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Top 10 things you can’t miss in Barcelona (with a bonus of unexplored attractions)

AUGUST 10, 2023

The possibilities are endless in Barcelona, and we bet you don’t want to miss anything, so here you have the top 10 things to do in Barcelona that you can’t miss!

Have you ever visited Barcelona? If you have, then you’ll probably have fallen in love with this marvelous city, with its colorful and special modernist architecture, crowded streets, delicious gastronomy, and lively beaches. And if you haven’t, then you have to, because everyone must come to Barcelona at least once, and we know that once you do, you’ll want to come over and over again.

Barcelona is a bustling city with lots of amazing places to visit, flavors to taste, and activities to experience. It has something for everyone, no matter what kind of traveler you are, but if what you’re looking for is a bucket list of the best things to do in Barcelona, here are the top 10 things you can’t miss in Barcelona (with a bonus of not so well-known attractions for you to have an even better experience).

1. Be amazed by the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

When you go, make sure that you take a look from every perspective, you don’t want to miss any detail of this quirky cathedral. You’ll find there are three different façades. First, the Nativity façade (facing la Plaça de Gaudí) was built during Gaudí’s lifetime. This façade is (really) full of details, you could spend hours trying to discern all that’s going on there, and yet you wouldn’t take up all of it. Some say it’s the most beautiful and breathtaking of all.

Sagrada Familia – Plaça de Gaudí

Then you’ll find the Passion façade (in front of the Plaça de la Sagrada Familia). This façade was designed by Josep Maria Subirachs, and it has a much more modern air. Subirachs added a tribute to Gaudí in this façade. The last one, the Glory façade, is not built yet and it’ll be the last element to be built.

The admission ticket is around 30€, but if you’re lucky and go early enough on a Sunday morning you may enter for free for the 9-10h mass, but bear in mind that it’s a moment for prayer and not for visiting the basilica, so be respectful.

2. Admire the views and enjoy a stroll at Gaudí’s Park Güell

Park Güell

Eusebi Güell, a wealthy politician from the Catalan upper class, wanted to create a residential area for well-off families in an unbeatable area of Barcelona: a green area with views of the sea and the city of Barcelona. He wished to emulate the British residential parks and from that comes its name: “Park Güell”. And who else than Gaudí to fulfill his wishes? Gaudí accepted the project and created a place with twisted columns and colorful buildings that will transport you to a magical world. Today it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can’t miss the famous lizard presiding the stairs!

The admittance ticket goes from 10 to 22€, depending on if you want a guided tour or you prefer to visit it at your own pace.

3. Get enough of Gaudí at Casa Batlló & Casa Milà

Casa Batlló

If you’ve enjoyed the Sagrada Familia and the Park Güell, you’ll love Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, the other two Gaudí’s famous buildings you must see in Barcelona. These two famous buildings are really close to each other, located in Passeig de Gràcia, one of the best avenues of Barcelona.

Casa Batlló is Gaudí’s invocation of nature and fantasy. In this building, Gaudí set his imagination free creating a unique building that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent. Just by walking past it, you’ll see why, with its lively colors and its impossible roof crowned by what seems to resemble a dragon’s back.

Casa Milà – La Pedrera

Casa Milà, popularly known as “La Pedrera”, is a defiance to architecture. Gaudí’s last project, now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a culmination of his lifework, the fulfillment of his attempts to recreate natural forms with construction materials. You won’t find a straight line on its façade!

You have several options to visit these incredible buildings, depending on what you want the price will go from 25 to 50€ each.

4. Get to know another modernist building: the Hospital de Sant Pau

Hôpital de Sant Pau

The Sant Pau modernist precinct was built between 1905 and 1930 by Lluís Domènech i Montaner as a city-garden hospital. After years of serving as a hospital, part of it was rehabilitated as a museum. The visit to this magnificent building will immerse you in its history as it’ll amaze you with its beauty. This amazing work of art is the biggest modernist precinct in Europe and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The admittance ticket goes from 7 to 16€, but if you go on the month’s first Sunday you may enter for free. But make sure to go early or you may not be allowed to enter.

5. Feel and taste Barcelona at La Rambla & La Boqueria Market

La Rambla

La Rambla is probably the most famous (and crowded) street in Barcelona, full of flower stands, souvenir shops, bars, and… tourists. You can begin your walk at Plaça Catalunya (where you’ll find a plague of pigeons being fed by tourists) and enjoy a crowded walk down La Rambla, ending at Columbus’ statue. When you’re there, pay attention to the ground if you want to see the Joan Miró mosaic and the monument to the terrorist attack victims, both embedded in the ground.

La Boqueria

What we’re sure you won’t want to miss when wandering along La Rambla is the La Boqueria Market. There you’ll find exceptional products, colors, and flavors. It is a heavily touristic place, so go early in the morning to really enjoy it and find the best produce. Also, don’t buy the first thing you see, look around, compare prices, and then decide. The C/ Carme side of the market is where you’ll probably find the best prices.

6. Take a relaxing stroll at Parc de la Ciutadella & see the Arc de Triomf

Gaudi’s Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella

The Parc de la Ciutadella is a vast lime-trees park full of people promenading, yogis, practicing yoga on the grass while students sunbath, and street artists blowing giant bubbles while children run after them.

Arc de Triomf

The best option is to take the metro or bus to Arc de Triomf and walk from there to the Ciutadella’s entrance. There, on your right, you’ll see the Castell dels Tres Dracs, built by the same architect as the Hospital de Sant Pau. If you go along that path, you’ll also see two other beautiful old buildings: the Umbracle and the Hivernacle. If you follow that path till the end you’ll find the Barcelona Zoo, and if you wander a bit inside the park you’ll discover one of the first projects of a young Gaudí: the Cascada Monumental.

7. Pay a cultural visit at the MNAC

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Start from Plaça Espanya and you’ll be amazed by the picture of the MNAC (Catalonia’s National Art Museum) and the Venetian towers framing Montjuic’s mountain. Then you’ll enjoy a quiet walk up the museum, absorbing its beauty as you approach it. On your way to the top, you’ll see the famous magic fountain of Montjuic, where some days during the afternoon or evening you’ll be able to witness a light show. From the top you’ll have a great panoramic of the entire city, and if you want you can enter the museum and go up the rooftop.

In the MNAC you’ll find a complete overview of art’s history, from the Romanesque period (with one of the biggest collections of art on wood in Europe) to an amazing collection of Contemporary art, up to the 1950s, and some temporary expositions.

The admittance ticket goes from 2€ (access only to the different building areas and the rooftop) to 12€ (complete access to all the expositions and the rooftop). If you go on a Saturday from 15h or on the month’s first Sunday you’ll have free admittance, but you must book in advance.

8. Soak up real Catalan culture at the Barri Gòtic

Gothic Quarter

The Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) is probably the most authentic area of Barcelona, just by wandering through its narrow streets you’ll already feel the history behind its walls. Get lost in this neighborhood and you’ll surely find secret spots you’ll fall in love with.

Two spots you can’t miss when wandering through the Gòtic are, first, Barcelona’s Cathedral, a cathedral that started in 1298 but was not finished until 1913, so you’ll find bits of all the different periods it’s gone through. And then, “The Kiss of Freedom” mural, a mosaic made up of lots of tiny ceramic pictures of persons, places, moments, and sentences.

“The Kiss of Freedom” Mural

Last but not least, you can’t leave the Gòtic without eating some tapas (the typical Spanish appetizer and one of Spain’s main attractions) and drinking a refreshing Sangria (a delicious cocktail with fresh fruit). Two bars where you’ll find great tapas are La Plata and the Bodega Vidrios y Cristales.

9. Escape the city and have fun at Tibidabo


Tibidabo is the highest peak in Collserola’s sierra, and it’s just a short bus ride away! On your way by bus to the mountain, you’ll see one of the best areas of Barcelona, with ample avenues and nice modernist buildings. Once you’re there you’ll have one of the best views of the city and the possibility to have lots of fun in Tibidabo’s amusement park.

The ticket to enter the attractions goes between 19 and 35€ (less for children) depending on what you want, but if what you want is just to have a walk around the park you can enter for free!

10. Experience Barcelona’s vibrant beaches

Barceloneta Beach

Everyone knows that Barcelona is famous for its amazing art, partying, and, of course, its beaches! In the Catalan capital, you’ll be able to enjoy a fantastic beach day without leaving the city, and there are lots of activities to do there!

But if you want to avoid the most touristic beach of Barcelona, there are plenty of other options! You have a more local option in Bogatell beach, or even nudist options in Sant Sebastià beach or La Mar Bella, among others. You’ll like to know that on any of these beaches you have volleyball nets to warm up before your swim, you can hire paddle surfboards and lots of other amazing activities!

Bonus of unexplored attractions

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

Now, if you have some time left on your trip to Barcelona, you’ll definitely want to take note of these not so well-known things to do in Barcelona that will add the finishing touch to your trip.

As we said, the Barri Gòtic is one of the most special areas of Barcelona and, as such, it has some hidden spots that will win your heart. One of these special spots is the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, one of the most beautiful and quiet plazas in Barcelona. You’ll love its small size, its calm atmosphere, and its sense of history (you’ll be able to see the bombing marks of the Civil War).

Archive of Barcelona’s City

Another spot close to this one is the Historical Archive of Barcelona’s City, a piece of quietness and beauty just in the center of Barcelona. You’ll be able to enter for free and admire its beautiful interior patio and, if you go up the stairs, the views of the street from a beautiful and quiet terrace.

The Bunkers

Finally, if you want to enjoy one of the best Barcelona viewpoints, very well known among the locals as the “bunkers”, you’ll have to climb up the anti-aircraft battery at Turó de la Rovira. If you can, go there to enjoy the sunset and one of the best views of Barcelona.

As you can see, there are lots of things to see and do in Barcelona. This list is just a bucket list for you to not miss any of the best attractions of Barcelona, but there are millions more activities and spots here that you’ll have to discover and experience for yourself. We promise you’ll fall in love with this amazing city, and its amazing people and culture!

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