Barcelona, an amazing city with hundreds of things to do and has some of the top attractions in Spain and worldwide. We picked the 10 best things to do in Barcelona for you and we hope that you will enjoy as we did!!
1. Basílica de la Sagrada Familia
The cathedral church that José María Bocabella inspired after his visit to the Vatican and the flagship of Antoni Gaudí’s creations. A piece of architecture’s art that Gaudí didn’t, unfortunately, have the time to finish. It is one of a kind temple both because of its interior and exterior.
The biggest tip? Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Barcelona so book your fast track tickets at least one week before your scheduled visit in order to have available all the choices. We highly recommend booking your visit with a personal guide, either in a group or in private. Only this way you will get to know all the details of this magnificent temple.
2. Visit Park Güell
Park Güell took its name from the sponsor of its creation, Eusebi Güell. Eusebi Güell was a friend and strong supporter of Gaudí. Güell, being a strong businessman at the time, director of a bank with a strong involvement with issues of common interests and politics was in the right place at the right moment. He became the person that helped Gaudi to develop his talent and Park Guell is the epitome of their cooperation.
The initial plan of Park Güell was to become a community inspired by nature and having all the luxuries of the time at its disposal. Güell and Gaudí’s vision was to create a peaceful place with natural beautiness. Gaudí’s art has elements of catholicism to the mythology and Greek architecture demonstrated in his unique way.
Every corner in this Park is a treasure and you will discover all the intelligence that is hidden only if you go with a guide. This is what we did and what we suggest as well.
3. Watch the Montjuïc fountain show
Montjuïc fountain is one of the most known highlights of Barcelona. The fountain was build in order to celebrate in 1829 the International Exhibition and from the 1980s the municipality organizes a show with lights and music. There are scheduled different choreographies for every day that you do not want to miss.
Hundreds of people start gathering around the fountain about half an hour before the show starts, so be prepared for crowded situations! Get informed of the scheduled performances from the official website regarding the starting time and the choreography!
4. Walk at Las Ramblas street
Las Ramblas is a 1.2 kilometers central street that connects Plaça de Catalunya with the Columbus Monument. Usually is the first walk that the tourists make when they arrive in Barcelona.
The street looks totally different between day and night. While in the day you will find thousands of tourists walking up and down, during the night the south part of the area is becoming a little bit kinkier ;). The biggest part of Las Ramblas is for pedestrians and you can see only two small, single directions, streets on parallel.
It is known for the street artists that can make a portrait or caricature of you. It is also known for the human statues, some really good performers and of course the Mosaic del Pla de l’Os! There are many restaurants but we wouldn’t recommend them as the value for money is really low. As it is a highly touristic area the prices are not mirroring the quality that you can find in small neighborhoods of Barcelona.
In Las Ramblas, you can find the Museu de l’ Erotica, Colombus Monument and last but not least in the “La Boqueria”, the number 5 of our list!
Tip: Las Ramblas is a safe area but it is not an uncommon place of pocket thieves so have your eyes open.
5. Try the seafood at La Boqueria
You will find hundreds of markets in the Mediterranean area selling seafood but probably it will be very difficult to find a market like La Boqueria. The quality is very high, the prices a little bit up, for sure the locals prefer other markets BUT, La Boqueria is the perfect place for seafood on the go!
You will taste a lot of kinds of scallops, eat fried shrimps, anchovy and sardines and tens of things more. You will be even more excited if you are coming from a country without that much fish culture in its diet :-).
6. Discover Antoni Gaudí’s architecture treasures around the city!
Everybody knows Sagrada Familia and many the Coza Mila. What most people do not know is that Gaudi has put his signature in 9 more constructions in the city of Barcelona and each one is unique. Follow our map and discover all the buildings and spread your horizons regarding how maybe the cities should look like :-).
7. Relax in Barceloneta and the rest of the city’s beaches
As we mentioned in the general post regarding Barcelona, the reconstruction of the city happened for the 1992 Olympic games. Part of the Olympic legacy is the amazing seafront of Barcelona. The Barceloneta area was also known as Somorrostro neighborhood in the past and was hosting even 15000 people.
Where you can see now casinos and five-star hotels were factories and houses accommodated by poor but proud and smiling hard-working people. Today is a beach with a spirited atmosphere, full of people of all ages enjoying the view of the sea and being one of the city’s nightlife centers. Barceloneta is definitely the European version of California beach and of our favorite Barcelona sightseeing!
Read more for the interesting history of Barceloneta here.
8. Visit Montserrat Monastery
Either you are into religion or not going to Montserrat Monastery is a “must do” activity. The scenery that you are going to meet regarding the mountain look reminds the known Meteora in Greece. You can go either by train and cable car or by car.
Montserrat Monastery is 60 kilometers from Barcelona and you will need about an hour with a car. There is a little bit of traffic as you are approaching the top of the mountain from cars and a big qeue line in order to enter the Monastery so it would be best to start your excursion early in the morning.
There are two ways to approach the monastery by car. One by going all the way up to the monastery. There are automatic paid parking services available, working 24/7. The truth is that it took us a while to find a parking slot but maybe because we were there at peak time.
The second option is to drive until the “Cremallera de Monistrol Vila” rack railway station. The parking there is for free and you will need to purchase a train ticket for going up to the monastery. The view from the train is amazing and we encourage you to follow as you will have a lot of opportunities for beautiful photos of the Monastery and the entire mountain.
Using the train network from Barcelona is the guaranteed way for reaching on time to the Montserrat Monastery. You have two choices to select from. Either reach the top by Cable Car either by the Rack Railway.
Train – Cable Car
Going anywhere with a Cable Car is a nice experience. The route is very small and you will arrive at the Monastery immediately.
Train – Rack Railway
The route with Rack Railway is a little bit bigger, compared with the Cable Car, but the scenery is amazing. You are going to get views of the monastery from all the ways and as we mentioned above you will get a lot of instagrammable shots!
Book your tickets from the official website here.
9. Visit Cascada Monumental in Parc de la Ciutadella
In Barcelona, you are going to walk a lot and the weather, if it is summer, will be hot! A perfect break could be in Parc de la Ciutadella. In the Parc except just walking around you will find Barcelona’s Zoo, a small lake, animal sculptures, and our favorite Cascada Monumental.
Cascada Monumental was made by Fontseré’s Cascada in 1875. Many say that it is based in Trevi Fountain of Rome. We will say that it is “just” another part of Greek mythology and represents the birth of Aphrodite goddess (or Venus) while in Rome we can see the statue of Poseidon (or Neptune). Interesting information is that Gaudi also worked in the project as a student at that time.
10. Taste the Spanish Tapas, Sangria, and Paella
While Spain has a great variety and tradition of wines and beers, like all the Mediterranean countries, you MUST order Sangria! Sangria is a red wine mixed with fruits and is served cold with ice cubes. If it is summer and hot you will have an extra reason to enjoy it.
Tapas are small portions of anything that you can imagine. There are available tapas with meat, fish, and veggies as well. They do not cost a lot and if you go to the correct restaurant you will not stop ordering!
Paella is the Queen of the flavors in Spain. In every city in Spain, they are preparing in a different way and for the first time in our lives, we tasted meat and seafood on the same plate! Was amazing!