Last Updated on November 23, 2022
Oh, Barcelona! There is truly nothing quite as uniquely colored and fragranced as the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona. Frequently mistaken to be the capital city of the country, Barcelona is the historical capital city of Catalonia, a region in Spain that has been fighting for its own independence since the early 20th century.
We would not get into politics, though. Beyond all political wars, Barcelona is a land of peace, joy, and beauty. It is impossible not to fall in love with it and its complete originality. And it is absolutely impossible to get bored here – for there are a thousand and one things to do for everyone.
From the adventurer to the person who simply wants to bathe in the stunning beauty of architectural wonders, there truly is something for everyone to do in this Spanish city.
What are some of the most popular things to do in Barcelona?
We have put together the names of the most popular places and activities here – so read on and find out more.
1. La Sagrada Familia
You could stand in front of it for hours in a row and still not get bored of its intricacies and its complete uniqueness. La Sagrada Familia is not like any other church you have ever seen – it is grand, exceptional and utterly awe-inspiring at the same time. It is the kind of place that would remain in your memory for years to come.
La Sagrada Familia is largely unfinished, but the part that was finished by its original architect is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The construction of the church began in 1882 and it has been halted several times since then due to a variety of circumstances.
You will find La Sagrada Familia on Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain.
Visiting hours are from 9 am to 8 pm.
And tickets start at 17 Euros (for a simple, completely unguided tour) and work their way up to 32 Euros (for a tour of the entire church – including the towers – guided by an audio guide). You can also visit the Gaudi House Museum, and a ticket for that and La Sagrada Familia will cost 27 Euros.
A proper tour of the entire structure would take a couple of hours – so make sure to make room for this in your schedule.
2. Park Güell
Barcelona is sprinkled with Gaudi’s architectural creations – buildings that are so unique and amazing that they will leave a mark on you. Park Güell also hosted Gaudi’s house between 1906 and 1926, and it is a sight you simply do not want to miss when in Barcelona.
The serpentine benches, the mosaics, the fountains, the sculptures – they are all infused with Gaudi’s unique style that brought together Art Nouveau and a completely different view of the world itself.
Park Güell can be found at 08024, Barcelona
It is open between 8 am and 8:30 pm.
Tickets cost around 10 Euros, but the price might depend on your age, on when exactly during the day and during the week you want to visit, as well as whether or not you want a simple ticket or a guided tour.
The park will take about one to two hours to visit – but if you want to visit the house as well, be sure to leave some time in your schedule for that.
3. The Beaches
Barcelona has been blessed with beaches that embrace the city and allow both its tourists and its citizens to cool off on hot summer days.
The beaches of Barcelona stretch out for miles, with the beaches located to the West of the city being noisier and more touristy, while the beaches located towards the Olympic Port are quieter and more local.
The beaches are open all day long, and first-aid and rescue facilities are also available starting with approximately around 10:30 am to 6-7:30 pm (depending on the beach).
You do not have to pay a ticket to sunbathe on any of the beaches of Barcelona – but, as always, you do have to pay for your drinks and whatever you eat.
4. Mercado de La Boqueria
You do not even have to be a foodie to love this immense urban market, covered by an iron and glass roof that was built at the beginning of the 20th century (although the market has been there for more than two hundred years!). Here you can immerse yourself in the local culture and everything it entails!
La Boqueria is more than a market. Obviously, you can buy any kind of food you can imagine. But this market is a way for you to embrace the local culture and colors and allow yourself to become one with the city.
You will find La Boqueria on La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain.
Open between 8 am and 8:30 pm.
Ready to serve you with delicious local foods and ingredients for your own culinary adventures.
How much time will you spend here? As much as you want – the market is immense, and it can take quite some time to simply walk through the stalls, even if you don’t buy anything.
5. The Barcelona City History Museum
If you love history, you must not miss out on the History Museum of Barcelona. This place preserves Roman sites (e.g. the temple of Augustus), but even more than that, it will allow you to see Barcelona’s ancient history in plenty of detail (we recommend Plaça del Rei if you’re interested).
The entire site covers more than 4,000 square meters, spread across multiple levels which can be explored via elevated walkways, with the Plaça del Rei on the uppermost levels.
You can find the History Museum at Plaça del Rei, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain.
It is open from Tuesday to Friday
During the weekend as well. The different levels open at different hours and for different types of groups of tourists. For example, the Domus de Sant Honorat is open during the week only for organized groups
During the weekends from 10 am to 2 pm.
You can find more details about the opening hours by accessing this site.
Tickets start at 7 Euros (but, again, the price may vary depending on when you want to visit and what exactly you want to see inside the museum).
It will probably take at least two or three hours to get an in-depth experience of the museum, so make sure you leave spare time for this.
6. Palau de la Música Catalana
For the music-lover in you, this place is Heaven. The impressive concert hall was built at the turn of the century and, like other places in Barcelona, it too has landed on UNESCO’s list.
Palau de la Musica Catalana was built by Lluís Domènech I Montaner, who was Gaudi’s contemporary (but whose style is much more different). The sublime hall will amaze you with its grace and elegance and it will almost feel like a time-traveling machine, taking you that age with its unique flavors.
You will find Palau de la Musica Catalana at Palau de la Música, 4-6, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
The building is open for tours every day from 10 am to 3:30 pm.
You can, of course, buy tickets for one of the concerts here – but if you only want to visit the building, the ticket costs 20 Euros.
The tour length is under one hour, so you can definitely squeeze this into your visiting schedule.
7. The Picasso Museum
If you are in Barcelona, you should not miss out on the Picasso Museum. The museum was opened in 1963 and it is extremely rich in terms of the artist’s beginning, formative years (but you will find exhibitions of other works of art from his evolution as well).
You can find Museu Picasso at Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
It is open on Mondays from 10 am to 5 pm, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 am to 8:30 pm, and on Thursdays from 9 am to 9:30 pm.
Tickets for the standby collection are 12 Euros and 14 Euros if you want to visit the temporary exhibitions too.
You can see the museum for free every Thursday from 6 pm to 9:30 pm, and on the first Sunday of each month.
The tour will most likely take between one to two hours, but if you do not have a guide. However, this depends on just how much you want to bask in the beauty and uniqueness of each work of art exhibited in the museum.
Barcelona is a city completely original, like none other. In between Gaudi’s marvelous works of artistic architecture and an energy that seems to keep the city alive 24/7 and yet makes you feel relaxed and happy, this place is a MUST on the list of anyone who loves traveling. You will definitely fall deeply and irremediably in love with Barcelona!