The Best Way To Spend a Weekend in Barcelona
Our guest writer Aistis from Astraveler is a great fan of Barcelona and shares with us the best way to spend a weekend in Barcelona. You will want to book your weekend getaway to Barcelona after you read this!
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Are you planning for your weekend getaway to Barcelona? Well, you can check out this travel guide to gain information on the most attractive tourist destinations that can be explored within 48 hours in Barcelona.
The best way to enjoy Barcelona is by strolling on the streets while viewing its beautiful architecture, relishing authentic street food, capturing numerous memories, shopping for local products and souvenirs, speaking to the inhabitants and gaining knowledge on its vast culture and history. Being one of Europe’s most popular cities, there are loads to see and do in Barcelona.[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]You can pre-purchase your Hola Barcelona pass that gives you 48, 72, 96 or 120 hour tickets on the metro, trams, buses and suburban trains of Barcelona.[/su_note]
Best Time to Visit Barcelona
The best time to visit Barcelona is in the month of April and May as the weather is warm and sunny.
June to August is the summer season, so, if you want to spend your holiday on the beach then it will be the perfect time to visit Barcelona.
Since you are travelling on a weekend, there is a possibility of hotels being packed, so it is advisable to book your stay as early as possible.[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]Barcelona is a foodies heaven! You can eat cheaply in Barcelona if you know where to go. Our guide gives you the latest tips on where and how to eat cheaply.[/su_note]
Where to Stay in Barcelona
Located in the heart of Barcelona, Forget Me Not Plus, will be the perfect accommodation for your weekend getaway. Each room has a TV, kettle for making tea/coffee, private bathroom, free WiFi, and more. You can book for a small double room, twin room with a street view, superior room, or triple room and have a comfortable stay. Since you won’t be spending much time in the room this accommodation will suit you best.
If you are interested to stay in a 19th-century palace then you should book a room at the Vincci Gala. The palace has been refurbished into a luxurious hotel; however, the original facade, staircase, and flooring have been preserved. Thus, it provides a balance of traditional architecture as well as modern design. Each room comprises of air conditioning, complimentary WiFi, private bathroom with toiletries, minibar and TV. The hotel offers a breakfast buffet as there are a restaurant and snack bar available within the premises.
Things to Do in Barcelona
Hire a Bike
As mentioned above, if you are not interested in exploring the city on foot, then you can hire a bike from the innumerable bike tour companies that are located throughout the city. Riding a bike would provide the opportunity to discover Barcelona at your own pace. Moreover, the lanes would be less crowded on a Sunday, so you can enjoy the fascinating sights easily. On the streets, you will even come across several locals using bicycles for doing their daily errands.
Over the last decade, there has been an incredible increase in bike facilities, as you can hire or borrow a bike for an entire day from various bike rental companies. Bicycles have now become one of the major public transport systems in Barcelona. At most of the tourist destinations, you will find several biking stations to park your bike safely. Moreover, in most of the areas, there are dedicated lanes for cyclists, which are not being shared by other vehicles. So, if you are travelling with family, then you can enjoy biking with kids too!
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, commonly known as Barcelona Cathedral, is a beautiful piece of Gothic architecture, which is located in the centre of the Gothic Quarter. It is one of the most remarkable landmarks of the city, so you should add it to your ‘must-visit’ list. Since it attracts innumerable tourists from various parts of the world, the cloister now has a gift shop where you can purchase some beautiful souvenirs.
Moreover, the traditional candles that are usually lit at churches have been replaced with electronic candles to avoid any kind of untoward incident. The timings to visit the cathedral vary for weekdays, weekends, holidays and festivals.
Remember that you cannot carry your mobile phones inside the Chapel of Lepanto.
If you are travelling with kids then you can consider visiting the Gothic cloister where 13 white geese have been kept.
Park Güell is one of the most beautiful green spaces of Barcelona. The locals, as well as tourists, visit the park for leisure and enjoyment. The Park Güell comprises of two areas wherein; the regulated zone requires you to purchase an entrance ticket while the access zone is open to all for free.
At the time of buying the tickets, you have to reserve a time for entry to the park. Ensure that you reach the reserved time otherwise you will not be allowed to enter. With the ticket, you can enter the regulated area only once, so if you come out of the gate for any reason, you cannot enter again.
Moreover, if you have already registered with Gaudir Mes then you need not purchase tickets to enter the regulated area of Park Güell as you are eligible to enter the regulated zone every day for free. Also, as a member of Gaudir Mes, you can access for free or with discounts, all museums and tourist attractions in Barcelona.
Some of the popular places of visit that you can enter for free or at discounted rates are:
- five MUHBA headquarters
- the monastery of Santa Maria De Pedralbes
- Montjuic Castle
- Ethnological Museum and more.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is an awesome light, music, and color show that attracts millions of visitors each year from every part of the world. It is an iconic attraction of the city that has garnered popularity across the globe. The fountain comprises of 7,000 million possible combinations of light and water; thus, making it one of the most spectacular sights.
The operating hours of the Magic Fountain vary for each month so before planning a visit you should check this website for details. You do not have to purchase entry tickets for viewing the Magic Fountain show. The show lasts for about 20 minutes and begins at an interval of 30 minutes. So, between each fountain show, there is a ten-minute break wherein visitors can enter and exit. It is advisable to reach there by the end of the previous show so that you can select an apt place to sit and get the best views.
Arco de Triunfo
Barcelona has been famous across the world for its art and culture. If you are interested in viewing the impressive Barcelona architecture then you should visit the Arco de Triunfo. The Arco de Triunfo was formed in the year 1888 as an entrance to the Universal Exhibition. It is an iconic monument that had been decorated with beautiful sculptures. Millions of tourists visit Barcelona to view this beautiful piece of architecture. It is an entrance to a park where you can relax and stroll. There are several palm trees lined up at both sides of the pathway. Remember to carry your cameras to capture this beautiful structure.
After having a wonderful weekend in Barcelona, you can travel to Madrid or any other amazing city in Spain by booking tickets for the AVE high-speed train. You can reach from Barcelona to Madrid in less than 3 hours as it is well-connected by train. If you have some extra time in hand, then you can even take the regional train from Barcelona to Madrid. Moreover, you do not have to reserve a seat in the regional train. So, plan your holiday well and have an exciting European adventure.[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]Make some time to visit the world’s most famous market – La Boqueria. Read our guide here.[/su_note]
Aistis writes for his own blog Astraveler and hails from Lithuania. He has been to almost 50 countries and still actively counting. Due to such an interesting travel experience, he started a blog to share his knowledge with the world.
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Essential Visitor Information for Visiting Barcelona
Barcelona’s International Airport El Prat de Llobregat Aeropuerto (BCN) is located 13 km southwest of Barcelona city.
Some of the European Budget Carriers will market flights as Barcelona, but in fact, they will either fly into Reus (REU) which is a 75-minute taxi ride away or Girona Costa Brava (GRO) which is also 75 minutes away from Barcelona.
A taxi from Girona will cost approximately Euros 130 or the bus Euros 16 and both take 75 minutes.
A taxi from Reus will cost approximately Euros 150 or the bus Euros 15.50 which will take 2 hours.
You can pre-book a private transfer from BCN to the City Centre here.
We have been ‘ripped off’ with taxis from Barcelona taking you the long way to your destination. We now use Google Maps when in taxis and have the volume up high enough so the taxi driver can hear the directions.
Taxi costs should be approximate Euros 25, we were charged double.
The Aerobus is a convenient way to get into the City. We have used it to travel back out to the Airport. It can take anywhere between 15 – 30 minutes and the current costs are Euros 6.
For the latest flight deals compare prices on Skyscanner here:
Travelling from the USA – click here
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We use Auto-Rental for car hire within Europe.[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]Read about our road trip in Spain from Madrid to Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Valencia back to Madrid. [/su_note]
If driving is not for you you may want to consider travel by train. The Eurail Pass purchased in advance is a great way to enjoy rail travel throughout Europe.
We have travelled all over Spain by bus. For fares and timetable information click here.
We recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your flights and pay deposits on any cruises, tours or hotels.
If you are located in Australia or New Zealand click here for the latest quotes.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Travel to Barcelona
Is it safe to travel to Barcelona?
In general, Spain is safe to travel to but Barcelona is well known for petty theft especially bag and mobile phone snatching. When travelling on public transport be careful with your personal items.
Is Barcelona’s Metro System easy to navigate?
The Metro system is easy to navigate. For the Hola Barcelona Metro Pass click here.
Is Barcelona a walkable city?
Yes, Barcelona is such a great city to walk around. Some of our favourite areas are the back streets around the Gothic and El Born suburbs.
Where should I stay in Barcelona?
The areas which are popular are:
- El Born
- El Raval
Can you book Airbnb Apartments in Barcelona?
There is a large range of Airbnb apartments in Barcelona.
You can search below.
Should I pre-book tickets to La Sagrada Familia?
We would recommend booking in advance especially if you want to visit one of the towers.
You can pre-book your Skip The Line and access to the Tower tickets here.
What Guide Books Do You Recommend for Barcelona?
Can you drink the water in Barcelona?
Tap water is safe to drink in Barcelona.
What kind of electric plugs are used in Barcelona and Spain?
Spain and Europe use 230V AC.
Travel safer and smarter to Barcelona with travel products from our own Travel Shop.