Things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona Attractions

Immerse yourself in the stellar Mediterranean air and culture with these unforgettable attractions in Barcelona.

Barcelona overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a city with thousands of years of history. There are so many things to do in Barcelona, so it's no wonder it's a fan favorite among tourists in Europe. 

We're particularly drawn to the awe-inspiring architecture across the city. While it's breathtaking in pictures, it bears a certain magnificence in person you don't want to miss.

Depending on where you go in Barcelona, you can feel like you're in a major modern city or just took a trip to the past. No matter what you do, you're in for a cultural treat that weaves tales of the past, present, and future as you explore some of the best Barcelona attractions.

Architectural Marvels by Antoni Gaudí

World-renowned architect Antoni Gaudí built seven historic buildings in the Barcelona area. Many of his architectural wonders feature fantastical shapes and ornate details that create a larger-than-life atmosphere and emphasize Gaudí's unique style.

They're so widely recognized that several have been deemed UNESCO World Heritage Sites, immortalizing Gaudí's unique touch on the city. While we recommend visiting any of Gaudí's structures, these are our must-see picks. 

1. Sagrada Família

The massive Sagrada Família church was left unfinished at the time of Gaudí's death. Construction isn't expected to be completed until 2026, more than 100 years after it started. Even with technological advancements, trained architects struggle to bring Gaudí's true vision to life. 

He sought to weave biblical stories into the church's very structure, prominently featuring motifs and representations of nature. Feast your eyes on the stunning testament to Gaudí's skill, from intricate stained-glass windows that cast rainbows dancing on the stone to the highly stylized sculptures throughout the church.

Photographer: Mohammad Edris Afzali

2. Park Güell

Stepping into Park Güell feels like walking into a real-life dream world. From gently undulating lines to distinctive buildings with Gaudí's unique flair. The park was initially intended to be a residential area for wealthy families based on British condominiums. 

However, only two out of 60 planned houses were ever completed, and the entire residential plan was scrapped in favor of a private garden. Since 1926, it has been a public park, even earning the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The park features two distinct areas. One is a more traditional forest park, with hiking trails and shaded paths meandering through the trees. The monument area features Gaudí's architectural work, and if you want to go in and admire it, you have to pay an entrance fee.

While it's often easier to explore first thing in the morning, there's something ethereal about seeing the park in all its glory at sunset.

3. Casa Batlló

Designed as a single-family home, everything about Casa Batlló defies conformity to what most people consider a house. Featuring Gaudí's signature curving lines and penchant for color, Casa Batlló has bright tile work across the exterior. Beyond that, the roof's shape draws inspiration from a dragon, with scaled roof tiles and curving spines. 

During warmer months, you'll find live performers on the terrace, featuring a range of music, an after-hours tour, and a drink atop the roof. A visit to Gaudí's Casa Batlló is a memorable experience in an architectural marvel you won't want to miss during your time in Barcelona.

4. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Milà is affectionately known as La Pedrera, thanks to its rough, rocky appearance. It offers some of the best views of Barcelona on its rooftop. Built between 1906 and 1912, it boasts wavy, organic lines that appear more like a seashell carved from stone than a building. 

On the rooftop terrace, sculpted chimneys tower above you. Explore further and discover a viewing area with the perfect glimpse of the Sagrada Família on the horizon, framed by a curved stone arch.

Part of the Casa Milà still serves as a residential building, with the rest serving as a cultural center and a loft exhibit featuring some of Gaudí's most impressive works.

Photographer: Ana Borquez

5. Palau Güell

Your Gaudí architecture tour isn't complete without a trip to Palau Güell, Gaudí's first major work within the city. Designed for Eusebi Güell, its facade evokes the air of a Venetian palace.

It looks almost simple at first glance, but you'll notice the intricate design when you get closer. The entire house served as a social gathering place and a family home. Private rooms were on the second floor, and the first floor was used for hosting and working. 

The piano nobile is a breathtaking sight within the building, with 17-meter-high murals and a parabolic dome high overhead. However, the building is particularly memorable because of its cone-shaped chimneys in ceramic tiling.

Historic and Cultural Sites

With over 2,000 years of history, Barcelona has no shortage of historical and cultural sites to explore. What once began as a small Iberian village is now one of the largest cities in Spain. 

As you traverse these sites, you'll catch a glimpse of culture over the years, including centuries-old churches, theaters, and monasteries that tell the tale of the region.

6. Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico)

The Gothic Quarter was once a Roman village. Today, remnants of its rich past shine through with Gothic architecture. 

Narrow, cobbled streets wind around the buildings. It can be tricky to navigate—be sure to look up from your cap to take in all the sights. Day or night, you'll be treated to all sorts of alfresco cafés, boutiques, restaurants, and bars.

Swing into a Barcelona flamenco show before calling it a night. Los Tarantos lingers around the corner, and performers at the flamenco tablao entertain most nights. 

7. Palau de la Música Catalana

If you love music, you can't miss one of Barcelona's most dazzling concert halls. Built in the Catalan modernisme style, the Palau de la Música Catalana comes to life before the shows even begin on its stage. Ornate stained-glass windows line the walls with colorful imagery, while the ceiling, support columns, and lighting all boast their distinct beauty. 

Outdoors, the building is just as stunning. Among the bright pillars and floral mosaics are busts of some of the most famous musicians, including Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner. While you can tour the Palau de la Música Catalana to marvel at its beauty, you can buy concert tickets to experience it as intended.

8. Catedral de Barcelona (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia) 

You'll find the 13th-century Catedral de Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter. It stands atop the ruins of a Romanesque church, built using Gothic motifs, such as tall towers, massive windows, and ornate stone carving. The cathedral remains dedicated to Saint Eulalia, a Christian martyr who serves as the city's patron saint.

Visit the cloister, where you'll find a serene garden. Just be aware you'll also be greeted with the sound of 13 geese honking. It's intentional and symbolic, representing Eulalia's age when she died.

Inside, visit the numerous decorated chapels, stained-glass windows, and treasuries perfect for any history lover.

Photographer: Corey Buckley

9. Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar sits near the Barcelona Cathedral in the El Born district. It exudes a pure Gothic aura with its elaborate, dramatic construction. It has stood in Barcelona since 1384 and remains a spectacular historical site for two reasons.

First, it's the only surviving church from its era in the Catalan Gothic style without any influence from other eras. Second, it was also built in record-breaking time. While most churches would take a century or longer to construct at the time, the Santa Maria del Mar came together in just 55 years. 

You don't want to miss its silhouette on the city's skyline! Venture through its massive arch-framed doors to feel like you've jumped through time. Stepping inside, massive vaulted ceilings and walls dotted with stained-glass windows surround you, casting a subdued glow across the interior.

10. Monestir de Pedralbes

Located in the Sarrià neighborhood of Barcelona, the Monestir de Pedralbes also pays tribute to the Catalan Gothic architecture style. It was built in the early 14th century. Today, part of it serves as a museum where you can explore the history of the building.

The on-site church sits within a single nave, built simply yet efficiently in a beautiful Gothic style. While it doesn't have the same flair as many other Gothic churches, its modesty is part of its charm. Check out the stained-glass windows and choirs, along with the tomb of Queen Elisenda de Montcada.

Parks and Natural Attractions

As stunning as the historical architecture can be, sometimes it's nice to get a breath of fresh air without the constant bustle of tourists. We love these parks and natural attractions in Barcelona for a change of pace and scenery. Soak in the Mediterranean sunshine and try some of these outdoor activities.

11. Montjuïc and Tibidabo

Montjuïc and Tibidabo reward you with some of this sprawling city's best natural panoramic views. On top of Mount Tibidabo, you'll find Parque de Atracciones del Tibidabo,one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe. 

Mount Tibidabo has the city's highest point, which is accessible by a funicular if you aren't feeling up to the hike, or you're bringing little ones with you. Montjuïc isn't quite as tall but still shows off stunning views of the city, and it's accessible by cable car.

Photographer: Valdemaras D.

12. Ciutadella Park (Parc de la Ciutadella)

At Parc de la Ciutadella, you'll discover natural beauty mixed with grace and elegance. It's located near numerous other Barcelona museums, including the Museu Picasso de Barcelona.

Wander winding trails, or if you're feeling a little daring, row out onto the lake for a new perspective. Catch a glimpse of Gaudí's earlier artwork here, where the fountain stands under the guard of winged dragons, one of his favorite motifs.

The remains of the original citadel that once stood on the park grounds are still there, including the military chapel and the Governor's Palace. Beyond that, you'll find the city's first public museum, sculptures along the trails, and a massive greenhouse.

13. Enchanted Forest of Òrrius

If you venture about an hour north of Barcelona, you'll find the Enchanted Forest of Òrrius. Local legend says that the forest is haunted. Adding to the air of mystery, figures carved from rock line the forest trail.

Some resemble the massive stone heads of Easter Island, while others bring animals to life. You'll feel like they're watching as you venture deeper into the woods. 

14. Parc de Collserola

Parc de Collserola, one of the largest in the region, serves as a natural paradise amid the bustle of urban life in Spain. Sprawling fields are dotted with brightly colored flowers in the spring and numerous trails for those on foot, wheel, or horseback.

What makes it even more unique is the combination of ecological habitats. Both Mediterranean and Euro-Siberian environments blend, bringing a myriad of native wildlife. Over 300 species of animals and 1,000 species of plant life have been cataloged. If you get lucky, you might catch a glimpse of some of them.

15. Mount Montserrat

If you think of unique architecture along cliffs, you're probably thinking of Mount Montserrat. Here, you'll immerse yourself in the region's religion, culture, and history while catching prime city views of Catalonia.

The mountain has an unusual rock formation with numerous peaks reaching the sky atop vast cliffsides. Visit the museum or monastery if you wish to explore the culture of this gorgeous area. 

If you'd rather spend more time outdoors, follow the winding hiking trails to reach the peak of Sant Jeroni. Here, you'll be treated to panoramic views of Barcelona, the Pyrenees Mountains, and the Mediterranean Sea. 

Photographer: Corentin Largeron

Sports and Recreation

Barcelona loves its sports. If you're a soccer fan, you'll probably want to visit the home of Barcelona FC, one of the most notable soccer teams in the world. 

Explore two of the most historic stadiums in the country — Spotify Camp Nou and Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. You'll practically feel the sheer spirit and liveliness they bring to the city. 

16. Spotify Camp Nou

Soccer fans rejoice! Spotify Camp Nou is the country's largest stadium and the second-largest in the world. Part of the stadium is dedicated to Leo Messi, and you can explore this exclusive area on a tour, along with the FC Barcelona Museum. 

Here, you'll find hundreds of photos, years of trophies, and an interactive audiovisual area. You can even get the players' experience during a tour, gaining access to the field, dugout, changing rooms, and players' tunnels.

17. Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys

Situated in Montjuïc Park, amid numerous other tourist attractions, you'll find Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. This massive stadium can hold nearly 56,000 spectators. Initially built for the 1929 World Exhibition, Estadi Olímpic has hosted numerous major sporting events, including the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Embracing the Splendor of Barcelona

The whole experience of exploring Barcelona is one we try to live up to when you watch one of our shows. The city is a testament to the sheer artistry that results from pushing boundaries and doing the unexpected, just like we do every time our talented performers get on stage. 

Our shows dare to push the limits, higher than our performers soar through the air. We weave evocative tales that leave you pondering them for hours after the curtain closes. All this is made possible by our talented performers, who aren't afraid to take on acrobatics and otherworldly feats that seem to defy human limitations. 

Just as Gaudí challenged the norm and created unforgettable pieces of art that even UNESCO deemed worthy of preserving, we push past what's expected to create more than just another show.

We're creating living, breathing art as we dream the unimaginable, and we can't wait to see you at one of our shows in Barcelona.

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