Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe and one of the most beautiful city in Spain for tourism. The Catalan capital is considered one of the most cosmopolitan and charming cities in the world. It is also one of the most important cradles of Modernism. Architecture, culture, sun, beach, cuisine or shopping; Barcelona has much to offer the visitor.
We present you with a ranking with the 10 essential places that anyone travelling to Barcelona must discover. The city’s most popular monuments, emblematic neighbourhoods, markets, etc. Your excursions around Barcelona are starting now!
1· Sagrada Familia
The Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia is the best-recognised symbol of the city and one of the most popular buildings in the world. The facade, the crypt and the apse are a World Heritage site. Designed by the Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, work was begun in 1883 and it is still under construction It is one of the main points of interest in Barcelona, so we recommend you organise your visit well in advance.
2· Parc Güell
This is one of the most emblematic green spaces in the city and one of Gaudí’s most important creations. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984. The architect’s obsession was to blend his work into the natural surroundings.
The Parc Güell is one of the main tourist attractions of Barcelona so we recommend you avoid the queues with the Gaudí Emotions Private tour. Anyone visiting the Parc Güell mustn’t miss the Hall of the Hundred Columns (although it has 86). the square with the serpentine bench and the dragon on the main stairway.
3· The Ramblas
One of the city’s most famous thoroughfares and a must have for anyone visiting Barcelona. We recommend you walk it from end to end, from Plaza Catalunya, a meeting point in the city, to the Port Vell.
On the Ramblas you’ll find many people strolling along it, but also classic newspaper stands, age-old businesses, artists and the Canaletes fountain, the monument where Barcelona Football Club’s triumphs are celebrated.
You can also stop off at the Boquería market, the Liceu opera house, the Teatre Principal theatre or the Columbus monument.
In the centre of the Ramblas you’ll find the city’s most emblematic market. Its sellers have had to learn languages because as well as being the market with most food on offer, the Boqueria is now one of the places that all tourists visit when they decide to discover Barcelona.
It’s the biggest market in Catalonia, with over 300 stalls and a surface area of 2,583 square metres.
5· Gothic Quarter + Cathedral
The Gothic Quarter is a good starting point for discovering Barcelona. The mediaeval back streets and the squares in the old quarter will fascinate you.
To admire the city’s architecture, stroll around Plaza Sant Jaume and lose yourself in Plaza del Rei, Plaza del Pi, the Church of Sant Felip Neri and the Church of Los Santos Justo y Pastor, the oldest in the city.
Barcelona is an example of Gothic architecture that will impress you. Its Cathedral has been an Asset of Cultural Interest since 1929 and is also a National Historic Monument. It is dedicated to the Holy Cross and Saint Eulàlia. The Gothic Quarter is a perfect neighbourhood to discover by bicycle. A good option for making the most of your time in the Catalan capital is by taking a Barcelona eBike City Tour.
6· Port Vell
Port Vell begins where the Ramblas end, at the Columbus monument. On one side, the 14th-century Drassanes Reials give you the option of visiting the Barcelona Maritime Museum, while if you head towards the sea, you can look at the Pailebot Santa Eulàlia, an original historic sailing ship from 1918.
The traditional “Golondrinas”, the boats which offer a tour around the bay of Barcelona, leave from here. The Rambla del Mar leads to the Maremagnum, the great commercial hub next to the sea, and Barcelona Aquarium.
One of Barcelona’s features is the sea. Many of the city’s beaches are at Barceloneta, a former fishing and working neighbourhood. It’s worthwhile strolling through its streets to discover some of the district’s original houses – simple two-storey constructions, but full of charm.
Although it isn’t one of Barcelona’s main tourist attractions, strolling around Barceloneta at sunset is one of the most romantic plans the city offers. Another of the neighbourhood’s attractions is its wide culinary range: from tapas to paellas, next to the sea.
8· Passeig de Gràcia
One of Barcelona’s most important avenues, where you can shop for the great luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Gucci, Cartier or Armani. Walking along Passeig de Gracia you’ll discover some of the city’s best-known Modernist buildings, such as Gaudí’s La Pedrera or La Casa Batlló or the Lleó Morera house by Domenech i Montaner and the Amatller house by Puig i Cadafalch.
If you’re looking for a more exclusive experience, we recommend the Barcelona Art and Culture experiences where you’ll tracing the city’s history from Roman times right through to the modern day.
One of Barcelona’s most central and characteristic neighbourhoods. The winding cobbled streets glide smoothly towards the old stone of the mediaeval structures that envelop them. Small, picturesque squares and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar are must visits of this neighbourhood.
You can enjoy a perfect day losing yourself in its narrow streets and visiting the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall, the Church of Sant Pere, Plaza Sant Pere square or the Santa Caterina Market.
The Magic Fountain by Carles Buïgas is one of the most visited monuments in Barcelona. Its combinations of lights, music and water are the hub of a series of elements that go from the National Palace to Plaza de España.
The choreographies of light, water, colour and music will give you one of the best experiences in Barcelona. Also, if you fancy a day of strolling among parks and natural surroundings, visiting Montjuïc Castle is the ideal option.