A trip to the capital of Catalonia, a city founded (according to ancient legends) by Hercules, is a mysterious place to visit. A variety of sightseeing routes offer the opportunity to get acquainted with its history and to see at least a part of the sights.
What to do in Barcelona?
One of the best things to do in Barcelona is to visit churches, cathedrals, and the Town Hall. Get acquainted with the “heart” of the city – the ensemble of buildings of the Gothic quarter.
Freeze in amazement, looking at the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, visit museums, art galleries, theaters. Famous artists and sculptors created their masterpieces in an amazingly beautiful city. Some of them can be seen using the free entertainment of Barcelona.
This helps to significantly save the money allocated for travel, without reducing the quality of acquaintance with Barcelona. Here we collect for you the complete list of best things to do in Barcelona: more about art, popular parks and landscapes. Showcasing a lot of gamers and browser gems, here are the best entertainment in Barcelona.
List of Best Things to Do
- Explore Citadel Park: A Top Attraction in Barcelona
- Barceloneta Beach: Sun, Sand, and Sea
- Metronom Museum: Contemporary Art in Barcelona
- Montjuic Mountain: History and Scenic Views
- Magic Fountains: Enchanting Water Displays
- Museum of National Art: A Cultural Gem
- Park Guell: Gaudi's Architectural Masterpiece
- Boqueria Market: A Culinary Adventure
- Sagrada Familia Cathedral: Iconic Landmark
- Mount Tibidabo: Panoramic City Views
- Rambla Street: The Heart of Barcelona
- Labyrinth of Horta: Mystical Garden Maze
- El Carmel Bunker: Unparalleled City Views
- Plaza Catalunya: The City's Central Hub
- Las Arenas: From Bullring to Shopping Center
Explore Ciutadella Park: A Top Attraction in Barcelona
In the central part of the city there is one of the favorite attraction of recreation of residents, walks of guests. Its appearance is associated with the historical period of the XVIII century, the construction of powerful fortress walls.
Later, famous architects decorated the park with magnificent fountains, gorgeous sculptures, beautiful flower gardens, and stunning alleys through their efforts.
Part of the city has turned into a luxurious recreation area, harmoniously supplementing its extraordinary atmosphere. It's nice to walk with children here, just relax on the lake shore.
See the huge fountain "Cascade", made in the form of a Triumphal Arch and unique sculptures of Venus, Aurora, mythical animals. Children are very interested in the zoological museum (the Castle of the Three Dragons), the zoo (here you need to pay an entrance ticket).
It is among the best zoos in Europe and that's the reason why it is our list of best things to do in Barcelona. Free of charge in the park of Ciutadella is offered to walk along the famous promenade: Companias Alley.
See the buildings of the ancient chapel, the governor's palace, the arsenal. It is proposed to start exploring the Park from the location of the Triumphal Arch of the city. It is located at the beginning of Companias Avenue.
Barceloneta Beach: A Must-Visit Attraction
The oldest beach is must see place in Barcelona as It's only a 15-minute walk from the famous Columbus Monument. A wide coastal strip of golden sand (1.1 km long) appeared on the site of an old fishing village.
The area of the city changed in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. Here, the beach infrastructure has formed, and buildings of hotels, cafes, and restaurants have appeared.There is a promenade for leisurely walks along the seashore. Allocated areas for fans of roller skating.
Around the clock, the police provide security for sports facilities, playgrounds, and play areas.The free beach is considered the safest, most protected recreation area and a favorite among local youth and tourists.
The beach area ends at the Olympic Port. Near you can see interesting ships, the tallest skyscrapers of the city. Their height is 154 m It is possible to use some ships for a small walks for low price. You can come to the beach using metro (there are several stops nearby land transport)
Metronom Museum: Exploring Barcelona's Art Scene
In 1980, one of the city's modern museums began operating in the building of an empty wholesale warehouse. The initiator of the creation was the collector Raphael Tous. A feature of the exhibitions of the new institution has become an innovative form of presentation of elements. The Metronom Museum has become a platform for the expression of new, unexpected ideas, experiments of masters of different art directions, creativity.
Among the interesting exhibits are sculptures, paintings, photographs, videos, original works of national culture. In some places you will find, modern and forgotten dances and music.
Acquaintance with the exhibits of experimental art takes place using installations and other techniques of modern times. It is often difficult to attribute exhibition offers to a specific type of art. United in one place, they are original and allow us to call the ensemble the Museum of the Future.
Exhibitions built with modern technologies are available for viewing without an entrance ticket. There are many such museums in Barcelona, which allows you to learn interesting facts from the culture of the country even during a short trip.
For more amazing cultural spots in the city, check out our guide to the best museums and galleries in Barcelona for a curated selection of top artistic experiences.
Who knows, maybe among the innovative works are the works of future Dali, Gaudi, Picasso. The temperament of the Catalans, the sea, the sun, the mythical past have always formed great abilities in art here. Address: Carrer de la Fusina, 9.
Montjuic Mountain: History and Scenic Views
Another of the best things to do in Barcelona is sightseeing of Montjuic Mountain. From its top there is an excellent view of the city, the Mediterranean Sea. It is recommended to start climbing the hill, 170 m high, from Spain Square.
In 1640, they built bastions and watchtowers in the famous fortress to guard the capital of Catalonia and considered them strategic objects.
In the XX century, the "Jewish Mountain" or "Jupiter Hill" was reborn: it has become the largest European park. Next to the architectural masterpieces of the Middle Ages (the castle on the top, the Spanish village), new buildings of museums and the Olympic Center have grown.
The events in honor of the World Exhibition in 1929, the Olympic Games in 1992 put the green kingdom in order, created huge botanical gardens (their area is 300 hectares) with walking paths, cozy recreation areas, exhibition grounds, theaters.
Among the attractions on the mountain, which draws the attention of tourists is the main historical structure, the Montjuic Fortress, the Magic Fountain, the futuristic Calatrava Tower (TV tower).
Santiago Calatrava designed the amazing steel structure, it looks like an athlete holding an Olympic torch. The spire casts a shadow that serves to determine the time, similarly to a sundial. The ancient breath of life is felt most strongly during a hike to the old cemetery, opened in 1883.
Columbarium, sculptures, monuments, Gothic monuments do not stand out against the background of modern buildings, but create a harmonious historical ensemble. You can walk here all day.
Magic Fountains: Fantastic Nighttime Experience in Barcelona
At the foot of Montjuic Mountain, against the backdrop of the majestic Palau Nacional National Palace, there is a light-musical, magical fountain Font màgica de Montjuïc. An unusual hydraulic structure forms a spectacle that millions of tourists come to admire.
It is difficult to convey the feelings of a person when in the evenings, simultaneously with the music, more than 3 thousand jets of water fly up and merge, intertwine with each other in a single dance.
At the same time, the palace looks even more mysterious and beautiful. The magical effect of the fountain is created due to the passage of water under high pressure through special filters made of cermet.
The fountain's illumination
The fountain's illumination is constructed from 4760 radiation sources with 50 shades. The fountain is provided with water by five pumps and 2629 separate streams. Computer programs control them. The equipment is located in the engine room. It is located under the center of the fountain. Oval pools built in the form of steps surround the main fountain.
The total volume of water in them is 3 million liters. The height of the fountain streams reaches 50 m. The magic fountain is part of an ensemble of cascading fountains located from the National Palace to the Plaza de Espana.
The unique light music show takes place in the evenings (seasonal schedule is valid) and lasts about 3 hours for 20 minutes. Classical, folk, popular melodies sound over the square. Water jets dance to the beat of the music. It is best to observe the bizarre figures while sitting on the steps of the palace. You can get to the magic fountain using bus or metro.
Museum of National Art: A Cultural Gem
By the opening of the exhibition in 1929, the Palau Nacional Palace was built. The building, designed by architect Pedro Kendoy Oscoe, housed the Electricity Pavilion.In 1990, restorers refurbished the building and transferred it to the Museum.
The first collections formed from elements of existing institutions of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Art of Catalonia. Now, three cultural institutions supplement the composition. Since 1932, the Museum (the premises of the palace) has housed exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, and various art objects.
The museum stands as the center for collections of Romanesque period works, featuring many artistic masterpieces from the Renaissance, works with elements of Gothic and Baroque, and Catalan easel painting. Independent expositions represent them.
The Department of Contemporary Art of Catalonia opened with Art Nouveau paintings from the XIX and XX centuries. A separate hall dedicates itself to exhibitions of prints and drawings, showcasing the best works created in the last three centuries.
Moments of the life of past times are reflected in a large collection of photographs. Of understandable interest is the inspection of the expositions of the numismatics department. Here are the coins of the VI century BC.
The Museum houses restoration workshops and a library.Every Saturday from 3 pm, every first Sunday of the month, and on open doors days, the museum offers free admission, but visitors must reserve early online admission for better control of capacity. Children under 16 years old, adults over 65 years old pass without payment on any day.
Park Guell: Must See Masterpiece in Barcelona
It is impossible to come to Barcelona and not walk through the Park of Güell. His story was born in 1900 according to the idea of the richest man of those times, Eusebi Guel. He proposed creating a garden city on Bald Mountain, the likes of which one can only see in a dream. He offered this project to his friend Antonio Gaudi.
His unusual understanding of the world, the idea that "there are no straight lines in nature, it does not happen in one color" allowed to build a monument of unlimited imagination, unpredictable architectural solutions.
It is difficult to determine where the elements of architectural styles end, the possession of masterpieces of sculpture, three-dimensional painting begins. Amazing buildings, hilly pavilions, caves, grottos, figures of fantastic animals associated with the legends of the appearance of Barcelona.
Also palm trees made of stone, similar to living ones. In 1984, UNESCO included Güell Park in its Heritage Lists. Since 2015, the park has charged for visits.
How to visit Park Guell?
There is only one option (useful and not bad) to walk along amazing paths. One of the relaxing thing to do In barcelona is to sit on the famous bench or stairs, think while looking at the houses built by Gaudi without buying a ticket.
Visitors can visit most areas of Park Güell for free. Only the monumental area of Park Guell, which makes up 5% of the massive park, is controlled. Most of the works of architect Antonio Gaudi are located in the monumental zone, for which tourists pay to enter.
This is to go to the monumental zone before the opening. There is an approved opening time of the park according to winter and summer schedules. At any other time, they remove the barrier ribbons, providing access to free space. After analyzing their capabilities, they suggest going for a walk.
And it is even better to visit the park with a pre-ordered ticket (the main thing is not to be late for the specified time) and take a walk several times in the evening or at dawn (work starts at 8.00-8.30 in the morning).
- Address of the park Guell is: Carrer d'olot, 13.
- Open Hours: every day from 09:30 am to 7:30 pm
Boqueria Market: Best Culinary Adventure in Barcelona
Visiting the market is the great thing to do in barcelona additionally it can be conditionally called free. There is no need to pay for entry to the Sant Josep market, but any wallet will become easier after a walk through the popular grocery market. The first mention of the colorful market dates back to 1217.
Not far from the entrance gate of the city of Bokeria, vendors set up shops and sold meat. In 1470, people called it the "Straw Market" (Mercat de la Palla), where they sold pigs and various goods. Now it is a building made of glass and concrete, decorated with beautiful mosaics.
The metal roof appeared in 1914. There are a lot of trading halls with a necessary equipment. The multi-tiered counters are lined with fragrant meat and fish dishes. They are always fresh, the assortment is made up of products brought from different parts of the country.
It is best things to try the famous ham meat ("pata negra") here. And you can't miss the colorful tables with fruits, other joyful things to do is to enjoy their extraordinary aroma and, of course the best thing to do here is to taste the fruits of the Mediterranean paradise.
The authentic atmosphere of the ancient market attracts, gives pleasure from a walk. One of the important things to know in order to make a purchase correctly, it is to visit the market several times. In general we recomend to read which things to know before visiting Barcelona.
At the first impression, the eyes cannot stop at something specific and necessary.
Market address: Placa de la Boqueria. The nearest metro station is called Liceu. Starts to work at 7 or 8 am. Recommended to visit between 6 to 7 pm.
Sagrada Familia Cathedral: Iconic Landmark of Barcelona
The most popular activity in Barcelona is visiting the Sagrada Familia Cathedral by Gaudi, as many consider this temple one of the most famous attractions.. This is the redemptive church. From the perspective of Catholics, Sagrada Familia church serves as a symbol of repentance and forgiveness for the past sins of disbelief committed by the people of the city over the last two centuries. Faithful believers who wanted to make this church a reality built it solely through their generous donations.
It is proposed to see it from the inside and outside. Every single visitor's experience is distinctively memorable, making it truly one of the most unique activities to enjoy in Barcelona. It is as if a stone lace created by an unknown force descended from heaven, froze and aspires to the sky, the sun.
The long-term construction of the planet has an amazing history associated with the work of Gaudi. After the tragic passing away, the construction continues according to the drawings developed by the author.
This is his fantasy, an unusual perception of the world gave descendants a magical stone fairy tale. The stone arms of powerful columns with capitals resembling tree branches securely hold the structure, similar to a web of trunks of a wild natural forest.
The Architecture of Sagrada Familia
The architect's unusual engineering solutions and their full compliance with the laws of mechanics have been confirmed in our computer age. The construction of the Temple took place on November 7, 2010. It is planned to finish the construction in 2026. And then the highest Christian church on the planet (172 m high) will appear before the eyes of surprised tourists.
Now this place is occupied by the Ulm Cathedral of Germany. The Gothic towers of three facades (Gaudi erected one facade of the Nativity) will really "sing" from the wind, acting like an "organ for the Lord" and filling the Temple with the Creator's music.
Best Things to Do in Barcelona: Marvel at Mount Tibidabo's Panoramic Views
Standing on the observation deck at the feet of the figure of Christ crowning the amazing Gothic Church of the Sacred Heart, one cannot help but feel the spirit of the legends of the birth of Barcelona. Moreover, it is visible from anywhere in the city and attracts with fantastic power.
Here it is a magical world created by God as a priceless gift to humanity. "Tibi Dabo" or "I give you" the devil whispered to Christ, offering to give all earthly joys. Christ did not betray man, and as a sign of gratitude, people built a temple that aspired to heaven, to the triumph of light, victory, and the sun.
Climb on the Tibidabo
Historians have proved that there was a monastery on the holy place long before the construction of the Temple. The aura of antiquity did not disappear, but entered the atmosphere of the Holy Temple. They propose arriving at the panoramic platform on the famous blue tram.
The ascent to a height of 575 m passes over steep slopes, green massifs, gorges and makes a special impression on the journey. It is recommended to spend the whole day on the mountain (taking food, since there are few restaurants, cafes). The journey is of particular interest to children.
They can see the ancient luna park with numerous attractions. This is an "Air train", "Tibidabo Airplane". During an extreme flight, the whole city is clearly visible. Despite their venerable age and pristine appearance, the rides are safe and convenient.
On the territory there is a Museum of mechanical toys, robots, a Viking carousel, a Ferris wheel. The park was formed at a time when the mountain was not listed as part of the city. The extraordinary panorama from the mountain will remain in the memory for a lifetime.
Rambla Street: The Heart of Barcelona
Rambla Street is one of the best things to do in Barcelona. The pedestrian street of the central part of the city begins at Plaza Catalunya, passes to the Old Port. Structurally, it consists of 5 independent boulevards connected into a single zone with a length of 1.2 km.
A spacious embankment on the seashore forms a noisy atmosphere of the city center and a popular walking area bordered by interesting sights. There are always a lot of people walking here. They look at the gems of Catalan architecture: Liceo Theater, Boqueria Market, Virreina Palace.
They visit museums of wax figures, erotica. There is the building of the oldest university in the city next to the street is the famous Gothic Quarter. You can find many boutiques, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, and other elements of the tourists. Useful information for those who want to make purchases: the biggest discounts (up to 70%) appear in August and January.
Walking on the Rambla
The walking boulevard is surrounded by flower gardens and beautiful alleys. There are original "living" statues on it, there is a cheerful bird market. At the end of the boulevard, the waves of the Mediterranean Sea are lapping.
The most beautiful street is often called the heart of the city. Next to the Plaza Catalunya (Sea Rambla or Canaletes) is the famous cast-iron fountain, made in the XIX century. Tourists rush to drink water from it to test the belief and be sure to come to Barcelona again.
Labyrinth of Horta- A Top Attraction in Barcelona
On the territory of the ancient Desvalls estate, located on the slope of the Sierra de Collserola mountains, in the XVIII century a neoclassical garden appeared, which became the oldest park in the city. The main part of the park (which gave it its name) was a maze of cypresses.
On an area of 50 by 50 m, intricate paths are formed, fenced with slender plantings. It seems that it is easy to walk through them. But you don't even notice how you find yourself in a green cul-de-sac.
From this moment, an exciting game of defeating the maze begins. Crowds of tourists are trying to fall into this place. At the central point of the maze there is a playground with benches for relaxation. Having gained new strength, visitors find a way out. The park consists of several levels, a romantic garden. There are many beautiful flower beds in it. The pleasant streams of the waterfall are ringing. Pavilions made in the spirit of the traditions of Spain are installed above the maze.
Tuscan columns, statues of Ariadne, Danae, copies of ancient Roman temples. Near the stairs leading to the last tier, there is a statue of the god of winemaking Dionysus. On the upper part there is an interesting pavilion dedicated to the nine muses and a beautiful pond with water from an underground spring. Address: Passeig dels Castanyers street 1-17. It is proposed to take the metro to Mundet station or bus routes.
El Carmel Bunker-A Must-See in the City Views
To see the beauty of Barcelona, tourists use equipped observation decks. There are a lot of them in the city. Among the best places is the observation area located in the historical landmark of the city: El Carmel Bunker. It was built in 1947 during the Civil War on top of the Touro de la Rovira mountain. The survey view from the bunker towers was 360 degrees. It was the most convenient place to observe the approaching enemy.
The walls and loopholes of two towers used for shelling have been preserved. They can be bypassed and examined in detail. From the observation deck, you can see the streets of the nearest Eixample district running away over the horizon.
The port, the boundless sea, Mount Tibidao, Guell Park, the Church of the Virgin Carmen. The city lies very close. The bunker is located at Marià Lavernia, 59. The easiest way to get here is by bus of the Panorama-Labèrnia stop. But you can take the subway or walk. You can enjoy the city's panorama free of charge.
Central Hub of Barcelona: Plaza Catalunya -Among the Best Things to Do
In this place it is convenient to start by your own (and together with organized excursions) acquaintance with the city. On the central square there are stops of many transport routes, tourist buses, four metro lines intersect. 9 famous streets start from the square, including the famous pedestrian Rambla Boulevard. Until the middle of the XIX century there was a wasteland, separated from the city by a wall.
According to the project of Ildefonso Cerda, builders began to construct buildings in the neoclassical and historicist style on the territory. Famous masters placed 28 sculptural compositions on the round square.
They have formed an open-air sculpture museum. It includes elegant statues "Youth", "Goddess". Complex works "Work", "Wisdom", "Shepherd", figures of horses. The monument to the first president of Catalonia, in the form of an inverted staircase fixed on a stone pedestal, interests tourists.
Each of the four provinces of Catalonia has its own sculptural group representing it. Beautiful flower beds, numerous fountains with drinking water, a green lawn surround the square, creating a natural oasis in the heart of the bustling city. Residents hold folk festivals and concerts on the square.
Tourists happily acquaint themselves with the architectural masterpieces surrounding the square.
Among them is the house of Pech i Pon, which belongs to the country's Credit Bank, a huge El Corte Inglés store with an unlimited amount of any product and a panoramic restaurant. Triangle Shopping Center, Zurich Cafe.
They propose that you arrive at the iconic place of the capital (north-western part) by taking the metro to the Catalunya station.
Las Arenas: From Bullring to Shopping Center Best Experience in Barcelona
Walking around the square of Spain, it is impossible not to visit a huge shopping center. The history of the building relates to the famous bullfights that took place here in a special arena.
The ban on their holding in 2012 required a change in the purpose of the building. The six-storey building houses 100 shops, a cinema, a SPA center, a barber shop, bars, cafes, restaurants. Shopping lovers can choose from branded products like Punto Roma, Desigual, Mango, and Celio.
What you find in the Las Arenas de Barcelona
Cosmetics, sports uniforms and equipment, household appliances, children's toys, clothes. The first floor looks like a market with a lot of eateries. On the top floor there is the main feature of the shopping center – an observation deck. They offer to come to the outdoor terrace using a paid elevator, or to take an escalator from the shopping halls free of charge.
Restaurants are located around the entire circumference of the terrace. There are 10 of them. The menu of each includes different options of dishes. Fast food, sushi, tapas, grilled meat cooked according to traditional recipes of Catalonia, masterpieces of Japanese cuisine, etc. Sitting in any of the restaurants, you can enjoy the view of the city, the extraordinary sunset. The address of the shopping center: Gran Via de les Cortes Catalans, 373 – 385.
Barcelona is a great place to visit. This city enchants with its stunning architecture, rich history and magnificent heritage. We have prepared for you a guide for visiting in Barcelona, which will entertain you throughout the trip.
Most of the public museums offer free entrance on the first Sunday of each month and every Saturday after 3 pm onwards. Please check each one, as dates and times vary. For more tips on enjoying Barcelona for free, check out our guide to 12 Free Things to Do in Barcelona for budget-friendly activities.
Your interests don't matter; it could be history, various types of delicious food, designer clothes, or a love for the beach. There is something for everyone in this majestic city.
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) is the main public transit operator in Barcelona. Check the official website for more information.thin
Have a look at the official website of public security and assistance in Barcelona.