Places to Visit in Barcelona
When we think about Barcelona, the first thing that comes to mind is the sublime modern architecture designed by Gaudi. These architectural wonders are scattered across the city and the best way to see them is to explore the city by foot. However, a touristic experience in Barcelona should not be completely spontaneous.
There is a wide variety of touristic attractions and if you don’t do your research, you might miss out on a lot of great experiences. In this article, we have compiled, the best places to visit in Barcelona. In order to make sure that you will experience everything that this city has to offer, we have categorized touristic attractions according to the type of experience that you want to have.
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All great cities have certain main attractions that are heavily advertized by travel agencies. Although these attractions don’t reflect the whole spirit of the city, they definitely should not be missed. The most important touristic attraction in Barcelona is by far, Sagrada Familia. This cathedral is the most important project of Antoni Gaudi and although it is still unfinished, it is a breathtaking homage to modern architecture. It welcomes over 3 million visitors per year.
Given these facts, we can assume that when it will be finished, in 2026, it will be one of the most impressing manmade structures in the world. The list of the best places to visit in Barcelona also includes the Museu Picasso, La Pedrera (another display of Gaudi’s vision) and Parc Guell. If you want to get the pulse of the city, you should take an evening stroll through La Placa Catalunya, a plaza characterized by a lively atmosphere which features numerous statues and monuments.
A trip to Barcelona does not need to be expensive in order to be memorable. There are numerous attraction in this city which can be visited, free of charge. So, if your wallet is going through a recession, you should consider the following locations: the ADN Galery, La Catedral, Joan Gaspar Galery, Trama Galery, Marlborough Galery or Galeria 3 Punts. Furthermore, most museums in Barcelona have a free entrance on Sundays. Moreover, most of the outdoor main attractions can be visited for free such as La Rambla, Parc Guell, MontJuic or the Gothic Quarter. Even the most famous attraction, Sagrada Familia, can be visited free of charge.
We could not make a compilation of the best places to visit in Barcelona without dedicating one category to modern architecture. You don’t have to raid the whole city, looking for modern architecture as it can be found on every step of the way. In this matter, Gaudi’s influence is the most dominant one. His art can be admired in La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Palau Güell, La Pedreda, Casa Batlló and Casa Vicens.
Although Gaudi was the most prominent modern architect, there are also other modern artists which have influenced Barcelona such as Puig I Cadafalch, whose work can be admired at Palay de la Musica or at casa Amatler. Another great modern artist was Domènech i Muntaner who designed Casa Lleó Morera. So if you are a fan of modern architecture, Barcelona will be a treat for your eyes.
Like most European Capitals, Barcelona strives on its cultural attractions. If you feel like feeding your brain with some quality music there are a couple of places which will simply amaze you. For starters, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is a decadent musical heaven. The structure is decorated exquisite carvings, red plush carpets and gold accents. In this place, it seems as if the value of music is reflected by the luxurious decorations.
If you like the Gran Teatre del Liceu, you might also want to check out L’Auditori and the Palau de la Musica Catalan. Music fans should also plan their trips according to the music festivals which are regularly hosted in Barcelona such as Primavera Sound, Sónar, Cruïlla or the Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona. A nice cultural afternoon can also be spent at Castell de Montjuïc where visitors can explore the castle and climb the battlements.
This is also a great spot for a picnic. The list of cultural places to visit in Barcelona is very long and one vacation may not be enough to see everything. However, if you want your whole trip to revolve around culture, you should check out Teatre Grec, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, the Palau Robert, the Joan Prats gallery, the ADN gallery, Galeria 3 Punts and Toni Tàpies Gallery. Last but not least, the history of this great city is best displayed at the Muhba Museu d’Història de Barcelona.
The green outdoors
When your morning coffee kicks in, the best way to make use of that extra energy is to explore an outdoor location. The Parc de la Ciutadella is a large space surrounded by nature which features many possible activities. There are a few sports fields where you can burn some calories and if you are in a bohemian mood, you could rent a boat and enjoy a quiet moment in the middle of a beautiful lake.
If you want to combine a walk in the park with exquisite art pieces, than Parc Guell is your best option. Although most of Gaudi’s works of art express freedom of technique, visiting Parc Guell, feels like walking through the artist’s mind and you get the clear feeling that this man’s imagination was not limited by anything. If you are not scared of challenging hikes, you might want to consider climbing Montjuïc mountain where you will be able to admire breathtaking panoramas of the city and explore the Laribal gardens.
Entertainment for children and adults
If you are visiting Barcelona with your children, then you need to visit some kid friendly locations. If your trip will include the following locations, we guarantee that the children will never get bored and they will even take their eyes of the smartphones in order to enjoy the touristic experience.
Font Magica Fountain is a treat for the eyes for people of all ages. It features numerous shows which combine colored lights with great music and water dances. Whether or not your children are passionate about science, they will definitely enjoy CosmoCaixa, the biggest science museum in Europe. Children will also enjoy Museu de la Xocolata, Zoo de Barcelona, L’Aquàrium, Museu Egipci or Museu d’Idees i Invents de Barcelona. You might think that you know your child and that he/she probably won’t enjoy museums.
However, we guarantee that all kids will enjoy these particular museums as they feature interactive and ingenious expositions. The Museu d’Idees i Invents de Barcelona is probably the best choice if you don’t have time to check out all our suggestions. This museum is an exciting yet educational experience for children as they are able to step into a world where everything is possible and they can witness some of the craziest gizmos. Children between 5 and 12 years old can even submit their own ideas and if they are lucky, their ideas may be turned into prototypes.
Places to visit by foot
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the best way to get the pulse of this city is to visit it by foot. One of the best strolling areas is the Gothic Quarter. This place is a nice break from modern architecture as it has numerous displays of intricate Gothik architecture. Furthermore it also has a cultural vibe if you consider the fact that it was the home of some of the world’s greatest artists such as Joan Miró or Picasso.
El Gothico and El Born are two shady and sometimes dangerous streets. Yet, these areas reveal another side of Barcelona. The streets are crowded with cafes and shops and they are a great location for a leisure afternoon. Barcelona is also home to one of the most famous Spanish streets: La Rambla. This is a promenade area which features numerous souvenir kiosks, street performances and cafes.
Despite the fact that Barcelona is a cultural capital, it is also home to some great partying locations such as Razzmatazz (the best club in the city with five spaces dedicated to 5 music genres: indie rock, tech house, techno pop, electro pop and electro rock) or Sala Apolo.
The best places to eat in Barcelona
If you are a fan of sea food, you will find Barcelona to be a culinary heaven. If you feel like having a sophisticated seafood dinner in a luxurious restaurant, you should consider Rias de Galicia or Cachitos. Other great seafood venues are Cal Pep, La Mar Salada and Can Solé. In order to explore traditional Catalan cuisine, you should reserve a table at Cinc Sentits, a place where exquisite gastronomy is displayed in creative dish designs.
If you burn a lot of calories exploring the city by foot, you are allowed to indulge yourself with some fancy desserts so you should also drop by some sweet shops such as Escriba or Papabubble. In the summer, you can enjoy a horchata ( a traditional sweet drink) at Sirvent.
No summer vacation is complete without a day at the beach and Barcelona has many choices in this matter.
This city has over four kilometers of beaches and they are all great choices for a sunny day. So, whether you choose Sant Sebastià, Nova Mar Bella or Icària, you will be able to relax and escape the heat of the city.
As most European capitals, Barcelona is a complex city, featuring numerous displays or culture, art as well as a wide variety of entertainment choices. All tourists will find the city fascinating, if they look in the right places. For example, if you are not a very cultural person, you might be bored with the most popular places to visit in Barcelona, but you will definitely find other things to do such as strolling through mesmerizing parks or partying till the down in the most exclusive clubs.
Most people who visits Barcelona fall in love with it and they want o come back as soon as possible in order to continue to explore this amazing City. Even the people who live in Barcelona haven’t explored the city 100%. Perhaps that is the beauty of the city: it is constantly changing and evolving.