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Barcelona

A holiday in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is sure to stimulate your senses. From the glorious Modernisme architecture to the tantalising tapas – mingle with locals and search through spectacular markets. Go to the beach and swim in the Mediterranean.

Stroll along the famous La Rambla, where street performers and artists entertain the tourist crowds. Admire the unbelievable architecture which snakes through the city, especially Gaudi’s spellbinding designs. Walk through the mysterious alleyways barrio of La Ribera and the hip El Born, which provide a great contrast to the busy city centre. Sample some delicious Basque pintxo and soak up the atmosphere at La Boqueria market – where dazzling displays of fruit and sweets captivate your imagination. Barcelona reflects many generations of art, culture and heritage, but is also a trendsetter of European fashions and music scenes. Barcelona is a city with so much going on, that you will have to come back time and again.

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Catalonian music and culture festivals

As one of the coolest cities in Europe, you expect Barcelona to have some of the coolest festivals. It will not disappoint. Starting 1  to 31 July, the Grec Festival is a cultural highlight. Taking its name from the open-air Grec Theatre, the festival highlights Catalonia’s home-grown talent – music, dance and theatre all over the city. During this time, the Benicassim International Festival sees Blur, Florence + The Machine and Public Enemy headlining from 16 to 19 July in Benicassim Town, 100km south of Barcelona. This is one of the most respected festivals in Europe, so expect a lot of fun in the sun.

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Barcelona areas

Find out about the city’s neighbourhoods before you travel.

Barri Gòtic and La Rambla (north).

Barri Gòtic and La Rambla (north)

The Barri Gòtic (the Gothic Quarter) was once the centre of a bustling Roman settlement. Today, it forms the core of 21st century Barcelona – the splendour of the ancient past coexists with a vibrant present. Follow enticing smells and sounds through a maze of narrow streets lined with bars and boutiques. Discover Roman ruins in the Musea d'Historia and spectacular medieval churches, like the Cathedral de la Santa Creu I Santa Eulalia. Then join the meandering throng along La Rambla, where street performers dazzle the crowd.

La Eixample.

La Eixample

Designed by Ildefons Cerdà in the mid-19th century. This vibrant area is characterised by long straight streets on a grid system, with wide tree-lined avenues crossing through. The area starts along Passeig de Gracia, and Illa de la Discòrdia. A block famous for showcasing four of Barcelona's most important and distinctive Modernist architects. You’ll be mesmerised by Gaudi’s spectacular art nouveau Casa Batlló. And no trip to Barcelona would be complete without seeing La Sagrada Familia, which will be finally finished in 2026.

The Seafront: La Barceloneta, Villa Olimpic, Port Olimpic and Port Vell.

The Seafront: La Barceloneta, Villa Olimpic, Port Olimpic and Port Vell

Visit Port Vell, Barcelona’s harbour, and stroll along the waterfront. See the famous Frank Gehry ‘Peix d'Or’ sculpture in Port Olimpic. Villa Olimpic was built to provide housing for 1992 Olympic Games athletes. Today, you’ll find chic chain hotels and restaurants, and even a casino. Beachfront bars and restaurants line the shoreline, with many different tastes catered for, from sushi to Moroccan. Visit the cool Barceloneta, with its strong working class identity. The beach here is lively in the spring-summer months, so take a bike ride along the promenade.

Sant Pere and the Born

Sant Pere, La Ribera and El Born

This lively, regenerated neighbourhood is a magnet for the city’s trendsetters, attracting an eclectic mix of people. Its restaurants, clubs and cocktail bars are stylish but boast a friendly atmosphere. Medieval in origin, the finest monument is Palau de la Musica Catalan. While other popular attractions include Museu Picasso and Mercat de Santa Caterina – one of the city’s oldest markets. Stop in Alos, known locally as La Ribera, for its fantastic boutique shopping and trendy café culture. Don’t miss a ‘Xoclata amb Xurro’ for breakfast.

Raval

El Raval and La Rambla (south)

This urban up-and-coming area boasts some of Barcelona’s most impressive modern architecture. Appealing to the alternative, artistic crowd, with hip hangouts and less touristy feel. A diverse area of Barcelona, international and eclectic – as you walk the streets you’re hit by aromas of many cultures. Try exotic cuisine or local dishes, and stop at some of the Bohemian bars that preserve the aura of a bygone age. Maybe try an anise or two? Explore narrow streets abuzz with both popular nightspots and smaller venues, open through the night.

Outer Barcelona: Les Corts, Sarrià and Gràcia.

Outer Barcelona: Les Corts, Sarrià and Gràcia

Les Corts is the financial district of Barcelona, so comes with accompanying skyscrapers. An expensive, modern area where the young and wealthy crowds gather. Sarrià, an independent town before being swallowed up, has its own charm. You will find upmarket homes and shops, and great restaurants. The barrio of Gràcia is one of the hippest and most vibrant areas in Barcelona, with its own laid-back style and some fantastic bars and restaurants. During August, Festa Major, the weeklong street party and festival dominates Gràcia.

Barcelona weather

Prepare for the weather before your holiday

Average seasonal temperatures°C/°F
  • 13°Jan
  • 14°Feb
  • 15°Mar
  • 17°Apr
  • 20°May
  • 24°Jun
  • 27°Jul
  • 27°Aug
  • 25°Sep
  • 21°Oct
  • 16°Nov
  • 14°Dec
Average monthly rainfall (mm)
  • 41
  • 29
  • 42
  • 49
  • 59
  • 42
  • 20
  • 61
  • 85
  • 91
  • 58
  • 51
Average daily sunshine (hours)
  • 5
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5

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