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Last month I headed south to Barcelona for a few days of summer sun. This was mine and Darryl’s first time in the city, and our first trip to Spain together, so we had big plans for ticking off all the sightseeing and eating all the tapas!
Here’s a guide to planning your very own trip to the beautiful beach-side city of Barcelona.
See more: Barcelona Travel Vlog
Things to know about Barcelona
Where: Barcelona is on the east-coast of Spain, not far south of the French border. It’s also not too far from the island of Mallorca.
Currency: euros. As usual, we used a Monzo travel card for most of the trip and took some additional cash.
Tipping: we didn’t feel any pressure to tip, but always gave a few euros if the service was great.
What you’ll spend: Barcelona can be done on the cheap or on the pricier side, depending on your style. We spent quite a bit more on this holiday as we were celebrating our engagement!
Weather: their weather is usually pretty good all year round, dropping a bit during winter and becoming really hot in the summer.
Pick pockets: unfortunately Barcelona is known for this type of behaviour, especially in the La Rambla and Gothic Quarter areas. Keep your belongings close to you at all times and you’ll be fine.
When to go to Barcelona
Any time of year would be great for a trip to Barcelona. We chose to visit during July, just because that’s the time that we’d set aside for a holiday. Ultimately I think it worked out well because the weather was in peak summer mode!
Where to stay in Barcelona
Barcelona is huge, way bigger than I anticipated, so I’d recommend staying as close to the centre as possible. We booked our stay at the Melia Barcelona Sky which ended up being a little far out, but a fabulous hotel.
You can find great deals via Booking.com.
Top things to do in Barcelona
Here are some of the top things to do and places to see in the city:
- Sagrada Família
- Bunker del Carmel (free)
- Park Güell
- Casa Batlló
- Casa Milà
- Vila de Gràcia (free)
- Gothic Quarter (free)
- El Raval (free)
- La Rambla (free)
- Mercado de La Boqueria (free)
- Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona (free)
- Ciutadella Park (free)
- Playa de Barcelona (free)
- Plaça Reial (free)
- Font Màgica de Montjuïc (free)
Read more: 3 Days in Barcelona
Getting to and from Barcelona airport
We hopped on the Aerobus right outside the terminal, which takes you straight into the centre in around 30-minutes for only €10.20 return. You can also take the metro, but we couldn’t find the station!
If you’re arriving into another Spanish airport, you might want to look into their bus and train routes.
How to get around Barcelona
During our trip we got around by foot, metro, public bus and hop-on-hop-off bus! As I said, the city is really big so I’d be impressed if you could walk it all.
There’s so much to see in all parts of the city, so it’s worth using the public transport whilst you’re there. Plus, it’s only €2.20 for a one-way ticket.
We really loved the simplicity of the hop-on-hop-off bus, so consider doing this on a one-day or two-day basis.
What to pack for Barcelona
- Comfy trainers
- A light jacket for spring/autumn or a thick coat for winter
- Sun hat for summer or bobble hat for winter
- Sun cream for summer
- Various layers depending on the season you choose to visit in
- Swimwear for the beach/pool
- Camera and charger
- Phone and charger (use Google My Places to get around)
- Portable phone charger
- Currency and bank cards
- Backpack or shoulder bag (make sure its pick-pocket proof!)
- Global or European adapters
- Travel documents
What I spent in Barcelona
Here’s what the trip cost for the two of us:
- £545 return EasyJet flights from London Luton Airport and 3 nights at the Melia Barcelona Sky (room only) with Expedia
- £45 airport parking
- £19 Aerobus return tickets
- £36 (approx.) on metros and buses
- £55 hop-on-hop-off bus one day pass
- £23 cable car to Montjuïc
- £18 Park Güell tickets
- £225 spending money
Total trip cost: £966 / £483 per person (£161 per day for 3 days)
As I mentioned earlier, this turned out to the best trip ever because Darryl proposed, but even without that it was a fantastic trip. Barcelona is definitely one of my new favourite cities and I will absolutely return one day!
Have you been to Barcelona before? Is it on your bucket list?