Barcelona

Barcelona is an enchanting seaside city with boundless culture, fabled architecture and a world-class drinking and dining scene.

Barcelona's architectural treasures span 2000-plus years. Towering temple columns, ancient city walls and subterranean stone corridors provide a window into Roman-era Barcino. Fast forward a thousand years or so to the Middle Ages by taking a stroll through the shadowy lanes of the Gothic quarter, past tranquil plazas and soaring 14th-century cathedrals. In other parts of town bloom the sculptural masterpieces of Modernisme, a mix of ingenious and whimsical creations by Gaudí and his Catalan architectural contemporaries. Barcelona has also long inspired artists, including Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, both of whom have major Barcelona museums devoted to their works.

Top attractions in Barcelona

10 things you need to see in Barcelona

Good football team, great beaches, delightful tapas, and dreamy architecture. There's just nothing bad about Barcelona, the Mediterranean seaside captial of Spain's Cataluyna region. Here are a few can't-miss attractions to put on your itinerary.

1. Sagrada Familia

Your Barcelona trip isn't complete without a visit to the Sagrada Familia (named a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010), dreamt up by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.

3. Camp Nou

If you're a fútbol lover, you'll be heading to Camp Nou. Spain's biggest stadium, seating over 99,000 fans, has been home to the Fútbol Club Barcelona since 1957.

2. Passeig de Gràcia

Heading north from Plaça Cataluyna, Passeig de Gracia is the richest street in the city. Look up as you walk -- you won't want to miss the architecture along this road.

4. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Known as "the stone quarry," Gaudí's ambitious Casa Milà is one of the most famous buildings from the early 20th century Catalan Modernisme (Art Nouveau) period.

5. Casa Batlló

From 1902 to 1906, Gaudí remodelled a perfectly ordinary apartment building for Josep Batlló, a textile tycoon. Tour the inside of the Casa Batlló to get a glimpse of Gaudí's incredible detail work.

6. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

The national Catalan museum of visual art is housed inside the very regal-looking Palau Nacional, which sits high atop Montjuïc. Go for the art. Stay for the park and the views.

7. Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

Barri Gòtic, located in the Ciutat Vella district, is the heart of Barcelona's old city. Explore its romantic, tiny alleys -- the perfect setting for lazy tapas and great photos.

8. Montserrat Mountain

Consider a daytrip to see the Catalan landscape. An hour's train journey from Barcelona, Montserrat is most well-known as the site of Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat.

9. Plaça del Rei

The "King's Square" is a 14th century square inside Barri Gòtic. The square and its Palau Reial Major, Cataluyna's royal palace, paint a picture of Barcelona's medieval history.

10. Museu d'Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

The City History Museum conserves Barcelona's historical heritage, dating all the way back to Roman ruins. The museum is located in Plaça del Rei.

Planning Your Barcelona Visit

How many days should you spend in Barcelona?

There are plenty of fun things to do in Barcelona — especially if you’re also planning on partaking in the infamous nightlife scene. In three full days, you could visit all the major Gaudí sights, as well as the Picasso and Miró museums. You could also stay for a week or more. As for what to do with your extra days? Well, you’ll have plenty of time to spend at the beach, visit the nearby village of Sitges, or go shopping in the Gothic Quarter.

What's the best way to get around town?

Barcelona is a wonderful city to explore by foot. You can easily stroll from La Rambla to the beach and then back to the Gothic Quarter in one afternoon. The city is pretty flat, so biking is an excellent option. If you love transportation, we suggest taking a trip to Tibidabo, the 1890s amusement park that overlooks the whole city. You’ll take the metro, a tram, and a funicular — and a ferris wheel ride, if that counts!

Which tours are the most fun?

We’re glad you asked! From hot air balloon rides to bike tours to all-access guided walks of Gaudí masterpieces, there are a dozen options to spice up your Barcelona tourism. A lot of the architecture-based sightseeing is enhanced by the history and descriptions that a guide can offer you.

What people are saying about Barcelona

★★★★★ Jorge was an excellent and informative guide!!

Jorge's presentation in Spanish and English was so well done. I can not imagine touring either the Parq Guell or the Sagrada Familia without his detailed description of Gauli's conception for either place. Thank you, Jorge...it was an excellent way to spend an afternoon in the beautiful city of Barcelona.

★★★★★ Stunning topograpy, guide provide very good overview.

Would probably skip museum, a lot of exhibits and limited time. There wasn't as much information regarding the restoration of the monastery as I expected,

★★★★★ The routes went everywhere we wanted to go

2 routes. Every attraction was available on this service, plus Camp Nou - a real bonus. Much cheaper than a cab and to far to walk. Perfect.

★★★★★ A great way to see the city sights when time is limited

Easy book online service, two good routes to choose from. Devices on board were great..rain cover upstairs, good audio and helpful staff.

Other Sightseeing Options in Barcelona

Want to discover all there is to do in Barcelona? Click here for a full list.

Top Hotels in Barcelona

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