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

- Budget Travel · Lifestyle · Travel · Barcelona · FC Barcelona · United Kingdom · Catalonia · Mark Zuckerberg · Camp Nou · Michelin · London · British Airways · EasyJet · Ryanair · W Barcelona

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.

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Arc de Tri­omf.
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