Barcelona Spain Travel Guide

Barcelona has both authentic history and the wildly bizarre. From the scenic trails at Park Güell to the romantic alleys of Barri Gòtic. From beach-side nightclubs to dozens of sacred churches and architectural marvels, this city attracts all types. You'll find an overwhelming variety of things to do. Stay a few days, but you really need a whole week to explore.

In Barcelona, where the beaches are bustling, it's the cosmopolitan city that gets all the attention. A lot of the activity happens in Las Ramblas, a series of narrow streets and alleys packed with restaurants, nightclubs and a pedestrian market. Make sure to take a tour of Antoni Gaudí's masterpieces; sites like Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia. You see why we suggest a week vacation here? Continue reading our Barcelona Spain Travel Guide and get busy planning your vacation to this wonderful destination.

Barcelona Weather – When to Visit

The best time to visit the Barcelona is from May to June when temperatures are in the low to mid-70s. Barcelona in the summertime is sticky with humidity. Locals leave in droves to catch a breeze somewhere else, then come back in the fall when the average highs drop back into the 70s. Winter is mild compared to other Spanish destinations, with highs in the high 50s. And while coming during the spring may seem like smart idea for avoiding crowds, Aprilhas showers, which may put a damper on your sightseeing plans as most of Barcelona's top attractions are experienced outside. No matter what time of the year you visit, there will be crowds as Barcelona is the most-visited city in Spain.

Best Beaches in Barcelona

Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona Spain, Barcelona Shore Excursions, things to do in Barcelona, best Barcelona beaches, best Barcelona hotels, best Barcelona restaurans, Barcelona Attractions,Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Ports

Barceloneta Beach

From drummers to sand-artists to singing donut salesmen, it may be Barcelona's dirtiest, most crowded, and most touristy stretch of sand. But, that just makes it more entertaining. There's always something going on at Barcelona's most famous beach. It also has some great seafood restaurants along the shore. 

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Nova Icaria Beach, Barcelona Spain, Barcelona Shore Excursions, things to do in Barcelona, best Barcelona beaches, best Barcelona hotels, best Barcelona restaurans, Barcelona Attractions,Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Ports

Nova Icaria Beach

Located on Barcelona's central coast near the Olympic marina and observatory, Nova Icària is popular with everyone. Nova Icària is one of Barcelona's best beaches for water sports, with lessons available in English that you can book online. Once you get tired and are ready to call it a day, head to the nearby Icària shopping center with its English-language cinema.

Bogatell Beach, Barcelona Spain, Barcelona Shore Excursions, things to do in Barcelona, best Barcelona beaches, best Barcelona hotels, best Barcelona restaurans, Barcelona Attractions,Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Ports

Bogatell Beach

Bogatell is about a 15-minute walk from Bogatell metro station, but worth the commute.  The beach draws a more mature crowd, giving it a more tranquil vibe and making it a great place to chill. It's also one of Barcelona's safest beaches.

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Mar Bella Beach, Barcelona Spain, Barcelona Shore Excursions, things to do in Barcelona, best Barcelona beaches, best Barcelona hotels, best Barcelona restaurans, Barcelona Attractions,Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Ports

Mar Bella Beach

Mar Bella Beach is the perfect beach for those looking for a more cosmopolitan scene. It's most famous for its nudist stretch, part of which is discreetly partitioned off by a big dune beside the windsurfing center. If you're visiting on a Sunday in the summer, stick around after the sun goes down for the legendary late-night raves. 

Ocata Beach, Barcelona Spain, Barcelona Shore Excursions, things to do in Barcelona, best Barcelona beaches, best Barcelona hotels, best Barcelona restaurans, Barcelona Attractions,Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Ports

Ocata Beach

Ocata Beach is a half hour train ride north of the city, and a hidden gem. This quiet, pristine and flat spacious beach has fine golden sand and immaculately clean water. Join one of the pickup rugby or volleyball games, or head to one of the dozens of nearby beach bars to refuel on tasty tapas and fresh seafood.

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Barcelona Tours & Activities

Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia

Delve into the architectural beauty and rich history of Barcelona on a comprehensive full- or half-day tour of the Catalonian capital. With an expert guide, visit some of the city’s most iconic sights and enjoy skip-the-line access to Gaudi’s modernist masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. Ascend to Montjuïc Hill to enjoy sweeping vistas of Barcelona’s metropolitan sprawl and stroll the streets of the Gothic Quarter on a guided tour. Receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour. Read more about Barcelona Best of Tour with Sagrada Familia Priority Access

Fast Track Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

Sail past long lines of tourists trying to gain entry to Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia with this priority access tour of the modernist masterpiece. Accompanied by a guide, head straight inside to get fascinating insight into the history of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed cathedral. Admire the opulent ceilings and stained-glass windows while learning about the building’s charismatic creator. Visit the museum to see exhibits on the cathedral’s history and observe original plaster models and design sketches. Read more about Barcelona Sagrada Familia and Museum Skip-the-Line Tour

Montserrat Tour from Barcelona Including Lunch and Wine Tasting in Oller del Mas

Venture into the Catalan countryside to visit Montserrat and go wine tasting on this full-day tour from Barcelona. Take a guided tour through the Basilica and Monastery on Montserrat, a beautiful, multi-peak mountain with dramatic rock formations, with free time to continue exploring the museum, farmer's market, or views from the ridge of Cavall Bernat. Afterward, visit the winery of Oller de Mas for a cellar tour, wine tasting, and a multi-course, Catalan meal. Read more about Montserrat Tour from Barcelona with Lunch and Wine Tasting

City Sightseeing Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Discover the best of Barcelona on this convenient City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off tour. Choose from a 1- or 2-day pass, relax on the open-top, double-decker bus, and enjoy your own sightseeing itinerary as you travel the three routes (two during the winter) and learn about the landmarks via the onboard commentary. Stay aboard to enjoy 360-degree views of the sights, and hop on and off at any of the 44 stops at leisure to explore top Barcelona attractions such as La Sagrada Familia, the medieval Gothic Quarter, the colorful Las Ramblas and more. Read more about Barcelona City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Montserrat and Oller del Mas Winery Tour from Barcelona

Explore one of the cornerstones of Catalan culture and history on this small-group tour to Montserrat. See the Montserrat Monastery, home to the famous Black Madonna, and then follow a guide through the vineyards of Oller del Mas, a winery housed in a 10th-century castle. Descend into the cellars to learn about the production methods, and sample three signature wines alongside a cold tapas lunch with dessert. Read more about Montserrat and Oller del Mas Winery Tour

Best Barcelona Restaurants

Bicnic $11 – 20

Bicnic is a trendy spot in Dreta de l'Eixample that is a neighborhood favorite. This food truck-turned-restaurant has a clean, modern design and is divided into two sections, “fast” and “slow.” If you have more time to kill, opt for the latter: The menu in the slow section, divided into appetizers, starters to share, and main courses, includes the super ravioli in shiitake broth, beef and eel tartare served on roasted bone marrow, and monkfish with grilled green onions and lemon broth. Telephone: 34 690 90 46 14 Web: Bicnic

Dos Palillos $31 – 60

Albert Raurich has earned a Michelin star for the masterful tasting menus at this small tapas restaurant in El Raval, which blend Japanese ingredients with Spanish panache. Dishes like Szechuan-style jellyfish, Iberian-Cantonese pork jowl, and chicken sashimi (served rare!) might well force you out of your comfort zone, but just go with it. Bring a date or a group of friends—the chummy, convivial vibe works equally well for both. Telephone: 34 933 04 05 13 Web: Dos Palillos

Hetta Cuisine $31 – 60

Dishes are cooked at a range of temperatures, from raw to oven-baked to flame-torched. Standouts on the small and seasonally shifting menu include salt-baked onion risotto (rich, decadent, and housed within the onion’s outer layers), marinated egg yolk with parmesan buttermilk, a salty cod served with sweet, thyme-infused tomatoes, and pork feather loin served rare with red wine. Telephone: 34 932 52 95 94 Web: Hetta Cuisine

Disfrutar $31 – 60

A meal at Disfrutar is like a performance: There's fire, ice, smoke, and lots of flavor and color. Top dishes include the crispy egg yolk with mushrooms and the chocolate peppers with oil and salt, but at this two-Michelin-starred gem, it’s all good. There's also an extensive wine list, or a wine pairing to go with your tasting menu. Telephone: 34 933 48 68 96 Web: Disfrutar

Hawker 45 $11 – 30

Foodies hear here for chef Laila Bazham’s innovative dishes, which are inspired by her life and travels throughout Southeast Asia and Latin America. (Can’t-miss ones include the Korean fried chicken wings, the Singaporean rice laksa with shrimp and squid, and the spicy fish sambal, also from Singapore.) The menu is designed for sharing, so bring a group of your hungriest pals and order one of everything. Telephone: 34 937 63 83 15 Web: Hawker 45

Barcelona's Best Beach Bars

The Coconut Club

The Coconut Club is a trendy beach-side hang-out with an exotic feel. Located alongside the night-clubs and lounges which line the Port Olimpic, The Coconut Club has a relaxed atmosphere, and locals as well as tourists head here. On the menu you’ll find everything from grilled sandwiches and nachos to healthy salads – all with a Caribbean twist. Telephone: 34 609 84 66 43 Web: The Coconut Club

Salt Beach Club

Located in the W Hotel – one of Barcelona’s most exclusive hotels – the Salt Beach Club is a trendy, modern beach bar located on Barceloneta Beach. The bar offers a selection of specially designed cocktails which reflect the atmosphere, while the snacks list includes international favorites such as pizza, burgers and nachos. Telephone: 34 932 95 28 19 Web: Salt Beach Club

Bambú

This great spot offers a variety of summer classics, providing a tranquil vibe by day, and turning into the place to be at night. With freshly made cocktails and good music, it’s one of the top outdoor party spots. It’s a bit further along the coast line, but trust us, well worth the travel. Telephone: 34 933 09 12 91 Web: Bambú

El Maravillas

Reward yourself with a plunge in the sea and a cold beer – the perfect plan for a warm summer morning. Don't limit yourself to the daylight hours, though. At night this xiringuito's offerings are also quite the temptation, and you can kick back with a few drinks until three in the morning, along with a bit of live music or a quality DJ session. Telephone: 34 933 60 73 78 Web: El Maravillas

Xiringuito Escribà

This favorite spot is on the beach in Barcelona's Poblenou district, and is much more than a sandy spot where they just serve greasy pork sandwiches to silicone-stuffed bikinis and hairy-chested beefcake. Xiringuito Escribà is the classy joint that serves high-quality rice dishes, fresh fish and other seafood tapas (the grilled seafood platter is divine), along with other interesting items such as the delicious seafood ‘bombas'. Telepone: 34 932 210 729 Web: Xiringuito Escribà

Best Barcelona Hotels

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Pristine Hotel Arts Barcelona guides guests through relaxation through a myriad of luxurious accommodations. Surrounded by the picturesque backdrop of Barcelona, Spain, the landscape at and near our hotel in Barcelona will leave you in awe. Visit us and explore our unique setting, inside of our hotel and all around as you discover the seafront and exquisite design and art nearby.

Cotton House Hotel

The Cotton House is a 5-star hotel for curious travelers who want to discover the true essence of Barcelona. The hotel has 83 refined, comfortable rooms, seven of which are spacious suites. The decoration is inspired on cotton through a chromatic combination of the white, black and sepia of the cotton plant and everything it evokes: softness, comfort, delicacy and naturalness.

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is an elegant, contemporary hotel in the heart of the avant-garde city's celebrated Passeig de Gracia. Located in a renovated mid-20th century building, this 120-room hotel, offers exceptional services and facilities including an award-winning spa, innovative dining at BistrEau by Angel Leon and two Michelin-starred dining by Carme Ruscalleda, within an exquisite interior created by world renowned Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola.

Hotel Casa Fuster

Classified as a 5 * GL monument, the Hotel Casa Fuster is a result of an impeccable renovation an emblematic modernist building dated of 1908 and projected by the famous architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner. The hotel is located in the city center of Barcelona, with panoramic views to the avenue of Paseo de Gracia and to the city. In addition to the magnificent panoramic terrace and rooftop swimming pool, we dispose of 105 rooms and fine gastronomic offer including high-level Mediterranean cuisine in our Restaurant Galaxó and music sessions at the Jazz Club in the Café Vienés.

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

This architectural marvel is located in the heart of Barcelona's Gothic quarter on mythic Calle Lledó, just a short distance from the Plaza de Sant Jaume. It not only represents the splendor of the old Julia Augusta Flaventina Paterna Colony, in what was then the Roman city of Barcino, but is also an archaeological gem that combines past and present, the monumental and the latest design. Now travelers can enjoy the greatest hotel comforts in the heart of old Barcelona, with exclusive views of the dome of the church of Santa María del Mar, the basilica of San Just i Pastor, and the Cathedral.

28 Comments

  1. Christie

    Very nice!  Never been to Spain have not traveled much…except for our time in the military. My husband was in Spain briefly when he was on active duty. But, we’re now at a point in our lives where we can afford to slow down a bit and visit places we’ve never been to before…

    Barcelona, Spain certainly sounds like a great destination for our first vacation as a retired couple/empty nesters.  We especially appreciate your suggestion of the various beaches, but we’re thinking we’ll probably be spending lots of time at the Bogatell Beach!!

    Thanks for the relevant information in this guide.

    I particularly enjoyed the video and the music, made me feel as though we were arriving at our landing-place!  🙂

     

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Christie!  I am glad you enjoyed !  Thanks for visiting my Barcelona Spain Travel Guide.

      Reply
  2. gr8megawinner

    Barcelona is the most popular city. The tourism industry of the city has been established as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The bustling city has a wonderful beach. The nightlife is great people are welcoming and the facilities for tourists are satisfying filled with all important aspects of amenities and places to enjoy which include the old part of the city with the architectural design of bygone past. The glory that was Spain being powerful colonizers has brough rich cultural artifacts and flavor to its history albeit with some not so beautiful stories. However, the modern city boasts one of the best restaurants, bars, and hotels. The tourism industry has developed the city as one of the most friendly cities to the foreigner.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for your input 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jordan Smith

    Awesome post! Our vacation last year was in Barcelona, and we had a very awesome time there. We used the Cotton House Hotel, the place was really cool; Wonderful service. Great atmosphere. Excellent food. Convenient downtown location. We would definitely be there again, next time we visit Barcelona. The entire staff starting from bellman to front desk and restaurant service staff professional and very kind.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great!  Glad you enjoyed 🙂

      Reply
  4. Willy

    Barcelona has described to me by q friend is a really interesting and fun place to be in especially during the period. But with the amazing description and list of a lot of beaches located here,I think he failed in giving me full details. This Barcelona travel guide is contained with a lot of fun filled looking places as described and I can’t wait to travel down and have a full packaged experience. Thanks for this awesome article.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Willy.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  5. Queen

    Now I understand why my friend wouldn’t stop raving about her vacation to Ocata beach and has continuously nagged me to make sure I pick my next vacation to visit there.

    hence I thought it worthwhile to see what this beach has to offer, your post has really opened my eyes to why it felt so special and I have even had the opportunity to learn about the other beaches as well.

    I guess Barcelona beaches are really worth the time, now I will have to decide which one of them I will end up visiting, as her recommendation doesnt seem to be the only interesting one here.

    thanks for sharing this, was really very helpful.

    Cheers..

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed.  You can always visit more than one beach 😀  I live near many beaches, so I like to visit them all.  A different day, a different beach !  Anyway, thanks for stopping by and visiting my Barcelona Spain Travel Guide.

      Reply
  6. lesabre

    Hi Leahrae,

    You have made Barcelona Spain a very beautiful place to visit. The descriptions of what you will be seeing when visiting the many attractions, along with a great video. The best month’s to travel to Barcelona, along with a list of beaches to visit, makes this a great country that I will be putting on my bucket list.

    Very beautiful, fantastic promotion and so inviting. You certainly have sold me on visiting Barcelona Spain. I have bookmarked your site and will be looking at the other attractions you have listed also.

    Thank you for the tour,

    Michael

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Michael,  I am glad you enjoyed your visit to beach travel destinations. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  7. drinkteahub

    Barcelona is one of my favourite European cities, especially in the winter because it’s so mild and relatively free of tourists. I say relatively because the city has become a lot more popular in the last twenty years so that it’s never a quiet place. I’m not much of a beach person, but Ocata is beautiful at any time of year, and relatively quiet. We usually do Airbnb these days so can’t really say much about the hotels, although I was lucky enough to stay in the Mercer when there on business about fifteen years ago. A really beautiful, vibrant, cosmopolitan and culturally rich city, well worth a visit.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree!  Thanks for your visit to my Barcelona Spain Travel Guide.

      Reply
  8. Nuttanee

    I love Barcelona my sister went to University of Barcelona for her master degree so I got to visit, it is such a cultural city. I enjoyed a lot of Gaudi’s work such as the famous gecko and Sagrada Familia that we still yet to know when will it be done.  However I never get to go to beach or anything so thanks for the itinerary, I will check the beach out this time maybe sometimes next year. 

    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great, you will enjoy the beach as much as the city 🙂

      Reply
  9. Dr. Baker

    I really enjoyed this article over Barcelona! I always think about the Caribbean when I think about beaches. I guess in the Caribbean you get the pristine, white sand and it appears that in Barcelona it’s more golden.  Thank you for the wealth of information.  I am looking forward to some beach time in Barcelona Spain.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great!  Please let me know if you need any additional information.  Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  10. Chloe

    I never knew there was so much beauty in Barcelona. I have read alot about places to travel to just for vacation and my searches have been based on most of these popular cities of the world. Seeing this post have given me a whole new interest. I would make out time to visit this wonderful place soon. Thanks for sharing 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome Chloe.  Yes, Barcelona is a beautiful city with wonderful beaches and plenty to see and do for sure.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

      Reply
  11. Aly

    This is an absolutely beautiful destination and certainly on my travel bucket list. I was wondering about the best time to visit Barcelona, and I love your suggestion to go in May or June to get favorable weather. Thanks for the tips on the best beaches to visit and suggesting some nice hotels as well. I am definitely looking forward to a nice vacation in Barcelona!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great!  You will have a fantastic time.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

      Reply
  12. Dane

    This is a really wonderful place to be i must say. I been in search for some of the best places one can go for vacation and I must say this is one i would recommend to any one. I’m into processing visa and I get lots of people asking me where they can go. Barcelona just got to join the toppers in my list, I love the beaches and also the suggestion of hotel to lodge in. A really complete post I must say. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Dane, I hope you can visit Barcelona Spain one day soon.

      Reply
  13. Tim

    This is such a great travel post, it includes all the important aspects when visiting an unfamiliar place. 

    I love how you put both pictures and descriptions for each beach, it gives your readers the opportunities to see the beaches visually. Barcelona sure has some stunning beaches!

    Also played around a bit with the hotel booking thing, it’s so convenient! Well done, keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Tim!  I am glad you enjoyed and thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  14. Rodarrick

    Barcelona is home to quite a lot of beauties and most especially the football team. I would really wish to explore the city some days soon as I can enjoy the bliss and the cozy atmosphere around it. Truly, the guide here is top notch and has single handedly pinpoint the top places one could pay a visit to in this city. It is worthy to know so much sites here in the city and one day, I would surely explore all thes places when I visit Barcelona.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Rod, enjoy!

      Reply

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