Barcelona is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities of Europe. Many attractions of Barcelona are known throughout the world. The city is famous for its industry, its large port, as well as for its magnificent sights, for which thousands of curious tourists come here every year. What to see in Barcelona for the first time? We have compiled a list of the most interesting places in this fascinating city.
Knowing the most interesting places, you will not need guides in Barcelona, although when visiting the city for the first time it is better to use the services of professionals. With their help, the resort will open to you from unexpected angles and you will only have to enjoy every minute of your stay in the city where Gaudi once created.
The Sagrada Familia is considered to be the most prominent historical structure in the city, it is included in top best attractions in Spain. The temple is listed in all the tourist guides that tell travelers what to visit in Barcelona. This place should not be overlooked.
The cathedral is the work of the world famous architect named Antonio Gaudi, although the project was originally designed by Francisco del Villara.
Nowadays, the temple welcomes visitors every day who choose to visit the shrine and attend a service. In front of the building travelers love to be photographed. Many of them purposefully come here to appreciate with their own eyes the excellent work of the famous architect.
Official website: http://www.sagradafamilia
The most beautiful place in Spain is called Park Guell. A site at Carrer d’Olot, 5, has been set aside for this attraction in Barcelona. Originally it was conceived as a commercial project, but it failed to get the recognition it deserves. Therefore, the park was turned into a place where anyone can have a good break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
As you walk through the park, you can enjoy interesting combinations of wildlife and human craftsmanship. In front of the entrance are two magnificent houses that were designed by the talented architect Gaudi. On one of them you can discern a small tower decorated with a cross. The second house is not much dared to call Gaudi’s creative work, as it is notable for its large size, which the master usually tried to avoid.
Official website: https://www.parkguell
This landmark is the last work of civil engineering in which Gaudí had his hand. It took several years to build, from 1906 to 1910.
The design of the Casa Mila house is characterized by a host of innovative ideas that were implemented during construction. The most striking of these was reflected in the framework of the structure. Gaudí said more than once that it could easily be made into a hotel because of its clever layout.
A special ventilation system was created for the house. It even has its own garage. Today, guests of Casa Mila can notice the elevators in it, although they were not mentioned in the original project. They were added a few years after the house was completed.
Official website: https://www.lapedrera
Travelers pondering what to see in Barcelona should definitely check out Casa Battlo. It is a unique architectural monument, characterized by the total absence of straight lines. The greatest impression is made by the inner courtyard of the building, which has a non-standard lighting. When the sun goes down, it transforms the house into a fairy-tale like structure with the silhouette of a huge dragon.
The Casa Batlló was built in the Quartier de Dissent. This place in Barcelona has a huge number of unusual buildings, which can be safely called a real architectural masterpiece.
Official site: https://www.casabatllo
The largest European stadium is still the Nouvelle Pole. Many people know about the attraction of Barcelona. Camp Nou has hosted quite a few great matches among the best sports teams.
It is not for nothing that the stadium enters the list of attractions of the city. After all, it is famous not only for its soccer field. Camp Nou also includes a sports hall where volleyball, handball and basketball teams train, an entertainment center and a museum.
The New Pole Museum was opened in 1984. It is considered the most visited place in Catalonia with important exhibits. Many call it the best soccer museum. Members of the fan club can admire the facility’s exhibits for free.
Official website: https://www.fcbarcelona
The heads of UNESCO have classified the Palau de la Música Catalana as a “Heritage of Mankind”. The author of this landmark in Barcelona is the talented architect Luis Domènech. Many of his creations still amaze the imagination. The palace has become one of Domenech’s most successful works.
The landmark is close to the Gothic Quarter, where tourists who know exactly what to visit in Barcelona go. The building stands out for its white stucco and coral-colored walls. It became a kind of symbol of Catalan architecture and music.
Elements of postmodernism can be discerned in the appearance of the structure. The stucco patterns are complemented by graceful sculptures, which enthuse travelers.
Official website: http://www.palaumusica
If tourists don’t know what to see in Barcelona, an interesting place like the La Boqueria Market is worth a visit. It is the most famous and richest shopping plaza in the city. For the first time it was mentioned in the documents of 1237. The grocery market was formed right at the city wall of the old city. Farmers and farmers who had goods to sell came here.
In 1914, it was decided to transform the appearance of the market. It was then that it got a metal roof and significantly improved the aesthetics of the market place. Even today in Bokeria you can find sellers whose ancestors regularly brought here quality goods in the first years of the legendary market’s foundation.
Official website: http://www.boqueria
The park was developed on the site where the military citadel once stood. But it was torn down in 1869. After that, a huge park was born here, which managed to adapt to the needs of the World’s Fair held in 1888.
Even today, remnants of the past Exposition can be found in the Citadel Park. They are represented in the form of buildings placed in this landmark of Barcelona. Thus, tourists can still admire the beauty of the Castle of the Three Dragons, as well as the restaurant, the lake and the waterfall. Although many visitors to the park are more attracted to the shady garden and greenhouse.
On one side of the park is the Zoo. It occupies the site where the platz of the military citadel was once set up.
Official website: http://www.barcelona
This Barcelona landmark has been given the role of the city’s most important cathedral. It, like a mass of other historical monuments, can be found in the Gothic Quarter. The decision to build this structure was made by King Jaume II, and the construction began in 1298. The construction process took about 150 years. Most of the time was spent on decorating the facade of the cathedral, as the country was a hostage to warfare and deadly epidemics for a long period of time.
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia is named after the patroness of the city. The crypt still holds the sarcophagus containing her relics.
Official website: https://www.catedralbcn
Tourists who have not yet figured out what to see in Barcelona can spend their free time in the Spanish Village. It is a city that belongs to artisans and craftsmen. It has taken the form of a huge museum whose doors are open to anyone who wants to learn about the local architecture.
In the museum there are various bars, restaurants, shopping pavilions. There are often interesting exhibitions and concerts. In the Spanish Village you can see a copy of almost every masterpiece of architecture, for which Spain is famous.
It is interesting that this attraction is located in the heart of the modern metropolis. To go around the whole village and explore every exhibit, tourists need a lot of hours.
Official site: https://www.poble-espanyol
Especially for those who are interested in excursions in Barcelona, we present a few more places that are definitely worth seeing with your own eyes. In this city you will not get bored, because just around every corner you will find another museum, cathedral, gallery, square with sculptures and much more.
Mount Tibidabo towers over the city. Right on top of it the authorities have set up a luxury amusement park. The idea of creating such an attraction in Barcelona came to Dr. Salvador Andreu. They even named the square in his honor, where one of the funicular stations of the mountain is located.
The park was opened in 1901. By that time it already had a laughing room, bowling alley, pigeon mail, slot machines, and many other interesting facilities, which were appreciated by locals and tourists from other countries.
Also the amusement park in Barcelona has its own hotel, where everyone can stay.
Official website: https://www.tibidabo
The city’s most majestic square was designed back in 1929. It had to be equipped in time for the international exhibition. At that time Art Nouveau was no longer very popular. Therefore, the architect had to use the classic style of architecture, supplemented with elements of the Baroque. With this combination Barcelona conquered the guests of the exhibition center.
Plaza Espana, which is in the guidebooks that tell you what to see in Barcelona, became a kind of a gateway to the exhibition. In its center is a huge fountain decorated with sculptures. In those days there was a red brick building on the square that served as a hotel. On the back side was an arena for bullfighting. Today the place is a shopping center.
Official website: http://www.barcelona
The Science Museum is as stunning as the unique exhibits it contains. During the construction of this Barcelona landmark, a modernist style was used. No less than 100 million euros was spent on the construction of this structure.
The Science Museum offers its guests a huge number of fascinating activities. There are temporary and permanent exhibitions in the halls that aim to introduce people to the world of science.
The hallmark of this institution is that all guests are free to touch any exhibit with their own hands. Also, they have an opportunity to take part in curious experiments of geological, technical, mathematical and chemical orientation.
What to visit in Barcelona in the first place, each traveler decides for himself. Tourists can only be advised to look at such a landmark of the city as the Royal Square. Its sophistication is emphasized by lanterns, live palm trees and a fountain. The largest number of visitors to the square at night, as it is at this time of day it looks fascinating.
The royal square is surrounded by various buildings that are made in classical style. This place used to be home to influential families. Today it settled here representatives of modern bohemia. Now there are luxury restaurants, expensive boutiques and nightclubs.
Many people always crowd around this landmark in Barcelona. It is difficult for tourists to pass by the 57-meter statue which depicts the legendary explorer Columbus. It was installed right in front of the Universal exhibition, which took place in 1888.
The idea to create such a monument first appeared in the middle of the XIX century. But it never could be realized. Several times the project was brought back to life and forgotten about again. However once the work on the monument still began. Monetary donations were spent on the construction, and part of the funds were allocated from the city budget.
A list of the best sights in Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without the Arc de Triomphe. It was built especially for the international exhibition, making the event even more important and grandeur. It acted as the main entrance to the site where the 1888 major event took place.
The arch is situated on the point where the two boulevards cross each other: Passe de San Juan and Passe de Luis Companus. The Neo-Mauritanian style was used during its construction.
The Arc de Triomphe is made of red brick. This makes it very different from other similar structures that are landmarks of Moscow and Paris. The Arch is decorated with a huge number of original sculptures and bas-reliefs.
Official website: http://www.barcelonaturisme
The Pedralbes Monastery is located in the neighbourhood of the same name, which is considered the most solid in Barcelona. It neighbors both modern structures and old mansions. This combination of buildings that belong to different eras has its own charm and originality. Near the monastery stretches a magnificent park.
Tourists are always surprised by the luxurious decoration of this landmark of Barcelona. Most of its buildings were built in the XIV century. The architects during the work were guided by the style used during the heyday of the Catalan Gothic. Pedralbes has a beautiful cell. Many call it an unrecognized masterpiece. The room of the cell is decorated on all sides with picturesque paintings, which were done by the court master Ferre Bassa with his own hands.
Visiting Barcelona, you can see such sights, similar to which you will not find anywhere else. That’s why the ancient Spanish city so attracts visitors from all over the world.
Official site: http://monestirpedralbes
With a small amount of time to travel around Barcelona, it’s best to start by mastering the most significant sites in the city. What to see in Barcelona in 5 days? Perhaps one of the first places worth seeing is the Ramblas, the most famous promenade separating the Raval and the Gothic Quarter. The leisurely flow of tourists and strollers, impromptu performances, souvenir sales and all sorts of things going on around the boulevard is breathtaking. At every turn there is something interesting - all kinds of souvenir shops, cafes, street musicians and local artists. The Rambla is divided into 5 segments: Canaletes Boulevard, the University Boulevard, the Flower Rambla with flower stalls, the Capuchin Rambla with a theater, the San Monica Rambla with a cultural center, and the newest segment, the Sea Rambla with a picturesque pedestrian bridge.
The Agbar Tower is a young landmark from 2005, whose architecture does not fit into the general cityscape, standing out for its unconventional shapes and height. At the same time, such an unusual building, resembling a giant cigar in shape, is a jewel of Barcelona and a great landmark for tourist walks. The view of the tower is absolutely mystical: more than 4 thousand LED lights are installed in the colored glass panels, thanks to which the skyscraper lights up and plays with millions of colors, reminiscent of a precious stone. But this type of cladding is designed not only to improve the aesthetics of the building, but also for practical purposes: the panels move like blinds, responding to the indicators of temperature sensors, so that there is optimal ventilation inside and provides competent energy saving.
When choosing what to see in Barcelona in a week, you should definitely visit Plaça Catalunya, one of the most beautiful places in Barcelona, where the most famous tourist routes originate. This is an iconic place where the heart of the city beats and life is in full swing - you can see meetings and protests, celebrations and festivals, among which the most important for the citizens is the Festival of Our Lady of Grace. In spite of this vast area of more than 50,000 square meters, it is always crowded and full of people, as not only visitors gather there, but also residents of the city, making appointments with each other. In the center of the square surrounded by sculptural compositions - a fountain with two sections, joined by a granite passageway. Among the significant structures of the square are the Canadian Consulate, bank headquarters, the central office of tourism.
The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona got its name because of the large cluster of Gothic buildings located within it. It is impossible to walk around without paying attention to the beauty and originality of its historical architecture. Even before Christ on the site of this quarter there was a Roman town with fortress walls, aqueducts, temples, baths and the forum. The current buildings were built in the 14th century and haven’t been renovated since, allowing the block to retain its medieval gloom and stature in its original form. On the north side of the block is the old Four Cats Café, which was a favorite resting place of the famous Pablo Picasso. The most prominent structures in the neighborhood are the majestic Cathedral and the baroque Bishop’s Palace.
Anyone going on a winter trip asks a reasonable question - what to see in Barcelona in winter? Perhaps there is no limit here, because even in winter the temperature in the city stays around +15 degrees. However one of the good ways to escape the weather and have a good time is to take an entertaining tour in the museums, for example in the Picasso Museum, which has the most extensive collection of works of the artist. The exhibition presents mainly the early work of the painter, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. A few creations in the mature period of Picasso’s life are represented by the series “Meninas”. Total funds of the Museum has about 3.5 thousand works. All of these masterpieces were honored to be displayed in an ancient 19th-century palace, which was ideally suited for such a purpose.
Official website: http://www.museupicasso
The attention of everyone passing along the Gran Vía avenue is drawn to the imposing building, surrounded by cascading fountains and greenery, perched on a hill. It is the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, the most important center of Romanesque art in the world. In addition to the works of the Romanesque period, you can admire masterpieces from the Gothic period. In general, Romanesque art emerged between the 11th and 13th centuries and most of the exhibits of that time are collected in old churches all over the Iberian Peninsula. The history of the museum began with the opening of the Romanesque section, which presents Catalan paintings and examples of wall paintings of the earliest period. The Gothic section has collected works of art from the 13th-15th centuries, the Flemish art from the 16th-18th centuries represents the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and the modern art section shows the creations of the 19th-20th centuries.
Official website: https://www.museunacional
One of the symbols of Catalonia’s 14th-century heyday today is Santa Maria del Mar, a surviving Catalan Gothic church built with public money to honor the patroness of sailors, Saint Mary. Once, the main purpose of the church, built of gray Montguese stone, was to eclipse the beauty and size of another magnificent temple, the Barcelona Cathedral. Unlike the latter, this basilica was intended for members of the working class - merchants, artisans, and loaders. The structure really captivates with its elegance - beautiful stained glass windows, a wide arched entrance with a Gothic rose window, elaborate sculptural images have not lost their beauty until now. The figures of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, and the apostles Peter and Paul have survived to this day and look as if alive.
Official website: http://www.santamariadelmar
The face of Barcelona’s architecture is the Temple of the Holy Family, which crowns Barcelona’s highest point, Mount Tibidabo. For centuries, Tibidabo was considered by people to be very remote and inaccessible. But after a while, the Catholic Committee still decided to use the land and erect a great temple on it, the location of which was to emphasize its divine meaning. A small chapel was first erected here in 1886, and the patron of the arts, San Juan Bosco, decided to build a similar temple here, in continuation of the popular tradition of the time of building temples of the Sacred Heart of Jesus all over the world. And by 1961 there was a magnificent structure that even today fascinates with its monumentality, the splendor of the Gothic architecture, and the statue of Jesus Christ, as if ascending from the top of the temple directly to heaven. And the tiny chapel, which became the ancestor of this basilica, nestles modestly to the right of the main entrance to the temple.
Official website: https://tibidabo.salesianos.
Many tourists go to Barcelona to see the architectural sights of Barcelona. Gaudi was a prominent Spanish architect who designed many architectural masterpieces in Barcelona. In the capital of Catalonia he designed a dozen projects, among them the Montserrat Monastery, the spiritual symbol of Catalonia at the foot of the mountains of the same name. In addition to Gaudi, a whole galaxy of talented artists worked on its creation, weaving various motifs with a predominance of modernism into the stylistics. The altar is made of local rock, the throne of the Madonna is made of silver, the slabs inside the chapel show the biblical history of creation, and the altar chapel demonstrates the typical strokes of Gaudi. Of great value to pilgrims is the miraculous Black Madonna, a small 95-centimeter statue of the Virgin Mary made of black poplar.
Montjuic is a mysterious fortress that has witnessed many triumphs and defeats throughout the Spanish military history. It stands on the mountain of the same name, overlooking the old city of Barcelona. Up until the 17th century, the fortress was covered by a lookout tower, but in the middle of the century, the Iberians erected an imposing fortification in a matter of months. Fierce battles were fought here more than once, and Napoleon’s army also trod on the land. Built in haste, the fortress did not inspire much hope for durability, but over the centuries it was rebuilt, strengthened by ramparts, moats and bastions. In the 20th century the fort housed a military prison for political prisoners, and today there is a military museum, which displays exhibits of medieval weapons, uniforms, maps, medals, coins and more.
Official website: http://ajuntament
When exploring the sights of Barcelona on foot, it is worth climbing the slopes of the Montjuic hill, where Carles Buigas Square spreads out with one of Barcelona’s main decorations, the magnificent Montjuic fountain, one of the city’s symbols. The bowl of the fountain is an oval, in the middle of which there are several cascades. Locals often call it a singing fountain, because in the evening time this creation is transformed, and water jets begin an enchanting dance to the music of Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, as well as many melodies of our time. But the performance invariably begins with the famous composition “Barcelona” performed by Freddie Mercury and his duet with Montserrat Caballé. Thousands of onlookers gather at the observation decks and nearby restaurants to witness the stunning spectacle.
Official website: https://www.barcelona.
Besides the iconic sites and sensational monuments, there are other, non-obvious attractions of Barcelona that are no less interesting from a tourist point of view. One of them is the Aquarium of Barcelona, the biggest among the European aquariums, with a total volume of 6 million liters, hosting about 11 thousand sea inhabitants, represented by 4.5 hundred species. There are 14 tanks altogether, dividing the marine fauna into representatives of different climatic zones of the planet. Each section is a mini-sample of a particular body of water: sea depths, shallow water, freshwater rivers and saltwater lakes, coral caves and other species of the underwater world. The main attraction is the huge oceanarium with a long tunnel along the bottom of which you can walk and immerse yourself in the sea world. For younger visitors there is a whole educational zone, where you can imagine yourself as an explorer of the sea.
Official website: https://www.aquariumbcn
The name Barcelonetta is not only one of the coastal city districts, but also a magnificent public beach with a developed infrastructure, which has become a favorite vacation spot for citizens and tourists. In the mornings here you can see fans of active lifestyles, jogging along the water’s edge, and in the evenings often play music bands and street artists perform, organize mass events and concerts. The beach is completely sandy, has a comfortable entrance to the water, equipped with showers, sun loungers, has items to rent beach equipment. There are special areas for children with attractions, and you can diversify your holiday and have a meal in any of the nearby cafes and restaurants. Guests wishing to stay close to the beach can stay in one of the hotels in the area.
Read also about Landmarks of Valencia and be inspired for your next trip to Spain.