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In Barcelona, you’ll find stunning architecture, delectable cuisine, and vibrant cultural experiences at every turn. Get to know Barcelona’s many distinct neighborhoods, including the Old Town or Ciutat Vella, where you’ll find museums, cafes, and shopping. Venture to the Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gotic, and stroll through its narrow streets, where you’ll see the best of Barcelona’s Gothic architecture, mystical corridors, and old city cafes. Another must-visit stop in Barcelona is Las Ramblas, the famous pedestrian walkway in the heart of the city that will take you past restaurants, bars, stores, and the storied Boqueria food market.
This Spanish coastal gem is not only one of the most popular cities in the world, but is also a departure port for cruises around Europe. Cruises from Barcelona visit some of the most beautiful destinations in Spain, including Seville, Ibiza, and Malaga, as well as gorgeous Mediterranean destinations in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Malta. Spend a few magical days in this spectacular city before embarking on a cruise of a lifetime through Europe.
Sail around Greece’s idyllic islands, where you’ll dive into crystal-clear waters and discover historic landmarks. Walk along the white-washed buildings of Santorini, visit the Temple of Venus in Rhodes, enjoy fresh seafood in Mykonos, and admire the stunning Parthenon in Athens. This spectacular cruise will also take you to the preserved medieval city of Valletta in Malta and Ephesus in Turkey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Discover the magic of Spain during a cruise around the Mediterranean. Soak up the sun and embrace the boho-chic spirit in the Balearic islands of Mallorca and Ibiza. Visit Gaudi masterpieces in Barcelona and admire the Moorish architecture in Andalusian cities like Seville and Granada. Savor traditional Spanish cuisine in Valencia, known for its excellent paella; Vigo, home of the world-famous Albariño; and Bilbao, where you can easily spend a day trying out its wide-array of tapas and pintxos.
Experience la dolce vita during a cruise that stops in Italy’s most beautiful destinations. In Venice, make your way through the floating city’s romantic canals and intimate alleyways. Visit the chic island of Capri, where you’ll find the Blue Grotto, and the ancient city of Pompeii that was buried under ash after a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Swim in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sicily, or visit the golden beaches of Santa Margherita in the glittering Italian Riviera. Finish off your trip with a day in Rome, where ancient ruins, spectacular art, and delectable food await.
Explore the coastal wonders of France. Start off with a stop in Paris, the City of Lights and one of the most romantic places in the world. Enjoy warm, freshly baked croissants, make your way to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and tour the gardens of Versailles. Settle into the French Riviera in Nice, a charming town filled with glitzy beaches and seaside restaurants. Discover the scents of Provence, known for its lavender and perfumes. Make your way through the olive groves of Arles and have oysters for lunches in Sete.
Wine and dine your way through Portugal, a destination of culinary capitals and seaside escapes. Explore the medieval buildings and cathedrals in Lisbon and finish off a day of sightseeing with a sweet pastel de nata. Visit the lovely vineyards of the Douro Valley in Porto and sip on the city’s most popular export, Port wine. Discover Madeira, a tiny archipelago of four islands off the coast of Portugal.
Travel to Europe’s sophisticated cities and sun-drenched locales in complete luxury on a cruise from Barcelona with Celebrity Cruises. Voted the best cruise line in Europe for 10 years in a row, you’ll have your choice of incredible itineraries to choose from.
On our newest vessel, Celebrity Apex, experience the thrill of sailing on a cutting-edge, outward-facing ship with remarkable venues like the floating Magic Carpet and Eden, an experiential restaurant and lounge that will tantalize all of your senses. Savor the fresh flavors and ingredients of Greece and Italy, then indulge in world-class cuisine on board. Relax under the sun in the French Riviera or Amalfi Coast, then by the pool on the expansive pool deck.
When you’re not busy exploring each port destination, you’ll have endless entertainment options, bars and lounges, and innovative venues to experience on board. Spend your days at sea unwinding at The Spa and your nights dancing under the stars. A cruise with Celebrity around the Mediterranean is an unforgettable experience unlike any other.
The Port of Barcelona is a popular departure port for Mediterranean cruises and is a little less than an hour’s walk away from the center of the city. You can also take a bus shuttle service that runs between the port terminal and the famous Christopher Columbus monument that welcomes visitors at one of the ends of Las Ramblas. Another option is to travel by taxi, which will get you downtown in about 20 minutes.
Barcelona’s most iconic monument and an absolute must-see for any visitor is the world-renowned La Sagrada Familia, envisioned and created by the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. As a religious man, Gaudi devoted a large part of his life to this majestic, towering cathedral and unfortunately died before its completion. The sheer size of its majestic towers and the immaculate detail displayed on every square inch of the cathedral and basilica—both indoors and outdoors—is unparalleled. La Sagrada Familia was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, and Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the basilica in November of 2010.
The Santa Maria del Mar Basilica might seem simple when compared to La Sagrada Familia, but this Gothic cathedral is equally as stunning. It is the only surviving church in the pure Catalan Gothic style and is notable because of its intricate stained-glass windows and unifying proportions. While most churches took centuries to build, Santa Maria del Mar was completed in only 55 years, from 1329 to 1383. Known as the “People’s Church,” the basilica has suffered through extensive damage twice: First during the 1428 earthquake and later in 1936, when rioters burned parts of its facade for 11 days straight during the Spanish Civil War. After both instances, the cathedral was rebuilt to its former state.
In 1905, Pere Mila and his wife, Roser Segimon, purchased a plot of land measuring over 1,800 square meters and commissioned Gaudi to build a new property for them. This gigantic structure—often the ridicule of their peers and contemporaries—became their home with attached apartments that the couple would rent for profit. Casa Mila became known as La Pedrera (“the stone quarry”) because its façade seemed nothing like a mansion, but more of a strange stone monstrosity to locals. Casa Mila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
In 1904, Josep Batlló commissioned Gaudi to build this stunning, dreamlike structure. The tiny details will astound you, and the surprising dragon-shaped roof makes Casa Batlló impossible to miss during your visit to Barcelona. The imaginative design was inspired by both the ocean waves and dragons, and stands out even among the ornately-decorated homes that line the Passeig de Gracia. Tour the grounds using an interactive video guide that accompanies your audio tour, showing you in virtual reality form what the different spaces looked like long ago.
The famous pedestrian walkway known as Las Ramblas is nearly a mile long and is one of the city’s major thoroughfares, leading from just across from the Barcelona cruise terminal port to Plaza de Catalunya in the center of old Barcelona. As you stroll, you’ll pass restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, street performers, street food vendors, and a famous food market called Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (or simply “la Boqueria”). If you stroll the entire length of Las Ramblas, you’ll end up in Plaza de Catalunya, an enormous square with fountains, a small park, and plenty of photo-worthy sights.
Every sports enthusiast will be thrilled to visit the city of Barcelona for its many sports stadiums, whether you’re exploring before or after a cruise from Barcelona. The Olympic Stadium was actually built before the Olympics existed, but it was remodeled for the event held in Barcelona in 1992. Soccer fans can visit Camp Nou Stadium, home of FC Barcelona (or “Barca” as the locals call them). Camp Nou holds nearly 99,000 fans and is Europe’s largest stadium. Go on a tour of the stadium and see everything from the team’s changing rooms to the tunnel, the press area, and more.
Park Güell is yet another stunning representation of Gaudi’s unique design and vision. In 1900, a rich count purchased a massive plot of land and designated it to be a ‘garden city’ for the city’s wealthiest patrons. Gaudi’s design of the park and homes inside the garden city proved to be too elaborate for their time, and the project was unfortunately abandoned in 1914. The two houses and park grounds make up a magical place that will sweep you away as it showcases some of Barcelona’s famous sights and symbols.
Once a quaint fishing village, this highly sought-after area is now an adorable beachfront neighborhood with brightly colored houses and a charming beach that faces the Mediterranean Sea. If you continue to follow the waterfront, you eventually reach Port Olimpic with its bars, cafes, and small shops. Stop in the Casino de Barcelona to try your luck or enjoy a floor show.
One of the most well-known districts in all of Europe is Barcelona’s well-defined and fascinatingly unique Barri Gotic, or “Gothic Quarter.” Mystical and strange, yet beautiful and cleverly unique, the architecture of Barcelona’s stunning Gothic Quarter is a must-visit highlight. The 13th-century architecture that defines this area has a mystical old Europe feel, and the streets are winding and narrow, like corridors running through the city. While visiting the Gothic Quarter, be sure to spend some time in El Born, the trendier neighborhood known for its hip galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, and small cafes.
You’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes, and street food vendors along Las Ramblas. However, if you prefer to taste the truly authentic Catalan and Spanish-style cuisine on your Barcelona cruise, it is worth taking a stroll down the backstreets to discover the hidden culinary gems of this city.
Boqueria Food Market
More than just a fresh produce market, this world-renowned attraction plays host to many bar-style restaurants serving freshly prepared local cuisine in a lively setting.
Owned by Pep, one of the friendliest locals you’ll meet, Cal Pep is one of Barcelona’s best-known spots for tapas.
Local specialty dishes are the main draw of Can Culleretes, one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona.
Famous for its caracoles (snails), Los Caracoles is another of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona, and it is also unique for its outside stone rotisserie.
There are two legends that describe the story of Barcelona’s founding—one attributing the city’s foundation to the mythological demi-god Hercules, and the other that states that Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, Hannibal’s father, founded the city in the 3rd century BC and named it Barcino after his family’s lineage. Barcelona was conquered and inhabited by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, transforming it into the capital of all Hispania for a few years. Barcelona became a hub for Catalan Separatism during the Catalan Revolt of 1640 to 1652 against Philip IV of Spain. During the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona continued to thrive as the second-largest city in Spain in the center of a region that remained relatively prosperous.
In recent history, the Summer Olympics came to Barcelona in 1992. To prepare for the games and the massive crowds that would accompany them, many industrial buildings and businesses that lined the waterfront in Barcelona were demolished to make room for a two-mile beach for tourists to enjoy. New construction projects popped up all around the city, resulting in more beaches, parks, and nature-centered areas. All these changes and improvements to city life transformed Barcelona into one of the most-visited cities in the world.
The street stalls, vendors, and small shops that line Las Ramblas are an excellent place to find inexpensive souvenirs, such as FC Barcelona football memorabilia, small trinkets, leather bags and shoes, as well as hand-crafted ceramics and lacework made by local artists.
Barcelona is a pedestrian-friendly city with plenty of public transportation options. From the Port Terminal, there is a shuttle bus service that will drop you off directly in Las Ramblas. If you’re looking to explore Barcelona in a short amount of time, you can board one of the hop-on, hop-off tour buses that visit major landmarks and popular tourist destinations. If you prefer to explore the city on your own, you can also use any of the bus routes, metro lines, or taxis found all over the city.
In Barcelona, the currency is the euro. You won’t have any trouble finding ATMs throughout the city, especially in heavily populated areas like Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. Should you need currency exchange services, you will find these in the airport, most major banks, and in currency exchange offices on Las Ramblas. The exchange offices are typically open for later hours than banks, but you will receive a better exchange rate at most banks. Tipping in Barcelona is not expected, but if you do feel inclined to do so, leave anything from 5% to 10% as a token of appreciation for great service.