Source: José Manuel Romero
The energetic buzz of cosmopolitan Barcelona guarantees fun for all visitors. This city is an incredible holiday destination with many different things to see: famous monuments, art, culture, beaches and nature close by to enjoy. Wonderful shopping, exciting nightlife and multi-cultural, gastronomical dining options make Barcelona a very modern, hip city. Whether it’s a short urban break or a longer stay there are lots of diversions to keep visitors occupied in this fantastic Spanish city in Catalonia.
1. Sightseeing Tours
Hop on to the double decker Barcelona Bus Turistic for a great way to discover the city especially if you are only on a short trip and don’t have time to visit all the sights on foot. The bus visits all the most prestigious landmarks in the city and you are able to hop on or off whenever you choose. There are three different routes on the bus depending on what you would like to see most, or if you have time, all three, your ticket will cover all the routes.
- Name: Barcelona Bus Turistic
- Address: You can hop on at various locations/ see website.
- Price: 28 euros (or book online for discounts)/ free for under 4’s
- Frequency: Every 5 to 25 minutes
- Holiday: 1/1 and 25/12
- Website: https://www.barcelonabusturistic.cat/
2. Visit the Font Magica
Kids and adults alike will love to stand and stare at this beautiful, ornamental fountain. It was built in 1929 for the International Exhibition and then rehas since become one of the most popular places to visit in Barcelona. The fountain moves in synchronicity with music, in varying colours and hues and is a truly spectacular sight.
- Name: Font Magica
- Address: Plaça de Carles Buïgas, 1, 08038
- Opening hour:
- 19th february – 31st march and 1st November – 6th January: Friday and Saturday, from 7pm to 8.30pm
- 1st April – 28th May and 1st September – 31st October: Friday and Saturday, from 9pm to 10.30pm
- 1st June – 31st August: from Thursday to Sunday, from 9.30pm to 11pm
- Website: www.bcn.es/fontmagica
3. Visit the Barcelona Aquarium
For something different after you’ve exhausted an exploration of the city and it’s maze of narrow streets and plazas, why not visit the Barcelona Aquarium? One of the biggest in Europe and with an important emphasis on understanding Mediterranean species. Not for the faint-hearted you can walk through a glass tunnel and marvel at the swimming sharks all around. There are great activities involving interactive things for kids and even the option to stay the night at the aquarium “Sleeping with Sharks.”
- Name: L’ Aquarium de Barcelona
- Address: Moll d’Espanya del Port Vell, s/n, 08039
- Price: From 14 euros up check online for group discounts and family prices.
- Opening hour: Monday to Friday, de 9.30am to 9pm. Weekends & public holidays, from 9.30am to 9.30pm.
July & August, daily from 9.30am to 11pm.
- Website: www.aquariumbcn.com
4. Get Lost in History in El Poble Espanyol
The Poble Espanyol (Spanis Village) was designed and constructed to seem like a replica of buildings in villages from all over the regions of Spain. Here you can explore what seems exactly like a real old Andalucian village and see examples of beautiful architecture, all placed here for an authentic experience of traditional Spain. This village is also home to an incredible display of craftsmanship with original shops and workshops where artists work on pottery, cloth and other materials to create unique items that are also for sale here. You can also eat or grab a coffee here out on the terrace on many of the cafes in the square.
- Name: El Poble Espanyol
- Address: Avinguda de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13, 08038
- Opening hour:
- Monday, from 9am to 8pm.
- Tuesday to Thursday, from 9am to 12am.
- Friday, from 9am to 3am.
- Saturday, from 9am to 4am.
- Sunday, from 9am to 12am.
5. Sunbathe on La Barceloneta
One of the best things about Barcelona is it’s enviable position right on the sea and with many different golden, sandy beaches right at its feet. One of the best beaches to relax and enjoy some sun is La Barceloneta. It may be the one of the most crowded and popular, but it’s also where you will really feel the vibe and spirit of the city. Conveniently located close to the center of town, you can walk here easily, choose your spot in the sand and start to people watch. It is also a classic place to find great paella and seafood in the city.
- Name: La Barceloneta
- Location: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 16, 08003
- Opening Hours: n/a
6. Look at the City from Mirador de Colom
You can take a lift right to the top of this monument (60 m) to stand in the viewing gallery and look out over all of the Barcelona. The monument is right by the sea and at the end of La Rambla. It is a tribute of course to Christopher Colombus and his conquest of the Americas. Colombus arrived in the port of Barcelona after his voyage, and this statue of him commemorates his great feat. From the view at the top you can see many of the major points of interest.
- Name: Mirador de Colom
- Address: Plaça Portal de la Pau, s/n, 08001
- Hours: Daily from 8.30am to 8.30pm.
January 1st & December 25th closed.
- Website: www.barcelonaturisme.com
7. Take a Trip to the Barcelona Zoo
Animal lovers will enjoy a day out at the zoo here in Barcelona. There are many animals (over 7000) kept at the zoo within 14 hecatares of land. As well as seeing tigers, monkeys, exotic birds and snakes there is a petting zoo for younger children where they can have fun with smaller farm animals or have a pony ride.
- Name: Barcelona Zoo
- Address: Parc de la Ciutadella, 08003
- Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm (Check the website for details)
- Website: www.zoobarcelona.cat
8. Cycle Around the City
Since the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona has held its reputation for a city that is sports-obsessed. If you want to stay active during your holiday, there are many places you can choose from to get involved in team activities or just keep fit with your choice of exercise. If you like cycling, why not rent a bicycle and explore the city that way independently? Or you could join a bike tour with other like-minded individual for a unique experience on two wheels with a mulit-lingual guide.
- Name: Barcelona Ciclo Tour
- Address: C/ Tallers 45 (only 50 mts from Plaça Catalunya)
- Price: From 22 euros for a 3 hour tour. Check online.
- Website: http://www.barcelonaciclotour.com/en/
9. Get Back to Nature in the Mountains
If you are staying in Barcelona for more than just a few days you can sneak away from city life and find incredible, breathtaking nature just 2 hours away from the city. The Catalan Pyrenees and the various natural parks located there is a beautiful way to relax or enjoy outdoor activities. You could choose from horse riding, hiking, canoeing, rafting, skiing, star gazing and the list goes on. With six natural protected parks in this region, you are spoilt for choice.
Parks to Visit:
10. Sail Away in a Golondrina!
It makes for a fun and relaxing few hours to hop aboard one of these fun little boats and sail out of the port and all along the coastline, a glass of cold wine in hand! There are two options for boat trips from Port Vell. You can sail to the port or along the sea front. Both are great value for a lovely experience observing landmarks from the sea.
- Name: Las Golondrinas de Barcelona
- Meet At: Portal de la Pau, s/n. Moll de Drassanes (opposite the Columbus Monument). Metro: L3 Drassanes.
- Barcelona Port 40 minuts:
- Barcelona Mar 1 hour and 30 minuts:
- Website: http://www.lasgolondrinas.com/en
11. Visit Port Aventura
Take a journey into six different worlds in Port Aventura, a theme park known as one of the largest and most exciting in Europe. Located only an hour away from Barcelona, it’s a fun day out for everyone. There is the regular theme park and also an aquatic park to choose from, or why not visit both! If you like thrilling rides you will love the roller coaster “Shambhala” the tallest in Europe! If you prefer water-based rides, the Costa Caribe Aquatic park will be perfect for you.
- Name: Port Aventura Park
- Address: Av. de l’Alcalde Pere Molas, km 2, 43840 Vila-seca, Tarragona
- Opening Hours: daily from 18/03/16 to 1/11/16, Saturdays and Sundays from 5/11/16 to 18/12/16 and daily from 21/12/15 to 8/1/17 (also from 3/12/16 to 11/12/16).
- Website: https://www.portaventuraworld.com
12. Delight in the City’s Gastronomic Options
Barcelona has a wide array of restaurants, cafes, markets and bars all perfect for food lovers. It’s a great city to explore different cuisine, not just Catalan dishes but all kinds of different regional and international food can be found in the city. To experience authentic Barcelona we recommend a visit to one of the food markets. That way you can explore different stalls and sample unique tastes all in a bustling and fun atmosphere among the locals.
13. Create an Itinerary to Visit Sights
Depending on how long you are staying in the city you can book and choose different schedules and plan a day, 2 day, 3 day or 4 days to explore different places all over Barcelona. It’s a good option if you are maybe feeling a little overwhelmed by how much there is to see and do here! Take the stress out of trying to fit everything in and let expert guides take over when you choose your own adventure in Barcelona. The itineraries are arranged by the tourist office and vary from a focus on art and museums, the sports landmarks, churches and the various historical quarters or a combination of all.
- Name: Visit Barcelona Itineraries
- How to Book: visit the website and browse various options to choose your own activities and group bookings/ tours.
14. Take to the Water
Being so close to the sea and beautiful beaches of course mean that there are many options to take part in water sports nearby. Fancy trying out your skills at paddle boarding? How about kayaking or jet skiing? Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to sail? Well in Barcelona all these options and more are available. You can even go fishing in the harbour if you want to! Make the most out of your holiday with and adventure on the water! For information contact the Barcelona Tourist Office http://www.barcelonaturisme.com
15. Enjoy Spanish Nightlife
You cannot take a trip to Barcelona without being swept up in the passion and fun of going out in the city. Forget early nights, people here don’t eat dinner until at least 10 pm and forget about going to a club before 1 or 2 am. Go with the flow and be like the locals, take to the streets on warm summer nights and while away the hours sipping on a cold beer or wine. Enjoy a few tapas and then head on to some of the fine bars and clubs. Whether you like live concerts, cool world-famous DJs or just a few social drinks in a lively square, you can take your pick in Barcelona.
Have a good trip and travel!