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Book hotels in Barcelona and explore a truly exciting and beautiful Spanish city. Sightseers, shopaholics and lovers of fine architecture are drawn to Barcelona throughout the year to visit attractions such as Gaudi's statuesque unfinished cathedral, Sagrada Familia, the impressive Olympic Park and bustling Las Ramblas.
Placa de Catalunya is the attractive heart of Barcelona and the starting point for a walk along Barcelona's most famous street, Las Ramblas. This Old City area, with its Gothic Quarter and cathedral, is a maze of narrow, ancient streets and squares housing cafes, bars and souvenir shops galore.
Eixample, on the other hand, is all wide, tree-lined boulevards and upmarket shops and restaurants. It is home to Barcelona's most expensive and elegant street, Passeig de Gracia, on which stand two more fine examples of Gaudi's architecture, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. And Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's famous unfinished cathedral, where you will find a museum dedicated to his work and his burial crypt.
Gracia is the location of Gaudi's Park Guell and the seven-day Gracia Festival, which takes place in August each year. The steep climb to Park Guell is well worth it: the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of the fairy-tale buildings and curvaceous structures for which Gaudi is renowned.
Montjuic hill overlooks the harbour area of Barcelona and is home to the National Palace and Illuminated Fountains, as well as the 1992 Olympic Stadium. It also has a lovely Spanish Village, complete with church, central square and craft workshops promoting handmade products, and the Miro Foundation, where you can enjoy the work of Barcelona-born artist, Joan Miro.
For those tired of urban pleasures, meanwhile, there are nine beaches in Barcelona, all approximately fifteen minutes by metro from the city centre. They become very busy during the peak summer months.
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There is a wide range of accommodation in Barcelona, from cosy, independent guesthouses to lavish, luxury hotels offering incredible views...
Many Barcelona hotels are small, locally run establishments; they offer good value accommodation that is clean and comfortable. Tourists requiring more upmarket hotels also have a wealth of choice, whether they are looking for retail therapy or rest and relaxation on the beach. The majority of visitors choose to stay in the central areas, as Barcelona's excellent public transport system whisks tourists around the city in a matter of minutes.
Hotels along Las Ramblas and close to Placa de Catalunya will suit every budget, from basic no-frills accommodation to the five-star Le Meridien Hotel. A central location, excellent transport links and historic streets make the Old City an excellent area in which to stay.
Eixample is known for its upmarket hotels, including the five-star Mandarin Oriental, on Passeig de Gracia, where residents can take a dip in the rooftop pool or enjoy Michelin-starred meals.
The streets and squares of Gracia are generally peaceful until the third week in August, when the Gracia Festival takes place. During this time, the area dances to a unique beat, as each street adopts a different decorative theme and music plays in the squares. Book hotels in Gracia as early as possible if you plan to stay in August.
Due to its slightly elevated location above the centre of the city, Montjuic is a quiet and relaxed area. Close to public transport links, central Barcelona is only minutes away, but the choice of hotels here is good. There’s everything from small two-star establishments to the five-star luxury of the Miramar.
The most famous five-star beach hotel is W Barcelona, next to Barceloneta Beach. Its impressive sail-like structure is hard to miss and offers incredible views across Barcelona. But there are also plenty of good-value chain hotels, as well as a number of smaller, boutique hotels.
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It can feel like there’s something amazing around every corner in this stunning city. Here are our favourite must-sees…
Top five attractions
La Sagrada Familia
This jaw-droppingly beautiful church designed by Gaudi is the most visited attraction in the whole of Spain – not bad considering it isn’t finished yet. It’s a work-in-progress that began in 1882 and a great vantage point from which to view the city.
Enjoy a relaxing stroll around the botanical gardens and let the buzz of the big city fade away as you take in the gorgeous views over Barcelona.
Like an endless street party, this heaving boulevard is peppered with jugglers, magicians, dancers and all manner of entertainment; it’s Barcelona’s famous bar-lined strip.
Few of the world’s football grounds can evoke the magic of the sport quite like Camp Nou – home of FC Barcelona. Whether you’re lucky enough to catch a game or just having a guided tour, you can’t fail to be impressed.
This remarkable building, designed by architectural genius Gaudi, was originally criticised for its curvaceous façade. However, it has stood the test of time to become one of the most photographed buildings in Europe.
It's no secret that the Spanish love a good party and this city has a packed calendar of annual events. Here are three of the best…
Festival of Sant Joan; June: Celebrate midsummer in Barcelona with fireworks, street parties and all-night celebrations. For a great view of the fireworks, head to the beach and prepare for a late night.
Festival del Grec; June-August: A cultural celebration that brings together performers from all over the world.
Festes de la Mercé; September: Be here when the entire city celebrates Catalan traditions and folklore with huge processions and pageants throughout Barcelona.