Barcelona is one of the best city breaks in Europe, largely due to the flight connections into Barcelona airport and how easy it is to get from the airport to the city centre. Within a few hours, you could be walking up and down Las Ramblas (the main street for shopping and eating in Barcelona), finding the best cafes in the Gothic Quarter or sipping a gin and tonic by Barceloneta – the neighbourhood with Barcelona’s beach! The temperature stays between 10 –25°C year around in Barcelona, but summer is the best time to visit for festivals, whereas autumn and spring are ideal for city breaks.
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The best places to stay in Barcelona
There are some amazing neighbourhoods for shopping, nightlife and beach weekend breaks in Barcelona. Barceloneta is in the south of the city, within walking distance of the beach and the port. Ciutat Vella (Old City) is the best place to stay to be in the centre of the attractions in Barcelona. The Gothic Quarter is one of the best places to stay in Barcelona for shopping, and El Raval, slightly further south, is a good place to stay for feeling like a local – there are less crowds, but it still has a good mix of shops and restaurants. El Born is perfect for bar hopping, and naturally, the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas are great places to stay for nightlife in Barcelona. La Ribera used to be Barcelona’s textile district, and this is where you can find some of the best boutiques in Barcelona today. Check out the best hotels in Barcelona for every budget.
Points of interest in Barcelona
You can see almost all of Barcelona’s main sights in a weekend. Jump on a bus tour or rent a bike to see La Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, Park Güell, Barrio Gotic (the Gothic Quarter), Placa Catalunya, Barcelona Beach and Camp Nou (the home of Barcelona football club). Gaudi’s architecture isn’t confined to la Sagrada and Güell, you’ll find it on the rooftops of Passeig de Gracia and the intricate walls of Casa Milà. If you want to see more Catalonian culture, go north to Salvador Dali’s House in Portlligat, or head to Girona. For those looking to party, make sure to head to Barcelona for Primavera Sound in May – a world famous festival usually headlined by the world’s best DJs. Here are the rest of our recommendations for a weekend in Barcelona, including the all-weather attractions CaixaForum and cooking classes.
Where to eat and drink in Barcelona
This coastal city has amazing seafood – make sure you go to La Boqueria, the food market on Las Ramblas whilst you’re here, and grab a bowl of paella. Olives, Iberico ham and gambes a la plancha (prawns) are usually on the menu too, and it’s easy to eat on a budget– you can pick up some tapas to share for less than €10. Despite having a food culture so rich in meat and seafood, Barcelona has been tipped as one of the best cities for vegans – Flax & Kale, Vegetalia and Catbar are all favourites when it comes to vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona. After dinner, check out Old Fashioned for a few gin and tonics, and move onto Barcelona’s best nightclubs: Opium, Carpe Diem and Harlem Jazz Club are great places to get acquainted with the city by night.