From Barcelona to the Santa Maria de Montserrat Monastery by Train and On Foot (A Hiker’s Guide)

Cami de les Aigües, walking to Montserrat fon Monistrol de Montserrat

The Monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat is an eleventh-century Benedictine monastery set in an idyllic mountaintop location approximately thirty-five kilometres from Barcelona. If you’ve already read my Ultimate Guide to Visiting Montserrat from Barcelona, you’ll know that the most convenient way to reach the monastery is by taking the R5 train from Barcelona, followed…

MACBA: Barcelona’s Iconic Contemporary Art Museum

MACBA Contemporary Art Museum. Barcelona

Housed in an emblematic concrete and glass building designed by Richard Meier, Barcelona’s contemporary art museum, the MACBA or Museu d’Art Contemporani de BArcelona, was inaugurated in 1995. More than just a museum, in addition to its permanent and temporary collections, the MACBA is a centre for art education and research. As the museum’s name…

Visiting the Picasso Museum in Barcelona (Info, tickets and tips)

Picasso museum Barcelona

The Picasso Museum of Barcelona (Catalan: Museu Picasso de Barcelona) is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and one of Spain’s best-known art museums. Founded in 1963 by Picasso’s friend and secretary Jaume Sabartés, the museum contains more than four thousand paintings, the most extensive collection of Picasso’s work anywhere in the world.…

Monument to the People Executed Between 1939 and 1952

Parapet de les Executades i executats

The parapet of the people executed 1939-1952 (Catalan: Parapet de les executades i executats 1939-1952) is a fifty-five metre-long memorial to the 1,706 people executed in Barcelona during the early years of Franco’s dictatorship. The executions were by firing squad, and victims were lined up against a concrete wall which stood next to an area…

What To Do If You Run Out Of Medication While Visiting Spain

Pharmacies in Spain ar typically small and privately owned.

When travelling abroad, whether on holiday or for work, you should always ensure that you have enough medication for the duration of your stay. For longer stays, your doctor may be able to write you an extended prescription. On the other hand, sometimes plans go awry, causing you to run out. Maybe your bags got…

The Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes (and how to get there)

The monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes

The Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes is a Romanesque-style Benedictine monastery which overlooks the Costa Brava, one hundred and fifty kilometres north of Barcelona. Legend has it that the monastery was built by monks who fled from Rome during the seventh century, taking with them the remains of Saint Peter. In reality, the first…

The Controversial Monument to Slave Trader Antonío López y López

All that remains of the monument to Antonío Lopez, Plaça Idrissa Diallo, Barcelona

Many of Barcelona’s squares and plazas feature large and impressive statues. Some of the statues are decorative works of art, while others are monuments which honour famous people. Some of the monuments honour kings or heroes of yesteryear. Others feature famous artists, writers, politicians and wealthy businessmen. One such monument was the statue of Antonio…

The Martinet Valley, Aiguafreda de Dalt and the Dolmen de Cruïlles (Montseny Natural Park)

Panoramic views at Aiguafreda de Dalt

This easy, ten-kilometre hike in Montseny Natural Park is best undertaken in spring or early summer when there will be water in the Riera de Martinet. You can also walk it at other times of the year, but the pools and waterfalls near the start of the trail will likely be dry. The circular route…

Monument to Lluís Companys (Statue of a girl with a handkerchief)

Monument to Lluís Companys, Barcelona

Born in Tarrós in 1882, Lluis Companys was one of the founding members of the Catalan political party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and served as president of the Generalitat de Catalunya from 1934 until he was executed in 1940. The first part of the twentieth century was a time of political unrest and upheaval in…

Doing Laundry In Barcelona (Laundries, Laundrettes, Dry Cleaners & More)

Most Barcelona residents air dry their laundry

If you are staying in Barcelona for more than a week, or are visiting the city as part of a more extended trip, then chances are, you’ll need to find somewhere to wash your clothes. Doing laundry when travelling has the advantage that it allows you to carry less luggage, but it does require some…

Monument to Santiago Roldán (The Ass Monument)

Monument to Santiago Roldán (the arse monument)

Barcelona is well known for its public art. Wherever you go in the city, you will see statues and monuments decorating plazas, parks and other public spaces. Designs range from classically styled monuments and busts to more unusual, modern and even surreal creations. One of Barcelona’s most unusual and quirky statues is the Monument to…

Contactless Payment in Barcelona (Credit & Debit Cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay & Samsung Pay)

Sticker in a shop doorway showing which payment methods are accepted

Contactless payment has been available in Barcelona since 2012 and has become so widely available that you no longer need to carry cash. All shops and supermarkets in Barcelona now accept contactless payment, and you can pay with credit cards, debit cards and smartphones at bars, restaurants and tourist attractions. The only caveat is that…

Where to Buy Alcohol in Barcelona on Sunday (with map)

Estrella Damm is the most popular beer in Barcelona

Most shops and supermarkets in Barcelona don’t open on Sunday, which is good news for people who work in shops, but not so great for tourists, especially for visitors who arrive in Barcelona on a Sunday or simply weren’t organised enough to get the beers in on Saturday. Fortunately, there are exceptions, and whether you’re…

Barcelona Low Emission Zone: Everything You Need To Know

Barcelona ring roads are exempt from the ZBE restrictions

The Barcelona Low Emission Zone (Catalan: Zona de Baixes Emisions) was introduced in 2020 to reduce the adverse effects of vehicle emissions on the health of Barcelona residents. Access to the Barcelona Low Emission Zone is restricted from Monday to Friday between seven am and eight pm. During this time, vehicles entering the area must…

How to Check if a Holiday Apartment is Legal in Barcelona

Holiday apartment in Barcelona

Short term apartment rentals are an increasingly popular alternative to hotel accommodation. Whether you are visiting Barcelona with your family, on holiday with a group of friends, or planning an extended stay, renting a holiday apartment is often cheaper than staying in a hotel. You can also save money by shopping at local food markets…

Peratallada: A Pituresque Medieval Village Near The Costa Brava

Plaça de les Voltes, Peratallada

Peratallada is one of the most picturesque and best conserved medieval villages in Catalonia. Unlike most medieval villages and towns, which have grown and expanded over the centuries leaving the original village centre surrounded by newer buildings, Peratallada has retained its original defensive walls and remains largely untouched. Indeed, apart from the three pay and…