Things to do in

Barcelona

Otherworldly architecture, colorful markets, and tasty tapas await you in the Catalan capital.

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10 things you need to see in Barcelona

Good football team, great beaches, delightful tapas, and dreamy architecture. There's just nothing bad about Barcelona, the Mediterranean seaside capital of Spain's Cataluyna region. Here are a few can't-miss attractions to put on your itinerary.

  • Sagrada Familia

    1. Sagrada Familia

    Your Barcelona trip isn't complete without a visit to the Sagrada Familia (named a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010), dreamt up by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.

  • Passeig de Gràcia

    2. Passeig de Gràcia

    Heading north from Plaça Cataluyna, Passeig de Gracia is the richest street in the city. Look up as you walk -- you won't want to miss the architecture along this road.

  • Camp Nou

    3. Camp Nou

    If you're a fútbol lover, you'll be heading to Camp Nou. Spain's biggest stadium, seating over 99,000 fans, has been home to the Fútbol Club Barcelona since 1957.

  • Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

    4. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

    Known as "the stone quarry," Gaudí's ambitious Casa Milà is one of the most famous buildings from the early 20th century Catalan Modernisme (Art Nouveau) period.

  • Casa Batlló

    5. Casa Batlló

    From 1902 to 1906, Gaudí remodelled a perfectly ordinary apartment building for Josep Batlló, a textile tycoon. Tour the inside of the Casa Batlló to get a glimpse of Gaudí's incredible detail work.

  • Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

    6. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

    The national Catalan museum of visual art is housed inside the very regal-looking Palau Nacional, which sits high atop Montjuïc. Go for the art. Stay for the park and the views.

  • Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

    7. Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

    Barri Gòtic, located in the Ciutat Vella district, is the heart of Barcelona's old city. Explore its romantic, tiny alleys -- the perfect setting for lazy tapas and great photos.

  • Montserrat Mountain

    8. Montserrat Mountain

    Consider a daytrip to see the Catalan landscape. An hour's train journey from Barcelona, Montserrat is most well-known as the site of Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat.

  • Plaça del Rei

    9. Plaça del Rei

    The "King's Square" is a 14th century square inside Barri Gòtic. The square and its Palau Reial Major, Cataluyna's royal palace, paint a picture of Barcelona's medieval history.

  • Museu d'Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

    10. Museu d'Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

    The City History Museum conserves Barcelona's historical heritage, dating all the way back to Roman ruins. The museum is located in Plaça del Rei.

Frequently asked questions about Barcelona

What top attractions are a must-see in Barcelona?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days should you spend in Barcelona?

    There are plenty of fun things to do in Barcelona -- especially if you're also planning on partaking in the infamous nightlife scene. In three full days, you could visit all the major Gaudí sights, as well as the Picasso and Miró museums. You could also stay for a week or more. As for what to do with your extra days? Well, you'll have plenty of time to spend at the beach, visit the nearby village of Sitges, or go shopping in the Gothic Quarter.

  • What's the best way to get around town?

    Barcelona is a wonderful city to explore by foot. You can easily stroll from La Rambla to the beach and then back to the Gothic Quarter in one afternoon. The city is pretty flat, so biking is an excellent option. If you love transportation, we suggest taking a trip to Tibidabo, the 1890s amusement park that overlooks the whole city. You'll take the metro, a tram, and a funicular -- and a ferris wheel ride, if that counts!

  • Which tours are the most fun?

    We're glad you asked! From hot air balloon rides to bike tours to all-access guided walks of Gaudí masterpieces, there are a dozen options to spice up your Barcelona tourism. A lot of the architecture-based sightseeing is enhanced by the history and descriptions that a guide can offer you.

Good to know

  • Language
    Catalan and Spanish
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +34
  • Best time to visit
    Barcelona is a beach city at heart, so it's most lively in the summer. If you want to experience Barcelona at its best, schedule your trip around the festival of Sant Joan, or the "night of fire." Each year on June 23, the city celebrates with bonfires and parties until dawn.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Barcelona

Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He has visited Barcelona many times, and you can see his guide to spending three days in Barcelona.

What should I do on my first trip to Barcelona?

A trip to the Sagrada Familia should be at the top of the list for any visitor to Barcelona. This incredible organic cathedral is the masterpiece of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, and is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Definitely take the time to go inside and explore as well, because the inside is just as impressive as the outside!

What are some hidden gems to see in Barcelona?

The Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi, in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, is definitely worth a visit. It's a 14th century gothic church with a massive bell tower you can climb. The views from the roof across the Gothic Quarter are excellent, and from here you can really get a feel from the different epochs the city has gone through from Roman times.

How much time should I spend in Barcelona?

Two days would be the minimum amount of time to see the highlights of the city, whilst three days would let you add in a few of the hidden gems.

What food is Barcelona known for?

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without trying some tapas. These small plates features all sorts of different dishes, from patatas bravas (fried potatoes), through to squid, meatballs and lots more. Tapas can be found throughout the city, with many bars serving them as snack food as well.

What is the best way to get around Barcelona?

The majority of Barcelona can be easily explored by foot, although the city also has an excellent metro system that will get you around a little bit quicker. If you are aiming for the main tourist sights, the Hop on Hop off bus is also a good option.

What are the best months to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona can be visited most times of the year. Whilst the Mediterranean climate means the summer months are obviously hotter, the city conveniently has a lovely beach with swimming so you can cool off. However, if you want to do more sightseeing, the months of April - June are a good option. The city also hosts a number of festivals at this time of year which are worth checking out.

What is neighborhood "The Gothic Quarter" known for?

The gothic quarter is perhaps the most interesting neighbourhood to explore from a visitors point of view. The maze of winding streets is largely pedestrianised, and filled with interesting shops and tucked away churches and restaurants. Do expect to get lost though, as it's quite a maze!

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

For tucked away bars and courtyard dining, it's hard to go wrong with the Gothic Quarter, which is great for tapas and casual fare. For a quieter experience away from the tourist crowds and more of a focus on traditional Catalan cuisine, had to the Gracia neighbourhood.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The Passeig de Gracia, which leads away from the central square in the city, is well known as a good shopping destination if you're interested in luxury brands. If you're more of a market person, head for La Boqueria on Las Ramblas!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Barcelona?

If you'd prefer to be centrally located and within easy walking distance, or a short metro ride, from all the major attractions, then you'll want to stay in the Gothic Quarter. This part of the city is home to many of the attractions as well as plenty of dining, and it's easy to reach from the main transport hubs in the city.

What are the best beaches around Barcelona?

Barcelona has a series of incredible beaches with are popular with both locals and tourists alike. The closest, and one of the best, is definitely Barceloneta Beach, just a few minutes walk from the city.

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What people are saying about Barcelona

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 100,626 reviews

Great and interesting tour thanks to highly proffesional, polite, and funny tour guide Vicente, and of course the beautiful scenery and museum that we visited. The van in which we were driven was really clean and nice, and the driver Joaquin drove with special care and professionalism. Also the other people on the tour were really nice and cool. All in all it was a really great experience, which me and my 2 kids abaolutely loved. 10/10 would recommend!

Fernando was excellent - very fun, friendly and made us all feel comfortable in the kitchen. Walking through the market to get our fresh seafood was well timed and it felt very authentic to life in Barcelona. Go! You won’t regret it !

I haven’t been horseback riding in decades and it was a blast. The views for Montserrat were absolutely gorgeous and it was fun to walk around and see what it was. I thought it was well worth driving out into the mountains

- Punctual start of the event - Führer was able to present the most important features of the building and the history in a personable and entertaining manner - the group size was right

Guided tour there is very important in order to understand the museum and its purpose.