It doesn’t get more romantic than Barcelona. With its stunning location on the glittery Mediterranean Sea, grand parks and boulevards, awe-inspiring architecture, and dynamic food and cultural offerings, there’s no shortage of beauty in this fabled city. Come for the Antoni Gaudí architecture; stay for the people-watching in plazas, the vermouth and tapas in tucked-away bars, and the lively, distinct energy emanating from every corner.
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WHEN TO GO
March–May: This is one of the best times to visit Barcelona. The weather is idyllic, with long, sunny days and temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Prices are much cheaper than in the summer, and there are fewer crowds.
June–Aug.: Summertime is peak tourist season. Expect crowds, expensive prices and balmy weather.
Sept.–Oct.: Temperatures are relatively warm, and the summer crowds have dissipated, making both of these months ideal for visitors.
Nov.–Feb.: For budget travelers, this can be a good time to visit. November and February tend to be the cheapest months. The holidays are magical in Barcelona, albeit crowded.
NEED TO KNOW
Visas: U.S. citizens visiting for less than 90 days do not need to obtain a visa. Passports must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure (though six months is recommended).
Money: Local currency is the euro. ATMs are widely available throughout the city, and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
Travel Health: As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travelers should be fully vaccinated before going to Barcelona. Be sure to check airline requirements — as well as requirements at your destination, including (but not limited to) proof of vaccination, testing or quarantine — before you go. The Spanish Ministry of Health and the CDC are the best resources for up-to-date information and guidance. Before traveling, research and prepare for what to do if you get sick while away.
Getting Here: Barcelona’s main airport is Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN), about eight miles outside the city. To get from the airport to your final destination, you can opt to take the metro, ride the bus or hail a taxi. The Barcelona Sants Station (Estacio de Barcelona Sants) is the city’s main train station.
Getting Around: Getting around Barcelona is oh, so easy. The most convenient way to move around the city is by metro (use the FGC if you’re going further out), though there’s also an extensive bus system. Biking makes for a pleasurable way to see the sights, and the Old City is very walkable, with winding, narrow cobblestone streets.
Local Lingo: Both Spanish and Catalan are the official languages of Barcelona. Learning some simple Spanish greetings and phrases can be helpful. Hola! –Hello! Gracias! – Thank you! De nada. – You’re welcome. Hablas Ingles? – Do you speak English? Perdon! – Sorry! La cuenta, por favor. – The check, please.
Must-Have Apps: Citymapper; TMB App; Gaudi’s BCN; Barcelona Restaurants
Insider Tip: Don’t miss taking the funicular to the top of Tibidabo mountain, Barcelona’s highest peak at 512 meters (1,680 ft). Aside from incredible views of the city and coastline, there’s an amusement park, church and excellent restaurants to enjoy here.