Barcelona has fantastic reputation as the ultimate architect’s playground, and there’s only one man who can much of the credit, Antoní Gaudi. His genius and crazy concrete fantasies shout out from every corner of this beautiful and ancient Mediterranean city. But it’s not just architecture that’s on show in Barcelona, there are all kinds of other visions and thrills just waiting to be found on every street corner, such as eye-opening shopping extravaganzas in Las Ramblas; taste-bud tingling tapas bars in La Ribera; or historic fables in the shadowed alleys and sun-splashed cloisters of the Gothic Quarter. What more could you possibly ask for on your journey from Manchester to Barcelona?
The cheapest months to fly to Barcelona are September and November, as this is when tickets are at their cheapest. If you really want to snag yourself a good deal on London to Barcelona, make sure to book about eight weeks in advance for a Tuesday evening. If you want to enjoy Barcelona at its most beautiful, head out in May or June, as this is when temperatures are mild and the humidity is low.
You can take Northern and TransPennine Express trains from Manchester Piccadilly to reach Manchester Airport (MAN), which lies just south of the city. You can also hop on the Metrolink tram network at points all across Manchester, and there's a direct link to the airport at Cornbrook.
Ryanair, Vueling and Swiss International Air Lines are among the cheaper airlines to fly you the 1,100 miles to the Catalan capital. The best deals for Manchester Barcelona flights, though, are generally offered by Monarch. The journey will take about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but make sure to set your watches once you land – Barcelona runs an hour ahead of the UK.
Barcelona El Prat (BCN) Airport has several terminals, so your arrival terminal will depend on your carrier. Monarch Airlines land at Terminal 2A, while those flying Ryanair come into Terminal 2B. Swiss International Air Lines and Brussels Airlines land at Terminal 1. There are several options for the 9-mile journey into Barcelona, but taxis are usually the most convenient option, taking about 20-30 minutes and costing about GBP 30. The Aerobus service is available from Terminal 2 and costs around GBP 4.50 for a single ticket. The bus also drops off right in the heart of the city, at either Placa Espanya or Placa de Catalunya. A quick and comfortable 25-minute journey can be had on the RENFE train, which stops at Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gracia and Clot.
You can't miss the roll call of architectural brilliance when in Barcelona. The beautifully bizarre forms of the Sagrada Familia top the list. Surrounding it are the wide avenues of the district of Eixample, with its beautiful embellished building façades. Once you’ve enjoyed the bright modernista architecture, head to the dark, cool meanderings of the Barrio Gótico, or Gothic Quarter, and track down the medieval mysteries that surround Barcelona Cathedral.
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