Looking for the best things to do in Barcelona? Barcelona is the cosmopolitan city you should consider when choosing the best places to visit in Spain.
Without a doubt this Catalan city has so much to offer; so if you visit the city, consider these 5 essential things to do in Barcelona that you will not forget, including top attractions and activities!
What’s the first thing you must do before exploring the city?
Getting a map of Barcelona and organize your trip well, especially if you are going to spend only one weekend in the city, so you can see the top attractions in Barcelona.
Then, you must find it useful to get the Barcelona Go City pass, which gives you access to Barcelona’s top attractions and saves you money on more than 35 Barcelona attractions.
Discover the city in this video:
Top Attractions & Things to do in Barcelona
1. Discover the wonders of Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí has been one of the most important architects of Modernism and has left an unforgettable impression in the city of Barcelona.
You can’t stop strolling around the city and have your eyes wide open to discover all his works.
Undoubtedly, the most important and well-known are the Güell Park, the famous Sagrada Familia and the Batlló House:
The Sagrada Familia
As you may know, the building is not finished yet. It has been under construction since 1882 and Gaudí was in charge of this work until he died in 1926. Since then, it has become Spain’s best-known building.
Its impressive facades as well as its bright interiors make The Sagrada Familia unique and one of the main attractions in Barcelona that you can’t miss.
You can find it useful to buy the Barcelona Pass, a package that combines the top attractions in Barcelona, including the skip-the-line tickets to La Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell.
The Park Güell
The Park Güell is an architectural wonder that makes you doubt between what is nature and what is designed by Gaudí.
Full of colorful, curved shapes and carved animals, it’s the perfect place to spend a relaxed morning in Barcelona.
Avoid going at noon and in midsummer, as it gets crowded and you will not be able to relax for a second!
The ticket cost 7 euros (4.9 euros for children over 7 years old), and you can buy the tickets directly on the website of the Güell Park to get the best price (at the office costs 1 euro more).
In 1904 the famous building was rebuilt by Gaudi. The change was spectacular; so much that it seems that the house has its own life. It is rightly one of the most photographed places in Barcelona.
The entrance is not cheap (21.5 euros), but it is worth knowing the Casa Batlló. It’s a once in a lifetime experience!
You can also visit other works of Gaudí as:
- Casa Milá
- Güell Palace
- Bellesguard Tower
- Teresianas’ College
Don’t miss this 4-day Barcelona itinerary to plan your perfect trip!
2. Cycling Barcelona
How about exploring Barcelona by bike?
If you are looking for cool and fun things to do in Barcelona, biking is a must. Besides, the city features flat terrain perfect for bikes.
Planning your own bike tour is the best thing you could do. My personal advice? After visit some of the main attractions, you could bike to the best flea markets in town (as Boqueria Market) and taste Spanish food. Yummy!
You can use the public bikes you’ll find throughout the city or hire a bike in Barcelona. It’s a must! I recommend you to look for companies like Donkey.bike, an online service for bicycle rental. It’s cheaper and easier.
3. Enjoy art at the Paseo de Gracia
If you want to walk and enjoy the buildings of the city, sit on a terrace to have a cafe or just enjoy an afternoon of shopping. Paseo de Gracia has it all.
Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, is a must. One of the most famous buildings on Paseo de Gracia, and of course, it’s another of the majestic works of Gaudí.
Don’t miss the Casa Amatller in Puig i Cadafalch, Casa Lleó Morera and Casa Fuster in Domènech i Montaner.
If you are looking where to stay in Barcelona, this area is a great one. Also you can choose hotels in El Raval, La Barceloneta and Les Corts.
And if you travel to Barcelona on a cruise and are looking for accommodation closed to the port, take a look at these hotels near Barcelona cruise port.
4. Stroll along the Ramblas
The Ramblas is one of the places to take a walk with more ambience of the city and one of the essential things to do in Barcelona.
With a length of just over a kilometer, this street that ends in Plaza de Cataluña is melt with tourists, local and merchants. Bustle is assured!
There are three places you can’t miss in your walk through the Ramblas:
- The Boqueria market, where you will find very good quality local products.
- The Mirador of Colón, a sculpture with the famous Christopher Columbus on top.
- The Gran Teatro of Liceo, the oldest theater in Barcelona and an entire artwork.
5. Lose yourself in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona
You can’t leave Barcelona without visiting its famous Gothic Quarter.
Lose yourself in its narrow streets and visit the majestic Cathedral of Barcelona. Many people forget about it or even think that the Sagrada Familia is the cathedral.
If you have read the novel The Cathedral of the Sea, you can’t miss the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. You will love it!
Bonus! Barceloneta’s Beach
There is no better place to enjoy the good weather of the city than the Barceloneta’s beach.
Perfect for walking through the promenade or jogging along its shore. Want to enjoy the beach in the evenings? Don’t forget to have a cocktail while watching the sunset.
To get to the beach, just take the metro to the Barceloneta stop. It’s so easy!
If you plan to visit the city, don’t forget these 5 essential things to do in Barcelona that will make your trip unforgettable.
Traveling to Spain? You will love this posts:
- Tips for visiting Madrid for the first time.
- 8 Things to Do in Madrid for Free.
- Best Spanish road trips.
Are you spending more than 90 days in Spain?
Non EU passport holders can only visit Spain for 90 days. If you want to spend more time exploring Barcelona and surroundings, you can apply for a Non Lucrative Visa to stay as long as you want.
Barcelona is one of my favourite destinations. I really love this city! And buildings of Antoni Gaudi are very special, without any comparison in the world.
Wonderful summary of the treasures of Barcelona. I was lucky to be there for about four days about a year ago and love the city. Gaudi influences are prevalent and I love the Parc!
The architecture in this city is so unique. I´d love to explore this on my own, preferably by bike.
I love all your pictures. I love how beautiful the buildings and the beach looks in them. Spain is one of the countries we most want to visit. and we actually hope to stay there a little over a month to enjoy the various cities once we go on our round the world trip. :)
I absolutely love Barcelona. It’s one of my favorite cities in Spain. I’ve done everything on this list except for visiting Batlló House. Definitely will next time! Thanks for sharing :)
Sara, you have brought such special memories back to me in your vivid post about Barcelona. One of my sons lived in Santander just a couple years ago and my other son and I visited him for a fabulous trip to Spain. Barcelona was all that you say, and I also loved Madrid. Your pictures bring me right back, as we went to all these places. Thank you!
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was in Barcelona twice last winter and enjoyed all of these attractions. I could easily live there.
Barcelona is such a lively, active city, and you have definitely pointed out it’s best features. Such a good tip to rent a bike! You can see so much more that way.
La Sagrada Familia is one of my favourites cathedrals in the world, i think that architecture of this monument еnchanting by their monumentality and leaves an unforgettable impressions forever. I was discovered La Sagrada, when i was in Barcelona last summer and walking down the streets of beautiful Barcelona with free city tour.
Free walking tour is a good way to discover a city.
I love your list of where to eat and what to do in Barcelona. You have some really good ideas about the city, you did a great job. If you are ever back in Barcelona I would love to show you some amazing places to eat in the city. I run a food tour company called Eye on Food Tours drop me a line some time.
all the best,
Amazing post!! I would add a private boat trip along the coast of Barcelona to anjoy the skyline from the sea. Enjoy Barcelona!!