Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a vibrant, cosmopolitan hub of culture, unique art and architecture, great shopping, food, clubs and bars. Not to mention miles of golden beaches and the glittering Mediterranean sea. There are things to do in Barcelona for all ages and preferences and you would certainly need at least a few days to discover what’s really behind the beat of the city. Here are our top 15 tourist attractions.
1. Gracia and Park Guell
Originally a separate village, Gracia has now been absorbed into the main thrust of Barcelona. It is known for it’s unique culture and personality, with a history of cultural, political, artistic and sporting institutions. There are now many great boutiques and trendy bars among the long-standing older venues. The best known attraction within Gracia is Park Guell. Designed by Antoni Gaudi it is an UNESCO world heritage site and of course one of the architects masterpieces. It is a public park and garden city where you can easily see the quirky imagination of Gaudi in colour and style. The mosaics, hidden corners, dragon staircase and the Hall of One Hundred Columns, all reflecting Gaudi’s desire to synthesize architecture into the natural surroundings.
- Name: Park Guell
- Address: 08024 Barcelona
- Prices: General 7 euros.
- Opening Hours: Every day 8 am – 9.30 pm
- Website: http://www.parkguell.cat
2. Sagrada Familia
In 1882, young architect Antoni Gaudi took over the original Sagrada Familia Gothic church project, transforming it into the original, inspiring church we see today and an icon of the city of Barcelona. Despite being still under construction, the church of the Sagrada Familia is known world wide for it’s unusual architecture and tourists flock to take photographs of it from all angles. The surrounding neighborhood is also full of life and things to do.
- Name: Sagrada Familia
- Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
- Opening Hours: Every day 9 am – 8pm
- Website: www.sagradafamilia.org.es
3. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
This museum has a wonderful position on top of Montjuic Hill, with sweeping views of the city. Apart from that of course, it is home to art collections from over a thousand years of Catalan history. The four permanent collections include: the Catalan Numismatic Department, Renaissance and Baroque art, Romanesque and Gothic art and a variety of Modern art, photography, drawings, prints and posters. Check the website and calendar for the various temporary exhibitions throughout the year of which there are plenty.
- Name: Museu de Nacional d’ Art de Catalunya
- Address:Palau Nacional. Parc de Montjuïc.08038 Barcelona
- Opening Hours: 10 am – 8 pm Tues- Sat/ Sunday 10am – 3pm
4. FC Barcelona Stadium and Museum
A clear choice for football fans and followers of FC Barcelona, this museum is a great place to learn about the history of the club. Barcelona football team has become a symbol over the world of the sport and is integral to the cultural identity of Barcelona. You can visit the trophy room and Camp Nou playing field as well as enjoy a multimedia experience.
- Name: FC Barcelona Stadium and Museum
- Address: C. Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona
- Website: https://www.fcbarcelona.com/tour/buy-tickets
5. Tibidabo Amusement Park
This is a classic Barcelona experience not to be missed. The Tibidabo amusement park is Spain’s oldest amusement parks and one of the oldest in all of Europe. It opened in 1868 and is a real journey back in time with incredible views (located 500 m above sea level) and pretty scenery. Enjoy a ride on the Pony Rodeo, the Tin Can ride, the Rio Grande, the Plane, the Carrousel and more. You may recognize the park from scenes shot in Woody Allen’s film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Iconic.
- Name: Tibidabo Amusement Park
- Address:Plaça del Tibidabo, 3-4, 08035 Barcelona
- Opening Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12 – 8pm
- Website: http://www.tibidabo.cat/en/
6. Vila Olimpica
Created for the 1992 Olympic games, the Olympic Village was designed by leading architects of the time and saw the building of an entire residential neighborhood by the sea. A trip to the village now means to experience some of the best leisure opportunities in the city and all right by the beach. There are over 40 bars and restaurants offering unique dining experiences in the Olympic Marina. This is also where you will find the famous giant golfish, designed by Frank Gehry and overlooking the sea.
7. La Rambla
When you think of Barcelona you probably think of La Rambla, the long, wide, tree-lined avenue cutting through the heart of the city. This is where people meet, stroll, people watch, buy flowers, newspapers, watch street performances. La Rambla represents all walks of Barcelona culture and life. Where La Rambla meets the Mediterranean, you will find the Mirador de Colom, a monument to Colombus and, once you take the elevator to the top, the place for the perfect photo opportunity of the city. Panoramic views will leave you breathless! This is where you can really see La Rambla
8. La Barceloneta and Other Beaches
Due to it’s incredible location on the coast, Barcelona benefits not only from it’s own city beaches but many other beautiful beaches close by. You could walk from the center of town to the famous but crowded Barceloneta, or visit many others just a metro ride away. The perfect city for the holiday vibe, Barcelona allows you to shop, stroll visit museums and monuments in the morning and just slip onto the beach in the afternoon for some sun and sea.
9. Boqueria Market
Source: Lorena Torres Angelini
Barcelona’s Boqueria Market is the oldest and most interesting market in the city. A bustling hub of all things Barcelona, it serves as a metaphor for life in the city, a combination of everything that makes the city what it is. Colour, vibrance, noise, food and drink on brilliant display. It’s worth it just for the people watching, but of course it’s the perfect place to pick up all kinds of interesting produce. You can also stop by for lunch at one of the tapas stalls. There is history here too, for the market is still located on the spot in La Rambla where people sold meat in the 13th Century.
- Name: Boqueria Market
- Address: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona
- Website: www.boqueria.info
- Hours: Mon- Sat 8 am – 8.30 pm Closed Sundays
10. Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter today was originally the center of the old Roman city and medieval Barcelona. The narrow tangle of streets and maze of squares and alleys is still what forms the city today. A visit to the Gothic Quarter is steeped in history. This neighborhood is where you will find City Hall, the Cathedral and other Gothic churches. The stunning Placa de Sant Felip Neri is where you can see the beautiful Baroque Church.
11. Parc de Montjuic
This park is where you will find a cluster of wonderful art museums, including the above mentioned Muesu de’Art de Catalunya. This area has been the focus of many important events that have helped to create what it is today, the first being the 1929 International Exhibition. The 1992 Olympic Games also helped to bring about renewal and renovation to the park. Musuems here include the Miro Foundation, the Museum of Archeology and the Museum of Ethnology.
12. Casa Batllo
Located halfway up the smart and beautiful boulevard, Passeig de Gracia, is this wonderful building, again designed by Barcelona creative genius, Antoni Gaudi. Seen as one of his boldest works, this is an example of the creative freedom the architect and his fellow artisans were able to enjoy. The result is a splendid myriad of artistic perspective. Shards of stained glass and pieces of colourful ceramic mosaic have been placed in such a way as to depict flowers. Their positioning plays with the sunlight and reflections of light. Inside you are able to see the mezzanine and glance up at the skylight and see the rooftop and its chimneys, also created in mosaic. An explosion of imagination.
- Name: Casa Batllo
- Address: L2/L3/L4-Passeig de Gràcia
- Website: www.casabatllo.cat
- Hours: 9 -9 daily.
13. Museu Picasso
Pablo Picasso he arrived in Barcelona at the age of 14 and spent his younger years there training at the La Llotja art school. The museum is located near by to where he lived and painted. It opened in 1963 and features some of Picasso’s earlier works and paintings from the Blue period. In the Placa Nova, not far from the museum, you can see a public piece of art, the only one of Picasso’s in the city.
- Name: Museu Picasso
- Address: Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona
- Opening Hours: 9 am – 7 pm
- Holiday: Closed on Mondays
- Website: http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/
14. Shopping Districts
Barcelona is an exciting place for shopaholics, with unique boutiques, well-known labels and everything in between available all over the city. There are distinct areas where you will find specific things and where you can be sure to enjoy window shopping. For the more unusual shops check out the Boulevard Rosa, where you will find the Made in Barcelona brand in the shopping mall. The area near La Rambla, the Raval and Ribera districts and the Gothic Quarter is where you will observe the old mixed with the new. History and contemporary shops alongside the culture of these neighborhoods.
15. Barcelona Cathedral
Constructed over 6 centuries, the Cathedral is a reflection of all the different architectural styles that have left their mark on the building. Overall designed in the Gothic style, it’s also a mixture of Romanesque and Neo-Gothic. Step inside to marvel at the Latin cross-floor plan and beautiful stained glass windows letting in floods of sunlight.
- Name: Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia
- Address:Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 8 am – 12.45 pm/ 1 – 5.30pm/ 5.45 – 7.30 pm
- Website: www.catedralbcn.org
Whether you are visiting Barcelona for a day, two days, a week or more there are different itineraries and things to do to fill your time and make your trip enjoyable and unforgettable.
Have a good trip and travel!