The Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide

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*** Big World Adventures is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to bigworldadventures.net (Amazon.com) ***

I’m sure all my ladies born in the 90’s or that have a younger sister or daughter born around then know all about my Cheetah Girl Barcelona obsession. I drove my family crazy watching it every time I could catch it on. Okay, let’s be honest, I’m 25 still watching the same ‘ol Disney Channel movies from back in the day. I have no shame! Cheetah Girls 1, 2, and 3 have lead me down my travel path. I’ve hit up Barcelona, New York is next, and you know ya girl has to make it to India too! I grabbed my cheetah print and passport and headed to the airport…. and my loves it was cheetahlicious! (Other than almost being the inspiration for the next taken movie that comes out. You can click here to read about how we were being kidnapped… or is it adultnapped?) Anyways….

I could spend a week in the beautiful city of Barcelona and never get bored. There’s so much to see and do that you can easily fill that time up, but if you’ve never been there before figuring out all the ins and outs of the city can be time-consuming and difficult…. I should know because I spent hours and hours….. and hours trying to get all the information I needed to go on my trip, which is why I want to help yall have an easier time than me!

The Language of Barcelona

Their official languages are Catalan and Spanish, but English is widely spoken, so we never had a problem getting by with the very few Spanish words we know. It’s always good to memorize a few words before you go just in case.
Hello – Hola
Goodbye – Adios
Please – Por favor
Thank you – Gracias
Excuse me – Disculpa
Where is – Donde es
How much is this? – Cuando es esto
My name is … ?: Mi Nombre es
Do you speak English?: Hablas ingles

Their Money

They use the Euro like the rest of Europe and have pretty good prices for food, drinks, souvenirs, etc. If you’re from the U.S, it about the same, even with the exchange rate making the Euro a little more powerful, then the US dollar. Tipping isn’t expected like here in the U.S, but of course, it is always appreciated. I typically just left a couple of euro anyway.

When To Go

The best time to go is from April to July when it’s nice and sunny, yet not too hot outside. We went in late May and it wasn’t horribly crowded like many have told me it is.

How To Get There

If coming from far away, such as the Americas or Australia you will need to take a plane, but if you’re in Europe or traveling around Europe a bus, car, or train is a great and cheap option. I like to price compare how much each would cost and how long each would take including the time waiting at the airport, bus, or train station to each other to determine which is the best option.

Where To Stay

I recommend staying in the Gothic District. I love how you can easily walk to La Boqueria, the nightlife, restaurants, stores, and the beach while admiring the scenery.

The upscale 4-star hotel M10 Madison, Barcelona is pricey at around $245 per night, but it has a rooftop hotel with an amazing view.

Catalonia Avinyo, Barcelona comes with only 3 stars, but an 8.6-star rating from well over a thousand people. It also has a rooftop pool, but I found it for $149 per night. Though I’ve never stayed here myself, the reviews say that the customer service is amazing and the place is clean, which are two of the most important things to me.

We stayed at Kabul Party Hostel and I’m so happy that we did. It was cheap, clean, and full of friendly people.

Click here to purchase the Discover Barcelona Travel Guide by Lonely Planet.

Click here to purchase Lonely Planets Spain Travel Guide.


Transportation

If you’ve read my storytime about my nightmare with a taxi in Barcelona, you’d know why I’m not a fan of them in Barcelona (if you haven’t read it, click here), but they do have public transport.

How to get to/from the airport

Bus – You can buy tickets at the airport to take a shuttle from the airport into three different stops in Barcelona called Aerobus for 5.30 Euros one way or a roundtrip ticket for 9.15 Euros. We were able to go right into the Gothic District using it.
Train – This option will take you 30-40 minutes and comes at the low price of 2.40 Euros.
Private transfer – This can often times be booked with your airline ticket or on a travel website, such as Expedia.com or Booking.com.

Getting around town

Public transportation –
Hours: January – December: Sunday – Thursday & Public Holiday 5:00 am-Midnight
Friday: 5:00 am – 2:00 am
Saturday: 24 Hours

You can get around using public transport using the Metro Card. Many say that it’s better than the HolaBCN pass.

Metro Card: You can buy these at the Metro station.
Single Ticket: 2.20 Euro
T10: Tickets for 10 journeys for 10.20 Euro. You save 11.80 Euro (I love this for those times where you can walk most places).

HolaBCN
2 Day Pass: 15 Euro
3 Day Pass: 22 Euro
4 Day Pass: 28.50 Euro
5 Day Pass: 35 Euro

You can also use Uber, but keep in mind it’s not available from the airport (in my experience at least).

Food & Drinks

Try the Tapas!!! Tapas are small shareable plates that all the restaurants I saw offered, so grab a few friends, a bunch of tapas, and create your own tapas tasting.

Sangria is served in giant cups are everywhere and at a good price (about 15 Euros), so if you’re a wine and fruit person, this is definitely for you!

I liked the patates braves or spicy potatoes, which are potatoes with a mildly spicy sauce, but the majority of the food in Barcelona consists of rice and seafood, which I don’t like, so this wasn’t my favorite foodie place, but other people seemed to really enjoy it.

  • Paella is what they’re known for and it’s served up family style in many places.
  • La Bomba is said to be the most popular dish in Barcelona based on what a local told me.
  • Pa Amb Tomaquet is a piece of toasted bread with garlic, olive oil, and tomato sauce on it. It tastes a bit like garlic bread with tomato on it.
  • You absolutely MUST try the gelato. You won’t regret it. Take the calorie hit and have a scoop or two… or three…. or however many your heart desires.

What To Do

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to everything I wanted due to short time restrictions and pure exhaustion at this point in my trip, but I had a blast. I didn’t stress it too much, because I know I’ll be going back to Spain at some point to visit Madrid and some of the smaller locations.
The Barcelona pass is always a good option for those that want to do a lot. (Read more below)

1. The beach – It’s beautiful, but I didn’t actually swim when we went. I laid on the beach getting some sun while enjoying a nice margarita. There’s a little bar down on the sand selling freshly made drinks. I watched as they used strawberries, instead of strawberry flavoring and hand crushed the limes, instead of using a concentrated lime juice like I’ve seen many places do. You can order at the bar or wait for one of the servers to come around to you trying to sell you drinks. Either way, it’s a win-win situation. You can never go wrong with a frozen alcoholic drink on the beach on a hot day! There’s also the amazing artwork made of sand to enjoy.

2. Go shopping – We all know I loveeeeee shopping and this is the place for it! On your way to the beach, you will see people selling items and services all along the streets. They braid hair, do henna, sell knockoffs, etc and they’ll give you one hell of a deal! Don’t think about it, just do it! Be sure to bring cash! The Gothic District has a lot of smaller shops selling souvenirs, jewelry, art, and clothing.

Get beach ready with this two piece swim suit for $16.89! Click here to get it.


3. Go to the bars and clubs – Barcelona has a huge nightlife scene. You can get into plenty of places for free and some will even give you a free shot just to get you in the door. Go on your own or make some new friends on a pub crawl.
4. Eat and drink
5. Take a cooking class for $93.
6. Watch the Magic Fountain Light Show.
5. Visit the museums
6. Admire the architecture at Park Guell
7. Take a stroll through the Gothic District – I loved walking these streets, visiting the small shops along the way. We stayed right in the middle of it, so we were able to enjoy all it has to offer. The shows. The music. The food.

8. La Sagrada Familia
9. Montjuic Castle
10. La Boqueria Market – I love this place! I went early in the morning before the crowds got there and it felt like I had the whole place to myself (not really, but close). It was full of fresh fruit, fruit juices, and butcheries. Go pick up and few things for lunch, then head to the beach with it for a picnic.


11. Columbus Monument
12. Arc de Triomf
13. Park Guell – The colorful benches and the buildings that look like Gingerbread houses are only the start of the pure beauty that lies at this piece of art of a park.
14. Take in a show at Palau de la Musica and Theatre Lucey. The Barcelona Card offers a 20% discount. If you don’t want to buy the card, you can find great deals online. I found a $39 ticket for a Flamenco Show at Palacio del Flamenco here.
15. Seek the ultimate adventure with a 360 Skywalk: Land, Sea, and Air tour that includes a short helicopter flight and a water-front boat tour for $111 from Expedia.
16. Go sailing on the Mediterranean for $83, including snacks & drinks.
17. Fly high and enjoy a romantic breakfast in a hot air balloon for $178.
18. Go parasailing for $67 or for those who are much more coordinated then myself, flyboarding for $95.

19. Go on a day trip – Gerona is absolutely beautiful. I didn’t get to go when I went to Barcelona, but it’s on my bucket list!
20. You can take a Half-Day Excursion to Montserrat! I found it on Expedia for $60.
21. Go on a 3 country in 1-day trip through northern Spain, southern France, and the beautiful Andorra, which I found for $143 on Expedia.
22. Explore the Medieval Villages with a full day tour for $98 from Expedia.
23. Costa Brava: Tossa de Mar & Lloret de Mar: Enjoy this tour excursion for $60.

THE BARCELONA TOURIST CARD

I love this for those that want to pack in a ton of activities in a small amount of time with discounts on over 70 attractions, tours, and forms of entertainment. You can buy it here. The price depends on the days that you want it for. You can get 2 and 5-day cards. Click here to learn all the reasons why you should buy the Barcelona Tourist Card.

I found it on Expedia for adults for:
3 days: $49.38 USD
4 days: $60.35 USD
5 days: $65.84 USD
Children are cheaper and kids under 3 are free!

I hope this helps you to plan your trip! Please comment with any questions or suggestions.

*** Big World Adventures is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to bigworldadventures.net (Amazon.com) ***



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4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide

    1. admin Post author

      I actually loved the art of the city. It’s beautiful and unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else. Have a great and safe trip! <3

      Reply

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