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Modernist art and Gothic architecture create a stunning backdrop in the Catalan capital, where sublime food and a sophisticated nightlife scene await.

Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city and capital of Catalonia, is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for a city break. It’s easy to be captivated by its charms the minute you set foot on its vibrant streets. And by foot is definitely the best way to explore this relatively flat, compact city, although there is an excellent public transport system to whisk you around efficiently to all the major sights.

One of Barcelona’s biggest draws is its world-famous architecture, crowned by the extraordinary buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí. The Sagrada Familia, his outstanding masterpiece, has become a worldwide symbol of the city. The fairytale towers of the basilica can be seen from all directions and offer wonderful panoramas from the top. Several of the lavish mansions he created for Barcelona’s high society are open to the public, including Palau Güell, built for his patron, who also lent his name to the weird and wonderful Park Güell, home of the famous mosaic-encrusted lizard fountain which has become one of Gaudí’s most recognisable images.

The main artery of the old town is Las Ramblas, a leafy pedestrian promenade lined with shops and restaurants which buzzes with life day and night. From here it’s easy to explore the Gothic Quarter, stopping to pay your respects to Saint Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona, in the atmospheric 14th-century Barcelona Cathedral.

Head to Port Vell, the old port, at the southern end of Las Ramblas and ride the cable car to Montjuïc. This airy country park offers a host of attractions, including the fascinating Poble Espanyol, a living museum of traditional Spanish architecture and cuisine.

Barcelona is a culture vulture’s dream come true. Check out priceless works of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century in the neo-Baroque Palau Nacional, or visit the Picasso Museum to view one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of paintings and sculptures by the legendary Spanish artist, who spent his childhood in the city. Book a ticket for a concert at the Palau de la Musica Catalana and enjoy world-class music-making in this fabled modernist masterpiece, then head for the clubs and bars of the old town to keep the party going into the early hours.

Barcelona Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Barcelona

Top hotels in Barcelona

Barceló Sants
Barceló Sants
4 out of 5
Plaza Dels Paisos Catalans S/n, Barcelona, Barcelona
The price is AU$121 per night from 3 Feb. to 4 Feb.

Located in Sants-Montjuic, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Fira de Barcelona Montjuïc and Venetian Towers. Sants Station is only a 2-minute walk and ...

4.4/5Excellent! (988 reviews)
Best stay

"One of the best hotels we have stayed in. Will definitely go back for a longer stay."…"

Reviewed on 25 Sep. 2020

Barceló Sants
Petit Palace Boquería Garden
Petit Palace Boquería Garden
4 out of 5
Calle De La Boqueria, 10, Barcelona, Barcelona
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Located in Gothic Quarter, this boutique hotel is steps away from La Rambla and Gran Teatre del Liceu. Boqueria Market and Barcelona Cathedral are also within ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (984 reviews)

"Great my kids loved it. Thank you. Close to everything."…"

Reviewed on 27 Apr. 2020

Petit Palace Boquería Garden
Negresco Princess
Negresco Princess
4.5 out of 5
Roger de Lluria, 16-18, Barcelona
The price is AU$98 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.

Located in Eixample, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Casa Calvet, Teatre Museu El Rei de la Magia and Tivoli Theatre. Espai Volart and Jardines ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,107 reviews)
Geat Hotel

"Lovely hotel with excellent friendly staff. Roof terrace is great to have a drink after a long day. Will definitely stay again."…"

Reviewed on 7 Jul. 2020

Negresco Princess
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Holiday Rentals in Barcelona

Midtown Apartments
Midtown Apartments
4 out of 5
Casp 35, Barcelona, Spain
The price is AU$129 per night from 25 Jan. to 26 Jan.

Located in Eixample, this boutique apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Tivoli Theatre, Passeig de Gracia, and Placa de Catalunya. Palau de la Musica ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (420 reviews)

"We chose these apartments because of the rooftop pool and location, neither disappointed. The availability of food and drink in the area is incredible and everything is walkable (if you like walking), but failing that a metro is only a few minutes walk away. The pool was often completely empty, so ..."…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep. 2020

Midtown Apartments
Aparthotel BCN Montjuic
Aparthotel BCN Montjuic
3 out of 5
Carrer de Sant Fructuos, 64-74, Barcelona, Barcelona
The price is AU$79 per night from 3 Feb. to 4 Feb.

Located in Sants-Montjuic, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Poble Espanyol and Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Camp Nou and La Rambla are also within ...

4.1/5Very Good! (299 reviews)

"Very nice and helpfull staff. Hotel is new , modern and clean."…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar. 2020

Aparthotel BCN Montjuic
Duquesa Suites
Duquesa Suites
4 out of 5
Plaça Antonio López 5, Barcelona
The price is AU$132 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.

This family-friendly Barcelona aparthotel is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of Pompeu Fabra University and Port Vell. La Rambla and Barcelona Cathedral ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (545 reviews)

"The staff are excellent. They had free tea and coffee on the terrace"…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar. 2020

Duquesa Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Barcelona

Top activities in Barcelona

Reviews of Barcelona


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 61.58038147138964%
4 - Good
4 - Good 32.42506811989101%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 5.449591280653951%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.5449591280653951%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

10 Mar. 2020


5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

5 Feb. 2020

Next time I will come for 3 weeks so I have time to explore everything

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

21 Dec. 2019

Such an artistic city with so much art visible on the streets. Had to do a bit more research to find the good food places but definitely worth a visit.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

14 Dec. 2019

The gothic quarter was lovely. The rest of the city was like any other big city in the world

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

12 Dec. 2019

As a person with breathing problems, it was hard to breathe as it smelled like smoke and cigarettes. Sagrada Familia is a must go and I enjoyed having lots of paellas. Be careful of pickpockets and driver's- they are scary.

5/5 - Excellent


28 Nov. 2019

Loved it

Cities near Barcelona