Spain’s second city has a wealth of attractions on offer
Welcome to beautiful Barcelona, a timeless city that’s constantly changing and growing. Here you can find something on offer for everyone – from the golden Mediterranean beaches to the world famous architecture, museums and tapas restaurants. Here’s our guide to the essential Barcelona and what you should make sure you see and do while you’re here, no matter how short your stay.
Take a walk down La Ramblas
La Ramblas has to be one of the most famous streets in the world. It divides Barcelona’s Old Town into two, with the decadent nightlife of El Raval on its west side and the fascinating Gothic quarter on its east. Pavement cafes and restaurants sit side by side with craft and souvenir shops where you can pick up some wonderful handmade jewelry. There’s also a variety of street entertainment including buskers, human statues, and even palm readers!
Lose yourself in the Gothic quarter
Barcelona’s Gothic quarter is an atmospheric maze of winding cobbled streets and architecture dating back to the Middle Ages. Its centerpiece is the awe-inspiring Barcelona Cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th centuries in true European Gothic style. It's even complete with gargoyles! Taking the lift to the roof will grant you some breathtaking views of the medieval part of the city.
Visit Spain’s most famous monument
No visit to Barcelona would be complete without taking in La Sagrada Familia, the world famous church designed by Gaudi, whose tomb is located here on the site of his masterpiece. The building of the church began over 130 years ago, and still isn’t finished. Rumour has it that it's alleged to be nearing completion, however! La Sagrada Familia is the most visited monument in the whole of Spain, and also contains the Gaudi Museum below street level.
Take in the scenery
Barcelona is well-known for the golden beaches that line the Mediterranean shore. Here you can enjoy a variety of water sports including paddle boarding and kayaking, as well as soaking up the sun or taking a dip in the sea.
If hiking is more your thing, you can find the ideal setting in the beautiful Collserola Hills, which are covered in forestry and offer some stunning views. You can also learn more about the native flora and fauna of the region by paying a visit to the botanical gardens at Montjuic, a hillside region topped with a fortress.
Get close to some of the world’s greatest art
Many of the most famous artists in the world have spent time in and been inspired by this wonderful city, including Picasso and Salvador Dali. The museums and art galleries here reflect the city’s artistic heritage as they contain world-famous collections by the artists who have lived and worked in Barcelona.
The Picasso and Gaudi Museums can be found here alongside the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. This breathtaking destination contains the finest examples of Catalan art from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. The exhibits include one of the most renowned collections of early Medieval art in the world.
Eat, drink and party all night
Barcelona is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere and the wide variety of places to eat and drink. The old fishing quarter of Barceloneta contains a variety of traditional eateries, while a walk along the seafront will take you to Port Olimpic. Here, you can discover a variety of restaurants and cafes that have sprung up in the wake of the development being constructed for the 1992 Olympics.
The city’s vibrant and eclectic nightlife offers a wealth of live music, from traditional flamenco to jazz and rock. Alternatively, indulge in some cocktails at one of the chic terrace bars, or submerge yourself in the atmospheric surroundings of one of El Raval’s Medieval taverns. The city is also known for its hectic club scene, which gets going late and finishes much, much later!
Whatever your taste, you’ll find it catered for here in Barcelona.