Tuck into tapas and sip some cava as you soak up the best of Catalonia on Barcelona city breaks. Located in Spain’s northern region, Barcelona is a fantastically diverse city; take a last minute break for lazy beach days and late-night fiestas or take a winter break for easy access to some fantastic ski slopes in nearby Andorra. With plenty of cultural hotspots and historical landmarks on hand, it’s a city break that’s brimming with things to see and do.
Visit the beautiful Park Güell for stunning views of the city skyline that stretch out to the sea, take a wander through the fascinating Sagrada de Familia, or hideaway in one of the basement bars while enjoying a drink with the locals. Whether you’re looking for the chance to soak up some Spanish flair or want the perfect mix of city exploration and beach bliss, Barcelona city breaks will not disappoint.
It’s easy to see why Barcelona is often referred to as Spain’s second capital after Madrid; with an array of unique districts that are brimming with character, you can enjoy the city break you’re looking for.
The main hub of activity is along Las Ramblas with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to while away your day. Book yourself into one of the cosy hotels just off the street to be within easy access of all the highlights or choose one of the convenient apartments in the nearby El Gotic district for a chance to experience a slice of local life. Las Ramblas is also home to the famous La Boqueria market, where you’ll be among the locals, bartering for fruit, Spanish ham and turrones – Spanish sweets.
There’s a vibrant nightlife scene to be had in El Born, while Plaza Catalunya is the place to head for shopping and tapas. As both offer up a range of hotels and apartments, they are great places for a base while exploring the city. Avinguda Diagonal is one of the Barcelona’s most important streets and is home to an array of fantastic accommodation. Stretching diagonally across the city centre it provides easy access to the metro system while also being close to all the city hotspots.
With a fantastic stretch of golden sand, you can really make the most of the Spanish sun on your city break to Barcelona. Lined with an array of beach bars and seafood restaurants, you’ll be able to set yourself up for a day of pure relaxation, mojitos included! Those who like a bit of action with their beach retreat will be pleased to hear that in recent years paddle boarding and surfing, also popular in the likes of San Sebastian and Tenerife, has become popular on this stretch, so rent a board and test your balance.
Barcelona city breaks are incomplete without a seeking out the Gaudi hotspots. Visit one of Gaudi’s finished buildings, Casa Batllo, take a trip to La Pedrera – also known as Casa Mila – and spend the day soaking up the sun in Park Güell. In each space you can expect some fantastic architecture and unique views of the city. Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudi’s most famous projects; however queues tend to extend around the block, so make sure you book your tickets online first.
Out and About in Barcelona
Between the mountains and the sea, you can be overwhelmed with the amount of things to do in this Catalonia capital. If you’re after some history, take a stroll around the Barceloneta district, also known as the ‘fisherman’s neighbourhood’. Once nothing more than an industrial port, the area was totally renovated in preparation for the 1992 Olympics, making way for a trendy harbour and easy access to the beach.
However, remnants of its past still remain; wander through the back streets and soak up the care free atmosphere, visit the district’s main square to shop in the local market and take a seat in one of the fantastic seafood restaurants that were once small fisherman bars. Puda Can Manel is a great place to enjoy tasty paella while just a few minutes down the road you’ll find a heavenly ice cream parlour, Vioko where the crema catalana flavour comes highly recommended!
For a romantic evening, take a cable car up to the tallest building in the harbour for an incredible 360-degree view of the city, a second cable car will take you further still to the beautiful Montjuic. In the summer months you’ll find public barbeques in the evenings, but throughout the year it’s one of the best places to view the city. From the harbour you can also take a ferry to the gorgeous Balearic Islands like Ibiza and Majorca and add a bit of island-hopping to your Barcelona city break.