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Things to do in Barcelona

Things to do in  Barcelona

Welcome to Barcelona

One of Spain’s most cosmopolitan cities, Barcelona attracts travelers with its whimsical architecture, Mediterranean beaches, and round-the-clock dining and drinking scene. Follow former resident Antoni Gaudí’s artistic genius around the city, from Parc Güell to Casa Battló to his crown jewel: the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia. Get acquainted with local cuisine at La Boqueria Market, then eat your way through the bars and restaurants of neighborhoods such as the Gothic Quarter and Gràcia. Catch a football match at Camp Nou to see how FC Barcelona is revered at a nearly religious level. And if you have any energy left, party ‘til the sun comes up at a multistory club.

Top 15 attractions in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

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Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Antoni Gaudi’s magnum opus, is undoubtedly the most iconic structure in Barcelona (and the most popular, with nearly 3 million visitors per year). Construction has been ongoing for more than 135 years, and the surreal structure, with its rainbow-hued stained glass windows, is slated for completion in 2026. Even in its unfinished state, it remains an absolute must-see for every visitor to the Catalan capital.More

Park Güell

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Antoni Gaudi spent 15 years designing and building the whimsical fountains, mosaic benches, pedestrian walkways, and gingerbread house-like buildings within Park Güell, one of the seven Works of Antoni Gaudi buildings that together make up a UNESCO World Heritage site. Along with the Sagrada Familia, the hilltop public park sits at the top of Barcelona’s must-see list, and for good reason. The Art Nouveau wonderland adorns many a postcard of the city.More

Casa Batlló

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One of Barcelona’s most fanciful buildings, the elaborate Casa Batlló was built by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and is nicknamed the “House of Bones” for its contorted window frames and skeletal pillars. Casa Batlló’s interior is equally mind-boggling, featuring rippled walls, exquisite tile work, and sculpted fireplaces.More

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)

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Barcelona's Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) dates back to the Middle Ages, and the neighborhood’s age is evident in its narrow winding roads, shady plazas, and beautiful architecture (including three major cathedrals). Passersby find gems tucked away in the nooks and crannies off the narrow streets—think trendy restaurants, chic bars, and boutique shops. The area's proximity to the La Rambla pedestrian mall also contributes to its popularity among the young, nightlife-loving crowd.More

Passeig de Gracia

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Passeig de Gràcia is one of the most beautiful—and expensive—avenues that runs through the center of Barcelona. The thoroughfare links the Placa Catalunya in the Eixample district to the eponymous Gracia neighborhood, and is home to a number of fantastic modernista and art nouveau buildings, including some stunners by Antoni Gaudí.More

Milà House (Casa Milà)

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One of Antoni Gaudi’s most intriguing creations, the spectacular Casa Mila—also known as La Pedrera (The Quarry) because of its wave-like stone exterior—caused some controversy among critics when it was first unveiled back in 1910. Today, however, Casa Mila is considered a masterpiece of Catalan Modernisme, with gaggles of visitors coming to see its surreal sculptural roof terrace, the re-created early 20th-century interiors of the Pedrera apartment, and the attic-level Espai Gaudi exhibit, which is devoted to the great Catalan architect’s work.More

Montserrat Mountain

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Located about 30 miles (50 km) northwest of Barcelona is Montserrat Mountain, the 'Serrated Mountain.' This unique rock formation, sawed and sculpted by thousands of years of wind and rain, is most famously home to a Benedictine monastery, an important Catholic pilgrimage spot thanks to its 12th-century wooden statue of La Moreneta (The Black Madonna), Catalonia's patron saint. Aside from its religious and cultural importance, the mountain also boasts unbeatable views from its peaks.More

Las Ramblas

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Barcelona's most famous street, Las Ramblas runs from the Columbus Monument in Port Vell to Plaça de Catalunya. To walk its tree-shaded pedestrian expanse is to be inundated with sensation: souvenir hawkers selling beach blankets and trinkets, street performers posing for selfies with tourists, florists adjusting their arrangements, restaurants serving tapas and paella at al fresco tables, and artists painting caricatures for passersby. It's a microcosm of Barcelona, and it's almost always busy, day or night.More

Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de Barcelona)

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Standing tall over a medieval square in the center of the Gothic Quarter, the Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de Barcelona) is the seat of the Archbishop of Spain and a major landmark of the city. The cathedral is known for its 14th-century cloister full of palm trees and a Gothic portico where 13 geese wander.More

Catalunya Square (Plaça de Catalunya)

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Old and new Barcelona meet in Catalunya Square (Plaça de Catalunya), the famous plaza in the heart of the city. Two massive avenues, La Rambla and Passeig de Gracia, converge here too, as do many walking tours and other groups. The square is located near some of Barcelona’s top attractions and is filled with cafés, bars, and restaurants.More

Port Olímpic

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Flanked by the Torre Mapfre and Hotel Arts skyscrapers, the Port Olímpic was built as part of the area’s redevelopment in preparation for the 1992 Olympics. With its proximity to the beach and its iconic public art (including Frank Gehry’s Peix), it has become one of the most popular leisure areas in the city and a busy marina.More

Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Música Catalana)

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One of Barcelona’s most impressive architectural feats and renowned for its spectacularly ornate interiors, the Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Música Catalana) is one of the city’s most popular concert halls. Built in 1908 by Catalan art nouveau architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the venue hosts a range of traditional Catalan folk music performances.More

Placa del Rei

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The heart of Barcelona’s Old Town, Plaça del Rei is the city’s best preserved medieval square. The 14th-century Palau Reial Major (Royal Mayor Palace), which dominates the square was home to the counts of Barcelona and the Kings of Aragon. The Plaça is now an unofficial open-air museum of fine gothic architecture.More

Ciutadella Park (Parc de la Ciutadella)

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Barcelona’s oldest and most popular park, Ciutadella Park (Parc de la Ciutadella) is a picturesque expanse of greenery with several attractions. Its landmark Arc de Triomf, designed by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, serves as the monumental gateway to the park’s northern entrance, and the park is also home to a boating lake, the Barcelona Zoo, Catalan Parliament, two museums, and a much-celebrated series of sculptures.More

St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral (Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar)

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St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral (Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar) stands at the end of Passeig del Born as one of Barcelona’s most magnificent Catalan Gothic churches. Built in the 14th century, the cathedral is characterized by its architectural elegance and harmony. A highlight is the 15th-century stained-glass rose window.More

Top activities in Barcelona

Girona and Costa Brava Small-Group Tour with Hotel Pickup from Barcelona
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The Original Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra, Spain from Barcelona
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Montserrat Small Group or Private Tour Hotel pick-up
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Barcelona Tapas and Wine Experience Small-Group Walking Tour
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Barcelona Tapas and Wine Experience Small-Group Walking Tour

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Barcelona in One Day: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell & Old Town with Hotel Pick-up
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Sagrada Familia: Fast Track Guided Tour with optional Tower
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The Most Complete Full Day Private Tour with Sagrada Familia and Park Guell
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Sagrada Familia Guided Tour with a Professional Guide & Optional Tower Access
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Girona and Dali Museum Small Group Tour with Hotel Pick-up from Barcelona
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Recent reviews from experiences in Barcelona

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My tour guide Miguel was...
Richard_C, Jan 2023
Barcelona in One Day: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell & Old Town with Hotel Pick-up
The tour was enjoyable and a nice way to see Barcelona.
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Pleasant afternoon
MRNTarrant_T, Jan 2023
Montserrat Monastery Afternoon Tour with Cog-wheel Train from Barcelona
Just the right amount of time to do the activities available.
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Fun way to see the city!
Krista_B, Jan 2023
Barcelona e-Bike Gaudí Highlights or Bohemian Neighborhoods Small Group Tour
I’m studying in Barcelona and this was a great way to see the city and the Gaudi sites!
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Picasso with the guidance of an expert
Rebecca_C, Jan 2023
Barcelona: Skip-the-line Guided Tour of Picasso Museum
And the best way to see it is with the guidance of an experienced guide and highly educated art expert.
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Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia
Andrea_C, Jan 2023
Skip the Line: Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia Tour in Barcelona
My husband loved everything and both attractions were great a must see if you go to Barcelona.
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See Barcelona with Viator’s Small Group
Diane_L, Jan 2023
Barcelona in One Day: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell & Old Town with Hotel Pick-up
The small group experience was the best way to see Barcelona.
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Magical Barcelona
Alisa_H, Jan 2023
Sagrada Familia & Gaudí Private Tour - Skip the Line Tickets
This was a great way to see Barcelona.
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Good tapas, interesting learnings and a fun guide !
Thomas_S, Jan 2023
Barcelona Tapas & Wine Walking Tour
Our guide Juan spoke excellent English and presented us tapas in different bars , good humor and facts about Barcelona history on the way between locations.
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A different way to...
Tina_H, Jan 2023
Running tour - Highlights of Barcelona - La Sagrada Familia, Gothic Quarter...
The Guide was also really nice and gave a lot of insider tipps what locations to visit in the City.
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Amazing. This is a must....
Katia_S, Dec 2022
Barcelona e-Bike Gaudí Highlights or Bohemian Neighborhoods Small Group Tour
3rd time visiting Barcelona and got to see areas I wasnt aware of.
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Excellent tour of Barcelona
Shari_S, Dec 2022
Barcelona Sightseeing Bike Tour
Great way to see the beautiful city!
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Nice way to explore!
Shannon_M, Dec 2022
E-Bike tour in Barcelona with English Guide
Was a great way to see many parts of the city and enjoyed hearing about the history and art.
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Informative and insightful
Frederick_F, Dec 2022
Skip the Line: Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia Guided Tour
Good way to see 2 of the key parts of Barcelona and gain an insight into Gaudì
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Dali tour was amazing
Mark_N, Dec 2022
Salvador Dali Museum, Port Lligat and Cadaques Small Group tour from Barcelona
Easiest way to see both the museum and home from Barcelona.
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Great tour with fantastic...
Barbara_W, Dec 2022
Montserrat with Cogwheel train, Tasting in a Boutique Winery with Tapas or Lunch
Montserrat is certainly a place to see if and when visiting Barcelona!
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Very interesting walking tour
NANCY_M, Dec 2022
Barcelona walking tour Gothic Quarter and Ramblas+ Boat trip
Nice boat ride to see Barcelona skyline.
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House of Gaudi
Patricia_R, Nov 2022
Casa Batlló Admission Ticket with Intelligent Audio Guide
Absolutely stunning place to visit, a must see when in Barcelona.
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A beautiful day
Brian_H, Nov 2022
Barcelona Small Group Tour with Sagrada Familia, Park Güell & La Pedrera
Skipping lines at major attractions key to doing so much.
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Great visit with a terrific guide.
Lee_O, Nov 2022
Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia
The guide was the best we had in all our barcelona activities.
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Must do day trip!
Rebecca_Z, Nov 2022
Montserrat Half-Day Tour with Tapas and Gourmet Wines
We had the best tour guide, Violeta:) Her English is superb and her knowledge of the subject was amazing.
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All about Barcelona

When to visit

Summer is fiesta time in Barcelona, when the city hosts some of Europe’s biggest music festivals, including Sonar and Primavera Sound. While soaring temperatures send summer visitors to the beach, the cooler months of fall are ideal for exploring Barcelona’s colorful neighborhoods. In November, the scent of roasting chestnuts fills the air during the Catalan festival of La Castanyada.

A local’s pocket guide to Barcelona

Monica Nunez

Monica is a Viator account manager based in Barcelona, where you’ll find her walking around the Montjuic hill, shopping in Paseo de Gracia, or discovering new restaurants.

The first thing you should do in Barcelona is...

get lost in the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter and the El Born neighborhood.

A perfect Saturday in Barcelona...

starts with drinks at Salts in Montjuic, followed by a stop at the beach, a seafood lunch in La Barceloneta, and a cocktail at a chiringuito (beach bar). Finish your day with dinner in El Born.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

La Sagrada Familia. It’s a very popular attraction, but you won't regret stopping by. And don’t forget to go inside to discover the magical colorful interior.

To discover the "real" Barcelona...

have vermouth and tapas on a terrace in the Gracia neighborhood. There’s always a great atmosphere.

For the best view of the city...

Bunkers del Carmel viewpoint offers a 360-degree view of the entire city and the sea. It’s normally busy and it’s quite far away from the center, but the amazing view is worth it.

One thing people get wrong...

eating in La Rambla. It’s usually overpriced and not great quality.

People Also Ask

Is Barcelona in Spain or Catalonia?

Barcelona is located in the region of Catalonia, which is in northeastern Spain. Catalonia is an autonomous community within the Kingdom of Spain, which means that it has its own set of devolved powers. Catalonia has its own languages and traditions and is the center of Catalan nationalism, which calls for independence from Spain.

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How many days do you need for Barcelona?

Barcelona is famously laid back so to really get a feel for the city, you should take it easy, too. Plan to spend at least three days in Barcelona. That will give you enough time to see the highlights, including the Sagrada Famillia and Montserrat, as well as the opportunity to soak up the beach, dining, and nightlife scenes.

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What are some of the popular ways to see the Barcelona city?

For first-time visitors, taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to see Barcelona. It lets you get your bearings and decide where you want to spend your time. Taking a wallking tour is a must-do in neighborhoods such as the Gothic Quarter: your guide will fill you in on thousands of years of history.

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What is Barcelona famous for?

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is best known for its tasty tapas, world-beating soccer team, and collection of works by Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect of the Sagrada Família and Park Güell. Visitors are also drawn to Barceloneta beach, Montserrat mountain and monastery, and the tree-lined pedestrian street called La Rambla.

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What should I not miss in Barcelona?

Barcelona is filled with world-famous attractions. You shouldn’t miss the works of Gaudí, including the Sagrada Familia (take a guided tour for the best experience) and Park Güell. Take a stroll around the Gothic Quarter and go up Montserrat Mountain. Beach lovers should head for La Barceloneta, while foodies shouldn’t skip the Boqueria market.

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What is the most visited place in Barcelona?

With almost 5 million visitors per year, the Sagrada Familia is Barcelona's most visited tourist attraction. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece, the basilica's construction has been ongoing for more than 135 years and is still unfinished. Park Güell and the FC Barcelona Museum and Camp Nou are the next most visited attractions.

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What are the do's and don'ts in Barcelona?

To experience the real Barcelona, eat late but don’t eat at the tourist traps on La Rambla—in fact, don’t spend much time on La Rambla at all. Learn at least a few words of Spanish or (even better) Catalan but don’t broadcast your views on Catalan independence. Take your time and don’t try to cram too much into one day.

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Barcelona information

Number of Attractions

136

Number of Tours

1,829

Number of Reviews

92,296

Currency

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