Fragments of antiquity, medieval masterpieces, and modernity peacefully coexist in the eternal city of Barcelona. The narrow cobblestone streets naturally intertwine with the wide highways, and the sound of the ships coming into port echoes the bell ringing of churches and cathedrals. Barcelona's mood constantly changes depending on the season and time of day, but it is always hospitable and ready to surprise at every turn. City’s arsenal includes Gothic churches and Gaudi masterpieces, monasteries, stadiums, parks, and museums. Barcelona has managed to keep the spirit of antiquity and its historic appearance and become a comfortable, modern city.
Architectural masterpieces, unique museums, and magnificent beaches offer tourists an absolute joy. The works of the great Gaudi, the Gothic Quarter, the open-air architectural museum, the monument to Christopher Columbus, and the Tibidabo and Montjuic mountains are waiting to be explored in the city of Barcelona!
The best time to visit Barcelona
The best time to visit Barcelona is in the summer. During this season, you can combine city-sightseeing, shopping, and beach activities. But it has a disadvantage: there are a lot of tourists in summer, so there are the inevitable queues and inflated prices. Another disadvantage is the heat. But by the end of September, the heat goes down, the flow of tourists significantly decreases, prices are creeping down, and the sea is still warm and gentle. In the winter, the best time for vacation is the Christmas season. During this time, Barcelona is fantastically beautiful.
Transport in Barcelona
Barcelona's public transport system includes the metro, buses, streetcars, the Rodalies urban trains (RENFE), and the FGC trains. For most tourist routes in Barcelona, the metro is enough to explore the city. But if you buy an ATM general pass, you can use all types of transport within the fare zone indicated on it. This pass saves both money and nerves, because it is easy to get confused by trains in Barcelona.
Metro in Barcelona
The Metro is a very efficient way to get around Barcelona. Metro opens at 5:00 and closes at 24:00, on Friday at 2:00 and on Saturday morning it runs until 0:00. The only inconvenience for traveles is that some lines are operated by TMV, and some are operated by FGC, and transferring between lines of different companies requires additional turnstiles and entrance fees unless you use a pass. The cost of a one-way trip is 2.20 EUR, so it is better for tourists to buy a ticket for 10 trips (T-10) for 10.20 EUR for fare zone 1, in which most attractions are located. The same tickets can be used on buses, streetcars, the Catalan railroad FGC, and the main trains of RENFE. Also convenient are the single 2-5 day passes, which entitle you to an unlimited number of trips on the subway and bus.
City trains in Barcelona
In addition to the metro, there are other forms of rail transport in Barcelona. Sometimes it may be confusing because they often also use underground stations, although they do not belong to the metro system. Such stations are marked at the entrance not with the letter M but with the logos of the operating companies — FGC or Rodalies. It makes sense to use these trains not so much to explore the city as to travel around the area. For example, the coastal rail line, which runs through many resort suburbs to Blanes (fare zone 6), is owned by Rodalies.
Other types of city transport in Barcelona
There are only six long tram lines in Barcelona. Trams run almost on the subway schedule. They are fast and take an average of a couple of minutes to make one stop. The buses are not so simple: their schedule depends on the day of the week; there are a lot of routes and they are quite confusing. You also have to catch them by hand at the bus stop and stop them at the push of a button if you need to get off. Even though many have a scoreboard with stop numbers, it is highly recommended for tourists to use buses in Barcelona to stock up on the appropriate mobile app. The bus network starts at 5:30 and finishes at 10:30, although there are a few night buses. Fares for the metro, buses, and trams are the same.
Taxi in Barcelona
Taxis aren't hard to find in Barcelona: they're black and yellow cars that can be found everywhere. There are 4 fares for getting around the city, depending on the hours of the day and day of the week. The starting price is about 2,20 EUR (it increases for taxis ordered in advance). Further, the cost of the trip is calculated on the meter in increments of 1.30 EUR. The vast majority of Barcelona taxi drivers are honest, but to be absolutely sure, you can tell ahead that you'll need a receipt. A taxi from Barcelona airport to the city center will cost 35-40 EUR.
Bikes in Barcelona
You can rent a bike in Barcelona from one of the private companies. Prices vary greatly depending on the rental company's location, the type of bike, and the rental conditions; on average, you can find a bike for 9 euros per day. It is also possible to find an electric bike for about 16 EUR. Some bike rental companies organize guided tours of the center for about 3-4 hours at EUR 40-50.
Renting a car in Barcelona
Renting a car in Barcelona is possible with well-known companies, such as GetRentacar. But it makes sense to do it if you're going to spend more time outside the city. The cost of renting an A-class car for a day will cost about 66 EUR. If you rent a car for several days (from three), the price for one day may be 30-40 EUR. In addition, you need to take care of parking spaces for the night; it can cost a pretty penny. Public parking is difficult to find and expensive (an average of 18-28 EUR per day). Moreover, it is divided into several types, each with its own rules and restrictions. All this encourages many travelers who do not want to use public transport to rent bicycles or travel by metro in Barcelona instead of cars.
This tourist card gives you free use of all means of public transport in Barcelona, including metro and the train from the airport, and entitles you to free or discounted admission to many interesting places for tourists. There are cards for a period of 3 to 5 days, which cost from 45 EUR. There are also children's cards from 21 EUR for children aged 4-12.