Things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona. Our favourite city in the world. Barcelona is a place that always has something to do. It’s full of surprises and inspires us each time we visit. We have been 5 times so far and still fall in love with the city every single time. You will never be bored in Barcelona and in fact, the problem is trying to fit in all the things to do in your time there. This is a list of our top things to do in Barcelona. 

1. Stroll along La Rambla

A picture of la rambla in barcelona spain

La Rambla is a must do in Barcelona. The famous street is packed full of market stalls, cafes, restaurants and various street entertainers. Strictly for pedestrians, this boulevard gets busy with tourists who are wanting to experience its lively atmosphere
Top tip: Although La Rambla is great to experience,  we recommend not eating at one of the restaurants. The majority, if not all are ‘tourist traps’ – way too expensive and you can find much tastier options elsewhere.

2. Explore Barcelona city on a Free Walking Tour

Gothic Quarter Barcelona

Many major European cities now offer ‘free walking tours’. You meet at a pre-arranged meeting point with a group of other tourists and are taken around the city. At the end of the tour, you pay what you think the tour was worth. A cheap and cheerful way to see what Barcelona has to offer. Furthermore, it’s a fantastic way to learn about the city and its interesting history. 
Top tip: Take the tour on your first day in Barcelona. It’s a great introduction to the city and you’ll then have a better idea of how to explore yourself and what to see.
More information: Sandemans New Europe Tour 

3. Get lost in the Gothic Quarter – Cathedral of Barcelona

A picture of Jack and Becky from Twoticketstoanywhere at the Barcelona Cathedral

This lovely area is one of the most talked about neighbourhoods in Barcelona and in our opinion the area with the most charm. Filled with narrow medieval streets and enchanting squares around every corner, it’s a great place to get lost! Of course, the top attraction in the Gothic Quarter is the Barcelona Cathedral. It took 2 centuries to construct, dating back to the 13th-15th century. If you’re looking for some after-dark fun, then head to this area at night. The Gothic Quarter is full of bars, clubs and cocktail lounges but be prepared to stay out until the early hours as the locals do!

Top tip: If you decide to take a ‘Free Walking Tour’ then the majority of the Gothic quarter will be covered during that time. In our opinion, it’s also best to visit this area again to take your time and find even more hidden gems.

4. Font Magica

A picture of Jack and Becky from twoticketstoanywhere at Font Magica Barcelona

This fountain show is a wonderful display of light, music and water acrobatics that result in a magical masterpiece. This really is a unique experience in Barcelona and did we mention that it’s free! The fountain is always open but to see the special light show you’ll need to check the schedule to see the times and days.

Top tip: Get there early to get your hands on a  seat on the steps or an up-close view. It gets very busy in the summer months especially.

Schedule and more information: Font Magica 

5. Tapa’s!!!

Our favourite thing about Barcelona? The food!!! Hopping from bar to bar, sipping a beer or sangria and eating the free tapa’s they have to offer is a sure way to love your time in Barcelona. After eating the free bread and olives, head to a bar that specialises in Spanish pincho’s and fill your bellies.

Bodega Biarritz 1881 – Our number one recommendation for tapas/pincho’s. This bodega is tiny, you sit at the bar to eat your food and can see the various offerings on display. Choose your favourites or choose the surprise menu – the bar staff will bring you a surprise selection of dishes based on your tastes. We love this fun way of eating and not knowing what you’ll be trying next. Top tip: Try the chorizo and goats cheese tarts.

Jai-ca – Looking for an authentic local feast? Head to Jai-ca and sit amongst the locals. Gorge on fresh seafood and all the bread you can eat. Although the selection of tapas here is smaller than Bodega, the food is more traditionally Spanish and tastes just as good.

6. Bunkers Del Carmel

A picture of Jack and Becky from Twoticketstoanywhere at Bunkers del carmel

Looking for the perfect place to finish your stay in Barcelona? Bunkers Del Carmel is the place! Offering panoramic views over the city, these old Spanish civil war bunkers are a unique place to sit and relax. Sunset is by far the busiest time and you actually can’t see the sun setting. But it’s a great place to bring a picnic and watch the lights of Barcelona begin to sparkle in the night sky.

Top tip: If you decide to visit at sunset, get there early to find a spot to sit. Bring your own drinks and nibbles as there is nowhere to buy them once you’ve arrived.

Location: Carrer de Maria Lavernia 08032 – Take the Bus V17 from the centre and get off at the last stop Pl Mitja Lluna then walk 8 minutes.

7. Hit Barcelona beach

A picture of Barcelona Beach

Barcelona has the best of both worlds, fantastic cultural and city life as well as beautiful beaches to sit back and relax. Barceloneta Beach is the most well known and thus draws in some major crowds! Don’t worry, if you’re not a sun worshipper, Barceloneta is still worth the trip. Sit yourself down at a beachfront bar, take in the view and grab a beer or two!

8. Sagrada Familia

A picture of Jack and Becky at the Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Definitely the top attraction to see in Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi’s (you’ll read more about him later on) most well known and breathtaking masterpiece. This unfinished roman catholic church began construction in 1882 (136 years ago!) and it is anticipated that the building can be completed by 2026 – the centenary of Gaudi’s death.

Top tip: Visit the rooftop of Hotel Ayre for stunning rooftop views of the Sagrada Familia. Sit back with a cocktail or snap away (like we did)

9. See Barcelona from the Montjuïc cable car

Want a bird’s eye view of the magnificent city that is Barcelona? Head to the Montjuic Cable car and enjoy a memorable experience in the sky. The ride itself is pretty thrilling and it’s the best way to see the sparkling mediterranean sea, the city and Montjuic in all its glory.

Top tip: Get off the cable car at the castle stop and explore the stunning Montjuic castle. Skip the ride on the way down and walk instead, this way you can walk through the beautiful gardens. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!

For more information about opening times, the route, stations and prices click here.

10. Parc de la Ciutadella

A picture of Jack and Becky from twoticketstoanywhere at Parc de la Ciutadella

Parc de la Ciutadella, situated right in the heart of the city, is a green oasis to relax and unwind. Don’t worry, it’s not any old park, instead, you’ll find all kinds of magnificent monuments, gardens, a lake and even a zoo! Spend the afternoon strolling through the gardens, watching street performers or renting a boat on the lake. Don’t miss the large fountain designed by Josep Fontsere, one of our favourite picture spots in Barcelona.

Top tip: Don’t miss the Arc de Triomf at the entrance to the park. It’s one of Barcelona’s best-known landmarks and another great photo spot.
Location: Entrance from the Arc de Triomf – Passeig de Lluís Companys, 08003 Barcelona Parc

11. Spend the morning at Barcelona Zoo

If you’re lucky enough to be spending a lot of time in Barcelona then the zoo is a must visit. Situated in Parc de la Ciutadella and opening in 1892, it is one of the oldest zoos in the world and also ranked amongst the best. Not only does this picturesque zoo have hundreds of species, but its main mission is to take part in the conservation and research of its wildlife. The Barcelona zoo is definitely a fun day out for all!

Price: Adults from €19.25 | Children from €11.65

More information: Barcelona Zoo 

12. Gaze at Gaudi’s Grand architecture

A picture of Casa Mila Gaudi Barcelona

Barcelona is full to the brim of the artist Antoni Gaudi’s work. Take a stroll down Passeig de Gràcia and be amazed by his one of a kind style. As already mentioned, the Sagrada Familia is Gaudi’s most famous work yet this street has so much more to offer. Casa Batllo or ‘House of Bones’ as well as Casa Milla are a must see.

Location: Passeig de Gràcia

13. Parc Güell

A picture of Park Guell Barcelona

Park Güell is the place where Gaudi rolled out some of his most unique and wonderful ideas and is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is definitely the most bizarre and rare park you will visit. Stroll through the grounds, admire the art and sculptures all whilst taking in the views.

Top tip: To ensure your visit and avoid queues, book your ticket online in advance here 

14. Watch Messi score a goal or three at Camp Nou

A must do in Barcelona for any football fanatic! Whether you support the team or not, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most successful football teams to date. You’re sure to have a great day out at the stadium. Bag yourself a ticket for a game or if you’re not there on match day, choose to take a tour around the 99,354-seater stadium. The tour will grant you panoramic views of the stadium, a walk onto the pitch and through the players’ tunnel, as well as an up-close look at all the trophies.
Price: Tour from €25 | Match ticket varies (go to a tourist information centre anywhere in Barcelona for discounted tickets)
Location: C. d’Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona

Where to stay in Barcelona

Budget – Sant Jordi Gracia 

A bright and colourful hostel located in the bohemian district of Gracia. A great place if you’re looking to meet other travellers.

Mid Price – Retrome Urban Retreat

An affordable, clean and perfectly located hotel for you to easily explore.

Luxury – Monument Hotel

An ultra-stylish 5-star hotel that will exceed all expectations. This hotel is for those wanting a luxurious stay in Barcelona in the heart of the action.

For more places to stay in Barcelona you can check the latest prices here. 

More Europe

Heading to Europe? Check out our top tips.

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