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  • Writer's pictureWalter Ponce

The 20 BEST things to do in Barcelona

You can plan your trip to this cosmopolitan city full of charming corners, which I'm sure will surprise you and make you fall in love in equal measure, with the help of this list of the top things to do in Barcelona.

What is now known as Ciudad Condal, which was transformed and opened to the Mediterranean Sea for the 1992 Olympic Games, has grown to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe (and the world), with the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, and Park Güell among the impressive modernist architectural jewels designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaud among its main draws. Of course, don't do that by yourself.

In addition to seeing all these monuments, you should also get lost in some of its most famous neighborhoods, like the Gothic, the Born, the Barceloneta, or Gracia.

And of course, you should end your tours at one of the city's breathtaking viewpoints. I can assure you that all of this, along with the city's superb cuisine, which is another one of its major selling points, will please any good palate, including yours.

Here are my top 20 must-do and see activities in Barcelona:

La Sagrada Familia

One of the best things to do in Barcelona is to enter the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece of the great architect Gaudi. The first stone was laid for this church's construction in 1882, and Gaudi, the foremost representative of Catalan modernism, took over in 1883.

He left all the plans behind when he passed away in 1926 so that subsequent architects could complete the project. a building site.

The interior and exterior of La Sagrada Familia is amazing, unlike anything found in other churches around the world. Gaud used all of his knowledge and cutting-edge techniques to create a naturalistic style in which all of its elements are in perfect harmony with one another. The monument's three exterior facades honoring the birth, suffering, and glory of Jesus, as well as its twin 172-meter-tall towers. Once completed (2026), it will become the highest Christian church in the world.

Gothic Quarter

The oldest and most picturesque neighborhood in Barcelona is called the Gothic Quarter, and it is situated in the center of the city. Although it was first settled during the Roman era, when the ruins of the ancient city of Barcino can still be seen, its splendor peaked during the Middle Ages with the building of Gothic churches and palaces. Once you arrive at the Barcelona Cathedral, you can continue walking along the busy commercial street of Portal de l'ngel to enter the Gothic Quarter. En route, you'll pass the stunning Mural of the Kiss, a photo mosaic created by the photographers Joan Fontcuberta and Antoni Cumella.

After visiting the Cathedral, I recommend you to get lost in the narrow streets of the neighborhood starting with the Carrer del Bisbe with the famous Bishop's Bridge from where you will find magical places to visit in Barcelona such as the Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, the Palau del Bisbe, the Temple of Augustus, Plaza del Rey, Plaza Sant Jaume, the church of Santa Ana and the magnificent Plaza Real.

Climb the Bunkers del Carmel

Barcelona's sunsets are given a special place on this list as well. In this instance, I advise taking the metro in Mundet to the Vallcarca stop and then boarding the v17 bus to get to the Gran Vista stop, which is close to the Bunkers del Carmel, to see a fantastic sunset with the best views of Barcelona. These are regarded as one of the best viewpoints in Barcelona and are situated at the top of the Turó de la Rovira hill in the Carmel neighborhood (where I basically live). Due to their fame, it is constantly crowded with visitors who want to see the spectacular sunset each afternoon. Sun between Spanish Civil War-era bunkers and anti-aircraft batteries.

Enjoy the Catalan/Spanish cuisine

Barcelona is full of bars, restaurants, taverns... All kinds of cuisine and all kinds of venues: avant-garde, classic, local food, international food, cheap, more expensive... There are not enough adjectives to describe the restaurants that Barcelona offers.

Good food is abundant in Barcelona. Additionally, there are many options for restaurants in addition to the standard goods and foods that can be found in any market or retailer throughout the city. Because of this, I want to introduce you to the top restaurants in Barcelona where you can indulge your palate and recharge for your upcoming activities. There is a lengthy, diverse, and appealing list here!

Explore Gracia neighborhood

We advise spending a few hours in Gracia, another of my favorite neighborhoods in Barcelona, if you want to experience a local neighborhood with local shops and taverns where you can sample tapas and traditional Catalan dishes. And it's not just one of my favorites; this area is also well-known for being the residence of many artists and bohemians, who have found this area, which retained its charm despite being an independent town until the end of the 19th century, to be their place to call home.

It is worth taking a walk through its pedestrian streets, stopping to have a drink on the terraces of its most famous squares such as Virreina, Sol, Revolución and Diamante squares, to later recover your strength in a good restaurant.

Relax on the Barceloneta beach

La Barceloneta is a good choice if you want to have a good time on the Mediterranean coast because it is without a doubt one of the busiest beaches that line the Barcelona seafront. You can also get there on foot because a famous location like La Rambla is just a 20-minute walk away by taking the metro to the stop with the same name.

At any time of day, this vast sandy area is bustling with activity, whether it's tourists choosing to cool off in one of the many beach bars that line the coast in the sweltering afternoon sun or swimmers eager to rent a sun lounger. Watch the street vendors come and go from the sand.

Park Guell (Gaudi Park)

One of the most stunning parks in the world, Park Güell, has been designated a World Heritage Site. It is also one of the must-see attractions in Barcelona. One of our favorite spots is the Plaza de la Naturaleza, which has a wavy bench full of priceless mosaics and amazing views of the entire city on one of its sides. This enormous fairytale park by Antonio Gaudi surprises all visitors with its sculptures, fountains, and buildings inspired by the wavy shapes of nature.

Camp Nou - FCB Stadium

A trip to the Camp Nou, home of the FC Barcelona club, one of the most successful and well-known teams in the world, is a must-do for football fans. I advise you to reserve a ticket, which gives you access to the changing rooms, the press room, the field access tunnel, the trophy room, and the pitch, where you will briefly experience what it was like to be Cruyff, Maradona, Ronaldinho, Messi, Puyol, or Iniesta.

The enormous Camp Nou can accommodate up to 99,354 spectators, making it the stadium with the largest capacity in Europe and the third largest in the world. You can purchase tickets from the Barça's official website if your visit falls during one of their home games.

Ciutadella Park + Arc de Triomf

Despite having a military past, Ciutadella is a lung in the heart of Barcelona. It only keeps its name from that era. A short distance from the Born neighborhood, Ciutadella has some of the best vibes in the city, with birthday parties for families, kids practicing juggling, sports, and leisurely strolls.

The Barcelona Ciutadella Park is home to a variety of sights. In addition to being Barcelona's first park, Ciudadela Fortress was built on Felipe V's orders to control the city after the War of the Spanish Succession. The Ciudadela Fortress was demolished to make way for the park, which is now one of the focal points of many Catalan nationalist sentiments.

Walking 5-10 min to the north from the park, you will find the Arc del Triomf.

This one-of-a-kind structure is of a classical nature, with graceful friezes and a very successful use of exposed brickwork—a feature common to the late 19th-century Mudejar style—to create a stunning piece of art that is deserving of inclusion among Barcelona's must-see attractions.

Have a drink at the best rooftops and sky bars

The best rooftops in Barcelona are found on some of the city's hotels, and the mild climate makes it possible to use them all year long. They were previously only accessible to hotel guests, but now everyone can take advantage of their prime locations, many of which have amazing views, décor, which includes chill out areas, swimming pools, etc., and the upscale ambiance that permeates them.

Therefore, the rooftops of Barcelona hotels offer exactly what you're looking for if you're looking for a quiet place to rest after a long day of exploring the city on foot, if you want to have a cocktail after work, or if you just want a cool place to hang out with your friends.

Explore the Boqueria Market

Another thing to do in Barcelona is to go shopping or just wander around the La Boqueria market, which is the most well-known and frequently visited in the city. This is located a little further south on Las Ramblas.

Numerous stores selling fresh and gourmet goods can be found inside the market, which has an entrance on La Rambla on the Raval side.

There are numerous grocery stores, offering everything from butchers to pastries, fresh fruit, juices and smoothies, or Catalan sausages. In addition to stores, the market has bars where you can have a drink and enjoy the aforementioned goods.

Poble Espanyol: Spanish regional architecture in the open air

The project, which was initially intended to be temporary, was constructed for the International Exhibition in Barcelona at the end of the 1920s. The artists Xavier Nogués and Miquel Utrillo, as well as the architects Francesc Folguera and Ramon Reventós, worked on it. Since it was initially fleeting, the success was so great that it has continued to be one of the city's most visited attractions to this day.

Today, Barcelona residents can visit here to learn more about Spanish architecture without having to travel outside of the city. A special area of almost 50,000 square meters was created so that visitors from abroad or the rest of Spain could learn about this nation without ever leaving Montjuc.

Gaudí's Casa Milá and Casa Batlló

Two famous buildings in the heart of Barcelona, Casa Batlló and Casa Milá, draw tourists from all over the world to the Catalan capital to spend their vacations.

Casa Batlló was a symbolic interpretation of the legend of Saint Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia. The façade represents the body of the dragon, the balconies the eyes and the tower its tail. Each element is connected with the general idea of ​​the building and represents a battle between the Dragon and Sant Jordi.

Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, is a perfect symbiosis between tradition and innovation. Casa Milá is inspired by the four passions that marked Gaudí's life: architecture, nature, religious convictions and love for Catalonia.


Tibidabo, perched atop the Collserola mountain range overlooking Barcelona, is an iconic landmark that offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. This historic amusement park and mountaintop attraction has been captivating visitors since it first opened its doors in 1905. The journey to Tibidabo is an adventure in itself, as visitors can ascend the mountain using a funicular railway, adding to the charm of the experience. Once at the summit, you'll be greeted with a unique blend of old-world charm and modern thrills.

The Tibidabo Amusement Park is one of the oldest in Spain and is renowned for its vintage rides that have been lovingly preserved over the years. The park's emblematic attraction, the Tibidabo Sky Walk, allows visitors to stroll along a walkway with awe-inspiring views of Barcelona below. The iconic Ferris wheel, dating back to the early 20th century, offers a nostalgic ride and fantastic vistas. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the park also features modern rides and roller coasters, making it a perfect destination for families and thrill-seekers alike.

Beyond the amusements, Tibidabo is home to the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a stunning neo-Gothic basilica that stands as a symbol of the mountain. Visitors can explore the church's interior and climb to its rooftop for even more spectacular views. Tibidabo is not only a place of fun and adventure but also a historical and spiritual retreat that holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and tourists, making it a must-visit destination in Barcelona.

Take a day trip to Montserrat to see the unique mountain monastery

Montserrat is a stunning mountain range located just outside Barcelona, and is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and spiritual significance. Rising dramatically from the surrounding landscape, the jagged peaks of Montserrat create a truly awe-inspiring sight. This unique geological formation is often referred to as the "Serrated Mountain," owing to its distinctive shape. Montserrat's allure extends beyond its physical features; it is also home to the revered Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat, which has been a pilgrimage site for centuries.

The Monastery of Montserrat, nestled within the mountain's folds, is an architectural marvel and a spiritual sanctuary. Founded in the 11th century, it houses the iconic Black Madonna, known as La Moreneta, which is a venerated religious icon in Catalonia. Pilgrims from around the world visit the monastery to pay their respects to this dark-skinned statue of the Virgin Mary. The site's spiritual significance is further accentuated by the Escolania de Montserrat, one of Europe's oldest boys' choirs. Attending a performance by this choir in the monastery's basilica is a truly enchanting experience, adding to the allure of Montserrat as a place of worship and reflection.

Beyond its religious significance, Montserrat is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and hikers. The mountain range offers numerous trails, each providing different perspectives of its awe-inspiring scenery. Visitors can explore its rugged terrain, which includes unique rock formations and caves, and take in panoramic views of Catalonia's picturesque landscape. Whether you're seeking a spiritual retreat, a nature adventure, or a combination of both, Montserrat is an enchanting destination that captivates the heart and soul of all who visit.

Visit the CosmoCaixa Science Museum

The CosmoCaixa Science Museum in Barcelona is a captivating and educational institution that invites visitors to embark on a journey of scientific exploration and discovery. Located in the heart of the city, this museum offers an array of engaging exhibits and interactive displays that cater to individuals of all ages. One of its standout features is the breathtaking Amazonian Rainforest, a stunning recreation of a tropical ecosystem complete with live fauna and flora, providing a firsthand experience of the richness and diversity of the rainforest.

In addition to the immersive rainforest, CosmoCaixa boasts an impressive planetarium that takes visitors on a mesmerizing journey through the cosmos. The planetarium's state-of-the-art technology and expert presentations provide an enlightening experience about the universe, stars, and celestial phenomena. The museum also offers hands-on science experiments and workshops, making it an ideal destination for families and school groups eager to foster a deeper understanding of the natural world and scientific principles.

CosmoCaixa is more than just a museum; it's a place where curiosity thrives and learning becomes an adventure. Its commitment to making science accessible and enjoyable for everyone is evident throughout the museum. Whether you're fascinated by the mysteries of the universe, the wonders of nature, or the marvels of human invention, a visit to the CosmoCaixa Science Museum is a journey into the fascinating world of science and a testament to Barcelona's dedication to nurturing intellectual curiosity and education.

Barcelona cathedral

The Barcelona Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, is an architectural marvel that stands as a testament to the city's rich history and artistic heritage. Located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, this stunning cathedral is a symbol of Barcelona's spiritual and cultural identity. Construction of the cathedral began in the 13th century, and it took centuries to complete, resulting in a unique blend of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Neo-Gothic elements. Its facades are adorned with intricate sculptures and detailed stone carvings that tell stories from the Bible and depict scenes from the lives of saints.

One of the most captivating features of the Barcelona Cathedral is its soaring spires and intricate bell towers. The central spire, in particular, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, making it a popular attraction for visitors. Inside, the cathedral boasts a serene and awe-inspiring interior, with beautifully designed chapels, a cloister with a lush courtyard, and a stunning Gothic nave. The highlight is the crypt, where the remains of Saint Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona, are interred. The cathedral's richly decorated choir stalls and the magnificent Gothic altarpiece are also notable artistic treasures.

The Barcelona Cathedral not only serves as a place of worship but also as a cultural and historical landmark. Its role in the city's life extends beyond religious ceremonies to include hosting concerts, exhibitions, and other cultural events. Whether you're interested in admiring its architectural grandeur, delving into the city's history, or simply seeking a moment of tranquility amidst the bustling city, a visit to the Barcelona Cathedral is a must for anyone exploring the vibrant streets of Barcelona.

Attend a concert at the stunning Palau de la Música Catalana

The Palau de la Música Catalana, located in the heart of Barcelona, stands as a testament to Catalan Modernisme and the city's rich cultural heritage. Designed by the renowned architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this architectural masterpiece was completed in 1908 and has since been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palau is a celebration of the arts, combining music and architectural splendor in perfect harmony.

The Palau's façade is a striking display of intricate mosaics, sculptural elements, and ornate ironwork, showcasing the vibrant and colorful aesthetics of Catalan Modernisme. As you step inside, the grandeur of the Concert Hall unfolds before you. It's a breathtaking space adorned with stained glass, sculpted columns, and a majestic skylight that bathes the hall in natural light during the day. The central skylight, adorned with a sunburst motif, represents the importance of light in this architectural marvel. It is in this breathtaking hall that both classical and contemporary music performances come to life, providing audiences with an unparalleled auditory and visual experience.

Throughout its history, the Palau de la Música Catalana has been a symbol of cultural pride for the people of Catalonia. It has played host to a wide array of world-renowned musicians, orchestras, and performers, making it a cultural hub for music lovers from around the globe. Beyond its aesthetic and acoustic brilliance, the Palau continues to serve as a vibrant cultural center, offering educational programs and outreach initiatives to nurture the next generation of musicians and artists, ensuring that its legacy endures for generations to come. A visit to the Palau de la Música Catalana is not only a journey through architectural and musical history but also a celebration of the enduring spirit of Catalonia's artistic expression.

Wander through the Enchanting Hospital de Sant Pau

The Hospital de Sant Pau, located in the heart of Barcelona, is a true architectural marvel and a testament to the brilliance of Catalan modernism. Designed by the renowned architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this former hospital complex is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated for its stunning Art Nouveau architecture and rich history.

As you wander through the hospital's enchanting grounds, you'll be captivated by the intricate mosaic work, colorful ceramics, and ornate sculptures that adorn each of its pavilions. The hospital's design is a harmonious blend of functionality and beauty, with each building connected by a series of underground tunnels, allowing for efficient movement while maintaining the serene environment above ground.

The lush gardens and courtyards provide a tranquil escape from the bustling city, offering visitors a peaceful place to reflect and admire the architectural splendor. The central building, with its grand façade and majestic dome, serves as the focal point of the complex, showcasing the architectural genius of Domènech i Montaner.

Marvel at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is one of Barcelona's most mesmerizing attractions, combining art, music, and light in a spectacular show that captivates visitors of all ages. Situated at the base of Montjuïc Hill, near the Plaça d'Espanya, this grand fountain has been enchanting audiences since its debut in 1929 during the International Exposition.

Designed by Carles Buïgas, the Magic Fountain features a dazzling display of water choreography, with jets of water dancing in sync with vibrant lights and a variety of musical genres, from classical compositions to contemporary hits. The fountain's performances typically take place in the evenings, transforming the area into a magical wonderland where water and light come together in a harmonious symphony.

The surrounding area of Montjuïc offers even more to explore, including the Palau Nacional, home to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC), and the beautifully landscaped gardens that provide stunning views of the city. The combination of the Magic Fountain's enchanting shows and the cultural richness of Montjuïc makes this destination a must-see on any visit to Barcelona.

Whether you're looking for a romantic evening, a family-friendly outing, or simply a moment of awe and wonder, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc promises an unforgettable experience that highlights the vibrant spirit and artistic flair of Barcelona.


With this list of top things to do in Barcelona, you can plan an unforgettable trip to this cosmopolitan city, brimming with charming corners that will captivate and inspire you. Renowned for its modernist architectural gems by Antoni Gaudí, including the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, and Park Güell, Barcelona is a top tourist destination in Europe. Beyond its iconic monuments, explore the vibrant neighborhoods like the Gothic Quarter, Born, Barceloneta, and Gracia. End your days at breathtaking viewpoints and indulge in the city's superb cuisine, a delight for any palate.


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