Flight and hotel Barcelona
A trip to magnificent Barcelona
Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region of eastern Spain, is one of the most vibrant and cultured cities in Europe. The metropolis is famed for its glorious Mediterranean climate, delicious food and surrounding mountains offering stunning vistas of the city. Explore the medieval Barri Gotic neighbourhood and the charming Las Ramblas before heading to the beach and taking a dip in the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. With a flight to and hotel in Barcelona, you can enjoy the delights of Gaudi, visit world-class museums and tuck into tapas, all in one sunny day.
What to know before visiting Barcelona
Barcelona El Prat International Airport (BCN) is the main point of entry for travellers venturing on city breaks in Barcelona. Several companies run transfer services between the airport and the city centre, and the RENFE R2 train operates a service every 30 minutes. Some airlines fly to Reus (REU) and Girona-Costa Brava (GRO) airports, which can be reached via coach in around 90 minutes. There are plenty of flights available from Dublin and Cork.
Spanish and Catalan are both spoken by locals, and most people working in customer-facing industries will have enough English to communicate effectively. The local currency is the euro, and with a flight to Barcelona, you'll be one hour ahead of the United Kingdom.
When is the best time to visit Barcelona?
Spain's glorious Mediterranian climate is perfect for package holidays in Barcelona throughout the spring and autumn months. During these periods, temperatures hover around the low twenties, ideal for sightseeing and exploring on a weekend in Barcelona. June, July and August are the hottest months and the best time to hit the city beaches and soak up the best of the charming outdoor Mediterranean culture.
Winter is the quietest, but also the cheapest. While you likely won't be able to spend much of your time on the beach, temperatures still reach 15°C regularly – very pleasant weather for exploring the markets and museums.
What to do in Barcelona
A flight to and hotel in Barcelona make the perfect opportunity to grab your walking shoes and explore this beautiful city on foot. Visit pretty Parc de la Ciutadella and the Montjuïc Castle, and join locals for an afternoon picnic. Admiring the work of Gaudi is one of the highlights of a weekend in Barcelona. Some of his most iconic works include the unfinished Sagrada Família basilica and Park Güell – both essential stops on trips to Barcelona.
Despite being known as one of the more popular locations in the city, vibrant Las Ramblas is a must-see during city breaks in Barcelona. If you prefer something more low key, the city's first local market, which opened in 1840, is not to be missed. While Boqueria Market primarily sells local edibles, there are a few vendors selling trinkets, clothes and accessories. Barcelona is a cultural and arts hub and there are plenty of museums, both mainstream and independent, to see. Check local listings for temporary exhibits. Permanent highlights include:
- Museu Picasso, one of the most extensive collections of the famed artist's work
- Arts Santa Mònica, a wonderful venue that hosts a range of temporary exhibitions
- CCCB, a cultural hub showcasing talks, debates, screenings and musical performances
- Fundació Suñol, an excellent collection of modern art located in Passeig de Gràcia
- Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art in Plaça dels Àngels, one of the finest collections of art in Europe
Where to visit in Barcelona
Barcelona has often been voted the world's number-one beach city. There are several beaches in the vicinity, but a few of the best are Sant Miquel, Barceloneta and Bogatell. Plaça de Catalunya, filled with fountains, is an opulent central square and the perfect spot for a selfie. Catch a flamenco show at Tablao de Carmen, or a cheaper alternative at JazzSí Club for a great night out. Barcelona is one of Europe's premier shopping destinations and shopaholics can pick up everything from high-street brands to kitsch items. La Roca Village, a short drive outside the city, is an excellent spot for picking up brands with big discounts and Avinguda del Portal de l'Angel is the place to head for your staple stores.
What to eat when you visit Barcelona
Lazy evenings dining al fresco on delicious tapas are a must on package holidays in Barcelona. Local favourites include olives, chorizo, patatas bravas and slow-roasted pork. One tapas dish to try, bombas, dates back to the Spanish Civil War. Created to resemble small grenades, the small round potato croquettes are served with a spicy red sauce that echoes the explosiveness of this delectable dish's origins.
Another iconic dish to sample when you travel to Barcelona is, of course, paella. This rice-based dish packed with fresh seafood is the cornerstone of every Spanish celebration. Food in Spain emphasises high-quality ingredients cooked simply, and no dish represents this better than Pa amb tomàquet. This freshly baked bread rubbed with garlic and fresh tomato couldn't be tastier.
What can you bring back from Barcelona?
Barcelona features numerous high street stores offering the usual range of clothes, technology and accessories. However, there are also plenty of gifts that exude the character and charm of the city. Spain is known for its production of espardenyes, and a pair of these cloth shoes make a perfectly practical Mediterranean gift. Vermouth, which has seen a resurgence in the Barcelona culinary scene, never disappoints loved ones back home. Cava, Spanish sparkling wine, is another guaranteed crowd pleaser.