Flights to Barcelona (BCN)

Flights to Barcelona are the perfect solution if you can’t choose between a beach holiday and a European city break.

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Flights to Barcelona

It’s hard to imagine a more traveller-friendly place than Barcelona, which seems to have something for everyone.

Flights to Barcelona take you to a city that boasts the best of both worlds. On the one hand, there’s the ultra-modern side to the city centre, with its Antoni Gaudí architecture, luxury hotels, high-end restaurants and designer boutiques. On the other, Barcelona has a thriving beach culture, with more than 4km of coastline. The city is a hugely popular surfing destination, and Barceloneta is regularly named as one of the best urban beaches in the world.

Staying on dry land is just as rewarding though, especially if you decide to explore the city on foot – you never know what you’ll stumble across. You might even want to opt for an official guided tour just to make sure you don’t miss anything. (Runner Bean Tours, for example, host child-friendly guided walks of the city.)

However, if you’re feeling adventurous and would rather go it alone, Las Ramblas is a great place to start; it comprises five boulevards, with Plaça de Catalunya at one end and the waterfront on the other. This famous promenade is populated by cafes, restaurants, shops and street performers, and is filled with locals and tourists all hours of the day and night.

In fact, Barcelona is ideal for night owls. The city never seems to sleep, and many of the tapas restaurants, lounges and music venues don’t get going until fairly late in the evening. It’s not uncommon to schedule dinner for 10pm or later, stay out all night, and find yourself at breakfast without having made it back to your hotel.

You won’t want to sleep through the day though – not when there are so many cultural sights to take in. There are famous tourist attractions like Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia and the Picasso Museum, both of which are good additions to any Barcelona itinerary. Venture off the beaten track, though, and you’ll be rewarded with leafy parks, quirky boutiques and local markets.

Marvel at Gaudí’s architecture

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without marvelling at the work of its most famous architect, Antoni Gaudí. The biggest draw is the iconic Sagrada Familia, which is one of Barcelona's best-loved sights. You could also stroll among the surreal structures in the Gaudí-designed green space, Park Güell, and visit his houses: Casa Batlló and Casa Milà.

La Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401
+34 9 32 08 0414

Shop at La Boqueria

La Boqueria is the largest food market in Europe, and a perfect place to sample authentic Catalan cuisine. It is located in the buzzing area of Las Ramblas. Set your alarm – the best time to go is early in the morning, before the tourist crowds arrive.

La Rambla, 91
+34 93 318 2584

See the city with BrightSide Tours

If you’re not quite ready to join the motorbikes and bicycles zipping around the city, check out BrightSide motorcycle tours. A private guide will take you around the city, while you soak it all in from the safety of the sidecar. There’s a range of tours to choose from including the Must-Do, Full Day and Night Rider. The Foodie Tour is essential for tapas lovers.

Passatge de Tasso, 6
+34 647 592 581

Visit Barcelona's museums

History buffs will never be bored in Barcelona. The city is home to some truly astonishing museums, the most popular of which is the excellent Picasso Museum. You can also check out the Museum of History of Barcelona and the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. Some of Barcelona's museums have free entry on Sunday afternoons.

Picasso Museum
Carrer Montcada, 15-23
+34 9 3256 3000

Watch FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona are one of the biggest football teams in Europe, so it would be a shame to visit their home and not catch a game. Be sure to book your ticket well ahead of time though. The stadium, Camp Nou, can hold 99,000 adoring fans, but games still sell out.

Carrer d'Aristides Maillol, 12
+34 902 189 900

Explore El Raval

If you want to get off the tourist path and see the authentic, modern and arty Barcelona, then El Raval is the place to go. Browse the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, and explore the cosy cafes, independent restaurants, stylish boutiques, and art house cinemas, which attract the city’s creative types.

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
+34 93 412 0810

Bar Pinotxo (Tapas)

When a tapas spot in Barcelona is this popular with the locals, you know it’s doing something right. Pinotxo is a relaxed, low-key restaurant where you don’t have to dress up to turn up. Be adventurous when you visit – no need for a menu, simply pull up a stool and order whatever looks good.

Mercat de la Boqueria, 466-470 
+34 93 317 1731

La Guingueta de la Barceloneta (International)

In Barcelona, when you want to grab a bite in a super-casual setting, you head for a chiringuito, or snack bar. La Guingueta de la Barceloneta is one of the best. Right out on the sand of San Sebastian beach, it serves exceptional light bites including hot dogs, pizzas and sandwiches.

Playa de San Sebastián
+34 628 273 578

Barraca (Seafood)

Paella is one of the most well known Spanish dishes, and you’ll find this rice, seafood and meat concoction almost everywhere you dine in Barcelona. For the best paella in the city, however, you must visit the beachside restaurant Barraca.

Passeig Marítim
Barceloneta, 1
+34 93 224 1253

ABaC (International)

This two Michelin-starred restaurant is an amazing place to mark a special occasion – preferably with the 16-course tasting menu. At the helm is Jordi Cruz, the youngest chef in Spain ever to receive a Michelin honour, who confidently serves inventive dishes using the best local ingredients.

Avinguda del Tibidabo, 1
+34 93 319 6600

Botafumeiro (Seafood)

Botafumeiro’s chef and owner, Moncho Neira, sources his ingredients from the early morning fish auctions in Catalonia and Galicia, so you’ll be tucking into some of the freshest seafood in the city. Sample as much as you can with a sharing platter, or opt for the classic seafood paella.

Carrer Gran de Gràcia, 81
+34 93 218 4230

Tickets (Spanish)

The brothers behind Barcelona’s legendary (now defunct) El Bulli have thrown their expertise behind a new tapas joint. Ferran and Albert Adrià’s latest spot is part restaurant, part circus ring; expect crazy but tasty twists to old classics, and finish with something sweet from the candy floss machine.

Avinguda del Paral·lel, 164
+34 93 292 4253

Hotel Majestic

When money is no object, spend yours at this iconic hotel in the Passeig de Gràcia. Even if you’re not splashing out on the penthouse suites, you can still enjoy the city views from the rooftop pool, 24-hour personal butler service and the Majestic Breakfast Experience Buffet, created by the renowned chef Nandu Jubany.

Passeig de Gràcia, 68
+34 93 488 1717

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

This romantic boutique hotel is located in a beautifully restored, centuries-old building, ideally situated in the heart of the city’s famous Gothic Quarter. Stay here and you’ll be within walking distance of La Boqueria food market as well as the Picasso Museum.

Carrer dels Lledó, 7
+34 93 310 7480

Mambo Tango Hostel

Sometimes you want the prices of a hostel but without that party-all-night vibe. For the low-key backpacker, there’s Mambo Tango (also known as Santa Jordi Mambo Tango), a laidback hostel in Poble Sec with clean, basic rooms, free Wi-Fi and a policy that guards against raucous guests disturbing the peace at night.

Sant Jordi Mambo Tango
Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 23
Poble Sec
+34 93 442 5164

Hotel Omm

Stylish yet laidback, this romantic hotel is a perfect base for couples who want to explore the city. There’s a lush spa and a trendy restaurant, called Moo, but the star of the show is the sunny terrace, which has a swimming pool and gorgeous views of Gaudí’s Casa Milà and the Sagrada Familia.

Carrer del Rosselló, 265
+34 93 445 4000

Casa Gracia

This undeniably hip hotel has bright, modern rooms, a tree-lined terrace and a cosy sitting room equipped with beanbags and board games. It’s popular with everyone from backpackers to young families. During the sunny months, grab a book and spend an afternoon lazing on the shady tree-lined terrace.

Passeig de Gràcia, 116
+34 93 187 4497


ABaC is best known for its incredible Michelin-starred restaurant – although the rest of the hotel also lives up to the hype. Even though it’s right in the middle of the city, ABaC has a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere, with comfortable rooms, a lovely spa and gorgeous views. Perfect for a romantic break in Barcelona.

Avinguda del Tibidabo, 1
+34 93 319 6600

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