29 things to do in Barcelona + tips from a local

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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In a city where tourism is king, you will never get bored, but be careful with your money spent too fast!



From meager paella offers in the middle of the street, to state-sponsored museums that will bore you to the tourist office where you should choose your visits wisely.

Barcelona has a lot to offer tourists, you've probably wondered what to do, see or visit in Barcelona.



Here is our simplified list of 29 things to do in barcelona, perfect for beginners in this great city.

Be sure to click the additional information links to find out how to get discounts on your online tickets and enjoy the benefits of all kinds of attractions.

What to do in Barcelona?

There was a face to the Sagrada Familia

Just look at any postcard of the city. It is the architectural jewel of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi and one of the most spectacular basilicas in the world. La Sagrada Familia is, therefore, the first thing to do in Barcelona, ​​absolutely!



For those who are fed up with traditional churches, they will be delighted. The arches of the church are modeled from tree branches and the stained glass windows have a rainbow effect, you won't forget it soon.

To fully appreciate it, be sure to make a tour - details presented to you will be unlocked madness and brilliance of the place



Breathe fresh air in Parc Güell

How to visit Barcelona without going to another of its emblematic places? A dream city park floating above the city. Park Guell was a utopian vision from the wealthy industrialist Eusebi Guell of the early XNUMXth century.

Originally, these were 60 luxury homes located in the the most beautiful land in the city, away from the chimneys of the city center. Only three of them have been built. Today, the entrance, its concierge pavilion that resembles a gingerbread house and its mosaic lizard emblematic are in the spotlight.

Tourists sit on the mosaic benches and admire incredible views.

Go to a block party

Barcelona looks for all the excuses to cut the streets from traffic, set up a stage and make it flow wine and music.



Eccentric neighborhood parties that honor patron saints, long-dead political prisoners, and even green onions are the closest a tourist can get to the Barcelona real.

The two most important of the year are the Festa Major de Gracia (August) and La Mercè (September).

Fall in love with tapas

Yes, eating local specialties is one of the things to do in Barcelona, ​​so don't deprive yourself?



Have you ever been to a restaurant without being able to choose what to order? Then the tapas are made for you.

These savory snacks in small portions they are ordered in the incredible tapas bars of the city and shared with friends over a few beers (a small draft beer).

Patatas bravas (in the photo) and bread with tomato (crunchy bread spread with tomato and garlic) are automatic, but my dreams are made of Galician octopus (octopus with potatoes and paprika) and garlic prawns (Camarones al ajillo).

Flirt with flamenco

The most folkloric form of Spanish art he draws attention with his cante (song), his baile (dance), his toque (guitar), his clapping (applause), his jaleo (vocalizations) and his whistles (applause).


A typical mix of flamenco recital passion and tranquility with a festive and sturdy atmosphere that can make the audience cry. The dynamics of the performers simultaneously seduce and resist.


The best flamenco show in Barcelona can be found at Flamenco palace.

Drink a vermouth

It's not just a tradition ... it's a way of life! This tasty and cheap wine it is enriched with all kinds of spices and plants such as cinnamon and chamomile.


Tradition dictates that we consume one (at least) at vermouth time (vermouth time, noon) before lunch. It's as sacred as the Spanish siesta, so if you want to fit in, drink!


Feel free to order this drink (pronounced bair-MOUT) at any time of the day, just make sure it comes with a olive stuffed with anchovy and a slice of orange.

I'll take mine from Tasca El Corral.

Get lost in the Gothic Quarter

The oldest neighborhood in Barcelona dates from the founding of the city as a Roman military camp in 15 BC. You will still see some of the original walls that were part of the Barcelona Cathedral.

Most of the area is pedestrianized, which means that winding roads and narrow alleys South s'ouvrent from squares majestueuses yew that the Plaza Real, the Plaza del Pi, the Plaza George Orwell and the Plaza de la Sede.

Today it is a focal point for some of the best bars in the city.

Attend a concert on the roof of Casa Batlló

How many world-class attractions organize a series of carefully selected concerts for the general public in its spectacular rooftop? Well not much.

From June to October, shows of blues, rock, soul, jazz, swing, pop and flamenco under the night of Barcelona take place in what is possibly one of the most intimate and aesthetic to listen to music from all over the world.

Tickets include a tour of the house and a drink.

Visit Casa Milá

Another surreal mansion in the heart of some of the best shopping in Barcelona.

is Antoni Gaudi apartment building Unconventional, built for the wealthiest industrialists in town, it's plain and shaky than the building. Viewed from above, it is actually built in an asymmetrical figure 8.

It can also be the most spectacular roof that you have never seen with its 28 chimneys!

Maybe they have an apartment for rent on the 3rd floor, feel free to ask?

Eat a good paella

Ce classic spanish rice dish It was invented by servants from the remains of royal banquets. You'll feel like royalty with a full fork!

Although technically from Valence (where the rabbit and chicken version reigns), you will find that the seafood paella It is the unavoidable choice of paella restaurants in Barcelona.

Don't forget to scrape the soccarat (grilled rice) from the bottom of the pan - flavors guaranteed!

Think of yourself as Messi at the Camp Nou

It is arguably the most historic football stadium in Europe and home to FC Barcelona.

To visit the stadium is to experience glory through showcases overloaded with trophies and an interactive museum that offers football fans a Mecca-like experience.

If you pay a visit you can even go to the field through the tunnel of players, watching 4 Champions League trophies, sitting in the visiting dressing room and watching Messi's Ballon d'Or.

Walk along La Rambla

It is easily the most famous street in Barcelona and one of those places that you must visit at least once in your life. Here you will find an explosion of bars, street performers, and souvenir shops.

Although in fact it is a tourist trap, you can get straight to the point by finding Gaudí's lanterns in the picturesque square Royal Square.

In Pla de l'Os you will find a brilliant mosaic on the road by Joan Miro, the site of the old city gate.

Eat at the Boquería market

Easily the best market in Barcelona.

The quality of the fruits, meat and fish will surprise you and its contagious energy unmissable: do not leave without having tried one of their delicious shakes at € 1,00.

Looking for a meal with fresh ingredients from the market? Enjoy fried eggs with squid at El Quim de la Boqueria or go on an adventure with chickpeas and blood sausage at Bar Pinotxo.

Contemplate the Casa Vicens

Any self-respecting tourist who wants to check off many of the best things to do will see Gaudí's trio: Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milá.

But what if you're a big fan of the man and want to go back to his humble beginnings? The summer pavilion Casa Vicens recently opened to the public (since 2017) will take you there.

With a price of € 14,00, this is probably the cheapest way to experience the genius of Gaudí, as well as the lush garden, the terracotta tile roof and the noble floor ofTurkish and oriental influence you'll love.

Cultivate yourself in El Raval

For those who seek really discover the city, you need to see a little more than the main attractions and postcard streets, so why not do it in the most unique and diverse neighborhood from Barcelona?

El Raval welcomes skaters, bars cheap cocktails (Le long de la Calle de Joaquín Costa), from the ethnic food epic and modern museums like the CCCB.

Don't forget to walk along the famous Rambla del Raval to see the Botero's chat (above).

See a show from the Magic Fountain

Ce lovely fountain and light show uses 3620 jets of water and 4760 lights to create more than 7 billion combinations in one of the best free things to do in Barcelona.

The show offers music beautifully choreographed ranging from classic to modern swing. Make sure you measure the wind correctly before choosing your spot, you could get soaked!

The shows take place from Thursday to Saturday (Sunday in high season) at night near Plaça Espanya and you can get all the information in my article about the Magic Fountain show in Barcelona.

Admire the Casa Batlló

A mansion of colored mosaics, of which Antoni Gaudi designed down to the smallest detail down to the door handles. Visiting Barcelona without at least going through this modernist monument is criminal.

Here it is a hymn to nature with its jaw-shaped balconies, mushroom-shaped fireplaces and tropical fish radiators.

The ceramic tile fragments on the facade (a style known as trencadís) were made from broken glasses from local factories to create a unique color scheme.

Take a look at the Picasso Museum

Without a doubt the most important Picasso museum in the world.

If you are looking to fill an afternoon, you can start with more than 4000 permanent works of his art. Here the first years from the world famous artist while living in Barcelona.

Be sure to grab a coffee at Els Quatre Gats, the popular hangout for modernist artists of the time.

Discover Spain in Poble Espanyol

This is what you must do in Barcelona if you want to see all of Spain in one afternoon.

Built for the 1929 World's Fair, this fictional Spanish town has 117 life-size replicas representing the architecture of the 15 regions of Spain.

Here you can see the iconic white streets of Andalusia, the pre-Roman Austurians and all kinds of Castilian classics.

There are also more 20 craft shops for jewelry, purses and glassware.

Relax in the Parc de la Ciutadella

The largest park in Barcelona is a picnic spot ideal for those looking for a outdoor getaway but they don't want to go to the beach.

Here you will find a ton of open space, the zoo, and a large artificial lake for boat trips.

I also suggest taking the initiative to The waterfall (pictured) which is a fountain loosely inspired by the Trevi Fountain in Rome. From here you have a park overview - which also features a ton of musicians, street performers, and the weird marijuana brownie vendor.

Marvel at MACBA

Le Museum of Modern Art.

If you want beautiful things to see in Barcelona, ​​more than 5000 works renowned artists of the XNUMXth century. Discover hypnotization photographs, sculptures, paintings and more.

Discounts can be obtained by purchasing the Articket BCN Museum discount card.

Barcelona Cathedral View

Another great show that costs nothing: this fantastic neo-Gothic cathedral stands out for its gargoyles and the ceiling of mythical domestic animals.

This cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of Barcelona, Eulalia, martyred by the Romans in 303 AD

Make sure to see the cloister which houses a small garden with orange and almond trees, a pond and 13 geese - one for each year of Eulalia's life.

Do an attraction with a view in Tibidabo

Of all the fun things to visit in Barcelona, ​​this is the only one on top of a mountain.

Tibidabo offers an incredible view from theChurch of the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - without forgetting the retro amusement park with its 100-year-old Ferris wheel.

Start with the super Blue Tram, almost San Francisco, for added effect.

Attend a concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana

This palace of modernist music in theacoustic golden age it is the ideal place for music lovers to admire opera, flamenco or even a symphony.

The explosion of colors and spider central place (pictured) are world class.

If you want to see a show, check the event calendar.

Ascent to Turó de la Rovira ("Los Bunkers")

The highlight of Barcelona was once an anti-aircraft bunker that defended the city from the bombardments of the Spanish Civil War.

Today is a great museum and a picnic spot with a breathtaking panoramic view and a great option of something romantic to do in Barcelona during the sunset.

You will need 10 minutes to walk up the hill from the bus stop.

The bunkers were tested and loved by Claire's blog during her last visit to Barcelona, ​​they are even one of her 3 favorite spots! Is this your case too? ?

Visit the Dali museum

This fantastic museum dedicated to the surreal genius Salvador Dalí is one of the things to do in the surroundings of Barcelona, ​​located 140 km, in his hometown Figueres.

It is an encounter not to be missed for fans of man and madness in general.

Dos de los favoritos son Specter of Sex Appeal (1932) y Basket of Bread (1945).

Sit in a square in Gracia

One of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona is full of themed bars, quirky shops, and buskers. thebohemian atmosphere makes it the perfect place to have a coffee or a beer in places like Plaça del Sol, Plaça Vila de Gracia, Plaça de la Virreina and Plaça de la Revoluciò.

Sol Soler is a great outdoor spot with homemade tapas.

Going to Gracia is exactly what you can do in Barcelona if you want feel like a local. Because “what to do in Barcelona” is that too!

Ir a Montserrat

Nature offers an excellent escape from the urban bustle at 1236 meters above sea level: the culminating point December rafts Catalan lands. Here you have the most impressive jagged mountains around.

Le Benedictine monastery and its statue of the Black Virgin are some of its highlights, while those less inclined to religion tend to head to the Sant Jeroni viewpoint.

Rent a bike

It is not Amsterdam, but there is 100 km of bike lanes and the climate of Barcelona is ideal for cycling, why not take advantage of it?

With a bike rental in Barcelona you can go anywhere in the city. All the main attractions are accessible by bicycle.

You do not believe me? Check the Barcelona bike lane map.

Prepare your visit to Barcelona in the comments

Despite all this, you still wonder "what to do in Barcelona?" Tell me what exactly you are looking for. Be sure to also check out my complete guide to Barcelona.

In the meantime, tell me what you liked and what you didn't like, so I can narrow down this list as much as possible.

Also, don't be afraid to join the discussion about Barcelona tips on my new Facebook group called “For City Lovers”. Here you can ask questions, voice your complaints, chat with other travelers and more - anything goes!

Thank you ?






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