Barcelona is the perfect city break. A wonderful balance of tourist attractions, glorious architecture and miles of sandy beaches lined with beach bars and tasty tapas spots. Coloured with a passionate fight for its independence, Barcelona is part of Catalonia, a wealthy and productive region of North Spain, and their celebration of their roots is evident throughout the city. And whilst Barcelona is a glittering cosmopolitan city of culture and history, it is not in-fact the capital of Spain (Madrid in case you were wondering), so why visit Barcelona instead?
I'll admit that before visiting Barcelona I knew nothing of it's history or Catalonia's struggle for independence. Barcelona falls under the North Spain region named Catalonia, an area known to be more productive and wealthier than other regions of Spain and therefore are unhappy with how taxes are spent and controlled in Madrid. A controversial referendum last year, declared illegal, showed that 90% voted in favour of the independence, demonstrating a suppressed unhappiness in the region. That being said there are continuous reminders of Barcelona's Catalonian background, with the streets lined with the yellow and red flags showing a constant celebration their nationality.
In addition to their Catalonian identity, Barcelona also celebrate their incredibly designed streets and buildings, the responsibility of Antoni Gaudí. A Catalan architect at the heart of the legendary La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Casa Batlló to name a few Barcelona is a worth a visit purely to see these beautiful structures.
A city of culture and history Barcelona is also a great destination due to its easy going eating style, whilst most locals eat late with lots of small dishes its great to relax and indulge in lots of tapas dishes, with great wine or sangria. Offering something for everyone; culture, its history and struggle for independence, architecture, delicious tapas, lively beaches and a buzzing night life, Barcelona is a great city break destination for all.
Search flights to Barcelona with my favourite bargain flight website at the SkyScanner link below.
Currency: Euro €
Honestly the exchange rate is pretty poor at the moment, the best I could get before my trip in Aug 2018 was around €1.10 for €1.00
Some common words to know before you travel:
Hello = Hola, Thank you = Gracias, Please = Por Favor, Excuse me = Disculpe, Bill = Cuenta
Time Difference: +1 Hour
Best Time to Visit: This all depends on personal preference, because Barcelona would probably be great all year round. Whilst it was early 30°C's during August if you'd prefer not to be dripping in sweat all day then spring time would probably be your best bet, with hotel prices also drastically dropping outside of the busy summer holiday season.
Flight Time: 2 hours 20 mins from the UK
Price Range: Given that Barcelona is a notorious tourist city destination I was expecting food and drink prices to be in the London range (expecting no less than €8/9 euros for a pint), that being said I was pleasantly surprised. Of course it is extortionate in La Rambla, arguably the most touristy area of Barcelona, however in the rest of the city, food and drink is pretty reasonable, with maybe 3/4 tapas dishes and a litre of Sangria totalling around €35.
Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out the best reviewed hotels and restaurants in Barcelona using our TripAdvisor Link here