Recently, Barcelona has become probably the most popular destinations in Europe. While 5 million people call the town home, over 32 million travelers visit each year. (It really is among the worst cities on the planet for overtourism! Visit in the off-season!)
Regardless of the crowds, I really like visiting Barcelona. Every visit makes me fall deeply in love with it again and again.
It’s a city steeped ever sold, dating back again to Roman times (make sure you go to the ruins within the city), you’ll find medieval structures everywhere, and Gaudi’s architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries dots every district.
The meals is incredible. Do an improvised tapas crawl through La Barceloneta and just eat, eat, and eat.
Or be a part of the famed nightlife that doesn’t even begin until 2 am.
With delicious food, incredible history and architecture, perfect weather, and a lively nightlife, Barcelona is a city that may entertain anyone.
It really is among the best cities in every of Spain. That will help you take full advantage of the next visit, here are the best 25 what to see and do in Barcelona. They’ll offer you a feel for the town, let you eat all of the best food, and get you from the overbearing crowds!
1. Have a Free Walking Tour
I really like free walking tours. I believe they are the easiest way to access know a fresh city and I usually make an effort to take one anytime I go somewhere new. You’ll reach start to see the main sites, meet other travelers, and speak to a specialist local guide. My recommended walking tour companies in Barcelona are:
- New Europe
- Free Walking Tours Barcelona
- Free Tours ON FOOT
2. Get Lost in the Barri Gotic
Barcelona’s old Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) is the best part of town. A nearby is filled up with narrow, winding streets and historic buildings that produce you are feeling like you’ve stepped back in its history.
Although it is just a little touristy, if you ask me, it’s the most amazing area in the town. Spend a couple of hours getting lost in this district. You won’t regret it!
3. Go to the Museum of the annals of Barcelona
I’ve visited a whole lot of city museums through the years, but Barcelona has among the best there is. Opened in 1943, the museum houses over 4,000 square meters of Roman ruins (located below the museum) that one could walk through. Gleam free (and quite detailed) audio guide and meticulous explanations of the exhibits. Even if you’re not really a history buff like me, you’ll get yourself a lot out of the museum. It will provide you with a far better sense of the town and it’s past (and the ruins are really amazing!).
Plaça del Rei, +34 932 56 21 00, ajuntament.barcelona.cat/museuhistoria/ca. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-7pm (8pm on Sundays). Admission is 7 EUR per person.
4. Start to see the Grand Royal Palace
Built-in the 14th century, the Palau Reial Major was the house of Barcelona’s counts. Located close to the history museum, it later housed the Kings of Aragon (the rulers who presided over the spot) from 1035 before 15th century (though the majority of the palace remains date to the 14th century). The palace carries a detailed history of the town and region and is said that it’s where Christopher Columbus returned after his “discovery” voyage to THE UNITED STATES.
The Palace shares hours and admission costs with The Museum of the annals of Barcelona.
5. Admire Barcelona Cathedral
This Gothic cathedral was built-in the 13th century. Officially referred to as The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, it had been consecrated in 1339 and has two massive spires that stand over 53 meters (174ft) tall, colorful stained glass, and incredible wood carvings in the ornate and spacious main chamber.
In the event that you do want to go inside (and you ought to), make sure you pay to go to the upper terraces as you’ll get an unbelievable view of the town.
Placita de la Seu 3, +34 933 428 262, catedralbcn.org. Tourist hours are daily from 12:30pm-5:45pm on weekdays (until 7:15pm on the weekends). For all those seeking to worship, the cathedral is open daily from 8:30am. Admission is 7 EUR for tourists and free for worshipers.
6. Wander Park Güell
Park Güell is a lovely and sprawling 45-acre garden complex created by world-famous architect Antoni Gaudí. Dating back again to the first 1900s, it’s among the many Gaudi works in the town open to the general public. Today, it’s a global Heritage Site and municipal garden that’s absolve to enter (you can access almost all of the park for free, although interior sections do charge admission).
The center point of the park may be the main terrace, which is surrounded by an extended bench by means of a sea serpent. The park is right close to the famous La Sagrada Familia so it’s easy to go to both back-to-back. It’s a lovely and colorful park but it addittionally gets busy so make an effort to go early or on a weekday when the crowds are thinner.
Carrer d’Olot, parkguell.barcelona/en. Open daily from 8:30am-6pm. Admission for the inside section is 10 EUR per person. Guided tours are for sale to 31 EUR and children six years old and younger are free. In the event that you buy tickets, be sure to book them beforehand because they sell out quickly.
7. See La Sagrada Família
La Sagrada Família is arguably the most well-known of Gaudí’s work – despite the fact that it’s still not finished (construction began in 1882 and is scheduled to be completed in 2030). Gaudí was a devout Catholic and the church was his final project, one he spent the last a decade of his life focusing on.
Like most of Gaudi’s work, the church (that was consecrated as a basilica this year 2010) blends various themes and influences and is a variety of both Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.
When you may take in the church from the exterior, I’d encourage you to explore the inside with an audio guide. It covers the complete history of the church and can offer you an insightful summary of this original (and massive) project.
When you can, make an effort to visit between mid-morning and late afternoon so that you can start to see the sunlight cascade throughout all of the stained glass.
Plaça de la Sagrada Familia, +34 932 080 414, sagradafamilia.org. Admission is 20 EUR for a simple ticket and 26 EUR for a ticket with an audio guide. For an audio guide and usage of the towers, tickets are 33 EUR. Book your tickets beforehand because they disappear quickly.
8. Explore La Boquería
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria (La Boquería for short) is a public market near La Rambla. The marketplace has been as of this location for more than 100 years and houses a delectable selection of food stalls and restaurants.
Since it’s quickly La Rambla it gets incredibly busy so make an effort to make it happen early. There’s a multitude of seafood, including fish, shrimp, octopus, and oysters, in addition to nuts, candy, wine, and tapas. It’s an inexpensive spot to grab a snack as you explore the town.
9. Visit Casa Batlló and Casa Milà
Casa Batlló is among Gaudi’s more eye-catching creations. Situated in the Eixample district of Barcelona, he spent 2 yrs upon this colorful project. Like a lot of his work, the look is heavily influenced by the Art Nouveau style. The facade was decorated with a mosaic manufactured from broken ceramic tiles that he collected from the trash of a nearby glass shop, making the building almost glow in the sunlight. The roof is arched and tiled and has been likened to the trunk of a dragon. It’s among the best Gaudí buildings.
Just a couple of hundred meters from Casa Batlló is Casa Milà. Referred to as La Pedrera (“the Stone Quarry”), this building includes a facade of limestone (hence the nickname). Built from 1906-1910, Gaudi’s goal was to evoke the sense of a snowy mountain. He also planned for Casa Milà to become a spiritual symbol (he was a devout Catholic in the end) and included plenty of religious elements in the look, such as for example an excerpt from the rosary prayer along the cornice. He also included statues of Mary, St. Michael, and St. Gabriel.
Casa Batlló: Passeig de Gràcia 43, +34 93 216 0306, casabatllo.es. Open daily from 9am-9pm. Admission is 25 EUR online and 29 EUR at the entranceway.
Casa Milà: Passeig de Gràcia 92, +34 93 214 2576, lapedrera.com. Open daily from 9am-8:30pm. Admission is 24 EUR beforehand and 27 EUR at the entranceway (tickets add a free audio guide).
For more Gaudi works, have a look at this post on exploring Gaudi’s Barcelona and get yourself a walking tour route for all his buildings.
10. Go to the Picasso Museum
This can be a most comprehensive assortment of Pablo Picasso’s works on earth. Opened in 1963, the museum houses over 4,000 functions by Picasso. While I’m personally not really a huge fan of Picasso’s later work, it’s still interesting to understand about his life and are he was just about the most influential artists of the twentieth century. While his style is exclusive and not for everybody, the museum is nevertheless worth a visit. It’s amazing to observe how his art changed and evolved during the period of his life.
Carrer Montcada 15-23, bcn.cat/museupicasso/en. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 9am-7pm. Admission is 12 EUR per person, with free entry on Thursdays from 6pm-9:30pm and on the first Sunday of the month.
11. Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)
This museum has over 5,000 works, including a thorough assortment of pieces by Spanish artists such as for example Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. Additionally, there are functions by Americans Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder. Personally, I’m not really a huge fan of modern art but if you’re, make sure to add this to your itinerary!
Plaça dels Àngels 1, +34 934 12 08 10, Open Wednesday-Friday from 10am-7:30pm, Saturdays from 10am-8pm, and Sundays from 10am-3pm (closed Monday). Admission is 11 EUR (free entry on Saturdays from 4-8pm.
12. Have a EXCURSION to Monserrat
To flee the town for a day, check out Monserrat. It’s one hour away by train and the town is next to a mountain range. It creates for a great escape from Barcelona’s busy urban atmosphere. There are plenty of hiking trails here, but in the event that you don’t want to hike also you can have a cable car up to the peak to take the view.
Make sure you go to the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery to start to see the famous shrine of the Black Madonna. The monastery is made in to the mountain and the Black Madonna statue is thought to have already been carved in Jerusalem through the early years of Christianity, though it probably dates to the 12th century.
If you’re a skill fan, go to the Art Museum Of Montserrat. It has functions by Monet, Dali, Picasso, and several other famous artists. And become sure to visit the neighborhood market (it’s on the path to the monastery). It’s an ideal spot to buy local products like fresh produce, cheese, honey, and artisan crafts. And if you’re an adrenaline junkie, there is a great deal of rock climbing to be achieved here aswell (either solo or with a hired guide).
Train tickets for the hour-long journey cost around 20 EUR (round trip).
13. Have a Stroll on La Rambla
This can be a most popular (& most crowded) street in the town. It’s lined with trees and beautiful buildings and you’ll usually have the ability to find plenty of locals busking here too. The road grew to prominence through the Middle Ages, even though it’s still the primary tourist hub in the town I’d avoid shopping or eating here (everything will be overpriced). Having said that, it’s nevertheless worth a stroll. The road is merely over 1km long so that it won’t take long to take the sights.
14. Hit the Beach
If you’re seeking to relax and revel in Barcelona’s beautiful weather, check out the beach. The town includes a popular beach that’s open year-round called Barceloneta. It’s long, wide, and the water is ideal for swimming. Additionally, there are a whole lot of good restaurants on the boardwalk. The beach is always busy with both tourists and locals so walk further from the guts to attain some quieter and cleaner sections. Two areas I’d recommend are Sant Sebastià (in the south) and Somorrostro (in the north).
15. Watch Some Flamenco
Flamenco is a normal design of music and dance that started in Spain. It’s a lively, expressive style known because of its intricate footwork and hand movements. If you’re seeking to ingest a show, Barcelona includes a few affordable venues where you could watch a performance:
- Los Tarantos – Here is the oldest flamenco venue in the town. Performances are just thirty minutes so it’s an excellent place for an introduction.
- Palau Dalmases – Among the best reasons for having the flamenco shows this is actually the venue. This palace has amazing décor and incredible architecture.
- Tablao Flamenco Cordobes – This show is in a convenient location on Barcelona’s main walkway, but it’s expensive.
- Tablao de Carmen – This show takes places in a replica of a Spanish village.
16. Ride the Port Cable Car
The 1,450-meter-long harbor aerial tramway with red cars connects Barceloneta and Montjuïc (a prominent hill). The 10-minute ride offers picturesque views of the complete city. You’ll start to see the port and sea using one side and the town on the other. Also, near the top of the 78-meter Sant Sebastià (San Sebastián) tower in Barceloneta, there’s a restaurant accessible by an elevator. If you would like to hike instead, there are some different trails to the summit, most taking around 3 hours.
Open daily from 10am-6pm (9pm in the summertime). Round-trip tickets cost 13.50 EUR per person.
17. Explore Montjuïc Hill
Invest the the cable car, bus, or hike to the very best of the hill you’ll find there’s too much to keep you busy beyond the view. First, you can explore the Castell de Montjuïc. It’s a big 18th-century fortress with roots that date back again to the 17th century. It has some picturesque gardens and will be offering amazing views overlooking the town. It’s home to a museum with plenty of military displays. Admission is 5 EUR though it’s free on Sundays after 3pm in addition to the first Sunday of the month.
You’ll also find the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya here, a Catalonian art museum. It features mostly Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque works. The fountain out front includes a spectacular free show aswell.
Additionally, don’t skip the Olympic Ring (the primary section of the 1992 Olympic Games) and the Poble Espanyol, a replica village built-in 1929 to resemble a genuine traditional Spanish village. It has over 100 buildings, including an Andalusian quarter, a portion of the Camino, a monastery, and more!
Admission is 12 EUR per person, with free entry on Saturdays after 3pm and on the first Sunday of the month..
18. Have a Food Tour or Cooking Class
Just like the rest of Spain, Barcelona is an extremely foodie-centric city. While you’re here, I recommend taking the cooking class or a food tour (or both!). You’ll find out about traditional Catalan cooking, reach see and sample fresh ingredients, and move on to walk through local markets. Some companies to look at are:
- Take Walks
- Barcelona Cooking
19. Visit an Old-School Amusement Park
Built-in 1899 and opened in 1901, Tibidabo Barcelona is among the oldest amusement parks on earth. Situated on a mountain in the Serra de Collserola, it includes an unbelievable view of Barcelona and the coastline furthermore to its rides, games, and restaurants. It’s a great activity related to kids.
Plaça del Tibidabo, +34 932 11 79 42, tibidabo.cat. Hours vary with respect to the season. Check the web site for details. Admission si 28.50 EUR.
20. Have a EXCURSION to Girona
Girona is a medieval city just 100km from Barcelona. It’s also among the best destinations in the complete country. Here you can climb atop the town walls, wander the narrow lanes of the Jewish Quarter, and absorb the ambiance at among its many cafés.
Don’t skip the Cathedral of Girona and the Monastery of Saint Daniel and become sure to stroll over the Eiffel bridge (a little bridge created by Gustave Eiffel, the person who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris).
There’s a whole lot of history and delicious food in the town (make sure you visit Rocambolesc for gelato). In addition they filmed Game of Thrones here too! The train ride is just about 80 minutes (half that invest the the high-speed train). Tickets range between 10-40 EUR.
Have a look at this post for an extended list of what to see and do in Girona.
21. Watch a Soccer Match
The first “football” game I ever watched live was in Barcelona (I still have the shirt I purchased that day). Barcelona’s two biggest teams are Espanyol and FC Barcelona and, if a match is certainly going on, try to ingest one – it’s an incredible and boisterous spectacle (FC Barcelona’s stadium holds around 100,000 people)! Like the majority of Europeans, Spaniards are enthusiastic about the activity and tickets are often reasonable priced (they typically cost around 30 EUR). If you wish to have a glimpse into local life (and make some friends along the way) make sure you catch a casino game!
22. Gaze at Barcelona’s Free Public Art
While Spain can be an affordable destination, it never hurts to find free activities! There are many found around the town, including an enormous fountain in the Parc de la Ciutadella. It had been created by Gaudi and built as a tribute to Neptune (the Roman god). Other off-beat (and free) Gaudí works include his lampposts in Plaça Reial and Pla de Palau, and the Miralles gate, and the wall on Passeig de Manuel Girona.
Barcelona native Joan Miró’s work can be found through the entire city. You can observe his famous “Woman and Bird” sculpture at Parc de Joan Miró. Additionally, there are Miró mosaics on La Rambla and at the city’s airport.
23. Have a Bike Tour
Fat Tire Tours offers guided tours around the town – for less than 30 EUR per person too! Tours last 4-4.5 hours and so are a terrific way to ingest the town if you don’t feel just like a normal walking tour. They provide six different tours to select from aswell and their groups are small so it’s easy to meet up people too!
24. Visit Parc del Laberint d’Horta
Park of the Labyrinth of Horta was made in 1791 and comprises various Neoclassical and Romantic gardens in addition to a huge hedge maze (gives the park its name). The maze stretches over 750 meters as the remaining park covers over 135 acres. The maze was made to re-enact the initial Greek myth of the minotaur on Crete and is really much trickier to complete than you imagine!
Passeig dels Castanyers 1. Open daily from 10am until dusk (between 6pm-8pm with respect to the season). Admission is 2.25 EUR.
25. Log off the Beaten Path
While you will find loads of popular (and crowded) sights in Barcelona, additionally, there are plenty of quirky and off-the-beaten-path what to see and do in the town. If you’re seeking to explore a number of the less-busy and weirder attractions of the town, here are some worth increasing your itinerary:
- The Erotic Museum – This small museum highlights how sex has been viewed through the entire ages, with works from Medieval Europe and Imperial Japan completely for this. There are paintings, drawings, artifacts, sculptures, and more. It’s the most unique museums in the town! Admission is 10 EUR.
- Bunkers of Carmel – These bunkers were built-in 1938 through the Spanish Civil War. The bunkers were left to the elements however they now offer incredible views over the town. Make an effort to visit for the sunrise.
- Chocolate Museum – Chocolate found its way to Spain 500 years back, something of trade and conquests in SOUTH USA. This museum illuminates the annals of chocolate and showcases a variety of tools, sculptures (crafted from chocolate), and artwork. Admission is 4.30 EUR.
- Columns of the Temple of Augustus – Saved in the Gothic Quarter certainly are a group of pillars over 2,000 years old. Extracted from the remains of a historical Roman temple, these 30-foot columns have stood here because the 16th century. Admission is free.
Barcelona is consistently ranked as you of Europe’s best (and most-visited) cities. It’s truly a power city. It’s among my favorites which list of things you can do could keep you busy for your complete trip. There’s really so much to accomplish in Barcelona. you’ll never be bored!
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Book Your Visit to Barcelona: Logistical Guidelines
Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s because they search websites and airlines around the world and that means you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation For the best budget accommodation, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the most comprehensive inventory. The best palces in which to stay Barcelona are:
- Hello BCN
- St. Christopher’s Inn
Looking to discover the best companies to save lots of money with? Have a look at my resource page to get the best companies to use when you travel! I list all of the ones I use to save lots of money when I travel – and I believe can help you too!
Need helpful information? Barcelona has some excellent guided Gaudi tours. The best company to go with is Take Walks. Their “Complete Gaudí Tour” gives you the very best in-depth and behind-the-scenes Gaudi tour out there.
Looking TO FIND OUT MORE on Visiting Barcelona? Have a look at my in-depth destination guide to Barcelona with an increase of tips on what things to see, do, costs