Best Things To Do In Barcelona, Spain
(Cue Ed Sheeran’s song “Barcelona”!) Welcome to the captivating city of Barcelona, nestled in the heart of Catalonia, Spain! With its perfect blend of history, culture, and modern charm, Barcelona is a delightful destination that has something to enchant every traveler. From awe-inspiring architectural wonders to sun-kissed beaches and a vibrant food scene, this enchanting city offers an unforgettable experience. In this blog post, we’ll unveil the best things to do in Barcelona, Spain to ensure an experience you’ll never forget:
1. La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Família, the crown jewel of Barcelona’s architectural wonders, is an absolute must-visit attraction. Designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, this iconic basilica continues to captivate visitors from around the world. La Sagrada Familia has been in the works since the year 1882, and still is not completed to this day. The completion is expected in 2026… but until then it is still more than worth visiting.
For us, La Sagrada Familia is one of the most beautiful landmarks we’ve ever seen! The architecture and sheer size of this ancient structure is a must-see if you are looking to be wowed. The cost begins at 26€ per person and goes up from there depending on the type of tour you choose. An important tip to remember – you MUST purchase your tickets in advance. You CANNOT purchase them at the door, they will not be selling them. Make sure you plan and purchase your tickets ahead of time so you don’t miss out on a really interesting tour through one of the world’s most incredible landmarks!
2. Park Guell
There are plenty of other architectural wonders throughout the city of Barcelona, including the natural beauty that is Park Güell.
Situated on Carmel Hill, Park Güell offers breathtaking panoramic views of Barcelona along with a surreal and imaginative landscape. Park Güell features more buildings designed by the famous Antoni Gaudí. Park Güell was like a peaceful and relaxing sanctuary within a bustling city. It felt almost out of place, but at the same time served as a place for us to get away from the crowds and high energy of the main city center. We were able to see some of Gaudi’s most famous buildings, sculptures and art pieces, such as his mosaic Dragon Fountain, The Gatehouse, and Gaudi’s old home, now a museum in his honor.
The delicate mosaic designs and extravagant structures were breathtaking, and are well worth the visit. Not to mention, the nature and flowers we saw were so unique and beautiful. Once again, we suggest you buy your tickets ahead of time, as there is a capacity limit and once it is sold out, you will have to wait until the next day. Tickets can be found here, starting at 10€.
3. Arco de Triunfo
One of our personal favorite things to see in Barcelona was the Arco de Triunfo, which was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition. Wow, this has to be the most amazing arc we’ve seen so far, standing at nearly 100 feet tall! It is constructed with beautiful red brick, and is surrounded by a path lined by palm trees. The streets are full of energy, with kids and families playing, street vendors, and our favorite, Bubbles Locos! Check out @bubbles.locos on Instagram, you will not be disappointed! Another favorite about this activity is that it is completely free of charge. Just go for a walk around the town, and take advantage of this beautiful, free experience.
4. Casa Milà and Casa Batlló
While you’re discovering the rest of the city, you should also plan a trip to see Gaudi’s Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. The rooftop at Casa Milà offers panoramic city views and is adorned with whimsical chimneys and sculptures. Casa Batlló’s mosaic-covered facade and dragon-inspired rooftop is another example of Gaudi’s architectural creativity and wonder. These buildings are historic jewels in the middle of a modern city, and are a must see at some point during your Barcelona adventure.
5. Barceloneta beach
After sightseeing and getting to explore all of these amazing landmarks, you might be looking for a place to relax. I know we were! Barceloneta Beach is there for you to enjoy if you are staying in the La Ramblas area. There are other beaches across the entire city to enjoy as well, but this is the specific beach that we spent our time at.
Personally, we were a little disappointed in our time at the beach, only because there were so many vendors that came up to us trying to sell us things when we were simply trying to relax. Our advice to you is to try and find an area of the beach that is less populated, and to be firm with vendors when they approach you. They are just doing their jobs, but they can come off quite pushy! Also, be sure to not bring valuables or leave them unattended when you leave your spot on the sand to go swim. Overall, we loved spending time in the sun and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city life.
6. Mount Tibidabo
Mount Tibidabo is a stunning hill located on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain, offering breathtaking views and a perfect escape from the bustling city. Mount Tibidabo sits atop the tallest mountain (elevation of 1,680 feet!) in the Serra de Collserola mountain range. This mountain will give you the best view of Barcelona, and houses a small amusement park with a Ferris wheel that will take you even higher! It took us roughly an hour to make the journey up the mountain, via the public transportation system, but it was well worth it. Public transportation in Barcelona was fairly simple to manage, and did not cost very much, making it easy to find our way around. Tip** if you have an iPhone, you can map out your destination, select the “transit” option, and the app will tell you exactly which trains/buses you need to get on, and when they will be departing next, to get to your destination. This helped us out so much while we were there!
7. Camp Nou Stadium
If you’re a soccer, or “fútbol” fan, then it might be worth taking a tour of the famous Spotify Camp Nou stadium. Camp Nou Stadium is a world-famous fútbol stadium and the home ground of FC Barcelona. As one of the largest stadiums in the world, it holds a special place in the hearts of fútbol enthusiasts. There wasn’t any games or tours while we were there, but we walked around the stadium, where they had mini games and merchandise shops. It was extremely large… and slightly run down on the outside… but still a cool experience. We can only imagine what the atmosphere would be like at a game! If you’re looking to catch a game, Camp Nou has many places to stay, including Hotel SOFIA Barcelona. For more information on places to stay, click here.
As you can see, Barcelona has a LOT of incredible sights, architecture, and experiences to offer. If you are a fan of city life, and enjoy having lots of things to see and do, then Barcelona is the place to be! Barcelona is also a very popular spot to study abroad for any adventurous student! If you want more information on how you can optimize a trip to the Barcelona region, click here for a cool day trip opportunity to Sitges.
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