Barcelona is one of the most amazing cities in the world filled with distinctive architecture, stunning rooftops, narrow corridors, and rich history all along the streets. We fell in love with this city because it was right by the beach but still had a city vibe. This is only a few things of a very long list of things to do in the city. We were left in marvel and will 100% be back to do more exploring.
1.La Basilica de Sagrada Familia
The cathedral is easily one of the most famous in all of Spain and maybe even the world! It was started in the year of 1882 and has been under construction ever since! (That's 138 years and counting!) This basilica was designed by the great Spanish/Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and is recognized under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its intricate designs, fairytale architecture, and large scale; it is simply a masterpiece you must go see. You can buy tickets online here to go inside for 20 Euros or 40 Euros to get access for all of the towers. Don't forget to buy your tickets ahead of time because they do sell out pretty quickly.
P.S. There are also many rooftops around this area for beautiful views of the city!
Travel Tip: If you around through the park, you will get a perfect view of the cathedral and is a perfect picture spot!
2. Bunkers del Carmel
This is one of our favorite memories during our visit to Barcelona. Located at one of the highest points in all of the city, Carmel Bunkers is the perfect sunset view point that overlooks the entire city. It does take a bit to get there by public transportation and it does get very packed closer to sunset so give yourself enough time to get situated. The bus that brings you closest to the top is Turó de la Rovira but the walk is After the long walk up hill, you might feel thirsty. Don't worry, there are plenty of guys selling beer, wine and water at the top. Grab a drink to get cozy to watch the the cotton candy sunset and the city lights shine right at you.
3. Be a Tourist in Las Ramblas
This is arguably the most famous promenade in Barcelona. This is the heart of the city center and just one of those places where you have to see it once. There are dozens of shops and restaurants but be mindful this is the most touristy area so prices are more elevated. A must stop here is La Bouqueria to get tapas, candies, gelato and more. Check out the foods you must try while in Barcelona here.
Travel Tip: Be cautious about pickpocketing, this is generally a crowded area so just be careful of your surroundings and don't make yourself a target by leaving your bags open or your phone in your back pocket. Below are a list of famous rooftops to get a nice city view!
4. Get Tapas, Paella, and Sangria!
While Paella is originally from Valencia, it has been become a traditional food all throughout Spain. Typically it is with rabbit or duck but you can also try seafood or black ink paella. Also, you cant come to Barcelona and not try a few tapas with sangria! Tapas are small dishes perfect for sharing with a group where you can get a taste of a few different things. It's also perfect for a light snack when you're exploring all day. See our list here for our favorite tapas spots! Cooking classes are also super popular here if you want to make your own paella and have sangria!
5. Watch a Barcelona Match at Camp Nou
If you have the time and are in Barcelona during Futbol season, we definitely recommend seeing one of the futbol matches live in Camp Nou! This is the home ground for the FC Barcelona team since 1957. It is a Spaniard tradition and the entire city feels alive with the Barcelona (and Catalan) colors with people chanting all over the streets. However, if you cant get tickets, we suggest going to a sports bar and watching it there. We went to Futballarium right near the stadium to pregame. The pub/restaurant is covered in memorabilia from all the futbol teams and a real experience of fandom.
Travel Tip: No alcohol is sold in the stadium so make sure to get your drinks in before going! It's probably for the best anyway :)
6. Bar Hop in El Born
El Born is one of our favorite areas in Barcelona. You'll find a nice mix of bars, clubs, lounges, and more with a mixed local/touristy vibe. It's a short walk from the Gothic Quarter and has cute cobble stone streets to bar hop down. Don't forget to try a sangria or two as it is a favorite in Spain! These are a few of our favorite late night spots.
El Paradaiso - Trendy speakeasy cocktail bar. At first it looks like a sandwich spot but just ask for the bar and they will send you to the back. Be sure to get there early because there can be a line.
Bar Sauvage - Another cool, dark bar with multiple floors. Plays alternative and house music.
Mr. Robinsons - a little more touristy, but great dance bar. Plays top 20 and a mix of other songs.
Numero Nueve - Great bar in El Born next to Bar Sauvage
Marula Cafe - concert venue vibes with DJs
7. Have a Picnic in Park Ciutadella
This area is a cute date spot if you want to grab a bocadilla and head to the park. You can walk through the dirt paths or find yourself a green patch of grass to lounge at. There's also a zoo, the Catalonia Parliament, Picasso Museum, and a lake to paddle boat around. In the center is a huge fountain and the picture hotspot if you visit. On the opposite side of the park is the Arc del Triomf which is also great for pictures with the palms in the background.
Travel Tip: Arc De Triomphe was built in 1888 for the entrance to a world fair held in Park Ciutadella, and is one of many arcs around the world. The arc was built similarly, but smaller, to the arc in Paris, Arc de Triomphe. Today, the arc remains one of the city's most iconic architectural monuments.
8. Explore Gothic Quarter
This area in Barcelona is exactly what you think when you hear the name, gothic. There are narrow medieval streets with bustling bars, cute places to eat and happens to be Picassos old stomping grounds as an adolescent. You can walk through El Born and past the Park Ciutadella to get here. You should definitely see the Gothic Cathedral and is the gateway to the heart of Barcelona, located between Vía Laietana and La Rambla. This spot is also a great night out to dance and drink. This whole area is amazing for pictures and portraits specifically Pont del Bisbe and the Kiss of Freedom are other famous picture spots for our photographer friends!
9. Go to Barceloneta Beach for Sunset
Artists and restaurants line up the boardwalk. This is also the fishing district.. (in case that wasn't obvious) and have yachts and boats lined up along one side and an area for swimming and laying out on the other. You can get a really good view of the famous W Hotel along the beach but this a great spot for seafood, tapas and paella. There's also a few ritzy clubs along the strip!
10. Take a Walk through Park Güell
Park Güell is one of the most beautiful gems in Barcelona. Most areas of the park are free, but if you want walk to the museums, houses, and see the city landscape from up top you will need to buy a ticket. You can buy tickets here for 10 Euros that also includes public transportation or on site for 7 Euros but be mindful the park only allows 400 people in every half hour. Park Güell is also designed by the famous architect Gaudí among other beautiful monuments in the city (Casa Batlló, Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà) and was commissioned by the wealthy entrepreneur Eusebi Güell. There are wavy walkways, columns resembling trees, and stained mosaic architecture all along the park making it very picturesque.
Take a Day Trip to Montserrat
Montserrat is easily one of the best day trips out of Barcelona. The name means “jagged or serrated mountain” because of the sharp looking peaks of the mountain. There is a Monastery built in to the mountain that has been present since the 9th century! Even though much of the monastery has been reconstructed, the day trip felt like walking back in time. Don’t forget to pack a romantic picnic and enjoy the views!