The second largest city in Spain, Barcelona has a thriving night life, a rich cultural history dating back 2,000 years, and a modern, metropolitan lifestyle. The Barcelona Olympic Games brought international attention to this Spanish city in 1992 and has since become an incredibly popular tourist destination. There are always activities and events taking place in this thriving city, with art galleries, restaurants, night clubs and bars, parks, museums and shops. The weather is agreeable to most, pleasantly warm and enjoyable; within the city that was built for relaxation and enjoyment.
Barcelona is a massive city where traffic can be nightmarish at times. Having a small car will at least make it easier for you to negotiate rush-hour jams as well as drive through the city centre.
Driving in Barcelona
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Much like the majority of European cities, Barcelona can suffer from traffic jams that can occur not only due to the number of residents and visitors, but due to the many narrow streets.
It is strongly advised that drivers plan their journey well in advance using a very up-to-date map. Barcelona has been completely renovated in recent years, meaning many maps are now outdated.
Parking can be difficult in some areas, with different colours meaning different statuses. A blue space is open to anyone and can be paid for with a ticket machine. Green parking spaces are reserved for residents only; whilst white parking spaces are free for all to use, but are very rarely found.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Temple of Augustus is considered to be one of the main highlights of the city and offers some of the best views. Located upon a hill, a podium is accessible by a staircase that allows tourists to breathe in the expansive city from above.
La Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s most internationally famous buildings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The intricate design of the church is breath-taking and is equally appreciable by those both with and without religious beliefs.
While Barcelona isn’t commonly thought of as a beach resort, the beaches surrounding the city have been named number one in the world according to National Geographic. A trip to the city is incomplete without a trip to one of these wonderful beaches.
Families would be wise to visit during the winter months of December and January due to the family-orientated events and festivals taking place at that time of year. Cavalvada de Reis is a parade of the Three Wise Men and one of the most spectacular, colourful and fun festivals of the year.
Barcelona-El Prat International Airport is one of the largest in the country and offers what can be expected of such massive airports ‚Äì duty-free shopping, cafes, lockers and Wi-Fi.
Depending upon the terminal, the airport is based 12-14km from the city centre, making it incredibly easy to travel from to the centre.