Barcelona is the city where I was born and raised, and Barcelona is home. Loving the city is so easy millions of people come every year to discover what my home city has to offer. And being one of the most visited capitals in Europe, Barcelona shows off to every traveller that wants to discover it. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona has monuments, gardens, views and restaurants for every type of traveller. Narrowing the list to the most important things to do and see has been hard but if you have limited time in the city these attractions and sights are the ones you can’t miss.
10 Must do things in Barcelona
1. Parc güell
One of famous architect Antoni Gaudí’s most emblematic work, the park is on the hills of the Carmel neighbourhood, boasts incredible city views and offers its visitors the option to pose with the world-known “salamandra”. Other attractions inside the park include the hypostile room and the 100 columns.
Local tip: walk away from the crowds after visiting the attractions listed above and follow paths up the mountain to fins better viewpoints of the city
2. Sagrada Familia
Another one of architect Antoni Gaudí’s works and one of Barcelona’s symbols, this work of art shows on the skyline with its towers. Designed by him, the plans weren’t finish when he died and it has only been built thanks to donations and trying to follow his same style (although, if you ask my humble opinion, the old part of the Sagrada Familia has way more charm). This is the reason the construction of the Sagrada Familia is still on-going. The inside is spectacular and domes and stained glass windows are the main sights.
3. Les rambles
The street located between Barcelona’s city centre and the beach is wide and full of restaurants and shops on each millimetre. On your walk along the pedestrian middle of the street you will see live statues and flowers, newspapers and bird little stalls. If you are walking towards the beach on your right you will find La Boqueria market, possibly Barcelona’s most tourist market and a colourful and loud market to try some of the Catalan cuisine in a very informal ambience. Also on your right hand sand the Liceu, Barcelona’s theatre, hosts almost nightly functions for those wanting to see a ballet or an orchestra.
4. Gothic quarter
The gothic quarter is the oldest of the old town of Barcelona’s quarters, and it has the government headquarters together with the city hall. The gothic quarter has a charm like no other and we can find the cathedral of Barcelona, the plaça Sant Jaume and a little bit off the beaten path the little square of Plaça de Felip Neri. The neighbourhoods boasts a wide range of alleys and cobbled streets that can be discovered every day by tourists and locals alike. Walking around the gothic quarter means travelling back to the roman ages and discovering the roman Barcino with the palaces and the gothic churches.
5. Montjuïc mountain
This mountain has five attractions you can’t miss all in the same place. Montjuïc has a long avenue leading to the MNAC, the Nacional museum of art of Catalonia. Right before the impressive museum, where romanesque parts of catalan churches are exhibited, the magic fountain has lights and water shows at night giving all visitors an unbeatable sunset view. Continuing walking up the mountain we will find different gardens – all of them with incredible views of the city. The Castle of Montjuïc can also be located at the summit of the mountain. It can be accessed by car or by foot and there’s also a cable car. Around the MNAC we can find the olimpic game stadium, built for the 1992 games.
6. Casa Milà o la Pedrera
Located in the “5th Avenue” of Barcelona, another of Gaudi’s architectural stars shows its winding shapes and towers to every tourist that walks or drives past the Passeig de Gràcia, the avenue with the luxury shops.
7. Barceloneta neighbourhood and promenade
It can’t be a great city if, located next to the sea, one of the most interesting quarters isn’t the one right by the beach and the promenade. With more than 3 km on the main area of beach, the promenade hosts bikers, walkers, runners and more every day. The views are unbeatable and the ones that want a more village-like experience just need to get into the streets of La Barceloneta. Clothes hanging from the windows, old people sitting on the balconies and restaurants that can’t be traced back because they’ve always been there are it’s main stars.
8. El born
El born is another of Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhoods. We can find the basilica Santa Maria del mar. It rivals the gothic quarter as one of the favourites of the general public. It combines the old Barcelona with some new and innovative buildings. Easy to stroll without a direction around the maze-looking cobbled streets and discover the charm of the city by foot. It is one of the best neighbourhoods to sit down for a beer and a tapa or two, and embrace the Catalan gastronomy.
9. Bunkers del Carmel – Turó de la Rovira
Arguably the best views of the city, the Bunkers del Carmel receive groups of friends every day that just want to spend time sitting on the edge of the platforms. Located on top of one of Barcelona’s hills, arriving is easy by car or bus and after a little walk you are rewarded with incredible city views.
10. Barcelona city centre
The central skeleton of the city is without a doubt Plaça Catalunya. It is not the prettiest square but it’s where all buses, metro and train stations converge. Where people set meeting points and connects with the Passeig de Gràcia, the commercial avenue with all the luxury brand shops. On the other end it connects with Les Rambles, another important street.
Need more recommendations for your time in Barcelona? Don’t hesitate to message me for more tips!
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