Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain with many kinds of attractions. If you are looking for things to do in Barcelona, check here what is essential in your travel itinerary.
Things to do in Barcelona
Get started with a Free Walking Tour
The best way to start your trip in Barcelona is to take a Free Walking Tour. The main Free Walking Tours of Barcelona usually pass through the Gothic Quarter and El Born. We recommend Sandeman’s and Donkey Tours. To participate, just check the meeting point on the website and arrive 15 minutes before the tour starts.
After the tour, you can return to the spots you liked to enjoy everything more calmly with the difference that now you’ll know much more about the history of the place.
Visit the Sagrada Familia
Getting to know Gaudí’s masterpiece is a must on a trip to Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is by far one of the most complex and detailed constructions in the world. Surprisingly, the cathedral is not yet finished, the work started in 1882 and should be completed only in 2026. It is more than 140 years for the conclusion of Gaudí’s dream. Our suggestion is to buy the ticket in advance, choose the ticket with the audio to learn the story behind every detail, it is worth it! Click here for more information and booking.
Discover the Markets of Barcelona
Barcelona’s municipal markets are super interesting. The city has 38 food markets distributed throughout the neighbourhoods. These markets are the best places to get to know the Catalan main ingredients and cuisine, go shopping, and share a little bit of the day-to-day life with locals.
Mercat La Boquería
The most famous of all. It was one of the first municipal markets in Barcelona, founded in 1840. There are more than 300 stalls and several small bars and restaurants in the market. Today, most customers are tourists and the prices are not very inviting. Still, it is worth eating at El Quim de La Boquería or Bar Pinotxo. As the market is located at Av. Las Ramblas, you will surely pass through it at some point during your trip.
Now, our suggestion is to visit the other markets, less known but no less interesting.
Mercat Santa Caterina
Located in the Old Town, near the Picasso Museum. This historic market was built in 1845 and completely renovated in 2005. The facade is original, but the market has gained modern air with a wavy looking ceiling made with a wooden structure and covered with a large coloured ceramic mosaic, representing a fruit basket and vegetables. Within the market, you can find high-quality ingredients, in addition to good restaurants. Be sure to have a bocadillo or tapa at Cuines de Santa Caterina or Bar Joan.
Mercat San Antoní
Another historic market that has just been renovated. The proposal here is different from other markets. In the centre are many stores of food ingredients (fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.). Around it, you find shops that sell everything from clothes to kitchen utensils. There are not so many bars and restaurants in the market. On Sundays, there is a quite busy antique fair.
Also read: The truth about Paella Valenciana
Visit the Parc Güell
Also designed by Antoni Gaudí, Parc Güell is so unusual that it looks like a magical scenery. The park is a classic example of Gaudian modernism and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. To get there, you have a few options: walk up the stairs, go by taxi/driver app, take the free bus at the Alfons X (L4) metro station.
Go with Tapas
Spanish cuisine and the famous Tapas go hand in hand. Although it is not an originally Catalan concept, going out in the late afternoon for Tapas in Barcelona is an unforgettable gastronomic experience. When ordering, you’ll notice there are many different Tapas options to choose from, but everything is so delicious that it’s hard to go wrong.
If you want to get it right and have a cultural gastronomic immersion, a good option is to take a Tapas Tour. Now, if you want to venture out on your own, take a look at these tapas bars and bodegas that we recommend:
- Authentic: El Xampanyat, La Cova Fumada, Cal Pep, Bar La Plata
- Casual: Bormuth, Jai-Ca, Can Boneta
- Modern: Bar del Pla, Succulent, Tickets (reservation needed)
Stroll by Passeig de Gràcia (and see more Gaudí)
To make the most of the walk, stroll along Passeig Gràcia Avenue towards the Vila de Grácia neighbourhood with Plaza del Sol as your final point of reference. On the way, take the opportunity to discover other works by Gaudí, such as Casa Batló and Casa Milá (La Pedrera ). After arriving at Plaza del Sol, take the opportunity to taste the Papas Bravas with Aioli and have a Caña Gelada at the Sol Soler bar (the Pimientos de Pádron portion is also wonderful). On the way back, go down Passeig de Sant Joan, parallel to Passeig de Gràcia and finish at the Arc de Triomf.
Watch a Flamenco show
Symbol of Spanish culture, Flamenco is associated mainly with the region of Andalusia. Even so, Barcelona has several concert halls with Flamenco for you to be thrilled. The best known are Los Tarantos, Palacio del Flamenco, Tablao Flamenco Cordobés.
Our recommendation is the 23 Robadors which is located in Raval and offers a totally different and intimate experience. There, the Flamenco show takes place only a few days a week, you can check the schedule here. If you want to be seated, arrive early, the house is very small.
Tip: If you go to 23 Robadors, at the exit be sure to have a drink at the Marsella Bar. The bar was frequented by none other than Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali. The bar was never renovated, so being there is like time travel.
Go to Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum is located in the Born district and is one of the best museums to visit in Barcelona. The collection has more than 4000 works which document the whole life of Picasso. Some city cards, such as the Barcelona Card and ArticketBCN, include the museum ticket. In addition, admission is free on Sundays. Otherwise, it is worth buying the ticket in advance to avoid queues.
Climbing the top of Montjuïc
A city break with a panoramic view of Barcelona from the hill. The Montjuïc neighbourhood is a short distance from the centre and has many museums, beautiful views and history. Be sure to stop by the Miró Foundation, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), and Montjuïc Castle. If possible, watch the water dance at the Magic Fountain at night.
See the beaches of Barcelona
One of the most fascinating things about Barcelona is the proximity of such a cosmopolitan city with so many beaches throughout the province. You can enjoy Barcelona’s beaches in many ways. If you want to eat seafood and visit the local “chiringuitos” bars, nothing better than Barceloneta and the beaches in the centre. Now, if you want to have a good swim and enjoy a more peaceful beach, choose the ones furthest from the city.