Barcelona is one of Europe's most popular weekend getaway destinations. All ingredients for a fantastic holiday is within reach. Great shopping, cool bars and a famous nightlife is highly appreciated by the visitors. Add flavors from all over Spain as well as international cuisine and you have the perfect spot for a great time.
Barcelona is in general a city in which you can easily navigate as a tourist, although the Barri Gotic (the old town) can be a bit tricky with its many narrow alleys, twists and turns and dead end roads. Most of the central parts of Barcelona is organized in a grid, with Avenida Diagonal crossing 45 degrees through as a good navigation point for non-residents. La Rambla, the main avenue, is more of a tourist area. The further away from the sea you get, the less tourists you will find, until you come to either Sagrada Familia or Park Güell.
Inside Barri Gotic you can admire the beautiful Plaça Reial, a large, enclosed plaza with restaurants and small, old style shops.
If you are into architecture, Barcelona has lots on offer. More than anyone else, Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí has set his footprint on Barcelona. Gaudí was head architect for Barcelona's incredibly impressive basilika Sagrada Familia. Construction of this magnificent church started in 1883 and is still not finished. Maybe a cliché, but visiting Sagrada Familia is a must if you are a first timer in Barcelona. Dimensions are massive, and when walking on archways or climbing narrow stairs in the towers you will probably understand why construction has lasted for more than 135 years.
Parc Güell is another of Gaudís famous attractions. This colorful park with mosaic sculptures is located west in the city and is reachable by metro. Parc Güell is a family friendly attraction.
Close to Placa Catalunya you can admire some of Gaudí's most famous housing projects. The two most famous are Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.
Outside of Barcelona
Barcelona Airport is your doorstep to a lot of exciting places, from picturesque beach towns like Sitges and Platja De Bellamar to inland exploration like the tiny country Andorra. If you rent a car you can go all the way from Barcelona to Andorra, visit France and head back to Barcelona in the same day.
In the port of Barcelona there are ferries to Mallorca and Ibiza, with connection to Menorca and Formentera. If you are up for a capital visit, Madrid is just a 2,5 hour express train ride away.