Barcelona is a big city and staying in the right area can be vital. In saying that, there is no right or wrong area to stay in. The key to choosing the ideal accommodation is keeping yourself within walking distance of the main attractions. Once you are staying in this area and anywhere from La Sagrada Familia to the beach, you are in a good location. This keeps everything close and saves spending any extended time on public transport.
I recommend trying your best to find accommodation that offers breakfast. This will come in very useful due to the early start on your first day in the city. It is unlikely that any tourist who visits the city will leave having not gone to visit the cathedral. Doing this at the first opportunity is a great way to be wowed by Barcelona from the get-go. Although building work is yet to be completed, visitors are allowed to enter the cathedral.
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Book for the earliest time slot available as the queue can get quite long throughout the day. Also, be sure to pay for the audio guide, it will really enhance your experience there. A visit to La Sagrada Familia will take you approximately two hours. Then you are just a short walk from Casa Batllo. This house was designed by Gaudi for textile industrialist, Josep Batllo in Both can be entered, depending on your interest in the inner architecture of the buildings.
With midday approaching, I recommend walking through Placa Catalunya and onto the most famous street in Barcelona, La Rambla. Normally, I would strongly advise against eating on La Rambla, but there is one place that is a must, La Boqueria. This public market is loved by both tourists and locals and is a great place to grab some fresh produce.
For lunch though, what you eat depends solely on your budget. For the more budget conscious traveller, make use of the Iberico ham a cured meat and the seafood on offer. Both will cost considerably more than the grab and go options but are definitely worth the money.
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With your belly full, I suggest using this afternoon to walk the area you are in. Continue to the end of the street, turn left and continue along the promenade until you reach the Born Cultural Centre. This public space is designed to be the centre of Catalan culture in the city.
There are also excavated ruins underneath the floor, along with a quick guide to the history of Catalonia. This huge public space is great for basking in the Barcelona sunshine, people watching or just taking a break from walking. As you exit the north gate, you will be faced with a view of the Arc de Triomf. This was built in with the intention of being the entrance to the Barcelona World Fair.
Although similar structures can be found in cities such as Paris and Bucharest, this particular arch is unique in the fact that it is non-military. As the sun sets, I heavily recommend taking a walk through the picturesque streets of Barcelona as far as the location of Quimet y Quimet on Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes. This tiny little Tapas restaurant has some of the most delicious food you could imagine. Quimet opens at and I suggest being there for this time.
The shop gets jam-packed from open until close. As a result, arriving later could lead to having to wait outside until there is space to enter. They specialize in seafood, and it is fantastic. Although labelled a sandwich, they are more like crispy, thick pieces of toast with toppings like prawns, scallops and caviar.
Each one I tried was delicious, the best meal I had in Barcelona by far! One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city is the nightly show at Montjuic Magic Fountain.
The Montjuic area actually has many sights to see, including a cemetery and the botanic gardens. Since , a light, colour and water show has taken place in the giant fountain every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night between and Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates. Or explore the collection of Best Places to stay in Barcelona. See More. Travelling to pick up litter. On the face of it, this could be a tough sell to your average holidaymaker… But for eco-conscious globetrotters keen to have a positive impact on the d Poblenou lies at the centre of the Barcelona d In Spain, the Madrid vs Barcelona debate is serious business.
For the latter part of the day and evening visit the ancient Ribeira district, which lines the banks of the Douro River. On the morning of the second day, ride the traditional tram to the Foz district, which is positioned at the mouth of the Douro River and extends along a rocky coastline to the beach of Matosinhos.
In the afternoon, and the highlight of Porto, are the tours of the Port cellars and Port tasting. Lining the southern banks of the Douro River are eight of the major Port producers, each with their vast cellars and tasting tours. Port tasting at the Sandeman cellars— an enjoyable activity and a great way to meet fellow travellers. If you can find decent accommodation, then Barcelona is enjoyable for a city break.
The main airport of Barcelona is 17km from the city centre and connected by train, but the low-cost airlines may use the very distant Barcelona-Reus km south or Barcelona-Girona 90km north. Neither airport is good for a short city-break, as so much time will be waste travelling.
Accommodation for Barcelona is always in high demand, and you will typically end up paying much more than you originally planned before making any reservations. The summer months can be a real challenge to find good accommodation — book well in advance. Once in Barcelona all of the main sights are close and can be easily walked.
Porto is a recommended destination for an alternative city break. Porto has a single airport which is 12km north of the historic centre and is connected by the metro. Porto has fewer flight routes and departures than other major cities, which means demand for weekend flights can be high. Equally, during the low season, there are bargain flights to be found.
Porto can be easily explored on foot and rarely any public transport or taxis are needed for the entire trip. Just beware, there are steep hills! Everyone knows of Barcelona and its iconic monument, the La Sagrada, is instantly recognisable, along with its football team. Porto has somehow managed to slip under the radar of most travellers and tourists, and this is a good thing.
Few people even consider Porto, and consequently is hardly a bucket list location. Barcelona nightlife is buzzing, lively and the whole city parties during the summer season. Being an international and tourist heavy city expect many of the most popular venues to be crammed with foreigners and tourists instead of locals. For funky bars head to the El Born district or alley of the Gothic Quarter.
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For Porto, the nightlife reflects that of the size of the city; Thursday, Friday and Saturday are lively and late-night, but early in the week is more tame. Porto is not really a destination to choose for extreme nightlife, but it is more about late dinners, socialising over a glass of Port. Pablo Picasso has a close connection to Barcelona and the Museu Picasso, displays over 3, pieces of his earlier work.
Barcelona has numerous museums and galleries but when compared to other European cultural cities the variety and depth are lacking.