Skip to main content

Why You Should Fly to Barcelona to Embark on a Cruise

A European cruise is an unforgettable way to experience the diverse cultures, scenic treasures and cuisines of Western Europe. By taking one of our cruises out of Barcelona, you’ll have the satisfaction of adding one of the world’s most popular tourist satisfactions to already amazing itinerary.

In fact, starting in 2020 you can be one of the first to sail out of Barcelona on the brand new Carnival Radiance and experience its many upgraded features.

When you’re flying to Barcelona to embark on your cruise, we recommend you give yourself a few extra days to explore the city before or after you set sail. Barcelona has a glorious climate, no fewer than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition, Barcelona boasts a laid-back, relaxing atmosphere which is ideal for enjoying festive drinks and signature Catalan cuisine. Still need more reasons to take a cruise from Barcelona? We have complied a list of the top seven reasons you should book your cruise today!

the plaza espana at sunset

1. Admire Incredible Architecture

Barcelona’s architectural wonders are world-renowned, but you don’t need to be an architecture buff to appreciate its many unusual and impressive buildings. Most famous among them is La Sagrada Familía, the unfinished masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí with eight spindly spires that reach into the sky.

You’ll also have a chance to admire the relics of the Middle Ages, including 14th-century churches lining the winding streets and squares around the Gothic Quarter (Barri Góotic). You will have the opportunity to arrange a guided walking tour to learn more about these landmarks from an expert.

la sagrada famila in barcelona, spain

2. Discover World-Class Museums

Barcelona is home to countless fascinating museums that appeal to visitors of diverse interests.

  • If you want to learn about the city’s history as far back as Roman times, there are museums that offer a glimpse of Barcelona’s rich history.
  • Art enthusiasts will find a variety of art museums, dedicated to world-famous Spanish artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.
  • Experience the Barcelona Royal Dockyards and visit the museums around the area to learn more about the extensive collection of boats and sailing ships that created history in the Catalan maritime culture.
  • Visit the famous museum dedicated to the country’s soccer team
  • Enjoy Barcelona’s award-winning science museum that includes a recreation of the Amazon rain forest ecosystem and also has kid-friendly bubble planetarium.

the outside of a nautical museum in barcelona

3. Indulge in Beautiful Beaches

There are 10 blue flag beaches in Barcelona, which means they are certified for meeting the highest standards for clean water. Barcelona’s gorgeous beaches span close to three miles of the Mediterranean coast. Given the quality and abundance of beaches in Barcelona, it’s a great idea to fit in some beach time before embarking upon your cruise.

The most popular of the city’s beaches are Sant Sebastiá, Somorrostro and Barceloneta, all of which are patrolled by lifeguards and feature snack bars, hammock and umbrella rentals, bathrooms and showers. Feeling more adventurous? Beyond sunbathing and splashing around on the glorious beaches, you can also try kayaking and other watersport activities.

an aerial view of la barceloneta on a busy day

4. Stroll Las Ramblas

Barcelona’s most famous street is Las Ramblas, a wide, bustling promenade that stretches for three quarters of a mile from Plaçca de Catalunya in the very center of the city to the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell.

Along the way you can stop at one of the many outdoor cafés and bars, watch street performers, and check out vendors selling unique souvenirs. While you walk along Las Ramblas, keep an eye out for a larger-than life mosaic painted into the sidewalk, and mingle with the locals at the Font de Canaletes.

a close up view of the shops around las ramblas

5. Browse and Buy at La Boqueria

Just off Las Ramblas is La Boqueria, a huge public market and one of Barcelona’s most-visited tourist destinations. Explore its maze-like rows of stalls with colorful displays of fruits and vegetables, flowers, nuts, olives, herbs and spices.

There are about 200 vendors that consist of butchers’ stalls, delicatessens and fishmongers, as well as stalls selling handicrafts and artisanal goods. Some even operate as tiny counter service-only restaurants where you can grab a stool and enjoy some sangria and tapas.

Whether you’re sampling local culinary specialties or looking for souvenirs in Barcelona, La Boqueria has something for everyone. Note that the market is closed on Sundays, and it’s best to go early if you want to miss the big crowds.

the entrance sign of la boqueria

6. Explore Scenic Parks and Gardens

Barcelona boasts approximately 60 public parks and gardens, giving visitors many opportunities to enjoy the natural side of the city. Enjoy Montjuïc, the largest park in the city, set on the side of a mountain of the same name. Within its green expanse are forested areas, trails for walking, jogging and cycling, botanic and sculpture gardens, and the Magic Fountain.

At night, the Fountain is illuminated and choreographed to music – a delightful spectacle. Other parks to visit in Barcelona include the Gaudí-designed Park Güell, Labyrinth Park with its garden maze, and Parc de la Ciutadella which is home to both the Parliament building and Barcelona Zoo.

a panoramic view of park guell

7. Feast on Fantastic Foods and Drinks

With all the things to do in Barcelona, your appetite will be ready to tackle the city’s world-renowned dining scene. Don’t miss the chance to sample signature Catalan cuisine, which focuses on simple yet impeccable ingredients like jamón, fresh seafood, and seasonal produce.

Dine on iconic Spanish creations like paella and sangria, or try small bites of intriguing dishes at a tapas bar. Barcelona is infused with great food and drinks, and also features a vibrant nightlife scene, so you might have a change to watch live jazz or flamenco performances while you dine.

a pan full of a special spanish seafood rice called paella

With flying to Barcelona to kick off your vacation and experiencing unforgettable European destinations (Rome, Sicily, Dubrovnik and Malta), there’s no better time to book a European cruise.