FIRST TIME IN BARCELONA – 10 TIPS & THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA.
Visiting Barcelona for the very first time?
You will be visiting one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, actually let me say in the world. But what makes Barcelona super beautiful? I would say one of the reasons is the weather. Sunny days all year round, believe me. Secondly I would say because Barcelona has both beach & mountain and thirdly because the food is incredible! Hope you enjoy fish and sea food, otherwise, you are going to be in trouble.
Just let me tell you some important facts you should keep in mind & what are the top things to do in Barcelona.
1. HOW TO GET TO THE CITY FROM AIRPORT
• We only have one airport in town, so it’s pretty simple to buy a ticket to Barcelona. It’s also very easy to get to your hotel. There are only two terminals, 1 and 2 (free shuttle buses from terminal 1 to 2 and viceversa) and there are 4 ways to get to the city:
- -Taxi, the easiest and most expensive way, 30 minutes (between 30-40€).
- -Train, only from terminal 2, 45 minutes/1 hour (2,5€ single ticket).
- -Metro, just inside the airport, usually one hour long (4,5€).
- -And the one that I like the most, the Aerobus, which is in both terminals and you get the chance to have a quick look to the city as you get to Plaza Catalunya which is the last stop. Depending on traffic, a 25-40 minutes trip (€5,90).
Train stations are “Sants” and “Estació de Francia” and bus terminal is “Estació del Nord”. Both right in the city center.
Tip: transport starts running at 5am and finishes at around 11pm-1am!
2. VISIT SAGRADA FAMILIA
• If you are going to be in Barcelona for just a day, there is this place, which is a must-see in Barcelona and you can’t miss it by any means: Sagrada Familia. This should be definitely in the list of things to do in Barcelona. You probably heard about Gaudí, so this is the icon of the city. Even from the outside, it’s breathtaking.
Tip: Speaking from my own experience, if you are looking for top Barcelona sightseeing attractions, buy your ticket in advance a couple of days before if you don’t want to queue for hours. Tickets are usually sold out in high season.
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3. GET LOST IN GOTHIC NEIGHBOURHOOD
• Another important place you shouldn’t miss is actually a neighbourhood: Gothic neighbourhood. I strongly recommend you to get lost in its alleys and secret corners. Walk along La Rambla, the most famous pedestrian street and make some time to visit the Boquería Market. These places are definitely in my list of what to do in Barcelona.
Tip: If you ask me, I would not recommend you to eat near Ramblas, most of them are tourist traps!
4. VISIT GAUDI BUILDINGS IN PASSEIG DE GRACIA
• There is this avenue worth visiting called Passeig de Gracia. This is where the most expensive stores are and where the richest people used to live. You can tell by the buildings. Two of Gaudí’s buildings are there: La Pedrera or Casa Milá and Casa Battló. If you have enough time try visiting them not just from outside, they are astonish.
5. TRY TAPAS & PAELLA!
• Don’t go home without having tried traditional tapas & paella.
6. IF YOU LOVE FOOTBALL…
• If you are a football fan, then Camp Nou will be a sure must-see! You can buy the ticket for the museum on site at the moment.
7. STROLL ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN SEE
• As I said at the beginning, Barcelona offers beach & mountain, so a stroll along the seaside is a lovely thing you can do. I would start from the Christopher Columbus Monument, right at the end of La Rambla and would walk all the way until where the two tallest towers of Barcelona are in Olympic Villa. Sunset is the best time to do so and try combining it with dinner. Get through Barceloneta neighborhood as well, the old fishermen’s village.
8. DON’T MISS PARK GÜELL
• Talking about mountains, Park Güell is the gem you need to see. Another thing to add to the things to do in Barcelona. For me one of the best views in town. It’s another of Gaudí’s wonders and you need to buy the ticket in advance here or queue for a couple of hours there. Include this in your Barcelona attractions!
Tip: Don’t forget to visit the hill of the 3 crosses known also as Calvario hill to enjoy an amazing view of Barcelona from the top.
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9. GO AND SEE THE MAGIC FOUNTAIN
• Finally I would definitely encourage you to visit the Magic Fountain in Plaza España. Find the working times here, but even if there is no show on the day you are planning to visit, just go there anyways, because it’s beautiful. Include this in your list of what to do in Barcelona.
10. CHECK LOCAL EVENTS!
• The last tip for your first visit to Barcelona would be to check if there are any special events on the days you are visiting. It happens that every month we have something different to celebrate such us Carnival in February, San Jordi in April, Sant Joan in June, Gracia neighbourhood party in August, Halloween in October, and a lot of concerts and special street markets all year round! Just check what to do in Barcelona in the time you are coming and hopefully you will them!
So, in conclusion, depending on the days you have, try selecting the places you think you are going to enjoy the most and fill your days.
Hope this guide for first timers in Barcelona can help you!