Barcelona is one of the most famous cities in Europe and a very popular among tourists as it’s one of the only cities right on the coast. There’s so many amazing things to see such as Gaudi’s work, beautiful nature and a vibrant night-life.
After visiting Barcelona a number of times now, I have done many things in the city ( there’s really a lot to do!) So I’ve chosen some of my favourite things, although it was a tough decision and rounded them into just 10.
Go inside Sagrada Familia
From the outside it’s already pretty impressive from all angles, although it’s still surrounded by cranes and scaffolding due to it’s lengthy finish date. But nevertheless, stunning! Especially how it struts out from the rest of the city when viewing Barcelona from above. Recently I had the chance to go inside and wow it was certainly worth it! One of the few building that really took my breath away! We bought tickets online to avoid the queues (we literally waited abut 1 minute before we were inside) You get a 1 hour slot to go around but actually there’s no one throwing you out if you’ve gone past your finish time. The tickets cost 14€ but I’d certainly recommend it.
2. Wander the streets in La Ribera
One of my favourite neighbourhoods in Barcelona and also a little less touristy than some of the more central parts such as Las Ramblas. The Cathedral is situated here but I didn’t go inside as it cost 7€ and after visiting Sagrada Familia I thought we couldn’t be much more impressed. Wandering around you’ll find many beautiful little squares, bars, museums and restaurants. I’d recommend simply finding a nice terrace here and eating some tapas.
3. Visit Montjuïc by foot or cable car
Montjuïc is a hill in Barcelona with some really lovely views of the city and a great park to walk around. We ended up going by Cable Car which was nice but certainly NOT worth the 1.5 hour wait to get onto it. If you can, get a metro, or if you’re up for it, walk up the hill to save time and money. At the top, we had drinks in a beautiful terrace, Restaurant Miramar with incredible views of the city and good prices! Whilst you’re up here too, you can take a visit to the Fundació Joan Miró (Gallery) also well worth a visit if you love art.
4. See Gaudi’s art in Park Güell
Park Güell is based in the west side of the city in a neighbourhood called Gracía. Another place to see great views of Barcelona, enjoy a stroll and bask in the nature. The main area where his artwork and buildings are is now unfortunately 7€ (it used to be free) but you can also avoid the fees and queues by strolling around the other parts of the park that also have great views of his work and the city.
5. Listen to a concert at Palau de la Musica
This is a little less of a mainstream attraction but I’d say a fun way to spend an evening. The building itself is pretty spectacular with it’s stained glass roof to let in natural light and beautiful exterior. You can have a tour of the palace for 18€ or actually see a concert for around 15€ which is more worth it. They have concerts 300 days a year so it’s likely you can catch some good music there.
6. Stroll along Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas is a famous long and winding street through the centre of Barcelona. It’s famous for it’s street stalls, shops, and atmosphere. About halfway down the street you’ll also find Boqeria food market which is famous for it’s amazing food from not only Catalonia but the rest of the world. Go there for some tapas, samples or fruit, or even just to experience the scenery and enjoy the lovely smells and colours! If you walk down Las Ramblas you’ll end up at the Columbus statue and afterwards the port. This is a lovely walk and a way to see the centre of the city, just watch out for pickpockets!
7. Take a tour of Gaudí’s La Pedrera
La Pedrera (Also known as Casa Milá) is one of Gaudí’s most famous houses. Completed in 1912, the apartment block was designed for a rich couple who knew Gaudi. You can now go inside and explore some of Gaudí’s most interesting designs including the rooftop terrace. The house is located on Passeig de Gràcia, one of the main roads connecting the old town with Gràcia and the outskirts of the city.
8. Watch the magic fountain in Plaza España
Only on Friday and Saturday evenings in winter and Thursday to Sunday in the summer months. Check out the timetable of the Magic fountain for more times. The fountain lights up and ‘dances‘ some beautiful colours once the sun has set and you’ll find a large crowd of people waiting for the show. The fountain is located right in front of the National Museum of Catalonian Art which is another grand and gorgeous building in the city, also making the show more spectacular.
Tip: Watch the show from the top of the Arenas de Barcelona which is the old bullring of the city. You can go up top the roof to get a good view of the fountain and also have dinner there!
9. Catch some rays on Barceloneta
La Barceloneta is a neighbourhood in the old town located in between the port and the beach! The city beach is a nice place to go and relax after walking around the city and a great place to catch some rays in summer. You’ll find numerous restaurants and cafés to have a bite to eat or cocktails if you prefer. It’s a nice walk to head up to Port Olympica too, where you can find some more ‘commercial’ and touristic nightlife. Not advisable from my perspective but it depends what you’re into! 🙂
10. Eat a picnic in Parc de la Ciutadella
I love this park as I think it’s really pretty and gives off a good sense of what Barcelona is all about. Head there on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll find skaters, kids playing, street performers and friends relaxing. There’s a real good mix of people here and it’s a nice place to chill out during your tour of the city. There’s often people selling samosas or cans of beer which is really nice. The park contains a zoo, a lake, museums and the parliament of Catalonia! It’s just a little bit more into the city than Barceloneta and a nice walk!
I wrote another post about Barcelona last year if you’d like to take a read. What else do you love to do in Barcelona? What’s you’re favourite? I’d love to hear! 🙂
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