There’s plenty of reasons why Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the world, attracting over 8 million overnight visitors annually. Make sure you add a few days to your Spanish Grand Prix holiday to discover the culture, history, cuisine and architecture that make the Catalan capital such a special place. The Formula 1® Gran Premio de España 2018 takes place on May 10-13.
To really get the most out of your trip to the Spanish Grand Prix, we recommend staying in downtown Barcelona. The city is easily explored on foot, and you’ll also be able to enjoy the best bars, restaurants and nightlife after your day at the track. Book your accommodation with F1 Experiences and you’ll also enjoy daily transfers to and from the circuit!
…or on the Costa Brava
Alternatively, why not turn your trip to the Spanish Grand Prix into a beach holiday? Barcelona in May is a welcome relief after a long winter for those of us based in colder climes. Expect clear skies and sunny, warm weather without the humidity of the later summer months. You’ll find plenty of nice resorts on the nearby Costa Brava, all with good access to both Barcelona and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Choose from larger resort towns with plenty of nightlife like Lloret de Mar or smaller villages like Calella. One or two-week packages are available with flights from most major European cities.
Explore the Circuit on Friday
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a compact, fan-friendly circuit that’s just asking to be explored. The best time to do this is on Friday when there’s unrestricted access to almost all the grandstands around the circuit. Our favorite places to watch the action include the member’s area on the inside of Turn 1, the outside of Turn 3 and the slow-speed Turns 14 & 15. Round out your Friday with a tour of the paddock and a party in the Formula One Paddock Club™, available with selected F1 Experiences Packages!
Discover Gaudi’s legacy
Antoni Gaudi’s trifecta of passions – architecture, nature, religion – left a huge footprint on the city of Barcelona. The first stop on your Gaudi tour of Barcelona should be the Catalan architect’s great unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Família (Church of the Sacred Family). Construction began in 1882 and isn’t expected to be completed for another 20 years! Next up, spend a few hours exploring Parc Güell, which comprises over 40 acres of mosaic staircases, mythical sculptures and walkways with panoramic views of the city. Examples of Gaudi’s architecture can be found all over the city; other notable examples include Casa Milà at 92 Passeig de Gràcia and Casa Vicens in the hip neighborhood of Gràcia, which also serves as a museum.
Walk from La Ramblas to La Barceloneta
No trip to Barcelona would be complete without taking a walk down La Ramblas, the pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare in the heart of the city that is busy with tourists by day and locals on the town by night. You’ll find souvenir stands, buskers and street performers, but the number one activity seems to be people watching. Keep walking at the end of La Ramblas and you’ll hit the port area of the city, where you can check out everything from large cruise ships to mega yachts owned by Russian oligarchs. A little further afield is La Barceloneta Beach, where you can keep walking along the oceanfront or even take a dip in the Mediterranean. Stay on the beach in the iconic sail-shaped W Barcelona Hotel or the AC Hotel by Marriott Barcelona Forum with F1® Experiences. Add accommodation to your package today!
Get Lost in the Gothic Quarter
The oldest part of Barcelona, located right next to La Ramblas, is also one of the liveliest. Wander the narrow streets of Barrio Gótico lined with shops, tapas bars, restaurants and clubs, many of which open up into beautiful plazas. Notable landmarks include Barcelona Cathedral, the Historic Museum of Barcelona and Plaça de Sant Jaume, where you will find Casa de la Ciutat (City Hall), and Palau de la Generalitat (Palace of the Catalan government).
Don’t leave Barcelona without savoring some of the city’s famous sharing plates, which are best enjoyed in a busy bar environment with a good glass of vermouth or cava (sparkling wine). Popular local tapas favorites include Pincho (small slices of bread with various toppings), Patatas Bravas (small potato cubes with a spicy tomato sauce), Pan con Tomate and Chipirones (deep-fried baby squid).
Check out Parc Montjuïc
Overlooking the port and just two metro stops from La Ramblas is Parc Montjuïc, which hosted the Spanish Grand Prix four times from 1969-1975. You won’t find too many reminders of the infamous street circuit these days, but Montjuïc is definitely worth a visit. The best way to get to Montjuïc Castle – a military fortress at the top of the park dating to the 17th century – is to take the cable car. Once you’ve taken in the spectacular views of the city, you can slowly walk back down the hill through the botanic gardens created for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Do a Tour of Camp Nou
Even if you are not a fan of FC Barcelona, taking a tour of the Camp Nou stadium is still a thrilling experience for anyone interested in sports. Go behind the scenes at Europe’s largest football stadium (capacity 99,354) with a look at the player’s tunnel, players benches, press room and commentary boxes. You can also check out the team’s trophies and more in the FC Barcelona museum.