Barcelona

What To Do In Barcelona | 20 Unmissable Spots of this Mediterranean City

charlotte

Are you in love with the ocean? Do you have a passion for nature? Are you moved by sports? Are you drawn to art and architecture? It doesn’t matter if you answered yes to one, two, or all of those, in Barcelona, there’s something for you! No matter if you come for a week or a year, you’ll never wonder what to do in Barcelona.

Follow us along with a list of our favorites. We don’t mean to brag, but, as locals, we sure know the best spots. Actually, traveling with us brings nothing but advantages for you! But, we’ll talk more about that later. For now, let’s go exploring, shall we?

What To Do In Barcelona | 20 Unmissable Spots

what to do in Barcelona

The capital of Catalonia is home to structures with modernist architecture, buildings full of history, parks, museums… And beautiful beaches full of life. These are just some of the attractions that make Antoni Gaudí’s inspiration, a city to behold.

Ready to pack your suitcases and explore the world? Keep the ‘Ciudad Condal’ on top of your list. Here’s just a taste of why!

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

This religious temple is one of the most amazing and emblematic places to see in Barcelona. Construction began in 1882 by the iconic architect Antoni Gaudí. If everything goes right, it will be complete by 2026. Sagrada Familia will have 18 towers, though only eight are complete so far.

From here, you have views of the entire city. However, some details of the construction are not evident to the naked eye. The visit inside the temple is simply incredible. Do not forget to add it to your list of what to do in Barcelona!

The visit to the temple includes a tour of a museum located in the basement. It is a space that used to house the workshops. The museum displays original plans and drawings, as well as models of the temple. There are also displays for other works made by Gaudí.

Casa Batlló | Over a hundred years of History in Barcelona

Casa Batlló in Barcelona

This residence is one of the most popular, peculiar, and representative buildings to see in Barcelona. Built in 1906, this house is another of the masterpieces of the architect Antoni Gaudí and a World Heritage Site.

It is an invaluable piece of modernist architecture outside and inside. It used to belong to the prestigious Batlló family, textile magnates who shaped the city. Every corner is impressive. And besides the architectural details, it has incredible furniture.

Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la musica in Barcelona

This auditorium has one of the most impressive architectural designs in Barcelona. It was built in 1908 as the headquarters of the Catalan Choir. And it has become one of the most representative monuments of modernism. Besides, it is one of the most important auditoriums in the world.

This Palace of Catalan Music has been the scene of countless artists. And, today, it still receives visitors who want to enjoy a good show. Additionally, it offers guided tours within the facilities for anyone who wants to know the history of this emblematic place.

Picasso Museum in Barcelona

Que ver en Barcelona Museo Picasso

This museum is one of the most important spaces to see in Barcelona. And it is one of the most important museums in the world. This is because it houses a heritage of great historical value. Inaugurated in 1963 to fulfill the will of the acclaimed artist, who had a special affection for the city.

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona holds the largest collection of works by Pablo Picasso in the world. It has more than 3,500 works by the Malaga artist. The museum is made up of five Gothic-style houses with a chronologically ordered exhibition of the artist’s work.

Several of the buildings have needed renovations. But the place still retains the original 19th-century style. They are evidence of how the elite lived two centuries ago.

La Boquería | An explosion of colors in Barcelona

La boquería in Barcelona

This market opened in 1840. So, of course, it is one of the most popular spaces in the city. You’ll find it on La Rambla and is also known as the Mercado de San José. But, more importantly, it is a place full of colors, flavors, and smells that attract many people.

It holds more than 300 establishments, spread over 2,500 square meters. Also, La Boquería offers all kinds of Spanish and international products: eggs, meats, sausages, sweets, fruits, and even animals. Many say that there is no product that cannot be found in this local market. Care to find out?

Montjuic

Monjuic

Montjuic has a height of 173 meters above sea level. So, it is an excellent viewing spot. But, it also has several tourist attractions that make it a picturesque and almost unique destination.

You can access it through the Montjuic cable car, the Montjuic funicular, and the port cable car. When you reach the top, you will find the Castle of Montjuic, the Museum of Archeology of Catalonia, the Olympic Ring of Montjuic. Besides, there’ll be parks, gardens and, of course, a view of Barcelona that will take your breath away. Don’t forget your camera!

Güell Park | A picture-perfect spot in Barcelona

Guell Park

This unique park is also a work of art by architect Antoni Gaudí. It opened in 1922 and was named after the businessman Eusebi Güell, who financed many of Gaudí’s works. It also holds the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Figures of animals, trees, and geometric shapes decorated with colored mosaics cover the 17 hectares of the park. All, of course, were designed by Gaudí. Besides, within the park is the Monument to Calvary, located 60 meters high. And from it, you have the best views of the city. The Gaudí House Museum, where the architect lived, and other elements make the park simply amazing.

Museu Nacional de Catalunya

Que ver en Barcelona Museo Nacional de Arte

This museum is the place to be in Barcelona for art lovers. It opened its doors in 2004. And it is one of the most important museums in Barcelona and Spain for its invaluable art collection.

The National Art Museum of Catalonia has a collection of Romanesque art considered the most complete in the world. The collections have pieces of art dating from antiquity to the mid-20th century. The museum’s headquarters is in the Montjuic Palace. So in addition to delighting in the priceless pieces of art, visitors can enjoy the impressive rooms of the palace.

Olympic Port | A celebration of sports in Barcelona

Puerto Olimpico

This is one of the most important leisure centers in Barcelona. It was constructed in 1992 in celebration of the Olympic Games. And you’ll find it between the Somorrostro and Nova Icària beaches. In other words, it is the ideal place to spend a fun day in the sun.

In the Olympic Port, there are restaurants, discos, bars, shops, and many entertainment areas. So, fun is practically guaranteed. Also, it has the Marina Village shopping area, which is one of the most exclusive shopping centers in Barcelona.

Casa Milà

Casa Milá

This peculiar building is one of the best-known works of architect Antoni Gaudí. Built in 1912 for the Milà family. This monumental building is also known as La Pedrera. And it got a World Heritage Site declaration, restored, and opened to the public in 1987.

Inside, there is a large exhibition space. Additionally, there’s the recreation of a house belonging to a bourgeois family at the beginning of the 20th century. Also, you’ll find an exhibition of models, plans, photographs, and videos of Gaudí’s work. Like other buildings by the architect, the roof is a spectacle for the senses. It displays chimneys and an impressive view of the center of Barcelona.

Plaça de Catalunya

Que ver en Barcelona Plaza de Cataluña

You’ll probably spend a long time in this square while visiting or living in Barcelona. Inaugurated in 1927, the Plaza de Cataluña has an area of 30,000 square meters. And that makes it one of the largest squares in Spain.

The square is the starting point of important streets of the city such as La Rambla and Paseo de Gracia. So, in its vicinity, you can find some of the attractions of the city such as Casa Milà and Casa Battló. In addition, in the surroundings, there are numerous hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants. For that reason, Plaza de Catalunya is the most popular meeting point in the city.

Numerous outdoor events are also held in the square: concerts, festivals, parties, and other activities that fill the square with fun. Get ready to get to know and love this iconic square!

Barcelona Cathedral

Catedral de Barcelona

Also known as the Catedral de Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia. This religious temple is another destination on the list of places to see in Barcelona. The origin of the cathedral dates from the 12th century, but its construction ended until the 20th century. And it has become one of the best-known Gothic architecture buildings in the city.

Although the entire structure is a sight to behold, the most visited point is the crypt of Santa Eulalia. You’ll find it under the main altar. Also, there’s the Chapel of Santo Cristo de Lepanto, a saint venerated by the people of Barcelona. From the terrace, you have a spectacular view of the roof of the cathedral, its magnificent towers, and the city.

La Barceloneta | The best seafood in Barcelona

La Barceloneta

This popular fishing district is another of the musts while you’re in Barcelona. La Barceloneta is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Its construction dates from the 18th century. But, over time it has been renovated to become an obligatory gastronomic stop: the seafood cuisine of Barceloneta is unique. Besides, it comes to life with music throughout the day and much of the night.

La Barceloneta also has a beach considered one of the largest and oldest in Barcelona. La Barceloneta Beach has volleyball courts, playgrounds, ping pong tables, and many other attractions that make it a popular beach.

Camp Nou

Camp Nou

Of course, you can’t say you were in Barcelona if you didn’t visit the home of its Football Club. Camp Nou, also called the Club Barcelona Football Stadium, founded in 1957. The stadium has the largest capacity in all of Europe and one of the largest stadiums in the world.

You can visit Camp Nou in two ways. The first, by attending a football match, exploding in emotions along with the rest of the fans. Just, maybe avoid the match if it is against a certain team from Munich. Anyway, the second way to visit is to take a guided tour.

The visit includes access to the players’ dressing rooms, the playing field, the bench, the presidential seats, the press room, etc. And you can also enter the F.C. Barcelona. Here, you can take a trip through the 100 years of history of this emblematic team.

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Tibidabo Park

In Barcelona and looking for wild fun? This amusement park is for you! It is located on the Tibidabo mountain and it opened its doors in 1905. Since then, it has become very popular for being the oldest amusement park in Spain, and the third oldest in Europe. It is very famous for offering the best views of the city.

The park expands 70,000 m2 and it has many games to entertain children and adults, spread over six levels. There are roller coasters, a train, trampolines, a 4D movie theater, a puppet theater, and water attractions. So, get your jeans on and come spend a day!

L’Aquarium Barcelona

L'aquarium

This aquarium is one of the most important in the world. And it is home to more than 11,000 marine animals of some 450 different species. This marine life center opened in 1995, and it has become a staple of the city.

The complex is made up of 35 environments. And you can see countless species from the Mediterranean Sea and the tropical seas of the world. L’Aquarium is famous for offering a dive in a shark tank. Yes, you must have a diver’s license or, otherwise, you will have to settle for watching the show. They also offer children’s programs where they can spend the night inside the park doing fun and educational activities.

Christopher Columbus Monument

Colon Monument

This is one of the most special and Instagram-friendly monuments in Barcelona. Built in 1888, it is a bronze statue of Columbus that stands on a 60-meter obelisk. It is a proud figure to behold against the city’s urban landscape. Inside the obelisk, there is a viewpoint that offers great views of Barcelona.

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens

The house began construction in 1878 and is Gaudí’s first great masterpiece. The building received the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. And opened its doors to the public in 2017 after having undergone a rigorous restoration process.

The four-story house reflects the most modern and eccentric style of the acclaimed architect. The dining room, smoking room, bedrooms, and bathrooms are some of the rooms where color stands out the most. Oh, and you must not overlook the impressive gardens that enhance the beautiful building.

Like other structures designed by Gaudí, the roof is passable. From this point, you can see the chimneys and towers that crown it, the gardens of the house, and the urban landscape of the city.

Barcelona Zoo

Barcelona Zoo

This zoo is an excellent weekend plan in Barcelona. It opened in 1892, thanks to the donation of a private collection of animals. This park has grown to host more than 7000 animals of 400 species from all over the world. Experts say that this is one of the most important sets of animals in Europe.

Elephants, kangaroos, zebras, lions, giraffes, hippos, bears, monkeys, fish, and reptiles fill the park’s exhibits with life and sounds. Besides, the live dolphin show, which takes place in the park’s pond, makes the visit even more worthwhile.

Museu de la Xocolata | Sweetness to the max in Barcelona

Chocolate Museum

This museum is a destination that sweet lovers cannot miss in Barcelona. This tourist attraction belongs to the Confectioners Guild. It opened its doors in 2005 to offer visitors a look at the history of cocoa. It covers the process of making chocolate and its arrival in stores to satisfy the palate of sweets-lovers.

The tour also includes an exhibition showing the old machinery of Catalan origin that was used to make chocolate. And a room full of representative buildings of the city made from chocolate. As if this were not enough, the entrance ticket is edible. So your eyes will not be the only ones to feast here!

About the author

Charlotte Koks

Hey there! My name is Charlotte, and I'm working as an International Project Manager at GrowPro Experience. My goal is to help students all around the world to live the experiences of a lifetime 🙌🏽. I'm trying to inspire students by means of telling the story of former growers, showing what we are doing at each destination and writing about our cities and tips on our blogs. I got a big passion for adventures, doing sports in the park, learning new languages and seeing new places 🌏. That's one of the reasons why I studied European Studies and why I currently work for GrowPro, to expand my horizons. Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!