Barcelona is a great city to explore at any time of the year, but if you’re seeking maximum activity visit between June and September when the main festivals take place (ranging from the music and multimedia Sonar Festival in mid-June to traditional Catalan human towers and local music at the Virgen de la Mercè on 24 September). Be aware that many shops and restaurants close for 2 weeks in August. If you can’t stand the heat come in May or October, and avoid December to February if you don’t like the cold - Barcelona can get surprisingly wet and chilly in winter.
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BARCELONA: BY AIR
From the UK: carriers include easyJet, British Airways, Monarch, Jet2, Ryanair. Flight time is around 2 hours.
Within Europe: try easyJet, Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Lufthansa, Air France, Ryanair, Iberia and Air Europa .
From the USA: Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Iberia, US Airways.
By train from the UK: for more information see www.seat61.com.
FROM THE AIRPORT: Trains run every 15-30 minutes to Sants (the city’s main rail terminal) and Passeig de Gràcia (a hub for metro and local train routes). The Aerobus service to Plaça de Catalunya in the city centre runs every 15 minutes and takes about 30 minutes. Or you can get a taxi for a fare.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Many of the main sights lie within a short stroll of each other, and the metro is fast and efficient - though make sure you keep an eye on your valuables. There’s also a network of local trains run by TMB and national Spanish rail (RENFE). Fares are cheap, but it’s worth getting a T-10, which is valid for 10 journeys (including buses and trams) and can be shared by 2 or more people, or a Barcelona Card, which can be used across all public transport for up to 5 days.