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Barcelona Spain

Why vacation in Barcelona, Spain?

With its long stretches of sun-soaked Mediterranean beaches, colorful Modernista architecture, and tapas bars around every corner, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most attractive destinations. The Catalan capital is known for quirky cultural events, such as the annual La Mercè festival in September, featuring everything from castells (human towers) to fire-filled parades through the streets. The city is also filled with architect Gaudí’s iconic works, from the soaring spires of the Sagrada Família to the rippling façade of La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, with its colorful roof tiles. Visitors love to stroll along the beachfront in Barceloneta, explore the Gothic Quarter’s narrow cobblestoned streets, and shop in El Born’s trendy boutiques. Book a cheap flight to Barcelona with Norwegian today, then use this Barcelona travel guide to discover the wonders of the Catalan capital for yourself.

Fun facts for a Barcelona vacation

  • Three families still live in Gaudí’s famous La Pedrera building on the Passeig de Gràcia, which over a million tourists visit each year.
  • The Eiffel Tower was nearly built in Barcelona, but city officials thought it would be an eyesore and rejected it, forcing Gustave Eiffel to pitch it to Paris instead.
Barcelona, Spain, Girl and ice cream

Barcelona airport information

Getting from Barcelona El Prat Airport T2 to the city center

  • TRAIN
    The R2 Nord train station is only about 650 feet away from the Terminal 2 building. Trains depart every 30 minutes and take around 20 minutes to reach Barcelona Sants train station and about 30 minutes to reach the city center.
  • BUS
    Most people flying to Barcelona take the Aerobus, the official shuttle bus that connects Barcelona El Prat Airport’s Terminal 2 with the center of Barcelona. It takes around 35 minutes to reach Plaça de Catalunya, with several stops along the way, and runs every 10 minutes between 5.35am and 1am.
  • TAXIS
    There are always plenty of licensed taxis at Barcelona El Prat Airport on level 0 outside the arrivals/departures area. The trip to the city center takes 20 to 30 minutes, though it can take longer during rush hour.
  • CAR OR MOTORCYCLE
    There are always plenty of licensed taxis at Barcelona El Prat Airport on level 0 outside the arrivals/departures area. The trip to the city center takes 20 to 30 minutes, though it can take longer during rush hour.

Things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona , Jamon Iberico

Grab a bite at La Boqueria

Barcelona’s historic La Boqueria market is located right off the famous La Rambla boulevard. Its more than 200 food stalls sell everything from poultry to paella to fresh-squeezed juice. Thousands of locals and tourists visit the market each day to shop for groceries or grab a bite to eat, so go early to avoid the crowds. Head to the back of the market to find traditional Spanish products like olives, jamón ibérico (cured ham from the Iberian pig), and lots of fresh seafood

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

Visit the Sagrada Família

With its whimsical design and bright, colorful stained-glass windows, the Sagrada Família is probably Modernista architect Antoni Gaudí’s most famous work. Even though the basilica won’t be completed until 2026, it’s already a must-see in Barcelona. A basic ticket gives you access to the basilica and optional add-ons include access to the Sagrada Família’s towers and an audio guide. Make sure to buy your tickets online in advance, especially in the busy summer months.

Barcelona, Park Gruell

Stroll through the Park Güell  

Perched on a hill overlooking Barcelona, Park Güell is another must-see during your Barcelona vacation. The park is home to some of Gaudí’s most recognizable designs, including the monumental staircase and its famous mosaic lizard. Tickets purchased online include a shuttle bus service from the Alfons X metro station to the park’s entrance. The ticketed area only covers 1.7 of the park’s 19 hectares, so plan extra time to explore the rest of this beautiful green space during your visit and enjoy great views of the city and the amusement park on Tibidabo.

  • Visit the Barça Museum and tour Camp Nou

    For soccer fans, visiting the Barça Museum and Camp Nou stadium – home to the legendary FC Barcelona (or Barça) soccer team – is one of the best things to do in Barcelona. Some premium tours include visits to the locker rooms and a chance to walk out onto the pitch through the players’ tunnel. The basic tour includes access to the stadium and the museum. Book online in advance to save money and reserve a spot, because tickets sell out fast. 

    Climb up to the Bunkers del Carmel

    Despite the name, the Bunkers del Carmel (also called Turó de la Rovira) were originally anti-aircraft installations built during the Spanish Civil War, but now it’s a great place to enjoy 360° views of Barcelona on a vacation package. The Bunkers are at the very top of the Carmel neighborhood and are accessible by bus or taxi. If you’re wondering what to do in Barcelona after visiting the Park Güell, the Bunkers del Carmel are only a 20-minute walk away. 

    Explore the Casa Batlló

    Located on Passeig de Gràcia, one of Barcelona’s main avenues, Casa Batlló is another of Gaudí’s famous works, and should be part of any Barcelona vacation package. The building is easily recognized by its marine life-inspired façade and colorful roof tiles that give the impression of scales on a strange animal’s back. Casa Batlló is also the heart of Barcelona’s Illa de la Discordia (block of discord) where several of the city’s rival Modernista architects built houses side by side in the early years of the 20th century. To get the best view of the competing buildings, stand on the opposite side of the wide, tree-lined boulevard.

    Shop in El Born  

    One of the best things to do in Barcelona is simply stroll through the different neighborhoods and take in the sights. Located right next to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, El Born is filled with trendy coffee shops and local boutiques where you can find everything from carefully designed homeware to cute clothing and original souvenirs. The maze-like streets are great to explore, and the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar – considered an icon of Catalan Gothic architecture – is also nearby.

     

    Wander the Gothic Quarter

    The Barri Gòtic (or Gothic Quarter), the heart of Barcelona’s old city, is a delightful maze of narrow cobbled streets and large open squares. Most of the neighborhood is reserved for pedestrians, which makes it perfect for exploring on foot. Make sure to check out Plaça Sant Jaume (the political heart of the city), and stop for a bite in Plaça Reial, a popular spot off the Rambla known for its many restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs.  

    Tour La Pedrera

    Only a few blocks away from Casa Batlló, on Passeig de Gràcia, sits La Pedrera (the stone quarry), also known as the Casa Milà. Like all of Gaudí’s work, La Pedrera’s architecture is heavily inspired by nature, with balconies that look like wrought-iron kelp, an attic with brick ribbed arches like a giant whale skeleton, and a colorful courtyard decorated with a whimsical floral motif.

    Sample some local seafood

    If you’re wondering what to eat in Barcelona, the city is a great place to try some fresh Mediterranean fish and seafood, such as razor clams, mussels, squid and shrimp. Try a classic seafood paella at one of the waterfront restaurants in Barceloneta or grab some seafood tapas at one of the many tapas bars around the city – and don’t forget to add a side of patatas bravas, a popular dish of fried potatoes served with a spicy sauce. 

     

    Visit Montjuïc Castle

    Perched 567 feet above sea level at the top of Montjuïc hill, overlooking the port and the city center, the historic Montjuïc Castle is a great place to enjoy some fresh air and far-reaching views of the coastline without leaving the city. The castle is accessible by bus, cable car, and on foot, though the hike up can be challenging in the heat of summer. Open every day, the castle is free to visit on Sundays after 3pm.

    Hit the beach

    Relaxing at the beach is one of the best things to do in Barcelona, especially in the summer. Barceloneta is the most central and easily accessible of Barcelona’s beaches, and there are plenty of nearby bars and restaurants for shade and sustenance. If you’re coming from the Rambla, head down to the Christopher Columbus monument, then it’s a 20-minute walk. To get away from the crowds, though, head up the coast to the suburban beaches of Nova Icaria or Bogatell. 

    Grab a bite at La Boqueria

    Barcelona’s historic La Boqueria market is located right off the famous La Rambla boulevard. Its more than 200 food stalls sell everything from poultry to paella to fresh-squeezed juice. Thousands of locals and tourists visit the market each day to shop for groceries or grab a bite to eat, so go early to avoid the crowds. Head to the back of the market to find traditional Spanish products like olives, jamón ibérico (cured ham from the Iberian pig), and lots of fresh seafood

    Catch a show at the Palau de la Música Catalana

    This stunning concert hall is a beautiful example of Catalan Art Nouveau and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a one-hour guided tour of the Palau to see the auditorium’s distinctive skylight, the organ that dominates the stage, and the intricate flower motifs on the ceiling. Alternatively, book a ticket to see a show in the Palau’s Concert Hall or the smaller and more modern Petit Palau auditorium. 

    Discover Picasso’s early work

    Picasso spent his formative years in Barcelona (1895–1904) and kept lifelong ties to the city. Barcelona’s Picasso Museum reflects that, and most of the 4,251 works that make up the museum’s permanent collection are from the artist’s earlier years. This gives visitors a chance to understand how Picasso’s work evolved over time. There are a few notable exceptions of work from his later years on display, including the Las Meninas series from 1957.

Best time to travel to Barcelona

High season

Barcelona’s high season lasts from May to early September, when many visitors want to take advantage of the city’s sunny weather and fantastic beaches. Barcelona is very busy during this time, with high prices and long lines at most of the city’s popular attractions – make sure to book tours and tickets in advance. Many locals take their annual vacation in August, so some businesses close for the month. The weather is particularly hot and humid in July and August, but the beach is always there to help you cool down. 

Low season

Spring and fall are arguably the best times to visit Barcelona: the weather is pleasantly mild, and the city is less crowded than during the summer months. In the winter, temperatures drop (though they still hover around 60°F during the day and 50°F at night) but prices are flower, and lines are often shorter. If you visit on 23 April you will catch the holiday of Sant Jordi, a day when people traditionally gift each other a book or a rose to celebrate the patron saint of Catalonia. 

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, beach

Flying with Norwegian

Get a comfortable flight with our 787 Dreamliner

  • Flexible tickets
    You can make changes to your ticket up until 30 minutes before take-off.

  • Eat and drink on board
    On all our long haul flights you can choose between two menus  incl wine, beer or mineral water

  • New aircraft - low emissions
    On our long-haul flights you fly with our 787 Dreamliner, one of the most environmentally friendly options there is.

  • Video on Demand
    On flights longer than 3,5 hours, you can watch movies and tv series.
     Remember your headset!

Cheap flights to Barcelona

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