A city break in Barcelona never disappoints. A great setting, good weather, fantastic food and lots to see and do... Read more
For those on Barcelona city breaks, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The Gothic Quarter of Las Ramblas is a good starting point for your exploration of the area. Stroll down its winding lanes and admire the majestic beauty of the Barcelona Cathedral's pointed spires and the distinctive contours which have made Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia Church a favourite with architects and artists alike.
Children can roller-blade along the scenic promenade of the Barcelona Marina, whilst parents sit back and relax in the sun and watch the world go by on one of the only city beaches in the country. As the sun sets, you can go for a gentle evening stroll up to the impressive Olympic Port as the cable cars in the background make their way up to the hills of Tibidabo and Montjuic.
For football fans, there's nowhere better to spend an afternoon in the city than the FC Barcelona Nou Camp stadium, where you can admire the vast size of the venue and learn more about the football players and the history of the game in Spain.
For art lovers, the entire city is a treasure trove of beautiful works and the Miro Foundation, a modern-art gallery, is an absolute must-see.
Anyone who wishes to indulge in some retail therapy will feel perfectly at home in Barcelona. All of the big Spanish fashion labels, including Mango and Zara, can be found in the shopping centres and the department store El Corte Ingles is particularly great for clothing.
For evening entertainment, the nightlife in Barcelona is legendary. There is a huge range of nightclubs and bars, as well as a fantastic selection of restaurants serving everything from traditional Spanish cuisine to international dishes.
Getting into the city from Barcelona's El Prat Airport is easy. Step on to the train at the airport station and hop off at the Metro Underground stations of Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gracia or Clot, from where you can connect to most of the central areas.
Alternatively, take one of the regular and express buses that run from the airport and stop at a couple of central places, or take an official taxi from the airport rank and pay around 20 euros to get into central Barcelona, though be aware that traffic can extend your journey at peak times.
Once in the city it's easy to get around. Use Barcelona's Metro system - it's cheap, covers a lot of ground and is a doddle to use. Public buses are also cheap and frequent, though they can get snared up in traffic. Night buses run after hours. You can even hire a bike - Barcelona is a bicycle-friendly city and designated bike lanes enable safer cycling. There are a number of handy spots from which to hire bikes during your break.