A weekend in…
BEFORE YOU GO
... allow us to point out some easy ways to get more out of your city trip to Barcelona. As is so often the case, the secret lies in the preparation. When should you go? What’s the best way to get there? Where should you stay? Which items are indispensabl
When to go?
Let’s start by stating the obvious: there is no bad time to go to Barcelona! Located about 1,000 kilometres south of the United Kingdom, the city is always in a bit of a summer mood. Yet, in terms of weather, the best time to head to Catalonia is in spring or autumn, when the temperatures are delightfully soft. If you prefer 30 degrees and up, summer is the perfect time to go, but beware: the city can be packed with tourists during July and August, so prepare to queue everywhere you go. Another lessthan-ideal time to visit is during the last week of February, when the Mobile World Congress hits the city. As modern-day tech-gods such as Mark Zuckerberg travel to Barcelona for the event, hotel fares, unsurprisingly, tend to skyrocket.
What to pack?
Forgive us the optimism, but sunscreen and sunglasses are musthaves when travelling to Barcelona, regardless of when you go. The city may have the occasional gloomy day – or, in summer, an inferno-like thunderstorm every few weeks – but the sun usually shows itself for a good number of hours every day. Perhaps also bring a burglar-proof backpack or a bum bag with you. In the European capital of pickpocketing, you had better keep an eye on that phone and wallet of yours.
What to book?
To avoid queues and the waiting time, it is wise to book a couple of activities in advance. To visit the Sagrada Familia or Park Güell, you need to make an appointment. The
slots tend to fill up quickly, and it can be difficult to find a vacant slot within the last few days before your visit, so the sooner you book, the better. The same rule applies if you want to get your hands on tickets for a football match in Camp Nou: book these as early as possible. If you want to grab a bite in one of Barcelona’s famous Michelin-star restaurants, you often have to make a reservation months in advance. In a regular restaurant, however, you can usually just walk in without a reservation. As Spanish people tend to eat a couple of hours later than the Brits and most northern Europeans, your stomach may start to rumble long before the Spanish herds head to the restaurants.
How to get there?
Catching a flight to Barcelona is easy. From London, British Airways, Vueling, EasyJet and Ryanair offer over a dozen direct flights to Barcelona-El Prat Airport a day. From most other British and European airports, you’ll be able to hop on a plane to the Catalan capital just as easily.
Where to stay?
Pretty much all major hotel chains are represented in Barcelona. If you crave a room with an ocean view, Hotel Arts and W Barcelona (both from €350 per night) are the places to go. Not only do these lush paradises offer exquisite service and plenty of facilities, but they are major landmarks of the city’s skyline, as well. Nonetheless, you can travel to Barcelona on a shoestring just as easily. In every corner of the city, you’ll find numerous hostels, guest houses and tiny hotels, where you can stay at a more affordable price.