Trip to Barcelona is a city unlike any other on the planet, a combination of Spanish and Catalan cultures, blending yesterday and today, with a hint of tomorrow. All at once, the city is fascinating, exciting, relaxed, and comforting, and it’s this unique blend of traits that makes the city one of the most visited in all of Europe, with an average of 20 million visitors and tourists in a year.
It’s also one of the most trendy European destinations and has countless things to do, see, and experience. So many, in fact, that just planning a trip to Barcelona can become stressful and even frustrating since you want to make sure that you make every moment count. If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, here are some essential things to keep in mind while making those plans.
When To Visit
When to go is probably the first question you’ll need to answer, and luckily just about any time of year is ideal for a laid-back and relaxing vacation. Summer is naturally the busy season, and the streets are going to be flooded with other tourists, plus you’ll also need to contend with the summer heat.
Spring and fall, however, are delightfully mild and sunny, while also being a tourism “off-season”. This means you won’t have the same peak-season pricing on your hotel or accommodations, and you should also see a significant drop in attraction ticket prices and line or queue lengths as well.
How To Get To Barcelona
3 major airports provide service to the greater Barcelona area, and all of them are also nearby some of the best options for luggage storage Barcelona has to offer. Even if you fly into the outskirts, the city has a public transportation system that connects just about everything and has a high-speed rail line in addition to public transit options.
Where To Stay
Most neighborhoods are a very short distance from the iconic city center, and by staying in a nearby neighborhood you can also pay much less for accommodations than staying in super-touristy spots right downtown. Each neighborhood is unique and has its own flavor of small-town charm and appeal, as well as shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Barcelona Custom And Culture
Catalan is technically part of Spain, though the cultural identity is wholly unique, so keep that in mind if you mistakenly identify someone as “Spanish”, which may cause some to become upset. There are often large, but placid, demonstrations for Catalan independence. It is an incredibly safe city, with a very low violent crime rate, however, theft remains fairly common for unguarded items.
Things To Do And See In Barcelona
Barcelona is home to colorful Catalan culture and a vibrant heritage that could take months or longer to see every aspect of, but in all likelihood, you don’t have that long. Make sure you hit the highlights, if it’s seasonally appropriate, don’t skip the beach.
Once you’ve got a healthy dose of Vitamin D, visit one of the many beautiful neighborhoods and soak up some local life while you hit a small market such as the Mercado de Sant Antoni, for something to eat before continuing. There are also the architectural works of the Sagrada Familia and the opulent Casa Vincens, as well as the National Catalan Art Museum and a miniature Spanish village.
Food & Drink
The first things that most people think of when dining in Barcelona come up are tapas & wine. There is an incredibly wide array of options for wine lovers, where you can choose between small, old shops that sell favorites as well as Catalan whites and reds, along with more modern wine bars that have a wide variety of domestic and foreign wines.
If you want to try tapas, be sure your social battery is fully charged, because going out for tapas is a group event. Not only will you be sharing food and vibrant conversation with your tablemates and newfound friends, but it will generally be done in a lively and active bar environment.
Planning Your Trip To Barcelona
No matter what time of year you’re planning to visit, or how long you’re planning on being in the city, Barcelona has plenty to do, see, eat, and drink. Be sure you take into account any major attractions that you may want advance tickets for, and always allow yourself extra time to see and do things, because the last thing you want out of your trip is to feel rushed or under pressure at any point. Above all, soak up the culture and atmosphere of the Spanish & Catalan blend and enjoy your trip.