8 top things to do in Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the most famous cities in Europe and receives millions of tourists every year.
But what is all the fuss about? Why does everyone love Barcelona? People love this city for its architecture, its atmosphere, the Spanish cuisine (and sangria!) and the good weather.
Yes, yes, but… is it worth crossing the ocean and a nine-hour flight? The answer is yes.
Here you have the top 8 things you should do while in Barcelona and which will make you fall in love with the city.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia had to be on top of our list since it is the most emblematic building in Barcelona and one of the most visited in Spain.
This modernist basilica, the masterpiece of the architect Antoni Gaudí, began to be built more than 130 years ago and is still unfinished. Maybe that’s part of its charm.
Gaudí tried to imitate the forms of nature and capture in this building everything he had learned, seeking harmony and aesthetics.
It will undoubtedly be the most picturesque basilica you will ever witness.
El Park Güell
When you enter Park Güell it seems that you are, well, in a park.
However, further down you arrive at the area where Gaudí let his fantasies run free again.
The architectural elements he built there are again inspired by the forms of nature. Columns with impossible shapes, a wavy bench decorated with colored tiles, a staircase with fountains and other elements of unlimited creativity.
From this area you will have very nice views of the city of Barcelona and, right at your feet, there are two buildings also built by Gaudí that seem to be straight out of Hansel and Gretel tale.
Inside the park you can also find the Gaudí House-Museum, where the architect lived for almost 20 years.
You can reach the Parke Güell in a few minutes by bus.
The Gothic Quarter
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico) concentrates many of the most beautiful places in the city.
Its imposing cathedral, the Episcopal Palace, Plaça Reial with a lot of restaurants, Plaça de Sant Jaume where the town hall and the Palau de la Generalitat are located, or the beautiful Pont del Bisbe (Bishop’s Bridge), which joins two buildings on a small street.
This quarter is full of bars and cafes and you will want to walk around unhurriedly and soak up its atmosphere and details.
Las Ramblas and la Boquería Market
Just out of the Gothic Quarter are las Ramblas, one of the busiest and most lively walks in the city.
Towards the middle of las Ramblas you will find la Boquería, the most famous market in Barcelona. There are stalls with all kinds of food, sweets, colorful juices, exotic fruit smoothies… It’s worth a visit!
La Casa Batlló and la Casa Milà
Given that this is the third time we mention Gaudí, you can guess he is the most iconic artist of Barcelona.
He built two beautiful modernist buildings on Paseo de Gracia, very close to each other.
The first is Casa Batlló, with a unique façade unlike any other façade you have seen before.
Casa Milá, popularly called La Pedrera, also has a very original façade.
Both buildings are worth a visit, as their interior is a modernist masterpiece, but remember to buy the tickets in advance to avoid queues and make sure you don’t miss them.
La Playa de la Barceloneta
It doesn’t matter whether you go in summer or in December, there is always a vibrant atmosphere on la Barceloneta beach.
Having the beach right next to the city is a privilege, and both locals and tourists try to enjoy it to the fullest.
You can stroll along the sidewalk with palm trees, eat at one of the beachfront restaurants or, if weather permits (or you’re very brave), take a dip in the sea!
Mount Tibidabo may not be one of the recommendations that comes in all the tourist guides of Barcelona, but, if you have time, we recommend it strongly.
You can get there by tram and funicular or take a bus in Plaza de España that will take you directly to the mountain.
At the top there is the Tibidabo Amusement Park, more than a century old.
You can either pay a ticket and enter the park to spend the day, or just stay around the entrance, where there are breahtaking views of the entire city.
Also, right there, with a privileged position at the top of the hill, there is an incredible basilica, el Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón. Inside, there are some beautiful frescoes.
Montjuic: the castle and the magic fountain
It seems like the name of a movie, but it is not. At the top of the Mount Montjuic is the castle, an old military fortress. From there, there are very nice views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea.
At the foot of Mount Montjuic is the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña (Catalonia National Art Museum).
Below the museum is the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, where shows are held in which the jets of the fountain change color and size to the rhythm of music.
It is a nice show, especially for children, and totally free, although you should know that it gets very busy, so you should arrive soon. You should also check the Magic Fountain timetable.