Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe, welcoming over a million visitors each year. The reason for such great popularity of the city is a great number of places to see in Barcelona. Therefore, we want to recommend what to visit while you are in the city.
Here are some of the most popular places in Barcelona.
Sagrada Família a large Roman Catholic Church is certainly the most famous place in Barcelona, a symbol of the city that is well known outside the borders of Spain. The construction of the church started in 1882, with the most famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí, being involved into the design of the church. The design was established on a remarkable project with a distinctive style that combines Gothic and Art Nouveau forms, and it is considered quite ambitions and complex project, that has yet not been finished.
The construction was interrupted several times in the 20th century, and according to the current plans, the complete project will be finished by 2026. Despite the fact that the church is not completely finished, it has already been included into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it is a place visited by a lot of tourists in Barcelona.
When finished, the church will have three grand façades with distinctive motives on each of them. The Nativity façade is facing the East, and it has been done under the direct influence of Gaudí, during the first half of the 20th century. The Passion façade is facing the West, and the Glory façade, which still needs to be finished, is facing the South.
It is possible to visit the interior of the building as well. Exhibitions and other cultural activities are also organized as a part of the program when visiting the church. Sagrada Família is located in the Carrer de Mallorca, 401 in Barcelona. Additional information about the church and guided tours is available on the official website of Sagrada Família.
Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
If you want to see buildings that date back to medieval times, you should visit the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. Despite the renovations during the 19th and the 20th century, some of the buildings inside this part of the city are preserved as remnants of history, some even dating back to the time of Roman settlement. Most of the area is closed for traffic, which is why it is perfect for taking a walk and enjoying the scenery. The Gothic Quarter is located inside the area from La Rambla to Via Laietana streets, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere.
Casa Milà, often called La Pedrera, is another masterpiece designed by Antoni Gaudí. A large building, with innovative and unusual structure was built between 1906 and 1910. The building is known for its twisted walls and a modernist look, which resulted in the building becoming World Heritage Site in 1984. You can visit some parts of the building interior. The visits are organized during the day, as well as during the night, with virtual tour available on the official website of Casa Milà.
The building is located in the street Passeig de Gràcia, 92, which is one of the major avenues in Barcelona and an important shopping area of the city. The avenue stretches from the Plaça Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gràcia, and Casa Milà is not the only landmark located along the street.
Park Güell is another must-see place in Barcelona, being a great example of Spanish magnificent architecture. Combining natural elements, modernism and its distinctive style, Antoni Gaudí has once again managed to create something so beautiful and worth preserving for the future generations. The park maintains the natural beauty of the environment with ornaments trying to symbolize different mythological and religious elements. The site is a public park with gardens, buildings and other elements, constructed inside the park.
The park is located on the Carmel Hill in Barcelona, with three entrances available. Some parts of the park are accessible to all of the visitors, while you will need a ticket to access certain points of the park. Additional information about the visits and the instructions how to reach the park is available on the website.
Montjuïc is a hill outside Barcelona, which provides an amazing view of the city and the coast. The top of the hill was a very convenient location for building fortresses in the past, as the view enabled a beneficial position in case of an attack. Nowadays, if you visit the hill, you can find fortresses that mostly date back from the 17th and the 18th century, as well as some castles, Montjuïc Castle being the most famous one. Montjuïc Castle was a fortress from the 17th century, which was later turned into a castle by the end of the 17th century. The place served an important role in the history of the city, during historic battles. In the 20th century, the castle was turned into a Military Museum, which has been closed, and the castle is currently under reconstruction.
Parks and gardens on the hill are visited by both tourists and locals, as well as bikers who use cycling tracks to ride a bike up and down the hill. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is located on the hill, and it represents an amazing attraction in this area, with illuminated fountain being the central part of music and light show accompanying the event.
Funicular de Montjuïc is a funicular railway, which connects the Barcelona Metro Paral·lel station with the Montjuïc hill, with a line that mostly goes through the tunnel. Alternative, you can use a gondola lift, that starts from the Barceloneta beach and it takes you the top of the hill using the aerial lift. This kind of ride is great choice for those of you seeking adventurous sightseeing, as you will see a large part of the city center as gondola takes you up the hill.
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.
National Art Museum of Catalonia is a national museum, which owns a collection of visual arts with almost 300 thousand pieces. Located in a Palau Nacional, an impressive building constructed under the influence of the Italian style in 1929, the museum houses a large collection of Romanesque art, as the most important part of the museum’s heritage, with paintings that originated in different parts of Catalonia. Gothic art collection gathers a lot of art works from Spain, as well as a collection of Italian, Catalan and Aragonese paintings, while Renaissance and Baroque art collection presents the art works from royal and aristocratic collections, mostly obtained during the 20th century. Modern art collection includes collection of contemporary art works, both Spanish and international artists.
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya is located on the Montjuïc hill, at the end of Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella is a park in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona. It encompasses a large area of the city, which includes the zoo, a small lake, a large fountain and museums. The park is opened during the entire year, with the zoo being the most popular attraction in the park. The zoo has a great collection of animals, with guided tours available apart from the regular visits. The museums in the park include the Zoology Museum, where the gigantic whale skeleton is the main attraction, as well as the Geology Museum with large collection of cultural and archeological artifacts. Therefore, Parc de la Ciutadella is perfect place to visit if you are traveling with family, as children love the activities and guided tours available in the zoo and in the museums. The park is located in the Passeig de Picasso, 21 in Barcelona.
Jardí Botànic de Barcelona
It would be impossible to create a list of places to visit in Barcelona without mentioning the Botanical garden of Barcelona. Located on the Montjuïc hill, the garden has been renewed in 1999, offering a large collection of species from around the globe. The garden mainly nurtures the plants typical of Mediterranean climate, but there are plants, which represents climates from the other parts of the world, such as Australia, California, etc. Each climate is presented within one section of the garden.
There are different activities organized in the garden, especially events for families with children, educational visits, etc. The goal is to create interest and respect towards nature. The calendar of the activities organized in the Botanical garden of Barcelona is available on the website.
Here is another must-see location in Barcelona, especially recommended for families. Aquarium Barcelona consists of 35 aquariums with over 10 thousand animals inside. Those represent 450 different species kept in the aquariums, such as different type of sharks, and small and big fish. The garden has a big underwater tunnel, which provides amazing view of the interior of the aquarium.
The aquarium is located in the Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell. The activities include feeding animals, diving with sharks, etc. Educational visits are also available if you want to learn more about the amazing marine creatures. More information about the activities is available on the website of the aquarium.
Barcelona has a lot of squares around the city, but Plaça d'Espanya is one of the most famous important ones, and one of the biggest squares in the city. It is a giant junction, connecting different parts of the city, with some of the most famous landmarks located in this area. This is why a lot of guided tours are headed towards this square when exploring the city of Barcelona. The square Plaça d'Espanya was built in the 1929, on the site that once was a place for public hangings.
Some of the sights around the square include Venetian Towers, marking the entrance to the avenue where trade fairs are hosted, Parc de Joan Miró, Arenas de Barcelona, a building where bull fights were once held, which is now turned into a shopping center, and Fira de Barcelona, Barcelona’s trade fair institution.
La Rambla Street and the Columbus Monument
La Rambla Street is one of the most popular streets in Barcelona, located in the central area. It is a pedestrian area, full of shops and cafes. The street starts from the Plaça de Catalunya and goes down to the cost, to the Columbus Monument at Port Vell. The street is filled with shops, street performers, places where you can buy souvenirs and eat out, so it is one of the most visited places in Barcelona.
Columbus Monument is a tall monument to Christopher Columbus located in the end of La Rambla street, on the harbor. It has been built in honor to Columbus first voyage to America, with tall bronze statue at the top of the column. The pedestal is octagonal in shape with statues that adorn the lower part of the column.
Having visited La Rambla Street and the Columbus monument you get to Port Vell, a modern looking harbor of the city, which has been built as an urban zone in 1990s, thus becoming an important tourist location. Apart from being inside this tourist zone of the city, and providing an amazing view of the sea, the harbor also has Maremàgnum, a mall with shops, bars, restaurants and the cinema, aquarium and pedestrian area.
This is the list of some of the most popular places, but the list is far from final. The city such as Barcelona has so many things to offer to its visitors, which is why you will enjoy visiting and exploring the city on your own.
Once you are all set in your apartment in Barcelona, you are ready to start with one of these places in Barcelona, and see where the adventure takes you. One thing is for sure, you will enjoy the nice weather and friendly atmosphere wherever you go.