The city of Barcelona is the capital of the Spanish region of Catalonia. The second-most populous city in the country, Barcelona is filled with cultural and historic attractions that lure visitors from all over the globe. Although founded as a city during the ancient Roman era, Barcelona may have been occupied by humans since 5000 BC. Today, Barcelona brims with things to see and do.
La Rambla is the social heart of Barcelona and a great place to hang out when you’re in town. Beautiful La Rambla is a tree-lined avenue that runs from Placa de Catalunya to the city’s port on the glittering Mediterranean Sea. With its expansive walkways, La Rambla attracts crowds of people to its many shops, restaurants, and relaxing cafes. It’s a great place to people watch or meet friends. As one of the most vibrant and popular parts of the city, La Rambla is definitely Barcelona’s number-one place to explore.
Featuring gardens and architectural installations, Park Guell was designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi and constructed between 1900 and 1914. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. As one of the city’s major attractions, Park Guell attracts both tourists and city residents alike. Highlights of the park include the Gaudi House Museum, views from the park terrace, its viaduct, and colonnaded footpath.
If you’re remotely interested in history or historic architecture, be sure to visit the Barcelona Cathedral. Of course, the cathedral has long been the spiritual heart of the city. It was constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries and features classic Medieval elements like gargoyles, a high altar, crypts, and vaulting features.
Though incomplete (but scheduled for completion by 2026), Sagrada Familia is a basilica that is one of architect Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. Gaudi designed the church as his reinterpretation of the Gothic style. An iconic symbol of Barcelona, the cathedral is a must-visit attraction owing to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. No visit to Barcelona is complete without seeing this Gaudi stunner.
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is the oldest section of the city’s Old Town. It is loaded with historic architecture, much of which dates to the medieval period. If you’re interested in Old World Europe, the Gothic Quarter is sure to delight you. It is also home to the city’s oldest restaurant (Can Culleretes), which opened its doors in 1796, and the famous Boqueria Market where you’ll find more than 200 stalls filled with delectable ingredients and farm-fresh produce.
If you enjoy visiting art galleries, a visit to Museu Picasso to witness the master’s works is a must. The Picasso Museum features well over 4,000 works created by Picasso during his lifetime. Picasso spent a good portion of his life in the city. His family moved there, and then he later attended art school in the city and even opened his first art studio in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The museum features both permanent and temporary exhibits as well as a research library.
Barcelona is famous throughout Europe for its amazing nightlife. How do you enjoy a great night in the city? Easy! You just wander from one tapas bar to the next. Barcelona’s tapas bars are friendly and feature some of the best tastes in all of Spain. You’ll find fresh seafood, made-from-scratch bread, and loads of local ingredients that will make your mouth water.
Barceloneta is Barcelona’s most quintessential beach, and easily it's most popular. Featuring nearly three miles of coastline, Barceloneta is a great place to walk, jog, or just catch some sun rays. During the summer, people naturally enjoy swimming and other water sports. With its many beach bars and eateries, Barceloneta is one of the city’s loveliest beaches.
Barcelona’s chocolate museum, Museu de la Xocolata, traces the glorious history of chocolate from its beginnings in the New World to its place at the forefront of most beloved dessert ingredients. The museum features amazing exhibits that are enjoyable for kids and adults alike. Of course, the highlight of a visit to this museum is a stop at its café where you can taste why the world loves chocolate.
The oldest continuously-operated amusement park in Spain Tibidabo opened in 1905 and has continued to delight residents and visitors to the city ever since. Tibidabo is also one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, and many of its original rides still function. Highlights of this park include its carousel and Automata Museum.