Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second-largest city in Spain, behind Madrid. It is also one of the most visited cities in Europe, and its fame has crossed the borders of its country to spread throughout the world.
It is a pioneering city, which dictates fashion while being deeply rooted in Catalan cultural traditions. Barcelona knows how to be universal and cosmopolitan while remaining completely Catalan. In addition, it is a super artistic city with some of the most important jewels in world architecture, with many interesting museums, beautiful churches, and fantastic parks. Barcelona unites art and nature, beach and mountains, past and future in a unique way.
Now, given Barcelona’s popularity as a tourist destination, there are many people visiting Barcelona’s main tourist attractions. In this post, we will give you the 14 best tourist attractions in Barcelona and learn how to visit the most emblematic museums and monuments without a problem
The most famous among the sights of Barcelona is without a doubt the Sagrada Familia. An incredible cathedral that is right in the center of the city.
The design of the cathedral was signed by Gaudi, who worked on it in his last years. The construction of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882, and so far, has not been completed.
At first, the project was the construction of a cathedral in the Gothic style. When Gaudi took over the work in 1883, he modified the project. It retained its Gothic characteristics, but added a bit of Art Deco, and above all, its unmistakable style.
As you will see when visiting the church, the amount of details and its eccentric shapes make this cathedral a unique work in the whole world.
Gaudi died in 1926. Since then, the construction of the church has been done by other professionals, all following Gaudi’s project to the letter.
The expectation is that the works will be officially completed in 2026, which is the year of the centenary of Gaudi’s death. But in the meantime, it is possible to visit the interior of the church and catch a glimpse of fascinating decoration.
2. Gothic Quarter
In the coastal region of Barcelona is Ciutat Vella, the historic center of the city. This is the most touristic part of Barcelona. The most famous part of Ciutat Vella is the Gothic Quarter.
The Gothic Quarter is today one of the main sets of medieval architecture in Europe. In its narrow and labyrinthine streets, you will be amazed by the beauty of this architecture. There are houses, palaces, squares, and churches of great beauty.
The coolest thing to do is let yourself be guided by the atmosphere of mystery in the neighborhood and wander aimlessly through these charming alleys. Despite the somewhat gloomy aspect, the neighborhood is very lively and is always full of tourists.
3. Barcelona cathedral
Until the construction of the La Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Barcelona was the most important church in the city. And it stayed in that post for a long time. It was built between the 13th and 15th centuries in Gothic style.
Its facade is impressive for its grandeur and richness of details. With its large portal and its three towers, the cathedral stands out from other buildings in the Gothic Quarter. Inside, it has a gigantic nave full of tall columns.
The decor is stunning and has some important paintings and sculptures. The centenary organ is also important.
4. Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga but lived for a while in Barcelona, where he began his career and was part of his studies. It is no coincidence, therefore, that Barcelona has a museum dedicated to him.
The Picasso Museum, one of the main tourist attractions in Barcelona, is in the neighborhood of El Born and is an essential visit. In this museum is the largest collection of Picasso in the world, with thousands of works.
The works in this museum are mostly related to the artist’s early years of work. Some are rarities, little-known works, but they take on enormous importance to understand the artistic path of the great painter.
Among the works that are part of the museum, there are some landscape paintings of Barcelona, such as Paseo de Colon and Playa de la Barceloneta.
5. Las Ramblas
On the list of places to visit in Barcelona for most tourists, you will surely come across Las Ramblas, a street full of shops, restaurants, bars, and the like.
Exclusive for pedestrians and entirely wooded, it is a great place to eat, where you can sit both at restaurant tables and in the middle of the street, where you can see the movement of people and the cosmopolitan life of the region.
In addition to enjoying the work of street artists who perform in Las Ramblas, it is also in this region that the famous statue of Christopher Columbus is pointing towards the Americas, which is about 50 meters high and can be seen from different points.
6. Parc Guell
The most famous sights of Barcelona are created by famous artists and architects. Park Guell, a homage to nature, was also designed by Antoni Gaudi.
The extensive park invites you to stroll and explore. Works of art and plenty of green are the ideal backdrops to unwind and get inspired.
Broken ceramics are particularly well represented, giving the benches, pavilions, towers, and terraces an incomparable design and clearly showing that Gaudi designed the pieces.
Shortly after the main entrance, there is a hall with 86 columns. It was originally intended as a marketplace for the residential area in the park.
The rest of the park and especially the green areas invite you to relax. In Park Guell, art and nature mix together to create a unique combination in which one can relax wonderfully.
7. Camp Nou
Another popular tourist spot in Barcelona is the Camp Nou stadium. It is a must-see for travelers who love football. Home to one of the best teams in the world (FC Barcelona), the arena has a capacity for over one hundred thousand people and usually hosts several musical events in addition to the club’s matches.
When visiting Camp Nou, you will be able to discover parts of the stadium that are normally reserved only for players or officials.
You will be able to walk through the field and see the stands from another angle, as well as visit the changing rooms and other facilities of the stadium. The visit also includes a tour of the team’s museum, attached to the stadium.
This museum has photographs, documents, and objects, such as trophies and shirts that trace Barca’s trajectory, from its origin to conquer the world.
This visit is particularly interesting for Barcelona fans and football lovers in general.
8. Santa Maria Del Mar
The Basilica of Santa Maria Del Mar is one of the most beautiful churches in the city. It was built in the 14th century when the region was a fishing village. Its facade is composed of a beautiful door, the stained glass above, and two very thin towers.
It has a relatively simple design, but of great beauty. Inside, what draws the most attention is the small amount of elements. Unlike other Gothic churches, you don’t see that profusion of statues and other decorative objects here.
This lack of decoration, combined with the size of the columns, gives the feeling of being even bigger than it is.
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is considered a perfect example of the Gothic style that developed in this region of Spain, and of course, one of the most beautiful sights in Barcelona.
The Montjuic is a hill where you can have a panoramic and breathtaking view of the city, enough to make the place one of the highlights of tourism in Barcelona.
In addition to the magnificent landscape of this hill, especially at sunset, tourists who pass through this region can also take the opportunity to visit some other very interesting tourist spots, such as the National Palace, the Olympic Museum, and the Greco Theater.
10. La Boqueria Market
La Boqueria Market is one of the most beautiful and well-known market halls in Barcelona. It has long ceased to have the sole function of supplying food to residents, becoming one of the most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona, attracting many curious tourists.
It has hundreds of stalls, selling everything from traditional Catalan cuisine. Here you will find fruits, vegetables, sweets, meats, and common dishes from this region of Spain. In addition, there is also a section with bars, where you will be able to enjoy the delights of Catalan food right there.
It is a true paradise for those who like to try the traditional food of the places they visit. At least once on your trip, you need to take a walk around here.
11. The magic fountain
The Magic Fountain is another must-see in Montjuic. It was built for the 1929 Universal Exhibition, which took place in Barcelona. During the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, the font was also used with a symbol of the city.
The fountain mixes jets of water with lights and music. The water jets make incredible choreographies, as if they dance to the music, while the colored lights bring an air of magic and charm to the fountain.
The show is simply unforgettable. On warm Barcelona nights, hundreds of tourists and residents gather around the fountain to watch this magical and refreshing spectacle.
12. Palace of Catalan music
The Palace of Catalan Music is a show house that is nothing short of spectacular. The idea was to build a house for musical performances, but the space stole the show and became the main show.
Listed by UNESCO as a world heritage, it is considered one of the most beautiful theaters in the world.
The Palace of Catalan music was built in 1908 in a unique style. Full of exotic details and decorations, the building has an iron structure and many glass details. The main auditorium has a completely unconventional appearance for a concert hall.
With a mix of art nouveau and modernism, the auditorium exudes creativity and beauty. The ceiling is almost completely taken up by a huge skylight with colored stained glass. When it is illuminated by sunlight, the result is an incredible spectacle, even when the stage is empty.
13. Casa Mila
Continuing your tours in Barcelona, there is another work by Gaudi: Casa Mila. It was built around 1910, a time when Gaudi was inspired by the forms of nature.
The facade of Casa Mila is full of curves. At the top, it is covered by a kind of roof, also full of curves. One of the highlights of the house is the balconies, with beautiful iron balustrades forming incredible designs. In this work, the architect used the art nouveau style, which was common in France at the time, and remodeled it, creating a new version of the style.
When you are in front of Casa Mila, or when you are visiting its interior, you will surely be aware of the obsession with every detail. In fact, in Gaudi’s works, every column or window, no matter how small, takes on great importance.
Everything is ornate, each part receives a special treatment, and everything seems to harmonize with the rest of the structure.
14. Park Ciutadella
A perfect blend of gardens and architecture, the park Ciutadella is the oldest park in the city and also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona. Its gardens are inspired by the French gardens without losing their Mediterranean aspect.
In the park, there are some historic buildings of great beauty, such as the Parliament of Catalonia and the Church of Castro. In addition, the park has several statues, some true masterpieces of sculpture.
The main attraction of the park is Cascada Monumental. In this waterfall, there are several sculptures of great beauty, which are made even more beautiful by the water jets.
Another attraction of the park Ciutadella is a small lake, where it is possible to ride a boat. Very frequented by tourists, this park is also one of the main leisure areas for residents.
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to see in Barcelona. Visiting the above attraction will make you fall in love with the city once and for all.