It's the city that Guadi transformed into his immortal masterpiece. It's second biggest city in Spain and the capital of Catalonia. It's one of the most beautiful and most touristed cities in the world.
It's about 13km from Barcelona's El Prat Airport to the city center. If you decide to take a taxi to get to the city, it takes about 35-40 minutes with a cost of around €30-40, depending on traffic and where in the city center you're going. Instead of a taxi, you can take the Aerobus to its last stop, which is the most important square in the city: Plaça de Catalunya. Or you can take the RENFE train or the TMB 46 bus to the city center. Once you're downtown the metro system goes everywhere and is really easy to understand. You can take the metro, buses or the tram to anywhere in the city. If you get a T10 metro ticket or buy a Barcelona Card, the fees go down a bit for public transportation. There's also Hop on-Hop off buses that go everywhere and tend to be very popular with tourists.
For those who can afford it, the best hotels in the city are the El Palace Hotel, Hotel Arts, Hotel DO Plaça Reial, Mercer Hotel Barcelona, Alma Barcelona or the Casa Camper Hotel Barcelona. If you want stylish and comfortable, but where you don't pay an arm and a leg, then Deco Apartments Barcelona, Hotel Jazz, Hotel Villa Emilia or EuroPark may be right for you. If you just want centrally located and clean, then Glory Facade Guest House, Padilla's Guest House or Acta Antibes are all good options.
Gaudi's famous works: La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila (La Pedrera), Park Güell, Palau Güell. Ciutat Vella (the old city): Plaça de Catalunya, Las Ramblas, the Palau de la Música Catalana, Santa Eulalia Cathedral , the Gothic Quarter, Santa María del Mar (St. Mary's) Cathedral, Ciutadella Park, La Barceloneta, the Port Vella, the Columbus Monument, Reial Square, Gran Theatre del Liceu and the Mercat de la Boqueria, In Sants-Montjuïc: La Font Magica (The Magic Fountain), Montjuïc Park, Poble Espanyol (The Spanish Village) and España Square. Some important museums: the Picasso Museum, Fundació Joan Miró, CaixaForum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) , the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA). If you have time, 48km outside of the city is the Monastery of Montserrat, the Costa Brava beach, and the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres.
The most important shopping street of the city is the Passeig de Gracia. There are some nice shopping malls like L'Illa Diagonal, Les Glories and Diagonal Mar on the Avenida Diagonal. Other major shopping centers: Gran Via 2, El Triangle and Maremagnum. There are lovely little designer boutiques in the side streets around El Born, La Rambla and Barri Gottic. In Plaça Catalunya there is the chain store El Corte Ingles. For those who enjoy markets, the Mercat de la Boqueria, Mercadillo de la Plaça de Sant Josep, Mercat Del Encants and the Mercat de la Concepcio are all great.
Barcelona's world famous city beaches, parks, cafes, and small bars are fantastic places to meet locals and chat away to your heart’s content. If you're interested in football, you can go to Barcelona FC's famous Nou Camp stadium both to watch a match with fans or to take a tour when the team's not playing. To see the highest point in the city you can take a cable car to Montjuïc from Barceloneta or you can see the whole city by tour boats that leave from the harbor. If you arrive in season, you can go to Teatre del Liceu or Palau de la Musica Catalana to watch one of their performances, or go to El Tablao de Carmen for a Flamenco show. For those traveling with children, you can go to Mount Tibadabo's amusement park and also look at the views of the city, or go to L'Aquarium de Barcelona or for a little science you can relax at the CosmoCaixa.