range €10 - €25
Splurge €25 and up



In several supermarkets you can find a wide stall with a great selection of ready-to-eat dishes. You can get a two-course lunch for less than €5.

Non-Catalan Cuisine

  • Döner Kebab: There is no shortage of Döner (more commonly known as Gyro) stands in Barcelona, offering tasty beef or chicken and salad in toasted flatbread for around €3.50. Gyro is the Greek name and version of the Turkish doner-kebab and it is delicious! You could live on these things for a week!
  • Bella Istanbul (1: Barceloneta Pg. Joan de Borbo 2; 2: Carrer Industria 164, near to the Sagrada Familia--metro "Hospital de Sant Pau") The most famous and cheapest Döner Kebab in the city. They have got my favorite food in the city for only 3.50€. Very delicious.
  • Fres Co (1:Maremagnum, store 59; 2:Ronda Universitat, 29); a 10 EU all you can eat buffet including hot dishes and cold and drink. The bread isn't the greatest, although the vegetable quality is quite good, and the warm food isn't terrible either. Warm food includes whatever soup they have on display, some meats, and pizzas. The Maremagnum buffet has fruit juices for I believe 1 EU, while the one on Plaza Catalunya has numerous desserts, such as an ice cream machine and flan, in additional to all kinds of beers, wines, and sodas.

Also you can consider the Asiatic offer, with a lot of Chinese, Japanese and Indian restaurants. Specialties to take away in: Noodle and Wok to Walk. (in carrer de l'hospital or c/ Escudellers.)


  • La Riera in C/ Regent Mendieta, 15 - Les Corts (at next to football club Barcelona, Metro L5 Collblanc) Tel.629574268 / 650429440. One of the best Vegetarian Restaurants in Barcelona; cheap and tasty. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Price (Menu): 8,60€
  • BioCenter in C/Pintor Fortuny, 2 offers cheap and tasty vegetarian and vegan food.
  • Comer y no Bombas (location variable) shares free vegan food.
  • Govinda, 04,Plaza Vila de Madrid (Walk through the entrance to Citadines Hotel and go past the hotel into the area behind it), +34 93 318 77 29, [18]. 20:30 - 23:45. is just 2 min from the Rambla. This restaurant serves only vegetarian food. The food is mostly of Indian cuisine and very delicious. Try the thali here. 10-20€.
  • Veg World, C/Bruniquer 26, Gràcia (Take the left from Joanic Metro station and walk for 5 min. The restaurant is on the left side of the street.), +34 93 210 70 56 (). Tues to Sat 12:45PM to 4PM & 8PM to 11PM, Sun 12:45PM to 4PM, Closed Monday. is a restaurant that serves only vegeratian food - mainly Indian dishes. This may be the only place in Barcelona where you can get Masala Dosa. The food is delicious. 05-15€.
  • Maoz [98] offers excellent vegan falafel (including unlimited salad) for around €4. There are several around Barcelona including one on 95, La Rambla, about 10 minutes walk from Pl Catalunya.
  • Vegetalia, 54, Escudellers st., +34 93 317 33 31, [19]. 10:00 - 00:00. Offers excellent organic vegetarian foods, as a compliment to the restaurant there's a store carries the full range of Vegetalia products as well as other well-sourced organic foods. The staff are friendly and the prices reasonable. 5-10€.

Mid range

  • Bestial C/Ramón Trias Fargas 2-4. Fabulous lunch specials to be enjoyed on their great beach terrace on warm sunny days. Dinner tends to be quite expensive, thus lunch is the value for money option.
  • Hisop, passage Marimon 20, [99]. One of the most promising cuisines in Barcelona with excellent wine service. Mains around € 20.
  • Dos Cielos, Pere IV, [100]. Intimate dining atmosphere with eclectic cuisine. Well worth the visit.
  • Sky Food Bar, Pere IV, [101] Modern atmosphere, Mediterranean style with traditional Catalonian influence with full bar.

Traditional Catalan cuisine

  • Can Punyetes, C/Maria Cubi 189. A very traditional Catalan restaurant favored by locals. Menu in Catalan, but it's worth the risk, the food is delicious.
  • El Glop, three locations, [20]. Excellent Catalan meals at a price within most budgets. Allow about €20 per person, although you could get out of there for half of that if you let the price dictate your choice of dishes.
  • Braseria El Glop, C/de Casp, 21, +34 93 318 75 75, [21].
  • Taverna El Glop, Sant Lluís, 24 (intersection of Sant LLuís/Montmany), +34 93 213 70 58, [22].
  • Els Quatre Gats (Four Cats), Carrer Montsio, 3 bis, +34 93 302-41-40 (), [23]. Frequented by tourists, Els Quatre Gats, is the successor to the famous cafe where Gaudi drank and Picasso exhibited, in a fine Modernisme building by Puig i Cadafalch. The cooking is of a high quality (if it's not onion soup). The wine list (and wine recommendations) can be quite pricey. The decor is quite old fashioned, while the attentive staff are dressed formally. Local visitors for dinner are either over 40s or families with children. Menu del dia (1PM-4PM Mon-Sat): €24 on Sat; main courses typically ~€17 and up (VAT not included).
  • La Flauta Carrer Aribau, 27. Many local business people come to dine here during the week. The ever changing menu del dia (menu of the day) costs around €10 and will fill you up with delicious Catalan cuisine that is well prepared and equally well presented. The Crema Catalana, similar to a creme brulee, makes an excellent choice for dessert. Arriving for lunch before 14:00 could save you from waiting for a table.
  • Origen 99.9%, (), [24]. 12:30PM-1AM Mon-Sun ('''no break for siesta'''). Eco-friendly chain of Catalonian-cuisine restaurants; organic only in some of products. Good choice of specialty liquors. main courses: fish €5.5-6; meat: 5.85.
  • Passeig del Born, 4, +34 932 956 690.
  • Muntaner, 409, +34 932-014-579 ().
  • C/Enric Granados 9, +34 93 453-1120.
  • C/Ramon y Cajal 12, +34 93 213 60 31.
  • C/Vidrieria 6-8, +34 93 310 75 31.

Non-Catalan Cuisine

  • Udon, four locations, see below, [25]. A chain of inexpensive noodle restaurants inspired by a japanese chain Udon Ya, serving tasty Japanese cuisine. No reservations.
  • Born, Princesa 23 / Montcada 6 (Metro Jaume I (line 4)). Tue-Sun 13-24; closed on Mon.
  • L'Illa, Centre L'Illa Diagonal, Avinguda Diagonal, 545-565 (Metro Maria Cristina (line 3)), 93 444 11 99. Mon-Sat 13-21:15.
  • Raval, Tallers 69 (Metro Catalunya (line 3)), 93 301 45 69. Mon-Sat 13-24. Extremely prompt service; waiters even help each other in everything they do--really rare thing in restaurants.
  • Eixample, Concell de Cent, 23 (Metro Passeig de Grac (line 4), Universitat (line 3)), 93 487 51 69. Mon-Sat 13-24.


  • Orgànic on C/ Junta Comerç, 11 at <M> Liceu (L3). A little more expensive, around €20 for the menú del día, but is worth it! Whether you're vegetarian/vegan or not, this kitchen is organic and the food is amazing and of high quality. Not a quick eat, but a nice sit down to good food meal. The service is friendly and down to earth and funny.
  • Batik Restaurant, 454 Valéncia, [102]. Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai food. Just a 3 minute walk from La Sagrada Familia makes this combination and ideal way to spend an afternoon. To get there from La Sagrada Familia (or the metro stop (L2 or L5) you just head down "Calle Marina" and turn left onto "Calle Valéncia". Batik Restaurant is on the right hand side of the street -- you can't miss it.


  • Alkimia, Carrer Industria 79. One of Barcelona's most highly regarded restaurants, run by acclaimed restauranter Jordi Vilà. With a minimalist white interior that directs the attention to the inventive and indulgent foods on offer, Alkimia spearheads a new wave of new Catalan cooking that will delight and impress. Was awarded a Michelin Star.
  • Gaig, Aragó 214 (Cram Hotel) [103]. With a reputation for serving the freshest produce around, (there are even chickens wandering around the patio), Gaig focuses on classic Catalan cuisine, but in a modern, lighter sense. The decor is in a contemporary red and black design, and the staff are friendly and weloming. Was awarded a Michelin Star.
  • Cinc Sentits, Aribau 58 [104]. Named one of the '80 Hottest New Restaurants in the World' by Condé Nast Traveller shortly after opening in 2004, Cinc Sentits surpasses expectations. One of the few restaurants in Barcelona to offer a wine pairing, it features contemporary Catalan cuisine in a modern, warm interior.
  • Drolma Restaurant, within the Hotel Majestic on Passeig Gracia, noted for fine spanish and continental cuisine.


Barcelona is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Try a "café con hielo" an espresso with a drop of milk served with a glass of ice cubes on the side and any local 'bar de cafe'

  • Starbucks, [26]. With 17 locations in most of the touristic destinations around the city, Starbucks offers a sense of familiarity for the less adventurous traveler.
  • Bracafe, C/Casp #2, [27]. Nice cosy cafe to sit and lounge over a cup of proper coffee.


  • Razzmatazz - [105] Found off the Marina station, this club has it all, and is the undisputed best Barcelona has to offer. Consisting of several rooms, each one plays a different style of music (pop, retro, house, trance). This club is the pinnacle of Barcelona nightlife, loved by both the visitors AND the Catalans. 15 euros will get you in with a free drink. It's worth paying an entry fee. Saturdays at 2 AM is the absolute best time to go, and worth the 5 minute and 1/4 mile line to get in. Closes at 6 AM
  • Sutton - Located on Diagonal, this club hosts Studio 54 on Thursdays. If you like House or Techno music this is a must. Open until the metro starts back up, Sutton has a very large dance floor with two VIP rooms. It also has a small stage where multiple go-go dancers perform throughout the night.
  • Catwalk [106]. One of the most popular nightclubs in the city, with the peak time around 2AM. They offer 2 different floors with R&B and hip-hop styles mixed with House or Techno.
  • Chupitos, are located in several locations through out the city, including one in Barceloneta. Chupitos is Spanish for "shots" and offers hundreds of unique shots including the "Harry Potter" (a shot that sparks as cinnamon is sprinkled over it), and "Monica Lewinsky" (a variety of flaming shots) amongst others. As much a show as it is a place to get a drink, it's a fun night out.
  • KULAS A cheaper alternative to Chupitos, they serve a selection of 1€ shots and high quality cocktails in a cool chilled out cocktail bar. Passeig de Colom 7.
  • Maumau [107]. A chilled out lounge bar with groovy tunes that uses its space to host short film nights, installations and concerts. Their webpage is worth a look for upcoming events and shows in Barcelona.
  • Cafè Milans [108]. Probably one of the most dynamic bars of the Gothic Area. Dj sessions, live exhibitions, art, and cocktails...
  • La Paloma, Tigre 27 (M. Sant Antoni), [28]. Thu, Sat 10PM-5AM; Fri 2:30AM-5AM. A very popular night club. Crowded in late nights, packed with young and beautiful people (La Paloma is currently closed. It's not known when the club will open its doors again) entrance €5-15.
  • Shoko, [109]. Designed by a Feng Shui expert, Shoko serves you good karma all night. Depending on the night, the dj usually spins House or Hip Hop tunes.
  • London Bar, London Bar is basically a pub, but a pub that has been open since 1910 and used to be frequented by the likes of Dali, Picasso and Hemingway. The atmosphere is lively and friendly, it’s a great place to just pop into and the prices aren’t that bad, bottle beer 3 euros and a spirit + mixer at 6 euros. There is also absinthe for the foolhardy!
  • La Concha, La Concha, located off Carrer Nou de la Rambla on Carrer de Guàrdia, is a bohemian hole in the wall hookah bar. It boasts a moroccan gay bar feel, but with a lively, mixed crowd of friendly 20 and 30 somethings drinking cocktails and smoking shisha. Definitely not "tourist-y", and in a neighborhood that requires attention late at night, but friendly and fun for the traveler looking for a little local adventure.
  • Sala Apolo, Apolo, located right at Parallel metro-station is one of the best clubs in town, and definately the place to be on monday nights. Concerts every weekend and also during the week.



  • Comerç 24, Carrer del Comerç 24, Born, Ciutat Vella (M. Arc de Triomf), +34 93 319-2102 (), [29]. A fashion tapas bar. Very creative, very good.


Discount cards

  • Connect Club Discount Card, Pl. Urquinaona 11, 3 2, Barcelona, +34 93 317 0474 (), [30]. The Connect Club Discount Card is a possibility to have an affordable stay in Barcelona. The discount card offers significant discounts and special privileges for Barcelona’s hottest nightclubs, best bars, most famous restaurants, and more… It costs only €12 and is valid for a whole year.


  • Bcnjoy Party Tours, City, Beach, Eixample, 663917176, [31]. 21:30. Join the Bcnjoy Party tours. Choose between three different areas: City, Beach, Eixample. The price of €20 includes free welcome drinks in three different bars and entry to a club. 20€.


Barcelona Accommodation Statistics

  • 3 star and below price range: $35 - $295
  • 4 star price range: $68 - $552
  • 5 star price range: $133 - $412

Price in US Dollars.

Barcelona offers a great arrangement of accommodations, from cheap, decent hostels and guest-houses to five-star hotels.

See the district articles: Ciutat Vella (Gothic Quarter), Eixample, Gràcia and Barceloneta for detailed listings of hotels, hostals and pensions, hostels and apartments.


Telephone and mobile services


There is a free internet service provided by the city council. The password is "Barcelona WiFi". It's incredibly slow!

There is an internet provider called "free", which may cause some confusion if you see "freewifi" come up as a network on your device.

  • Infoespai [110], Plaça del Sol. A free internet cafe, and social center. In the Gràcia quarter.

Stay safe


Barcelona is easily Spain's pickpocketing capital. As always be alert in crowded places, such as public transport, train and bus stations, La Rambla and Raval. People may approach you asking for change, or to change money. Just ignore them. If you are asked to change money, then it has been known that official looking police will approach you afterwards to 'check' your wallet for ID, etc. These are not police, so be at your most vigilant or you might find they have taken a few cards or cash upon returning your wallet.

Pickpockets use the football trick as the a local specialty. At certain tourist hotspots, there are people, usually African men, who will try to show you a 'magic trick'. This involves tying a piece of string around your finger. While you are distracted (and your arm is effectively disabled), an accomplice will pickpocket you. It is also possible that criminals will pose as tourists and ask directions to approach their victims. Keep your distance and, likewise, try not be offended if you find it difficult to engage passers-by in busy situations as they have likely learned their lesson the hard way.

The subway is a hotbed for pickpocketing activity, which can range from simple opportunistic thefts to coordinated attacks. Be especially wary on the subway platforms at Sants train station and Sagrada Família. A group of men will come out of seemingly nowhere while you attempt to enter a subway car and block your entrance and exit in a c-oordinated manner, effectively pinning you against the doors while they close. They will act as if the car is just crowded and they are trying to get on as well, but, in reality, they have already gone through your pockets. Once they take stuff, they quickly return to the platform and walk off calmly while you are trapped in the departing subway as they make sure they exit just before the doors cannot be reopened. Violence in these situations is rare and in most cases the goal of the thieves is to rob you undetected. An easy solution is not to keep your wallet, cash or important documents in trouser pockets or in bag pockets - a money belt is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent being robbed.

Keep vigilant: do not leave anything in a back trouser pocket (except maybe a map of the city). Hold on to your bag/purse at all times. Do not leave anything unattended while you sit in a cafe or restaurant. Don't be distracted by teams of people who work together to steal things from your pockets or out of your bags.


Choose an ATM in a quiet area to avoid being targeted.

Barcelona is particularly well equipped with rich ATM points. ATMs labeled "Servired" offer a wide range of services (withdrawals, transfers, mobile credit recharges, ticketing, etc.) and accept credit cards of various banks.


A variety of methods are employed, including the No Change trick

Streetside Scams

A version of Three Card Monte is one of many scams played on Las Ramblas.

Areas of caution

Women traveling alone should exercise caution while exploring the more isolated parts of Montjuïc. The city beaches, particularly the ones adjoining Barceloneta, have proven to be quite lucrative for bag snatchers. Anything that one would rather not lose is best left (locked) in one's hostel or hotel.

Men traveling alone should expect the prostitutes on Las Ramblas in the early hours to be very aggressive and in league with pickpockets and robbers.

Also, people need to be careful when leaving the bars of the Olympic village late that there are many pickpockets around.


Tourist drivers may attract special attention, such as Red light bag snatch or Flat tire scams

Reporting crimes

If you need to report a crime (for example, to claim on travel insurance) be prepared for the reality that in the downtown police station, officers may not be able (or willing) to speak English, despite that fact the official theft report form is in both English and Spanish. The police station most often used to report theft is the Mossos one near Les Rambles.



EU citizens can get free or reduced cost medical treatment on presentation of an EHIC card and passport.

  • Hospital Clinic I Provincial De Barcelona, C/ Villarroel 170, +34 932 275 400 Metro: Hospital Clinic (Line 5).

Get out

Day trips from Barcelona include:

  • Figueres - Home of the most impressive Salvador Dalí museum.
  • Montserrat - Visit the monastery nestled high in the mountains to see the Black Madonna or hike to the peak to earn a fantastic view of the surroundings. 30 miles from Barcelona.
  • Sitges - A traditional beach side destination for the locals. Full of fashion shops open on Sundays. Is a popular gay destination too.
  • Girona - A quiet town with an ancient Jewish section, narrow streets, imposing walls and plenty of cafes. See directions to the north airport above.
  • Pyrenees - A mountain range around 150 km north from the city.
  • Sant Cugat del Valles - Has one of the most interesting Romanesque cloisters in Catalunya, with many interesting carvings. The town itself is full of expensive vilas.
  • Montseny - UNESCO Biosphere Reserve 40 km northeast of Barcelona. Go there by car or bus/train

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This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!