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Overview

A surreal journey into the capital of Catalan

A surreal journey into the capital of Catalan

In a word, the capital of Catalonia is surreal. Dreamlike, whimsical, daring. It’s no wonder the likes of Dali, Miró and Gaudi sought to create their works of wonderment here.

After the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona went through a rebirth, and is now one of the hottest destinations in all of Europe. Swinging nightlife, sultry beaches, the sound of the language (hint : it’s not Spanish) collides to create a sensuous, sublime city.

About Spain


You might arrive into the Barcelona Franca train station. First built in 1929, it is Barcelona’s most beautiful. With marble, bronze and crystal, the décor, compare to design elements around the rest of the city, is far more traditional and opulent. What makes the station different is that it is made of two buildings surrounding the rail tracks in the shape of a U.

Exit the station and be immediately captivated by the city’s energy. Sounds of Spanish guitar echo through the monumental walls of the station, while the aroma of coffee and churros vie for your attention.

There’s so much more to Barcelona than La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and the Joan Miro Museum. When you get off the bus, explore the charming squares, dark passageways of the Gothic Quarter and the beaches, thriving with bombshell Catalonians. And remember to leave your “Spanish” in Madrid.

Barcelona will allow you to enjoy a day at the beach in the morning while admiring Gaudi architecture in the afternoon. In the evening, hit up a cava bar to celebrate your surroundings. Cava is the Spanish version of Champagne. Delightful and bubbly, just like the locals. One of the best places in Barcelona to try some is El Xampanet. Operated by the same family since the 1930’s and close to the Picasso Museum, you’ll find marble tables and walls adorned with colorful tiles. For the brave, try the typical, accompanied snack : Anchovies in vinegar.

Being in Barcelona will leave you with a smile as stretched as Las Ramblas. While strolling the maze of boulevards, keep a mindful eye on your belongings while playing card games with a street vendor. Located between the Gothic Quarter and El Raval, using a Barcelona Card you can arrive via the Catalunya metro station, one of the city’s oldest and most iconic. Meet an old or new friend in front of Font de Canaletes, a popular gathering spot in the center of it all.

From the Barcelona Sants station, you can take off on numerous day trips using RENFE services or perhaps even a quick trip on an AVE high-speed train. The tiny fishing village of Cadaqués, just about two hours away by train to Figueres and taxi/bus to Cadaques has the requisite craggy coastline and vistas that when sundrenched, turn to colors only seen in one’s imagination. Which is probably why many painters came to be inspired, including native son, Salvador Dali. The artist spent his summers here, using the gorgeous backdrop as his inspirational turn to Surrealism.

The wide pedestrian boulevard of La Rambla is lined with trees, cafés, restaurants, florists and shops. Don’t miss to taste the famous and absolutely delicious tapas, the excellent Penedés wine, the Pa amb tomàquet (slice of bread with tomato) and the mouthwatering Gambes al’allet (garlic prawns).

Visit the Mercat de la Boquería, a popular market where you’ll find fresh food. You can also visit the El Portal de l’Àngel, a large pedestrian walkway with many new and stylish shops to browse in. Shopping fans can head to Gràcia, 1 km north of the centre of Barcelona at the north end of the Passeig de Gràcia.

_ Barcelona Turism
7-9 Passatge de la Concepció, 08008 Barcelona
Tel: +34 93 28 53 834

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

Barcelona station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Barcelona.

Barcelona city guide

Travel forum

From our travel community

Train to barcelona Hello I need to find interesting luxury train or hightspeed train to Barcelona max 1-2 overnight - no changing trains - do you have idea what is available in August 2018 ? Thank you Martina

Martina Húsková | 18 January 2019 | 0 Comments
Station - luggage lockers I would like travel to a city for a short visit, then travel to another city on the same day. Are there secure lockers to store luggage at the station while you see the city?

Michael McPhearson | 12 July 2023 complete | 50 Comments
How can i travel with my pass on train from madrid to paris & milan to barcelona overnight & not lose day (...) Hello,Im travelling with my family of 6 to Europe for about 15 days.We are doing the following itinerary Madrid-paris-rome-milan-barcelona-madridIn order not to lose any day we wanted to do the most traveling part at night. But we cannot find (...)

Allegra Nadal | 17 December 2027 complete | 5 Comments
Granada - direct train routes to granada Why do train routes from Madrid, Barcelona, Cordoba or Seville TO Granada not appear? There are some direct routes I know. When will Granada have their high speed rails completed. I know Antequera is one town to make connections but I (...)

Mary Louise Turner | 17 November 2028 complete | 2 Comments
Does eurail pass cover barcelona, lyon, mulhouse, luxembourg, brussels, bruges, ghent, and antwerp? Hi,we are coming from Colorado,USA this coming April.We need to know if the 4 country 15 day Eurail provides for regular (not high speed) passenger train travel thru Barcelona,Spain,to Lyon France to Mulhouse France,to Luxembourg,to (...)

jim clardy | 17 November 2011 complete | 3 Comments

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Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Not recommended |
    "My booking was 1st class with meal but the refused to give me any meal the said you have to pay and the website is not updated. The seats not like the shownew in the website picture "

  • Fast  |
    "It was our family first time travel in Europe by train as we usual drove wherever convenience. This high speed train was very impressive of its comfort, steady and speedy. We were surprised to the hospitality, food, drink offered, and have to say thank you to those assistants although one of them was not very friendly when I asked for a sparkling wine. The other lady was pleased to send me the drink when I requested again. Overall was V Good. "

  • Excellent |
    "Very nice "

  • Convenience
    good trip |
    "Train was on time for the most part. A lot of leg room. A bit pricy for being almost 7 hours "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Unavailable seat |
    "When I went to sit in my assigned seat there was another individual in it. The staff on the train did not move him and there were no other first class seats available so I had to sit in second class. "

  • Convenience
    it was a good experience  |
    "one small suggestion, when the tickets been booked we need to get the train tickets directly to the mailing address. instead of downloading the tickets going through many option. bit confusing. "

  • Convenience
    Flawless ! |
    "We took 3 train trips in Spain, and all went off without a hitch. I bought the tickets online months in advance and printed our boarding passes at home. We walked right on the trains and took our assigned seats. Nothing easier or convenient than that ! "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Enjoyable Trip |
    "Trip was enjoyable thanks to the beautiful scenery. "

  • Convenience
    Amazing ! |
    "Thank you for a wonderful trip in the Renfe high speed train from Barcelona to Madrid. Everything from booking the ticket via the internet, arriving at the train and boarding, the journey itself and disembarking in Madrid went seamless and without any problem. What stands out is the friendliness and professional behaviour of the staff on the train. Thank you for a relaxing and comfortable trip. "

  • Convenience
    Nice trip Barcelona to Madrid |
    "We purchased our tickets in the US and everything went well. The train ride was smooth and fast going almost 200 MPH on some portions of the route. Chairs were comfortable and there was refreshments available. The US should try to match this service. "

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