Probably the most popular city destination in the whole of Spain, Barcelona is a wonderful and beautiful city! Barcelona is a city full of fascinating history and culture that you absolutely must visit. The Ultimate Barcelona Travel Guide 2022 will walk you through everything you need to know about Barcelona, where to stay, what to do and where to eat.
Disclaimer: Some of the links included on our website may contain affiliate links. We may receive some commission from purchases made via these but it will NOT affect the price you pay. This is to allow this site to stay online and ensure that readers use, what we believe, are the best products possible whilst travelling.
One of the best aspects of Barcelona is that you can visit for either a week plus or just a weekend and you’ll still have a great experience. Barcelona is awash with cool bars, great eateries and nice hang-out spots if you fancy a relaxing (or boozy) weekend away. Conversely, if you wanted to stay in Barcelona longer, there are tons of places you can visit that will keep you occupied throughout.
Best time to visit:
Barcelona was the second stop on our travels which meant we visited in early/mid-October. Luckily, this seemed to be the perfect time to go as it wasn’t as touristy as peak season, but the weather was still sunny and even had a little heat. If you can, we’d definitely recommend going around October but any time between June-October will still allow you to have a good time!
As we found out quite quickly, due to our attempts to keep our daily expenditure low, Barcelona is a very big city so it takes some time to walk around. For us, it was enjoyable to go for long walks with a coffee to our intended location so we could get a feel of the city and walk through the less touristy places. However, after numerous days of constantly walking, we ended up using the city’s metro more and more. The metro was super easy to use, reasonably priced and stations were very accessible – just make sure you download the Barcelona Metro App: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/barcelona-metro-map-routing/id350745417
Things you should know about Barcelona:
- They use the Euro.
- Barcelona was offered the Eiffel Tower before Paris.
- Mid-day meals are eaten between 1pm & 4pm whilst their evening meal starts from roughly 7/8pm until sometimes gone midnight.
- There is a very popular (and controversial) independence movement in Barcelona and Catalonia more specifically.
- The Sagrada Familia has taken longer to complete than the Egyptian Pyramids.
- Before Barcelona hosted the Olympics in 1992, no beach existed for the city’s population.
- Barcelona has two official languages, Spanish & Catalan (and many speak English).
YEAH HOSTEL BARCELONA
Carrer de Girona, 176, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
In Barcelona, we ended up staying at YEAH HOSTEL on Carrer de Girona. Whilst we didn’t appreciate it at the time, this has to be one of our favourite hostels we stayed in. The main reasons for this were the beds, where you each got a curtain for that little bit of extra privacy. The hostel put on a 3-course evening meal every night (for just 10€) which allowed us to meet loads of new people. This is the same with the 5€ buffet breakfast!
The hostel also put on a range of tours, such as free walking tours and nightly bar crawls, which is a great way of meeting new people and exploring all aspects of the city.
Whilst you’re not galavanting around the city, YEAH! Hostel also has a really good (and cute) common area with numerous charging ports and great wifi. A nice place to relax after a long day or a good study space if you work remotely.
The only slight downside of this hostel is its location. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad location, just due to the sheer size of Barcelona, it is some 30-minute walk away from La Rambla. However, it is right next to the Verdaguer metro station so it is easily accessible. On the flip side, the location means you are closer to Parc Guell and Cosmo Caixca.
Are you just starting your European adventure? Why not check out our guide on How to Meet People whilst Travelling. Moreover, if you’re planning on visiting other places in Europe, we’d definitely recommend looking at our Top 10 Hostels in Europe guide!
Before booking, we also did our research on other hostels that we’d also recommend checking out:
St Christopher’s Inn
Carrer de Bergara, 3, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Situated much more centrally than Yeah Hostel, St Christopher’s is a prime location for seeing Barcelona on foot (the best way to get around) and is only a stone’s throw away from La Rambla. We also know that it has great reviews for cleanliness and the staff are always friendly.
Why don’t you check it out for yourself – https://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/St-Christopher-s-Barcelona/Barcelona/61557
Alternatively, if you’re looking for your own space, why don’t you check out these two options below:
Plaça Rosa Del Vents 1, Final, Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
We saw this amazing hotel from the beach on multiple occasions and thought it looked like a beautiful place to stay (if we were solely on holiday).
Fabulous & Chic Apartment Gothic Quarter
Airbnb is always a great option for city breaks and this one, in particular, is in a great location.
What to do:
1. La Rambla
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
One of the most famous places in Barcelona is La Rambla. This famous strip is a great place to take pictures and browse all the souvenirs that line the street.
Whilst the restaurants along La Rambla aren’t known for their quality food, they are great to grab a few drinks at. The majority do Happy Hour so if you’re partial to a few sangria’s, we’d definitely recommend going along and people watching.
2. La Sagrada Familia
C/ de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Even more famous than La Rambla is La Sagrada Familia. Whilst we didn’t personally go inside, we instead ate in its shadows and had a walk round to see its beauty. We did however speak to many people who did go inside and they said it was a must-visit. If you are wanting to go inside we would recommend this Get Your Guide ticket with the fast track option. Word of warning, make sure you book in advance AND be wary of pickpockets.
3. Park Güell
08024 Barcelona, Spain
A stunning place where you can wander through beautiful landscape and also grab an amazing view of the city below. We spent a good few hours here and most of the time we just sat and enjoyed the scenery.
Word of warning, this place can get incredibly touristy and make sure you bring a bottle of water beforehand as it can get quite hot. The lines can be quite long in the heat so if your budget stretches to it we would recommend getting a skip the line ticket or a guided tour around the park, you can purchase tickets here.
4. Playa de Bogatell
One of the main benefits of visiting Barcelona is the fact that you can experience the maze of a city and the beauty of the beach.
On our beach day, we visited Playa de Bogatell; a very pretty beach and had all you needed (apart from shade and sun loungers. Word of warning, be prepared to be constantly hounded by street sellers attempting to sell you “mojito fresh” or ladies trying to give you a message.
Despite this, it was a very nice beach and we’d definitely visit again. Do make sure you bring some water with you!
5. Cosmo Caixa
Carrer d’Isaac Newton, 26, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
We found this absolutely amazing science museum on TikTok and it was probably our most enjoyable activity of the whole trip. It would be a great day out for the whole family. From what we remember, entry was about 6€ and you can buy a ticket on arrival from reception.
Whilst it is mainly a cool science museum, it also had a huge living rainforest connected to it with loads of live animals inside. We visited Cosmo Caixa and Parc Guell in the same day as it is easy to get a taxi between the two.
6. Mercat dels encants de Barcelona
Carrer de los Castillejos, 158, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
It’s a little bit out of the touristy area but a really cool place to visit nonetheless. Firstly, the Mercat is a local market with hundreds of stalls on multiple levels that sell anything from electrical equipment to socks. It has a car boot sale feel to it and is great to wander around.
Secondly, the open area building is absolutely beautiful, with the roof basically a gigantic mirror that allows you to look back on yourself.
If you have time, we’d definitely recommend visiting as this will allow you to experience a bit of true Catalan culture.
7. Cathedral of Barcelona
Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
We visited the Cathedral de Barcelona on our free walking tour (organised by Yeah Hostel) and it was amazing. Our guide informed us all about the incredible history behind it (when it was built and it’s prestige in society) which was fascinating the learn.
If you don’t do a walking tour, do make sure you visit the Cathedral and you’ll be equally as fascinated as us.
8. Turo de la Rovira
Whilst we unfortunately didn’t have time to visit here, we only heard (and saw) nothing but good things about this place. It has unrestricted views over much of the city and is very popular to visit at both sunrise and sunset for beautiful pictures. We really regret not going! It’s definitely a bit of a hike up so be prepared.
9. Camp Nou
C. d’Arístides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
In a similar breath to the Santiago Bernabeu, we, unfortunately, weren’t able to visit the Camp Nou as Barcelona weren’t playing BUT it would be incredible to have watched them play. If like us, you weren’t able to actually watch them, you can still go on a tour of the stadium which is very popular. You can book here using our link.
Still struggling for things to do in Barcelona? Why not check out this guide on the 45 Bucket List Experiences in Spain You Won’t Forget!
Where to eat & drink:
Carrer de Roger de Llúria, 124, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
This cute little restaurant/bar/cafe was just a 5 minute walk from our hostel and after stumbling across it one day, we came back every single day after because we loved it so much!
Our go to was a jug of Sangria and some olives (which were addictive) and we’d sit there, use the free WiFi to just chill and people watch. Easily our favourite place that we went to and would 100% recommend.
C/ de Provença, 271, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
We came here on our first evening, as we’d heard it was really good local paella, and it definitely lived up to expectations. We were both so hungry so we ended up getting our own paella but you can easily share one between two (especially as the price is a bit steep). The Sangria here was also really good and if we were travelling on a budget, we’d have definitely got some dessert too!
3. Dr Stravinsky
Carrer dels Mirallers, 5, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Really cool cocktail bar, definitely one to check out.
This was a really cool and classy cocktail bar that you absolutely must check out if you’re into your cocktails or looking for a nice place to drink.
Located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Dr Stravinsky is an extremely relaxing bar that has a crazy cool interior. The bar staff are all of the highest quality (so much so that people can’t apply for a job, they have to be invited) and the drinks are great.
4. Bar Paradiso
Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
As you can tell, we really like our cocktails so we also visited Bar Paradiso, also just off the Gothic Quarter. The difference with Bar Paradiso is that it’s a speakeasy so it was very cool to queue and enter.
Inside it’s very dark and you’re not allowed to take pictures whatsoever. This adds to the atmosphere of the place where people can relax and enjoy themselves more.
If you’ve never been to a speakeasy before and are in Barcelona, it is absolutely worth going out of your way, even if it is just for one cocktail.
Pg. de Gràcia, 58, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Unbeknown to us, Txapela turned out to be more of an upmarket tapas restaurant that focused on quality rather than quantity, which also meant the price was also higher.
However, the quality of the food was amazing and we would definitely recommend the empanadas. The other cool thing about this place is its location on a street corner and the outside seating was on a hill which made for an interesting setting.
6. Sushi Master
Carrer de Girona, 183, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
Whilst admittedly not your traditional Spanish restaurant, we’re both sushi lovers so we had to visit this place just across the street from our hostel.
We found the food there amazing and the price was very reasonable, especially for the quality of food we got. If you are a big fan of sushi and happen to be in the vicinity, definitely give this place a go!
There you have it, our Barcelona Travel Guide; giving you all the best places to stay, eat and see BEFORE you visit so you won’t be left disappointed.
Feel free to add any of your own recommendations in the comments!
Disclaimer: Some of the links included on our website may contain affiliate links. We may receive some commission from purchases made via these but it will NOT affect the price you pay. This is to allow this site to stay online and ensure that readers use, what we believe, is the best products possible whilst travelling.