Among the cities that you must visit in Europe, Barcelona should be in the top five – situated in the northeast of Spain, in the region of Catalonia (Catalunya in the Catalan language), it is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe.
With a population of 1.6 million people, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid. It is the political, economical and cultural centre of the region of Catalonia.
Depending on your starting point you can reach Barcelona by sea, air or land, but most tourists travel by plane, which is usually the best choice since there is an abundance of cheap international flights available to Barcelona from all over Europe.
For most people who visit Barcelona, the strongest impression is the beautiful architecture, designed by Antonio Gaudi (a famous architect), numerous museums, Catalan pride, and, last but not least, sport.
Visiting Sagrada Familia Church (Church of the Holy Family) is a must, when in Barcelona – it’s one of the most beautiful churches in the country, a masterpiece which is still yet to be finished.
If the works by Gaudi fascinate you, make sure you also visit the nearby town of Figueres – a beautiful ancient town where the Salvador Dali Museum is located, 140 km to the northeast of Barcelona. While there are some beaches in Barcelona, its neighboring beach towns (like Lloret del Mar, Cadaqués, Blanes and many others) on the Mediterranean coast of Costa Brava, are definitely worth a visit for beach bums, as the beaches there are much nicer.
Before leaving on any day trips however, make sure you walk down the most famous street in Barcelona, La Rambla. It leads from Plaza de Catalunya (The Square of Catalonia) to the huge city beach and there are many attractions along the way – it’s always fun to stop and watch the skilled street performers performing their act in front of big crowds along La Rambla.
If you get hungry, a good place to stop for a snack is Mercat de la Boqueria, a colorful and bustling market with a long and important history.
Things To Do In Barcelona Attractions
Barcelona is one of the most loved holiday destinations in Europe, and every year millions of visitors walk the streets of the city, visit the attractions and embrace the culture.
Barcelona is one of my favorite cities to visit, because it offers such a huge variety of things to see and do. Here are some of my top things to do in Barcelona.
Shopping in Barcelona is fun, because there is something for every taste there.
You have the huge compartment stores like El Corte Inglés and La Maquinista, to small boutiques, high-end shopping to markets, and different types of shopping in different areas.
My favorite for picturesque shopping area is the Gothic Quarter, with its narrow winding streets, small side streets with odd shops, and squares with street markets and painters selling their art.
On the other side of La Rambla you’ll find El Raval, another wonderful shopping area with one-off boutiques I highly recommend.
Then for those wanting some more well known high-end shopping, you have Avinguda Diagonal, with Calvin Clein, Verecace, Gucci and Georgio Armani are located.
Take In The Architecture
Barcelona has some of the most characteristic buildings in the world, the most famous being those designed by Antoni Gaudí.
His work can be recognized in different parts all across town, and they are all worth making the extra effort to visit.
Casa Batlló and Casa Mila are some very unique and interesting buildings that you will pass along Passeig De Gracia, the main avenue in Barcelona which you’re likely to walk up and down quite a few times.
Some other places you must check out are La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. La Sagrada Familia is the famous “unfinished church” which has a truly unique and inspiring design. This Unesco Heritage Site is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside, but prepare to que up for a few hours to get in..!
Sample The Local Cuisine
The cuisine in Barcelona is very unique and specific to the region of Catalonia, and Paella is among the most popular traditional foods to try when you’re in the city.
Other foods to sample are Arrós Negre (Squid or cuttlefish cooked in its own black ink) and Crema Catalana, a really tasty sweet dessert.
Top Barcelona Attractions
Barcelona is a fun, vibrant city full of life and culture. There are enough Barcelona attractions to keep anyone busy for weeks, but if you only have a few days chances are you just have time to see the most popular and very best Barcelona attractions.
Here is a guide to the top 5 Barcelona attractions you must check out when visiting Barcelona…
La Sagrada Familia
The number one of all Barcelona attractions on peoples’ lists when visiting Spain is La Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece by Antoni Gaudi.
The construction of this world-famous church started over a hundred years ago, and slowly but surely a new part is completed year by year. In 2012 the splendid interior was completed and opened to the public. They hope to finish the exterior in 2026 for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death in 1926.
Prepare for a long line waiting to get inside, but it’s worth the wait.
Perhaps one of the most famous avenues in Europe, Barcelona wouldn’t be the same without La Rambla. Although it’s just a street, it has still become part of the Barcelona attractions that people must visit when they’re in Barcelona.
A long boulevard lined with trees, flower shops, cafes and street buskers, it’s a busy street with lots going on.
During the summers this street can be very crowded, so hold on to your bags and watch out for pickpockets.
Staying close to La Rambla is very popular, but avoid staying right on it as it can be very noisy. Barcelona has some great deals on accommodation in the city center that’s worth checking out.
A free and fun event that goes on every evening of the week, the magic fountain at montjuic is a lovely way to finish a day in Barcelona and one of many popular Barcelona attractions for people of all ages.
Accompanied to classical music, the fountain puts on a show with lights and water moving in beautiful shapes to the music.
While there are many great museums in Barcelona, the Picasso museum is by far the most popular of the Barcelona attractions related to Picasso. Home to many of his sketches and early works, it is a place where you will find the more unknown of Picasso’s paintings.
Finally, another beautiful artistic place to relax and rewind, Park Güell is a favorite among both locals and tourists.
Designed by Gaudi, this park which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was actually planned to be a private and exclusive residential garden city with 60 houses on the grounds. The plan failed due to lack of interest, and in 1923 it was donated to the council and became the public park we can now enjoy.
If you’re looking for a Barcelona holiday rental there are many cozy ones to choose from in the area around Park Güell. It’s a popular area as the park is a nice breathing spot where you can go for your morning run or relax after a full day of sightseeing.