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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!