Thanks to its cultural character, amazing architecture and delightful delicacies, Barcelona is one of Europe's most popular destinations. Situated on Spain's Mediterranean coastline, this energetic city offers you a whole host of things to do, from spending an afternoon relaxing on its sandy beaches to wandering around some of Europe's finest museums.
As the famed capital of the country's northern Catalonia region, Barcelona is a renowned European leader in both leisure and business – but whatever your reason for visiting, we've got everything you need to get from A to B. Whether you're planning to take in the scenic views from Montserrat, or meet with commercial connections, you can book the most suitable vehicle for your needs online, with a 24-hour helpline and no credit card fees.
Exploring such a vibrant area couldn't be easier, with Barcelona offering fantastic road networks for both inner-city drivers and those looking to explore further afield. With a hire car you will be able to navigate your way easily to the influential areas up and down the coastline, as well as in-land.
Circling around the city you'll find the B-20 and B-10 roads – the former in the west and the latter in eastern Barcelona – which will help you take in the city and access wider Spain.
Head south out of the city on the C-32, before joining the AP-7, and you'll enjoy a coastal drive towards Tarragona – an area famed for its golden beaches, you'll be there in an hour from Barcelona. Following the E-15/AP-7 south from here will lead you to another one of Spain's major cities, Valencia. A trip up the AP-2 will see you pass through Lleida and onwards to Zaragoza, Spain's Aragon capital.
Regarded as Spain's commercial base, you'll find Sabadell a 30-minute drive in your hire car out of Barcelona. Take the B-10 east, before joining the C-58 north. You may have to pay toll charges if you drive on the Autopista (the motorway – roads labelled with A or E). These fees will vary, so do check online to find all the details.
Whilst you're driving in the city, Avinguda Diagonal should act as a point of bearing. From here, you can easily find your way to attractions such as La Sagrada Familia and Camp Nou. Two of the city's other major roads are found in the north of the city - Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and Avinguda Meridiana, which will take you to the Nou Barris and Sant Andreu areas.
With a metropolitan population of 1.6 million, large areas of the city are pedestrianised. One-way systems are in operation on the city's central roads to help with the flow of traffic – La Rambla and Placa de Garriga i Bachs being two major examples.
Speed limits vary throughout the country. On motorways the maximum speed is 120kph, though when driving through towns restrictions are set at 50kph.
Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to sit in the front passenger seat of the car. You can find out more about the rules and regulations of driving on Spanish roads online.
With a wide range of travellers passing through our locations every day, we've got a wide range of vehicles on offer to suit your needs - from smart executive saloons to compact family hatchbacks. ***
***Specific cars may not be available when booking
Beaches, culture, history and fine foods – Barcelona is a city that certainly has plenty to offer during your stay. From the Gothic-inspired architecture of yesteryear to the contemporary artworks of the 21st century, there are many ways to enjoy yourself here.
In recent years, the city has excelled in sport – FC Barcelona has created a dynasty in world football with its silky style of play. If catching Barca live is on your agenda, you won't be disappointed, as you'll get to see superstars like Lionel Messi and Neymar grace the Camp Nou turf. You can explore FC Barcelona's history and their breath-taking ground on one of the club's stadium tours. In keeping with the city's sporting heritage, you can visit Barcelona's Olympic Park. Located in Parc Montjuic, you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings as you leisurely stroll around the venues of one of the most successful Olympic Games to be held in Europe.
Away from the city's sporting heritage, Barcelona is famed for its pioneering approach to architecture in the modernist era, mainly thanks to the iconic Antoni Gaudi. You'll find Gaudi-designed buildings across the entire city, but you won't want to miss seeing La Pedrera, Casa Batllo, Park Guell or La Sagrada Familia. Away from Gaudi, the Catedral de Barcelona is a must-see if you're a fan of Gothic architecture.
If you're wanting to soak up some fine art, look no further than the Museu Picasso. Situated on Carrer de Montcada, you'll find a comprehensive array of works from the Cubist movement on display here. Look out for the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona during your visit too – the distinctly modern building is a hub in the lively Raval area.
Barcelona is also famed for its golden beaches – a hotspot for tourists and locals alike thanks to the city's almost year-round warm climate. You'll find Barceloneta Beach is the most popular and houses an array of cultural landmarks and restaurants for you to enjoy.
La Rambla, an atmospheric boulevard in the heart of Barcelona, is a must-visit during your stay. You'll find the busy strip lined with street performers – from magicians to human statues, all looking to entertain spectators – as well as a range of shops selling everything from boutique items to the more unique. From here, you'll easily find the Boqueria Food Market too, famed for its fresh Catalonian produce and delicacies. Pull up a seat at a cafe here, listen to the locals and feel like a true Catalan.
And sticking with the theme of food, Barcelona homes some of the best restaurants you'll find in Spain. Being on the coastline has given the city a reputation for having fine seafood eateries – you can enjoy a whole host of these off Passeig de Joan de Borbo, in the east of the city. For an authentic taste of Spanish cuisine, you can try a range of tapas restaurants in the Old Town and Barri Gotic.
Of course, if your travel plans are taking you further afield, Barcelona is exceedingly well-placed on the continent, with major roads running throughout Europe and connecting with the Catalan capital. Further up the coast on the E-15 route you'll enter southern France and be able to share in more of the Catalan culture in Perpignan; while the laidback likes of Montpelier and Marseille are just around the horn. And for a complete change of scenery you'll love what's on offer in the snow-capped peaks of Andorra, just three hours north on the A-2.