Are you wondering what to see in Barcelona? Well, this post is for you! Barcelona is the kind of city that has a lot to do, and a guide like this helps a lot!
I stayed three and a half days, did a lot, and left a lot behind. Time ends up getting short if you want to go inside and see the sights inside. Think about your priorities and organize yourself to be able to do what, for you, is essential. Many attractions sell tickets in advance and by appointment. This can help you when organizing the script.
To help you, I made a super complete post about Barcelona, covering the 14 Best Things to Do in Barcelona. So, you no longer need to look for tips after reading this post. Most of them I visited during my visit, and some others I couldn’t see, but I thought it’s worth pointing out here. So, it’s up to you to decide which ones are interesting for your trip. Read on!
Things to Do in Barcelona
1. Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is one of the most incredible works I have ever seen. The monument is the most visited in Spain and receives an average of 3 million visitors a year, and is a symbol of modernism.
The temple is considered the greatest masterpiece by the Catalan artist Antoni Gaudi, who took it over in 1883 and stayed in front of it until 1929. The work has not been completed to date and is expected to end in 2026, the centenary year of Gaudi’s death. In 2005, the work was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO!!
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.
I recommend accessing its interior and not settling for seeing it from the outside. It may be a bit expensive to enter, but you will have to make the economic effort.
Likewise, another of the things that I want to make clear to you is that there are different accesses to the interior of the basilica. I have counted eight different ways. Basically, the difference is that there are simple entrances and others with an ascent to towers. There is also the possibility of an audio-guided visit and one guided by a specialist in the temple of the Sagrada Familia.
2. Gothic Quarter
Another gem in Barcelona that cannot be left out of your itinerary, the Gothic Quarter, was one of the places I most enjoyed visiting in the city.
The best way to discover it is to get lost in its alleys and be enchanted by the unique characteristics of this ancient neighborhood. I started the tour at Plaza Sant Jaime, where there is a subway exit, and then I headed towards Carrer del Call. I had marked a lot of dots on the map. But I realized I was losing a lot trying to find every little dot on the map and decided to relax.
Jews have been confined for a long time in this neighborhood, which was formerly closed off by two big doors. It is the oldest neighborhood in Barcelona and one of the best tourist attractions in Barcelona when it comes to history. The neighborhood still preserves the architecture of the middle ages through its streets and buildings.
I passed the Cathedral of Barcelona and the Plaza Sant Felipe Neri, which I found very impressive, as it is a square that still bears the bombing marks of the Spanish Civil War. Another must-see is the Plaza Del Rey. This square is full of restaurants, and I chose Ocana for a wine and a snack.
3. Casa Mila
The Casa Mila is also one of the most famous works of Gaudi and is right on the corner of one of the blocks of the most charming area of the city. It is impossible not to be enchanted by the facade in waves with twisted irons, very beautiful indeed.
I was a little doubtful whether I would pay to enter Casa Mila, as I had already known Batllo inside, but as I had time to spare, I decided to enter. The tour of this house is also audio-guided, and it’s actually a building that contains apartments where people still live today, so you shouldn’t make too much noise inside.
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.
And I ended my visit with a snack at the cafe on the ground floor of Casa Mila. By the way, interesting things sometimes happen in front of Casa Mila, as it really is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona. When I went, they put a piano on the sidewalk, and several anonymous people could sit and play. A small girl played “Despacito” very nicely.
4. Las Ramblas
Another of the most famous tourist attractions in Barcelona is the Las Ramblas, located between the Gothic quarter and the El Raval district. This street is very famous as it is home to many bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and shops.
Walking through this neighborhood is a delight. Don’t miss the Mercado de La Boqueria, the city’s largest municipal market and a must-stop tourist spot in Barcelona. There you will find a wide variety of foods and spices. And they say the price is very attractive.
I didn’t get to know it because the day I went, I ended up arriving late, and it was closed. But I was very sorry that I couldn’t get to know them because I love visiting supermarkets, especially those on the street.
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.
5. Parc Guell
Parc Guell was where I spent the most time, among all the sights in Barcelona. I really like places that put you in contact with nature, and I find it even more special when it happens in big cities, taken over by buildings and constructions.
Here, art and architecture, applied through the genius of Gaudi, leave the environment with even better energy. A fully worked and colorful lookout provides an incredible view of the great capital of Catalonia. Without a doubt one of the best attractions in Barcelona.
There are two parts that can be visited. One is free and covers most of the park. The other part is paid, and this is where the most beautiful details of Gaudi are, as well as the spectacular lookout.
6. Camp Nou
Do you want to know the biggest and most famous stadium in Europe? This is your chance.
It is at this stage that Messi and company worked their magic, and you can get to know them up close with the Camp Nou Experience. During the Camp Nou tou, I had the opportunity to discover the stands, the field, the Barcelona Football Club museum, and much more.
The tour is daily and takes place at different times. I always recommend checking game schedules, because in this case, tour schedules change.
And if you’re in town during a team game, it’s a good opportunity to see some of the best players in the world in action. Even for those who are not a fan of the sport, the event itself should be a spectacle. The tour lasts approximately an hour and a half, and it is one of the best-selling tours in the city.
7. 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 best tourist attractions in Barcelona.
It’s my favorite place to watch the sunset in Barcelona. The hill has several super beautiful views of the city and is surrounded by a lot of nature!! Put this attraction in your itinerary in the afternoon, enjoy a 360 degrees view of the city from the Castle of Montjuic and watch the sunset from above!!
In addition to the magnificent landscape of this hill, you 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 best 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 are some landscape paintings of Barcelona, such as Paseo de Colon and Playa de la Barceloneta.
11. La Boqueria Market
If there’s one thing I love when I travel, it’s visiting the municipal markets. For me, it’s one of the best places to eat well, cheaply and really get to know the local cuisine!!
The La Boqueria Market was one of my favorite in Europe, and there you will find everything you can imagine in relation to food products, fruits, meats, seafood, cheeses, chocolates, spicy, spices, bread, pastries, ice cream, and so more products.
The market is right in the middle of Las Ramblas, and that’s why it’s busy all day. It’s impossible to walk past it and not notice the crowd of people coming and going with bags in their hands. I can confidently say that 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.
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 Batllo
This is the last of Gaudi’s works that I’ll talk about here in the post, although there are others.
This building’s owner was Josep Batllo I Casanova, who called Gaudi to remodel his building located in the Passeig de Gracia district. Josep wanted to demolish the entire building and rebuild a new building, but Gaudi said that was not necessary and proposed working with some modifications.
So Gaudi reformed absolutely everything in the house, from the building’s facade to the terrace. Improved lighting and with its renovations, the building that was 21 meters tall now has 32 meters.
As it was his trademark, Gaudi was inspired by the ways of nature to remodel the house. In the window of Casa Batllo, you can see that it has some details in the shape of bones. That’s why the house was also known as the house of bones.
I loved the Batllo house and was even more impressed by the architect’s talent. In fact, I was more impressed than with the Sagrada Familia, because I’m already used to seeing monumental churches, especially in Europe. But to see a building with such peculiar shapes both inside and out, really impresses. No wonder that this work, in addition to being one of the best tourist attractions in Barcelona, is a great icon of modernist architecture.
14. Park Ciutadella
This is a free attraction in Barcelona, and I really liked it. As I said, I really like parks, and this one, in particular, is very beautiful.
Park de la Ciutadella was the first park in Barcelona and also the only one for many years. The park has an area of approximately 17 hectares, which is home to several attractions.
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.