Barcelona airport has evolved into a key European hub, with international flights arriving from all over the world almost 24/7. And despite the sheer volume of flights, the airport is only a 25 minute drive (20 minutes without traffic) into the central city, which, lets be real, is ideal after any long haul flight.
Taxis are a flat fee of 29 euros to the center, or you can hop on the frequent airport bus which will take you right into Plaça de Catalunya for 5.90€ per person. Buses leave approximately every ten minutes.
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, (or La Boqueria) is a large, open air market which attracts tourists and locals alike. Yes, it is pretty touristic, however locals do actually come here to purchase their weekly produce, and it’s the best spot to sample as much Spanish cuisine as your stomach desires. So make sure you schedule in an hour to admire the stalls and snack on a whole lot of tapas.
La Boqueria, La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona
It’s not a trip to Barcelona without a little (or a lot) of Gaudi. La Sagrada Familia is undoubtedly the most notorious, and worth visiting to get your Gaudi fill. It doesn’t hurt to pre-book your visit online to avoid waiting in any queues on the day. Try to ignore the cranes – the cathedral has been under construction for 133 years, however it’s now on the home stretch.
La Sagrada Familia, Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013
Head down to Barceloneta beach, walk along the beachfront boardwalk at sunset and then grab a drink at one of the the local chiringuitos (basically an open shack built on sand).
EAT (SOME MORE)
For local Catalonian cuisine and a fun night out, head to Barcelona institution El Nacional, which is basically a huge (but extremely chic) warehouse that is home to 4 separate restaurants and, a bar. The interiors are highly Instagram-worthy but more importantly it’s the kind of place where fun will be had. My favourite restaurant of the bunch is La Taperia, where rather than ordering directly from the menu, incredibly charismatic waiters swan around yelling out the names of the dishes they have on offer. You then call them over, and voila, dinner is served.
El Nacional, Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis, 08007 Barcelona
Despite all the jamón, Barcelona is a surprisingly vegetarian-friendly city. Vegan and vegetarian options are constantly popping up on menus all over – although if you want to win over you non-vege friends, Green Spot is the place to do it. Every dish is executed with artful precision; it’s the kind of restaurant that excels at vegetarian food, rather than just making limp vegetarian alternatives. Not to mention the interiors are perfectly slick with plenty of greenery.
Green Spot, Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12, 08003 Barcelona
For great coffee, delicious brunch and cooler than thou interiors for the minimally inclined, Wer-Haus is always a winner. Just a few steps away from this Passeig de Gràcia it’s easily one of the slickest concept store come cafe in Barcelona.
Wer-Haus, Carrer d’Aragó, 287, 08009 Barcelona