Barcelona is the ideal destination for travellers seeking a mixture of culture and fun in a thoroughly modern setting. This spicy Spanish city has it all; from some of the world’s most inspirational architecture to glorious white beaches, world-class dining, and authentic street-food.
Planning on visiting Barcelona? Here are a few sights, sounds, and experiences that simply cannot be missed.
The work of legendary architect Antoni Gaudi has become synonymous with Barcelona, with millions of tourists descending on the city every year to take in his unique designs. More sculptures than buildings, Gaudi’s instantly recognizable works are peppered throughout Barcelona. Highlights include:
- La Pedrera, a residential building that explores the irregularities of the natural world with its undulating, many textured facades.
- Parc Güell, an opportunity to immerse yourself in both art and nature as you stroll through a garden complex of buildings.
- La Sagrada Familia, a towering, majestic church that is arguably Gaudi’s most famous work.
- Casa Batlló, a restored conventional house that highlights Gaudi’s originality with its ceramic, stone and forged iron detail.
Barcelona’s most famous boulevard is a snapshot of the city’s vibrant character. Both a tourist magnet and window into local culture, this bustling street is crowded night and day with stalls, street-food vendors, living statues, flower sellers, and performers. Whether you want to pick up souvenirs or enjoy a Tapas lunch, a visit to Las Ramblas is a highlight of Barcelona holidays – all the guidebooks say so too!
The beautiful gothic quarter is the oldest part of Barcelona, featuring ancient architecture like the imposing cathedral of Santa Eulalia and the ruins of the city’s medieval and roman walls. A labyrinth of winding, cobbled streets open out into a number of peaceful squares where you can sit and sip a drink as you watch the world go by. The area is also famed for its shopping, with a mixture of commercial favorites and small, exclusive boutiques.
From bustling Barceloneta to nudist Mar Bella and ultra peaceful Caldetas, Barcelona has a host of stunning beaches to choose from. The beaches closest to the heart of the city are packed with tourists and locals from sunrise to sunset and definitely not for the faint hearted. Travelling a little further afield in Catalonia delivers rich rewards, as the beaches become quieter and more unspoiled; Tossa de Mar and Altafulla being well-worth a visit.
Featuring over 3,500 of the world-renowned artist’s works, the Picasso Museum leaves visitors in little doubt of his originality and genius. Set across five charming medieval stone mansions, the collection features many works from Picasso’s earlier years, which he spent in Barcelona. Alongside his paintings, visitors will find work in other mediums, including engravings and ceramics.
Use our guide as a starting point to discovering all that the amazing, multi-layered city of Barcelona has to offer. With affordable flights available year round, you may find yourself returning again and again to immerse yourself in this truly unique Spanish destination.