Hiring a car in Barcelona

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Hiring a car in Barcelona

Fall in love with one of Europe's most alluring cities with world-class skiing just outside town.

60-second guide to Barcelona

in its own head

"Have you ever met a person who doesn't like Barcelona? Thought not. That's because we're pretty, cultured, funky and possess exceptional taste - in everything!"

but more realistically

It's pretty much true - unless you detest cities it's unlikely you'll find too much to fault in Barcelona. And if art, food, shopping and clubbing fail to float your boat, simply head to the beach.

the vibe

Whatever you want it to be. Barcelona has long embraced eccentrics and the flamboyant flourish, but it's also a great place to sit quietly in a cafe and watch the world go by.

the natives

They're an open-minded lot who enjoy staying up ridiculously late. Join them if you think you can hack the pace.

the weather

The warm, but not yet sweltering, months of spring provide the best sightseeing weather. It can get nippy in winter, but it rarely rains, making Barcelona a year-round destination.

the local speciality

Paella may be a cliche but a good one never disappoints. If you're feeling adventurous try esqueixada, a salad of raw cod with onions and peppers.

the celebrity

Kylie Minogue enjoys visiting the city, but arguably modern artist and architect Antoni Gaudi has had a slightly more profound influence on the place.

did you know?

English author and essayist George Orwell fought in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.

they say

"Barcelona incorporates Roman remains, medieval districts and the most beautiful examples of modernism and 20th century avant-garde art." - Spanish Tourist Board

5 to see in town...

1. Sagrada Familia

When you see how intricate the facades of this Antoni Gaudi-inspired church are you'll understand why it is still under construction despite work starting in 1882.

where to park?

It's not easy to find a space on the street near here, so try Pirineu Parking in Avenida De la Provenca, less than 100 metres from the Gaudi building. Open 24 hours, it will cost you €3 per hour.

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2. Spanish Village

If you can't get to the rest of Spain during your trip to Barcelona, just head here for a taste of the country's culture and history.

where to park?

There's a large, free car park just outside the attraction.

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3. Barcelona Zoo

When you're fed up with spending your time in human company go and commune with the tigers and wolves at the city's zoo instead.

where to park?

It can be difficult to find a spot in the street, especially in working hours, so try the private car park in Passeig Lluis Companys, just by the Parc de la Cituadella, where the zoo is situated. It's open 24 hours and costs €2.65 an hour.

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4. Magic Fountain of Montjuic

By day this is an impressive fountain, but it is at night that its true colours emerge as its waters are transformed by an impressive light display.

where to park?

You can park your hire car in the street for free, unless there is a special event in the area. In that case the closest parking is at the Hotel Fira Palace's car park, for €3 an hour.

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5. Picasso Museum

This museum has hundreds of pieces of work from each period of Picasso's prolific career, all fittingly located in five impressive medieval town houses.

where to park?

There is a car park at number 20, Via Laietana, which is just a short walk from the museum. It's €3.60 for the first hour and €2.40 an hour thereafter.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Port del Comte

Until recently these slopes were a local secret. Now, reliable snow coverage and lovely descents make it a haven for snowboarders.

how to get there?

Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya. Join the E-9 and follow signs for the C-25/E-9/Puigcerda. The journey will take around two and a half hours.

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2. Vall de Nöfria

Not enough ski resorts combine religious shrines with kick-ass powder (Vall de Nuria is a historic religious centre near the shrine of the Virgin of Nuria). There's only one black run on these holy slopes, making it good for newbies.

how to get there?

Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya. Join the C-17 and then pick up the N-152 towards Queralbs. The drive should take no longer than two and a half hours.

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3. La Molina

Spain's original ski centre now boasts 100km of tree-lined slopes and a whole park devoted to boarders, complete with a 100-metre superpipe.

how to get there?

Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya. Pick up the E-9/C-16, following signs for the C-25/E-9/Puigcerda/C-16. The drive should take no longer than two and a half hours.

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4. Portaventura

Thrill seekers should head to this internationally themed rollercoaster resort and waterslide park for plenty of ways to work off that heavy hotel breakfast.

how to get there?

Head southwest on Plaça de Catalunya toward Rambla de Catalunya, merge onto B-10/Ronda del Litoral and continue on the A-2. The journey should take no more than an hour and a half.

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