Cheap flights to Barcelona depart from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports near London. A variety of other UK airports are also served by a variety of charter and low-cost carriers. International flights to Barcelona will arrive at Barcelona El Prat Airport. EU and UK citizens do not require a visa to enter Spain. Upon leaving a flight to Barcelona, visitors have several options for getting to Barcelona city. Taxis can be hired just outside the arrival halls of both terminals. Aerobus operates round trip bus services from the airport to Plaza Catalunya. Trains into Barcelona city are available from the Airport Railway station in Terminal Two. Passengers coming from Terminal One can make use of shuttle services to get to them the train station in Terminal Two.
Barcelona has a fairly extensive metro system which services the city centre as well as nearby suburbs. TMB operates the large network of bus, tram and metro routes – the website has a useful ‘Journey Planner’ function that helps you organise journeys beforehand. Purchase a Barcelona Card to save money on public transport. The cards are valid for between two to five days, and allow free unlimited journeys on the Barcelona public transport system. They can be bought online through the RENFE website, or picked up from various tourist information offices around Barcelona. Other types of tickets can be obtained from automatic ticket machines in the train and metro stations. Taxi fares are relatively inexpensive compared to fares in London. The licensed taxis are metered, but a small surcharge may apply for extra or oversized luggage. They can be recognised by their striking yellow and black livery.
Just a few hours away from London, Barcelona is a wonderful destination for a short city break. Gaudi’s fantastical constructions are some of the city’s most recognisable sights. Discover the dream-like landscape of Parc Guell, with its multi-coloured dragon and curving mosaic benches. The Gaudi Museum – formerly the architect’s house – is also situated in the park. Other masterpieces include the Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia. Stroll down tree-lined La Rambla and visit the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), Barcelona’s evocative medieval city.
The small neighbourhood of El Born has recently been transformed into one of Barcelona’s more fashionable areas. The narrow streets here house a mix of hip boutiques and decades old businesses. E&A Gispert is a narrow little shop established in the 1850s, selling a fragrant assortment of coffee, spices and nuts. Set Portes is an elegant restaurant serving up a classic Catalan menu of paella, seafood and hearty meat dishes. Shop with the locals at La Boqueria Market on La Rambla. This complex houses an array of stalls selling seafood, charcuterie, preserves and much more. The Espit Chupitos chain of bars is known for the variety of shots on offer – there are over 500 shots on its menu, so even the pickiest customer will find one to suit them. The Heliogabal club should suit those looking for something more sophisticated – it hosts frequent jazz nights and poetry readings by local artists.