Barcelona was one of my first ever solo destinations, right behind Lisbon, and to say I was a little nervous is a huge understatement.

As a girl who could only say uno mas cerveza and gracias, Spain was about to teach me a whole lot of lessons. But, my trip also become one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had!

Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. The city is full of gorgeous architecture, the warm Spanish sun, and, of course, all the tapas you can eat.

It’s a perfect destination for solo travellers looking to experience a gorgeous blend of cultures and have loads of fun. And trust me, you won’t be the only one.

Barcelona welcomes almost 10 million visitors each year, and if you stay in hostels, it feels like 50% of those visitors are solo travellers. Yay, for us! The dorms are filled with people from all ages and different walks of life, and they really bring the solo travel in Barcelona to life.

So, if you’re planning your solo trip to Barcelona, let’s get some questions answered: Here’s your ultimate guide to solo travel in Barcelona.

Laura sitting in front of Torre Glories tower in Barcelona
I didn’t end up here by accident.
Photo: @Lauramcblonde

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9 Things to Do in Barcelona When Travelling Solo

When travelling in Barcelona, not a day goes by where there isn’t something to do. Whether you want to explore the city, watch a footy game, join a food tour, or even take a day trip to a nearby town.

Here are just a handful of some of my personal favourite must-do activities for solo travellers in Barcelona. There are plenty more awesome things to do in the city that I couldn’t fit on this list – just some inspo for ya’.

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    1. Take a Walking Tour

    There are so many cool places to visit in Barcelona, and the best way to see them all is by taking a walking tour of the city. A walking tour is usually free, making it perfect for solo travellers on a budget, and it will allow you to meet other solo travellers whilst staying in Spain.

    Walking tours typically start in the Gothic Quarter and will take you to some of the city’s most famous landmarks. These tours won’t give you entry into the places you visit, but they will provide an overview of the city’s history and architecture.

    2. Visit the Iconic Sagrada Familia

    Did you really visit Barcelona if you didn’t visit the famous Sagrada Familia? The Basilica is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and is a must-see for solo travellers in Barcelona. And somehow, after 100+ years, it’s still unfinished. (I’ve heard rumours this is so they don’t have to pay property tax.)

    view of the sagrada familia in barcelona spain
    If only Gaudi knew how much BCN will rinse him.
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    But that doesn’t make it any less spectacular. You will have to buy tickets in advance as only a certain amount of people can enter per day and you would hate to miss out on seeing this masterpiece. This is a great activity to do solo, as the audio tour guide will let you go at your own pace, and you won’t have to worry about keeping up with a group.

    3. Get Lost in Park Guell

    Visiting Park Güell is one of my favourite things to do in Barcelona. The iconic park is full of gorgeous sculptures, cool buildings, and amazing views of the city. You can spend hours here wandering around and exploring. Tickets are also limited, and you can either buy just an entry ticket for 10 Euros or you can join a guided tour if you’re looking to meet other travellers.

    The mosaic gecko statue at Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
    Yes, yes, Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi.
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

    During the summers, there can be some long ass lines to the park, and in the Spanish heat, woof, you’ll definitely need a sangria after. But you can book a skip-the-line ticket and bypass all the sweaty tourists.

    4. Take a Spanish Class

    If you have a little bit more time in Barcelona on your solo trip to Spain, I highly recommend taking a Spanish class. Learning a new language is always fun. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture, meet some friends, and feel more confident travelling around the city solo.

    While everyone speaks at least a little English, being able to order in español will give you a little confidence boost and allow you to experience the city more fully. You can find language schools all over the city, with many offering flexible schedules for travellers.

    5. Join a Paella Cooking Class

    Ah, paella—the most beautiful sight in all of Spain. The delicious rice dish is the national food of Spain, and it’s a must-try while in Barcelona. I dream of this dish on the regular.

    Two very exciting travelled about to try Seafood Paella in Spain
    Buzzing with this, obviously.
    Photo: @danielle_wyatt

    Joining a cooking class is a great way to take a little piece of the culture home with you, as you’ll be able to make it for yourself and your friends after your solo adventure. In this cooking class, you’ll join others and visit the famous Mercat de la Boqueria. You’ll try some yummy tapas, and have a full night of cooking, laughing, and downing some Sangria with new friends.

    6. Stay Up All Night on a Bar Crawl

    One of my fondest memories of my first trip to Barcelona was joining a bar crawl that my hostel put on one night. Led by solo travellers who are volunteering at the hostel, this is a great way to meet other travellers and see one of the best party cities in Europe come alive at night.

    Typically, it’s a walking tour, or maybe you’ll take the metro. Anyway, you’ll go from bar to bar, taking shots of the famous absinthe and playing some silly drinking games that involve ping pong balls and lots of alcohol. And then, most likely, you’ll end up at one of the best clubs in the city and dance until the wee hours of the night.

    7. Take a Day Trip to Montserrat

    About an hour outside of the city, you’ll be transported into a different Spanish world, and it’s freaking awesome. Montserrat is a monastery that’s nestled into the side of a mountain, and it’s worth the trip for both the views and the experience.

    Take a Day Trip to Montserrat
    Cool, huh?

    You can take a train from Barcelona to Montserrat or go on an organized tour, which is what I did. (I highly recommend this one.) You’ll ride a train, visit the Royal Basilica, and meet other travellers who are interested in Renaissance-era architecture and magical views.

    8. Eat Some Tapas

    Barcelona and tapas seriously go hand in hand. Tapas are the perfect meal whether you’re travelling solo in Barcelona or you’re joining a group of friends. Some places have all kinds of dishes stacked up on the bar ready for you to take, or you can order off a menu.

    It’s kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure meal with lots of small plates that everyone shares. But once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy to just get exactly what you want and try a little of everything, all while drinking a yummy sangria.

    9. Catch a Tan at the Beach

    Going to the beach is one of my favourite things to do when I’m travelling solo. It doesn’t cost any money, I can stay as long as I want, and all I need is a good book, and I’m set.

    And the beaches in Barcelona are perfect for a hot summer day. Usually, they’re packed with locals and tourists kicking around a soccer ball, playing volleyball, or just relaxing with friends.

    A person sitting on the beach at Barceloneta in Barcelona, Spain
    There’s plenty of it.
    Image: Nic Hilditch-Short
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    4 Best Solo Destinations in Barcelona

    Barcelona has loads of neighbourhoods to stay in, but when travelling solo, some are just better than others. Where the streets are lively, where there’s always something to do or somewhere new to explore.

    Here are my favourite neighbourhoods for solo travellers in Barcelona:

    Gracia Neighborhood

    Gracia is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Barcelona. It’s near Park Guell, and while it’s a little bit outside of the city centre, it’s perfect for getting an authentic feel of what it’s like to live in Barcelona.

    Gracia is very laid-back and relaxed, with lots of local cafes, restaurants, and bars to explore. During the day, you can wander through the narrow streets lined with colourful buildings and boutique shops.

    It’s definitely a lot quieter than La Rambla (from which I still have nightmares) or the Gothic Quarter. But, it’s close enough that you can easily get to the busy parts of the city in no time with the metro.

    Gracia Neighborhood
    I really liked my time in Gracia

    At night, Gracia comes alive with a younger crowd. There are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from, with live music and cheap drinks. One of my favourite things about this neighbourhood is the Plaça del Sol, it’s one of the oldest squares in the neighbourhood. Locals gather in the evenings to chat, drink, and enjoy the warm summer nights.

    It just feels so homey here. It’ll have you asking yourself if you should move here.

    My favourite hostel in Gracia for solo travellers in Barcelona is Yeah Barcelona Hostel. The dorms are a bit more expensive than some of the other hostels, but the atmosphere is epic for solo travellers. They offer loads of group activities and even family dinners so you can meet others staying at the hostel.

    Barri Gotic Neighborhood

    Barri Gotic is typically every tourist’s first choice when choosing where to stay in Barcelona for solo travellers. It’s one of the most famous neighbourhoods in the city, and it’s filled with old and historic buildings, narrow streets, and charming squares. It’s a great place to get lost in and explore on your own.

    The neighbourhood is full of history, with many important landmarks such as the Barcelona Cathedral and Plaça de Sant Jaume. The Gothic Quarter is also where a lot of walking tours and other guides start their journey, making it easy to meet up with other travellers.

    Barri Gotic Neighborhood
    Barro Gotic is so photogenic!

    This is where I stayed my first time in Barcelona, and it was absolutely epic. You will find amazing restaurants, all kinds of shopping, and some great rooftop bars. But after a few days, the business of La Rambla and the hectic tourist scene can start to feel a bit overwhelming but for a few days, it’s awesome for solo travellers.

    Itica is a small hostel right off of Cathedral Square and is perfect for exploring all of the must-see tourist attractions. And because the hostel is smaller than some of the others in the area, it makes it easy to meet friends when you’re travelling solo.

    El Born Neighborhood

    If you’re looking to experience the insane nightlife in Barcelona, then I highly recommend staying in the El Born Neighborhood. This is one of the cheekiest (in a good way) places for solo travellers to stay. The area used to be a bit dodgy in the 90s, but it’s had a total revamp and is now one of the best areas to go out.

    But El Born isn’t all sangria and partying. It’s also a cultural hub for art galleries and museums. During the day, exploring is a must. The neighbourhood has medieval streets, and the cafes are usually full. It’s home to the Picasso Museum, where you can check out Picasso’s first pieces of art. Or you can join this fun wine and tapas tour through the neighbourhood.

    El Born Neighborhood
    How European of you, Barca.

    This hostel is the best option for staying in El Born, it’s only about a 10-minute walk from the beach, and they are regularly setting up outings with the hostel, making it easy to meet people. They also offer free family dinners that typically lead to a walk to the nearby bars. The building is a bit older than some of the other hostels in this guide.

    El Poble-Sec Neighborhood

    I mainly include the El Poble-Sec Neighborhood because it’s home to one of the best hostels in Barcelona. Don’t worry, I’ll include it below.

    This neighbourhood is located near the Montjuic Hill and has a lot of green spaces. It’s a quieter area compared to El Born, so if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, this is the place for you.

    Just about every street you turn down, tapas bars are pouring out into the streets. You can get a cheap pitcher of Sangria, and it’s typically filled with locals trying to get away from the tourists in the city centre. (Sorry, not sorry!)

    The neighbourhood is a little quirky with a bit of a boho vibe. This makes it perfect for anyone who likes to spend their days lounging around in cafes and exploring lesser-known neighbourhoods.

    El Poble Sec Neighborhood
    Perfect spot for a smoke

    Oh, and I can’t forget the hostel. Onefam Paralelo is just about every solo traveller’s favourite hostel in Barcelona. The rooms might be small, but their family dinner and bar crawls are big and always a hit. Plus, it’s located right next to the metro station, making it easy to get around the city.

    The Best Travel Apps for Solo Travel in Barcelona

    Here are some of my favourite travel apps that you HAVE to download before travelling solo in Barcelona.

    • TMB App: This is your one-stop shop for figuring out Barcelona’s public transportation systems.
    • Holafly – An e-SIM app to download a data-only SIM card – without installing a physical SIM card.
    • Google Translate: For obvious reasons, this will help you travel to Barcelona like a pro.
    • Citymapper: This app is perfect for planning your route from point A to B.
    • Hosteworld: One of the easiest places to book accommodation for solo travel is on Hostelworld.
    • Booking.com: Another great place for booking places to stay. Often with some fat discounts.
    • Medieval BCN: Get the low down on all of the historic sites with this app. It will guide you through the Gothic quarter, Roman ruins, and other must-see landmarks.
    • Tinder: Look, if you’re in a relationship, probably best to discuss this with them first… But aside from the obvious fuck and fly, Tinder while travelling has many uses. Apparently, it’s not just for finding a quickie!

    I love a good app that helps me have the best time – give some of these a go; why not?

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    Safety Tips for Solo Travellers in Barcelona

    Barcelona is generally safe. You aren’t in any serious danger, but your possessions may be. For example… Barca’s Apple Store stays busy with all of the pickpocketing that goes on in these streets.

    The US Travel Advisory advises that you exercise increased caution when visiting Spain. But based on my personal experiences, I would say that this is excessive and that standard safety precautions are sufficient.

    person swinging in a bright blue hammock on a sunny rooftop in barcelona spain
    Relax, have a good time. Just watch your bag.
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    To be honest, I personally wouldn’t say Barcelona is any more unsafe for a woman travelling alone than a man: I wouldn’t recommend anything different. But most problems actually happen to men who think they’ll be fine. So the buddy system is always best.

    If you’re checking out the late-night scene in Barcelona, make sure to watch your drinks. Spiking is a low risk, but a risk all the same. Enjoy a night out, but don’t get legless.

    As most standard travel safety advice goes, don’t walk at night. While the streets are pretty busy well into the night, it’s really easy to make a wrong turn.

    Tips for Solo Travelling in Barcelona

    Laura sat in Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona wearing a coat and scarf
    Yes, I’m here for mass… not free tourism.
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde
    • Stay in a hostel. I can’t recommend this enough. This is the easiest way to make friends while travelling solo in Barcelona.
    • Try Couchsurfing. If you’re on a super tight budget, this is la creme de la creme in Barcelona.
    • If you get up early Sunday morning, you can get into Sagrada Familia for free for mass. Look, it’s really supposed to be for the service: make your own morals on that one.
    • Keep a few days (and nights) open. A lot of the activities in Barcelona require booking tickets but it’s much more fun to explore the city with new friends – so be flexible!
    • Download offline maps before you go out. This will ensure you always know where you are and can confidently navigate your way back to your hostel or Airbnb.
    • Always be aware of your surroundings, and definitely don’t walk around in the dark alone. Safety in Barcelona isn’t where it should be for a European city.
    • Share your travel plans with someone at home and keep them updated on your plans.
    • If you don’t want to visit some “must-visits”, don’t go! There’s nothing wrong if you aren’t keen on spending your money on fancy dinners.
    • Don’t skip out on insurance. Getting travel insurance that covers Europe is essential. I know it’s easy to think, “Well, I’m not even going to use it,” but unfortunately, things can happen.

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    Final Words for Your Solo Barcelona Trip

    Barcelona is one of the best cities in Europe, and it’s even better when you’re travelling solo. It’s full of opportunities to meet people, be inspired by the warmth of the Spanish culture, and, most of all, have some fucking fun!

    The days are filled with adventuring around the city, giving you the chance to meet some other travellers that can easily turn into some nighttime companions… at the clubs, you dirty-minded thing.

    But in all seriousness, Barcelona is a city that you have to see for yourself. You’ll never regret solo travel in Barcelona, and the memories you make will last a lifetime. And if you follow this guide, I’m positive you’ll have an epic solo trip!

    A person hanging out on some steps in Barcelona surrounded by graffiti
    Have fun in Barca!
    Photo: Nic Hilditch-Short
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