How to plan a trip to Catalonia?

trip planner Catalonia
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When we organize a trip, in addition to seeking information about the points of interest to visit, it is important to check other practical aspects that can influence your vacation. That is why we prepared this post with everything you need to know about a trip planner to Catalonia. We also tell you how to plan your trip with the Passporter App. There you can save your travel itineraries, documentation, manage your reservations and share your own experience.

Below you can read many travel tips about the accommodation in the region, its gastronomy, transportation and the best time to travel. We also included cultural sections where we talk about customs, local traditions and regional festivals. And you’ll findmany other tips that will surely be of great help. We know you’re eager to start your trip around Catalonia, so read on and let the vacations begin.

1. How to get to and around Catalonia?

Whether traveling from Spain or abroad, you should know that getting to Catalonia is easy by land, air and sea. These are all the options you have available to get there:

  • Airplane: the region has four airports that receive both national and international flights: Barcelona-El Prat Airport, Girona-Costa Brava Airport, Reus Airport and Girona Airport.
  • Train: If you travel by train from Madrid you can take the AVE, which takes just 2.5 hours to Catalonia. Prices vary widely, but in high season can exceed 100 €. If you travel from smaller cities you can take a regional train, which is more affordable but also takes many more hours.
  • Bus: from the main cities of Spain you can take a bus to the main cities and most tourist towns in the region. The price does not usually exceed 40€, but be prepared to spend many hours of travel.
  • Barco: Barcelona is a very touristy destination where cruise ships usually dock throughout the year. In its port you can also take a boat towards the Balearic Islands. The journey takes 6 hours and the price ranges between 15 € and 500 € depending on whether you bring a car or not and the season in which you travel.

While getting to Catalonia is easy, getting around the area can be difficult if you dont have a private vehicle. There are many points of interest that are not wellconnected by public transport. That is why our recommendation is to rent a car to move around the area.

One of the advantages of Passporter is that it allows you to compare and buy airline tickets through Skyscanner App. There you can also save them to have all your travel documents collected in the same place. From the Passporter App you can also book a car for transfers with MyTransfer.

2. Try the gastronomy in Catalonia and find the best restaurants with Passporter

If you are planning a trip to Catalonia you cannot forget about its gastronomy. It’s one of the most varied and delicious in the peninsula. Its cuisine is famous for the quality and freshness of its ingredients. The products, whether they comes from the sea, the mountains or the farm, are amazing. In each region the cuisine acquires its own personality, but almost anywhere you can taste the specialties of Catalan cuisine. These are the dishes you can’t miss:

  • Rice and Paella: in Catalonia there is a long rice tradition that is reflected in recipes such as paella, Catalan rice and many other delicious rice dishes.
  • Crema Catalana: is the most famous dessert of the region. It can be compared to a caramelized custard or the French Creme Brulé.
  • Fideuá: is a dish similar to paella, but instead of rice, thin noodles are used.
  • Escalivada: is a salad of roasted vegetables, such as peppers, eggplants and onions, seasoned with olive oil.
  • Botifarra amb mongetes: traditional catalan sausage accompanied with white beans.
  • Suquet de peix: it is a fish and seafood stew that you can taste in the coastal towns.
  • Calçots with romesco: is one of the most typical dishes of Catalonia. Calçots are tender onions that are cooked on the grill and are accompanied by a sauce called romesco, made from tomatoes, almonds, hazelnuts and spices.
  • Panellets: Traditional Catalan sweets that are consumed especially on the feast of All Saints. They are small balls made with almonds, sugar and covered with pine nuts.
  • Pa amb tomaquet: Slices of toasted bread with crushed tomato and seasoned with salt and oil. Essential in any meal.

In the region you will also find many other local products such as honey, sausages or cheese. Catalonia is also famous for its wines and cavas of great quality and worldwide prestige. Most of the vineyards and wineries are located in the Priorat region. There you will be able to taste the best wines of the region.

But the most important question is where can I try these dishes? On the Passporter App you’ll find reviews and images of numerous restaurants and bars where other travelers share their experience.

3. The best time to plan a trip to Catalonia

Catalonia has a Mediterranean climate that varies from one area to another due to the mountainous geography of the region. In the coastal areas such as Barcelona and Tarragona, the climate is mild and temperate throughout the year. And it does not usually exceed 30 °C in summer. The rainiest months are September and October.

As we move further inland and into the mountainous areas, such as the Pyrenees, the climate becomes more continental. And the winters are colder, with temperatures that can drop below 0 °C, leading to snow in the mountainous areas. Summers are cooler than on the coast, with average temperatures around 20-25 °C.

This contrast makes it possible to travel in winter for snow sports and in summer for sun and beach vacations. If you are looking for good weather and atmosphere we recommend traveling during the summer months. But if on the other hand you prefer tranquility, the best months are May and early June. To practice snow sports the season goes from December to March. September and October are the rainiest months.

4. Learn about the culture and festivities of the region with the Passporter App

Catalonia is famous for having an identity deeply rooted in tradition. It means that throughout the year you can attend unique festivals and events that promote the region’s cultural heritage. In the Pasporter App you will be able to find articles

These are some of the key dates to note on the calendar:

  • Saint George’s Day: April 23rd is celebrated as Saint George’s Day, patron saint of Catalonia. During this day the streets are filled with stalls of books and roses that are given between family and friends. It is one of the most beloved holidays.
  • La Mercè: La Mercè festival takes place at the end of September and is the main festival of the city of Barcelona. During this day, events such as concerts, parades, fireworks and cultural activities are organized.
  • The Patum of Berga: this festival, which takes place in the city of Berga during the feast of Corpus Christi, is considered Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. They are a set of parades and theatrical performances that combine religious and pagan elements.
  • San Juan: the night of San Juan takes place from 23 to 24 June. During the night bonfires are organized around which friends and family dance to the rhythm of the verbena. It is a magical night that ends with fireworks.

The typical dance of Catalonia is the sardana. It’s a traditional dance when people get in a circle forming a human chain. During the summer and the holidays you are sure to see a group dancing this curious dance. Another typical spectacle of Catalonia are the Castellers, groups of people who build human towers of many meters high. Both adults and children participate in this event.

If you want to discover more about the traditions of Catalonia you can search the Passporter App. It has a culture-specific section for each destination.

5. Pack your suitcase for your trip to Catalonia

The suitcase is usually one of the biggest headaches when we go on a trip. So, we have prepared this list where we mention the essential to include when planning a trip to Catalonia:

  • Sun cream: whether you’re going to do beach, countryside or snow tourism, you’d better get a big bottle of sun cream to avoid sunburn. Although with the sea breeze it may seem that it’s not hot, the sun is still beating down.
  • Cangrejeras: in Catalonia there are many beaches of fine golden sand, but there are also small coves with complicated access and many rocks with sea urchins where it is better to have your feet protected.
  • Trecking shoes: whether on the beach or in the mountains, in Catalonia there are many hiking trails.
  • Documents: don’t forget to always carry your identity document and visa if necessary if you are traveling from a foreign country.
  • Money: in Catalonia you will have no problem paying by credit card.
  • Jacket: Even if you travel in summer to the coast during the night it can get cold, so we recommend you bring some warm clothes, and even more so if you travel to the Pyrenees.
trip planner Catalonia
Cadaqués, Cataluña @pixabay

6. Check out Passporter for family-friendly plans to do in Catalonia

Catalonia is a perfect destination for family travel, whether to the beach or inland. On the coast children will be able to play in the Mediterranean Sea. It is quite calm, and you can do numerous water sports such as snorkeling or kayaking.

In Catalonia you will find Portaventura, one of the largest amusement parks in Spain. There you can enjoy several days with your family. It is a complex with hotels, restaurants and, in addition to the amusement park, it also has a water park.

If you’re traveling inland you’ll find numerous trails in the national parks for all levels. It’s a perfect option to enjoy nature and let the little ones run free. On the Passporter App you can read about the experience of other families and get inspiration when organizing your trip.

7. Plan a trip with friends to Catalonia

Traveling with friends is an exciting and wonderful experience. However, pre-planning can be problematic due to mismatches of dates, interests, budget or ways of approaching the trip. At Passporter we want you to enjoy your trip to the fullest. That’s why we help you prepare your vacation with friends with the tips you’ll find in this post. Group travel: The best way to travel with your group of friends.

With the Passporter App you can also plan your travel itineraries from start to finish. And discover the experiences of other travelers. You can read about the best places to visit in Catalonia. But also about transportation, necessary documentation and many other details. Add your friends and create together your travel itinerary with the stops and points of interest to see. Later you can share your experience through the pictures you take during the trip.

8. Find the perfect accommodation in Catalonia

Catalonia is one of the most touristic Spanish regions for its multiple charms: good weather, beach, mountains and exquisite gastronomy. This means that throughout the region you will find a wide variety of accommodations. There’s everything from hotels with swimming pool on the beachfront, to more affordable options such as hostels or campsites. Also very common are the rural houses in the interior and apartments on the coast.

If you are planning a trip to Catalonia you have to reckon with two key factors. First, that the price is higher comparing to other places on the peninsula. And second, that high demand means that the best places sell out quickly. So, we recommend you book well in advance.

From the Passporter App you will be able to compare and book accommodation wherever you go. You can do it easily and quickly with Booking, in the booking section.

9. Use Passporter to organize your itinerary and keep documents up to date

Register or download the Passporter App and discover all its possibilities

  • Get inspired by other travelers’ experiences, photos and itineraries.
  • Organize your trip by the categories that suit you best: dates, number of days or typology (beach, mountain, restaurants…).
  • Add your friends so that they can see and modify all the plans and trip information.
  • Create your own itinerary of your destination with everything you feel like visiting each day.
  • Add the stops that most interest you, including your accommodation, restaurants, museums…
  • Book your flights, accommodations, transfers and activities through a single app.
  • Save all your documents in the app to always have everything at hand: reservations, boarding passes, important documentation…
  • Make any modifications you need and you’ll be all set for your trip
  • Share your experience with other users. Upload photos of the places you have visited on your trip to the app and inspire other travelers with your experience. In addition, you can share your own tips for planning a trip to Catalonia
  • Enjoy your trip to Catalonia

If you have doubts on how to do it, you can check our post. How to create your travel itinerary with Passporter.

10. Frequently asked questions for planning a trip to Catalonia

What are the most typical dishes in Catalonia?

Some of the most typical dishes and products of Catalonia are rice, fideua, panellets, crema catalana, escalivada, pa amb tomaquet, calçots with romesco, sausages or suquet de peix among many others.

How to get to Catalonia?

In Catalonia there are 4 airports that receive both domestic and international flights. The main cities are also very well connected with the rest of the country by train and bus, and you can even get to Barcelona by boat.

How to move around Catalonia?

If you plan a sun and beach vacation it is best to reach your destination by train or bus, as you can move around the town walking or by public transport. But if you want to visit different towns in the area a car is essential.

What is the best time to travel to Catalonia?

The months of greatest atmosphere and heat are the summer months, but if you are looking for tranquility and a more pleasant temperature we recommend going in spring. In winter you can practice snow sports.

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