City break in Barcelona: everything you need to know!

Going to Barcelona? This article is for you! I'll be giving you all the tips you need for the perfect Barcelona getaway!
city break in Barcelona

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©Photo de couverture: Camille Fostier

Heading  to Barcelona soon? Looking for what to do and see? Find out everything you need to know about Barcelona in this article!

Book your city pass for Barcelona

💡 Discover the best of Barcelona with the City Pass! Visit must-sees like the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, enjoy a guided Hop-on Hop-off bus tour and get a full audio guide to the city. An all-in-one pass for a stress-free experience packed with discoveries.

Price: €85/adult – €63/child

Practical info


Barcelona El Prat airport, around 15km away from the city, is connected by public transport to the city centre:

Aerobus 1 or Aerobus 2, depending on which terminal you arrive at (+- 35 min journey, departures every 10 min and €5.90).

Metro line 9, which also connects Terminal 1 and 2, taking you  directly to the city centre (30-minute journey, departures every 30 minutes and €4.5)

You can also get there by train from Barcelona Sants station, one of the biggest in the country!

And once you’re there? Personally, I love discovering a city by foot to soak up the atmosphere! However, Barcelona is a fairly flat city and to get the most out of it, I’d advise you to explore it by bike! The city has a lot of cycle paths and most of it is relatively flat, so you can rack up the kilometres while taking in the sights!

Those who are used to the city and scooters can also opt for daily scooter rental !

How many days should I allow and when should I go?

January and February are cold; October is very rainy… for the other months of the year, it’s always nice to go to Barcelona for a long weekend (3 or 4 days)!


I recommend staying in an area not far from the historic centre: the Eixample, either in Sant Antoni or around Passeig de Gràcia. For those looking for a little more peace and quiet, neighbourhoods like Sants or Poblenou are quieter, but well connected to the rest of the city.

Gastronomic specialities

Calçots: you’ll get your hands full with them, but they’re delicious! They’re like sweet onions, braised and then, after removing the blackened parts, dipped in a romesco sauce and eaten with your hands. Calçots are eaten in winter and are accompanied by an assortment of meats and white beans.

We also feature :

  • Pan con tomate (bread with tomato): toasted bread rubbed with fresh tomato
  • Butifarra: a type of sausage that can be eaten raw or cooked
  • L’escala anchovies: anchovies
  • Escalivada: a starter based on oven-roasted aubergines and peppers
  • Les Cargols: for snail lovers!
  • Crème Catalane: made with egg yolks, flour and milk

Barcelona's main districts

Gothic - El Born

The historic heart of the city, with its narrow streets and sunny squares! There’s always plenty going on in these areas! Some people say it’s almost like being in a small village when they walk around Barcelona’s historic centre… and I couldn’t agree more!


  • Strolling through the narrow streets of the city
  • Discover Barcelona Cathedral and climb up to its roof to see the city from above!
  • Visit the Picasso Museum
  • Discover the magnificent Palace of Catalan Music
  • Passing through Plaça Sant Jaume and Plaça Reial
  • Take a walk in the Parc de la Ciudadella

Feeling a bit hungry? Here are 3 addresses in the area:


The Raval is also part of the city’s historic centre. It has a certain not-so-glorious reputation… Today, however, it’s a very trendy alternative district where art lovers, second-hand shops and nice restaurants can all find what they’re looking for! The Raval is separated from the Gothic Quarter by Barcelona’s famous Rambla!


  • Take a stroll and do some shopping at the Boqueria Market
  • Visit an exhibition at the CCCB or the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the 2 contemporary art centres in the Raval district
  • Admire the Palais Guell, one of Gaudi’s creations
  • Stroll along the Rambla to the port and the Barceloneta


Barcelona’s beach!

Yes, there’s a beach close to the city centre: the Barceloneta! Isn’t it beautiful? 
To be honest with you, it’s not the most beautiful beach in Spain, it’s an artificial beach and

it’s quite small, but I recommend that you go there at the end of the day, have a drink and admire the view (and the famous Hotel W Barcelona).


plage barcelone

Eixample - San Antoni

The Eixample is one of the city’s largest and most important districts, with many tourist attractions (Gaudi’s buildings in particular!). It is characterised by its grid layout, with streets running parallel and perpendicular to each other.

As for San Antoni, it’s a small extension of the Eixample, a singular and above all very pleasant area to discover, a fashionable district! For me, it’s one of the best areas to have a drink, and I’d advise you to let yourself go and choose the bar that appeals to you most!

The Sagrada Familia is located in this district, so don’t forget to book your tickets!

Don’t miss the majestic Sagrada Família on your visit to Barcelona. Secure your place by booking in advance and avoid long waiting times.


  • See (and visit) the Sagrada Familia
  • Walk past La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, 2 emblematic buildings by the famous architect Gaudi
  • Discover the San Antoni Market (less touristy than the Boqueria!)
  • Linking Plaça de Tetuan to Barcelona’s Arc de Triomphe
  • Walk along the Plaça de Catalunya
  • Visit the Gaudi Experience to understand the artist’s work
  • Take Avenue Mistral, the only diagonal street in the district, for a drink!

Montjuic - Poble Sec

A hill overlooking the city and the sea – can you believe it? Then head for Montjuic! This part of Barcleone is considered to be the city’s green lung, and is a great place to take a stroll, with plenty of activities on offer! Did you know that? This is where the 1992 Olympic Games were held!

Between Barceloneta and Montjuic lies the Poble Sec district, a trendy residential area!


  • Take the funicular (Parallel metro station) or the cable car (from Barceloneta) for direct access to Monjtuic Castle.
  • Admire the magnificent Montjuic castle
  • Visit the National Palace
  • Strolling through the botanical gardens
  • See a light show at the Montjuic Magic Fountain


A former industrial district turned ultra-trendy, just a stone’s throw from the city centre!


  • Take the Rambla del Poblenou
  • Spot the street art that covers many of the district’s buildings
  • Visit the Design Museum
  • See the Glòries Tower, that funny rounded skyscraper


Small streets, craft shops and a multitude of restaurants (one address to remember: Sol Soler!)… welcome to the Gracia district! But this district is best known for … Parc Guell! A must-see during a weekend in Barcelona!

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  • Walk past Casa Vicens, another work by Gaudi
  • Visit Parc Guell, with its green area and magnificent mosaic terrace overlooking the city
  • Shopping in the local boutiques

And a little extra to round off your visit to the city:

Fans of panoramic views will be delighted in Barcelona, as there are hills in the city that offer incredible views, and the hotels often have beautiful rooftops. There’s even something of a rooftop festival in Barcelona: “la Setmana de les Terrasses”, which takes place at the beginning of June (we’ll make a note of it!).

Book your city pass for Barcelona

💡 Discover the best of Barcelona with the City Pass! Visit must-sees like the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, enjoy a guided Hop-on Hop-off bus tour and get a full audio guide to the city. An all-in-one pass for a stress-free experience packed with discoveries.

Price: €85/adult – €63/child

Around Barcelona

Still in Barcelona, but a little out of the way (but if you’re a fan, you won’t miss it…), you can visit the Camp Nou! Barcelona’s football stadium.

For an unusual activity, you can also visit the Tibidabo Amusement Park high above the city!

Head for the Garraf massif for a walk by the sea. If you’re looking for a small, discreet but charming destination, you’ll want to drop in at Garraf, a tiny fishing village with a very pretty beach.

For those who prefer a little more action, head for Sitges, a small seaside town with white houses and long sandy beaches. Don’t miss the Sitges Carnival or the Fantastic Film Festival!

You can also read : 6 originals accomodations near Barcelona !

A souvenir to take home?

I prefer to suggest bringing back some local delicacies. There’s nothing like tasting them back home to make you travel again. I often recommend bringing back a bit of touron, a candy  made from almonds and honey. It’s typical of the Christmas period, but between you and me, you can eat it all year round! 

If you really want to take something home, then I’d say the ‘caganer’: a very special character found in Catalan cots at Christmas. Be careful, if you give it as a present, don’t forget to explain what the ‘caganer’ means, otherwise you’ll offend a lot of people!


Q&A : Barcelona break

Barcelona El Prat airport is linked to the city centre by Aerobus 1 or 2 and metro line 9.

With the exception of the cold months of January and February and the rainy month of October, all the other months are ideal for a break in Barcelona.

Recommended specialities include calçots, pan con tomate, butifarra, escala anchovies, escalivada, cargols and crema catalana.

The must-see districts are Gothic – El Born, Raval, Barceloneta, Eixample – San Antoni, Montjuic – Poble Sec, Poblenou and Gracia.

Places of interest include the Camp Nou, the Tibidabo Amusement Park, the Garraf massif, Garraf, and the seaside town of Sitges.

I recommend bringing back local delicacies such as touron, a delicacy made from almonds and honey. For those who prefer an object, the “caganer”, a traditional character in Catalan nativity scenes at Christmas, is a unique option.

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Hello! I’m Julie, digital content creator, travel enthusiast and Spain lover!

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