INTRODUCTION

Catalan fire and Spanish flair combine to delightful effect in the famous city of Barcelona. One of the busiest cruise ports in the world – according to 2017 figures – and a staple of any Mediterranean cruise, Barcelona has the power to enchant.

A heavyweight cultural and commercial destination, there is plenty to see and do whether your interests lie in culture, shopping or food. Barcelona offers all three with aplomb.

PORT VIEW

There’s a frequent bus shuttle that leaves from the Port of Barcelona to the Christopher Columbus Monument in the city centre for €4 return.

Alternatively, guests can take a taxi from the port into the centre for roughly €10-15 – both journeys take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Depending on the dock guests are ported in, passengers could potentially walk into the city centre – but expect a good 20-minute walk.

NEED TO KNOW

A majority of the sites in Barcelona can be reached on foot, providing plenty of time for visitors to wander and take in the warm air. However, public transport is also extensive.

While in the city, take in one of the many traditional tapas restaurants. The La Boqueria market is also hugely popular.

Keep an eye on personal belongings. Barcelona is well-known for its pickpockets so make sure to take only what is necessary.

WHAT WE LOVE

Sagrada Familia: No visit to Barcelona is complete without a visit to Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. A sprawling mess of gothic spires and arches – resembling something out of a Tolkien fantasy novel rather than a church – it is impossible to stand underneath its grand scale and not be impressed. Incredibly, a mere 144 years after construction was first started in 1882, the Sagrada Familia is scheduled to be finished in 2026 – coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

Nou Camp: One for the football fans only, perhaps. But there’s no denying that when it comes to the beautiful game, it doesn’t get much more beautiful than Barcelona FC. From the modern maestro Messi to the golden generation spearheaded by Johann Cruyff, this is an opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with generations of footballing royalty. Take a tour around the ground, see their five European Cups and shout orders from the home team bench. An experience the football fanatic won’t soon forget.

Park Güell: Want more Gaudi? The famous Park Güell in the north of the city is an absolute must. A playground for the famous Spanish architect, this is what happens when you ask an eccentric genius to landscape your garden. Make your way uphill past fairytale houses – and that iconic mosaic dragon – and you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of the city as good as you’ll find anywhere else.

SELLING TIPS

  • Tempt foodie lovers with great cuisine
  • Those who want to indulge in boutique shopping should visit the Born neighbourhood
  • Plenty of sun to bask in