Going ashore in Barcelona, Spain

Coming with the ship to Barcelona can be one of those moments you really need to take advantage from. If you have a few hours to spend you must go out of the port as soon as possible and enjoy a nice walk in the centre of the town.

Barcelona has a touristic port Port Vell  very close to Rambla, but you will arrive there only if you travel by cruisers. If the ship you are traveling by is just a port container vessel, you will most probably arrive in TCB Barcelona – Terminal de Contenidores. There are no shuttle busses available in this port, so you’ll have to walk your way to the gate, following some mandatory routes which are marked with yellow signs on the pier. You are not allowed to cross over the terminal, under the working cranes, nor in the same roads with the big trucks. Following the curves of the pier, you will reach the gate in 15-20 minutes, depending on the place your vessel is docked. Once you arrive at the gate, the security officers on duty will be kind enough to call a taxi for you and, for a ride to the centre, you will have to pay less than 15 Euros. As a matter of fact, you will not arrive exactly in the centre, because, if you have only 3-4 hours to spend, the best place to start your visit is the Statue of Christopher Columbus ( Mirador Colom) which stands at the beginning of Barcelona’s most famous boulevard – Rambla.

Very close to the statue, you can find the touristic port of Barcelona – Port Vell –  and also a shopping area.

Barcelona Port Vell

If your visit is longer, you can try and enjoy the city more. Barcelona has a very good and organized underground system of transportation and you can use it in order to move from one place to another, to visit the centre and the most well known tourist attractions. You have to know that moving around by taxi is very cheap, comparing with many other European cities.


– Visit the Mercat de la Boqueria, one of Barcelona most famous market (on Rambla);

Barcelona Mercat de la Boqueria

Barcelona Mercat de la Boqueria 3

Barcelona Mercat de la Boqueria 2

– Climb in the Statue of Columbus (Mirador de Colom) if you want to have a bird eye view over the city (one ticket costs 4.5 Euros);

Barcelona view from Mirador Colom

Barcelona view from Mirador Colom 3

Barcelona view from Mirador Colom 2

– Pay a visit to Barcelona most beloved cathedral – Sagrada Familia – to admire the masterpiece of one of the city’s greatest architects, Gaudi (entrance ticket ~15 Euros). If you do not have enough time to visit the interior of the Cathedral ( the lines are always very long at the entrance), a stroll around the walls of the Cathedral will surely worth your visit;

Barcelona Sagrada Familia

– If you like nature and want to have a sip of local life, you should have a walk in one of the many parks and gardens of the city. The most famous of them is Parc de la Ciutadella where you can see and admire different types of plants, very well organized and shadowed alleys, a beautiful Fountain and a few nice cafés. In the afternoon, the park becomes a real performance scene where lots of people (young and old) try their best in playing different musical instruments or practicing various types of sports. You will feel very much alive and full of energy watching all these people who are gathering together in groups to spend an enjoyable afternoon (or evening). Parc de la Ciutadella is also the place where many Festivals and Exhibitions take place during the summer (Music Festival, Art Festival, Science and Discoveries Exhibitions and many more);

Barcelona Parc de la Ciutadella 3

Barcelona Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona Parc de la Ciutadella 2

– Visit the Aquarium which is very close to the touristic Port Vell (ticket costs ~20 euros). With its very futurist architecture, the Aquarium of Barcelona is a very nice place to spend an afternoon, among  thousands of different species of fish, mammals and reptiles.

– If you are lucky enough to arrive in the city in the afternoon and you have the whole evening ahead of you, you must pay a visit to the famous Magic Fountain and enjoy the 2 hour show of music and lights. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions and it does not require any entrance ticket. The shows start at 9 p.m every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between May and September and at 7 p.m every Friday and Saturday between October and April. The most spectacular show is the one that starts at 11 o’clock, but you will need to get there a few hours in advance if you want to find a good spot for watching and taking photos. The shows are scheduled to last for 30 minutes, but the breaks between them are almost unnoticeable, so everything looks like a continuous show of lights and music, with some moments of high tension and glorious endings, accompanied by the voices of hundreds of people.

Barcelona Magic Fountain

Barcelona Magic Fountain by night

Barcelona Magic Fountain by night 3

Barcelona Magic Fountain by night 2

– Try to avoid Rambla if you want to do some shopping, because here the prices are much over the averages you will find anywhere else in the city, but be sure to have a walk in this area late in the afternoon in order to see some very good display of various forms of art – live music, dancing, mimes and painters doing portraits in the street.

Barcelona Rambla


Barcelona is a big and very beautiful city and a 3-4 hour visit can only convince you to give it another chance and offer it a real holiday in the future. In the meantime, after your 3-4 hour visit, you will be able to have more than a vague idea about this amazing city.


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