barcelona spain best things to do

Visit Barcelona (Spain): 20 best things to do and see

What are the best things to do and see in Barcelona (Spain ūüá™ūüáł)?

Thanks to its privileged location and a perpetual holiday atmosphere, Barcelona, second largest city in Spain, is undoubtedly one of the most attractive cities of the country (check the Wikipedia page about Barcelona).

The capital of Catalonia offers a wide variety of interests, with its architectural wonders, the culture, the gastronomy, the football, a relaxed atmosphere, a perfect climate and above all, nice beaches by the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona is a city that is easy to fall in love with, and if you like to party you will be thrilled by the nightlife.

Just remember that it’s one of the most visited cities in Europe, so be ready to meet plenty of other¬†tourists all year round.

If you are going to Barcelona for the first time, this list of the best things to do in Barcelona will show you all that the city has to offer.


Don’t forget to book your first night in Barcelona on¬†Booking.com

Here are the 20 best things to do and see in Barcelona:

1. La Sagrada Familia

Certainly Barcelona’s most famous tourist site, the construction of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and the monument is still under construction. It’s a masterpiece of Catalan modernism by the architect Antoni Gaud√≠. Its appearance is at the very least… special. Tickets are to be booked in advance on the internet.

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2. La Casa Batlló

Another building designed by Gaudi, with a strange fa√ßade covered with very elaborate architectural details. The interior can be visited and presents a magnificent design. Admission costs around ‚ā¨23.

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3. El Palau de la M√ļsica Catalana

The Palace of Catalan Music (in English), is a sumptuous concert hall designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, less known than Gaudi but which also has a modern style, and which is especially renowned for its superb ceiling glass.

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4. The Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico)

One of the most beautiful districts of Barcelona, with small narrow streets and located not far from La Rambla. It’s a very nice place to walk around and admire the architecture of the remains of the old medieval houses.

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5. Camp Nou

A must-see in Barcelona for football fans. You can of course see a match there, otherwise you can visit it and access the changing rooms, museum and multimedia area.

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6. G√ľell Park

Another creation by the Catalan architect Gaud√≠, with structures of curious shapes and covered with ceramics. From there, you can admire a superb view of Barcelona. A part of the park is free but to admire Gaudi’s work more closely, you will have to pay 7 ‚ā¨.

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7. Santa Maria Del Mar Basilica’s church

The most beautiful Gothic church in Barcelona. Located in the old town (Ribera district), it looks very sober from the outside but the inside is superb, with very beautiful stained glass windows. Admission is charged.

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8. G√ľell Palace (Palau G√ľell)

Another creation by architect Antoni Gaud√≠, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. It was once the private residence of the G√ľell family (like the park of the same name). The facade is quite sober while the interior is sumptuous.

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9. The National Museum of Catalan Visual Art (MNAC)

One of the most beautiful museums in Barcelona, the MNAC offers several collections but is particularly renowned for its Romanesque art collection. The palace that houses the museum is also very beautiful from the outside and since it is located high up, you can admire superb views of the city.

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10. The Sant Pau Recinte Modernista (hospital of Saint Pau)

Little known, this group of pavilions in the modernist style was built by Llu√≠s Dom√®nech i Montaner, Gaud√≠’s competitor. Once used as a public hospital, it’s now home to several institutions but it is possible to visit them to discover its superb architecture.

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11. Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Another example of Gaud√≠’s creative genius is Casa Mila (known as La Pedrera), which is basically a private mansion with a surprising facade. Today, it is one of the most visited tourist sites in Barcelona thanks to its unique architecture.

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12. Cosmocaixa – Science Museum

A magnificent museum for the whole family, with a wide variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions. In particular, there is a reconstruction of the Amazonian forest.

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13. Montju√Įc park

Located on the top of a hill, it offers a superb panoramic view of Barcelona and the port. There are several museums including the MNAC, and superb gardens. It can be reached by cable car or bus. Plan a full day of visit to enjoy it.

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14. La Catedral de Barcelona

Also called “la Seu“, it is a very beautiful 80-metre high cathedral located in the Gothic district, with a rather impressive interior architecture. It is possible to access the roof. Admission is free.

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15. Tibidabo Mountain

512 metres high, it offers a breathtaking view of Barcelona. You can visit several monuments including the templo del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, numerous gardens and an amusement park.

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16. La Rambla

A must-see place when visiting Barcelona, La Rambla is the main pedestrian avenue that descends from the Plaza de Catalunya to the old port. It’s very lively, there are many bars and restaurants but also a lot of people.

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17. Ciutadella Park

A 17-hectare park that allows you to enjoy a little peace and quiet in the middle of well-kept gardens. There is also a zoo, a very beautiful fountain and a mammoth statue…

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18. La Boqueria Market

The Mercat de la Boqueria (in Catalan) is located along the Rambla and is the ideal place to snack and taste the many products of the region. You can also take beautiful pictures; the displays of hams and other products are superb. A must-see attraction in Barcelona.

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19. Beaches

The most famous being Barceloneta, it’s also where you will see the most people. Be very careful with your belongings! It’s still a nice place to have a beer and go for a walk. However, do not hesitate to take the metro to access quieter and less touristic beaches.

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20. Barcelona’s Port vell (Barcelona harbour)

Very modern and well equipped, you can walk there or take an excursion to golondrina (a boat that goes around the port). There is a large shopping centre that offers nice views of the harbour.

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Bonus: the Montserrat massif (around Barcelona)

A very interesting excursion to do from Barcelona, to get away from the city and the noise. The Montserrat massif, 1236 metres high, is a very beautiful natural site where you can discover a monastery surrounded by typical rock formations. Montserrat is about an hour by train from Barcelona.

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Before you go to Barcelona:

Where is Barcelona?¬†ūüóļÔłŹ

If you’re wondering where is barcelona located in Spain, here is its location on Google Map.¬†Barcelona is located in the North-East of the Iberian Peninsula, just on the Mediterranean coast, 2 hours drive south of the Pyrenees and not very far from France.¬†Barcelona Airport (BCN), the country’s second largest airport, is located about 12 kilometres southeast of the city centre.

What is the best time to visit Barcelona?¬†ūüóďÔłŹ

May, July and September are the mildest months. In August the temperatures are hot, and from October to November the temperatures are cooler (from 15 to 21¬įC). From November to February it rains heavily.

Spring and autumn are therefore the ideal seasons to enjoy the city in good conditions. You can therefore visit Barcelona all year round, but if you have to choose a specific month then the best time to visit Barcelona is September: the weather is still good but not as hot as in the middle of summer, and there are far fewer tourists than in July and August.

Barcelona travel tips¬†ūüí°

  • Adopt Spanish culinary habits: Get in tune with the local rhythm and enjoy the lunch menus from 1pm. In the evening, choose tapas. Order several, it’s a friendly meal that you can share with friends.
  • Visit the museums when they are free: every Sunday from 3pm many museums are free (some on Saturdays).
  • Taste the Catalan specialities: charcuterie, escalivada, fideu√†, esqueixada, cal√ßots,…
  • For transport, bring good shoes and walk or rent a bike.
  • Be extremely careful with pickpockets: always keep an eye on your belongings!
  • Don’t waste too much time on the Ramblas: even if they remain a must in Barcelona, there are poor quality restaurants and many pickpockets.

Where are the best photo spot in Barcelona?

Here’s two articles written by travel bloggers, who gives interesting tips about the best photo spots in Barcelona (very helpful if you’re an Instagram addict):

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