Why you should go to Barcelona !

Barcelona is the poster child for how hosting the Olympics can transform a decaying city. Founded by the Romans, it was ruled by the Visigoths before it became part of the Caliphate of Cordoba and still later the capital of the kingdom of Catalonia and Aragón, whose royal galleons ruled the Mediterranean. Some of that history still lives in the Gothic Quarter. A world exposition in 1929 fired a renaissance of sorts; industrial development after WWII pumped up the economy. But as the 20th century neared its end, Barcelona was a dangerous city for the tourists. Then came the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Today Barcelona is the #4 European destination behind London, Paris and Istanbul, Europe's #1 cruise ship port based on the number of passengers who land there and a major international convention center. Its beaches, once an industrial wasteland, are among the most alluring in the world. It offers a bounty of restaurants, nightlife and shopping. The gay scene has blossomed as well with the city offering hotels for gay travelers, weekly dance parties, a no-holds-bar cruising scene, 24-hour gay saunas, gay beaches and international circuit parties. Its 10-day gay pride festival each June attracts over 150,000 and is one of the most important in Europe. One neighborhood - Eixample - has become such a center of gay activity that's it's been dubbed "Gaixample."

Be inspired

View itineraries for a sample day out in Barcelona

Getting In From Airport

If you're flying into Terminal 1, it might make more sense to catch a bus to the El Prat train station (not airport...

Habla Catalan?

According to Barcelona University, 98% of the people in Barcelona speaks Castillian Spanish, 50-60% speak Catalan, which...

Watch Your Wallet!

Barcelona is a far safer city than it was in the decades before the Olympics 1992 revitalization, but it's still known as...

General impression
Excellent
LGBT-friendly
Excellent
Gil has been to and rated Barcelona

Added 2 days ago

Gilbert Velasco Chacon wishlisted Barcelona

Added 2 days ago

willy wishlisted Barcelona

Added 4 days ago

Bernardo Vega has been to and reviewed Barcelona

Added 6 days ago

  • Passport badge

    Earned the Passport badge!

  • City explorer badge

    Earned the City explorer badge!

  • Reviewer badge

    Earned the Reviewer badge!

  • City explorer badge

    Earned the City explorer (Level 2) badge!

  • City explorer badge

    Earned the City explorer (Level 3) badge!

My favorite place in Spain.

Camille287 has been to Barcelona

Added 1 week ago

Diego Rosa wishlisted Barcelona

Added 1 week ago

Raymond Patrick Maximo wishlisted Barcelona

Added 1 week ago

Mariano Avín has been to Barcelona

Added 1 week ago

Elvin Hendricks wishlisted Barcelona

Added 1 week ago

Manuel Alejandro Montana wishlisted Barcelona

Added 2 weeks ago

Maurício Novais wishlisted Barcelona

Added 2 weeks ago

marie has been to Barcelona

Added 2 weeks ago

Fernanda Maciel wishlisted Barcelona

Added 2 weeks ago

Hernando Carvalho has been to and reviewed Barcelona

Added 2 weeks ago

  • Reviewer badge

    Earned the Reviewer badge!

Great especially during the summer. Eixample and the gay beaches.

Kayleigh Blanchette Kingsbury wishlisted Barcelona

Added 3 weeks ago

Daniel S. Bahrami has been to Barcelona

Added 3 weeks ago

Moises Olea has been to and reviewed Barcelona

Added 3 weeks ago

  • Reviewer badge

    Earned the Reviewer badge!

I love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guillermo Manuel Corral Manzano has been to Barcelona

Added 4 weeks ago

James Jonathan Bentley has been to and reviewed Barcelona

Added 4 weeks ago

  • Reviewer badge

    Earned the Reviewer (Level 2) badge!

My home town. Amazing place. Little more is needed, it has everything!

andre has been to Barcelona

Added 1 month ago

Share the Barcelona City Guide with your friends.

Top reviewers

  • 1
    Jordi de Ancos Bardaji
  • 2
    Holeinthehead
  • 3
    Flora Fernandes

Getting around

Just keep in mind that Barcelona was once a medieval walled city. The walls have come down, but it remains a relatively small city where walking is the most interesting and most expedient option, especially in the narrow streets of the old city. That said, Barcelona has a number of other efficient and relatively inexpensive ways of getting around the city.

Major rental car companies are located all together in Terminal 1 and 2, giving you an opportunity to shop for best deals; but it's likely more economical to book online ahead of your arrival. They are open 7 am to midnight.

Residents get around on a bike-rental system called "bicing," but you can also find hourly rentals at cycling shops and a wide selection of bike tours, some including tapas and electric bikes.

The Metro system is clean, efficient and more or less punctual. It can get you most everywhere a tourist would want to go with the same ticket working for both Metro and buses. It is air-conditioned, a big plus in the summer even if you had planned on walking a short distance. The Metro system connects to RENFE trains that will get you to/from the airport in under 30 minutes for €4.10. If you're arriving at Terminal 1, you'll need to hop the shuttle to Terminal 2 first.
With more than 1000 buses traveling on 80 routes, tourists can get almost anywhere by bus, using the same pass as the one used for the Metro. the tram, city lines of the FGC trains and zone 1 of the Renfe trains. Most service begins at 4:25 am and ends at 11 pm. Night buses begin or stop at Plaça de Catalunya between 10:40-11:40 pm and 5-6 am.
Taxis are an affordable option. Figure €10 for a 15-minute ride based on what's on the meter. Inside the cab is a rate chart. You don't have to tip, but 5-10% would be sufficient. You know that the official yellow-and-black taxis are free if the green light on top is lit. But if headed to the center of the city with its narrow and/or pedestrian-only streets, taxis are not the best choice. Try walking from the closest main thoroughfare or metro stop. For the time being, Urber is only good for food deliveries.