Hola, pirates! Not sure how best to spend those precious vacation days? Then stylish Barcelona is your one-stop destination for a cosmopolitan city trip, a cultural expedition, and a relaxed beach break. The Spanish coastal city has much to offer to travellers with a varied agenda, so we've whittled down our top tips for enjoying it to the full.
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1. If you're planning to indulge your inner culture vulture and see Barcelona's stunning Gaudi sites, book your tickets well in advance. Queues for La Sagrida Familia, Park Guell, and La Pedrera can be lengthy and tickets more expensive on the day of arrival. Preserve your precious tapas time and purchase your attraction tickets before arriving. You'll even get to skip the queues!
2. It's easy to walk between the stunning sights of Barcelona, but all that time afoot is sure to catch up with you! Thankfully, there's a number of serene beaches around the city for relaxing with a sangria, including Barceloneta, Bogatell and Mar Bella. However, Editor Cecilia Borjeson recommends beating the usual crowds of holidaymakers and escaping off the beaten track.
"For a more chilled beach experience away, you can catch the train to Sant Pol de Mar beach, which also has a selection of cosy restaurants dotted along the seafront serving the catch of the day" she recommends.
3. No trip to Spain is complete without a feast of famous Spanish delicacies! Barcelona in particular has a thriving culinary scene. While you're there, make sure to sample the iconic seafood dish paella, as well as traditional tapas dishes like potatas bravas, croquetes and pan con tomate.
But for the real foodies among you, Senior Editor Sam Katterfield recommends heading to Mercat Boqueria for a "stunning visual and olfactory sensation." Think fresh fruit, cheeses, meats, candies and juice. We're feeling hungry already...
4. For the adrenaline-seeking traveller, social media manager Floraidh Clement recommends renting bikes, rollerblades or even skateboards to whizz around the bike-friendly city. These can be rented from Deviant Bikes.
She says: "There's plenty to see in Barcelona, from the spectacles of the Gaudi sites to the bohemian Gothic quarter, and what better way to see it all than on wheels? Just don't forget to pick up a bike lock when stopping for a siesta...."
5. In the Les Corts neighbourhood of the city lies the home of FC Barcelona, the 99,000 seater stadium. Whether you're a football fan or not, the experience of seeing the impressive home of one of Europe's most prestigious teams can't be understated.
The dizzying scale of the largest arena in Europe tour can be seen personally on guided or self guided tours.