Guide to Planning Your Holiday in Barcelona: Time Line for What To Do and When
Planning a trip away can sometimes feel like a mammoth task. However, if you break the job down into smaller segments, you should find it all easier to cope with. Before arranging the trip, you may still want to decide whether Barcelona is the tourist destination for you. After this, you will need to start thinking about the flights and accommodation. Once these are organised, it will be time to have a look into what specific things you want to do during your time in Barcelona and how you plan on getting to the city. In this plan, we have broken down all of the different elements of your trip so that you can plan it in manageable chunks.
This is only supposed to act as a general guideline - it does not need to be followed to the letter of the law. If you haven't done everything by the dates mentioned here, there's absolutely no need to panic.
Deciding whether Barcelona is the holiday destination for you
If you've never been to Barcelona before, you might still be deciding if it has what you're looking for in a holiday. It is worth taking a general look around the website to get an overall feel for what the city has to offer. However, pages that might be of particular interest include: our Photo Galleries (giving you the chance to check out some of Barcelona's scenery) and our Barcelona Attractions page (listing the top ten things to see whilst in the city).
Six months before you leave
Decide on the budget for the trip: once you know how much money you have to spend on your trip it will be easier to make decisions on flights, accommodation and activities for the holiday.
Decide on a date for your trip: It may be worth checking what events or public holidays are taking place when you intend on making the trip, as this could either add to or detract from the experience that you have in mind. Check our Public Holidays page for the biggest events in Barcelona's calendar year.
Book the flights: This might seem like a long time before the trip, but the sooner you get them booked, the cheaper that they are likely to be.
Click on the Guide to Airports Offering Access to Barcelona page to decide whether you would like to fly to Barcelona, Girona or Reus Airport.
Once you have decided which airport you wish to fly to, use our How to Find Cheap Flights to Barcelona page to find the best flight deals.
Book the accommodation: As with the flights, this might seem like a lot of notice, but this is how you are likely to get the best deals.
Firstly you will need to decide what sort of accommodation will best suit your needs. Have a look at our How to Choose the Right Barcelona Accommodation for Your Needs page to decide whether an apartment, hotel, aparthotel or a hostal will be best for you and your fellow travellers.
If you decide that a hotel is best for you, then take a look at our Hotel Accommodation Guide page. Here you will find links to hotels categorised by star rating or location. We have also provided lists of hotels categorised by themes: romantic hotels, budget hotels, family friendly hotels, business hotels, value for money hotels, luxury hotels, pet friendly hotels, spa hotels and boutique hotels.
If you decide that an apartment will better suit your needs, check our Barcelona Apartment Rentals Guide for advice on what to look for when booking an apartment and advice on what area of Barcelona to consider when booking your apartment.
For some, a camping holiday is what is needed. If this is the case you will find that you will need to stay outside of Barcelona city centre. However, on our Camping in Barcelona page you can find out about the campsites closest to Barcelona.
One month before you leave
Book the activities: You may decide that all you really want to do during your trip is wander around and get a feel for the city. In that case you can definitely skip this step. However, if you are new to the city, it's worth checking out whether there are any particular attractions, guided tours or shows that take your fancy.
For a run-down of a selection of guided tour options in Barcelona, including tours of Camp Nou stadium, walking tours of the city and open top bus tours, see our Barcelona Guided Tours main page.
Book the restaurants: There is no need to make any concrete decisions, but it's always a good idea to know a bit about your eating options prior to the trip. This will save you from traipsing around the old town searching for somewhere that looks nice when everybody's starving. Take a look at our Barcelona Restaurants Guide page for some restaurant reviews by ourselves and site visitors.
Two weeks before you leave
Decide on transport from the airport: Depending on what airport you're flying into, there are differing options on how to get into Barcelona city centre. It's worth weighing up the pros and cons of each transport option to decide which will be best suited to you.
If you are travelling to Barcelona Airport, check out our Barcelona Airport Transport page.
If you are travelling into Girona Airport, you can see the options on our Girona Airport to Barcelona page.
If you are travelling into Reus Airport, check the best way to get into Barcelona city centre on our Reus Airport Transfers page.
The day before you leave
Get packed and get excited: you deserve a break and a good old knees up after all of that organising.