Barcelona general Information
Barcelona is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is a cosmopolitan city that is colourful, prosperous and unique in that it is full of contrasts and surprises. There is always something going on and many things to see and do here, whether it’s relaxing on the beach or hiking up to Tibidabo following the beautiful Carretera de les Aigües, Barcelona has it all.
Barcelona and Catalonia have traditionally home to visionary and revolutionary artists. Besides the widely recognized Gaudi, the region also was home to various other artists such as Dali and Miro. Also Picasso (born in Malaga), grew up in Barcelona where he spent the years of his personal and artistic training. Barcelona is now home to wonderful museums dedicated to these wonderful artists.
The centre of the city is marked at Plaza de Cataluña, the biggest square in Barcelona. Many events take place here and it is also popular meeting point among locals and tourists. If you walk down from Plaza de Catalunya towards the sea you will probably en up on the Ramblas where you can find the old part of the city or Gothic's district to one side and the neighbourhood of Raval to the other side. The harbour and Port Vell will be found at the end of the Ramblas. Port Vell boasts some very up market and chic restaurants and yacht club which you might like to try out while you are here!
Maps & Transport
For complete Barcelona Map click HERE
Getting from the airport: Barcelona technically has three airports. El Prat is the biggest and closest to Barcelona, many think that this is Barcelona's only airport but we also have Girona and Reus which are about a one hour drive away from Barcelona. ChicRoomBarcelona provides private transports services from the airports to your apartment and from your apartment back to the airport at the end of your stay. We have designed a transfer service, either for business or pleasure trips. We also offer other transfer services and tours for your stay in Barcelona.
From El Prat airport, you can easily take a taxi in order to reach Barcelona city centre quickly and safely. The whole journey will be around 30 minutes, depending on the traffic, and will cost around 25-40 Euros depending on where you are staying.
There is a bus service that takes about half an hour to forty minutes, depending on traffic, and picks/drops off either at Plaza España or Plaza Cataluña. This service is called the ‘Aerobus’, or alternatively, there is a public bus, 46 which you can catch from Plaza Espana which stops at both terminal 1 and terminal 2. The train can also be your choice and it comes every 30 minutes and arrives in to Barcelona Sants station in 30 minutes.
Girona is about 100 km north from Barcelona. The bus stops in front of the airport at and takes you to the 'Estacion del Norte' in Barcelona within 1 hour.
Reus is about 1.5 hour to the south of Barcelona you can either take the train or the bus (which stops in front of the airport and drops you at Barcelona’s 'Estación Sants').
To navitage yourself around the city, there is an easy metro and bus system but Barcelona’s metro is the fastest way to get around. You can buy the tickets at any metro station and there are metro maps at every station which you can use to navigate around the city. It is very simple and nothing to be afraid of! Liceu, Drassanes, Plaza Cataluna are all up metro stations located up the Ramblas. For the harbour, you should get off the metro at Drassanes, for Port Vell and Barceloneta, take the metro to Barceloneta. The bus is also a good option. At every bus stop there is the route of each bus that leaves that stop. A common bus route for the beach is D20 which runs from Plaza Espana. If you purchase a transport ticket for your stay in Barcelona then you should know that this one ticket is valid on metro, train, bus, night bus and for funicular to Montjuic or Tibidabo. There is also the tourist bus which you can hop on and hop off of and it explores the whole city on 3 different routes.
Driving in Barcelona can be a bit difficult if you don’t know the city. As for parking, as in any other big city, it can be a problem to find a space or park inexpensively.
Barcelona and its ideal location next to the sea make the city even more attractive as you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Barcelona is also proud to have 4 km of beaches along the coast.
Barceloneta beach: a favourite with young tourist and locals. There are many chirinquitos and clubs such as Pacha, Opium, Shoko, CDLC and also the Ice Bar on the next beach – Port Olimpico. Visitors of the beach can swim and also try out some of the water sports the beach has to offer. You also are surrounded by many restaurants and seaside huts to try out some of the fresh local cuisine. Barceloneta beach is also listed number 1 in National Geographic’s top ten city beaches!
Nova Icaria beach, Bogatell and Mar Bella beach all have softer sands and has become more popular in recent years as it’s less crowded. Nova Icaria Beach is fun for all the family and boasts a game area complete with a ping-pong tables and volleyball courts. Bogatell is a beautiful beach and located about a 20 minute walk from Bogatell metro station. Mar Bella is twice the size of Nova Icaria and so there is plenty of room to sun bathe and any other beach side activities. You have the opportunity here to rent a sun bed.
Barcelona is well known for its shopping. There are many areas to shop including Rambla de Cataluna, Plaza Cataluna, Avenida del Portal de l’Angel, as well as one of the many shopping centres that you can find all over the city. Not only does it have prestigious streets full of all the designers you may need – Passeig de Gracia for example - but Barcelona also has many beautiful markets that include Els Encantes Vells antiques market and the Boqueria food market.
Some of the best shopping areas in central Barcelona are Passeig de Gracia and the streets to its southwest, Barri Gotic streets such as Carrer de la Portaferrissa, Carrer de la Boqueria, Carrer del Call, Carrer de la Llibreteria and Carrer de Ferran, and around Placa de Sant Josep Oriol.
If you want more independent boutique shops then have a wonder round el Born or even try up in the neighbourhood of Gracia.
If you are from outside the EU, you can also enjoy tax free shopping, just look out for the ‘Tax Free Shopping’ logo in shop windows, sometimes shops will offer a tax free service but might not display it. You can then claim the tax back at several centres in Barcelona.
The varied cuisine in Barcelona is undoubtedly a strength of the city. In Barcelona you can enjoy Catalan dishes such as fideuà or paella, tapas, etc. Some say that the best area of Barcelona for restaurants is Barceloneta where you will find the freshest seafood and some of the best seafood dishes in Barcelona. There are plenty there and so you won’t have any trouble finding one. For a real gourmet experience, why not try ‘El Nacional’. It consists of four bars and four restaurants and is open from noon to 1am every day. It doesn’t take reservations so you just need to turn up and see which cuisine you end up in! You should also look out for the ‘Menu del Dia’ that restaurants offer during the day, normally up until about 8pm. Most of these meals will include bread, a drink, a starter, main and dessert. They are always good value for money and delicious food to be chosen from set menus!
El Born is also a neighbourhood that is renowned for having a wide selection of different cuisine, from down to earth and original Spanish cuisine to gourmet international foods; some call it the food district of Barcelona. If you’re stuck for where to eat, head here and I’m sure one of the many restaurants will take your fancy. Whilst you’re here, check out ‘Creps al Born’ after dinner to satisfy that sweet craving...you won’t regret it! Not far from the neighbourhood of El Born you have Port Vell. At Port Vell you can find lots of top quality restaurants. If you fancy cocktails with a view then you should head up to the terrace on top of the Museu d'Historia de Catalunya. You will find the restaurant and terrace of 1881 which gives you nice views over the port and the harbour as well as the city. At the bottom of this musuem you also have many restaurants offering various seafood dishes fresh from the water! If you want to come to Barcelona to try the tapas then there are many restaurants in every area of the city that can offer traditional tapas. Some of these are, La Pepita (Calle de Corsega), Quimet i Quimet (Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes), De Tapa Madre (Carrer de Mallorca) and many more! If you want any dinner reccommedations then do not hesitate to ask!
Barcelona is also famous for its nightlife and the rich and varied range of clubs and bars. They say New York is the city that never sleeps, but Barcelona is ‘the city that naps in the afternoon then parties till sunrise’. There are many cocktail bars in the neighbourhood of El Born and Gotico as well as several 'alternative' bars. You will find nightclubs such as like Jamboree in Gotico and Moog in Raval, Razzmatazz in Poble Nou and Otto Zutz in Gracia which are all very popular and normally have an international crowd. Along the beach at Barceloneta you also will find a selection of night clubs and bars including Shoko, Opium, Pacha, CDLC, the DJ´s here vary and play a mix of house and electronic, you’ll also need to dress to impress, no trainers! Barcelona also boasts many rooftop bars and rooftop pool parties in every area which are a lot of fun underneath our all year round sun! If you’re a fan of music festivals then maybe you should plan your trip around the one of the many festivals that take place in Barcelona annually including Primavera Sound and Sonar - and that's only two! If you want to find out more about the festivals, click here! Alternatively, if you want to have fun during the day, you can hop on one of the many boat parties that leave from Barcelona during the summer, DJ’s, BBQ’s, drinking and lots more happen on board, if you want a party why not sign up for a boat trip down by the harbour.
There are over 55 museums in Barcelona and if you are staying longer in Barcelona it’s very recommendable to visit Dali Museum in Figueres and Cadaques which are located just outside Barcelona. You can reach Figueres in one hour and a half by car. There is also the Museu del Temple Expiatori de La Sagrada Familia that you should visit and if you’re interested in learning more about the history of Catalunya then the Musuem d’historia de Catalunya has many interesting exhibitions that deal with different periods of Catalunya’s history. You also have the Picasso museum located in the heart of el Born. Despite several interesting museums of such famous artists, surprisingly, the most visited museum it’s the F.C. Barcelona's Museum in the Camp Nou!
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