Barcelona has an underground transit system and it is an efficient one. The trains come frequently and there is a notice board announcing the arrival time. On the week-ends it operates also during the night. Visit the Transport page for more details about the Metro and tickets.
The airport of Barcelona is at 14 Km from the center at “El Prat de Llobregat” municipality. One of the best ways to arrive to town is with the Aerobus.
Visit the Transport page for details about the different ways to arrive to the city center.
Barcelona is one of the best cities I know for Shopping. Many commercial streets, many malls, good service and good prices. Visit the Shopping page.
If you don’t come from Europe, you should visit the chain Fnac. As far as I’m concerned I could live all my life inside a Fnac. They let you listen to music, sit and read books, touch the cameras and laptops and there is even a coffee place. One of the Fnac is at Plaza Cataluña. El Cort Ingles is a huge national Spanish department store. There is one at Plaza Cataluña and a second one, not far, at Portal de l’Àngel. The one at Portal de l’Àngel is more sportive and the one at plaza Cataluña is more classic.
Start from Plaza de Cataluña and walk to the pedestrian street “Portal de l’Àngel”(Map).
You will find a lot of small commercial streets between “Portal de l’Àngel” and “La Rambla”. Also, from Plaza de Cataluña, you can walk at the other direction, to the big avenue “Paseo de Gracia”, the shops are more exclusive there. Visit the Shopping page.
If you like to dance and drink at night, Barcelona will not disappoint you. It all starts very late in Spain, many families have their supper only at 22:00 so you can imagine when the clubs begin. If you’ll arrive at a club at midnight, they may let you enter, but you will be dancing with yourself. Some popular places: Opium at Puerto Olimpico, City Hall club at plaza catalunya and BLVD at the end of la Rambla. Visit the Nightlife page, for details.
There are bars for all tastes in Barcelona. The tapas bar are open also at night and you can have a beer with the tapas. If you are looking for a concentration of fancy bars, “El Born” (Map) is a good place to go. Also the barrio gótico is busy, around plaza real for example and the street Ample at the end of la Rambla to the left, has many nice bars like Margarita Blue.
If you insist on drinking a Guinness and you are looking for an Irish Pub, there is a concentration of them at Ferran street (Map) (Down La Rambla, to the left). Visit the Nightlife page.
Salsa is great to dance everywhere in the world but Barcelona is even better, because of the international character of the city and especially the many latinos who live in town. There is nothing like a Cuban instructor animating the evening. The main Salsa clubs in Barcelona are: Mojito and Antilla.
Like other dancing clubs in Barcelona, also Salsa begins late at night, especially on the week-ends. At Mojito, on the week-ends, the night starts with Salsa but after an hour or so, it changes to popular Latin music like Reggaetons. Watch this Video of Salsa party at “Agua de Luna” at Halooween. Visit the Nightlife page.
Sometimes, you will walk in the nice streets of Barcelona and fall upon a music show, without any special known reason. Music is an important part of the city. Watch this Video of a music parade (drums) in Barcelona.
Palau de la Musica
If your music style is more oriented towards the classics, you should visit the Palau de la Musica. It is an impressive building from outside and inside.
If you buy a ticket, you can hear a classical guitar concert. The place is not far from plaza Cataluña. See Map
You can usually go to the beach in June, July, August and September. At summer time, day temperatures are around 28 Celsius and at night 20.
November begins to be cold and January is the coldest month with 13 Celsius as average at day and 4 at night. Barcelona and all Spain is very sunny throughout the year. More about the climate here
For a great European city, Barcelona has comfortable prices. Visit the Cost page for common prices in Barcelona.
If you want to understand the spirit of Barcelona as a student city, see the very entertaining movie L’Auberge Espagnole in which a French Student comes to Barcelona as part of the Erasmus exchange program.
Barcelona has some of the top world ranked universities, among them : the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra. Because there are so many students, it is quite difficult to find good apartments for long time rentals. On the positive side, the students bring to Barcelona a special atmosphere.
Some people arrive to Barcelona as tourists or even for long term studies, ignoring the fact that Cataluña has a separate culture and language (in addition to the Spanish one). If you don’t speak Spanish, you may not notice, but local people usually don’t speak Spanish, they speak Catalan. The signs you see on shops and everywhere is mainly in Catalan. Locals speak also Spanish and if you are a Spanish speaker, you will feel at home.
Catalan is quite similar to Spanish. If you understand Spanish, you will probably understand some parts of a Catalan conversation and certainly understand parts of a written text. Catalan has also elements from French and other Latin languages.
The Catalan accent reminds me the Portuguese one as spoken in Portugal. Look at the photo, as you can see the Spanish and Catalan texts are quite similar.
As a tourist it’s important for you to know these words in Spanish and Catalan:
Beer = Cerveza (in Spanish) = Cervesa (in Catalan)
Tapas = Tapas (in Spanish) = Tapes (in Catalan)
If there is one feast you should not miss in Barcelona, it is La Mercè. It is a festival dedicated to the city of Barcelona and it begins a few days before 24 of September. During the festival there are street parades, music shows, traditional giant dolls, traditional human castles and popular dances.
Building human towers is typical to Catalunya and it was declared by UNESCO an intangible heritage of humanity. You can see performances during “La Mercè” and other feasts. Better not to applaud while they are at the peak, it may make them fall. Watch this Video with Human Castles in Barcelona.
In Spanish they are called “gigantes y cabezudos” which means “Giants and Big-Heads”, they are typical to Catalunya and the Basque regions and they are parading in the streets during feasts, especially at “La Mercè”. Watch this Video with Giant Dolls in Barcelona.
A circle dance typical to Catalunya region. Watch this Video with Catalan popular dance, in front of the Cathedral.
If you want to go out of Barcelona, there are several destinations for a one day trip or even half day trip. One such destination is Sitges, just 35 Km south of Barcelona (see Map). Sitges is a small coastal town, known for its annual film festival and Carnival and as a popular destination for gays and lesbians.
It is easy to reach Sitges. With the suburban train, it takes about 40 minutes. See the transport page, for details.
Another possible half day trip could be to Monserrat. It is a mountain with several peaks of about 1200 meters. The view is very nice and there are hiking and climbing activities for the sportive ones (see Map) .
Monserrat can be reached by a suburban train from Plaza de España (about 1 hour) with an interchange to a cable car or a funicular to climb the mountain. See the transport page,
Costa Brava are the shores north of Barcelona and till France. You can find quiet and beautiful beaches along the Costa Brava but if you want also to party at night, Lloret de mar is the place to go (Map).
You can choose to go to Nightclubs with predominantly German tourists or ones with Russians, there are also some other nationalities in Lloret de mar.
To reach Lloret de Mar you can take a suburban train from Plaza Catalunya till Blanes (one hour and a half) and then a short bus ride till Lloret de Mar.
See the transport page, for details.
Girona (see Map) is located about 100 Km from Barcelona and it takes less than 2 hours to reach it with the suburban train from “Paseo de Gracia” or “Sants” stations. With the new high speed train it takes just 40 minutes (from Sants station). See the transport page, for details. When you go to Girona you switch to another province, the town has nice streets, a river, a cathedral, an old fortification and an old Jewish Quarter.
Figueres (Map) is almost on the French border and just 40 Km from Girona, so you can visit both of them by train. Tourists visit Figueres mainly because it is the birthplace of the artist Salvador Dalí and there is the Dalí theatre and museum to visit. See the transport page, for details.
Andorra (Map) can be visited from Barcelona in one long day with a special tourist
bus. Andorra is a very small state , bordered by Spain and France. If you enter the many shops in town, you will feel like at a airport, because the goods are tax free and the cigarettes and other merchandises are exposed like in a departure hall. There are Ski stations, at the mountains around. See the transport page, for details.
The Baleares islands are not a destination for a one day trip but you can reach them easily by boat from the port of Barcelona, at the end of la Rambla. You can take a night boat or a speed boat for a few hours (not all year).
Palma de Mallorca is relatively a big island with nice beaches and Ibiza is known for its parties with famous DJs. Menorca island is small and calm.
Barcelona is well served with tourist information stands and offices.
There is one in Plaza Cataluña in front of “El Corte Ingles” beside the statue at the underground. There are more at La Rambla street, also at the municipality square (Sant Jaume), Barcelona Cathedral square, plaza de España and under the statue of Colombus. You can buy there tickets for the touristic bus, Camp Nou and other attractions.
A few points to note: If you look at Barcelona from the sea, the Diagonal avenue goes from up-left to down-right and divides the city in two parts, most tourist attractions are at the south of the Diagonal.
Barcelona is slightly sloped, the beach is on the down side and the mountains (Tibidabo) on the up side, so if you are lost and without a GPS, you may still know your direction.
La Rambla is a very central street going from Pl. Catalunya to the port. the Gothic quarter is on the left (going down la Rambla) and El Raval is on the right. El Born is right after the Gótico and La Barceloneta is the first beach after the port.
View Barcelona – Zones
in a larger map
More on Barcelona :
- Where to Stay in Barcelona – Potential Zones for the Hotel.
- What to Visit in Barcelona – The Tourist Attractions and how to Arrive.
- What to Pack for the trip to Barcelona – Hidden Pocket cash…
- Frequently Asked Questions about Barcelona – Weather, Feasts, Costs…
- Barcelona Tour – How is Barcelona, get the feeling of the city.
- Shopping Zones and Commercial Centers in Barcelona.
- Barcelona Nightlife – Where to Drink and Dance in Barcelona.
- Barcelona Transport – Airport, metro, buses, trains, outside town…
- Barcelona Cost – Typical prices in Barcelona, change money…
- Barcelona Internet – How and where to buy a local SIm, cost…
- Vegetarian Restaurants and Fast-Food in Barcelona – Eating Healthy.
- Barcelona Maps – Google maps with points of interest for tourists.
- Barcelona Photos – Nice photos of the city.
If you have specific questions about Barcelona, you can ask them in this TripAdvisor Forum.
On Thailand :
- Bangkok – What to Visit, Where to Stay, Transport…
- The Islands in Thailand – Which one to choose, Where to stay, How to arrive ?
- Chiang Mai – What to Visit, Where to Stay, Transport…
- Pattaya city – What to Visit, Where to Stay, Transport…
Other Stuff :
- What to Pack ? the visual list that will help you prepare the suitcase.
- Visit my Vegetarian Page. Why be Vegetarian ? What to eat ?
- Visit my Salsa Dance Page. Salsa main Styles. Why Dance Salsa ?
- See City Information about 2 more cool cities: Barcelona and Tel-Aviv.
- Listen to nice Songs with translation in French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew.
- Listen to basic Words In Spanish, French, Hebrew
If you find incorrect data on this page, like a restaurant that has closed or a big river that has moved or you want to tell me something, please write me to contact.