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Spain

24 hours in Barcelona

 

You could spend weeks exploring Barcelona and still not see it all. But here’s our guide to doing a whistle-stop tour of the stunning Spanish city…

Whether you’re into great food, stunning architecture or partying, Barcelona really does have something for everyone. And thanks to its well-run – and cheap – Metro system, it’s even easier to see more of the sights on a short trip.

With that in mind, here’s our guide to one day in Barcelona.

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Gothic grandeur

Kick off your trip with a walk around Barcelona’s atmospheric Gothic Quarter. These narrow medieval streets hide an array of great shops, restaurants and bars.

Begin at the awe-inspiring Catedral de Barcelona, with its intricately designed main façade dotted with gargoyles and rooftop views from the top of the tower. Next, work your way through the surrounding streets, keeping an eye out for highlights such as the Plaça de Sant Jaume and the beautiful Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar.

There are more staple sights in the Passeig de Gràcia, including a few must-see Gaudi creations. Make sure you swing by the La Pedrera apartment block, built by the architect right at the start of the 20th century. There’s also the colourful Casa Batlló, which is almost impossible to miss among the more ordinary buildings that surround it.

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La Rambla ramble

From here, it’s a short stroll to one of the city’s main thoroughfares – La Rambla. Snaking from Plaça de Catalunya to the waterfront, it forms the backbone of Barcelona. It’s a bustling hotspot full of buskers, tourists and locals, with a few unmissable sights to boot.

Check out the Liceu theatre, one of Europe’s finest opera houses.

Not only does the exterior make a stunning backdrop for a photo, it’s also worth joining a tour to see the auditorium inside. The nearby Boqueria food market is a great spot to soak up the atmosphere, even if you aren’t tempted by any of the treats on offer.

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Perfect paella

Head for a Spanish-style late lunch in the Barceloneta district, the ideal place to laze away an hour by the sea with great food and drink. One of the most popular eateries is Bravo inside the W Hotel. Nibble on tapas, then enjoy a lazy walk along the beach.

Next, hop on the Metro to visit one of the most iconic sights in Barcelona. La Sagrada Família, an epic church still unfinished after more than 130 years, is truly astounding. Its soaring gothic towers are visible from almost anywhere in the city. Once you’ve finished admiring the exterior, head inside to look at the incredible interior. If you’ve got time, it’s also worth taking a trip up the towers to soak up the amazing views.

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Keep it Reial

Head back to La Rambla on the Metro and make your way to the palm-tree-filled Placa Reial to sample delicious tapas. There are a few restaurants here to suit most budgets, but whichever you choose the food is sure to be great and you’ll end up wanting to watch the crowds go by while enjoying a drink or two.

If you’ve got the energy, finish off your night with a copa – a big glass filled with your choice of spirit and a mixer – on the Avinguda Diagonal.

Time to spare? Take your pick from any of the following sights:

  • Museu Picasso – Get an incredible insight into the life and work of the master artist in this museum, housed in a beautiful stone building
  • Camp Nou – You can spend an entire day wandering around Barcelona FC’s impressive stadium and its museum
  • Park Güell – Gaudi turned his hand to landscape gardening to create this beautiful park with some stunning views

Use our guide to inspire your next city break to vibrant Barcelona, one of Europe’s top destinations.

Posted: 26th May 2019.

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