Barcelona is one of the world’s most iconic cities and unsurprisingly there is a lot to see and do in this part of Cataluña (or Catalonia).
Of course holidaymakers should try to do as much as possible during their time in northern Spain, like visit the Portaventura theme park and head to Barcelona’s various attractions.
If, however, you are only going to the city for a few days and want to find out what you just have to see, we have created a guide about what visitors can do in Barcelona, such as the best attractions to visit, tours to go on and top restaurants in the city.
Barcelona’s top attractions
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is arguably the most iconic attraction in Barcelona and if you have only limited time to see some sights in the city then this should be number one on your list.
The sheer verticality is impressive and the fact that after over 100 years the cathedral is still under construction is astonishing.
Well over 2.5 million people visit the cathedral every year and architect Antoni Gaudí has been lauded for his creation.
Barcelona Life, the leading online guide to the city, said, “If you think just because you've seen one impressive European church that you've seen them all then think again. La Sagrada Familia is a mind-bogglingly magnificent behemoth brought to life by the insane genius of Antoni Gaudi.
“Nature was the Catalan architect's overriding inspiration with the towering spires modelled on honeycombs and the tall white pillars of the interior reaching up like divine tree trunks. Simply unmissable, so be sure to book your ticket in advance to avoid queuing.”
The cathedral is estimated to be finished around the 2020s to the 2040s.
For football lovers visiting the Nou Camp is certainly a must. During a tour of the stadium, you can walk in the footsteps of the likes of Messi and can explore the legendary home of FC Barcelona.
The tour takes groups in the tunnel and put onto the side of the pitch where you can really get a feeling of the enormousness of this 110,000-capacity stadium.
Going into the museum is an eye-opener as you are taken through the 100-year history of the club. The jewel in the crown is the trophy room as it displays all of the club’s trophies, which must be bulging at this moment in time!
Casa Mila, or as it is widely known ‘La Pedrera’, meaning the stone quarry, is a modernist building that was built from 1906-1912 by world-famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
La Pedrera is steeped in heritage and its uniqueness and artistic value meant that in 1984 it was entered onto the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The building was formally known as Casa Milà, after the businessman who commissioned the project, but now this beautiful building is the headquarters of Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation and houses a cultural centre.
Thousands of people visit this incredible building and visitors to Barcelona should certainly put this down on their list of places to visit.
Park Güell is the park of Barcelona and if you want a relaxing walk whilst taking in some astonishing architecture then this is the place to visit.
The park was built in 1900 and has since become one of Barcelona’s top tourist attractions with it being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
The park has a strong association with Antoni Gaudí and the architect’s house can be visited by holidaymakers in the park.
Other attractions include the entrance and the porter's lodge pavilions, the Dragon Stairway, the Hypostyle Room, the Greek Theatre or Nature Square, the Austria Gardens and lots more.
Parc de Montjuïc
Parc de Montjuïc offers visitors more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in fresh air during pretty walks.
The park, which Barcelona Tourism recommends holidaymakers to visit, offers stunning views of Barcelona and is where the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games stadium is based.
The park is home to a range of museums such as he Fundació Miró, the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya-MNAC, the Museu d'Arqueologia and the Museu Etnològic.
There are so many different sights to see in the park that you could easily spend a whole day here and still not feel that you have seen everything.
Fans of Antoni Gaudí’s architecture are highly recommended to visit Casa Batlló as it is regarded as the crowning architectural work of the famous architect.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, this building is much more than any ordinary building and has become a legend of art, architecture and timeless universal design. It boasts an outstanding façade and other hidden architectural details that make it one of the most admired works of Catalan architecture.
Casa Batlló is open all-year round from 9am-9pm. During the summer there is often live music being played for visitors to enjoy.
Parc del Laberint
The Urban Travel Blog, the independent guide to city breaks, recommends visitors to check out the lesser-known Parc del Laberint.
The Urban Travel Blog, said, “Largely ignored in favour of the more popular Park Guell, Parc del Laberint is equally charming. Dating back to the 1700s the gardens spread over 55 hectares and include a wonderful little maze, several water features, a palace and a pavilion. Good if you fancy escaping the crowds. There is a small entry fee of around €2.”
Best tours of Barcelona
Go Car Barcelona
Go Car Barcelona is regarded by many as the best way to get around and see the city’s attractions and iconic sites.
Go Car Barcelona offer three custom-made tours and the tour operator’s personal GoCar, which happens to be the first-ever GPS-guided Storytelling car, takes you on an adventure to the most amazing places in the city.
Unlike other tours you can go at your own pace and can make the tour as short or long as you want, can stop for photos and take a break when you want to.
The Go Car Barcelona tour really is one of the best ways to see the city the way you want to.
Explore the Craft Beer Scene
The Urban Travel Blog says a tour of the craft beer scene in Barcelona is well-worth doing.
A spokesperson for the blog, said, “The Catalan beer revolution is in full swing these days, with microbreweries and cervecerias opening all over the city. Take an in-depth tour with Tapas & Beers and you'll get a guided visit of one such brewery, and sample several delicious regional beers in some of the best bars in town in the company of an expert.”
City Tour Barcelona
City Tour Barcelona allows visitors to explore this magnificent city at their own pace as the hop-on hop-off bus allows you to get on or off as many times as you like.
The tourist buses offer two different routes so you can explore the entire city and visit all the major tourist attractions.
In total there are 37 stops along both routes and going on these tours means that you can take advantage of a voucher booklet for various restaurants and shops in the city.
Restaurants to visit in Barcelona
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes has been serving delicious Spanish food for many years and has been offering the best and most authentic flamenco shows in the city.
Tablao Flamenco Cordobe is fully owned and operated by a family of artists and is a famous and historic establishment.
Visitors to the restaurant will be amazed by the cosy and intimate atmosphere, whilst enjoying incredible live music.
The Flamenco shows and delicious food have attracted more than six million visitors since opening.
Diners can select from a range of different paellas and the fact that it is a popular destination for locals gives enough evidence that it serves tasty food.
The restaurant’s menu also includes sirloin steak, La Riera sausage fried with peppers, and a whole range of soups and noodles.
The restaurant is closed on Mondays, but is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Image Credits: La Pedrera, Leandro Neumann Ciuffo, Barcelona Tourism, Casa Batlló,Go Car Barcelona, Tablao Flamenco Cordobes.