Guide to Barcelona Spain • We Blog The World


Even the primary time I visited town, method again in 2008, Barcelona was one of many cities individuals principally intently related to the idea of “overtourism,” which was admittedly a bit. In these days, I tended to show up in a metropolis and verify in on the first obtainable hostel I might discover, with none regard for once I may take a look at.

Although my journey type has completed a whole 180º since then, discovering Barcelona in such a…stream-of-consciousness method has had a long-term impression on how I view Catalonia’s capital. Namely, that due to its sprawl and the large variety of sights there—and, extra importantly, the large attraction of extra intangible experiences within the metropolis—Barcelona is a spot whose magic no variety of vacationers might spoil.

Indeed, I contemplate myself completely resistant to all of the naysaying amongst holier-than-thou “traveler not tourist” influencer sorts. Is Barcelona value visiting? Yes, and it all the time will probably be.

Sagrada Familia  

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Regardless of what number of days in Barcelona you spend, I like to recommend being a bit extra methodical about selecting a spot to remain than I used to be throughout my first go to. As a basic rule, I discover that being someplace close to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is a good suggestion. Some nice locations I’ve stayed on current journeys embrace the quirky Hotel Continental, which is actually proper on Las Ramblas and Hotel el Call, a boutique resort proper within the coronary heart of l. a. Ciutat Vella.

On the opposite hand, Barcelona is a massively sprawled metropolis; comfort isn’t essentially a very powerful a part of selecting a spot to remain, particularly not in case you spend various days right here. Way again in 2008, for instance, I stayed in a small hostel not removed from Barceloneta Beach, which is Barcelona’s #1 leisure vacation spot. Another nice space to remain is L’Eixample, which is admittedly far more sprawling than most individuals make it out to be in dialog. To put it one other method, whereas the correct resort may not be determinative of whether or not you discover Barcelona value visiting, it may’t damage.

My Favorite Things to Do in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

Most guests to Barcelona wish to see the Sagrada Familia, however not all perceive the importance of the church, which is the grasp work of well-known Catalán artist Antoni Gaudí. The excellent news is that it’s by no means too late to study, significantly in case you spend the remainder of your time in Barcelona discovering different Gaudi-related sights, such because the surreal Parc Güell viewpoint or the colourful balconies of Casa Battló.  The higher information? Gaudi will not be the one well-known artist from Barcelona—go to Fundacio Joán Miró in Plaça d’Espanya for a primer on one of many others.

The Gothic Quarter

Although its boundaries are considerably amorphous, the Gothic Quarter (in different phrases, the realm round Barcelona Cathedral—the Gothic one, not the comparatively fashionable Sagrada Familia) is one in every of my favourite locations to discover in Barcelona. This charming outdated city, with slender cobbled streets, must be a high precedence, irrespective of what number of days in Barcelona you’ve given your self. When mixed with close by El Born, which might be my favourite place for tapas in Barcelona, you can simply spend a full day right here. The Ciutat Vella (Old City) can also be not removed from La Boqueria Market.

Spend a day in Barceloneta

Looking again on my first journey to Barcelona, probably the most vivid (and, due to the warmth and solar, most hazy) reminiscences had been from Barceloneta Beach, which stays one in every of my favourite metropolis seashores on the earth to this present day (despite the fact that it was really artifical simply earlier than the 1992 Olympics!). The adjoining district of La Barceloneta can also be enjoyable to discover, significantly in case you’re hungry after a day of sunbathing. From right here, you possibly can proceed to Parc de la Ciutadella and go to Barcelona’s personal Arc de Triomf, or relaxation up for an evening of partying in l’Eixample.

Catch a View

Regardless of how lengthy I spend in Barcelona, I prefer to put issues in perspective—actually. While I used to be beforehand a giant fan of doing this from the pool (of Olympics fame) close to Montjüic Castle, I found a metropolis heart viewpoint on my newest journey, which affords the same panorama, however with out the haze and smog Montjüic’s best distance makes a bit too obvious for my style. Unlimited Barcelona is totally definitely worth the €12 (as of August 2022) you might want to pay to entry the viewing deck, to say nothing of the scrumptious, well-mixed cocktails on affords when you ascend.

Get Out of Town

Conventional knowledge is that it’s best to use Barcelona as a base to discover Catalonia, be that by visiting cities and cities likeGironaandSitges, or by venturing northeastward to theCosta Brava. I gained’t knock any of those locations—really I’ll, I’m not likely a fan of them if I’m sincere—however I’ll say, significantly if it’s your first time to Barcelona, that it’s higher to spend most of your time discovering town heart. For most vacationers, a day is a lot better spent exploring Barcelona-proper than the less-spectacular locations in its orbit.

Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?

Barcelona is an odd metropolis. On one hand, having now explored Spain far pastBarcelona (and Madrid), I can say that Catalonia’s capital isn’t almost as fascinating to me because it was. This, mixed with crowds that appear to get bigger and extra unruly yearly, has made Barcelona’s luster put on off extra each time I go to—not hating, that’s simply the truth of how I really feel.

On the opposite hand, no matter what number of days you keep in Barcelona and the place else in Spain you’ve been, there’s a sure magic to town, one which by no means actually goes away. My recommendation would most likely be that in case you’ve by no means been to Barcelona, town is totally value a while in your Spain itinerary. If you’ve been a couple of times or many instances? You may be tremendous skipping it, relying on how lengthy you spend in Spain and the place else you go.

FAQ on Visiting Barcelona

Is 3 days in Barcelona sufficient?

With 3 days in Barcelona, you possibly can simply see town’s high vacationer sights, from Gaudi-related sights just like the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, in addition to Barceloneta Beach and the Gothic Quarter. On the opposite hand, with simply three days, you gained’t have a lot time to get misplaced in Barcelona’s neighborhoods, not to mention to take day journeys to close by locations like Girona and Sitges.

Is 5 days in Barcelona an excessive amount of?

In no universe is 5 days in Barcelona an excessive amount of. Depending on how rapidly you discover, it’d barely be sufficient to tick every part off your Barcelona bucket record! If something, I’d say 5 days is the minimal period of time it’s best to plan to spend in Barcelona, a minimum of if you wish to have time to “feel” town earlier than and/or after you go to all of your precedence sights.

Is 7 days too lengthy in Barcelona?

If you propose to go to solely as a vacationer, every week in Barcelona may begin to attract out, not as a result of the sights aren’t spectacular, however as a result of consistently queueing and coping with crowds may be exhausting. If, then again, you hire an Airbnb house and “live” in Barcelona for every week, chances are you’ll discover {that a} 7-day journey is simply what the physician ordered.

The Bottom Line

Is Barcelona value visiting? Unless you’ve been there many instances earlier than, I can’t think about a visit to Spain with no swing by means of Catalonia’s capital. As a consequence, I’m recommending you make spontaneity a part of your journey design: Barcelona is a bit the place an additional day or two may be the distinction between a magical time and a depressing one. More particularly, in case yourSpain itinerarycan accommodate it, I’d advocate staying a minimum of 4-5 days in Barcelona, whether or not or not you are taking any day journeys elsewhere in Catalonia.

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