The best 10 places to visit in Barcelona
Vibrant, proud and cosmopolitan, Barcelona has always been and will be one of our weaknesses, so much so that we have just moved here. Again 😉 Did you come to this post looking for the best places to visit in Barcelona ?
1. Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
Pg. de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona
A short distance from Casa Batlló, on Passeig de Gràcia itself, is Casa Milá, another of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces. It bears the name of the businessman who had it built, but popularly it began to be known as La Pedrera (not without some criticism), due to the appearance of its wavy façade , reminiscent of a quarry.
It was built between 1906 and 1912 with the idea of creating a housing space for rent , around a central courtyard. During its more than 100 years of life, many tenants have passed through here, some of them famous people from Barcelona, and even today there are still neighbors who share their daily lives with hundreds of tourists.
What is striking about its interior is that you will not find corners or right angles . In this way, the undulating relief of the façade is also transferred to the interior of the building, something that we suppose would drive the tenants themselves to simply decorate their homes.
During your visit you will go through these flats, which seem anchored in the beginning of the 20th century, and you will especially enjoy their roof terrace . From there the views are magnificent and, in addition, you can take selfies with the “warriors” of the House 😉 And when you leave, nothing better than having a drink in the beautiful Café de la Pedrera .
Where? meter diagonal
2. Sagrada Familia
C/ de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
We are almost forced to start this list with the symbol of the city and the great masterpiece (and unfinished) of Gaudí and Catalan modernism. The Expiatory Church of the Sagrada Familia began to be built in 1882 and is still surrounded by cranes and workers (they say it will be finished around 2030).
The most striking thing about its architecture is its originality: Gaudí designed a church that looks more like a huge sandcastle growing towards the sky and about to collapse. He also wanted to integrate the forms of nature in his design, so everything here will make you feel like you are in an enchanted world, with columns that transform into forests, curves, colors and precious details.
Where? Holy Family Subway
Price: €26 (with climb to the towers €36)
Near Plaza de España
The Montjuïc Mountain is another of the places to visit in Barcelona yes or yes, and again we are forced to cheat a bit (we are very careful cheaters). Understand us, we are talking about a mountain, or rather THE mountain!
Its location and its elevation have been important in the history of the defense of the city, as exemplified by the Montjuïc Castle on top. After the times of war, this space has been used to promote culture and the arts, housing some of the most important museums in the city, such as the MNAC (in the impressive National Palace), the Miró Foundation (of contemporary art), the Poble Espanyol (a Spain in miniature) or the CaixaForum at its feet .
It was also the place chosen as the epicenter of the 1992 Olympics, and from those good times have remained the Olympic Stadium (with the legendary cauldron), the Palau Sant Jordi or the Telecommunications Tower, the work of Calatrava.
If you want a recommendation, to get there take the Montjuïc Cable Car (the views are amazing) and from the top, after visiting the Castle, start the descent on foot passing through all the emblematic places, until you reach the Font Màgica ( timetables ). If you have to make a little time for the start of the light and sound show, there is no better place than the panoramic terrace of the MNAC.
4. Tibidabo (and Bunkers del Carmel)
Carrer de Marià Labèrnia, s/n, 08032 Barcelona
If you are looking for the best views of Barcelona , or at least the most amazing panoramic points, you should not miss Tibidabo Hill. Not surprisingly, it is the highest point around Barcelona, with its more than 500 meters above sea level.
At the top, in addition to the incredible views, you can visit the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (in the purest Sacré-Cœur style in Paris) and spend a few hours entertaining in the vintage attractions of the Tibidabo Amusement Park .
Where? Vallvidrera funicular + bus 111
Price: free, amusement park €35
There is another place closer to the center of Barcelona and accessible on foot (although it is a long walk) from where you can have a bird’s-eye view of the city, for us, unmatched. This is the Carmel Bunkers , a defense battery built by the Republican resistance during the Civil War.
5. Passeig de Sant Joan and Arc de Triomphe
Passeig de Lluís Companys · 93
The Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona does not have a military character like others that are scattered around the world, and we already love this. This was built as the main entrance gate to the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exhibition . The most curious thing about the monument is that its architect, Josep Vilaseca, decided to use a neo-Mudejar style and build it with brick and white stone friezes . The sculptures refer to science, art, agriculture and commerce.
It is located at the end of Passeig de Sant Joan, which was declared by Times Out as the second best street in the world (after Smith Street in Melbourne ) and we recommend walking slowly, and stopping to recharge your batteries in one of its many trendy bars.
And finally it leads to the Parque de la Ciutadella , one of the green lungs of the city and yes, you guessed it: it is another place to visit in Barcelona without fail (the last little trap is served).
Where? Metro Arc de Triomf
6. Ciutat Vella, one of the best places to visit in Barcelona
We leave Antoni Gaudí aside momentarily to move to the heart of Barcelona. But first, we ask your permission to make a little trick: at this point we will not talk about a single essential place to visit in Barcelona, but about the historic center of the city , the Old City … or “Ciutat Vella” in Catalan.
Among its cobbled streets, behind its historic walls, next to small and large churches, we will find a lot of little corners with which to end up falling in love with Barcelona . You will be familiar with places like the famous Rambla, the Barcelona Cathedral, or such emblematic museums as the Picasso Museum.
And it is that in the extensive area of the Ciutat Vella are some of the most emblematic neighborhoods of Barcelona such as the Raval, the Gòtic, the Born or the Barceloneta. And if you allow us, we are going to advise you on these 10 essential tourist spots that are distributed in them (many of them included in the free tour of Barcelona ), take note:
Rambla del Raval (with the sculpture of the Cat by Botero)
The Bisbe Bridge
Palace of Catalan Music
Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
Church of Santa Maria del Pi
It’s only 10 points, but it could well be 100… Yes, yes, call us cheats, but Barcelona is a lot of Barcelona! And the Ciutat Vella is its heart, imagine.
7. Casa Batllo
Pg. de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona
Colourful, curious and unique, this is another of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces. It is located in the heart of Passeig de Gràcia, one of the main arteries of Barcelona today, and chosen by many rich people to establish their residences in the early 1900s.
This specifically belonged to the industrialist Josep Batlló i Casanovas, who left the complete reform of the building in the hands of Gaudí . How could it be otherwise, the great master unfolded all his magic, turning it into an incomparable modernist architectural jewel, to the point of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stop across the street to look first at the colorful façade , perhaps the most striking and spectacular element of the entire house (that roof that reminds of the skin of a colorful dragon *_*). And once you go through the door you will enter a crazy, different and wonderful universe.
In addition, several of its spaces have recently been used to create new interactive exhibitions , which make the visit a complete sensory experience.
Where? Metro Passeig de Gracia
Gracia is one of the neighborhoods that we always recommend visiting in Barcelona: it has personality in abundance and has known how to evolve over time without having to give up its soul of «independent town».
The best thing to do here is wander around aimlessly , but there are a few stops that we advise you to point out on the map: Plaza del Sol and Plaza de la Vila de Gracia, always with a good atmosphere, Casa Vicens , which was the first to the one Gaudí worked on, or the Refugi antiaereo in Plaça del Diamant
9. Park Güell, another must to visit in Barcelona
If you missed Gaudí, here is another recommendation to enjoy the art of the Catalan genius: go up to Park Güell, an urban park where you can find your little corner of peace and admire other extraordinary follies made by Gaudí. By now you will know that the names correspond to the patrons who commissioned the work, in this case Eusebi Güell.
The enclosure is made up of several gardens, paths and buildings, although there are three elements that stand out above the rest. The first of these is the dragon that greets us from the main staircase , a symbol of the park.
The second of them is next, and it is the Hypostyle Hall , a huge space with 86 gigantic fluted columns and ceilings with small vaults. And finally, just above it, the Greek Theater , a harmonious esplanade surrounded by undulating seats and decorated with thousands of colorful tiles. From there the views are absolutely magnificent, towards the city and towards two little houses that seem to come out of a Disney story.
You can sign up for a free tour of Park Güell to get to know all its corners with the help of a professional guide. Here we tell you which are the best free tours of Barcelona .
Where? Metro Vallcarca
Price: €10 (free for residents)
10. Picasso Museum
Carrer de Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona
Did you already think we had forgotten about him? This museum is located in the heart of El Born and is one of our favourites. Of course, the choice has not been easy, because if something is not missing in Barcelona, they are museums . And there are for all tastes: art, ethnology, chocolate, erotica, interactive museums and even an Egyptian museum… Although this one, dedicated to the most international Spanish artist of all time, is the one you should definitely visit .
With a collection of more than 4,000 works , the Picasso Museum is a reference for those who want to know the beginnings of the artist from Malaga. And it is that many of these works were painted while in Barcelona, where he lived for a few years during his training period. Among all of them stand out The Wait (Margot), The Frugal Food, Las Meninas (Infanta Margarita María) and Seated Man.
→ Here we leave you the post with the best museums in Barcelona
Where? Metro Jaume I (line 4) or Arc de Triomf (line 1)
Price: €12 (free Thursday from 5:00 p.m. and the first Sunday of each month)
Tip : with the ArtTicket combined ticket you can access the 6 most important art museums in the city (MNAC, Picasso Museum, Fundació Joan Miró, MACBA, Fundació Antoni Tápies and CCCB) for €35. If you plan to visit 3 of them, it’s already worth it.
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Everyone wants to go to Barcelona for the weekend! But if you also want to discover unusual or original activities in the Catalan capital, you should know where to go.