A city of art, culture and endless sangria, a trip to Barcelona should be on everyone’s bucket-list. And, with return flights to the Spanish city starting at just £40, this summer’s looking like the perfect time to visit. Here’s HC Manchester’s essential guide.
When booking accommodation for your trip, we recommend staying close to Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most central boulevard. It’s close to Barceloneta beach [perfect for soaking up the Catalan heat] and the historic Gothic Quarter and provides a perfect starting point from which to explore the rest of the city.
Las Ramblas itself is a vibrant 1.2 kilometre pedestrian street, often bustling with tourists due to its abundance of cafés, food kiosks and souvenir stands. However, this does make the area popular with pickpockets and scam artists so it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings.
Barcelona’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi’s influence can be seen in distinctive buildings across the city although, perhaps the most spectacular is the Sagrada Família, a large unfinished Roman Catholic church with Gothic and Art Nouveau influences.
The sheer size of the church is astounding. So large it looms over surrounding buildings, you can easily spend a whole morning basking in its beauty and exploring all aspects of the temple. Tickets to enter the church start at 15 euros and can be bought in advance to your trip.
If contemporary art is more your thing, MACBA – The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art – which holds a permanent collection of over 5,000 works from the mid-20th century onward, is the place for you.
The area in front of the museum is known among skateboarders to be one of the most iconic spots for the sport in the world and also features a large mural by American artist, Keith Haring.
If you visit just one cultural site in Barcelona and spend the rest of your time drunk on sangria on the beach, it simply has to be Park Güell, another of Gaudi’s great works. Park Güell sits upon Carmel Hill, and, while you can walk there, it’s highly recommended to take advantage of public transport.
The park provides a wonderful mixture of modernist architecture and nature in all its glory as well as an unrivalled view of the city, particularly on a clear and sunny day, making it the city’s most popular Instagram spot.
It would be a crime to visit Barcelona without indulging in tapas and paella, both of which are available for varying prices at restaurants around the city.
And, for a fresh and healthy brunch, Her Campus recommends Flax & Kale Tallers, a flexitarian restaurant by Teresa Carles that serves dishes designed to be both delicious and highly nutritious. The coconut milk parfait is incredible and a freshly made juice named ‘Party Recovery’ is the perfect antidote for too much sangria.
If we were to describe Barcelona in one word, it would have to be vibrant. The fresh food, colourful architecture and energy of the city will send you into sensory overload and leave you craving more.