Ready to explore Barcelona? This Barcelona travel guide is a compilation of all the information we gathered from our recent trip. I hope you find it useful in planning your trip to Barcelona.

Topics covered in this Barcelona travel guide include:

How to Get From El Prat Airport (BCN) to Barcelona City Center
WiFi and Cell Phone Roaming
Tips to Avoid Pickpockets in Barcelona
Ways to Get Around Barcelona
Top Attractions in Barcelona
Free Things to Do in Barcelona
Dishes to Try in Barcelona
Where to Stay in Barcelona
Barcelona Travel Tips

How to Get From El Prat Airport (BCN) to Barcelona City Centre

AeroBus barcelona

We took AeroBus which was convenient and economical at €10.20 per person for a round trip (“return ticket” on their site). The bus picks up from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, with a few stops in the city before the final destination, Pl. Catalunya. We purchased tickets in advance and showed them on our mobile device when we were ready to board the bus. Since we had return tickets, the bus driver printed out paper tickets for us to hold on to for our return trip. With busses running every five to ten minutes, it was a short wait to get on. The best part is the buses are equipped with free WiFi and power plugs.

Not up for the AeroBus? Check out the Barcelona Airport website for a list of all the options.

WiFi and Cell Phone Roaming

Complimentary WiFi is easy to find in Barcelona. The minute we landed at El Prat Airport we were able to get connected to the airport WiFi. Many restaurants, bars, even museums offer free WiFi. Thanks to the accessibility of WiFi, we spent the entire trip with our mobile phones on airplane mode.

It’s good to research your cell phone carrier’s international roaming charges before you go. With our Verizon Unlimited plan, we have the option to turn on Verizon’s Travel Pass which we did for this trip just in case we need to use it. For $10/day per line we have access to our Unlimited plan to make calls, send text messages and use data (with some limitations).

We’ve heard from several travelers that they like the international plans offered by T-Mobile.

Tips to Avoid Pickpockets in Barcelona

Avoid Pickpockets in Barcelona

One concern when traveling to Barcelona is pickpockets. Some have even called Barcelona the pickpocketing capital of the world. Whether that statement is true or not, it’s important to be aware of pickpockets anywhere you go. We take precautions against pickpockets even when we travel around the United States.

I use the PacSafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag. It’s the perfect size to hold my mobile phone, passport, credit cards, cash and a few other items.

Joe uses the Maxpedition Pouch, which is secured to his belt and a carabiner is used to secure the zippers.

The key is to be aware of your surroundings. Check out Rick Steves’ article on Outsmarting Pickpockets and Thieves.

Ways to Get Around Barcelona

bicing bicycle rental barcelona

Walking is one of the best way to see the city. We walked everywhere averaging 10 kilometers a day. If you ask us, it’s the best way to see the city if you’re not a hurry to get somewhere.

Bicycles are available for rent throughout the city. Options range from self-service via Bicing to full-service via tour operators.

Public metro and bus transit system in Barcelona is easy to use. If you plan on riding the bus or metro a few times, I recommend getting a T10 card. This allows you to take 10 trips for €10.20, a much better deal than €2.20 per ticket.

Top Attractions in Barcelona

sagrada familia barcelona

Now on to the fun stuff! You’ve arrived in Barcelona and it’s time to see the sights. These are the top attractions in Barcelona that you’ll find on probably every Things to Do in Barcelona list.

Park Güell – Designed by Antoni Gaudí, the park represents his naturalist phase drawing inspiration from nature. This organic style would carry over to his designs of La Sagrada Familia. This popular park requires booking tickets in advance. We recommend arriving before the park opens to beat the crowds.

Sagrada Familia – Designed by Antoni Gaudí, the basilica has been under construction for 136 years. To date, it’s only 70% complete. We recommend walking by at night time for a different experience.

As you walk around Barcelona, you’ll find many buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí such as Casa BatllóCasa Milà, and Casa Vicens.

Museu Picasso – this museum has a wonderful collection of Picasso’s work. Admission is free first Sunday of each month and Thursdays from 6pm to 9:30pm.

Montjuïc – there is quite a bit to do and see on this well known hill. Pack a picnic and plan to spend a day exploring the area including the 1992 Olympic stadium.

La Rambla (Las Ramblas) is a famous street in Barcelona packed with tourists and locals. Start at the Font de Canaletes and walk towards Mirador de Colom for the full experience. Don’t forget to pop into the most well known public market in Barcelona, Mercado de La Boqueria.

Free Things to Do in Barcelona

Bunkers del Carmel barcelona

Admission fees to all the major attractions can add up quickly. If you’re a budget traveler like me, here are some fun and free things in to do in Barcelona.

Arc de Triomf – not to be confused with the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, this arc was built for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair.

Bunkers del Carmel – if you’re up for a hike with a rewarding view of Barcelona, pack a picnic and head up to the bunkers.

Font de Canaletes – at the top of Las Ramblas is a famous fountain where the locals gather for celebrations. We were told by the locals that if you drink out of this fountain, you’ll come back to Barcelona.

Mirador de Colom – at the end of Las Ramblas is a monument to Christopher Columbus. There is a fee if you want to go to the top the monument.

Font Màgica – the magic fountain, music and light show at Montjuïc takes place at different times throughout the year. Be sure to check the schedule for current show times.

Museum Free Admission Days – most museums in Barcelona offer free admission days. Find the museum you’re interested in for more information or check out Barcelona Navigator’s guide on free museum days.

Street Art – as you walk around Barcelona, you’ll notice quite a bit of graffiti and street art throughout the city. There are many artists in the city and you can find some of them at Street Art BCN. We met Secle Style during our visit and enjoyed seeing her street art around the city.

Dishes to Try in Barcelona

There are so many dishes to try in Barcelona we have two other posts dedicated to some of the best food in Barcelona.

Eat Like a Local in Barcelona

Barcelona Food Guide

Where to Stay in Barcelona

AirBNB Barcelona

There are plenty of hotels, hostels and apartments for rent in Barcelona. After evaluating costs we decided to book shared apartments through AirBNB. Each location provided free WiFi, full use of the kitchen, and free laundry. Being able to make coffee every morning and cook our own meals not only saved us money, but it made us feel at home. If you decide to go the AirBNB route, we have a referral link that will give you a credit towards your first booking.

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