Where to go in Barcelona
Sightseeing in Barcelona is fun and easy – there are so many striking buildings and interesting sights wherever you turn. If you are wondering what to do in Barcelona read on, and this Barcelona guide will help you to discover the top sightseeing attractions, Barcelona´s many museums and galleries, parks and gardens, and the charm of each of its distinctive neighbourhoods. You can also check out plenty of great day trips from Barcelona.
Barcelona is synonymous with its Mediterranean seafront, and no visit to Barcelona would be complete without visiting the Port Vell and Port Olympic, or the nearby stretch of Barcelona beaches. Although the beaches outside Barcelona such as the Costa Brava beaches are more striking, these triumph on convenience! A typical tourist weekend in Barcelona begins with a wander down its most-trod street, La Rambla, taking in the colourful ambience of human statues, bustling cafes and restaurants, and local artists.
The most famous Barcelona attractions include the legacy of architect Antonio Gaudi, most notably the spectacular Sagrada Familia basilica, and the Casa Milá (or “Pedrera”) and Casa Batlló houses, with their Modernist interior, uniquely ornate façades, and striking attention to all details from the windows to the chimneys. Gaudí is also the genius behind the Park Güell, a spectacular landscaped garden which offers great views across the city. There is a small museum and visitors centre.
Other top places to visit include the Gothic Cathedral of La Seu, just off Via Laietana. It has Old Masters paintings and a cloister with geese inside, and leering gargoyles studding its high walls. To the right of the main entrance you can see fragments of the Roman Wall that used to surround what once was the Roman city of Barcino.
The Boqueria market just off the Ramblas is another must visit sight. Stalls are piled high with fresh local and exotic produce, and round the back there are some great little tapas bars and restaurants serving freshly made tapas and traditional dishes, all made from fresh market ingredients.
Camp Nou, home of the legendary Barça team receives millions of visitors every year. Get tickets for a game, or take a stadium and museum tour.
Another popular place to visit is in the hill of Montjuïc, which is easily accessible from Barcelona city centre. Arts and recreation facilities are scattered throughout its grounds, and include many prestigious museums, the Botanic Gardens, Cactus Park, and other parks, the Poble Espanyol, Palau Sant Jordi, the Olympic swimming pool, and other Olympic sports facilities.
If you´d like a guided tour, gone are the days when the City Tourist Bus was your only option! There are some excellent walking tours in Barcelona, and bike tours in Barcelona, with experienced guides that can point out the top sights and also fill you in on quirky anecdotes, and give you an authentic insight into life in the city. If you´d rather discover Barcelona independently you could always rent a bike or rent a scooter.
Day trips and longer excursions outside Barcelona are highly recommended, as there is simply so much to see. Renting a car is one option. Alternatively you could look for organised day trip tours to popular destinations like Montserrat or the Costa Brava. Taking a train from Barcelona is easy, and you can visit popular attractions like the Port Aventura theme park or Aqualeon theme park, or nearby towns such as Sitges and Tarragona.