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Dear Barcelona:

Jackie standing in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona

Dear Barcelona:

Barcelona’s neighborhoods offer a charming blend of modernity and history.

We’ll be back. We were enthralled by your stunning architecture, exotic cuisine, street artists, and historical significance. 

Clay standing in the ocean looking out at the horizon.
There is nothing like standing in a giant body of water to put things into perspective, in this case the Baleric Sea, which feeds into the Mediterranean.

We stayed at the AC Hotel in Gava Mar, a seaside resort community 10 minutes from the airport. It gives you the perfect blend of beachtime and easy access to Barecelona’s downtown area, which is only 25ish minutes away by bus. 

We were head over heels in love with the city and everything it has to offer. Unfortunately, we only spent about six hours actually exploring the city (because of the afore-mentioned beachtime).

On our next visit, we’ll immerse ourselves in the places we didn’t tour or see while riding on the Hop On Hop Off Bus. And when we go back, we promise we’ll share more information about some of the amazing things to do in Barcelona.

As a side note, rumor has it that Barcelona is pronounced Barthelona because the king who ruled the area had a lisp. He officially changed the pronunciation of the city, and it stuck. However, we’ve since learned that this is most likely a myth as explained in this article by by Miquel Hudin.

Spanish tapas on a table with an NA beer and a spritz
We did, of course, make time for tapas!

Planning your trip

While we didn’t get to see most of what the city has to offer, we’ll do better next time following these tips, which we learned after the fact: 

  • Secure tickets in advance for popular sites such as Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and the Picasso Museum to avoid long lines. 
  • Explore markets like La Boqueria, and enjoy tapas at local bars (we did do this and they were divine). 
  • Plan time for leisurely strolls along Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter.
  • Lastly, check the calendar for festivals or events that may enhance your experience.

Getting There

A bald man sitting on a chair outside, wearing orange tennis shoes and playing a guitar.
Similar to Porto, Barcelona is full of amazingly talented street performers.

Reaching Barcelona is convenient, whether you’re traveling internationally or domestically. Here are the primary options:

  • By Air: Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) is the city’s main airport, located about 15 kilometers southwest of the city center. From the airport, you can take an Uber or taxi, the Aerobus, or the Nord train to the city center.
  • By Train: Barcelona is well-connected by high-speed trains (AVE) from major Spanish cities like Madrid, Seville, and Valencia. The main train stations are Barcelona Sants and Barcelona França. International trains from France also arrive at these stations.
  • By Bus: Long-distance buses connect Barcelona with various European cities. The primary bus station is Barcelona Nord, located near the Arc de Triomf.
  • By Car: Driving to Barcelona is feasible, with well-maintained highways connecting it to the rest of Spain and neighboring countries. Parking can be challenging and expensive in the city, so consider using public transport once you arrive.
  • By Sea: Barcelona is a popular stop for Mediterranean cruises. The Port of Barcelona is close to the city center, making it easy to access major attractions upon arrival.
  • Once in Barcelona, you can use the city’s extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, and the metro, to get around easily.

Clay has worked with advertisers and marketers to find unique solutions to their business challenges. His insight informs clients’ choices across several mediums, including direct mail, print, branded merchandise and digital advertising.

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