barcelona skyline gaudi buildings

Barcelona Holidays

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Catalonia's cultural capital 

Barcelona holidays take you to the enchanting capital of Catalonia, where you’ll discover beautiful beaches, captivating culture and fabulous food all wrapped up in one glorious package. 

This is a city that teems with iconic landmarks – including Antoni Gaudi’s famously eccentric and bewitching architecture – as well as opportunities to immerse yourself in its rich artistic heritage.

The food and fashion are as fabulous as the city’s beautiful buildings. Feast on tasty tapas in the Barri Gotic and browse the independent boutiques of the trendy El Born neighbourhood.

A Barcelona break also gives you the chance to unwind as you soak up the Mediterranean sun on La Barceloneta beach in this sparkling city by the sea.

With great weather, fascinating history, a lively cosmopolitan vibe and legendary sports teams, there’s plenty to fit into a holiday to Barcelona.

barcelona beach ocean skyline

Things to do in Barcelona

A lively arts scene, vibrant nightlife, phenomenal food and a spectacular shoreline combine to make Barcelona holiday packages tempting for every kind of traveller.

barcelona la rambla steet busy

Discover La Rambla

Head to the very heart of the city and wander down La Rambla. This famous, tree-lined boulevard (which is actually made up of several streets joined together) is a magnet for visitors from around the world. 

La Rambla stretches out for almost a mile and hums with life at all hours of the day and night. Browse the stalls selling souvenirs, take in the musicians, dancers, living statues and other street performers, or simply sit outside a cafe and watch the world go by.

Where to stay in Barcelona

Relax in El Born

El Born is a location that offers the best of both worlds. You’re as near to the city centre as you are to the beaches, and close to many of the top attractions and museums.

This charming neighbourhood also boasts plenty of great restaurants and shops, making it the ideal base for a Barcelona city break.

barcelona el born street flower pots
barcelona beach view ocean palm trees

Beach time in Barcelona

If you want to make the most of Barcelona’s impressive shoreline and golden beaches, this is the area for you.

Barceloneta is nestled right next to the city’s best-loved beach and you’re never more than a five-minute walk from the sand. 

It’s ideal for family holidays in Barcelona and for those seeking a slightly quieter stay outside the centre of the city. It’s also packed with brilliant seafood restaurants and some eye-catching public art.

Park yourself in Poble Sec

Foodies will adore Poble Sec as it is home to some of the city's best dining spots. The area is relatively quiet during the day but springs to life in the evening.

Head back to base after a day of sightseeing exploits and you’ll be spoilt for choice thanks to the superb tapas restaurants and local eateries.

Sample the montaditos at the legendary Quimet i Quimet. These miniature baguette-like bread rolls are filled with moreish ingredients such as smoked salmon and truffled honey.

barcelona traditional tapas bar
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All you need to know about Barcelona

Getting around

Getting around Barcelona is relatively easy as most attractions are within walking distance of the centre. There are plenty of taxis and you can also make use of the metro and hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses.

Local currency

The local currency in Barcelona is the euro (EUR). Most major credit cards are accepted at businesses across the city and you’ll find ATMs widely available.

Languages spoken

Spanish and Catalan are the most widely spoken languages in Barcelona. Many people also speak good English, particularly those working in the city’s hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions.

Public holidays

Barcelona observes many of the same public holidays as the rest of Spain – as well as celebrating the National Day of Catalonia on 11 September.

More about Barcelona

Modernist marvels

Barcelona has some of the most stunning and instantly recognisable architecture in the world, much of it designed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Antoni Gaudí. His colourful modernist style is in evidence right across the city. 

In addition to the Sagrada Familia, notable examples of Gaudi's  work include Casa Mila, a modernist building on Passeig de Gracia, and Casa Batllo, the so-called House of Bones. Park Guell is another of Gaudi’s towering achievements, while the recently reopened Palau Guell features a stunning interior.

barcelona batillo gaudi buildings
barcelona traditional seafood paella

Mouth-watering cuisine

Food plays an important part in any holiday to Barcelona. A trip to the Catalan capital offers an opportunity to sample some of the world’s finest food. 

Rich and succulent Mediterranean dishes dominate the menus here, with lunch being regarded as the most important meal of the day. 

Try fresh seafood paella at Port Vell or find a traditional tapas restaurant along a quaint side street off La Rambla. The evening is the perfect time to sample a variety of tapas with friends and family or try Basque-style pinxtos at Sagardi.

The famous Adria brothers’ Tickets restaurant offers one of the most inventive fine dining experiences in Europe.

Stunning waterfront

Holidays in Barcelona offer more than just a vibrant city – and no break here is complete without appreciating its glorious coastline too. 

La Barceloneta is the biggest beach in the city, with soft golden sand and spectacular views of the Barcelona skyline serving as a backdrop. 

Nova Icària is the place to try water sports, while Ocata – a half-hour train journey north of the city – is something of a hidden gem. Relax on the golden sand and then head to one of the cafes peppering the shoreline for some deliciously fresh seafood.

barcelona aerial panorama ocean boats
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Why we love Barcelona

“Barcelona is the perfect city by the sea and there’s always such a buzz about the place. There’s nothing better than soaking up the atmosphere around Port Vell and La Rambla. Order some tapas and watch this electric city whirl around you.”

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