Eight Things You Must Do in Barcelona

Stunning architecture, delicious restaurants where you’re encouraged to sit awhile and order as much as possible, and a rich history make Barcelona a city that should be at the top of your lust list. A quick three-day trip to this bustling city will leave you craving more of the Catalan culture. Read on for a list of 8 things you absolutely must do when visiting Barcelona.

  1. Take in the beauty of La Sagrada Familia

    If, for some crazy reason, you’re only able to do one thing in Barcelona, it should absolutely be to visit La Sagrada Familia. Arguably the most famous spot in Barcelona, this enormous church really lives up to its reputation. While there is a running joke that the cathedral will never stop being under construction and the cranes take away a bit from the visual appeal, a visit will still take your breath away. Pro tip: book your tickets ahead of time because the line to get in starts EARLY and it is no joke. Even if you aren’t big on architecture, you’ll appreciate Gaudi’s eye for details. While you’re in the city you should also check out some of his other buildings such as Casa Milà or Casa Batlló.

  2. Stroll through Parc de la Ciutadella

    One of the best ways to take in a city without spending a lot of cash is to visit the local parks. Most major cities that attract tourists will have several famous parks throughout. A personal favorite of all time is Parc de la Ciutadella. There are several major attractions on the park grounds, but even viewing the fountains and strolling through the greenest part of the city will be worth your while.

  3. Spend your evenings enjoying the flavors of the region

    Have we mentioned that we love food? Because we do and some of the best food can be found right in Barcelona. The idea of tapas is truly magical. You get to take your time enjoying a meal and the company of your friends and family while sampling many different tasty dishes. A few things you must try while in Barcelona include the patatas bravas, jamon Iberica, pa amb tomàquet, and croquettes of any flavor.

  4. Get lost in the Gothic Quarter

    While Gaudi deserves plenty of respect for the beautiful architectural additions he’s brought to the city, another area that is worthwhile to view is the Gothic Quarter. You might find yourself turned around in the narrow streets of this neighborhood, but it’s interesting to view the modern buildings mixed in with the remnants of the past.

  5. Sample yourself silly at La Boqueria Market

    Along Las Ramblas (one of the busiest streets in the city and a major tourist attraction) you’ll find the bustling Boqueria market. Don’t miss this stop if you love food! It’s crowded and can be quite overwhelming, but the beautiful colors, smells, and tastes in this market are incredible. You can stop at several of the booths to purchase small samples and get another taste of the local cuisine.

  6. Pay a visit to Barcelona Beach

    Tapas aren’t the only things you should be eating in this bustling city.  Paella is a classic Spanish dish and shouldn’t be missed. For the best paella, head to one of the restaurants on the beach and be sure to imbibe in as much sangria as you can drink. While the beach is extremely crowded, you can also catch some rays and (if you’re feeling confident) you can even sunbathe topless.

  7. Turn back time at a flamenco show

    While some might consider this to be a bit cheesy and not a true representation of the Barcelona experience of today, spending a night at a flamenco show was a highlight of my Barcelona trip. The talent of the dancers and the musicians will really blow your mind and possibly leaving you feeling like you need to pick up a new hobby (speaking from experience here).

  8. Head to Castell de Montjuïc

    While the Montjuïc Castle is not exactly what you picture when you’re thinking of a stereotypical castle (where princesses live, right?) this is another great spot to get your history fix and catch the best views of the city.  The reason for these stunning 360-degree views? This “castle” was originally a military fortress and the building dates back to the 1600’s.

Have you been to Barcelona in the past? What were your favorite activities? Let us know in the comments below!


21 Replies to “Eight Things You Must Do in Barcelona”

  1. Wonderful representation of Barcelona; makes me miss it-especially the incredible paella and our lovely night time view of La Sagrada Familia!

  2. You’ve listed some amazing place on this list – Barcelona is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, I nearly moved out there earlier this year but it fell through. But I definitely need to get out there soon

  3. I loved Barcelona. I definitely need to go back again because we missed getting inside the Sagrada Familia which is definitely a spectacular creation of art.

  4. Haven’t been to Barcelona yet and I cannot imagine why! It is one of the most popular cities people visit, so much so that I recently heard they’re taking measures to discourage tourism! I think you have captured the top best places to visit and things to see, I’ve heard about these places from my friends who have been there, can’t wait to visit myself!

  5. Hello, just wanted to inform you that we had a great time at Marina de Bolnuevo in June of this year. We flew into Alicante and hired a car from the airport for the short drive to Bolnuevo. The beaches are sublime, most of them awarded the Blue Flag. The restaurents were great, with paella on the beach a highlight and managed a day on the nudist beach there. Very liberating. We also visited the Big Guns, The Roman Mines and the Sand sculptures. Will be returning there again next year. Thanks for reading Alicia.

  6. These days, you could add checking out demonstrations and protests to the list. 😉

    Be careful in La Rambla; Barcelona is notorious for pickpockets and that area is among the worst. I was nearly robbed there twice; I can’t imagine I’ll have that kind of luck a third time.

    All that said, It is a beautiful city that’s trying to cope with the immense number of people who visit. It’s a problem that many others will need to seriously address as global tourism numbers continue to skyrocket.

  7. I used to go to Barcelona on business quite often but never got to the market – and I’m a total foodie! I swear my next trip, if I do nothing else, it will be to eat my way through La Boqueria!

  8. You’ve definitely hit on most the normal must-dos for Barcelona! There’s a lot of information here that will be valuable to someone wanting to explore the city for the first time! I love Barcelona and try to go as often as possible hitting up as much off-the-beaten path stuff as I can! I sure hope it still remains a great tourist destination with all the recent troubles in the city.

  9. I want to do all of these! The Gothic Quarter and the markets are number one on my list. I’m going to try and make it out to Spain next summer.

  10. La Sagrada Familia Looks GRAND!! Being an architecture buff I’d spend hours at this sheerrrrr beauty <3 Heard a lot about Flamenco so watching it in a local ambience would be something!
    I was particularly intrigued about the Gothic quarter. Those buildings look so intricate. Love your pics! 🙂

  11. “One of the best ways to take in a city without spending a lot of cash is to visit the local parks.” – This is really one of the best life hacks when traveling! Barcelona seems to have a lot of places you can go to without spending so much!

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