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11th Sep 2015

JOE’s European Weekender: Barcelona

Simon Lloyd

As winter approaches, the idea of leaving the country for a few days becomes more and more appealing.

Thanks to low-budget airfares, us Brits can be in a range of the Continent’s top cities within just a few hours. And to help you decide where you’ll be going on your next European weekender, we’ve run the rule over a number of potential destinations.


Barcelona, Spain.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created with an Iphone 6plus) Residential buildings stand on the city skyline on April 10, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona's city hall has put a regulation in motion that bans large tourist groups visiting Barcelona's most popular market. Barcelona's authorities are debating how to control the number of tourist in the city as an estimated 10 million people are due to visit this year. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)


One of the Continent’s greatest cities. It’s busy, has a decent climate and is crammed with some of Europe’s best cultural sites and sport. And it’s less than a three-hour flight from anywhere in the UK.


Where to stay?

Staying within striking distance of the city’s main street, Las Ramblas, is a safe bet. It’s no great surprise that hotels close to the centre of Barcelona can be quite expensive (the same goes for most cities). That said, you can definitely find a base in the centre of it all that you won’t pay through the nose for.

If there’s a few of you, renting a large apartment is an option. You’d typically pay a flat fee for one, so the more of you there are, the cheaper your stay is.

word of warning though: most places like this will expect a fee on top of this to cover any damage that might be done. If you want the deposit back at the end of your stay make sure your partying doesn’t get too out of hand when indoors.

Views of Barcelona

Where to eat?

Again, the great thing with Barcelona is that if you need to keep the cost down, you can. It’s easy enough to grab some local tapas or a beer and a burger for less than 10 euros, even in the city’s main touristy areas.

If you’re away with the boys, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to do the whole wining and dining thing, but the option is there if you wish.


Where to play?

Depending on the time of year, enjoying Barcelona’s beaches can be a great option. If you’ve had a big night out, it’s the perfect place to see off a hangover.

At night, there are plenty of bars to head to on Barcelona’s main street, Las Ramblas, but don’t rule out sinking a few Estrellas in amongst the narrow streets of the city’s Gothic Quarter. The waterfront, rejuvenated by the 1992 Olympic Games, also boasts a number of bars and clubs.


Where to watch sport?

FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou is a reason to visit the city in itself. If it’s not a matchday, a tour of the stadium is recommended – you can go pitchside, through the club’s impressive trophy collection and into the commentary positions.

If you’re there on a match day, as long as it’s not a big game against Real Madrid, you should be able to get tickets. More than likely, these will be in the nosebleed seats near the top, but to say you’ve seen Barca play at Camp Nou is still worth it.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10: A general views of the stadium priot to the UEFA Champions League group F match between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germanin FC at Camp Nou Stadium on December 10, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The city’s other team, Espanyol have recently moved into a new stadium. If Barca are out of town, it’s still a great experience to watch a game there, too.