Even if you’re visiting Barcelona on your own, with friends, or with a large group of travelers, the Catalan capital has a wealth of fascinating attractions to offer.
Spend some time exploring the city’s Gothic Quarter, which is home to various charming cafés and top-notch eateries.
Or is there anything better than a trip to Montjuic for a breathtaking view over Barcelona?
There’s a lot to see and do in the Spanish capital, that one’s for certain!
And troughout this piece, I’ll share with you some of the must-see attractions in Barcelona, along with some helpful travel tips and recommendations.
15 Must See Places & Activities in Barcelona
Barri Gotic, Barcelona’s Gothic area, is one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods and is known for its architectural wonders and lively atmosphere.
Additionally, the Barrio Gótico is home to many cozy cafés, cool bars, chic restaurants, and several small designer shops.
As you may have guessed, meandering around the narrow alleyways is a great way to spend your time.
Barri Gotic, Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter
Tiny alleyways and a quaint Gothic Cathedral provide an exciting contrast in the quaint old town. The historic Jewish Quarter and the Bridge of Sighs, on the other hand, are well worth a visit.
Is “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón one of your favorite books?
Many of the spooky locations in the novel are likely to be found here in the Gothic Quarter.
There is a beautiful air that permeates the occasionally spooky roads.
Visit Barrio Gótico, and try Swift ice cream for yourself!
Swift, a little ice cream parlor in the Gothic Quarter, is a must-stop on any area tour.
Every ingredient, from organic farms in the Barcelona region, is used in the homemade ice cream and waffles to the milk used in the many coffee concoctions.
Banana bread is one of my favorite foods, and this one was no exception.
Crêpes and ice cream are on the menu at Giovanni’s.
You may sample unusual flavors like a rose at Giovanni, a popular spot in Barri Gotic.
However, the warm Belgian waffles with cold ice cream are just outstanding. There are Giovanni locations throughout Barcelona, from the Gothic Quarter to the Raval to the Sagrada Familia.
Montjuic: The Magic Fountain and the Spectacular Views of Montjuic
Montjuic is one of Barcelona’s two native mountains, the other being Tibidabo, and it has a lot to offer visitors, including a beautiful perspective of the city and museums like the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
Explore Montjuic Park and the Botanical Gardens. The most mesmerizing feature is the Font Màgica fountain, which features a beautiful light and music show on Fridays and Saturdays at night.
It’s hard to imagine a finer location from which to see Barcelona than Montjuic.
It’s impossible to get a complete 360-degree perspective from this vantage point, but even so, the cityscape is stunning.
If you like, you may witness the flurry of activity at your feet from the giant stone steps in front of the museum.
You’ll find an ice cream shop at the museum’s entrance that serves up some of the best treats in town. The street musicians were entertaining me for at least two hours, and I watched as many Asians snapped their own pictures.
When the weather is nice, this is a beautiful place to relax and unwind!
If you like art, stop at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in the middle of your tour.
Did you know that on some days, admission is free? This is the case every Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and every first Sunday of the month. So plan your visit wisely!
Passeig Martim: Take a stroll from La Barceloneta to Port Olmpic.
Take a walk down the busy 1.25-kilometer Passeig Martim beachfront promenade.
The broad promenade, which connects the La Barceloneta district to the Port Olympic harbor, is one of Barcelona’s most stunning vistas.
In the summer, you may bask in the sun at one of the various cafés and restaurants along the Passeig Martim, with a view of Barcelona’s coastline.
I liked sitting in the bright spring sun in Port Olympic and gazing out at the wealthy and famous’s luxury vessels.
I fantasized about owning such a yacht and sailing worldwide while eating an excellent Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
My recommendation: A walk through the Passeig Martim would be incomplete without a detour to the beach and a stop at one of the so-called chiringuitos.
You can also have excellent Spanish paella at several little beach bars! The first chiringuito in Spain is claimed to have opened in 1913 in Barcelona.
They may be seen on practically all beaches in well-known Spanish vacation destinations.
Barcelona Attractions: Port Vell, the city’s oldest port
The entire region surrounding Port Vell, Barcelona’s oldest port, is stunning.
Many plants and benches welcome you to relax and enjoy some ice cream.
It may seem unusual, but I was really pleased with the floor here: it is entirely covered in magnificent hardwood floors, which I believe lends the Port Vell a very noble and even sophisticated ambiance.
The stylish Maremagnum retail area is located just at Port Vell, making every shopper’s pulse beat a bit quicker.
There are not only various trendy boutiques and an FC Barcelona fan shop in its interior, which is beautifully cool in the summer, but also a little Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor.
I adore this ice cream, particularly the Cookie Dough and Salted Caramel flavors. Have you ever attempted this before?
The Maremagnum retail mall is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, on Sundays and public holidays.
During summer, free musical, cultural, and artistic events are held on Maremagnum Square. It is essential to consult their website before going!
In Barcelona, try the paella at El Cangrejo Loco.
For the best paella, go to Crazy Crab, El Cangrejo Loco.
Directly on Port Olympic, this highly regarded restaurant is virtually on the water’s edge.
The fact that so many locals frequent this restaurant is a strong indicator of the high caliber of the food.
The paella is cooked to perfection in substantial cast-iron pans and is out of this world!
In El Raval, you’ll find narrow, winding streets and a breathtaking view.
El Raval, Barcelona’s second-largest neighborhood, was the one area of the city I actually enjoyed.
Every detail, from the winding pathways where residents used to dry half their clothes on clotheslines strung between houses to the crumbling plaster on the facades and the serene courtyards on each side, adds something special to this charming neighborhood.
You can see the Museu Martim de Barcelona (free on Sundays after 3 p.m.), the Columbus Monument, and the Palau Güell, an Antoni Gaud-designed residence, all on an El Raval walking tour.
Café Barcelona: the charming El Jard in Raval, where we had our first cup of coffee in the city.
I stumbled into the charming little cafe El Jard during a stroll through El Raval.
One of the best places to relax and unwind is hidden in an awe-inspiring garden.
You may enjoy your cappuccino in El Jard’s old, majestic inner courtyard surrounded by aromatic orange trees.
The Barceló Raval’s 360-degree Patio!
El Raval’s rooftops may be seen from the Barceló Raval’s 360° panorama deck.
By the way, I’d recommend the hotel without reservation for anyone looking to stay the night. During my three-night stay here, I felt utterly at peace.
In addition, the location is excellent for a walk around the city of Barcelona itself.
Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still order a drink at the 360° Bar and take in the stunning views of El Dorado from the rooftop patio.
Raval and the historic center of Barcelona as seen from the air!
The Barcelona flea market is one of the city’s many attractions. In the vein of Vells Encants,
Many visitors to Barcelona are unaware of the Encants Vells flea market.
Mercat de Bellcaire is a market that frequently occurs in District 22, a new area of Barcelona.
In addition to the flea market, you should check out the golden-ceilinged building, which was built specifically for this purpose and has been elegantly demolished.
More than 500 stalls selling antiques, books, and other memorabilia line the Encants Vells, making it easy to lose track of time.
The Mercat de Bellcaire is not only Barcelona’s largest flea market but also one of the oldest in Europe.
As early as the 14th century, used items and valuables were sold here, although it was still in their original location.
Mercat de Bellcaire/Encants Vells
La Plaça de les Glries is right across the street in District 22.
The best way to get to the flea market is to use the metro line 1 (Glories stop).
One of Barcelona’s top tourist destinations in the Palau de la Msica Catalana.
At the Palau de la Msica Catalàn, one can see contemporary Catalan architecture.
This structure’s beauty isn’t the only thing that will catch your attention; a concert there is highly recommended.
You may learn more about the Palau de la Msica Catalana’s history by taking one of the daily tours. Barcelona’s must-see sight!
Art by Antoni Gaud: Park Güell
The spectacular Park Güell, constructed by Antoni Gaud between 1900 and 1914, is one of the most well-known Barcelona attractions, with its breathtaking architecture, intriguing sculptures, and vibrantly colored tiled pathways.
The roughly 17-hectare park is laid out on various elevations to meet the city’s varying terrain.
One of Park Güell’s most essential features is La Plaça, a 3,000-square-meter terrace on the highest level of the complex.
Gaud’s tesserae art is best appreciated from the gently sloping chairs. Included is a unique panoramic view of Barcelona!
Barcelona’s most popular tourist attraction is the Sagrada Familia. Sagrada Familia, in the northern part of Eixample, is one of Barcelona’s most stunning and well-known landmarks. It’s a massive Gothic cathedral.
The building of this stunning basilica began in 1882. Construction is expected to be completed one hundred years after Antoni Gaud’s death in 2026.
You may avoid the two-hour wait at the ticket office by purchasing a priority entrance ticket in advance, as the inside of this magnificent building draws so many tourists each day.
Sagrada Famlia by Antoni Gaud is another must-see.
Like Barcelona’s Casa Batllo, it’s just as little!
The vibrant La Rambla in Barcelona is a must-see, as is the world-famous Mercat de la Boqueria.
Catalan culture is embodied in the food and architecture of this market, which attracts visitors of all ages to have a taste of Barcelona.Tibidabo: Sagrat Cor Amusement Park and Church in Tibidabo.
Plaça de Catalunya is only a short bus ride from Tibidabo.
One of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks. The Tibidabo is Barcelona’s second local mountain, following Montjuic, which was mentioned before.
At 512 meters above sea level, it offers a stunning view of Barcelona!
The Tibidabo, on the other hand, isn’t merely a pretty place to look out at.
Thanks to the fantastic theme park, you and any other visitors will have a wonderful time at the mountain’s peak. Take a lift to the Sagrat Cor church, which rises 575 meters above sea level and provides a stunning view of the city from its perch.
FC Barcelona’s home is Camp Nou, located in the city of Barcelona.
It’s no surprise that Camp Nou, Spain’s largest football stadium, has been home to FC Barcelona since 1957.
Visit the magnificent stadium, which has a capacity of over 99,000 people, and take in the electrifying atmosphere of a game or a behind-the-scenes tour.
Additionally, you may learn more about FC Barcelona’s history at the nearby museum and the club’s official store.
So there you have it: my picks for the best things to see and do in Barcelona, Catalonia.
Have you ever been to Barcelona, or are you thinking about going?
What do you have to say, or do you have any questions?
I would much appreciate it if you would leave a comment on my vacation blog.