Barcelona is unique. Located on the shores of the Mediterranean it enjoys, a warm and sunny climate almost year round and a fascinating cultural life few other cities can boast. Add to this, the beach which is only a short distance from the city centre, the hectic nightlife and the magnificent art nouveau buildings and it seems Barcelona has everything you could ask for.
At Friendly Rentals we have a wide selection of apartments in Barcelona: studio flats for business trips, romantic apartments, family-size properties with four or five bedrooms, apartments with sea views, flats with a terrace… If you’re looking for an alternative to luxury hotels, we can offer apartments in Barcelona city centre (Plaça de Catalunya, La Rambla, Sagrada Família, Plaça d’Espanya) and in the most enchanting neighbourhoods at far more affordable rates and with the added advantage of having a much bigger and totally private space. Our holiday apartments in Barcelona let you discover the city from a different perspective and give you a feel for local life as you discover the city’s customs and take part in its festivities, such as Sant Jordi, Les Festes de Gràcia and Christmas celebrations.
What is there to see in Barcelona?
Barcelona is world famous for its unique buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí, above all the Sagrada Família, La Pedrera and Park Güell, which was originally designed as a luxury housing estate. But these aren’t the only major sights to see in Barcelona. There are lots of other places with their own charm, including Hospital de Sant Pau, Casa Batlló and the stunning Palau de la Música Catalana, all must-see buildings on any Modernista tour of the city.
Barcelona has an ancient past, as witnessed in a number of Roman and medieval remains you will find on a stroll through the Born, Barri Gòtic and Raval neighbourhoods, which is also where you will find the Cathedral, Picasso Museum and Santa Maria del Mar church, among others.
For football fans, another unmissable sight in Barcelona is Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona, better known as Barça. Admission includes a visit to the stadium, including the pitch and entry to the museum, which has lots of photographs, players’ personal items and trophies.
At Friendly Rentals we have an agreement with the City Council and Barcelona Tourist Office that gives our guests exclusive deals on tickets for museums, shows and other activities.
Eating out in Barcelona
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with bars and restaurants serving food from all over the world. You won't have any trouble finding good places to eat.
Tapas and paella might be hard to beat, but you should also try some authentic Catalan cuisine. Some of the typical dishes you can eat in Barcelona are fricandó (thin slices of beef in a wild mushroom sauce), esqueixada (salt cod with curly endive and romesco sauce) and calçots (large spring onions eaten with romesco sauce). Not to mention the famous pa amb tomàquet (bread rubbed with tomatoes) served with ham, cheese and cold cuts.
Shopping in Barcelona
If you want to go shopping in Barcelona, check out the main shopping streets in the city centre. Portal de l’Àngel, Passeig de Gràcia, Pelai, Portaferrissa and Tallers are packed with fashion boutiques and clothes shops catering for every style.
There are also several shopping centres, including Maremagnum, right by the sea, and Las Arenas, a former bullring with great views over Montjuïc hill and the surrounding area.
The two most famous markets in Barcelona are La Boqueria, off La Rambla, and Santa Caterina, with a multicoloured roof. Markets are the perfect place to buy fresh food to turn into a delicious meal in your holiday apartment. You could also visit Els Encants flea market, next to the Design Museum, and check out the city’s cutting-edge architecture.
One of the Catalan capital’s huge pluses compared with other European cities is its string of beaches, less than half an hour away from the city centre by bus or metro. The best-known Barcelona beach is Barceloneta, but it’s only one of nine to choose from. They all have showers, lifeguards, beach bars and a whole range of other services you would expect to find on city beaches.
Sant Sebastià, Sant Miquel, Barceloneta and Somorrostro beaches, to the south of Port Olímpic, are the city’s oldest beaches. North of Port Olímpic you’ll find Nova Icària, Bogatell, Marbella, Nova Marbella and Llevant, including a sailing cub where you do a number of water sports.
Barcelona by night
Barcelona’s nightlife offers lots of different options, from sipping a beer or a cocktail on a pavement café to all kinds of nightclubs and concert halls. Although you’ll find bars and nightclubs open until the early hours in every neighbourhood in the city, some of the top party areas in Barcelona are Vila Olímpica and Passeig Marítim in Barceloneta, Poblenou, the Eixample, Carrer Aribau or Plaça Reial. The most popular nightclubs in Barcelona include Apolo, Razzmatazz, Otto Zutz Club, Opium and Carpe Diem.
Visiting Barcelona with kids
Barcelona is the perfect city to visit for a family holiday, with lots of places to go with children. Ciutadella Park, where you’ll also find the zoo, is a good place to start. If your kids like fish and sharks, head for the Aquarium. There are also several museums with great activities for children, including CosmoCaixa (the city’s science museum), the Museu Blau (natural sciences) and the Chocolate Museum. Another good option is Tibidabo funfair, where you can take in stunning views over Barcelona from 512 metres above sea level.
If you’ve already visited the main tourist sights in Barcelona and you’ve still got a day in hand, Port Aventura is only an hour away from Barcelona. It’s the most popular theme park in Spain and usually a bit hit with children.
The weather in Barcelona
The climate in Barcelona usually means warm temperatures and sun almost every day of the year. Summers are long and hot and winters are very mild. The few rainy days tend to come in autumn. In winter in Barcelona the temperature is usually around 8–12 ºC, while in summer it can easily go above 28 ºC. As a city by the sea, Barcelona can get hot and sticky, so unless you’re looking for sun and sand, you’re best to avoid travelling to Barcelona in August.
When is the best time of year to visit Barcelona?
Deciding which is the best time of year to visit Barcelona is a very personal decision, since its warm climate ensures there is never a bad time.
In spring, you can enjoy traditional festivities like Sant Jordi and festivals like Primavera Sound. Barcelona in summer is also full of music, in the form of Sónar, midsummer night (Sant Joan) and Les Festes de Gràcia. In September and October there are festivities celebrating La Mercè, the city’s patron saint, and La Diada, Catalonia’s national day. Winter is a good time to come if you’d like to visit the city with fewer tourists or to discover the beauty of Christmas in Barcelona.
What is there to see near Barcelona?
Without a doubt, one of the most popular excursions near Barcelona is Montserrat monastery and mountain, with its jagged outline. Sitges, only 20 minutes from Barcelona, is also worth a visit. Other cities near Barcelona with their own appeal include Girona, with its medieval city centre, and Tarragona, with its impressive Roman remains.
If you like wine, you can take a day trip to the Alella or Penedès winemaking regions, where you can visit many wineries and taste their wines. If you have several free days, you might want to think about discovering the beaches on the Costa Brava.
Why rent an apartment with Friendly Rentals?
Friendly Rentals has extensive experience in renting holiday apartments and offers expert customer service. Our apartments in Barcelona are located in the best neighbourhoods and are fully equipped with everything you need. All our properties are regularly inspected to ensure they meet the very highest quality standards. We aim to offer our guests the best possible service to ensure they have an unforgettable stay in Barcelona, whatever the purpose of their trip.