Outlook onto Les Rambles, Barcelona
Barcelona  is Spain's second largest city and the capital of Catalonia, one of the 17 regions that form Spain. The city has a wealth of unique historic architecture and has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe during the 1990s.
Barcelona has many quarters, but the most important and interesting for visitors are:
- Ciutat Vella - Barcelona's old town, including the medieval Barri Gotic.
- Eixample - Modernist quarter, noted for its art nouveau buildings.
- Gràcia - Historically a working class neighborhood, now rather gentrified.
- Barceloneta - Known for its sandy beaches and many restaurants and cafes along the boardwalk.
 When to visit
August is probably the busiest time in Barcelona; at the same time about 10% of shops and restaurants can be found closed from mid-August to early September, when the owners go on vacations.
August is an excellent month to go to Barcelona, you'll find cheap accommodation and a much quieter city... it's easy to understand, a vast majority of Spaniards go on vacation in August. Business is low, people from Barcelona tend to be on vacation, hotels, that remain open but don't have their business customers tend to lower prices and make offers. And Barcelona has decent enough beaches... Though the people in Barcelona will really appreciate that visitors do not consider it a beach resort and keep decent clothes on, specially when visiting churches, etc...
 Festivals and events
- Festes de la Merce. Barcelona's main annual festival encompassing many events such as which group of 'castellers' can form the highest human tower, live music events, firework displays and processions involving wooden giants. All of this is accompanied by a heavy consumption of Cava, the national drink of Catalonia.
- Festes de Gràcia. The Festes de Gracia is a Catalonian celebration, held on the 15th of August each year to commemorate the Assumption. During the week of festivities that mark one of Barcelona's most important fiestas, the city of Gracia explodes with fun, excitement, colour and fireworks.
- Festes de Sants. Similar to Gracia's event, but smaller and later on in August. If you can't go to the Gracia's, try go to this festival instead.
- Sant Jordi. 23rd of April. Considered to be like Valentines Day. People give roses and books around the streets. Traditionally men give women roses and women give men books. It is one of the most popular and interesting celebrations in Catalonia.
Casa de l'Ardiaca during Corpus
- Fira de Santa Llúcia. From December 2nd/3rd to December 23rd, to commemorate Sta Llúcia (December 13th). December 13th is the feast day of Santa Llucia, patron saint of fashion designers and blind people, who gather at the Santa Llucia chapel in the cathedral to pay their respects.
- Revetlla de Sant Joan. This is the midsummer solstice celebration. It is celebrated on 23rd June every year and is signified by the fireworks that are permanently on display during this time.
 Get in
 By plane
Low cost carriers operating to Barcelona are: Air Berlin , Monarch Airlines , Jet2.com , ClickAir  (a discount subsidiary of Iberia), Vueling , easyJet , Ryanair , Blue Air , Sterling Airlines , flyGlobespan , Transavia .
 Barcelona International Airport
Barcelona International Airport  (Template:IATA, Template:ICAO), also known as El Prat, is a major transport hub and fields flights from all over Europe and beyond.
Terminals: There are three terminals, A, B and C, all within fairly easy walking distance of each other. Terminal B is used by Spanish carriers (Iberia, Spanair, Air Europa, Vueling) and their partners (eg British Airways).
Terminal C is smallest and used for all domestic flights, including the Puente Aereo (Air shuttle) to Madrid.
Terminal A for all other flights.
A giant new south terminal is expected to open in 2009.
Transfer to/from the airport: The airport is only about 10 km away from the city center. Taxis are frequently available although they can be costly. A cheaper and often faster option is the half-hourly RENFE suburban train calling at Sants (20 minutes), Passeig de Gràcia (25 minutes) and Estació de França (30 minutes) in the city centre. A single ticket is about €2.20, but an under-advertised fact is that you can use the T-10 ticket (€7.30 for ten trips, including all bus and metro transfers made within 75 minutes) instead. You can buy a T-10 from the ticket vending machine at the airport station.
Alternatively, the Aerobús A1 line stops between Terminal A and Terminal B and travels along Gran Via to Plaça Catalunya. Buses depart every 6-9 minutes, the published journey time is 35 minutes (although can take considerably longer during rush hour) and costs €4.05 one-way. Buses are heavily air-conditioned in summer: have something extra to wear during the journey. Aerobuses stop running at midnight, but you can catch a Nit Bus night bus service instead (Nit Bus N17, between 22.00 and 05.00. The ride from Plaza Cataluña to Airport El Prat takes about 40 minutes).
Duty-free shops. Open from 6/6:30am to 9:30pm (few to 10pm). Shops are numerous and some are hard to find elsewhere in the city. Most shops are before the passport control; only one or two are afterwards.
Tax-free shopping refund. Office closes at 10pm without compromises. After that time checks can be only processed by mail: complete your tax-free forms with your passport data and addresses, stamp them with the custom office (a window next to arrivals gate door; they don't ask to see your purchases); put them into envelope you were given in the shop--and wait for several months.
Cafes, pre-security check. Limited options, and sub-standard fare.
Cafes, post-security check. Numerous options, all close something between 10pm and 11pm.
Parking: Costs €1.35/hour, €9.45/day, €6.75/day from the 6th day.
Luggage lockers: Baggage storage is €4.60 per day for a large locker that easily fits 2-3 serious suitcases. Left-hand end of Terminal B, behind the Ars cafe.
Departure gates: Poorly conditioned at ground level (at least gate #57, sector A, after 11pm).
WiFi: Available throughout the airport, operated by KubiWireless : €7.5 for 45min, €9 for 1 hour, €15 for 24 hours.
 Nearby airports
Some low-cost carriers, notably Ryanair, use the airports in Girona, nearly 100km to the north, or Reus, around the same distance to the south, instead. The Barcelona Bus service runs a shuttle bus from Estació del Nord in Barcelona to Girona Airport and this ties in with various flight times. A one-way ticket costs €12 and a return ticket costs €21. The journey takes approximately one hour and ten minutes. For Reus airport, the easiest way is to take the train from Barcelona Sants station to Reus and then the local bus to the airport. The train costs €6.45 and then the bus costs €2. This takes roughly an hour and a half.
 By rail
Several trains per day (including overnight hotel trains) from other parts of Europe (via France) are regular & reliable.
Main train stations:
- Barcelona-Sants (to the south west of the centre).
- Barcelona-Estació de França, Avinguda Marquès de l´Argentera (on the edge of the old town next to the seafront district of Barceloneta).
From/to Estació de França there are several connections per day to Cerbère (France), connecting there on trains towards Marseille and Nice. There are also 2 direct trains a day from Sants and Passeig de Gracia to Perpignan, Beziers, Narbonne and Montpellier in France.
The long-delayed AVE high-speed train line to Madrid finally opened in February 2008. Travel time is 3 hours 23 minutes with intermediate stops (11 trains a day) or 2 hours 38 minutes non-stop (6 trains a day during morning and evening peak hours).
 By sea
You can arrive to Barcelona by boat from the Balearic Islands, from Genoa and from Rome. From Rome (Civitavecchia) it is actually cheaper than the bus. The ferry docks almost directly on the Ramblas.
 By bus
Contact Barcelona Nord for all bus connections, national and international.
 Get around
 By public transport
- The Bus Turístic  links all of the Barcelona tourist sites you could possibly want to visit. It has three routes, including a northbound and a southbound line which leave from opposite sides of the Plaça de Catalunya. You can buy tickets valid for one day (€20) or two consecutive days (€26).
- The metro can take you to many places. Stations are marked <M> on most maps; every station has a detailed scheme of exits to the city. A one-journey ticket cost €1.30, so it's probably best to buy a multi-person 10-ride ticket for €7.30 (called a T-10) or a personal 50-ride monthly ticket for €27.55. These tickets are also valid on the buses and trams. . 1- to 5-day public transport tickets are available which allow unlimited travel on the metro and bus networks (€10 for two days). These are excellent value. Be sure to look after them well as bent or damaged cards will not be read by the ticket machines (such cards can be replaced at one of TMB's customer service centers).
Pay attention to the fact that sometimes to get from one line to another, or to another metro type, you need to exit and then enter through a new pay-gate. In this case, if you had a one-journey ticket, you need to get a new one.
Unusual features are: all cars are air conditioned; there are large screens for video advertising between lanes (e.g. at Universitat).
- The Barcelona Card  features unlimited free travel on public transport and free admission and discounts at around 100 visitor attractions. The card is available for purchase for periods of between 2 and 5 days, costing €24 for a 2-day card and €34 for a 5-day card. If you aren't planning on seeing lots of museums then it is cheaper to buy transport only tickets (see above).
 Exotic transport
- Tramvia Blau is a an old tram (beginning of the 20th century) connects Av. Tibidabo metro station and Funicular station at the foot of Tibidabo. Costs: 3.10 Euro for two-way trip.
- Funicular connects the foot of Tibidabo with view point. Costs: 3 Euro for two-way trip.
 By bicycle
- Barceloneta Bikes, . One of the cheapest places to rent a bike in the city. Very close to the harbor and the beaches, this company have different kinds of bikes you can choose to rent, but it doesn't organize tours.
- Bicing, . (Barcelona's bike-sharing program, started in March 2007) is another option for an environment-friendly in-city transport. Unfortunately, it is just for residents.
- Biking in Barcelona, . Backed by Biciclot, a cooperative that promotes the use of bicycles in Barcelona. They offer high-quality tours for groups (from 12 to more than 100 people), private groups or individuals, as well as bike rentals.
- Budget Bikes . With top quality Dutch bicycles on hire, Budget Bikes offers good group reductions as well.
- Fat Tire Bike Tours, . You can either rent a bike from them or take one of their tours. The tour charge is around €22.
 By car
Parking around all major tourist destinations is costly (€1.5-2.5/hour, €20/day) and the spaces are difficult to navigate, as there are several classes of public parking space, with complicated rules for each class. Cars with French license plates are said to be rarely towed, but follow this at your own risk.
Having a driving map is essential - plan your route before you set off. Navigating with an average tourist map is frequently misleading: many streets are one-way; left turns are more rare than rights (and are unpredictable). As an example, Gran via de Les Corts Catalanes is technically two-way, but in one direction supports only minor traffic: after every crossroad you'll find the traffic light on the next crossroad turns red by the time you reach it.
Some free parking spots reported by travelers are:
- Near Moll de Sant Bertran (which is south-west from Museu Maritim) - driving at B-10, exit to WTC and make a complete round at roundabout, heading to warehouses - and park next to its employees cars.
- Somewhere near Guell Park.
Getting around by car makes sense if you plan to spend much more time driving outside the city borders than inside it - and ideally if you don't plan to park overnight at all. Otherwise, for purely in-city transportation, consider renting a scooter.
- See also: Catalan phrasebook, Spanish phrasebook
Barcelona's official languages are Catalan and Spanish. Most signs are indicated in Catalan, although Spanish and English are also widely used. As in most European countries any attempt by visitors to use the native language, in this case Catalan and Spanish, is always appreciated. The majority of Catalans instinctively address foreigners in Spanish. To avoid giving offence, never refer to Catalan as a dialect, which is an offshoot of another language. Catalan is a language in the same way that French, Portuguese, Italian etc. Also, you have to consider that Catalonia is a nation, with its own culture, history and tradition, so different from the other regions in Spain.
- La Rambla. The most famous boulevard in Barcelona stretches from the Harbour to La Placa Catalunya running through the Ciutat Vella like a spine. Come here to see the street performers jump out at unsuspecting tourists, enjoy the flower and pet stalls, or just sit back and watch all of Barcelona walk by. During the day, La Rambla is packed with tourists, at night, the locals come out. If you happen to be here after Barca win, you're in for a treat! A few blocks south of its north end, you'll find La Boqueria, a very large, fresh air (but covered) market. See "Food" under "Buy" below.
- Plaça d'Espanya. Once used for public hangings, Placa d'Espanya was created for the 1929 World Exhibition. The fountain in the centre of the square is a great attraction and plays music during the summer. Plaça Espanya is located at the base of Montjuic mount.
- The winding streets and hidden squares, fountains and palaces in the Barri Gòtic (Ciutat Vella). Check out the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia and the Gothic Church of Santa Maria del Pi. Also worth the visit is the Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, near the Picasso Museum. Another place you can't miss is la Plaça Sant Felip Neri, a very little and romantic square, with a famous hotel nearby (The Neri Hotel).
- Sant Pau del Camp. A Romanesque church - one of only a few in Barcelona - with a fine cloister which feels almost Arabic in style. A little island of calm in a very busy city.
- La Plaça Reial. Located next to La Rambla in the Ciutat Vella is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The Plaça Reial is one of the places of more activity during the day, thanks to the many terraces of the restaurants where you can eat something. One that is very recomendable: "Les set portes". Also look at the Gaudi streetlights.
Estadi Olímpic Communication Tower, Barcelona
- The Montjuïc Castle. Provides a beautiful panorama view over the rest of the city. Take the Harbour cable car to Barceloneta for more splendid views. The Montjuic Castle is in the Montjuic Mount, in which you can visit so many places, like the museums MNAC, Caixafòrum, El Museu de l'Esport Olímpic and El Museu Miró. If you like architecture, you must visit The German Pavillion ("El pavelló Alemany"), designed by Mies van der Rohe.
- Tibidabo. Located on the mountains of Barcelona and offers a spectacular view of the city (532 m high). This is a place where according some legends, the Devil tempted Jesus Christ offering him whole world in exchange for his worship. There is a wonderful church over there. To get there by yourself you need to take metro till Av. Tibidabo Station, then Tramvia Blau, and then Funicular up to the mountain. It reduces the time you spend for getting there. If you have the whole day after leaving the metro you can walk up to the view point.
- Olympic Port. It has a large number of restaurants, bars and other establishments which have made Barcelona's nightlife bustling. In this wide offer you can find also the Barcelona Casino.
- FC Barcelona, . If you're a football fanatic, then you can't miss a visit to Camp Nou, the home ground for Barcelona's biggest and most popular team, and one of Europe's greatest footballing 'cathedrals'. FCB are the only major football club in the world that doesn't sell advertising space on it's strip, and this is because the club does not want to spoil the aesthetics of its famous red and blue jersey. During the Franco era, FCB were the only way that suppressed Catalans could vent their anger against his dictatorship, and because of this it became a symbol of Catalan identity, remaining nowadays. Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 98,600 people, and it also has shops and a museum of the club's history. Match tickets are relatively cheap (25-35 Euros) and games hardly ever completely sell out, unless it's a match against the hated rivals Real Madrid, one of the other top teams (currently Valencia or Sevilla) or in Champions League. With the quality in the current team, there's always a few goals, and it's nearly always a resounding win for Barca! Stadium tours aren't fantastic, but for a quick recent history of matches played there, consult the backs of the doors in the cubicles - most have a lot of graffiti championing their team that played here.
- FC Barcelona Tickets, Barcelona Football Club . Official Ticket agent for FC Barcelona Tickets. It is a little overpriced than in the stadium but you skip long queues and be assured with the seats you want.
- Zoo-Barcelona, . It is located in Parc de la Ciudadella. Prior to his death, this zoo was famous for its albino gorilla "Snowflake". Today this zoo still has many other features including a science museum inside the zoo.
- <see name="El Poble Espanyol" alt="" address="Av. Marques de Comillas, 13" directions="" phone="+34(93)508-6300" email="email@example.com" fax="+34(93)508-6333" url="http://www.poble-espanyol.com/" hours="" price="">A fake village with replicas of characteristic buildings in Spain (like the Avila walls, the Vall-de-roures town hall, etc). The village hosts the Fondation Fran Daurel, where you can enjoy an interesting Modern Art collection boasting Miró, Picasso, Tapiès and other, mostly Spanish and Catalan, nowaday's artists. The audio tour is very worthwhile here.</see>
- Palau de la Música Catalana, . Modernist design by Lluís Domènech i Montaner is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997, a masterpiece of Catalan's Modernist Architecture.
- Palau Nacional. Hosts the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (Catalan National Museum of Art).
- Monestir de Pedralbes. A beautiful Gothic monastery near the university. There is a picture gallery (the Thyssen Bornemisza Collection), a museum which depicts the monastery life, a church and a marvelous chapel covered with medieval frescoes.
- <see name="Hospital de Sant Pau" alt="Saint Paul's Hospital" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Working hospital which is at the same time an architectural masterpiece open for visitors (made by the famous catalan architect Antoni Gaudí). Although some buildings are being renovated and wards are being moved to a new building of Nou Hospital, it still does not affect the experience. One of "small hidden features" is a network of underground passages where small carriages can be seen, you can get there near WCs on a central square, between Banc de Sang and Quiròfans.</see>
- Hotel Majestic Passeig Gràcia 68, +34 934 881 717, . Enjoy city views from the rooftop. Just enter the elevator right from the lobby, and head up to the top floor.
- L'Aquarium, . The second biggest aquaurium of Europe (after that in Genoa). Watch thousands of fishes, penguins and sharks in this interactive sea-life museum. Unlike Genoese Aquarium it has a long glass "tube", where you can walk watching sharks and other fish swimming around. Located at the Port Vell leisure centre, next to the IMAX cinema. Entrance ticket - 16 Euro.
 Gaudi architecture and Moderniste Barcelona
Gaudi architecture, including the Parc Güell, the still unfinished Sagrada Família and the houses; La Pedrera/Casa Milà and La Casa Batlló.
- The Ruta del Modernisme. Takes you round all the best Modernisme (art nouveau) buildings in Barcelona. The main part of the route can be walked in a couple of hours, providing you don't stray too far from the main routes. The Tourist Offices offer a pack which includes discounted tickets to many attractions such as La Pedrera and La Casa Batlló. All can be seen from the outside for free.
- <see name="La Pedrera" alt="Casa Mila" address="" directions="Diagonal metro station" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.lapedreraeducacio.org/" hours="" price="entrance: approximately €8">Hosts a large exposition of Gaudi works, covering Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlio, not only La Pedrera itself. The exposition is a good place to start your exploration of Gaudi; it reveals many hidden details for the art novice.</see>
- Güell Park (Parc Güell). This is on a hill overlooking Barcelona, so expect a relatively steep walk to the top (Lesseps metro station, then follow arrows which are met every 300 m); you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the whole city. The park has two distinct parts, a relatively undeveloped natural area near the top of the hill, and the more famous (and crowded) sculpture park below. The sculpture portion is full of walkways and other structures exhibiting the distinct and colorful style of Gaudi, including the famous terrace. Free entrance. (If you take the bus 24, be caution of pickpockets. Bus 24 is has the most pickpockets of all the lines because it is full of tourists going to the park and it is usually very crowded.)
- Sagrada Família. To get up to the tower by elevator costs €2 (long queues). Previously, it was possible to go up the spiral stairs, but now they only allow you to get back down. The most impressive thing is to see Sagrada Família at night with lights on, this is the time when you understand why people say that it is built of bones. Entrance costs €8. Get the audio commentary €3,5 it's well worth it. You will gain a much better appreciation of the Sagrada Família. Sagrada Família metro station.
- <see name="La Casa Batlló" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.casabatllo.es/" hours="9am-8pm" price="entrance: adults €16.5">Often overlooked for La Pedreda, (also by Gaudi), La Casa Batllo is equally as stunning with its unique architecture and infamous two ornamental pillars in the entrance to the terrace.</see>
- Casa Amatller,  by Puig i Cadafalch, is a fine work of Modernisme. Open for visitors (free entrance), only ground floor. Check detailed photos and explanation of facade sculptures. Also has a shop which sells fine chocolate (the Amatller family made its money out of cocoa).
If you think of visiting several museums, to save money a "articket" exist. It's a combined ticket which cost 20€ and which gives admission to 8 museums (look for website to know which).
- MHC, Museu d'Història de Catalunya (Catalonia's Museum of History), . In Catalan and English. A must in order to understand the troubled (and sad) history of the Catalans. Free on the first Sunday each month (but they close at 14:30).
- MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) in the Palau Nacional, . Has the single best collection of Romanesque art in the world, and a fine Gothic collection as well. Includes the Pantocrator from the Taüll Romanesque church. Free on the first Sunday each month (but they close at 14:30).
- The Museum of the City of Barcelona includes access to underground Roman ruins and a complex of historic buildings in the centre of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), as well as being a reasonably good historical museum.
- <see name="Picasso Museum" alt="" address="Montcada, 15-23" directions="" phone="(93)256-3000" email="firstname.lastname@example.org" fax="(93)315-0102" url="http://www.museupicasso.bcn.es/" hours="10am-8pm (closes strictly on time; visitors invited to exit 10 minutes before closing time)" price="Entrance: adults €6; discounted for students having student ID">Has a lot of art from his first period, before the cubism--but almost none of his most famous works. Pictures are signed only in Spanish; only overview texts for each period are available in English. Don't take laptops or valuables when heading to the museum. Free on the first Sunday each month (close at 8:00pm). </see>
- Caixa Fòrum, Plaça Espanya, . This place hosts great exhibitions (at the time of writing: Dalí - Culture for the masses). Free entrance.
- Fundació Antoni Tàpies, . Created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art.
- Joan Miró Museum, . This museum is on the Montjuïc accessible by the metro (L3 Paral·lel and then the funicular). Treasured museum dediated to Joan Miró and always has interesting temporary expositions on display.
- CASM - Centre d'Art Santa Mònica, . A contemporary art venue, showing solo exhibitions by national and international artists. Lots of other activities. Located in the lower part of Ramblas, admission is free.
- Museum de l'Eròtica de Barcelona, on La Rambla. Museum dedicated to erotic and sensual works.
- The Football Museum, . This is one of Barcelona's most visited museums near the stadium.
- Maritime Museum, . This museum standing at the harbour depicts the Catalan maritime history of trade, wars and discoveries. Open from 10:OO am to 7:00pm. Free on the first Saturday each month from 3:00pm.
- Catalan Archaeological Museum, . Situated on the Montjuic, it exhibits archaeological findings from Catalunia from different periods.
- Catalan Ethnographical Museum, . Also situated on the Montjuic, this museum mainly exhibits exponents which were imported by Catalan sailors as they explored the new world. Free on the first Sunday each month (11:00am to 3:00pm)
- Military Museum. In the military fortification on the Montjuic.
- Museum of Natural History, . This museum in the Ciutadella Parc is especially recommended for children. Most interesting is the rainforest project, in which you can observe a living forest from various angles (even from below!). Open from 10:00am to 6:30pm. Free on the first Sunday each month (close at 2:30pm)
- Ceramic Museum, at the Gaudi Pedralbes Palace, .
- CosmoCaixa, . Located near Avinguda del Tibidabo, Museum of physics.
- Stroll along the following famous streets:
- Les Rambles, a gorgeous tree-lined pedestrian walkway, the busiest and most lively street of the city. Mostly occupied by tourists, expect to pay higher prices for food and drink. Avoid the groups of people supposedly betting on a game played on a carboard table, they are thieves. Head off into some of the side streets for a cheaper, more local, and authentic experience of Barcelona.
- La Plaça Catalunya. Connecting all the major streets in the city, the Placa is known for its fountains and statues, and the central location to everthing in the city.
- El Portal de l'Àngel. Large pedestrian walkway with many new and stylish shops to browse in.
- Cruise miles of beachfront boardwalk starting from Barceloneta or get a tan on the beach.
Platja de la Barceloneta Looking onto Port Olímpic
- Sit on a wooden bridge to Maremagnum and cool your toes at the waters edge.
- Wander the Barri Gotic, the largely intact medieval centre of the city.
- Shake to the beat and dance the night away at one of Barcelona's 200 or so nightspots.
- Walk in Born, a very popular area with great restaurants and places to have a few drinks.
- Stroll across the sand on the beach every Sunday night throughout the summer for live music, drinks and swimming.
- Check out Gràcia: a neighbourhood just off Park Guell, full of local culture, few tourists, and tons of places for relaxing and eating.
- Visit a Flamenco Show in a real tablao. Tablao de Carmen  which is situated in Poble Espanyol offers a spectacular flamenco evening. The entrance fee (31 Euro) includes the 1.5-2 hour show, drink and free of charge entrance in Poble Espanyol. A cheaper alternative is the flamenco night in jazzclub Jazz Si  in the Raval neighbourhood.
- Ride the Cable Way to get from the sea front to Montjuïc mountain. 7.5 Euro for one-way ticket. Rides on the Montjuic cable are not included in transit tickets like the Barcelona Card.
- Check out Montjuïc and its green surroundings, where you can also admire the German minimalist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1929 Pavilion ( or the interesting Caixa Forum building (right in front of the Pavilion).
La Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc - for majestic swimming.
- Sit and sip on a coffee in Plaça dels Àngels, while admiring the whiteness of the MACBA  and the best street skate tricks in town.
- Catch a performance at the beautiful Teatre del Liceu and the Palau de la Musica Catalana.
- Rent a bike or join a Biketour and get to see the highlights of the city in a different way. Ride from the magic beaches of the Mediterranean, to Gaudí's modernist buildings through the medieval atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter. More info: Biking in Barcelona .
- <see name="Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc" alt="Swimming pool on MOntjuic, Barcelona" address="Av Miramar 31" directions="" phone="934430046" email="" fax="" url="http://www.picornell.cat/" hours="Mon-Fri 11.00-18.30" price="€5,05 for adults">In the summer months July and August the outdoor swimming pool Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc is open for public. This pool offers spectacular views over the city. The pool is easy to reach with the funicular that departs from metro station Parallel. Your metro ticket is a valid transport ticket for the funicular.</see>
- You can study Spanish at the University of Barcelona .
- <buy name="Vinçon" alt="" address="Passeig de Gracia 96" directions="M. Diagonal" phone="(93) 215-6050" email="" fax="" url="http://www.vincon.com/" hours="Mon-Sat 10am-8:30pm" price="">An interior decorators delight. Offers everything from little household objects to furniture in a sleek and contemporary design.</buy>
- Fnac, . Sells books, music, games, and many other interesting items. Fnac is located in the El Triangle shopping center in Plaza Catalunya (Opposite El Corte Inglés).
- Kelkom, Gràcia's neighborhood. Còrsega 393 Street. Between Bruc and Girona Street. Underground L5 Verdaguer ó L3 Diagonal. Great gift shop.
- <buy name="La Boqueria" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">In Ciutat VellaLarge public market with a diverse range of goods and produce.</buy>
- Cacao Sampaka,  (C/. Consell de Cent, 292), Xocoa or The Chocolate Factory are must for chocolate lovers. There's also a Chocolate Museum in Carrer Comerç, 36.
- <buy name="Art Monfalcon" alt="" address="Boters 4 (Final Portaferrisa)" directions="" phone="93 301 13 25" email="email@example.com" fax="" url="http://www.montfalcon.com" hours="" price="">Probably the largest souvenir shop in the city at 1000 sq. m. Almost no ordinary souvenir-shop trivialitiess.</buy>
Places to avoid:
- The souvenir shopping scattered throughout the Barri Gotic (the old city) and all along La Rambla are tourist traps, none of them sell Catalan or Spanish products but the typical array of Chinese general souvenirs, they should be avoided.
 Clothes and shoes
- Designers and chic fashion clothes are widely available in Born (Jaume I Metro station).
- Most of the luxury international brands can be found at Passeig de Gracia.
- <buy name="Amateur" alt="" address="c/Riera Baixa 16, Raval" directions="m. Liceu / Sant Antoni" phone="+34 93 329 1721" email="firstname.lastname@example.org" fax="" url="" hours="Mon-Sat 10:30am-2:30pm, 4:30-8:30pm" price="">Small boutique shop featuring several independent designers.</buy>
- <buy name="Custo Barcelona" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.custo-barcelona.com/" hours="" price="">Popular designer clothing brand with 3 stand alone stores.</buy>
- <buy name="La Gauche Divine" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">See in Ciutat VellaA multi-functional space that combines fashion, music, art and design.</buy>
- <buy name="Jordi Labanda" alt="" address="C/del Rosselló, 232" directions="between Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia" phone="+34(93)496-1403" email="email@example.com" fax="" url="http://www.jordilabanda.com/" hours="" price="">Brand store of famous Spanish designer.</buy>
- <buy name="Lluch Sabates" alt="" address="d'Avinyo 14" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Features oXsTempting Italian shoe store with gorgeous designs.</buy>
- <buy name="Miriam Ponsa" alt="" address="Career de la Princesa, 14" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Boutique shop offering designer wares.</buy>
- <buy name="Camper" alt="" address="multiple locations" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.camper.com/" hours="" price="">Stand alone store at El Triangle shopping center at Placa de Catalunya seem to have widest choice of models and sizes in the city.</buy>
Barcelona's cuisine is inconsistent in quality, as with all highly touristic cities, but good food does exist at reasonable prices. The golden rule of thumb applies well in Barcelona; to save money and get better food, look for places off the beaten track by fellow travellers and seek out cafes and restaurants where the locals frequent.
Most restaurants (and some bars) offer a menú del dia (menu of the day), which usually means a simple and unpretentious two course meal (one salad, main dish and a drink; plus a desert sometimes), 3 or 4 options each, with a drink and a dessert, for €8 to €15-20, depending on a restaurant. During the week, some smart restaurants offer lunch specials from 2pm to 4pm. The savvy traveler will try the hip places for a fraction of the price during the day.
A good idea is to avoid restaurants with spruikers outside.
The bigger restaurants (more than 100 square meters) have non-smoking areas. In most of the smaller places smoking is permitted.
You can get food from any part of the world in Barcelona, but make sure you try some Catalan food.
See Catalan cuisine section in the Catalonia article.
The selection of seafood is consistently great, although not a lot of it is local (this part of the Mediterranean is pretty well fished-out).
A treat to try is waffles sold at street stands. They will tempt you with their mouth watering smell and taste.
 Areas to eat
A popular quarter for Barcelona's citizens is Barceloneta, where you can try fish based dishes, such as Paella (a name that may hide many different kinds of rice concoctions) or Arròs negre (Black Rice), that takes its colour because it is made using squid ink. It's a very good place to eat tapas as well.
Gracia, Ciutat Vella, Eixample and Poble Sec also offer a wide range of restaurants.
For budget eating you may choose "menu del dia" in small bars on the Avinguda del Parallel for €9-€11 per person. Be aware that sometimes the menu and the staff, only speak Spanish.
The large cafes that line the Passeig de Gracia and the Rambla de Catalunya, just north of the Plaça de Catalunya, offer a variety of acceptable tapas. This part of the town is quite touristy and a bit expensive.
- Near Sagrada Familia on the Carrer de Provenca (across from the church, and next to the McDonald´s) there is a buffet style canteen with large windows facing the Cathedral. You get a dinner (unlimited snacks, main dishes, drinks, tea/coffe, deserts) for 10.30 Euro and credit cards are accepted. Open 24h.
- Suzet A charming cafe with a modern decor. The best crêpes mixing modern and typical catalan ingredients. C/Tallers,69 T. 93 318 4724.
In several supermarkets you can find a wide gastronomy stall, with ready to eat dishes in a great selection. You can get a two course lunch for less than 5 euros.
 Non-Catalan Cuisine
- Döner Kebab: There is no shortage of Döner (more commonly known as Gyro) stands in Barcelona, offering tasty beef or chicken and salad in toasted flatbread for around €3.50. Gyro is the Greek name and version of the Turkish doner-kebab and it is unlike any kebab you have ever had in the US! Delicious! You could live on these things for a week!
- Also you can consider the asiatic offer, with a lot of chinese, japanese and indian restaurants. Specialities to take away in: Noodle and Wok to Walk. (in carrer de l'hospital or c/ Escudellers.)
- BioCenter in C/Pintor Fortuny, 2 offers cheap and tasty vegetarian and vegan food.
- Juicy Jones C/Cardenal Casañas 7, about 100 yards from Liceu L3 off side road and down some steps. A great vegan restaurant is hidden behind the juice and tapas bar frontage. The desserts are fair to poor, but the thali is amazing.
- Maoz  offers excellent vegan falafel (including unlimited salad) for around 4 euros. There are several around Barcelona including one on 95, La Rambla, about 10 minutes walk from Pl Catalunya.
 Mid range
- Bestial C/Ramón Trias Fargas 2-4. Fabulous lunch specials to be enjoyed on their great beach terrace on warm sunny days. Dinner tends to be quite expensive, thus lunch is the value for money option.
- Hisop, passage Marimon 20, . One of the most promising cuisines in Barcelona with excellent wine service. Mains around € 20.
- Los Caracoles. Los Caracoles which means "The Snails". You can spot the restaurant right away as it has a spit grill in the main entrance window roasting chickens and other meats. The restaurant was named after its specialty however they offer a wide variety of seafoods and roasted meat dishes.
 Traditional Catalan cuisine
- La Flauta Carrer Aribau, 27. Many local business people come to dine here during the week. The ever changing menu del dia (menu of the day) costs around €10 and will fill you up with delicious Catalan cuisine that is well prepared and equally well presented. The Crema Catalana, similar to a creme brulee, makes an excellent choice for dessert. Arriving somewhat early for lunch, could save you from waiting for a table.
 Non-Catalan Cuisine
- <listing name="Born" alt="" directions="Metro Jaume I (line 4)" address="Princesa 23 / Montcada 6" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Tue-Sun 13-24; closed on Mon" price=""></listing>
- <listing name="L'Illa" alt="" address="Centre L'Illa Diagonal, Avinguda Diagonal, 545-565" directions="Metro Maria Cristina (line 3)" phone="93 444 11 99" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Mon-Sat 13-21:15" price=""></listing>
- <listing name="Raval" alt="" address="Tallers 69" directions="Metro Catalunya (line 3)" phone="93 301 45 69" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Mon-Sat 13-24" price="">Extremely prompt service and attentive staff.</listing>
- <listing name="Eixample" alt="" directions="Metro Passeig de Grac (line 4), Universitat (line 3)" address="Concell de Cent, 23" phone="93 487 51 69" email="" fax="" url="" hours="Mon-Sat 13-24" price=""></listing>
- Orgànic on C/ Junta Comerç, 11 at <M> Liceu (L3). A little more expensive, around 20€ for the menú del día, but is worth it! Whether you're vegetarian/vegan or not, this kitchen is organic and the food is amazing and of high quality. Not a quick eat, but a nice sit down to good food meal. The service is friendly and down to earth and funny.
- Batik Restaurant, 454 Valéncia, . Indonesian, Malaysian and Tailandia food. Just a 3 minute walk from La Sagrada Familia makes this combination and ideal way to spend an afternoon. To get there from La Sagrada Familia (or the metro stop (L2 or L5) you just head down "Calle Marina" and turn left onto "Calle Valéncia". Batik Restaurant is located on the right hand side of the street -- you can't miss it.
- Alkimia, Carrer Industria 79. One of Barcelona's most highly regarded restaurants, run by acclaimed restauranter Jordi Vilà. With a minimalist white interior that directs the attention to the inventive and indulgent foods on offer, Alkimia spearheads a new wave of new Catalan cooking that will delight and impress. Was awarded a Michelin Star.
- Gaig, Aragó 214 . With a reputation for serving the freshest produce around, (there are even chickens wandering around the patio), Gaig focuses on classic Catalan cuisine, but in a modern, lighter sense. The decor is in a contemporary red and black design, and the staff are friendly and weloming. Was awarded a Michelin Star.
- Cinc Sentits, Aribau 58 . Named one of the '80 Hottest New Restaurants in the World' by Condé Nast Traveller shortly after opening in 2004, Cinc Sentits surpasses expectations. One of the few restaurants in Barcelona to offer a wine pairing, it features contemporary Catalan cuisine in a modern, warm interior.
- <drink name="Starbucks" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.starbucks.es" hours="" price="">With 17 locations in most of the touristic destinations around the city, Starbucks offers a sense of familiarity for the wary traveler.</drink>
- <drink name="Bracafe" alt="" address="C/Casp #2" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.bracafe.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Nice cosy cafe to sit and lounge over a coffee.</drink>
- Sutton - Located on Diagonal, this club hosts Studio 54 on Thursdays. If you like House or Techno music this is a must. Open until the metro starts back up, Sutton has a very large dance floor with two VIP rooms. It also has a small stage where multiple go-go dancers perform throughout the night.
- Catwalk . One of the most popular nightclubs in the city, with the peak time around 2am. They offer 2 different floors with R&B and hip-hop styles mixed with House or Techno.
- Chupitos, are located in several locations through out the city, including one in Barceloneta. Chupitos is Spanish for "shots" and offers hundreds of unique shots including the "Harry Potter" (a shot that sparks as cinnamon is sprinkled over it), and a variety of flaming shots amongst others. As much a show as it is a place to get a drink, it's a fun night out.
- Fonfone, C/Escudellers 24 . With a creative and hip decor that features mutlicolor tiled walls flashing to the beat of the electronic music. Good cocktail list.
- Maumau . A chilled out lounge bar with groovy tunes that uses its space to host short film nights, installations and concerts. Their webpage is worth a look for upcoming events and shows in Barcelona.
- <drink name="La Paloma" alt="" address="Tigre 27" directions="M. Sant Antoni" phone="" url="http://www.lapaloma-bcn.com/" hours="Thu, Sat 10pm-5am; Fri 2:30am-5am" price="entrance €5-15" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">A very popular night club. Crowded party place packed with young and beautiful people (La Paloma is currently closed. It´s not known when the club will open its doors again)</drink>
- Shoko, . Designed by a Feng Shui expert, Shoko serves you good karma all night. Depending on the night, the dj usually spins House or Hip Hop tunes.
- Dow Jones, Carrer Bruc 97. Cool bar where the prices of drinks fluctuate like in the stock market. Be sure to grab a drink when the market crashes, and the prices drop, and there's a mad scramble to buy a drink!
Barcelona offers a great arrangement of accommodations, from cheap, decent "hostel" rooms to five-star hotels.
See the district articles: Ciutat Vella (Gothic Quarter), Eixample, Gràcia and Barceloneta for detailed listings of hotels, hostals and pensions, hostels and apartments.
barcelona has hundreds of short term and vacation rental apartments, and many websites offer search and booking services for rentals from agencies and direct from owners. some guest houses and hotels also offer self-catered apartments.
see the Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Gràcia and Barceloneta district articles for detailed listings of apartments.
Only agencies that each provide apartments across a variety of districts are listed below:
- Infoespai , Plaça del Sol. A free internet cafe, and social centre. In the Gràcia quarter.
 Stay safe
Barcelona is a friendly city with few violent crimes. However, many tourists and even experienced travellers and residents get pickpocketed in Barcelona, which is the biggest risk you will face. Crowded places and metro/buses and areas such as Raval and the famous Rambles are still the most likely places to get pickpocketed, but if you are just arriving be aware of pickpockets at the bus terminal Estació del Nord and train station Sants Estació. Take particularly care of your backpack and handbags. Also be very careful at internet cafes. At the airport, even in the arrival hall, you may be approached by individuals posing as foreigners and claiming they have been robbed during a train ride or similar, and asking you for some 50 or 100 Euros that are missing for their ticket home.
If you need to use an ATM, especially in very tourist heavy areas, use caution. When possible, use ATM in less crowded areas just off the main street. Scams have been known to happen involving ATM and PIN number theft. Be sure to stand directly in front of the machine and do not let yourself get distracted until your transaction is complete, and your cash and card safely stowed. Do not pay any mind to anyone trying to "help" you retrieve a card that seems stuck in the machine by imploring that you enter your Pin number until it comes out. At this point your card is already stolen and you should proceed directly to the nearest phone to cancel said card.
Even while in your hands, your money may not be safe. An all too common occurence in commercial establishments is that the cashier will either simply overcharge you, and/or (even if you have already had the first corrected) apply the following trick; if you make a payment that requires change, they will refuse it and demand that you pay the exact amount. If you are not very attentive however, they will "forget" to return your initial payment. It may seem lousy not to notice this, but in a fast moving and confusing setting, it happens easier than you think, especially if you are somewhat tired or intoxicated. Incidents like this do also happen in decent looking establishments, such as shopping malls and airport stores. A telltale sign of impeding trouble is that the cashier will suddenly lose the ability to speak or understand any single word of English, and the register to display the total amount. If you still have all your money in hand, the best course of action is to abandon your goods and walk away.
Often a version of Three Card Monte is played on Las Ramblas. This game involves a dealer placing an object under one of three cups. The dealer then moves the three cups around mixing them up. The gambler tries to keep track of which cup the object is located under. After the cups have been mixed up, the gambler is given a chance to pick which cup the object is under, if the gambler chooses correctly he/she wins the amount gambled (usually €50). However, it is not possible to win as the people supposedly winning are in with the dealer.
Other areas of the city are less secure than average, such as Plaça Reial and the Raval and indeed the whole of the old town.
Women traveling alone should exercise caution while exploring the more isolated parts of Montjuïc. The city beaches, particularly the ones adjoining Barceloneta, have proven to be quite lucrative for bag-snatchers. Anything that one would rather not chance losing is best left (locked) in one's hostel or hotel.
Men traveling alone should expect the prostitutes on Las Ramblas in the early hours to be very aggressive, and to be in with thieves and robbers.
There have also been incidents of bag snatching while stopped at traffic lights, whereby the thieves open the car doors and take what they can. Please make sure that you always have your car doors locked both at night and in the day.
If you come to Barcelona with your own car, you may attract organised thieves. A typical scam is to puncture your tire. While you change the tire, a motorcyclist arrives, offering to "help" you. As you speak with him, another thief steals your purse, wallet, camera, or anything expensive to hand (this can happen within seconds). If you need to remove luggage from your trunk to get at the spare tire, put it inside the car. Also, close and lock all doors. Don't speak to anybody around and be extremely cautious.
If you need to report a crime - for example, to claim on travel insurance - be prepared for the reality that in the downtown police station, officers may not be able (or willing) to speak English, despite that fact the official theft report form is in both English and Spanish. The police station most often used to report theft is on Las Ramblas.
EU citizens can get free or reduced cost medical treatment on presentation of an EHIC card and passport.
- <listing name="Hospital Clinic I Provincial De Barcelona" alt="" directions="" address="C/ Villarroel 170" phone="+34 932 275 400 Metro: Hospital Clinic (Line 5)" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 Get out
Day trips from Barcelona include:
- Figueres - Home of the impressive Salvador Dalí museum.
- Montserrat - Visit the monastery nestled high in the mountains to see the Black Madonna or hike to the peak to earn a fantastic view of the surroundings.
- Sitges - A traditional beach side destination for the locals.
- Girona - A quiet town with an ancient Jewish section, narrow streets, imposing walls and plenty of cafes. See directions to the north airport above.
- Pyrenees - A mountain range around 150 km north from the city.
- San Cugat del Valles - Has one of the most interesting Romanesque cloisters in Catalunya, with many interesting carvings.