The Capital of Catalonia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, attracting more than 20 million visitors every year. With an unmistakable identity and so much to see and do, the city offers a treat for everyone. From the art and architecture of talents such as Antoni Gaudí through to the incredible nightlife, it’s hard to tick everything off your bucket list in one trip, so we’ve put together six things you simply cannot miss when you’re next there…
The iconic Las Ramblas promenades are a must-do when you arrive in Barcelona, a place that changes depending on the time of the year you’re visiting. Indeed, in the summer months, you’ll be able to stroll and shop until your heart’s content under the shade of tall plane trees. In winter, on the other hand, expect to see street performers on every corner, dressing up as Dracula and Michael Jackson. Be sure to bring your camera for a selfie!
It would be wrong to spend a weekend in Barcelona without spending at least some time at the Sagrada Família, without doubt, the city’s most iconic landscape. More than 140 years after Gaudí first became involved in the project, the Sagrada Família is still a work in progress – it’s not expected to be “complete” until 2026 or 2028. Inside, you’ll see Catalan Modernism, Art Nouveau and Spanish Late-Gothic – a truly breathtaking cultural experience.
If you’re more of a beach gal than a city gal, not to worry. Barcelona boasts some stunning beaches that stretch for miles. In fact, it’ll take you an hour or so to walk from Barceloneta to Diagonal Mar, a walk that’s highly recommended if you want to get into the spirit of beach life in Barcelona. Whilst you’re there, have some fun exploring the trendy bars, restaurants and, gift shops – you’ll be sure to pick something up to take back home with you as a keepsake.
The incredible La Boqueria holds huge historical value – in fact, it’s been there for more than 200 years, serving locals and later tourists with everyday food, drink, and household goods. Today, it’s an iconic sight for any Barcelona tourist, offering an education to boot. Step inside and have some fun bartering with the locals, putting your Spanish to the test, or book onto one of the many bespoke tours of Barcelona and have a local show you around the market, introduce you to some of the stallholders and show you where best to stock up on souvenirs.
Next stop, Park Güell. This jawdropping garden complex located on Carmel Hill offers some panoramic views over Barcelona, with gorgeous benches, mosaics, colonnades, fountains, and sculptures. After spending a few days exploring the hustle and bustle of the main city, Park Güell really does help you relax and unwind. You could be anywhere else in the world!
Close to Las Ramblas is the Sant Antoni neighborhood, offering willing tourists an opportunity to mingle with locals and expats, and try out some of the most authentic restaurants in the region, each showcasing the best of Catalan gastronomy. The hardest part is knowing where to eat first. We recommend spending some time at the Bodega 1900, Pepa Tomate Parlament, Ca l´Isidre and Jonny Aldana. Just visit with an empty stomach!
Whatever you choose to get up to in Barcelona, we hope these suggestions will help you. Have a great time and remember to explore every sidestreet, nook, and cranny. There are so many stories to be told and so much culture to soak up. Ten un buen viaje!