Barcelona is one of those cities you can go back to again and again and you’ll always find something new to enjoy. This past weekend I returned to the city to host an event for my company, even though I was working all weekend I did manage to find time to discover some new restaurants and bars 🙂 Continue reading for some quick tips to use the next time you’re in this amazing city!
Where to stay in Barcelona
I always try to stay as close to La Rambla or Plaça de Catalunya as possible. From there you can walk to most of the city’s attractions and it’s a good spot for restaurants, bars and nightlife. If you’re on a tight budget I’d recommend one of the Be Hostels (I’ve stayed at a few), another option is to get an Airbnb rental…or if you’ve got some money to spend check out the Pulitzer Hotel and Hotel Catalonia Port (great locations and accommodation).
If you plan to use public transport more than three times during your visit consider purchasing a multi-day travel pass. Use your card for public transport; underground metro, Montjuïc funicular and bus (TMB), local train (FGC), tram (TRAM) and regional trains in Barcelona (Rodalies de Catalunya). You can use it to travel between the airport and the city center too, via metro line L9 Sud or Rodalies trains.
Bars and restaurants to try
There are TOO MANY fantastic bars and restaurants in the city so I’m just going to name the ones we went to this weekend. We spent Saturday night at the Pulitzer Terrace – it’s a great spot for a beer in the afternoon or cocktails after dinner; you’ll get to enjoy fresh air on the roof of the hotel and there’s live music during the week!
I’d also recommend eating at El Nacional, a multi-space restaurant located in the heart of Passeig de Grácia. A local friend took me here and we decided to eat at La Taperia; at this restaurant servers walk around with trays of different tapas – you can select the tapas you want to try as they pass by your table. The space itself is gorgeous so even if you don’t plan to eat stop inside and go to the bar for a pint of Estrella Damm and have a look!
If you’re looking for an unusual place to have a coffee break check out El Bosc de les Fades (forest of faries) – I first discovered this little cafe in 2011 and stop by every time I find myself in Barcelona.
How to get to and from the airport in Barcelona
As I mentioned I organized a conference in Barcelona this past weekend and getting to and from the airport was one of the most common questions I received from attendees. Below you can find the information I shared with my group; make sure to check your flights so you know if your flight arrives/departs from Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 if you plan to take the metro, train or Aerobus.
The L9 Sud line has stops at Terminal 1 (inside the building) and Terminal 2 (outside the building, next to train station) – check out this link for a list of stations thank connect to the L9 Sud Airport metro line.The cost for a single Airport metro ticket is €4.50 – just keep in mind this route may take longer than the Aerobus or taxi.
The Aerobus is the fastest way to reach the city center via public transport. It’s also the official shutlle bus service that connects Barcelona Airport (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) with the city center (Plaza de Catalunya) in just 35 minutes—and departures are every 5 minutes. There are stops at the most convenient points in Barcelona; Pl. Espanya, Gran Via-Urgell, Pl. Universidad and shuttles run 365 days of the year. Tickets are just €5.90 for a single ticket and €10.20 for round trip (children under 4 years travel free). The A1 bus goes to/from Terminal 1 and the A2 bus goes to/from Terminal 2. You can visit their website to purchase and print your ticket ahead of time.
There are taxi stops outside of T1 and T2 at the airport. The minimum charge for airport taxis is €20.00 regardless of the length of your journey; expect to pay between €25 – €40 depending on the number of people and luggage in your group. Confirm the total price beforehand – if you think you’re being over-charged ask for a receipt/ticket at the end of the journey (drivers are required to give you one upon request) so you can file a complaint.
The train runs from the airport to Barcelona about every 30 minutes (6:00 – 23:00); you can catch the train from El Clot, Passeig de Gracia, or Estacio Sants stations. The airport stop is called “Aeroport”. If you’re taking the train into the city you can get off at any of these stops and use the underground metro to reach your destination.
So what’s the best way to get to and from the Barcelona Airport?
Personally, I always take the Aerobus to and from the airport; it’s cheap, quick and the main bus stop is easy to find from the Plaza de Catalunya. If you’re traveling in a small group a taxi might be good option too!