Making Your Way to Barcelona

July 15, 2014

in Destination Updates

  • SumoMe

Five years ago I knew I was going to spend all of September in Europe.

But all I had booked were round-trip flights from San Francisco to London.

I hadn’t made a decision about which places to visit. So many interesting choices, so little time.

I came up with several possible itineraries, and one would have taken me south from Madrid to Granada, northeast to Barcelona, and from there into Southern France.

But instead, I flew to Prague, wound my way north to Berlin, south to Munich and the Austrian Tirol, west to France’s Alsace, north to Amsterdam, and back to London. Alas, each stop was hundreds of miles from Spain.

But something I just saw has got me thinking again about making my way to Barcelona.

Here’s Looking (Quickly) at You, Barcelona!

You would think that a city as famous as Barcelona wouldn’t have to lift a finger to beckon tourists to come visit. But the fact is, no matter how well-known a “Destination,” might be, it has to continually come up with new ways to inspire visitors to show up on its doorstep rather than one of thousands of other spots on the planet that they could travel to on vacation.


(Jesus Solana Flickr Photo)

While tourist towns do buy online and print ads touting their splendors and attractions, these days many use videos posted on their Websites, YouTube or Vimeo to visually lure visitors.

The Catalan Tourism Board hired British photographer Rob Whitworth to come up with this innovative two-minute plus film aimed at convincing travelers to make their way to Barcelona.


It took Whitworth 78 hours to shoot 26,014 still photos to use in making this time-lapse film. But that was just 21% of the 363 hours that he spent on the project.

A “Virtual Stroll” Through Barcelona

Now that “Barcelona GO!” has whetted your appetite for visiting this Spanish city, you can “explore” the city at a more leisurely pace by watching Rick Steves’ “Barcelona and Catalunya” which aired on PBS stations in the U.S.


What to Do, What to See, Where to Stay

You can learn more about what to do and see, and where to stay, during your visit to Barcelona by reading these stories by my fellow travel writers, Jeff Broman, Donna Janke, Erin Bender, Lydian Brunsting, Irene Levine, and Kay Dougherty:

Guidebooks for Barcelona

I always travel with a printed or e-book version of a guidebook, and I’ve made extensive use of those published by Rick Steves on my trips to Europe.

They are well-thought-out, easy to use, and packed with practical information about the destinations that they cover.

More importantly, Rick’s printed guidebooks are republished frequently, and supplemented by updates posted online after the print editions have come out.

I’d recommend taking Rick Steves’ Barcelona (available in Kindle and paperback versions from with you as well as using it for pre-trip planning. There’s also a slightly shorter “Pocket” version available in paperback only.

If you can’t get an electronic version of one of Rick’s guidebooks directly from a bookseller, visit to see if one is available directly from Rick’s company. On that page, you’ll also find special electronic “Walks & Tours” guides for eleven cities, including Barcelona. offers three guides for Barcelona, two are free, one costs just $1.69.

(Purchases made from through links on this page helps Tales Told From The Road continue to bring you a wide range of travel-related stories.)

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