Barcelona – one of the most vibrant cities in the world – never disappoints. No matter how many times one visits Barcelona, there are always new secrets and amazing sights just waiting to be discovered. From the awe-inspiring architecture, spanning 2000-plus years, through sun-drenched beaches, all the way to the wild nightlife, this second-largest city in Spain offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While the most famous attractions of Barcelona, such as the Sagrada Família church, the La Rambla street, and the Museu Picasso, are something everyone has to see at least once, Barcelona is not only about what’s visible, but also about the atmosphere and the unique vibe. Here, everyone is at home, more than welcome to participate in the never-ending fiesta taking place across the streets and inside hundreds of restaurants and eateries. Indeed, food is an immanent part of the culture of Barcelona, which ensures that every food buff will be delighted by the diversity of cuisine – from Basque-style tapas bars, avant-garde Japanese restaurants, and Galician seafood taverns, to chocolate shops and grill-bars.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Barcelona
The most iconic church in Barcelona, La Sagrada Família, is still under construction. Despite that, the magnitude of this most famous work of Antonio Gaudí is what draws thousands of visitors to Barcelona each year. To skip the lines, choose a fast-track entrance ticket and enjoy the Gaudi’s masterpiece right away.
Park Güell, located in the upper part of Barcelona, is one of the major works of Antonio Gaudi in the Catalan capital. Not only does it offer an amazing view over the city, it also allows you to enjoy the greenery while surrounded by awe-inspiring, Modernist works.
Marvel at the diversity and beauty of the ocean life in Barcelona Aquarium. Walk among the sharks and other spectacular species in a transparent, submerged tunnel. Choose a skip-the-line ticket if you want to enjoy this amazing attraction without delay.
Limousine & nightclub Barcelona
Enjoy Barcelona’s famous nightlife in style. You and your friends will be driven around the city for 1 hour, during which you’ll be able to enjoy unlimited access to the limousine bar. This includes champagne, whiskey, vodka, soda, and juices. After the ride is over, you’ll be dropped off at one of the top clubs of Barcelona without entry fee or lines.
Private Hot Air Balloon over Volcanoes from Barcelona
Depart from Barcelona early in the morning, arrive at Garrotxa Natural Park and board a hot air balloon to enjoy a stunning ride over the local volcanoes. The balloon ride includes a complimentary glass of cava and a Catalan cake. After the ride, enjoy a Catalan brunch and explore the medieval city of Besalú and its Jewish Quarter.
Spend a fantastic day in the Barcelona Zoo. This attraction is perfect for families and couples alike. Inside, you will find a stunning amount of different species – actually, over 2000 of them. From dolphins to sea lions, this hidden gem of Barcelona offers unmatched entertainment for everyone.
Tapas Tour by Bike
Visit the sights, get to know the culture and sample the cuisine. This one-of-a-kind guided tour includes exploring all the most popular parts of the city, complete with explaining the history and culture while allowing you to sample the best tapas all around Barcelona.
Flamenco Show and Dinner – Tablao Cordobes
Spend some entertaining time in Tablao Cordobés of Barcelona, one of the most popular, genuine flamenco clubs. The flamenco show lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes and guarantees performances from Spain’s leading flamenco troupes. This attraction includes a dinner, which consists of a complete buffet, featuring Mediterranean specialities. Drinks included.
FC Barcelona Stadium Tour
Select a date or book an open ticket (no date selection) and explore the most famous football stadium in the world. This attraction includes a visit to the museum, a self-guided tour through the Camp Nou stadium and entrance to the Multimedia Zone.
Barcelona Port Traditional Boat Tour
Admire the most beautiful sights in Barcelona from the boat’s deck with the Barcelona Boat Tour. This attraction can be enhanced with the use of a free mobile app, which will help you learn about all the iconic spots of the city. The boat ride lasts 40 minutes.
Other Things to See and Do
Cycle along the seafront
Barcelona’s seafront offers an amazing setting for a bike ride. The bike lanes are separated from both the traffic and the pedestrians, which ensures an undisturbed, stress-free ride along the coast. In fact, the same is true for the entire city – it has over 180km of bike lanes, which run along the major streets of Barcelona, including Consell de Cent, Passeig de Sant Joan, Avinguda Diagonal and Ronda de Sant Pau. This gives you the opportunity to explore the most popular places of Barcelona on a bike. Mountain bikers can even climb the Parc de Collserola and enjoy a beautiful panorama of Barcelona.
Discover the city on foot
Despite being quite big, Barcelona is amazingly feet-friendly. Exploring it on foot is a great opportunity to visit the less-crowded, hidden-away gems. Here, impressive parks and buildings can be found around every corner – Parc de la Ciutadella or Parc de Joan Miró, as well as the Montjuïc castle, are just some examples. To dive right into the culture and atmosphere of Barcelona, head up to Horta and discover the charm of the Sant Andreu district.
Admire the city from atop Montjuïc
Montjuïc mountain offers stunning views but does require some legwork to get atop of. For that reason, it’s not as crowded as the streets of Barcelona. If you’re looking for an active, yet relaxing and peaceful way to spend a day in Barcelona, then a trip atop Montjuïc is a good choice. In addition to beautiful sights, buildings from the 1992 Summer Olympic Games can also be found here.
Explore the arty parks
The parks of Barcelona are visited not only for the greenery and shade but also because they are full of great art. The gardens of the Teatre Grec are a great example of that. If you want to soothe your nerves away from the crowds, and you happen to be an art buff, exploring the parks of Barcelona is the way to go.
Walk the famous La Rambla
The most iconic street of Barcelona – La Rambla – is a real must-see. It’s noisy, crowded and flashy, but that’s what we love it for! From street dancers to mimes, La Rambla is the whole city packed on one street. Certainly, taking a stroll down the famous La Rambla is a must-do when in Barcelona.
Treat yourself to some fresh seafood
No visit to Barcelona is complete without sampling the seafood. While you can find all types of cuisine in Barcelona, it is the seafood that’s the city’s signature dish. Restaurants such as La Mar Salada and Can Solé, which offer fresh seafood every day, will satisfy even the biggest seafood connoisseurs.
See all the magnificent churches of Barcelona
The famous Sagrada Familia is not the only awe-inspiring church in Barcelona. If you’re a fan of the sacral architecture, the Sant Pau del Camp is your next stop. This rare example of Romanesque architecture will mesmerise you with its gorgeous façade and extraordinary cloister. But the architectural adventure doesn’t end there – just wait till you see Santa Maria del Mar and Santa Maria del Pi!
Go down the sweet route
Barcelona is known for the wide choice of sweet treats. The confectionery shops can be found around every corner. Places like Escribà, Papabubble, and Bubó are visited by thousands of tourists and locals every year. Candies and bonbons created right before your very eyes, with top-notch precision – what’s more to be desired?
Go for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea
Barcelona offers over four kilometres of beaches, and a wonderful, sunny weather. Take a day off exploring the sights and landscapes to work on your tan. All the beaches of Barcelona are simply amazing – be it the beach of Sant Sebastià or the beaches of Nova Icària or Mar Bella, every one of them is perfect for enjoying the sunny weather of Barcelona.
Engage in a local festival
If you’re a real party animal, then you just have to visit Barcelona in time for a local festival. Festes de la Mercè, happening in September, is a great example. What started as a small religious parade, soon turned into a full-blown festive with seafront air shows, exhibitions, free concerts and children activities. Don’t worry if you miss it, though – Barcelona offers different festivals throughout the year, each one-of-a-kind and spectacular.
Enjoy the free museums on Sundays
Every Sunday, some city-run museums are free to explore. This includes the Museu Picasso, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Museu d’Historia de Barcelona and Museu d’Historia de Catalunya, among others. Some museums are also free on specific days of the month, usually the first Wednesday or Sunday, so it’s good to check individual websites of each.
Scout the city for Joan Miró art
Joan Miró works can be found all around Barcelona. This includes Fundació Joan Miró, which offers a huge collection of his art. Other than that, Parc De Joan Miró features his 22-meters tall Woman and Bird sculpture, and then there is the Miró mosaic in the central walkway of La Rambla. And let’s not forget about the one on the outside wall of Terminal 2 at the airport!
Visit the Els Encants Vells flea market
Els Encants Vells flea market is one of the most iconic places in Barcelona. There is no better place to go if you want to get to know the city better. From items of everyday use to random oddities, this market offers the culture of Catalonia in a nutshell.
Enjoy the free music, dancing, and fun
In Barcelona, music never stops. When looking for some free entertainment, it’s a good idea to set on a journey across the streets. You’re guaranteed to find several performances or some sort of cultural events. From jazz in the parks or poetry readings, there is free entertainment to be found around every corner of Barcelona!
Feel the medieval spirit of Barri Gòtic
The medieval quarter of Barri Gòtic is a charming place with a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. If you can afford it, make sure to spend some hours wandering the alleys and exploring all the different shops, bars, and eateries. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
Explore La Cathedral – for free!
Talking about Barri Gòtic – right in its middle, you will find a colossal neo-Gothic beauty – La Cathedral. This awe-inspiring church is as impressive from the outside as it is from the inside. And the best part is, the entry is free in the morning and late afternoon.
Shop at Mercat de la Boqueria
The famous indoor market hall, Mercat de la Boqueria, is where you will find all kinds of food – from fresh seafood to thousands of different vegetables and fruits. Most of the products you can also sample for free, which is an added benefit to visiting this place.
Get a small town feel at Gràcia
If you want a taste of what a small town in Catalonia is about, you have to visit Gràcia. It’s plenty interesting and entertaining – the area is full of artists and students, and offers a multitude of cafes, bars, and shops to explore. It’s especially worthy of a visit during the Festa Major in August when residents decorate individual streets.
Enjoy some beach volleyball
There are hundreds of volleyball nets all over the beaches of Barcelona, with thousands of random people playing together at any given hour, which is not only a great way to participate in active entertainment, but also to socialise and make new friends!
Rent a Vespa!
Vespa scooters are not only iconic but also extremely popular in Barcelona. To enjoy your time in this city to its full potential, rent a Vespa and drive the narrow streets and alleys the way they do in the movies. In Barcelona, Vespas can be rented per hour and per day.