Visiting Barcelona

Let our knowledgeable on-site staff help you plan your trip to Barcelona, Spain. Below we provide information on accommodations and hotels, eating and restaurants, and tourism, compiled by our on-site staff living in Barcelona. If you would like any more specific information, please reach out to us!

Getting to Barcelona

Barcelona’s El Prat (BCN) International Airport, often called Barcelona Airport, is Barcelona’s only airport. For information on the airport and the airlines that service it, please visit their website. Visitors have various options for getting into the city center from the airport:

Taxi: A taxi ride costs €30 €40 and will take less than half hour to the center depending on the traffic. Follow the signs to the Taxi stop within the Terminal.

Aerobus: An alternative to save money is the Aerobus line to the city center for €5.90, which is very convenient and departs every few minutes from both Terminals. Look for the signs in the arrivals clearly indicating the Aerobus to the city center (around 30 min. to city center).

Train: From the airport to the city center there is even a cheaper option, the Renfe Rodalies train to Barcelona’s central train station, Sants Estació. The train also stops in the Passeig de Gracia train station, right in the city center. Though cheap, it is not the most convenient option, as trains run every half hour and most international flights arrive to the new Terminal 1 while the train station is located in Terminal 2. If you arrive in Terminal 1, you will have to catch the free shuttle bus to Terminal 2, where you will follow the signs for the train station. If you arrive in Terminal 2, signs in the arrival area of the airport clearly indicate where to catch the train. The tickets are purchased at the same train station. The ride lasts a half hour and the cost of a one-way ticket is €2.15.

Metro: There is a new line still to be fully finished, line L9, which takes you from the airport to Barcelona city, Zona Universitaria metro stop. At zona Universitaria, it is necessary to switch lines to get to the city center. A single ticket costs €4.50. It also takes 30 minutes from the airport to the Zona Universitaria stop and then approximately 20 more minutes to the city center.

Five Stars

Baguès Hotel: La Rambla, 105 (Neighborhood: Old quarter – Plaça de Catalunya). +34 93.343.50.00

Hotel Casa Fuster: Passeig de Gracia, 132 (Neighborhood: Gracia). +34 93.255.30.00

Four Stars

Hotel Barcelona – Atiram Hotels: C / Caspe, 1-13 (Neighborhood: Eixample- Plaça Catalunya). +34 93.302.58.58

Granados 83 4S* Hotel: C/ Enric Granados, 83 (Neighborhood: Eixample). +34 93.492.96.70

Balmes Hotel: C/ Mallorca, 216 (Neighborhood: Eixample). +34 93.451.19.14

Three Stars

Hotel Sagrada Familia: C/ Corsega, 541-543 (Neighborhood: Eixample). +34 93.436.61.15

Hotel HCC Montblanc: Via Laietana, 61 (Neighborhood: Gothic Quarter). +34 93.343.55.55

Astoria Hotel: C/ Paris, 203 (Neighborhood: Eixample). +34 93.209.83.11

Two Stars

Hotel Violetta Boutique: C/ Casp, 38. +34 93.302.81.58. A small, boutique hotel, with only 14 rooms.

Hotel Amrey Sant Pau: C/ Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 173. +34 93.433.51.51. This hotel is across the street from the Sant Pau UAB Campus.

Hostels

Casa Gracia: Pg. de Gracia, 116. +34 93.187.44.97. This is much more than a hostel!

Sant Jordi Hostel Sagrada Familia: C/ Freser, 5. +34 93.446.05.17. This hostel is right in front of the SAI office.

Generator Hostel: C/ Corsega, 373. +34 93.220.03.77

Barcelona is well known for its innovative cuisine, based not only in its fabulous Mediterranean traditional cuisine but also in the new tendencies with all the cosmopolitan and international influence.

Near SAI Office and UAB Sant Pau Campus

Café Modernista 1902: Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167. +34 93.170.00.40. Nice restaurant within the Modernist Complex of Sant Pau Hospital. Especially recommended at night for the nice view and quiet.

Els Miralls d’Independència: Carrer d’Independencia, 340. +34 93.436.46.23. Excellent Catalan cuisine at a family restaurant, just one block from the SAI office.

Near the UAB Eixample Campus

Taller de Pasta: Carrer del Bruc, 85. +34 934 76 51 49. Excellent fresh pasta for a quick lunch. It is actually a store, which sells home-made pasta, but there are some tables where you can eat as well.

Laie llibreria-cafè: C/ Pau Claris, 85. +34 93.318.17.39. Bookstore café, delicious dishes and nicely priced. Nice option around Passeig de Gracia shopping area.

Near Elisava

Les Quinze Nits: Plaza Real, 6. +34 93.317.30.75. Restaurant in Gothic neighborhood with nice Mediterranean food and nice atmosphere. Might have a long line, because of the location, but it is worth it.

La Fonda: Carrer dels Escudellers, 10. +34 93.301.75.15. Great food, quiet atmosphere, and good price. It’s also conveniently right behind the Elisava building.

Near UPF

Marc Bar Restaurant: Carrer de Joan Miró, 24. +34 93.221.77.47. Nice and quiet atmosphere to have lunch during class time.

Garden Restaurante Pizzeria. Passeig de Pujades, 33. +34 93.486.44.84. Pizza and other Mediterranean food restaurant.

Resources:

Barcelona Turisme: This is a great website where you can purchase tickets for Spanish Guitar concerts, for Flamenco, for a soccer match at FCB, El Molino musicals or museum passes, among other options.

TimeOut Barcelona: A useful site that offers up-to-date information on art, culture, and going out. Very nice articles and recommendations.

Barcelona Navigator: This is another great resource for suggestions and things to do in Barcelona related to culture and art. Good article about the free museums!

Tours:

Barcelona Tours: This company offers free tours around Barcelona. Guides work on a tips-only basis.

Feel Free Tours: This company also offers free tours as well as some low price tours.

Tickets & Passes:

On the first Sunday of the month many museums in Barcelona are free, enjoy that day!

Barcelona Card: You can have discounts to discover the best of Gaudí and Museu del Futbol Club Barcelona, among other iconic visitor attractions. You can also gain free access to many museums and activities like the Golondrinas pleasure boats, Barcelona Zoo and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. This card also includes the train to the airport and free travel on public transport in the city, free admission to some museums and more than 70 discounts.

Transportation:

Barcelona’s public transportation is tourist-friendly, clean, and simple to navigate. The best option for tourists is to purchase the 2 or 3 day tourist ticket, which offers unlimited use of public transportation (metro, tram, and bus). If you plan to walk more, the T-10 pass is a great option, allowing 10 individual trips, which can be shared.

About SAI

SAI Programs is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.