Wherever you’re located, chances are, you’re less than a few flights away from Barcelona. Low-budget airlines offer direct flights between Barcelona and many large cities in Europe and the Middle East. If you're already on the continent, know that buses and trains run regular routes. There are direct flights from the Eastern seaboard of the United States, and from elsewhere, U.S. and European carriers offer two- to three-leg trips.
Barcelona is very walkable. If you’re staying in the city center, most of the things you want to see will be within a 30- to 45-minute walk. When your feet get tired or you just want to make better time, public transportation is the way to go. A TMB 10 pass is a solid investment for most travelers, as it’s multiperson and works on all public transport.
The Catalan capital is heaven for culture-vultures. Art enthusiasts should hit the national art galleries in addition to Miró and Picasso museums. Archaeology buffs will find plenty of exhibits and ruins to explore, many of them Roman. And, stating the obvious, Gaudí’s buildings are a must for anyone who hasn't seen them before.
Locals love to celebrate. There's a holiday of some sort nearly every month. In addition to yearly neighborhood festivals (one of the most famous is Gràcia), watch out for Saint’s Day festivals, holiday festivals, and La Mercè, Barcelona’s weekend-long party complete with parades, dancing giants, fire-breathing dragons, and free concerts.
Chris Ciolli is a freelance writer, translator and blogger based in Barcelona, where she writes about food, culture and travel in Catalonia and the rest of the world. Her work has been featured in LaVanguardia.com, Sweet Lemon Magazine, Fathom, and The Barcelona Metropolitan, as well as other publications. Between projects, Chris paints, makes jewelry, and tries her hand at recreating the recipes she collects at every destination—available on her blog, Midwesterner Abroad.