Barcelona is one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe, and for good reason. The cosmopolitan seaside city is not only the capital of the autonomous Catalonia community but is rich in history, art and architecture that is unique to this part of the world. In the summer hordes of tourists flock to Bareclona to enjoy the sea, sun and one of the best party cities in the world.
My 9 FAVOURITE THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN BARCELONA
La Sagrada Familia
This world-famous catholic church should not be missed during a visit to Barcelona. The UNESCO world heritage site started construction in 1882 and won’t be completed until 2026! Designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí it is truly a masterpiece. With nature heavily inspiring the building you will feel like you’ve stepped into literal heaven. Whilst the tickets to enter La Sagrada Familia are expensive it is definitely worth exploring inside as this where you will find it’s true beauty. Be sure to book tickets ahead online, especially during the summer months when Barcelona is at its busiest.
Parc De La Ciutadella
On the weekends the park is full of people picnicking, playing drums, dancing, slack lining and enjoying the sunshine. The park is also home to the Barcelona Zoo and the Catalan Parliament. Don’t miss the magical waterfall (if I was ever mega rich with a huge yard I would want one just like it) that Gaudí helped to design. Whilst there be sure to visit the Arc De Triomf. The Parc De La Ciutadela is a truly stunning park in the heart of Barcelona city.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Barcelona without a visit to the beach. The main beach of the city is Barcelonetta, it has almost a kilometre of white sands and blue water for you to cool down in the hot months or bathe in the sun during the winter like we did, the cement sun lounger chairs were ingenious!
Watch A Football Game
You can’t visit Spain without going to a football game, at least in the eyes of my football obsessed boyfriend. And if you, like me, get to listen to the guy in your life bang on about this much loved sport all the time you probably know that Lionel Messi, arguably the worlds greatest football player, plays for FC Barcelona. It was my boyfriends dream to see him play and so I booked this trip to Barcelona as a surprise Christmas present for him, hence the reason why we visited Barcelona in the winter rather than the summer.
Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Spain (and top three in the world) and seats almost 100,000 people and so a visit to the stadium is almost as exciting as going to a game for some (boys, hey?!). We had such an incredible time, the sun was shining, the stadium was full and Barcelona won 5-0 against Las Palmas with Messi scoring an epic goal to boot, needless to say my boyfriend was a very happy guy!
P.S if you want to book tickets but you’re stressing over where the best seat area is I highly recommend the top left corner when you look at the seat map, lots of sun and right near the fan base!
This colourful park is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Barcelona, loved by locals and tourists alike. Originally built as an estate for wealthy families construction began in 1900 but due to lack of buyers and complicated selling conditions the development was abandoned in 1914. When Gaudí, the architect, died his heirs sold the estate to the city council who opened it to the public. Parc Güell was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and today the colourful architecture is some of the most famous in the world.
Tickets need to be purchased online ahead of time, especially during summer. I made the mistake of visiting first thing in the morning when the sun was at its glariest. I would visit in the afternoon in the future.
Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and Casa Batllo
These two buildings were, as everything else in Barcelona apparently, designed by Gaudí. Whilst I wasn’t that impressed with eithe of them from the outside I hear it’s worth paying the money to explore inside as that’s where the real beauty lie.
Constructed in the 13th century the Barcelona Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in all of Barcelona. I absolutely loved this cathedral, especially the beautiful views from the side streets nearby.
My favourite area in Barcelona is the beautiful Gothic Quarter. Once the centre of the Roman City the narrow, winding streets create a charming labyrinth to get wonderfully lost in. Full of some of the cities best restaurants and home to the Barcelona Cathedral, City Hall, seat of the Catalan Government and the highly photographed Carrer Del Bisbe bridge you will find some of the cities most beautiful architecture in this area. Most of the quarter is closed to traffic making it a perfect spot to take an afternoon stroll.
Eat All The Food
From Tapas, Paella and Sangria the Spanish are revered for their food. I can recommend the Paella and the (super strong) Sangria at La Dolça Herminia, the Empanadas and pastries at the markets at Barcelonetta Beach, cocktails at the W Hotel and Tapas at La Galera in the Gothic Quarter. All are delicious and reasonably priced.
Barcelona is an incredible city to explore. Whilst a lot of it is within walking distance the underground train system is very efficient and easy to use for the spots further out of the city centre. I was warned about pick-pocketing being a problem in Barcelona more than I have been warned anywhere else in the world, almost everyone I spoke to had a pick-pocketing story. We were cautious, like always, and had no issues. Like anywhere in the world as long as you are aware of your surroundings and your belongings you should have no problem either.
The architecture and history of Barcelona is like nowhere else in the world and it is the perfect destination to spend a long weekend. The nine places listed above were definitely my highlights.
Do you intend to visit Barcelona or have any other tips of things to see and do?
Let me know in the comments below!