Barcelona Travel Guide

Barcelona is a beautiful city with many contrasting environments. From the beach life of Barceloneta through to the enchanting Gothic Quarter, many memories will be made on a school tour to the Catalan capital.

Barcelona school trip travel guide

An introduction to Barcelona

Getting lost in the symmetrical grid of streets in the Eixample (meaning 'Expansion') in the height of a hot sticky day is about as immersive an experience you can get in Barcelona. Built to accommodate the tens of thousands of people attracted to the city in the 19th century, it swallowed up a number of small towns, but also brought to our attention one Antoni Gaudi, whose work can be found here... a number of his houses can be found by Passeig de Gràcia, and a certain church called the Sagrada Familia is also here. This area is so vast that if you do get lost on your Barcelona school tour, you will see daily life of Catalan people which is a joy to watch, if you can avoid the main avenues (traffic noise) and of course find some shade! Plunging into the heart of the tourist attractions, your students will be desperate to wander La Rambla and the Gothic quarter and then hit the beach in Barceloneta to soak up some rays. Since the Olympics in 1992 the city is truly first class and a perfect destination for a school trip.

All visits are covered by our externally verified Safety Management System and are pre-paid when applicable. Prices and opening times are accurate as of May 2018 and are subject to change and availability. Booking fees may apply to services provided by Voyager School Travel when paid on site.

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History

Montjuïc Hill, Park, Castle and Cable Car

Once upon a time it was home to Iberic Celts - that's several thousand years ago - and it was later used by Romans as a ceremonial place. The large hill overlooking the city has excellent views from the castle terraces. More recently, the hill has been famous for the 1929 International Exhibition and the 1992 Olympics. 

For the 1929 International Exhibition it was decided that a Spanish village would be built to show visitors a representative sample of Spanish architecture. It features 116 different buildings, in different styles, representing Spain's many regions. The Spanish Village features a large square, picturesque streets, a town hall, a church, a monastery, shops and residential buildings. During the Civil War it was used as an internment camp for prisoners.

Other monuments, gardens and pavilions remain from 1929 International exhibition, including the illuminated fountain. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc first spouted on 19 May 1929 during the Great Universal Exhibition and continues to delight visitors to Barcelona today. The fountain delivers a spectacular display of colour, light and water acrobatics with musical accompaniment every Thursday to Sunday in the summer months and every Friday and Saturday during winter. 

The Museum of Catalonian Art, The Archaelogical Museum, The Joan Miro Foundation & Olympic stadium are all on Montjuïc. Recently, there have been other additions to accommodate Barcelona's 2004 Universal Forum of Culture such as a lake, an information centre with a cafe and new park lands.

You can walk up the hill but if it's really hot you may prefer to take the cable car for spectacular views while 'in-flight'.
telefericdemontjuic.cat

Price Group rate £11 (Min 25 people)
Opening times Cable car
Jan - Feb: 10:00 - 18:00
Mar - May: 10:00 - 19:00
Jun - Sept: 10:00 - 21:00
Oct: 10:00 - 19:00
Nov - Dec: 10:00 - 18:00

La Sagrada Família

La Sagrada Família is one of Gaudi's most famous buildings, still under construction since works began back in 1882. After Gaudí’s death, the work carried out in the church is just an interpretation of what the famous architect would have wanted. It is a magnificent building and a must see when visiting Barcelona on your school trip.
sagradafamilia.org

Price Non-guided tour £9pp
Guided group tour £220
Opening times Nov - Jan: 09:00 - 18:00
Mar: 09:00 - 19:00
Apr - Sept: 09:00 - 20:00
Oct: 09:00 - 19:00

Barcelona Cathedral (La Seu)

Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Santa Eulàlia, also known as La Seu, is located in the centre of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic district), also Barcelona’s city centre. This stunning example of Catalan Gothic architecture began construction in 1280 and was finally finished in 1913. 

The dress code to enter the Cathedral is strictly enforced. If you plan to visit the Cathedral, make sure that you dress respectfully with your shoulders and knees covered.
catedralbcn.org

Price Free
Opening times Mon - Fri: 12:30 - 19:45
Sat: 12:30 - 17:30
Sun / Bank holidays: 14:00 - 15:30

Museum Marítim de Barcelona

Barcelona has been an influential and important port for thousands of years. Located by the waterfront in one of Barcelona’s finest landmark buildings, The Museum Marítim is housed in the gothic medieval shipyards.

Established in 1929, the Museu Marítim de Barcelona has  some major collections centered on Catalan seafaring culture.Take a journey through the history of seafaring with highlights including model ships, nautical instruments, seascapes, figureheads and maps. Don't miss the replica of the historic schooner Santa Eulàlia, a 46-metre-long, four-masted vessel dating from 1918, which is moored in Barcelona's harbour.
mmb.cat

Price Free
Opening times 10.00 to 20.00 daily

El Poble Espanyol ("Spanish Town")

The Poble Espanyol ("Spanish Town") is an open-air architectural museum, located on the mountain of Montjuïc. It was built in 1929, for the Barcelona International Exhibition, that was held in Barcelona that year. Josep Puig i Cadafalch had the idea for the museum: a town in which the architecture, style, and culture of various locations from around Spain were preserved in a single place.
poble-espanyol.com

Price Contact your Voyager salesperson
Opening times Mon: 09:00 - 20:00
Tues, Weds, Thurs, Sun: 09:00 - 00:00
Fri: 09:00 - 03:00
Sat: 09:00 - 04:00

Monastery of Poblet

In 1991 Poblet Monastery was declared World Heritage Site a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Santa Maria de Poblet was founded by monks from southern France in 1150. A community of Cistercian monks moved back in after the Spanish Civil War and did much to restore the monastery to its former glory after decades of ruin.
poblet.cat

Price £4
Opening times 15 March to 13 October
Monday to Saturday:
10:00 - 12:30 / 15:00 - 17:25
Sunday / Holidays:
10:30 - 12:25 / 15:00 - 17:25

Montserrat – The Monastery and the mountain

Montserrat is a multi-peaked rocky range located near the city of Barcelona.

The monastery of Montserrat was founded in 1025 by the Abbot-Bishop Oliba. It is a place of pilgrimage and culture and home of the image of Our Lady of Montserrat, popularly known as La Moreneta (the Dark One), due to the dark colour of her skin - she is a beautiful 12th century Romanesque polychrome carving. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed Our Lady of Montserrat Patron Saint of Catalonia in 1881. 

There are two funicular railway lines from the sanctuary of Our Lady of Montserrat.
montserratvisita.com

Price Basilica entry free
Railway adult £4-£9
Railway child £2-£4
Opening times Basilica: 07:30 - 20:00
Railway times vary

Girona

A day trip to Girona (possibly combined with is a visit to the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres) is an excellent change of scene. A smaller but equally interesting centre with many Roman connections, including the remains of a Roman road that was built to connect Tarragona with Rome. The old quarter is located within the city walls where you'll also find the 12th century Cathedral, gothic in style, except for the Western front, which is Baroque-Catalan. Look out for Charlemagne's marble throne and a tapestry dating back to the 11th century, called 'Creation.' 
girona.cat

Tarragona

Historically, 'Tarraco' was a 'Little Rome', a port city, open to the Mediterranean, where a multitude of languages were spoken. It has especially pleasant weather; meaning it has always been a good place to live and prosper. This is still found the spirit of the city today. Walking along the streets and plazas of the medieval city or contemplating the horizons over Mare Nostrum, you can get a sense of why the city was once a favourite of an emperor: Augustus. 

The most famous event across the year in Tarragona is the 'Castells' competition. Originating here and dating back some 300 years, teams build human towers of many tiers, but these are only considered a success if the 'enxaneta' (always a small child) reaches the top, raises one open hand and then descends the other side of the tower without falling or the tower collapsing! Tarragona's festival takes place in October but dozens of other towns across Catalonia also celebrate this risky tradition.
tarragonaturisme.cat

Tarragona

Calafell

Often though of as a resort, Calafell is in fact home to a number of historical interests such as the medieval castle and the Romanesque church of Santa Creu. 

There are two outdoor markets: on Tuesday in the town’s Market Square and on Friday mornings next to the Segur de Calafell RENFE railway station, where you can find a wide range of fashionable products, home items, charcuterie and vegetable produce.
turisme.calafell.cat

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Geography

CosmoCaixa Barcelona

This bank-sponsored science museum has a wide variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions and a planetarium to explore. The highlight for many students is the Flooded Forest section which recreates the extremes of heat humidity and of course rain, that might be experienced in the Amazonian jungle.
obrasociallacaixa.org

Price Group rate £42pp
+ optional extras
Opening times 10.00 to 20.00 daily

Aquarium Barcelona

Barcelona Aquarium

This impressive aquarium is home to 450 species and includes a huge ocean tank (nearly 4m litres) where species of shark and rays can be found.
aquariumbcn.com

 

Price £9
Opening times Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 19:30
Weekends/Holidays: 10:00 - 20:00

Zoo Barcelona

Located in the picturesque Ciutadella Parc (well worth a walk here or even a game of Table Tennis) the zoo is home to a wide variety of animals including Komodo Dragons, a variety of Apes, Giraffes and Elephants.
zoobarcelona.cat

Price £8
Opening times Check website
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Art

Park Güell and Casa-Museu Gaudí

The Gaudí House Museum in Park Güell, was Gaudí's home from 1906 until late-1925. Commissioned by the industrialist Güell to build a 'Garden City', Gaudí created a hodge-podge of surreal and abstract constructions that can be seen in the park today, with spectacular views over the city and the Mediterranean. Unfortunately the project was abandoned with only 2 of 60 planned houses completed.

The house itself conserves both the memory of Gaudí and many examples of furniture and other objects that he designed.
parkguell.cat
casamuseugaudi.org

Price £6
Opening times Monumental zone
Oct - Mar: 08:30 - 18:15
Apr - May . Aug - Oct: 08:00 - 20:30
May - Aug: 08:00 - 21:30
Gaudí House Museum
Oct - Mar: 10:00 - 18:00
Apr - Sept: 09:00 -20:00

Park Güell

Gaudí Experience

'Gaudí Experiència' is a fun new cultural activity in Barcelona that offers a different, unique way to learn about Gaudí and his work through state-of-the-art technology.

Located next to Park Güell, students delve into the magical world of this genius of Catalan Modernisme and discover the mysteries and enigmas hidden in his innovative architectural language through a 4D audiovisual projection. Thanks to the Scope screen, active stereoscopic vision, surround sound, moving seats and other special effects, students can discover Antoni Gaudí’s main works first-hand and how nature inspired his creations: a forest that turns into imposing columns, chimneys hiding an army of warriors and a roof that reveals a dragon’s skin. 
gaudiexperiencia.com

Price £6
Opening times Oct - Mar: 11:30 - 16:00
Apr - Sept: 10:30 - 19:00

Casa Milà - 'La Pedrera'

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, La Pedrera was a private commission in 1906 and today is one of the most photographed of Gaudí’s works. It actually consists of two buildings, structured around two courtyards which are designed to deliver natural light to all nine storeys.
lapedrera.com

Price Non-guided tour £14.50pp
Guided tour £19.50pp
Opening times 09:00 - 20:30 / 21:00 - 23:00 daily

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló was built in 1877 and re-modelled in the years 1904–1906 by Gaudí. Known as 'Casa dels osso's (House of Bones), it can be found on the main thoroughfare Passeig de Gràcia, and stands out amongst it's less exciting neighbours.

Look up to the roof to see the body of dragon, in theory being slayed by St. George, the patron saint of Catalonia.
casabatllo.es

Price £20
Opening times 09.00 to 21.00 daily

Fundació Joan Miró

Atop Montjuïc hill, this gallery and workshop is where to find many of Mirós finest work along with many examples of contemporary modern art exhibited in Espai 10 and Espai 13.
fmirobcn.org

Price £6 (Under 14's free)
Opening times Nov - Mar Tues - Fri: 10:00 - 18:00
Apr - Oct Tues - Fri: 10:00 - 20:00
Thurs: 10:00 - 21:00 Sat: 10:00 - 21:00
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 - 14:30
Closed Mondays

Picasso Museum Barcelona

Over 4000 works by Picasso are housed here, not necessarily all on display, but nevertheless, this is a treasure trove of arguably the most influential artist of the 20th century in the world. 
museupicasso.bcn.cat

Price Free
Opening times Tues - Sun: 09:00 - 19:00
Thurs: 09:00 -21:30
Closed Mondays

Picasso Museum

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

Over 1000 years of Catalan art can be seen here with dedicated sections to Romanesque and Gothic, Renaissance and Modern art. The Museum is housed in the Palau Nacional, a huge, Italian-style building dating to 1929.
museunacional.cat

Price £9
Opening times Oct - Apr
Tues - Sat: 10:00 - 18:00
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 -15:00
May - Sept
Tues - Sat: 10:00 - 18:00
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 -15:00
Closed Mondays

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona

MACBA was founded in 1959 by Alexandre Cirici Pellicer, but it's modern manifestation as a public gallery did not open until 1995. The collection is extensive, predominantly showing Catalan and Spanish artist but with some international representatives. The Study Centre, Library Reading Room and Special Collections Room opened to the public in 2007 and would be well worth a visit with your group.
macba.cat

Price £8 (Under 14's free)
Opening times Mon - Fri: 11:00 - 19:30
Sat: 10:00 -20:00
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 - 15:00
Closed Tuesdays

CaixaForum Barcelona

This enormous exhibition space named after the bank who purchased the building in 1963, hosts a variety of exhibitions and installations year round. The building itself is of interest too, a former factory that won the City Council's award for best industrial building in 1911, the year of construction.

Price Free
Opening times Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 20:00
Weekends/Holidays: 10:00 - 21:00

Museu Dalí, Figueres

2 hours drive north of Barcelona, Figueres is Dalí's birthplace and his resting place, he lies in the crypt below the theatre stage. The museum houses the world's largest collection of his work, with the Mae West room a highlight. Some of Dalí's own collection are also present, such as El Greco and Marcel Duchamp.
salvador-dali.org

Price £9
Opening times Jan - Feb / Nov-Dec: 10:30 - 18:00
March - May / June, Oct: 09:30 - 18:00
July - Sept: 09:00 - 20:00
August nights: 22:00 - 01:00

Sitges

20 miles or so south of Barcelona, Sitges is a stylish and artistic seaside resort and is renowned as the unofficial 'Gay capital' of Spain. Reliant heavily on tourism, the bars, beaches and nightclubs are only one side of the town's identity; with many historic sites nearby, plenty of art galleries and museums dedicated to Modernisme and an internationally respected Film Festival in November, this really is a place of cultural contrasts!
visitsitges.com

 

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Politics and Economics

Catalan Parliament

The earliest records of a Catalan Parliament date back almost 1000 years. Today, 135 elected members sit in the house representing 7.5m people consisting of; any Spanish citizen registered in a town in Catalonia and any Catalan residing temporarily or permanently abroad. In 2017 the parliament conducted an independent referendum as to whether Catalonia should become an independent republic. The vote was passed by 92%.
parlament.cat

Barcelona Stock Exchange

Opened officially in 1989, (although an exchange has been in operation since 1915) Barcelona Stock Exchange is one of the most important exchanges in Spain with 700+ companies listed.It receives 700,000 visitors per annum.
borsabcn.es

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Recreation

Olympic Museum

Renovated for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and home to a number of sports teams over the years including Espanyol and Catalan Dragons, the Olympic Stadium and Museum on Montjuïc hill are well worth a visit. 
museuolimpicbcn.cat

Price £3
Opening times Oct - Mar
Tues - Sat: 10:00 - 18:00
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 -14:30
Apr - Sept
Tues - Sat: 10:00 - 20:00
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 -14:30
Closed Mondays

Camp Nou Stadium and Tour

One of the most famous stadiums in the world, Camp Nou is a must for football fans. With a capacity of just under 100,000 matches played here are like no other, not only is the atmosphere phenomenal, but also the quality of football played on the pitch by the likes of Messi, Suarez and Coutinho is usually sublime. 
fcbarcelona.com

Price £18
Guided group rate £170
Opening times Mar - Oct
Mon - Sat: 09:30 - 19:30
Sun/Bank holidays: 10:00 - 14:30
Nov - Feb
Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 18:30
Sun/Bank holidays: 10:00 - 14:30
Times may vary

Circuit de Catalunya

Home of the Spanish Grand Prix, a tour of the Circuit de Catalunya offers an insight into Formula 1 and a behind the scenes look at a modern racetrack (The briefing room, pre-podium, podium, the Press room, Race control, Lounge, the boxes and the paddock).
circuitcat.com

Price Guided tour £10
Opening times 10:00, 12:00 and 15:00

Tibidabo

Tibidabo theme park, set on a hill to the north of Barcelona, features a number of rides and shows for all ages. The Amusement park is one of the oldest in the world and retains most of the original rides, some of which date to the turn of the 20th century. The park features in the Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
tibidabo.cat

Price £13
Opening times Times and availability vary
seasonally. See website

Las Golondrinas

An alternative way to see the beautiful city. These boat rides tour the port area and last approximately 40 minutes.
lasgolondrinas.com

Price £8 to £13
Opening times Autumn/Winter: 11:00 - 16:00
Spring: 16:00 - 19:00
Summer: 10:00 - 21:00

Tablao de Carmen - Flamenco show

The Tablao del Carmen is a traditional Flamenco show that can be found in the Poble Espanol at Montjuic. The show pays tribute to the famous dancer Carmen Amaya who performed in front of the King.
tablaodecarmen.com

Price £39
Opening times Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 19:00
Sun/Holidays: 10:00 - 15:00

Maremagnum Shopping and Dining

This shopping centre is an all-family entertainment facility. Featuring a large variety of shops and boutiques including homeware, clothing, jewellery, toy shops, cosmetics and shoe shops, even one of the official Barça merchandising stores. There is also a panoramic platform offering a 360º view over the sea and the Barcelona skyline where it’s possible to find restaurants to cater for all.
maremagnum.klepierre.es

Opening times Every day: 10:00 - 21:00
Dining: 11:00 - 01:00

Santa Susanna

Some 80km north of Barcelona, this seaside resort boasts 2km of lovely beaches and is ideal for a day trip to splash around in the sea. The spectacular 13th century country house Can Ratés is renowned for live performance events.
stasusanna-barcelona.uk

Illa Fantasia

This pleasant water park is located in Premià de Mar near Barcelona and has 22 slides and 2 giant pools.
illafantasia.com

Price £7
Opening times Times vary seasonally
Refer to website

Waterworld - Lloret de Mar

Another huge waterpark with wave pools and numerous slides; some gentle, some intimidating!
waterworld.es

Price £27
Opening times Times vary seasonally
Refer to website

Aquopolis

Aquopolis also offers lots of hair-raising slides and pools but in addition, there's a dolphinarium where you see dolphins and sea lions. Located the other side of Tarragona, it's at least a 2-hour drive from Barcelona.
costa-dorada.aquopolis.es

Price £22
Opening times Times vary seasonally
Refer to website

Port Aventura

Port Aventura is a theme park near Salou, with rides, live entertainment and other amusements. It opens from March to January and is located about an hour and a half away from Barcelona.
portaventuraworld.com

Price Ages 12-17 £29
Adults £39
Opening times Times vary seasonally
Refer to website

Port Aventura Caribe Aquapark

Part of the same complex as the main theme park, the Caribbean themed waterpark has dozens of slides and pools to help you cool down on a hot day.
portaventuraworld.com

Price Ages 12-17 £19
Adults £23
Opening times Times vary seasonally
Refer to website

Aqualeon

A smaller water park about 80km from Barcelona with an emphasis on younger children and families.
aqualeon.es

Price £22
Opening times Times vary seasonally
Refer to website

 

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