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Gaudí, Gothic grit and great gazpacho: holidays to Barcelona put you in the midst of the action

If you’ve been considering booking a trip to beautiful Barcelona, there’s never been a better time, and ebookers’ Barcelona holidays make it easy to create an adventure that’s just right for you. Whether you’re looking for a contemporary lodging with a rooftop bar offering sweeping views across the old city, or a cosy hotel nestled in the shadows of the eternally romantic Gothic Quarter, with ebookers you’ll be sure to discover the Gaudí-fuelled getaway of your dreams. Even better, you’ll save up to 15% when booking Barcelona flights and hotels together. We’ll do the legwork of finding the best holidays to Barcelona; you just book, pack your bags and wave adios. Perfecto!

What to do on a Barcelona holiday

Barcelona has made dreamy spires, hallucinatory arches and enigmatic buildings fashionable, and much of this fairytale city can be attributed to the visions of one man: Antoni Gaudí. Perhaps no other person has so shaped the fabric of an entire metropolis, and his master plan can be seen and felt just about everywhere. To catch a glimpse of Gaudí’s legacy, pay your respects at Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Parc Güell or La Sagrada Familia – one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. Perhaps the only thing closer than the twist of a Gaudí spire to capturing the true heart of the city is the click-click-clap that starts many traditional flamenco dances. Originating in Andalusia, flamenco has been a key part of Spanish culture since the 18th century, and offers a passionate display of joy, sadness and Spanish history. You can catch a performance at the popular, cave-like Tablao Flamenco Cordobes, situated on the famous La Rambla, or at the jaw-dropping Palau de la Música, which is considered one of the globe’s most dazzling music halls.

Where to stay and go on a holiday in Barcelona

Barri Gòtic, or The Gothic Quarter, is what many think of when conjuring up images of classic Barcelona: a maze of narrow, moon-struck alleys, imposing cathedrals and lively open-air bars. It’s perhaps the city’s most picturesque area, and has been immortalised in numerous novels – a great place to dig into some chipirones tapas and browse the boutiques on Calle Avinyo. The district of Eixample is much more modern, and with its broad streets, high-end shops and cosmopolitan cocktail bars, it draws a globe-hopping crowd. Passeig del Born, meanwhile, is a charming neighbourhood whose medieval vibe is offset by its vibrant nightlife – a good landing spot to delve into both the traditional and modern pleasures of this most beguiling of cities.

Getting around Barcelona

The city is a pleasure to stroll through, but at some point on your trip to Barcelona you may want to hop on the metro; buying a T-10 card will allow you 10 journeys. The RENFE train service runs between the Barcelona-El Prat Airport and the city centre every half-hour, but if you want to see the city on your own terms, consider hiring a car.

Top Barcelona attractions

La Sagrada Familia

Still a work in progress 120 years after the first stone was laid, Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece is the iconic image of Barcelona. The Church of the Holy Family, or simply La Sagrada Familia, is unlike any other religious edifice in the world.

Gaudi's unique vision is a spectacular and otherworldly sight. When work is completed in 2026, the building will have a tower for each of the 12 apostles. Visitors can go up two of them, the Nativity and Passion towers, and walk across the bridge between for a unique view of the city.

Picasso Museum

Spain's most famous artist went to school in Barcelona and would return to the city at periods throughout his life. At the museum you can trace the meteoric rise of this painting prodigy from works like The First Communion, painted at the age of just 14, to later pieces such as his studies of Velazquez’s Las Meninas. Housed in a collection of medieval palaces in La Ribera, the Picasso Museum gives a fascinating insight into the talent and character of this art icon.

Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday

Camp Nou

Not all of the cathedrals in Barcelona are the religious kind. For many Catalans the place to come to worship on a Sunday is the Camp Nou stadium. Once a fortnight, almost 100,000 people cram inside the largest stadium in Europe to watch some of the finest footballers on the planet. The atmosphere at a match here is like no other, and the club's illustrious history is celebrated in the FC Barcelona President Nuñez Museum. Tours are also available that will take you right down to the pitch.

Casa Battló

This stunning example of Gaudi's architectural style is a World Heritage Site. Tours of the building are available.

Gothic Quarter

Relive the ancient history of Barcelona as you walk along alleys filled with buildings that date back to Roman times.

Passeig de Gràcia

Enjoy shopping and sampling local and international cuisine in this central neighbourhood, which is dotted with buildings designed by Gaudi.

Museu Nacionald d'Art de Catalunya

The extensive collection of art in this museum includes Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque masterpieces. An architectural attraction in itself, the museum is located in the picturesque Parc de Montjuïc.

El Tablao de Carmen

This theatre is dedicated to Carmen Amaya, one of Spain's greatest flamenco dancers, and it is a great place to see an authentic flamenco performance.

Joan Miró Foundation

This museum is home to one of the largest collections of the works of this Catalonian artist. It is a must for those who appreciate modern art.

SphereMania Barcelona

Try harness sphering, a safe, yet adventurous alternative to bungee jumping, and theme park rides, right in the centre of Barcelona.

La Seu - Cathedral of Santa Eulalia

This Gothic cathedral is located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, and it took nearly 200 years to complete. Every Sunday at noon, the cathedral presents a performance of local folk dancing.

Las Ramblas

This central pedestrian thoroughfare is a major tourist attraction. It features everything from restaurants, cafes and boutiques to impromptu street performances.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

Constructed in 1929 for the World's Fair, this stunning fountain features sound and light shows on weekend evenings.

Insider tips for Barcelona travel

Port Olympic

This quiet stretch of beach is located right near the port of Barcelona. Watch the ships as they depart from the port as you soak up the beautiful Barcelona sun.

Espit Chupitos

Enjoy the atmosphere of a real local bar at any of the locations of this small chain of shot bars.

San Jose Market

Located off of Las Ramblas, this vibrant marketplace sells everything related to food..

Park de la Ciutadella

This park features spectacular waterfalls as well as some of the famed architect Gaudi's earliest work.

Carrer de la Riera Baixa

This is the avant-garde and bohemian shopping strip of Barcelona, where you can find anything from American-style letter jackets to authentic vintage clothing.

Best time to go on holiday to Barcelona

The weather in Barcelona is pleasant throughout the year. Even in December, January and February, the temperature does not usually go below 7°C, and in July and August, daytime temperatures can reach 28°C. July is the ideal month to visit Barcelona if you enjoy the sun, as it is also the driest month. However, July is peak tourist season, and you may find that popular tourist attractions are extremely crowded. With its spring-like temperatures and refreshing sun, March is a great time for a quieter visit to Barcelona, and no matter when you want to visit, you will find the best deals for air tickets and hotel rooms on ebookers.

Barcelona highlights

Sample some local vintages

Many tourists get blinded by the delights Barcelona has to offer within the city limits and miss some treasures lying just outside. The Costa Daurada is one such gem. The golden coast has 57 miles of beaches, Roman ruins, a theme park and best of all, an excellent wine region. Tarragona and Priorat are both worth seeking out; you are in Cava country, so do not neglect to try a bottle of Spanish bubbly. A large number of vineyards and bodegas offer wine tours.

Take a breather at Plaça Reial

Walking up and down Las Ramblas can leave you tired and thirsty. Duck down an alleyway and in a minute or two you will come out upon this vibrant plaza. Providing a calm refuge from Las Ramblas while still maintaining a lively atmosphere, the cafes that line the sides of the palm-tree-strewn square are the perfect place to recharge the batteries and watch the irrepressible street entertainers. Dotted around the square are outlandish street lamps designed by Gaudi himself.

Hit the beach

If the urban treats Barcelona offers are not enough, the delights of the seaside are just a short stroll from the centre. The city's seven beaches are perfect for relaxing or taking a dip. More active visitors can even try their hand at windsurfing and other watersports. At Barceloneta, the most centrally located beach, you will find a string of bars and seafood restaurants. After dark the vibe changes, with bars and clubs serving up hedonistic entertainment into the early hours.

View Barcelona from the air

The most spectacular view of the city is by cable car and there are two options available. Both cable cars head to Montjuic, one leaving from the port area of Barceloneta (Transbordador Aeri del Port) and the other from Parc de Monjuic (Teleferico de Montjuic). The latter travels farther up the mountain to Montjuic Castle, so you can combine both for the ultimate cable car experience. Once on the mountain, check out the castle, Palau Nacional, and the Olympic village left over from the 1992 games.

Where to stay in Barcelona

For the regal experience, check in at the Catalonia Albinoni Hotel. Built as a palace in the late 19th century by Pedro Bassegoda y Mateu, the hotel today retains much of its neoclassical splendour. It is built around a courtyard—the reception and bar are here. The original central staircase is a marvel to behold. Recent additions include an outdoor pool with waterfall, and a solarium.

Perfectly situated for exploring the city's modernist art treasures, the Murmuri Hotel almost falls into that category itself. Contrasting with the marble façade outside, the design within is sleek, with clean lines but plenty of warmth and comfort. The rooms feature flat-screen TVs and mood lighting to make your visit as pleasant as possible. The hotel's terrace on the Rambla Catalunya is a great place to watch the world amble by.

Check in and head straight to the rooftop swimming pool with a spectacular view at B-Hotel. A monument to modern design, the hotel is easy to find—just look out for the giant sculpture of the letter 'B' perched on the roof. From the pool you can look down on Plaza Espanya and the spectacular coloured fountains of Montjuic.

A happy marriage of the old and the new, the Claris Hotel can be found in a 19th-century palace. The palace has been extended to ensure guests can enjoy both period charm and all the comforts one expects from a top-notch hotel. It even has a gym, spa facilities, and an outdoor pool.

How to move around in Barcelona


Fast and reliable and with stops anywhere you would want to go in the city, the Barcelona metro is a great way to move around. The 'M' signal indicates a station on one of the city's eight lines. You can buy single journeys or purchase sets of ten. Travel passes are flexible and convenient, and also work on trams and buses. The metro runs until midnight on weeknights and 24 hours on Saturdays.


The city's black-and-yellow taxis are an inexpensive travel option. All are metered, and from the airport to the centre of town is a 25 minute trip.


Barcelona is well served by buses, but most lines stop running before the metro and traffic congestion in the city can make bus travel frustrating. However, if you are stuck for a taxi home after a night out, the yellow Nitbus runs from late night to early morning and its routes cover most central locations. Your travel pass will not work on these buses.

Bus Turístic

If you prefer to sit back and relax rather than trying to decipher a new city's transport network, the Bus Turístic is perfect for you. You can board and jump off these spacious double-deckers as you please. They are open-topped for the ideal viewing experience. The three routes cover all of the major attractions, from the city beaches, to Montjuic and even out to FC Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium.

By Car

Barcelona is a busy city, and its streets are prone to traffic problems. But if you are planning to get out of town for a day trip, check out offers on car hire in Barcelona.

Barcelona restaurants

For a taste of true Catalan cuisine, where better than Barcelona’s oldest restaurant? Can Culleretes (C/ Quintana, 5) has been welcoming customers since 1786, and it is hard to believe the menu has changed much in 220+ years at this city stalwart. Traditional Catalan favourites still dominate, with dishes like escudella (a rustic stew with beans, vegetables), and butifarra (a Catalan sausage), wild boar, and a wide range of local fish and seafood.

For something a little more contemporary, try Tapioles 53 in Poble Sec (Tapioles 53). Closed-door restaurant, food society, speakeasy—call it what you will—Tapioles 53 is not your average restaurant. With nothing to mark it out as an eatery on the street and almost no money invested in publicity, it is a word-of-mouth kind of place. Booking is essential, as there is space for only 24 people. The menu reflects the cosmopolitan background of owner and chef Sarah Stothart, who has lived in half a dozen countries and personally sources all of her ingredients from local markets.

Barcelona is famed for its traditional small dishes, or tapas, and there are few better places to go for an introduction to this way of eating than Taller de Tapas (Argenteria 51, El Born). With menus in English and plenty of tables, this is a great stepping-stone before trying one of the standing-room-only traditional tapas joints where menus in any language are a rarity. Choose from plenty of standard tapas along with exciting daily specials.

Health & Safety

Vaccinations and Health

There are no compulsory vaccinations for a trip to Barcelona, although boosters for those covered in the vaccination schedule are recommended. This includes: Tetanus, polio and diphtheria.

The tap water is fine to drink.

Barcelona's health infrastructure is excellent. Before you go, ask your local Social Security centre for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).


As in most major cities, acts of petty crime do occur in Barcelona. In order to be on your guard, bear the following advice in mind:

- Do not walk unaccompanied after dark or in poorly lit areas.

- Do not walk around with jewellery or other objects that may attract attention.

- Do not leave valuable belongings in parked vehicles.

- In bars, do not take drinks or food offered by strangers.

- Do not carry a large quantity of cash on your person.

Following the terrorist attacks organised by ETA in 2004, travellers are urged to exercise the utmost caution.

Tip: It is highly recommended that you make photocopies of all your travel documents and keep the copies on you so you are prepared if the originals are stolen or lost. Keep the original documents in a safe place with a little money. Most hotels in Barcelona can offer a safe for this purpose. When you travel, take a mobile phone with you and ensure you know the emergency telephone numbers. If you are assaulted, keep calm and do not resist or retaliate.

Transport: Drivers are advised not to stop for hitch-hikers.

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