There is no doubt Barcelona is a huge city with countless attractions for visitors, but having only a few days for a quick getaway, you can get to know the most important sights, as long as you know how to maximize your time in Barcelona. Read this post to learn how to make the most of a short getaway to Barcelona.
Where to Stay in Barcelona
In the Catalan capital, you will find a multitude of accommodations to suit all interests and budgets, but if you want to make the most of your visit, we recommend you choose from the following areas:
- Catalonia Square: the heart of Barcelona, close to Paseo de Gracia, Las Ramblas, La Pedrera, or the Gothic Quarter. In addition, you will be within walking distance of subways and bus stops.
- Gothic Quarter: if you choose the old quarter of the capital, you will have access to the best bars, restaurants, and stores, as well as a labyrinth of beautiful narrow streets where you can wander around and take amazing pictures.
- El Born: near the Gothic Quarter, this is the bohemian area of Barcelona, with plenty of options for dining out and drinks without going too far from the center.
- La Barceloneta: if you are in the mood for sun and beach tourism, this is the best option for you, and you will have easy access to the rest of the city.
- Plaza España — Sants: the area of the station is ideal for short trips, as it will allow you to leave your luggage as soon as possible and make the most of your time.
How to Get Around Barcelona
As in all big cities, Barcelona’s public transport system is modern and widespread, allowing you to move around the city easily. The Catalan capital has 11 subway lines and 108 bus services, which will allow you to travel across the city from north to south and from east to west quickly and smoothly.
Advantages of the Bus Tours
In addition, if you are short of time and want to visit many sights, there is one more option: the «Bus Turistic», with which you can discover most of the landmarks along one of its itineraries:
- Blue Route: circular line with stops at Eixample, Francesc Macià — Diagonal, Diagonal — Les Corts, Futbol Club Barcelona, Palau Reial — Pavellons Güell, Monestir de Pedralbes, Sarrià, Tramvia Blau — Tibidabo, Park Güell, Sant Pau — Recinte Modernista, Sagrada Familia, Passeig de Gràcia — La Pedrera, Casa Batlló — Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Plaça Catalunya.
- Red Route: Circular line with stops at Plaça Catalunya, Arc de Triomf — Barcelona Nord, Glòries, Port Olímpic — Zoo, Museu d’Història de Catalunya, Port Vell, Colom — Museu Marítim, World Trade Center, Miramar — Jardins Costa i Llobera, Telefèric de Montjuïc, Fundació Joan Miró, Anella Olímpica, MNAC, Poble Espanyol, CaixaForum — Pavelló Mies Van der Rohe, Plaça d’Espanya, Estació de Sants, Francesc Macià — Diagonal, Passeig de Gràcia — La Pedrera, Casa Batlló — Fundació Antoni Tàpies.
Also, at specific times of the year, there are more routes, like the Barcelona Christmas Tour, to see the Christmas lights, the Barcelona Night Tour Bus, a lovely night tour, or the Streetcar Blau, which goes up to Tibidabo.
The advantage of the Bus Tours, if you come for a short visit, is that you can purchase a 24 or 48 hours ticket that will allow you to get on and off the bus as many times as you want and combine the different routes, allowing you to explore all the most important landmarks quickly.
Barcelona City Pass
Most likely you’ve already heard of the City Pass, because it is available in most major cities around the world, offering two main advantages:
- Save money, as it includes a 10% discount on tickets to the main attractions.
- Save time, since it allows you to access the included landmarks with no queues, which is essential for quick getaways, in which every minute counts.
Moreover, the price of the City Pass includes the Bus Tour. Two birds with one stone!
Free Tour of Barcelona
If you choose to do a free tour, you will discover the main landmarks and the history of the city on a walking tour with an expert who will guide you through Barcelona, explaining the most important facts. So if you wish, you can make a more detailed visit the next time you come to Barcelona. What’s the best part? There is no fixed price, but you pay according to how you liked the tour and the guide. But don’t be mistaken, they are usually very good!
Barcelona at Night
You’ve made the most of the day, you’ve visited some sights, you’ve stopped by a cool restaurant or one of the trendy coffee shops, and you may even have done some shopping… But, once night falls, are you going to head back to the hotel? Nightlife in Barcelona has a lot to offer: theaters, concerts, musicals… How would you like to book a ticket for the best flamenco show in town?