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Skyline panorama of Barcelona at sunrise. Spain
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The 13 Best Things to Do in Barcelona

If you’re dreaming of a city that blends history, architecture, and Mediterranean vibes, Barcelona is the ultimate destination. From the artistic wonders of Gaudí to the picturesque beaches of La Barceloneta, the city has something for everyone.

Whether it’s your first time visiting, or you’re a return traveler, this list covers 13 of the best things to do in Barcelona.

Visit the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia
TTstudio | Adobe Stock

The Sagrada Familia Basilica is an iconic symbol of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí, an architect whose unique designs can be seen all over Barcelona.

It still, to this day, remains unfinished due to Gaudí’s untimely death during its construction which only adds to its fascinating story. Over the years, different generations of architects have added to Gaudí’s vision, and in 2026, exactly 100 years after Gaudí’s death, it is expected to be fully finished.

The inside of the Sagrada Familia is just as impressive as the outside so buy tickets in advance and head on in! You won’t want to miss out on the impressively high ceilings and stunning stained-glass windows.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Sercotel Rosellon is a modern hotel with a touch of elegance. Enjoy the views from its rooftop terrace or a snack at the coffee shop.

Stroll Down the Lively Las Ramblas

La Rambla most popular pedestrian street in Barcelona. Selective focus on drinking water fountain on foreground.
Arcady | Adobe Stock

Las Ramblas is a lively pedestrian street in the heart of Barcelona that stretches from the Plaça de Catalunya down to the Mediterranean Sea.

As you stroll down the famous street, you’ll come across several historic landmarks and various shops and cafes. Street performers, artists, and musicians fill the sidewalks, adding to the energy and liveliness of this iconic street.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Olivia Plaza Hotel is a stylish, modern hotel conveniently located near the Plaça de Catalunya. During your stay, enjoy an onsite massage or relax in the garden or on the terrace.

Indulge in the Flavors at La Boqueria

La Boqueria sign
António Duarte | Adobe Stock

One of the highlights of Las Ramblas is its bustling food market, the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, or simply La Boqueria. It’s not just a place to shop for fresh produce and local ingredients – it’s a cultural experience of its own.

You’ll hear the vendors calling out their specials for the day as you wander through the colorful rows of fresh produce, seafood, and cured meats.

And no visit to La Boqueria would be complete without tasting some of the local treats. Sit or stand at one of the tapas bars and grab a plate of patatas bravas or jamón ibérico. Pair it with a refreshing glass of sangria for the perfect culinary experience.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Hostal Bcn Ramblas is a comfortable hotel in the perfect location. It also offers several recreational activities, like bike rentals, for its guests.

Sip Vermouth at La Vermuteria del Tano

Manhattan - Another whiskey-based cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, often garnished with a cherry.
desinko | Adobe Stock

Vermouth, a wine infused with herbs and spices, has a long history in Barcelona. So for an authentic taste of Barcelona, visit one of the oldest vermouth bars in the city, La Vermuteria del Tano.

The bar offers a wide selection of vermouths for you to enjoy while immersing yourself in the local atmosphere. They also serve a variety of tapas to complete the experience.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel is a chic hotel with plenty of amenities. Check out the outdoor pool or rent a bike and discover the surrounding area.

Experience Park Güell’s Magic

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
Mapics | Adobe Stock

Park Güell is another masterpiece designed by the legendary architect, Gaudí and the second UNESCO World Heritage site on the list. It’s among Barcelona’s most famous attractions and is known for its vibrant tiled mosaics and unique structures.

You’ll need a ticket to access the section of the park that houses the famous mosaic salamander statue (El Drac) and the colorful, mosaic-covered serpentine bench (Banc de Trencadis), but you can also enjoy a large portion of the park completely free.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: Catalonia Park Güell provides a comfortable place to stay. Take a dip in the rooftop pool and take in the amazing views of the city below.

Tour More of Gaudí’s Masterpieces

Barcelona, Spain-April 29, 2023. Casa Batlló, building in the center of Barcelona, Spain. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí, and is considered one of his masterpieces.
Manuel Milan | Adobe Stock

If you’re a fan of Gaudí’s work and haven’t gotten enough, you’re in luck because Barcelona is home to several other architectural gems created by the acclaimed architect.

A self-guided Gaudí tour will lead you to some of his most popular works, like the Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, in addition to the Park Güell and Sagrada Familia.

Or, to fully appreciate Gaudí’s genius, you may want to take a guided tour. These tours will give you a different perspective on his artistic process and the history behind his works. Plus, you’ll get to skip the long lines and make the most of your time in Barcelona.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: Suites Avenue is a boutique hotel with 41 individually decorated rooms. It offers a luxurious and modern design with stunning views of the city and an outdoor pool.

Explore the Gothic Quarter

Panorama of Ancient Roman Gate and Placa Nova during morning blue hour, Barri Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Kavalenkava | Adobe Stock

The Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic as the locals call it, is the historic center of Barcelona. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you stroll through the narrow medieval streets lined with boutiques, cafes, and street performers.

Admire the details of the Gothic-style buildings and the impressive Barcelona Cathedral.

The Gothic Quarter is also a great spot to experience the local cuisine and indulge in traditional Spanish tapas or taste some of the world-famous jamón ibérico. And at night, it turns into a lively nightlife scene where you can enjoy a drink at one of the trendy bars or clubs.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Arai Aparthotel is nestled in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Combining historic charm with contemporary style, the spacious and well-equipped apartments are perfectly suited for a stay in the Gothic Quarter.

Visit the Museu Picasso

Ground floor space of the Palau Baró de Castellet covered with a four-pier brick vault supported by a large central pillar
Museu Picasso bcn

If you’re a fan of art and history or simply curious about Pablo Picasso’s legacy, visiting the Museu Picasso is worth it.

The museum showcases Picasso’s early works, including his famous Blue and Rose periods, and you can see the evolution of his style and explore the themes that influenced his art.

The Museu Picasso also provides insight into his personal life and his connection to Barcelona, which is where he lived and worked during his formative years. The museum is located in five medieval palaces, which adds to the beauty of the museum.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Aparthotel Allada is an excellent choice for accommodation providing comfortable apartment-style living in a convenient location. There are also nearby segway, bike, and scooter rentals to get around the city easily.

Soak Up Sun at La Barceloneta

Barcelona central beach aerial view Sant Miquel Sebastian plage La Barceloneta district and port catalonia
Shevdinov | Adobe Stock

If you’re looking for a place to dip your toes in the Mediterranean Sea, head to La Barceloneta. It used to be a quiet fishing village, but now it’s all about sandy beaches and a buzzing atmosphere.

Go for a stroll along the promenade, eat fresh seafood paella, and enjoy those Mediterranean vibes! With so much to do in the area, it’s no wonder it’s a popular spot for locals and tourists.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The H10 Port Vell is located in the picturesque Port Vell. It’s a chic and contemporary hotel, providing guests with stylish rooms and excellent amenities like its rooftop bar and pool.

Explore El Poblenou

High rise buildings and offices in poble nou, Barcelona
Alvaro | Adobe Stock

A bit further up the coast from La Barceloneta is El Poblenou, one of Barcelona’s most trendy neighborhoods. It’s become a hotspot for hipsters, artists, and young professionals, and there are plenty of cool eateries, craft beer, and coffee spots.

And if you’re a fan of street art, you’ll find it here! El Poblenou has some vibrant murals and a thriving urban art scene.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Hotel Ilunion Barcelona offers modern comforts in a convenient location. With a rooftop pool and fitness center, it has everything you need to stay active during your stay.

Venture Up Montjuïc

Montjuïc Castle
Marty | Adobe Stock

Outside the city center, you’ll find Montjuïc Castle, a historic fortress that offers more breathtaking views of Barcelona. Ride a cable car to the top and take in panoramic views of the city, the sea, and the surrounding mountains. The castle at the top has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century.

There are plenty of other activities to do in Montjuïc as well, like visiting the Fundació Joan Miró and strolling through the Jardí Botànic (the botanical gardens). It’s also where you’ll find the Olympic Stadium, where the 1992 Summer Olympics took place.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: InterContinental Barcelona offers upscale accommodations and a luxurious experience for travelers looking for sophistication. Guests can unwind with a massage at the spa or enjoy the health club and a sauna.

Discover Poble Espanyol

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 31, 2012: Poble Espanyol or Spanish village
shiler_a | Adobe Stock

Poble Espanyol is a unique open-air museum that is like taking a trip through the different regions of Spain without leaving Barcelona. The buildings replicate the typical architecture and traditions of each diverse region of Spain.

You’ll find artisans that make traditional Spanish crafts like ceramic, glass, and leather goods, making it a great place to buy unique souvenirs.

Additionally, Poble Espanyol hosts various cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions throughout the year, which are great to catch if you’re there.

Nearby Hotel Recommendation: The Occidental Barcelona 1929 has excellent amenities, with a pool and solarium on the ninth floor, a fitness center, and on-site parking.

Step into Camp Nou Stadium

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04, 2015: Above view at field and audience during football game between FC Barcelona and FC BATE Borisov (Belarusian) on Nou Camp stadium.
JackF | Adobe Stock

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without experiencing the passion for football that runs deep in the Spanish culture with a visit to the FC Barcelona stadium, Camp Nou.

The sheer size of Camp Nou is impressive. The stands are painted in the team’s iconic colors and have a seating capacity of over 99,000 spectators.

You can tour the stadium and museum to dive into the history of FC Barcelona, or if you’re lucky enough to catch a match at Camp Nou, the experience will not disappoint!

NearbyHotel Recommendation: The Hotel Sofia Barcelona is an upscale and elegant hotel with top-notch facilities. A restaurant, a full-service spa, and a prime location for sports fans right across from the Camp Nou stadium.

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