The Best of Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the world’s top cities for tourism, attracting 12 millionLink opens in a new tab visitors in 2019. From towering architecture to gorgeous beaches, from incredible restaurants to spellbinding hiking views, and iconic parks to an incredible performing arts scene — Barcelona has it all!
Furthermore, the city is home to arguably the most incredible nightlife in the Mediterranean. Barcelona is also a kid’s toy shop of incredible landmarks. How about the Sagrada Família, Casa Mila, or Park Guell?
The list is endless. And let’s not forget about the Gothic Quarter, Palace of Catalan Music, or Camp Nou. Barcelona also offers excellent day trips, including the Costa Brava, the Montserrat Monastery, and Girona.
While it’s completely understandable that you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of things to do in Barcelona, we’re going to list the best attractions.
What makes Barcelona so special?
Barcelona is simply one of Europe’s finest weekend breaks. The city mixes architecture, world-class sport, and world-class cuisine together with ease. The city has a vast digital nomad community, and houses thousands of people from all over the world through its multi-cultural society.
Furthermore, Barcelona has perhaps the best weather in the area. The best time to visit is during spring, where you’ll find cooler weather, but still hot enough for the beaches. Out of all of Europe’s top weekend breaks — Barcelona is in the top 5 for most travelers.
10 Facts About Barcelona
- Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain
- Barcelona never used to have any beaches, but after the 1992 Olympics, the city created various beaches with bars, restaurants, and nightclubs!
- Portal de l'Àngel is the most-walked street in Spain
- Barcelona is the biggest city on the Mediterranean Coast
- Barcelona is home to the largest football stadium in the whole of Europe
- There are 68 parks in Barcelona, making it one of Europe’s greenest cities
- Barcelona’s Parc de Collserola is the world’s largest metropolitan park
- The city is home to 55 museums
- Barcelona has over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants
- The city is one of Europe’s most LGBT-friendly cities in the whole of Europe
The Top 7 Things To Do In Barcelona
1. Visit La Boqueria
La Boqueria is Barcelona’s oldest market, and it dates back to 1217 as a small market of meat stalls. Today, there are over 200 stands to make any foodie in the world excited. You can find tremendous prices on meats and cheeses throughout the market.
However, for all the incredible sights and brilliant atmosphere, the best thing about the market is the smell. It will make you feel warm, fuzzy, and hungry from the onset. So grab yourself a fruit smoothie from various vendors and watch the day pass.
2. Check out Tibidabo
Tibidabo isn’t just a fairground on a mountain — it has so much more to offer. You’ll first see Tibidabo from the city center, where you’ll witness a variety of temples. The most popular attraction on the mountain is the Ferris Wheel. From here, you’ll see an outstanding view of the entire city. Make sure you take your picture!
Moreover, you can finish the day with a gin and tonic at the terrace of the Mirablau Bar, which is near where the blue tram stops. Finally, be sure to check the massive bronze statue of Jesus. You can take an elevator to the statue and enjoy excellent views in the process.
3. Visit Catedral de Barcelona
A trip to Barcelona simply isn’t complete until you take a trip to the Catedral de Barcelona. Although it doesn’t have the hype of La Sagrada Família, it certainly holds its own. The site initially housed a Roman Temple over 2000 years ago when locals still called Barcelona Bàrcino. Regardless of your interest in architecture, the city view after a short elevator ride is exceptional.
The Gothic Catedral de Barcelona construction began on 1 May 1298 on the site of a Romanesque temple. The current location of the Cathedral is shared with various Christian temples from the fourth century onwards.
4. Marvel at the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
When most tourists dream of visiting Barcelona — and millions of tourists dream of visiting the city — they will think of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. Why? Because it’s simply one of Europe’s most iconic buildings and the top attraction in Barcelona. The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia is a large unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica.
The building dates back to 1882, when the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar began construction. However, he resigned the next year and handed the project to Gaudí, who designed it into its stunning gothic style. The city expects to have finally finished the project by 2026.
5. Relax at Barcelona’s Beaches
Firstly, you’ll love Barcelona if you’re looking to escape the cold weather of your home country because it has one of Europe’s most excellent climates. On top of that, it has some of Europe’s longest beaches and a vast coastline of 4.5 kilometers.
Many tourists take advantage of the beach volleyball opportunities, the calm ocean, which is ideal for swimming, and enjoy the vast watersport options. However, make sure you don’t miss the array of beach bars within the city. These bars have outdoor seating and plenty of spots to grab a beer and food in the sun.
6. Go shopping on La Rambla
Every world-class city has incredible shopping options. Whether you’re on Fifth Avenue in New York City or Oxford Street in London, you’ll enjoy great shopping. Barcelona is home to La Rambla, an excellent shopping boulevard spanning a total of 1.2 km and ending at the statue of Christopher Columbus.
The street is home to some of Europe’s most exclusive luxury shops, but you can find shops for all budgets. The monument to the victims of the terrorist attack in La Rambla in August 2017 is a top attraction on the street.
7. Walk around Camp Nou
You might love football, or you might hate it. Either way, you should visit Camp Nou. The stadium is home to FC Barcelona, one of the world’s greatest football teams. The stadium has a huge capacity of 99,354 as of 2021, making it the largest stadium in Europe and the fourth largest stadium in the world.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to watch Barcelona play a league game (although tickets are hard to obtain.) But, if you don’t manage to watch a game, check out the Camp Nou tour. You’ll get amazing insight into the stadium’s history and the chance to explore one of the world’s greatest stadiums.
Barcelona isn’t as big as other European cities, such as Paris and London. And, therefore, you can easily explore the best attractions within a weekend break. However, if you have extra time, five to seven days in Barcelona won’t let you down.
The city has amazing weather, beaches, food, nightlife, scenery, hikes, and walking tours. For most people, that’s a dream destination, and Barcelona ticks all the boxes! If you have extra time, you can spend days completing excellent day trips to the surrounding history and nature.