Barcelona in a few hours: tips for short stops and time between meetings
Article updated 15 April, 2019.
Are you stopping over at Barcelona? Are you a business traveller with a few hours of time? Follow our tips to see the best of the city in the limited time available.
Barcelona is a dynamic city, strategically located between the French border and the Spanish mediterranean coastline. If you find yourself passing through Barcelona and have a few hours to kill, this article is for you!
Make the most of a short stop in Barcelona
Guided visits are the best way of seeing as much as possible in a very short period of time. You’ll be able to get in to sites without queuing, and you’ll learn lots of fascinating details about the places in question.
Private visits to Sagrada Familia
- You’ll discover the edifice in the company of an authorised guide, who will explain the hidden symbolism present all over Sagrada Familia, tell you about the surprising life of Gaudí, and answer any question you may have.
- You’ll be free to stay for as long as you like once the guided part of your visit is finished.
Take a look at the Sagrada Familia guided visits that we recommend here.
A private tour for cruise passengers stopping off in Barcelona
Barcelona is a popular stop-off for Mediterranean cruise ships. Boats are generally in port from 9am to 5pm, giving you a day to explore the city.
We have an article written especially for cruise passengers stopping off in Barcelona which explains how to get from the port to the city centre, and contains all of the tips and advice you might need.
You can also take a tour specially designed for travellers stopping off in Barcelona. It lasts 4 hours, and it is a made-to-measure visit, it’s a great option to make the most of your time!
- The guide can even organise transfers to and from the port – one less thing to worry about!
The tour costs €250 (for up to 6 people – contact us for larger groups), and you’ll need to pay for tickets if you want to go in anywhere, as well as for transport. The taxi fee will come in at around €35; the public transport option works out at around €10. With the second option, you’ll save money, but you’ll have less time to visit the city. Your call!
Avoid queueing to save time
If you prefer not to take a guided tour, we recommend booking tickets to the monuments you want to visit in advance. That way, you’ll be able to get in without queueing, saving a considerable amount of time.
- For more information, see our book a visit or discount pass category!
Stopping off in Barcelona on a car journey
There are lots of tourist destinations to the south of Barcelona, including Valencia, Alicante, Benidorm and Cabo de Gata, or even the Costa Daurada or PortAventura. If you’re travelling by car, you’re almost certain to pass through Barcelona.
Drop in for a few hours on your way past to catch a glimpse of this fascinating city and stretch your legs a little!
If you’re travelling to or from a holiday destination, your car is bound to be full of luggage. In this case, on-street parking is not a good idea – there’s a risk of theft from, and damage to, the vehicle.
Avoid getting clamped…
The traffic police in Barcelona are eagle-eyed, and particularly merciless with foreign cars. If you park in an unauthorised spot or if you stay longer than you should have, there’s a good chance your car will be towed, even if it isn’t causing a problem.
If the worst comes to the worst, see our article Impounded vehicles in Barcelona: where and how to get your car back – but obviously, it’s better to choose your parking space carefully instead!
Make the most of free time during a business trip
Coming to Barcelona for work? You’ll find all of our top tips for business travellers in Barcelona in this article.
Flight changes in Barcelona
Barcelona isn’t a major air transport hub, but there’s still a chance you may find yourself changing planes there.
Getting to the city centre from the airport
Left luggage options
If you have bags with you, consider leaving them in a safe left-luggage facility in the city centre in order to make the most of your time in Barcelona. We recommend LockerBarcelona, a stone’s throw from Plaça Catalunya and the Aérobus stop, which is practical and budget-friendly.
Take us with you!
Go forth and explore!
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