Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. There aren’t many places that can boast impressive architecture, cool city life and a beach within its limits. With a little something for everyone, Barcelona makes a great place to visit for individuals, groups, couples and families.
As with any mini-break, you want to make the most of the time you have. Barcelona has a lot to offer, so you’ll want to see as much as possible during your stay. Check out some tips for a fun and stress-free mini-break to Barcelona and enjoy everything the city has to offer.
Stay centrally to put you in the heart of the action
Barcelona has a lot of fantastic accommodation to suit every need and budget. From chic and affordable Airbnb rentals to 5-star hotels, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to stay. Check out the most budget-friendly hotels in Barcelona and choose one that’s central, as this will put you at the heart of the action and reduce your need to travel by metro or bus.
If you’re travelling during the summer months, expect Barcelona to be hot. A hotel with a rooftop pool can provide some welcome relaxation after a long day of exploring.
Explore on foot as much as possible
Barcelona is a thriving, bustling city, but the good news is unlike a lot of major cities, it’s perfectly easy to explore on foot. Walking will help you experience all the best bits of Barcelona, giving you the chance to see all the Gaudi sites in the city and discover some hidden gems down alleyways and side streets.
Wear comfortable shoes and carry water with you to help you stay comfortable while exploring on foot.
Book top attractions in advance
Barcelona is home to some world-famous attractions, including the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many attractions have gone digital with their ticketing systems, so booking online in advance is required. Advance booking will help you avoid disappointment as there are time slots for exploring La Sagrada Família, Park Güell and others. Plan your days in advance so you can see everything you want to see.
Travel lightly and be wary of pickpockets
If you plan to enjoy long days of exploring and sightseeing, you’ll want to travel as lightly as possible. You can use Barcelona luggage storage for as little as €5 a day to help you keep your belongings safe. As with most tourist spots, it’s important to be wary of pickpockets in Barcelona, with visitors making an easy target. Try to carry a small bag with you and avoid taking your valuable out and about.
Enjoy tapas and people watching
A visit to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without some tapas. Tapas allows you to sample plenty of traditional Spanish foods, washed down with some sangria or a cool cocktail. Barcelona’s best tapas bars are easy enough to walk into for an outdoor table that gives you the perfect spot for people-watching. Tapas can be filling and affordable, helping you keep to your budget.
In addition to tapas restaurants, Barcelona is home to some incredible restaurants. Make reservations in advance to ensure you’ve got a table. For more casual eating, you’ll find bakeries, sandwich shops and coffee bars all over the city.
On a budget? Venture a little further
It’s possible to enjoy Barcelona on all types of budget. If you stick to the main tourist areas, you can expect to pay more for food and drink, which is typical of most European cities. For those on a tighter budget, it pays to venture a little further out. Walking as little as 10 minutes away from the main streets will lead you to some beautiful squares and neighbourhoods where the food and drink are much cheaper, and you’ll get the benefit of local company too.
Make time to enjoy the beach
Finally, a visit to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the beach. Walking all the way downtown will take you to the beach and marinas, which have an incredible atmosphere, especially in the summer. These spots can get very crowded during peak season, but that’s all part of the fun. The beach is home to a lot of entertainment and bars and restaurants with incredible views. It’s also home to some incredible nightlife if you’re looking for somewhere to go after dark.
Barcelona has a lot to offer, making it the ideal destination for a European city break. With so much to see, there’s no doubt you’ll make a return visit. Looking for more places to explore? Check out 12 places to add to your travel list.