CITY BREAKS TO Barcelona 2021/22

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ABOUT CITY BREAKS TO BARCELONA

City breaks to Barcelona really do have it all.

If you can’t decide between a beach-going short break, a hiking holiday or a cultural trip in 2021 and beyond, you don’t have to in Barcelona.

Compare prices today and save UP TO 70%!

  • Suitable for Families 80% 80%
  • Suitable for Couples 85% 85%
  • Suitable for Groups 87% 87%

Local Language

The official language of Spain is Spanish.

Currency

The official currency of Spain is the Euro (EUR).

Average Flight Time

Average flight time to Barcelona from the UK is around 2 hours.

Local Time

Barcelona is 1-hour ahead of the UK (CEST).

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City Breaks to Barcelona

Most major cities boast about the charms of their different neighbourhoods, but city breaks to Barcelona prove its main barrios really are distinct.

In 1714, the Old City was walled in after Catalonia picked the wrong side in the War of Spanish Succession. Only in the late 19th century did Barcelona expand naturally. Then, the modern, wide boulevards of Eixample were constructed, connecting the old barrios of El Born and Gotic to what were then separate towns, Sants and Gracía The latter is one of the city’s main bohemian outposts, and proud of it.

Architectural triumphs

It was during this fever of construction that some of the city’s most famous landmarks were built. Barcelona had become one of Europe’s intellectual and cultural hubs, nurturing the likes of Picasso and Antoni Gaudí.

Gaudí was the pioneer of Catalan Modernism, a curious architectural style that combined elements of Art Nouveau with more sculptural facades that bordered on the surreal. As well as his notorious work-in-progress, Sagrada Familia, and the magical green space of Park Güell, check out La Pedrera’s undulating walls on your Barcelona trip, and the multi-coloured, scaly-roofed Casa Battló. Passeig de Gracía is Eixample’s most important thoroughfare and is home to the swankiest bars and restaurants in Barcelona.

Many of the tourists who come on a party-minded break to Barcelona stick to the seafront area, but the hippest district right now is rough-and-ready Raval, with its multicultural vibes, edgy bars and cheap Barcelona stays.

It’s in El Born though – the old guilds’ quarter adjacent to the Gothic district – that you’ll find the more historic eateries and drinking holes amidst a maze of winding cobbled lanes.

From mountains to the Mediterranean

Elsewhere, Montjuïc is one of two ‘mountains’ that edge Barcelona; it overlooks the Mediterranean and is worth a climb during your holiday, as much for the views as for the castle at its summit. Avid hikers will prefer Tibidabo, a tree-covered ridge bordering the city at the other end, with many trails and a rather curious church.

The best time to go to Barcelona

There really isn’t a bad time for a Barcelona holiday in 2020 – the city basks in about 300 days of sun a year and is perfect for a weekend break. If you want to hit the beach, it’s best to visit from May onwards.

The main tourist hotspots are jam-packed by July, while a trip to Barcelona in August can be unbearably hot in the heart of the city.

Though you’re unlikely to go for a dip come December, the mild weather equates to cheap short breaks in Barcelona as temperatures level out until after the New Year.

Things to do in Barcelona

It’s a sin to stick to the beaches in Barcelona, tempting though they may be.

There are several essential stops among the city’s iconic modernist architecture, older Gothic buildings, awesome churches and beautiful parks, plus more than a few captivating museums to boot.

Sagrada Familia

Despite construction beginning more than 130 years ago, Barcelona’s most famous landmark is unique partly for not being finished.
Gaudí’s crowning masterpiece had only one facade when the architect died in a tram accident, but the church-in-progress is already a mind-blowing fantasia of sculptural detail. Each generation’s contribution is easily discerned by the lighter and darker tones and subtly different styles.

Sagrada Familia will be finished in time for the centenary of Gaudí’s death in 2026.

Casa Battló

Another of Gaudí’s most-lauded works is Casa Battló on Passeig de Gracía, which is a true wonder inside and out.

The undulating roof is covered in pink-and-blue tiles, rather like the scales of a dragon (or so we imagine), while the facade is adorned with broken ceramics in rainbow colours, as well as balconies like animal skeletons and an entrance resembling the jaws of a beast.

The audio guide here explains most of the curvaceous, often magical interior, as well as Gaudí’s motives and influences. Many of Gaudí’s buildings are expensive to get into, but take a stroll up Passeig de Gracía to see the facades of two of the finest, for free. Casa Batlló is at number 43 and La Pedrera is on the corner with Carrer de Provenca.

Santa Maria del Mar

Even if you’re not a fan of churches, you’ll love Santa Maria del Mar. Its perfect proportions are mind-boggling, while the interior of narrow stained-glass windows and aged pillars will have your jaw hitting the ground.

It’s thought to be the last surviving example of Catalan-Gothic architecture (much of the other Gothic churches were destroyed during the Civil War) and it’s much prized for having supposedly been built by local people – look for the two workers depicted on the doors carrying stones down from Montjuïc.

Museu Picasso

Barcelona is credited with nurturing the talent of Picasso during its heyday as Europe’s cultural capital in the early part of the 20th century. Fittingly, then, the city’s Picasso museum has one of the largest collections of the great artist’s work anywhere in the world.

Park Güell

By now you might be thinking of Barcelona as the city that Gaudí built – but the pioneer of Catalan Modernism looms large with good reason.

Park Güell is a stunning wilderness hovering above the city, punctuated by giant sculpted ribs that resemble natural caverns, and a sculptural park showing off the best of the architect’s broken-ceramics method, including his iconic lizard.

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