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DESTINATION GUIDES & ITINERARIES / EUROPE

16 Top Attractions and Things to Do in Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia church interior in Barcelona

Barcelona is the most foreign-visited destination in Spain, and for good reason; there are so many things to do in Barcelona! Between its distinctive architecture, balmy weather, and reputation worldwide for a good time, you’ll never get bored and will likely be planning your return before you even leave. 

Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia interior colorful ceiling in Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia is famous as the church that everyone who’s sick of touring churches loves! Unique doesn’t even begin to describe this gigantic, unfinished temple. Like many landmarks in Barcelona, it was designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudí. Buy your €20 tickets before they sell out online from the official site.

Barri Gòtic

El Pont del Bisbe bridge in Barcelona Gothic Quarter

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is marked by narrow streets and Roman era remnants. It’s the oldest part of Barcelona. One of the most famous photographed sites in this lively neighborhood is the El Pont del Bisbe (pictured above), which you can find on Carrer del Bisbe street.

Parc Güell

Parc Güell main mosaic bench in front of Barcelona city view

Parc Güell is Barcelona’s most famous park, distinguished by its creative architecture alongside stunning nature. And, like everything else in Barcelona several other landmarks in Barcelona, Antoni Gaudí designed it. Most of the park is free to access, but the most iconic section, including that mosaic bench overlooking the city, requires a €10 ticket. You can purchase for a time slot in advance online at the official site.


Related Reading: Best Things to Do in Madrid


Casa Milà

Casa Milà exterior in Barcelona

Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, is one of Antoni Gaudí’s most famous designs. Like all of Gaudí’s work around the city, this building’s unique exterior definitely stands out as you walk down the street. Purchase tickets at a €3 discount online from the official site for €24.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló exterior in Barcelona

Like Casa Milà, Casa Batlló is yet another famous Gaudí work. It’s dragon-scale-like roof is hard to miss! Tickets will set you back €25, and you can purchase in advance online from the official site.

La Rambla

La Rambla Colombus Monument in Barcelona

This vibrant, tree-lined pedestrian boulevard at the edge of Barcelona’s gothic quarter runs from Plaça de Catalunya all the way down to the waterfront, where you’ll find a tall Colombus Monument. Be careful for pickpockets as you explore this very touristy street!

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria in Barcelona La Rambla

This colorful market, often called simply La Boqueria, is a must-stop while walking down La Rambla. It offers local and international foods alike, and I can personally vouch for the delicious fresh fruit smoothies. La Boqueria is closed on Sundays, but you can check the official site’s schedule for any other closures during the year.

Font Màgica de Montjuïc

Barcelona Magic Fountain show with color

Sure, a normal fountain is impressive, but why not add music? And colors? And motion? Well, if you did, then you’d have a Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, which is exactly what you’ll find at the base of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya staircase. The magic fountain show is around 20 minutes long and runs in 30 minute intervals. The show doesn’t run every night, though, so check the schedule and hours at the official site schedule.

Castell de Montjuïc

Tourist girl in Castell de Montjuïc in Barcelona

This former military fortress offers sweeping views over the entirety of Barcelona, as well as a look into the city’s history. Entry will set you back €5, except for Sundays after 3pm and every first Sunday of the month, when entry is free. If you prefer to skip the line, purchase tickers online from the official site.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Though I did not enter this museum, the exterior is stunning, and the area around it is an extremely popular hang out spot. Locals jog up and down its long staircases (don’t worry, there are escalators too) while tourists wait for the nearby Magic Fountain show in the evening. If you do want to enter, you get two entries within a month for €12, and there’s a rooftop viewpoint for an additional €2. You can purchase in advance online from the official site. Entry is free Saturdays after 3:00pm and the first Sunday of the month. 

Plaça d’Espanya

The Plaça d’Espanya is one of Barcelona’s most important squares. It’s located just a (very long) block across from the Magic Fountain.

Playa de La Barceloneta

W Barceloneta building at edge of La Barceloneta beach

There are so many things to do in Barcelona that you could almost forget it’s a beach destination! The most iconic stretch of sand is Playa de La Barceloneta, which is in the La Barceloneta neighborhood. Expect insane beach crowds in summer months, as well as people offering you mojitos and massages about every 15 minutes.

Ciutadella Park

Cascada Monumental in Ciutadella Park with tourist girl in front

Barcelona’s other famous park is Ciutadella Park, was designed by Josep Fontsère, who was partially assisted by the then-unknown…. you guessed it; Antoni Gaudí. Two of its most beautiful structures are the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona at the park entrance and the Cascada Monumental (pictured above), which is what Gaudí helped design.

Catedral de Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral

Unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Barcelona Cathedral is more what you’d expect from a European church. Entry is free, and dress code enforcement is strict.

Plaça de Catalunya

This huge plaza in central Barcelona is teeming with tourists and pickpockets alike, so hold on to your belongings! It’s kind of the meeting point between Barcelona’s historical center and more recently built part.

Museu Picasso de Barcelona

Barcelona Picasso Museum with tourist girl

Barcelona’s Picasso Museum houses an extensive collection of the famous Spanish painter’s diverse works. And the building housing the museum is very beautiful, too! The Picasso Museum is closed Mondays, free entry on Thursdays after 5:00pm, and €12 for general entry all other times. You can purchase tickets in advance online from the official site.

What do You Think?

Have any questions before your own Barcelona trip? Or do you have some things to do in Barcelona that I should absolutely see when I return? Please let me know in the comments below!

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Barcelona Spain travel soon? This Barcelona travel guide to the best things to do in Barcelona Spain has you covered! From the Sagrada Familia, to Barcelona beach, this Barcelona Spain pictures filled guide is perfect for planning what to do in Barcelona.

8 Comments

  • Planet Hopper Girl
    February 21, 2021 at 9:27 AM

    I loved it in Barcelona and it is still my favorite city. Glad to see this post, brought back memories.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      February 21, 2021 at 3:07 PM

      It’s a very pretty and unique city for sure!

      Reply
  • Taylor
    February 19, 2021 at 7:54 PM

    I’ve never been to Europe even, but Spain keeps moving higher and higher on my list! Barcelona looks amazing!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      February 21, 2021 at 3:06 PM

      I’m sure you’ll like Europe when you go! So many popular destinations, and Spain definitely has a lot.

      Reply
  • Kay
    February 18, 2021 at 12:13 PM

    Aw man, I was supposed to visit Spain for the first time in 2020 so I always think of what could have been whenever I come across a Barcelona post. But at the same time, even with all of my planning and itinerary searching, I hadn’t come across CASTELL DE MONTJUÏC soooo now I’m even more excited to visit in the future!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      February 21, 2021 at 3:05 PM

      Aw, I feel ya! That’s the same for me and Australia!

      Reply
  • amy
    February 18, 2021 at 7:50 AM

    Oh my goodness, it has been my DREAM for years to see Barcelona!! One day!!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      February 21, 2021 at 3:04 PM

      It’s a lot of people’s favorite city in Europe! I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂

      Reply

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