One of Europe’s largest and busiest cruise ports, Barcelona welcomes more than 2.5 million cruise passengers each year. The Catalan capital makes a popular stop and starting point for Mediterranean cruises, including liners operated by Princess, Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Costa.
For first-time visitors to Barcelona, the must-see attractions include Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, La Boqueria market, and Gaudi’s magnificent La Sagrada Familia church. The city sights are quite spread out, so a hop-on hop-off bus tour is a convenient option, while bike and Segway tours often explore further afield, including attractions such as Montjuic hill, Parc de la Ciutadella, Barceloneta Beach, and the Arc de Triomf.
The most popular day trip destinations include the mountaintop Montserrat monastery, around an hour’s drive away; the beaches of the Costa Brava, just north of the city; and the Penedes wine region, famous for its cava.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Shore excursions typically include port pickup and drop-off.
- Barcelona is notorious for its pickpockets, so keep an eye on your belongings and leave any valuables aboard the ship.
- The Maremagnum shopping mall, IMAX complex, and Barcelona Aquarium are located in the Port Vell area, right beside the cruise terminals.
How to Get to Barcelona from the Port of Barcelona
Barcelona’s eight cruise terminals are clustered around historic Port Vell at the foot of Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous thoroughfare. Although it is feasible to walk from the closer terminals, most visitors opt to catch a shuttle bus to Las Ramblas, from where many of the city’s sights are reachable on foot. Alternatively, a taxi ride to the Gothic Quarter takes only 10 minutes from the port.
Barcelona has two official languages—Spanish and Catalan—but English is also widely spoken, especially around the main tourist areas. The local currency is the euro, available from banks and ATMs throughout the city. Restaurants, cafés, and other amenities are located at each terminal.