Did you ever realize how many songs there are written about Barcelona? The city is a big source of inspiration for artists. I can totally understand why since I’m currently living in Barcelona and enjoy the city to its fullest. In this blog, I will give you my tips to enjoy your 24 hours in this enchanting seaside city.

How to non-rev to Barcelona


Barcelona airport is the main airport of Catalonia and has plenty of direct flights to non-rev on. The town where the airport is specifically located is El Prat de Llobregat.

There are two terminals at the airport. The T1, which was completed in 2009, is the main terminal. The oldest one is the T2 teminal and currently has no such intense activity as T1.

The other important airport in Catalonia is Girona Airport, located at a distance of 100 kilometers northeast of Barcelona.

AmsterdamKLM, Vueling, Level, Transavia
DubaiEmirates
FrankfurtLufthansa
Hong KongCathay Pacific
IstanbulTurkish Airlines, Pegasus
LondonBritish Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling, Norwegian
Los AngelesNorwegian
New YorkIbera, Norwegian, Delta, United, American Airlines
ParisAir France, Transavia, easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling

How to travel to the city?


If you don’t want to take an expensive taxi, the best way to get from Barcelona Airport (BCN) to Barcelona is to take the Aerobus. This bus connects Barcelona Airport (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) with the city center (Placa Catalunya) in 35 minutes. You can also take the metro. A ticket costs 4.50€ and you will be in the city center in 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the metro doesn’t work after midnight from Monday to Thursday. Another option is to take the train (costs 4€ and takes 40 minutes).

Practical tip


Buy the T-10 Barcelona Transport card. This piece of paper costs only €10,20 and it allows you to make 10 journeys on bus, metro (not the airport one) and railway.

Where to Stay


If you visit Barcelona for just one day. I would recommend you stay in a central location to have the best transport connections. My favorite neighborhood is the Gothic Quarter. This is a beautiful, enchanting area filled with history and charm. Unfortunately, it can be very crowdy in summer.

Another great neighborhood is El Born. Its medieval streets and artisan shops are a labyrinth of surprises, with plenty of delicious bakeries, tapas bars, wine bars and restaurants. This historic part of town is filled with boutique hotels and you’ll find the Santa Caterina Market here. At the entrance to El Born you’ll find the gorgeous Arc de Triomf.

What to do in 24 hours?


A good way to start your day is with a brunch at Trópico. This place is a hidden gem in the neighborhood Raval. The menu has influences from all over the world. Order pancakes with fruit and cream cheese, an açaí bowl, nacho’s or msemen (breakfast crepes from the Middle East). You’ll definitely appreciate the map of the world in the back that is carved out in the wall. If you go for brunch during the weekend, make sure to book in advance!

After breakfast, cross the Ramblas and head to the old town and visit the Gothic Quarter. The streets are narrow with a lot of small boutiques. Walk along the Bishops bridge and the majestic Cathedral of Barcelona. Look at the kiss of freedom mural in Plaça d’Isidre Nonell (a mosaic made up of thousands of tiny ceramic tiles with photos on it) and finish your stroll at Plaça Reial. This hidden square hosts many restaurants, but you can also drink a nice Cerveza or Clara (beer mixed with lemon soda) in the sun at Cervecería Canarias.

Follow the Ramblas and walk to the famous Boqueria food market (Mercat Santa Caterina is an even better food market, but it’s further away). Indulge your senses with all the smells and noises of a food market. Grab yourself a nice fruit cup or smoothie for the walk around. If you’re still hungry after your big brunch, buy some nice food here like a seafood platter, olives or Iberian ham. Before entering the market, remember to keep in mind that this is a pickpocket hotspot, so keep your wallet and phone close to you.

After the food market hop on the metro and head to Montjuïc. Explore the hill, visit the botanic garden and see the Olympic Station. From Montjuïc, you’ll have an amazing view of the city. The best thing is to see the fountain show of Montjuïc at night. During most part of the year, the show starts when the sun sets on Friday and Saturday. Check Google for the exact times.

After the show, take the metro to Passeig de Gracia. This is a broad avenue with pretty luxury shops. In this street, you’ll find Casa Mila and Casa Battlo, two of the pretty Gaudi buildings. You can visit them inside, but that will take a while and cost some money and you only have 24 hours in Barcelona. So seeing these colorful buildings from the outside is enough for today.

Continue your way to El Nacional. This is a stunningly beautiful place in Barcelona. It has four areas with restaurants and bars, and each of them has its unique characteristics and type of cuisine. There is a meat restaurant (La Braseria), a tapas and fish restaurant (la Taperia), a fish restaurant (la Llotja) and a fast deli restaurant (la Parada). The different bars are specialized in oysters, cocktails, beers and preserves and wine and cured meats. El Nacional has a capacity for 700 people so it’s enormous. If you want to eat in a restaurant come early (before 7:30) or make a reservation. If you already ate, buy an ice-cream or walk around and visit the restrooms. Even those are beautiful!

The night holds limitless possibilities in Barcelona. Start with some cocktails on a terrace, go to the bar towards midnight and if you’re still standing at 3am, you can finally hit the clubs.

Beaches


If the weather is great you should definitely head to the beach. With more than 300 days of sun a year you’ll probably see some sun in Barcelona. It’s so easy to just go to the Barceloneta beach, but there are way better beaches in Barcelona. My favorite beaches are Bogatell Beach and Nova Icària Beach. These beaches are one of the calmest and you’ll find a lot of people playing volleyball here.

Are you ready for your non-rev trip to Barcelona? Download the StaffTraveler app to get the seat availability for your staff travel flight!

Receive updates by email

Subscribe to get occasional updates on new posts

We respect your privacy. Read more here.

Hotel rooms & rental cars


Log in to StaffTraveler to get access to exclusive member deals with discounts up to 60%

Log in to StaffTraveler