La Sagrada Familia_Barcelona Solo Travel Guide

Ultimate Guide to Barcelona Solo Travel (2024)

UPDATED 5/28/24

Traveling solo can be a liberating experience and it doesn’t get much more freeing than soaking up the sultry Mediterranean vibes of Barcelona. If you’re looking to explore this vibrant city on your own, then you’ve come to the right place.

From riding the metro like a local to enjoying leisurely walks through culinary hotspots, find out how you can travel Barcelona with ease this ultimate, one-stop-shop Guide to Barcelona Solo Travel.

Compiled from my first-hand, solo travel to Barcelona, this guide has all things Barcelona travel tips with bonus budget travel tips, eco-travel tips, and more throughout.

When done, you’ll not only be confident to plan your solo trip to Barcelona, Spain, but book it as well. Let’s get you to Barcelona.

This Barcelona Travel Guide is intentionally written for the solo traveler, the first time Barcelona traveler, and/or older traveler (I am over 50 and have been solo traveling FOREVER) in mind. Yet, anyone can use this travel guide it to plan and book Barcelona travel.

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Ultimate Spain Solo Travel Guide

If you need more Spain travel tips to supplement your Barcelona travel planning, consult my ultimate Spain Solo Travel Guide full of tips on culture, entry requirements, currency, tipping, using electronics, safety, and a lot more to plan solo travel in Spain.

Large, historical, and happening, finding the right things to do alone in Barcelona, Spain for your trip could seem overwhelming. I’ve got you covered. Here’s my fabulous Barcelona 3 day Itinerary perfect for first-time Barcelona solo trip to help you get planning your solo travel in Spain. Better yet, get the instant download of the Ultimate Barcelona 3 Day PDF.

What is Barcelona Known For?

Barcelona is the capital of the Catalunya (Catalonia region) and Spain’s 2nd largest city.

Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona has 4.2 km of sandy beaches, it makes it one of the best beach destinations in Europe.

Barcelona also boasts 66 museums, FC Barcelona and 11 other football (soccer) clubs, two official languages (Catalan and Spanish), has over 1.6 million residents and attracts 7.5 million visitors a year (at the time of this writing).

Barcelona is home to amazing cuisine, architecture, including Roman, and art.

Famous people from Barcelona include Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Antoni Gaudí, Pau Gasol, Gerard Piqué, Arantxa” Sánchez Vicario, José Carreras, and Daniel Brühl, to name a few.

Barcelona also hosts two UNESCO World Heritage sites:  the Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, and the collective works of Antoni Gaudí, all of which are huge tourists draws.

Casa Milà-La Pedrera Barcelona Spain
Casa Milà-La Pedrera

Why Visit Barcelona?

Considering what Barcelona is known for, and how large it is, it qualifies as a must see city in Spain. 

If you have never been to Barcelona, add it to your Spain solo travel bucket list, even if visiting Barcelona for a few days.

There are simply too many Barcelona tourist attractions to list in this Barcelona travel guide and itinerary, but I’ll do my best to provide you top things to do in Barcelona.

Best Time to Visit Barcelona

The best time to go to Barcelona relies on weather, costs, activities and events offered.

Columbus Monument Barcelona Spain
Columbus Monument

Barcelona Weather & Costs

Barcelona temperatures average from high 50°s F to 70° F, with warmest weather in the summer months of July and August. These are also Barcelona’s most humid months, when locals tend to leave but tourists pour in and drive up prices.

The fall shoulder season months of September and October are Barcelona’s rainiest. Consider bringing an eco-friendly travel umbrella if you go during these months.

December through February are the coldest months but offer fewer tourists and may be the cheapest time to visit Barcelona.

Platja de Sant Miquel Barcelona Spain
Platja de Sant Miquel in October

My latest solo travel Barcelona was in early October. It was cloudy with very little rain. The days and nights were still warm, and there weren’t many tourists. 

You may prefer May or June for your Barcelona visit instead. Daylight hours are long, the weather is warm, there are still fewer tourists than in the height of summer, and there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona, including festivals like Sonar in June.

I would recommend visiting Barcelona in the shoulder season months of May, June, September or October.

Barcelona Events

When planning a trip to Barcelona, I suggest checking Barcelona’s festivals and holidays calendar to help determine when is the best time for your solo travel in Barcelona.

All prices reflected at time of writing.

Getting to Barcelona

Flying into Barcelona

The closest airport serving Barcelona is the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN), aka Barcelona Airport.

Barcelona Airport is serviced by most major and European airlines. International and domestic flights arrive at Terminal 1. Low cost carriers arrive at Terminal 2.

The Barcelona Airport is 15 km south of Barcelona city center. If you do not have access to an airport shuttle from your hotel, there are several other transportation options from the Barcelona Airport to Barcelona city center.

You could get a Barcelona Airport rental car, (but have to deal with city center parking), hire a private one-way or round-trip airport transfer, a luxury airport transfer, or rideshare or taxi (including Uber, Bolt and Lyft), which may cost €25 to €30.

The following eco-friendly transportation options, however, will save you money if you are traveling Barcelona on a budget.

Reserve Early to Get a Cheap Flight to Barcelona

Eco Travel Tips

Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2. Additionally, you can purchase carbon offsets through your airline to lower your carbon footprint.

Barcelona Airport Train

The RENFE train leaves the Aeropuerto station every 30 minutes. The train takes approximately 25 minutes to reach the Passeig de Gràcia station. There you switch to a metro for the Plaça Catalunya station, which should be within walking distance to your hotel or hostel. Train tickets are approximately €5.

Barcelona Airport Metro

The orange L9 metro line leaves Barcelona Airport every 7 minutes from both the Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2 metro stations. The metro takes approximately 35 minutes to arrive at Plaça Catalunya station, but with transfers required. Tickets cost approximately €5.

Plaza de Catalunya Barcelona Spain
Plaça Catalunya

Barcelona Airport Shuttle

The Aerobus service is an express bus service direct to the city center. The A1 bus leaves Terminal 1 and the A2 bus leaves Terminal 2. Both depart eery 5 to 10 minutes. You arrive at the Plaça de Catalunya bus stop at the El Corte Inglés department store in about 30 minutes for €5.90.

Barcelona Airport Bus

The TMB airport bus (no. 46) also leaves from Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2. With several stops, this bus takes longer to reach the city center, but one-way tickets are only €2.40.

The Barcelona Card

Purchasing the Barcelona Card (aka the Barcelona Pass) is a great option for airport to city center transportation plus attractions.

The Barcelona Card covers 25 museums and attractions in Barcelona, including 50% off admission to attractions like Gaudi’s Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, skip the line entrance, free public transportation, and can be bought for 3, 4 or 5 days in Barcelona.

Get your Barcelona Card in advance, exchange your voucher at one of the designated locations and times, and then zip from the Barcelona airport to the city center.

Bus or Train to Barcelona

Barcelona receives many trains and buses daily, which are quick, inexpensive, and eco-friendly ways to reach Barcelona.

Buses usually arrive at the Barcelona Estació de Sants or Estació de Nord. Trains arrive at one of the two main stations, Estació de Sants or Estació de França, depending on your departure point.

For example, on my last trip to Spain, I traveled from Pamplona to Barcelona by train with the train arriving at the Barcelona Sants station.

You can take a metro from any of these stations to Plaça de Catalunya.

Trainline Provides Cheap Train and Bus Tickets to Barcelona

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Eco Travel Tips

For flights only 2 to 3 hours in duration to and from Barcelona, take the train or bus instead. It could also save time and money, and the scenery is much prettier.

When hiring a rideshare, choose the Bolt Green or Uber Green options, or use Carpoolworld, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Spain.

Getting Around Barcelona

Barcelona by Metro or Bus

Barcelona is a large city and some top sights can be quite a distance from each other. Taking the Barcelona metro is highly recommended to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.

The Barcelona metro is extremely easy to use. Tickets can be purchased in each station. There are 12 metro lines which include access to the public buses.

One way tickets within a zone are less than €3 each way. If you need assistance, just ask a booth attendant. Many speak English and happy to answer your questions.

Another way to see more of what’s in Barcelona in a short period of time is the Barcelona Hop On Hop Off bus. Tours like these are ideal for large cities like Barcelona.

This bus is very popular in Barcelona because it covers 2 to 3 different routes around Barcelona encompassing all of the top Barcelona sights and attractions.

Buy your 24-hour or 48-hour bus ticket in advance to save time during peak season. Buses depart centrally from Plaça de Catalunya.

Eco Travel Tips

Avoid taking a taxi or Uber to explore Barcelona. Instead, see Barcelona by public transportation, a Hop-on Hop-off bus, foot, bike or electric scooter.

The Barcelona Card & More

Remember the Barcelona Card? Keep this in mind for way to get access to public transportation for 48 hours or more with access to 25+ Barcelona attractions.

Buying the Hola Barcelona Public Transport Travel Card is another option to get free, unlimited access to Barcelona transportation in the city and suburbs. The Hola Barcelona card can be purchased for increments of 48, 72, 96, or 120-hours.

Barcelona Transportation Options for 2 Days or More

Is Barcelona walkable?

Although extensive, a large portion of the Barcelona city center is flat, which makes Barcelona optimal for walking.

Many must sees in Barcelona can be accessed by foot, however, especially if you stay within the Old City. To save time on your Barcelona itinerary, walk Barcelona by neighborhoods.

If you want to learn more about Barcelona or its incredible food and wine, consider a historic walking tour or food walking tour of Barcelona. There are private and group tours available. Again, group tours do provide that additional chance to meet others when traveling Barcelona alone.

Best Barcelona Group Walking Tours

Best Barcelona Private Walking Tours

Barcelona by Bike or Scooter

Barcelona is also ideal for biking and scooters due to the designated paths. You’ll see many bike and e-bike rental stands, and e-scooters, throughout Barcelona. Consider renting a bike for a quicker way to zip through Barcelona like a local.

Bike rentals on Passeig de Colom Barcelona Spain
Bike rentals on Passeig de Colom

Barcelona Travel Tip

Always look both ways when crossing streets, even if you think the street is ‘one way’. Bicyclists and scooter riders really move and can seem to come out of nowhere. Be aware of your surroundings.

Save Time and Book Your Barcelona Bike in Advance

Want to ride around Barcelona, but not alone? Barcelona has e-scooter, segway, and bike or e-bike tours, too. These tours are eco-friendly and a great way to learn more about Barcelona and meet new people while traveling alone in Barcelona. At any age.

Top Barcelona Biking Tours and More

Barcelona by Water

The Barcelona coastline also provide for scenic boat rides that can be done inexpensively. Explore Barcelona cruises to get a different view of Barcelona day or night.

Top Barcelona Cruises

Is Barcelona Safe for Solo Travel?

Barcelona’s crime rate is considered moderate. It is safe to walk alone during the day but be more aware walking at night.

As a solo female traveler in Barcelona, I practiced general precautions and stayed within well-lit and populated streets at night. As such, I never felt unsafe in Barcelona as solo traveler.

During high tourist season, in crowded areas or on crowded public transportation, ensure to keep your belongings safe and securely on you with no open pockets or carrying cash or valuables in your pockets.

If you normally feel uncomfortable being out solo at night, you may want to visit Barcelona when the daylight hours are longest so you have more time to explore Barcelona.

Solo Travel Tips

Have WhatsApp on your mobile device(s). Many smaller establishments and activity/tourism offices use this as a method of communication making it easier to make inquiries or booking and learn, or notify, of any scheduling changes.

Get the T-Mobile International Plan or something similar in price and features. I no longer work on WiFi only on international travel. I’ll use it when it’s there, but having access to roaming when needed for GPS and Google Maps is a game changer.

Barcelona Travel Packing Essentials

I’m not one to tell someone else how to pack, but there definitely some solo travel essentials I would recommend taking on your solo trip to Barcelona, like the following.

This list of travel essentials combined can make your Barcelona travel easier and more memorable while being friendlier to the environment.

Where to Stay in Barcelona on Solo Travel

Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) holds the oldest neighborhoods in Barcelona.

The Old City is nestled between the l’Eixample neighborhood (south of the Grand Via de les Corts Catalanes) and Mediterranean Sea, and between the Poble Nou and Sant Antoni neighborhoods.

This district is comprised of the El Raval, Barri Gotic, La Ribera, El Born, Port Vell, and La Barceloneta neighborhoods.

In such a large city, it is more convenient to be closest not only to the top Barcelona attractions accessible by foot, but also accessible by the Barcelona metro and bus stops, including the Hop-on Hop-off bus.

The Old City, specifically within the El Raval and Barri Gotic neighborhoods, is the Barcelona district in which to reserve your Barcelona accommodation, especially for first time travel to Barcelona alone, as indicated on the map below.

Where to stay in Barcelona map
Where to stay in Barcelona

Of course, you can stay outside this section of the Barcelona city center, but it may just add time and more transportation costs to this Barcelona solo travel itinerary, depending on what you ultimately see and do in Barcelona.

Barcelona Hotels and More

There are multiple Barcelona city centre hotels and hostels across all budget types. Going in the off season, or booking well in advance, will get you the best Barcelona prices on any type of accommodation.

Consider booking at a property that either is eco-friendly or sustainable rated, or at least employs these methods into their business.

Barcelona Hotels

For location, price, breakfast, amenities (including free-cancellation), eco-friendly and sustainable operations, and customer reviews and ratings, here are my Barcelona hotel recommendations for solo travel (i.e., where I would stay):

I believe Hotel Turin is in the best place for solo female travel in Barcelona, including being walkable to the beach, La Rambla, and Barcelona nightlife and dining. Plus, Hotel Turin is a Travel Sustainable rated hotel at a good price (book well in advance) with friendly staff, fabulous breakfast buffet. I enjoyed my stay at Hotel Turin in Barcelona and would recommend staying there.

Hotel Turin
Hotel Turin

Eco Travel Tips

In addition to’s Barcelona city center Travel Sustainable properties, Green Globe and Green Key Global also have eco-friendly certified lodging options.

Reserve Early for the Best Price in Barcelona Accommodations

Barcelona Hostels

Hostels in Barcelona city center are an option for solo travel in Barcelona on a budget. Using the same conditions above, and the ability to get a private room, here are my recommendations for best Barcelona hostel for solo travellers:

Find the Best Deal on Barcelona Hostel Private Rooms

Budget Travel Tips

There are Barcelona hostels that could start from around €20-30/night, depending on what amenities and location you want. Note, these are usually a bed in a dorm room. A private room in a Barcelona city center hostel could cost the same, if not more, than a budget hotel.

Top 10 Things to Do in Barcelona VIDEO

What would a Barcelona Solo Travel Guide be without listing the best things to do in Barcelona for a first time visit?

Start with this Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona video. This taste of solo travel in Barcelona will have you booking your flight to Barcelona.

Ways to Do Barcelona MUST DOs

MORE Top Things To Do in Barcelona

There are simply too many Barcelona attractions to list in this Barcelona travel guide alone.

However, here are some more top things to see and do in Barcelona to try to pack into your Barcelona travel itinerary. Some may be free, but for those that aren’t, don’t forget the Barcelona Card – it covers many of these.

If you want to know how to see most of them on your first time travel, use my Best 3 Days in Barcelona Itinerary. If you have 4 days in Barcelona, even better.

Churches & Cathedrals

La Sagrada Familia Barcelona 3 day itinerary
La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona Travel Tips

You cannot buy a La Sagrada Familia ticket on location. You must buy your La Sagrada Familia ticket in advance online, with a set entrance day and time.

If you do not do a tour you can download the official audio tour app in advance for a free.

Architectural Buildings & Historic Sites

Casa Batlló Barcelona Spain
Casa Batlló

Barcelona Neighborhoods of Note

Gothic Quarter Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Gothic Quarter

Barcelona Landmarks, Points of Interest & Monuments

Mercat de la Boqueria Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Mercat de la Boqueria

Museums & Aquariums

Best Barcelona Museum and Aquarium Ticket Options

Parks, Gardens & Beaches

Exposicio d’Art sculpture Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Barcelona art

Barcelona Food & Entertainment

Barcelona has some of the top cuisine in Spain. From fine dining to fresh seafood to tapas and sangria, you can find whatever you want to sample in any of the many Barcelona neighborhoods. Here are the ’10 best’ restaurant ideas in the notable neighborhoods to get you started:

Plate of mussels Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Fresh mussels

La Rambla is popular for restaurants and bars that line the streets or are slightly off La Rambla.

The Gothic Quarter and El Born are also popular for bars, cafes, and tapas and Barcelona nightlife. More nightlife, and popular with students is Placa del Sol in the Barri de Gracia.

Mercat de la Boqueria dining Barcelona Spain
Dining in La Boqueria

You can’t go wrong hanging out at La Boqueria for fresh food and drinks.

Sangria in Barcelona 3 day itinerary

Best Barcelona Food Tours and More

Eco Travel Tips

Avoid using single-use plastics when dining, shopping and on food tours in Split to reduce trash and your carbon footprint by bringing your own reusable collapsible travel bags, collapsible water bottle, recycled plastic water bottle carry sling, and bamboo travel utensils so you’re prepared to travel with the planet in mind.

I always travel with the above items. Light weight and taking up very little space in my carry-on bags, I love the convenience and peace of mind these inexpensive, eco-friendly products provide.

Top Barcelona Nightlife and Flamenco

Beyond Barcelona

If you have time or want to explore more of the Spanish coastline, I suggest taking a day trip from Barcelona, or two. There are multiple, top Spanish travel destinations all within an hour or two from Barcelona.

Best Day Trips from Barcelona

BEST Booking Sites for Barcelona

Here is a summary of the best booking sites I recommend you bookmark and use to successfully book your travel to Barcelona, Spain. I use just about all of these for most travel locations. I even gave you my suggested Barcelona hotel.

These booking sites give you multiple travel options and awesome travel deals for all travel budgets. They will certainly help get a jump on your trip to Barcelona.

For the best travel deals, always book early.

Don’t forget to check out Barcelona ecotourism ideas and use my Spain Travel Guide complete your Barcelona travel planning and booking.

How to Get THE BEST of Barcelona in 3 Days

Now that you know you are fully prepared to explore Barcelona, would you like an itinerary idea to get you going? Check out my Best of Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary perfect for first time solo travel to Barcelona.

DOWNLOAD the Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary PDF

Better yet, why not save a tone of time planning and download the Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary and Guide PDF instantly? A solo female traveler of 28 years, you know I traveled Barcelona solo. This Barcelona Itinerary is from my actual, tried and true self-created and traveled Barcelona itinerary, not AI-generated with stock photos, so you know it’s an itinerary you can trust.

Whether you’re a solo traveler, older traveler, or budget traveler, this Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary and Guide PDF is a steal. Formatted for sleek use on all devices, it has clickable links to all of the below, taking out all of the guesswork for your Barcelona visit:

Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary PDF
  • Arrival transportation methods,
  • Barcelona Airport transportation to the city center,
  • Local transportation methods, including the Hop On Hop Off bus, walking and e-bike tours,
  • City center accommodations recommendations (including budget stays),
  • What to eat and where to eat dining suggestions,
  • Dining apps,
  • City, historical and food walking tours,
  • The Barcelona Card,
  • Top things to do and attractions you’ll be doing in Barcelona in three days with clickable walking maps for easily getting around Barcelona each day,
  • CORR Travel Spain and Barcelona Travel Guides,
  • Barcelona events and holiday schedule, and
  • Eco-travel and ecotourism resources.

DOWNLOAD the Barcelona 4 Day Itinerary PDF

Have one more day in Barcelona? Get the same great Barcelona Travel Guide with 4 Days in Barcelona Itinerary PDF.

Let Me Hear From You

I would love to hear if my ultimate Guide to Barcelona Solo Travel was helpful in planning your solo travel in Spain. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!

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2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Barcelona Solo Travel 2024”

  1. Hey there! I just finished reading your Barcelona solo travel guide, and I wanted to drop you a comment to let you know how much I enjoyed it. Your guide is an absolute gem for solo travelers looking to explore Barcelona and have an unforgettable experience.

    I appreciate how you addressed the unique aspects of solo travel and provided practical tips for navigating the city on one’s own. From safety advice to recommendations for meeting fellow travelers, your guide offers invaluable insights for solo adventurers.

    Your itinerary suggestions for exploring the city are fantastic. I love how you highlighted the must-see attractions like La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, while also suggesting off-the-beaten-path spots that offer a more authentic experience. The inclusion of lesser-known neighborhoods like Sant Antoni and El Raval is a great way for solo travelers to discover hidden gems and connect with the local culture.

    I also want to commend you on the solo-friendly activities you recommended, such as joining a walking tour or taking a cooking class. These suggestions not only provide opportunities for solo travelers to meet like-minded individuals but also allow them to immerse themselves in Barcelona’s rich history and culinary scene.

    Moreover, your tips on solo dining and enjoying the city’s nightlife solo are incredibly helpful. From trying tapas at local bars to experiencing the vibrant music and dance scene, you’ve provided solo travelers with a wealth of options for embracing Barcelona’s social atmosphere.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise and insights on solo travel in Barcelona. Your guide is a valuable resource that will undoubtedly inspire and empower solo adventurers to embark on their own memorable journey. Keep up the fantastic work, and I’m excited to read more of your travel guides and recommendations in the future! Learn more:

    1. Thank you. I will make a note to check out your tours at my first availability, but in the meantime, I’ll also leave your link here for my readers to see them as well. – Gwen

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