Barcelona is beautiful and rich in cultural history. Here are 15 of the best things to do in Barcelona, Spain so that you can make the most of your experience.
An eccentric mix of modernity and antiquity, Barcelona offers travelers an unbeatable combination of cultural, culinary and historical delights that is difficult to match. Situated at the heart of the fiercely independent Catalonia region, Barcelona’s population of 1.5 million Catalonians have always taken pride in the separate culture to the rest of Spain. Founded in Roman times, Barcelona existed for a long time independently of the rest of Spain. Today, the city and region is known throughout the world for its iconic soccer team, considered the best in the world, as well as it’s foodie culture. Whether you are planning to stay for just a few days of a month, you can rest assured that there are plenty of things to do to keep you entertained during your visit to Barcelona. From the moment you arrive in the city and ride to your hotel from the airport, you’ll see dozens of activities you can get involved with. If you would like to discover more about the things to do in Barcelona for an upcoming trip, please continue reading to learn 15 of the must-do activities in this exciting region.
1. Go to the Beach
Barcelona really is a city that has it all. Local rivals like Madrid, London, and Paris can’t match Barcelona when it comes to the proximity of its beautiful beaches. You could bookend a visit to Barcelona with two trips to the beach, to get some rest after all the shopping, dancing, eating and exploring. We suggest sunning yourself near to the Olympic Port, which is a bit more local than Sant Sebastia and other beaches on the western side of the city.
2. Roam Down Las Ramblas
No doubt many of you will have already heard of this famous road. Las Ramblas is truly worth the hype. Las Ramblas is a series of pedestrianized promenades leading down to the riverfront. You’ll find buskers, restaurants, and everything in between on this character-filled street. Las Ramblas is unrepentantly touristy—you have been warned. This should not put you off, however. Try and avoid going in the middle of the day. This is when Las Ramblas is at it’s busiest. Take a siesta and return in the evening for the best experience. When you finish walking to the bottom of Las Ramblas, the adventure continues. As you reach the waterfront, you will be close to Barcelona’s wonderful Aquarium. You can also stop by Maremagnum Mall for some shopping or food.
3. World Class Eating Experiences
There are almost endless eating options in Barcelona, which may explain why the city is seen as a foodie’s paradise. Get ready for some good eating. To sample some Catalonian delights, first, you should visit La Boqueria. One of the oldest markets in Europe, La Boqueria was founded in 1217. Inside you’ll discover over 200 stands selling regional cuisines such as Pa Amb Tomaquet and mouthwatering Butifarra. This only scratches the surface. The city has many restaurants as well, where chefs create modern takes of traditional dishes. If your inner foodie is yearning for more information about Barcelona’s culinary scene, have a look at our article here to hear more.
4. Enjoy a Free Walking Tour
Sometimes, the best things in life are free. This is the case with the next item on our list. There are a number of walking tour operators who offer (almost) free of charge trips around the city. You can discover more about the city and region. This is a great way of getting tips and recommendations for local restaurants and attractions as well. Just be aware that you will be encouraged to tip your guide for their efforts. You can see one of the tour guide operators here.
5. Explore the Sagrada Familia
This eye-catching cathedral is arguably the most recognizable symbol of Barcelona. It also happens to be the most visited attraction in the entire city. Don’t let this put you off. This architectural masterpiece has a stunning interior to match its iconic exterior appearance. Designed by famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, the cathedral is famously incomplete. Gaudi devoted his later years to the cathedral, before being buried in its crypt with less than a quarter of the project completed. Visit and join a tour where you can hear all about the fascinating history of this building.
6. Visit the Home of the World Best Soccer Team
Barcelona FC is one of the world’s most famous sporting teams. Their trophy-filled history is a decade-long story of glory, and some of the sports very best have graced their famous maroon and blue jerseys. Try and plan ahead so that you can watch a game during your time in Barcelona. Their cavernous stadium, the Camp Nou, is one of the largest in the world, with almost 100,000 seats. This means that you should be able to get tickets fairly easily. If you are unlucky and cannot catch a game during your time in Barcelona, they do also offer stadium tours.
7. Go Dancing!
A natural rhythm seems to live in the bones of every Catalan. So if you enjoy having a dance, you’re in for a treat in Barcelona. You can find dance classes all over the city that you can take part in for a reasonable price. Whether you prefer salsa, cha-cha, flamenco or some other style of dancing, you’ll find it in Barcelona. The city is also filled with clubs where you can let your hair down and meet locals elegantly dancing the night away.
8. Grab Your Boots and Climb Montjuic
Fitness enthusiasts needn’t worry that Barcelona is not a city for them. If you are up for a challenge and want to experience one of the best views of the city, pull on your walking boots and climb Montjuic. Named after the small Jewish community that once called the foot of the mountain their home, Montjuic features a signposted walk that meanders down to the Olympic Stadium. This means that you can make a wonderful day of a trip to the mountain.
9. Enjoy World-Class Art
Barcelona is filled to the brim with beautiful artworks and galleries, spanning all sorts of eras and styles. Often you’ll wander past artwork in the street. But if your soul craves more art, you should be sure to visit the Museu Nacional, as well as the Castel de Montjuic. You’ll find a stunning collection of modernist and post-modern art inside these institutions.
10. Ride Around and People Gaze
There are many beautiful things to see and do in Barcelona. However, you shouldn’t forget that one of the star attractions of the city is the people themselves. Friendly and energetic, the people of Barcelona are fascinating to observe as they go about their business in the city. So why not take a day out, hire a driver and just see where the people are going. Perhaps they’ll help you discover a hidden gem or two.
11. Enjoy a Trip to a Museum
If art isn’t your thing there are also a number of great quality museums in Barcelona which focus on other aspects of the city, such as its history. You wouldn’t think that Barcelona had much to do with ancient Egypt, for example, but you would, in fact, be wrong. The Museum Egipci de Barcelona is a world-leading institution that covers all aspects of this ancient civilization.
12. Shop to Your Heart’s Content
If you want it, Barcelona has it. This is what you should remember if you desire some retail therapy during your visit. If you are looking for interesting souvenirs for friends and loved ones, make sure that you visit the gift shops of the galleries and museums in the city. They are filled with interesting and artsy little trinkets.
13. Montserrat Monastery
If you have a bit of extra time, then you should take an afternoon and head to the impressive mountaintop Montserrat Monastery. The monastery holds La Moreneta, a famed artwork thought to be at least 800 years old. Every year pilgrims flock to see this sacred work. It will take about 90 minutes in a car to get to the Monastery, so be sure to leave plenty of time to get there. You can hire one of our cars for both pickups and return, for a quick and convenient experience.
14. Heal at the Hospital de Sant Pau
Normally, you wouldn’t want to visit the hospital during your holidays (on when you’re home for that matter). This logic does not apply to the stunning Hospital de Sant Pau. Built in the early 20th century, the Hospital de Sant Pau features an awe-inspiring art nouveau design. It is one of the few buildings in Barcelona that can rival the sheer majesty of the Sagrada Familia.
15. Enjoy One Final Sky View With the Aeri del Port Cable Car
As your time in Barcelona draws to a close, you may be feeling a bit down. That’s why you should save time to take one final look at the city from above. For a small fee, you can ride up and gain a beautiful view of the harbor area, as well as seeing some of the other sights in the distance. It’s the perfect way to cap off a wonderful trip to a special city.
Amazing Things to Do in Barcelona
As the above list shows, there is an endless number of fun activities you can do in Barcelona. Whether you decide to complete the entire list or are only interested in one or two, you are going to have a great time in the city. Be sure to check out our services, as we can deliver you to your preferred events and activities in Barcelona in style and comfort.