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Barcelona travel

Barcelona

Travel Guide

Talk to anyone who's been and they'll tell you that Barcelona is one of their favourite, if not actual favourite, European city they've ever been to. Why? It could be because of the balmy sunset drinks on terraces or beach bars, live music in jazz clubs and flamenco on the streets, watersports in the Mediterranean sun or hiking for panoramic views, the amount of art and architectural masterpieces, and the traditional feasts of paella, seafood, tapas and Sangria. Sound like your kind of scene?

Things to do in Barcelona

  • Barcelona highlights tickLa Sagrada Familia
    Under construction since 1882, and hoping to be finished in 2026, this awe-inspiring feat of Gothic architecture wows - even if it isn't finished! Designed by famous artist and architect Antoni Gaudi,  this is a monument you really don't want to miss poking your head into! Make sure you book yourself a time slot online to avoid long queues in the summer heat.
  • Barcelona highlights tickPark Güell
    Another must-see, this park on Carmel Hill (pictured as the larger image, above), overlooking the city is a well-known, photographed view. With perfect panoramic views of colourful mosaics, interesting buildings and statues, this is the perfect place to hit up in the morning before the crowds pour in. Hats off to Gaudi, again!
  • Barcelona highlights tickCamp Nou football stadium
    Home of FC Barcelona since 1957, this is top of the agenda for any serious footy fans. With a capacity just shy of 100,000, it's a great place to get involved in spectating a game. Be sure to organise a tour if there are no matches on!
  • Barcelona highlights tickArt!
    If you're an art lover then look no further - because Barcelona has more Gaudi-ness per square mile than anywhere else on Earth! There's also Museu Picasso in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, Miro's colourful, sundrenched collection atop of Sants-Mont Juic hill, plus the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. Keep your eyes peeled for street art as you wander around El Raval... and there's even some Dali dotted around.
  • Barcelona highlights tickCasa Milà & Casa Batlló
    Designed and built by Gaudi (who'd have guessed?) in the early 19th Century, these Modernist masterpieces wouldn't look out of place in a trippy hallucinatory dream. Casa Batlló is a blue, curved, mosaic creation, and Casa Milà is equally wobbly looking - making Barcelona stand out as the home of unique architecture. They're also located within a five minute walk apart from eachother in the centre of the city (a block playfully known as 'Illa de la Discòrdia' aka 'Block of Discord').
  • Barcelona highlights tickNightlife
    Barcelona is open all hours - some of the most exciting things in the city happen after hours! Clubs such as Razzmataz stay open until breakfast, and summer gives way to festivals such as Sonar, Primavera and Benicassim. And when you're feeling tender the day after, there's always La Barceloneta beach to recover on. 
barcelona travel
Barcelona Insider
Barcelona Insider | 4 days
Including three nights accommodation, transport, and a guide, this takes you off the beaten track to foodie havens, mind-broadening galleries and museums and the best local haunts.
From $964
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European Escapade tour
European Escapade | 25 days
Barcelona is just one of Europe's big cities you'll visit on this Contiki trip, alongside a bunch of fellow fun-loving travel addicts. Spend a month touring Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Vienna, Venice, Rome, Florence, Switzerland and the French Riviera... to name just a few.
From $4,569
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spain contiki tour
Fiestas & Siestas | 12 days
Glistening shops and bars of Madrid? Check. Balmy summer evenings in Barcelona and Bilbao? Check. The endless pintxos bars and charming streets of San Sebastian? Check Throw in Zaragoza's awe-inspiring basilica, and a few nights in Portugal's insanely artsy capital. Lisbon, and you've got yourself your dream holiday.
From $1,914
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Spain adventure tours

Barcelona's must-visit neighbourhoods

El Born barcelona
The Gothic Quarter & El Born
Looking for a touch of romantic Europe? Then the Gothic Quarter, northeast of Las Ramblas is a dream: cobbled streets, beautiful towers, dreamy bridges, and the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia bring this charming pocket of the city together. Prices are a little higher here, but if you need a bit of hustle and bustle in the evenings, check out El Born just next to the Gothic Quarter. Bars, cafes, galleries and vibrant nightlife - everything you could want ticked off by two neighbouring areas. 
el raval barcelona
El Raval
This neighbourhood is a hipster haven, and a very cool place to chill out for the weekend. Home to skaters, streets painted with street art, quirky laneways, and full of bars - this is a great place to base yourself to enjoy the rest of Barcelona. 
La Barceloneta beach
La Barceloneta
As Nicki Minaj once screamed through our radios: let's go to the beach, beach, let's go get away! If you're looking for a proper Spanish beach getaway then here it is. Eat fresh seafood and sip cocktails around Port Vell Marina, before lounging on the 3km sand beach, enjoying sundowners (and lots of tapas, of course!)
Sants-Montjuïc
Sants-Montjuïc
This huge district is home to a lot of the places and activities you probably want to tick off your list - Sants-Montjuïc Hill, an amazing spot to hike or cable-car up for panoramic views over Barcelona. Plaça d'Espanya and its Magic Fountain, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the Olympic Stadium, Miró gallery and the CaixaForum. Plus, visit in the summer and you'll often find various music and cultural festivals!

Our top Barcelona hotels and hostels

Generator Hostel Barcelona
With private twins, dorms and hotel rooms, Generator is situated in Barcelona's trendy district of Eixample, ie. the centre of all the action. Party at the Fiesta Gracia Bar or chill in the games space plus the hostel is just a 15-minute Metro ride from the beach.
St Christophers hostel barcelona
St. Christopher's Hostel
A stone's throw from Catalunya Metro station and five minutes from the square, this joint is a Glampacker's paradise. With girls only dowms, a bar, resutaurant and kitchen as well as bike rental and a garden, it's social and a saviour for the wallet.

Barcelona got you all "Oh my Gaudi!"? Head over to the STA Travel blog for more...

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