Barcelona is a heady mix of the very best of Europe – ideal weather throughout the year; beautiful beaches with plenty of sun, sand and sea; iconic architecture and attractions that please the eye; and a vibrant arts scene. It is no wonder that it is one of the most popular cities to visit in the world. Before you embark on your own adventure in the Catalonian capital of Spain, here is everything you need to know about Barcelona tourism.
The city is located in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula and faces the Mediterranean sea to the south-east. To the north of Catalonia, you will find France, and to the west, the vibrant port-city of Valencia.
Barcelona itself is divided into ten districts, each with multiple neighbourhoods within them. These neighbourhoods are also called ‘barrios’ in Spanish and each has its own charm, style and energy. One of the most famous and important districts is Ciutat Vella, which is home to some of the most popular Barcelona neighbourhoods like Sant Pere and El Raval, as well as major tourist attractions like Las Ramblas and The Gothic Quarter.
As a city that lives on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona enjoys good weather through-out the year – summers are hot and winters are milder than they are in other parts of Europe. Spring and autumn are the rainiest seasons, while summers are hot and dry, and winters experience less rain than other parts Mediterranean areas. Unfortunately, August, which is peak season for Barcelona tourism, is the hottest month and temperatures are often close to 40 °C – so if you’re visiting during this time, make sure that you pack plenty of breezy clothes, slather on sunscreen every morning and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout your Barcelona city tour.
Barcelona is a city that stands proud in its rich history. As the capital of the Catalan region in Spain, you will find that both Spanish and Catalan are spoken across the city. Despite recent political tension and uncertainty in the region, the city is a true reflection of Catalan culture and promotes it through its art, architecture, museums, movies, music and other events, which are at the heart of Barcelona tourism. Today, the city’s culture is a melange of old and new, tradition and modernity, local and international influences – from the restaurants that dot the lanes of the Gothic Quarter to the musical events that take place during the summertime.
You will find that the locals are warm and friendly, and are always eager to share their knowledge of the city and its culture, as well as their personal recommendations, with tourists. If you do have the opportunity, stop and have a chat with a local from Barcelona – you will start to see the city in a new light.
As one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, Barcelona has all of the infrastructure, support and experiences that tourists want and need.
While it is fun to explore the city on foot, the city offers a range of transport services that are affordable, well-connected and easy to use. The tram and metro network is extensive, and most tourist attractions are located a short walk away from a station. If you plan to stay for a few days, it might be a good idea to get yourself a Barcelona tourist travel pass, which allows you to take all modes of public transport for 2 – 5 days. You can either purchase the pass online before you arrive, or pick it up at one of the many tourist counters at the airport.
If you’re not keen on taking a tram or metro, taxis in Barcelona are readily available and are a great option if you need to get somewhere quickly or are travelling at night. You can either flag an available taxi down or go to a taxi stop, where you be offered the first car in line.
When traveling to Europe, many people are curious to understand the tipping etiquette – and with good reason, too. Barcelona does not have a strong culture of tipping and many of the locals leave little to no tips at bars and restaurants. However, we recommend to leave a tip if you are happy with the service and the quality of the food and drink that you were served – it’s a good way to show your appreciation and encourage the local community to continue to serve tourists with gusto and charm.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to see the city is to opt for a Barcelona city tour. This will allow you to see all of the important sites, attractions and neighbourhoods in a way that is well-organised and well-managed. In addition, Barcelona tours often give you preferential access to tourist attractions, meaning that you can save time that would otherwise be spent standing in lines.
At SOTC, we have a wide range of Barcelona city tours available to suit every type of trip and traveller. Whether you want to experience iconic festivals like La Tomatina or simply see the major tourist attractions, our Barcelona tours have got you covered. We would love to help you plan out your trip to the capital of Catalan, so pay us a visit at your neighbourhood SOTC branch to check wide range of Barcelona tour packages and Spain tour packages to get started!