City break holidays to Barcelona tick off tree-lined shopping streets, modernista masterpieces from legendary architects, and a top-notch dining scene, all cosied up to the bold blue waters of the Med.

City breaks in Barcelona

Catalonia’s capital is a smorgasbord of bustling street markets, Gothic architecture, blonde sandy beaches, tapas bars, and widescreen, tree-lined boulevards. Las Ramblas is at the heart of the action – this pedestrianised street’s jam-packed with restaurants, souvenir stalls, and street performers, and it’s the main link between the city’s main square – Placa de Catalunya – and the seafront. Loads of the hotels in our Barcelona collection are pitched within a 10-minute stroll of the city centre sights, and there’s a shedload of metro stops to whizz you round the city, too.

Modernista architecture

Gaudi’s footprint is stamped all over Spain’s second-biggest city, with his handiwork lurking around pretty much every corner. Casa Milà and Casa Batlló are the two famous Gaudi houses that you’ll spot on the postcards – they’re just a 10-minute stroll from Barcelona’s main square, Placa de Catalunya. But it’s La Sagrada Familia that really gets the tourists filling their camera roll – building work on this humungous Gothic-style cathedral kicked off way back in 1882, and it’s still being tinkered with today – they reckon it might be finished by 2026.

Superb shopping

Barcelona’s like Christmas and a birthday all at once for shopaholics, with big-name designers sitting side-by-side with budget-friendly souvenir stalls. Passeig de Gràcia’s the go-to street for the big brand hitters. It’s got the Placa de Catalunya at one end and the Avinguda Diagonal at the other – a near seven-mile stretch of street that shears the city in two. Perhaps Barca’s most famous street, though, is Las Ramblas – this bustling boulevard connects the city’s main square to the seafront, and lines up street stalls, high-street labels, al fresco restaurants, and street performers along its seemingly never-ending pedestrian pathway.

Beachfront eats

One of the most popular sweeps of sand in Barcelona is La Barceloneta. And it comes with a big helping of restaurants that make the most of their seafront location. They serve up the city’s best seafood, fresh from the net. Try it mixed into a paella or fideuà, or order a selection of things to try at a tapas bar, like baby squid and prawns.

At a Glance

  • Marvel at Gaudi’s masterpieces across the city
  • Snap up a souvenir along bustling Las Ramblas
  • Catch a match at Europe’s largest football stadium