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Flights to Barcelona

Flights to Barcelona put you smack dab in the middle of one of Europe's most dynamic, energetic, and vibrant centres of art and culture. Although Barcelona's image is contemporary and chic, this city dates back thousands of years when it was known as Barcino under the Roman Empire. The city was transformed by the 1992 Olympic Games, which brought a sleek modern upgrade to Barcelona's narrow streets and well-preserved Baroque and Gothic architecture.

General Overview

There's no better way to experience Barcelona than on foot, winding your way through its charming cobblestone streets to browse through outdoor markets, chic boutiques, and bustling cafes. The city centre is based around the Ciutat Vella, or Old City, which spills out onto the well-tended beaches. Here you'll find the medieval Gothic Quarter and the sprawling Rambla, with its plethora of tapas bars and chain stores. Yet all of Barcelona's neighbourhoods are worth a wander, from the art nouveau decadence of Eixample to the quaint charm of cosmopolitan Gracia. There's a touch of eccentricity to Barcelona that's hard to resist, seen both in the fanciful Gaudi architecture and attitude of the gregarious locals.

Getting In to Barcelona

The majority of flights to Barcelona will descend into the main airport, Barcelona El-Prat International. This is located only 12 km away from the city centre and is easily accessible with the city shuttle service, Aerobus. You can also take the RENFE train network into the city, or take an inexpensive taxi. Flights are available from low cost carriers such as Air Berlin, Easy Jet, Ryanair, and Vueling; as well as major international airlines such as British Airways and Delta. Flights from budget airlines may also land in Girona Airport, located 100 km to the north, or Reus Airport, located the same distance to the south.

What to Budget?

Barcelona is comparable to other major western European cities in price. Expect to spend at least £50 per day* (as a very rough guide) even when staying at hostels, eating in tapas bars, and enjoying primarily free attractions. Although it's cheaper than Paris or London, prices in Barcelona are higher than other Spanish cities such as Alicante or Malaga. Visit our hotels site for cheap Barcelona hotels.

Can't Miss Attractions

The city is nearly synonymous with the iconic work of Antoni Gaudi, exemplified in the fanciful Parc Guell and his masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. World class museums also await art lovers, from the Picasso Museum to the Museum of Contemporary Art. If you're looking for something a little different, why not visit Barcelona's Mammoth Museum, which lets you handle the tusks of woolly mammoths? Barcelona cuisine is a star attraction in itself, from its saffron-infused paella to its Basque pintxos and Michelin-starred restaurants like Enoteca. For a unique vantage point of the city, take the Harbour Cable Car which runs from Barceloneta Beach up to the top of Montjuic. Drink in the panoramic view of the city as it sprawls to the sea and soak in the culture of Montjuic's numerous arts venues.

Travel Tips

1) Although August is the busiest month in Barcelona, this coincides with the weather being its hottest. As a result, many local shops and restaurants shut their doors until September as their owners go on holiday in search of cooler breezes. Visiting in May or September can yield better deals and more space on the beach.

2) Barcelona is very family-friendly, and you'll see small children enjoying dinner at 10 or 11 pm along with their parents. Children are generally welcome in public spaces and restaurants, and are treated well by the locals. Enjoy all-ages activities like the Museum of Science and Tibidabo Amusement Park for a fun day out.

3) Like most tourist cities, pickpocketing is quite common in Barcelona, particularly in crowded or touristy areas. A money belt is advisable and it's best to keep your eye (and hands) on your purse or wallet at all times.

*As of June 2013 - estimate only

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Images by Flickr/somma1977