The port of Barcelona has been welcoming travelers and traders for more than 2,000 years.  Nestled on the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean in sunny northeastern Spain, the site of the city was chosen for its beauty and its excellent harbor.

Today, the Port of Barcelona is one of the largest and busiest in Europe, with seven terminals dedicated to cruise ships, all located in the heart of the city, at the bottom of Las Ramblas, one of Barcelona’s most exciting streets.

If your Mediterranean cruise begins in Barcelona, or you’re just stopping in on a shore excursion, this historic Spanish jewel promises to be one of the highlights of even the most unforgettable vacation.

Port Vell of Barcelona, Spain

Photo courtesty of Wikimedia Commons

How to Get There

If you’re starting off your cruise in Barcelona, the best way to get from the airport to the cruise terminals is by taxi. Taxis are plentiful, and it won’t cost too much for the 30- minute ride.  You can go to the Metropolitan Institute For Barcelona Taxis web site ( to find everything you need to know about grabbing a cab in Barcelona, including costs.  (Note that fares are listed in Euro).

There is also a regular shuttle service from the Columbus monument in the city’s center to the cruise terminals, but public transportation from the airport to the city center is not a direct route.  You would have to take the Aerobus to the Plaça Catalunya and then catch the metro to Drassanes, and then walk to the Columbus monument.  So, it’s easier to just take a taxi.

If you’re grabbing a cab in the city itself, make sure you clearly tell your taxi driver to go to the “Cruise Terminal”, so they don’t mistakenly take you to the airport.

Unique Style, Stunning City

If you don’t have much time in Barcelona, there is plenty to do and see within walking distance of the port.

You can check your bags and stroll up Las Ramblas, a long pedestrian street full of restaurants, markets, shops and boutiques.  Make sure to check out La Boqueria, a centuries-old open-air market considered one of the most exciting in Europe.  You can also wander off Las Ramblas and explore the medieval lanes of the Gothic Quarter.  If you’re traveling with children, the Port is home to L’Aquarium de Barcelona, Europe’s largest aquarium with more than 8,000 fish and sharks.

But Barcelona’s rich cultural history deserves so much more than a few hours between your flight and your cruise. Along with London, Paris and Rome, it’s one of the Europe’s most visited cities, renowned for its unique contributions to the world of art and architecture.

There are stunning museums dedicated to the unique works of world famous Spanish artists, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró, and the city itself is a living monument to the truly unique style of Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí.  The best way to experience his work is to arrange for a Gaudí bus tour, which will take you to his stunning Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the curving roof terraces of La Pedrera, his fascinating Park Güell, and the incredible mosaic façade of the Casa Batlló.  His buildings and public spaces are breathtaking, and unlike anything you have ever seen.

Even if you have no taste for art or architecture, Barcelona’s beaches are world class, and you can spend hours at an outdoor tapas restaurant, over excellent food and quality wine.

Whether you are in the city for a few hours, a day, or a week before you set sail on the incredible Mediterranean cruise you’ve been dreaming of, Barcelona’s vibrant streets and charming style are guaranteed to give you memories that will last a lifetime.

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