It’s tough to have a bad time in Barcelona. The city is incredibly beautiful, the people are friendly and helpful, the food is excellent and it’s safe.
Barcelona is a city that can be endlessly explored. You could spend your whole life there and never see it all. In fact, many people do. It’s a big city with a small town feel, and it’s got everything you need to enjoy yourself: beaches, mountains and culture. But if you want to maximize your enjoyment of this jewel of Catalonia, here are some tips to help you make the most of your vacation.
Book your flight early
Barcelona is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, so it’s a good idea to book your flight at least six months in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll end up paying more for your ticket and you might find yourself stuck with a layover that adds hours to your trip.
Arrive and depart from the airport by taxi
When you arrive at the airport, take a Barcelona Airport taxi. They’re usually not very expensive, and they’ll get you into town without the hassle of taking a bus or hailing a cab on the street. It’s not difficult to figure out how much it should cost, though. Just look up the fare on the airport website before you go.
You can book your Barcelona Airport taxi online before you arrive, so it’s waiting for you when you get off the plane. And because it’s a fixed price regardless of traffic or time of day, it’s worth the money even if you hit rush hour on the way into town. Plus, it’s much more comfortable than public transportation and the drivers tend to be friendly local guys who are happy to answer any questions you may have about the city.
When you leave Barcelona, hire a Barcelona Airport taxi back to the airport. You won’t want to carry your luggage around town looking for public transit. Plus, if you book your cab in advance through a service like Taxi Barcelona, you’ll know exactly how much it will cost and won’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by unscrupulous drivers.
Get a guide
After taking a Barcelona Airport taxi to your hotel, you’ll probably want to go out and explore the city. If you’re unfamiliar with Barcelona, you could easily get lost. Don’t rely on street signs: they’re often in Catalan or Spanish, and sometimes they’re missing altogether. The best way to find your way around the city is with a guide.
Get a Metro pass
Get a Metro pass as soon as you arrive. You’ll definitely use it during your stay, so it’s best to get it right away. A 10-ride pass costs about $8.50 and is good for unlimited rides for 75 minutes after your first trip. A one-day pass costs about $6, a two-day pass about $10 and a three-day pass about $14. You can use a pass on the Barcelona Bus Turístic, which will take you to many of the city’s tourist attractions.
Stay near Las Ramblas, Plaza de Catalunya or Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter)
All 3 neighbourhoods are in the heart of the tourist zone and any hotel there will put you within easy walking distance of most of the sights and all kinds of restaurants and shops.
Stay near the beach
Get a hotel near the beach so that you can spend your days sunbathing, swimming and surfing without having to walk too far from your room.
Don’t forget sunscreen. Even though Spain has plenty of sun, it’s not always hot enough to protect against UV rays with just clothing alone.
My final advice for anyone traveling to Barcelona is to explore. The city is filled with hidden gems, and the only way to find them is by getting lost.