Top 15 Things to Do in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city that offers endless possibilities for travelers who want to discover its culture, history, art, and gastronomy. Whether you have a few days or a few weeks, you will never run out of activities in Barcelona to enjoy and learn from. From admiring the stunning architecture of Gaudí and the Gothic Quarter to exploring the vibrant markets and tapas bars to relaxing on the beach or in the park, there is something for everyone in this Catalan capital. In this article, we will show you some of the top things to do in Barcelona that you can't miss on your next trip.

Sagrada Familia

What is it?
The most iconic landmark of Barcelona, designed by the genius architect Antoni Gaudí. The building has been under construction for more than 130 years, and it's expected to be completed by 2026.

Why should you go?
The Sagrada Familia is a fusion of Gothic, Art Nouveau, and Catalan Modernism styles, with a touch of magic and fantasy. Every detail, from the soaring spires to the intricate carvings, has a meaning and a story behind it, making the church one of the best things to do in Barcelona.
Enter the church and marvel at its interior, where light and color create a sublime atmosphere. You will see the tree-like columns that support the canopy ceiling, the stained glass windows that illuminate the space, and the sculptures that represent saints, angels, and animals. You can also learn about the history and symbolism of the Sagrada Família with an audio tour.

Gothic Quarter

What is it?
The oldest and most atmospheric part of the city, full of narrow alleys, hidden plazas, and historical landmarks such as Plaça Reial, Plaça Sant Jaume, and La Catedral.

Why should you go?
If you want to discover the charm and history of Barcelona, you should definitely go to the Gothic Quarter, where you can feel the spirit of the past and the present. One of the best places to visit in Barcelona, the quarter is a maze of narrow streets, hidden courtyards, and ancient buildings that date back to Roman and medieval times.

You can explore the area's rich cultural heritage and see landmarks such as the Plaça Reial, an elegant square with cafes and palm trees; the Plaça Sant Jaume, where the Catalan government and the city hall are located; and the La Catedral, a majestic Gothic church with a cloister and a rooftop. You can also visit museums, art galleries, and cultural centers that showcase the history and identity of Barcelona.

The Gothic Quarter is also a lively and vibrant neighborhood where you can find shops, bars, restaurants, and clubs that cater to all tastes and budgets. Enjoy the local cuisine, listen to live music, watch street performers, or join the nightlife. The Gothic Quarter is a place where you can experience the essence of Barcelona and have a memorable time.

Casa Mila – La Pedrera

What is it?
Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, is another building on our list designed by Antoni Gaudí in the early 20th century. It has a wavy stone facade that resembles a quarry and a rooftop terrace with whimsical chimneys and sculptures.

Why should you go?
One of the most emblematic buildings by Antoni Gaudí, Casa Mila is a masterpiece of innovation and creativity. You can visit the interior of the building and see how the architect designed a functional and comfortable space for the residents, with natural light, ventilation, and organic shapes. You can also see a museum that displays Gaudí's models, drawings, and furniture and learn about his vision and inspiration. Casa Mila is more than a building; it's a work of art that reflects the architect's imagination and talent. It's a must-see attraction in Barcelona that will amaze you and make you appreciate Gaudí's genius.

La Rambla

What is it?
Barcelona's most famous boulevard that runs through the heart of the old town, with famous street performers, flower stalls, and kiosks.

Why should you go?
To feel the pulse and energy of Barcelona. La Rambla is the city's most famous street and a place where you can see and do everything, from shopping and dining to culture and entertainment. Stroll along the boulevard and enjoy the street performers, flower stalls, and kiosks that offer souvenirs, books, and fresh newspapers. You can also stop by the colorful Boqueria market and sample some delicious tapas at one of the stalls or bars inside.

La Rambla is also a place where you can discover some of the cultural gems of Barcelona, such as the Liceu opera house, the Palau de la Virreina, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. You can also visit the Plaça Reial, an elegant square with cafes and palm trees, and the Plaça de Catalunya, the main square of the city.

Bogatell Beach

What is it?
One of the world's best urban beaches located in the Sant Martí district. Relax on the golden sand, swim in the clear water, or enjoy the sports facilities, restaurants, and bars along the promenade.

Why should you go?
Bogatell Beach is a place where you can enjoy the sun, relax on the golden sand, swim in the clear water, or enjoy the sports facilities, restaurants, and bars along the promenade. You can also rent a bike, a kayak, or a paddleboard and explore the coast.

Bogatell Beach attracts locals and tourists of all ages and backgrounds, so you can meet people and have fun. You can join the beach volleyball games, listen to live music or join the nightlife. Bogatell Beach is a place where you can have a great time and enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Palace of Catalan Music

What is it?
A concert hall built between 1905 and 1908 in the modernist style, featuring a richly decorated facade and a spectacular stained glass dome.

Why should you go?
To enjoy the best of Catalan and international music, from classical to jazz, from opera to flamenco. Take a guided tour of the hall and learn about its history and architecture, or attend a musical performance and be enchanted by the acoustics and the atmosphere. The Palace of Catalan Music is more than a building; it's a symbol of Catalan culture and identity. It's a place where you can appreciate the art and talent of the musicians and artists who perform there.

Barcelona Cathedral

What is it?
Barcelona Cathedral, or Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia, is the city's main church and a Gothic masterpiece with a soaring spire, a cloister with 13 geese, and a crypt with the tomb of Saint Eulalia.

Why should you go?
To admire the beauty and the art of medieval times, as well as the modern additions. Marvel at the impressive facade that was completed in the 19th century, the ornate portal that depicts scenes from the life of Christ, and the rose window that illuminates the nave. Enter the church and see the altar, the choir, the chapels, and the tombs of important figures such as Saint Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona. You can also visit the cloister, where you can see 13 geese that represent the age of Saint Eulalia when she was martyred and a fountain that is said to have healing powers.

Another cathedral's highlight is its rooftop, from where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the mountains. Barcelona Cathedral is a place where you can discover the history and faith of Barcelona and its people.

Parc Güell

What is it?
Gaudí's surreal park, where you can admire his colorful mosaic works, whimsical sculptures, and organic architecture. The park has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century when it was conceived as a private residential area for affluent Catalan families by Eusebi Güell, a wealthy industrialist and Gaudí's patron.

Why should you go?
If you're looking for a fun and colorful place in Barcelona, you should definitely go to Park Güell. Discover the dragon fountain, the main terrace, the colonnaded hall, and the house where Gaudí lived. You can also explore the gardens, where you will see exotic plants, birds, and animals. Park Güell is also a place where you can enjoy stunning views of the city and the sea, as it is located on a hill. You can take pictures, have a picnic, or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Casa Batlló

What is it?
Another gem by Antoni Gaudí, this building resembles a dragon with its iridescent scales and bone-like balconies. Originally built in 1877, Casa Batlló was later transformed by Gaudí into a masterpiece of modernism, using organic shapes, natural motifs, ceramic tiles, and stained glass.

Why should you go?
Casa Batlló is one of the most amazing buildings in Barcelona, designed by the brilliant Antoni Gaudí. You will see how the architect used organic shapes, natural motifs, ceramic tiles, and stained glass to create a functional and comfortable space for the residents. You will also see how he played with light and color to create a sublime atmosphere.

Make sure to visit the rooftop terrace, where you will see the whimsical chimneys and sculptures that represent mythical creatures. There's also the attic museum dedicated to Gaudí's vision and inspiration, with his models, drawings, and furniture on display.


What is it?
A hill that overlooks the city, with many attractions, such as the Montjuïc Castle, the Olympic Stadium, the Magic Fountain, the Poble Espanyol, the Fundació Joan Miró, and the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.

Why should you go?
Montjuïc is a place where you can discover the history and the identity of Barcelona and its people. You can discover the Castle of Montjuïc, a 17th-century fortress that was used as a prison and a military museum, with beautiful panoramic views of the city and the sea. Or visit the Palau Nacional, a majestic building that houses the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, where you can admire a collection of Catalan art from the Romanesque to the modern periods.

Montjuïc is also the site of several venues that were built for the 1929 International Exposition and the 1992 Summer Olympics, such as the Magic Fountain, the Estadi Olímpic, the Poble Espanyol, and the Palau Sant Jordi. You can also enjoy the parks and gardens that cover the hill, such as the Jardí Botànic, the Jardins de Joan Maragall, and the Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera.

Camp Nou

What is it?
The home stadium of FC Barcelona, one of the most successful soccer clubs in the world. You can take a tour of the stadium, visit the museum and see the trophies, or watch a game if you're lucky enough to get tickets.

Why should you go?
If you are a fan of football or just curious about the culture and history of one of the most successful clubs in the world, you should definitely go to Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona since 1957. Spotify Camp Nou is not only the largest stadium in Spain and Europe but also a place where you can witness the passion and pride of the Barça supporters, who chant their motto "‎Més que un club"‎ ("More than a club") in every match.

You can also visit the New Barça Museum, where you can see the trophies, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits that showcase the club's glorious past and present. And if you want to get a glimpse of the future, you can check out the Construction Viewpoint, where you can see how the stadium is being renovated to become even more modern and sustainable.

La Boqueria

What is it?
The most famous market in Barcelona located on La Rambla. Dating back to the 13th century, La Boqueria is filled with a variety of fresh produce, meat, cheese, seafood, and more.

Why should you go?
If you are a food lover or just curious about the flavors and aromas of Catalan cuisine, you should definitely go to La Boqueria, the most famous and picturesque market in Barcelona. This market is a feast for the senses, where you can find a variety of fresh and local products, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, seafood, sweets, and more. You can also enjoy a delicious meal or snack at one of the many bars and stalls inside the market, where you can taste traditional dishes or tapas made with quality ingredients. La Boqueria is not only a place to buy food but also to learn about the culture and history of Barcelona and its people.

Picasso Museum

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the life and work of Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. The museum displays more than 4,000 pieces by Picasso, including his early works, his Blue Period, and his Cubist paintings.

Why should you go?
If you are an art lover or just curious about the life and work of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, make sure to visit the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. You can admire the artist's early paintings, drawings, engravings, and ceramics, as well as his famous series of interpretations of Las Meninas by Velázquez.

You can also learn about Picasso's personal and professional ties with Barcelona, the city where he spent his formative years and where he established lasting friendships with other artists and intellectuals. The Picasso Museum is more than just a museum; it's a tribute to the genius and legacy of Picasso.

Ciutadella Park

What is it?
The oldest park in Barcelona, located in the district of El Born, near the city center and the beach. Built in the late 19th century for the World Exhibition of 1888, the Parc de la Ciutadella is a green oasis that offers a variety of attractions, such as a lake, a zoo, a fountain, a parliament, a museum, and several sculptures.

Why should you go?
To enjoy nature, culture, and fun in the heart of Barcelona. The Parc de la Ciutadella still preserves some of the buildings and monuments from that event, such as the impressive fountain designed by Josep Fontsère and Antoni Gaudí, the Castle of the Three Dragons that hosts the Zoological Museum, and the Parliament of Catalonia that houses the Museum of Modern Art. You can also visit the Zoo, where you can see more than 2,000 animals, or rent a rowing boat on the lake and admire the views. Parc de la Ciutadella is a place where you can relax, have a picnic with your family, play with your children, join a yoga class, or watch a street performance.

Santa Maria del Mar

What is it?
A beautiful Gothic church located in the Ribera district, near the sea. Santa Maria del Mar was built between 1329 and 1383 by the people of the neighborhood, especially the sailors and merchants, who wanted to have their own church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It has a simple but elegant interior with high vaults and stained glass windows.

Why should you go?
If you want to admire one of the most beautiful and pure examples of Catalan Gothic architecture, you should definitely go to Santa Maria del Mar. The basilica has a harmonious and elegant structure, with three naves of equal height, supported by slender columns that create a sense of spaciousness and lightness. The interior is decorated with stained glass windows, altarpieces, and sculptures, some of them damaged by a fire in 1936. The exterior has a sober and solid appearance, with two octagonal towers and a large rose window on the west façade. Santa Maria del Mar is not only a church but also a witness to Barcelona's history and culture.

More things to do in Barcelona

  • 1
    Where to stay in Barcelona?

    • Plaza de Catalunya: the best area to stay in Barcelona for first-time visitors, close to many attractions and transport links, a wide range of hotels and restaurants
    • Barri Gotic: the oldest and most historic part of the city, romantic and charming, with lots of sights, bars, and nightlife, so it can be noisy
    • El Raval: multicultural and lively, close to everything, with many museums and cultural venues; some areas are sketchy at night
    • El Born: the coolest and trendiest place to stay in Barcelona, full of art, fashion, and nightlife, near the beach and the park, not many hotels
    • Eixample: elegant and modern neighborhood, home to many Gaudi buildings and upscale shops, spacious and safe, not very authentic
    • Passeig de Gracia: perfect for an upscale experience, luxury hotels, designer boutiques, stunning architecture, expensive
    • La Barceloneta: the best area for beach lovers, relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, plenty of seafood restaurants and bars, crowded in summer
    • Gràcia: great for families, a former village with a local feel, kid-friendly and quiet, close to Park Güell
  • 2
    What are the best things to do in Barcelona with kids?

    • Parc de la Ciutadella
    • Barcelona Aquarium
    • Tibidabo Amusement Park
    • Cosmo Caixa
    • Museu de la Xocolata
    • Illa Fantasia Water Park
    • Port Aventura
  • 3
    What are the top things to do in Barcelona for young adults?

    • Play beach volleyball or attend an epic boat party at the Barceloneta beach.
    • Take a bike tour to discover hidden gems or join a pub crawl.
    • Get lost in the Gothic Quarter.
    • Visit the Museu de la Xocolata.
    • Go to the Big Fun Museum and Museum of Illusions.
    • Tour Camp Nou, the home stadium of FC Barcelona.
    • Watch the fountain show at Plaza d'Espanya.
  • 4
    What are the best times of year to visit Barcelona?

    • Spring is a great time to enjoy the mild weather, the colorful flowers, and the Easter festivities in Barcelona.
    • Summer is ideal for beach lovers, partygoers, and festival fans, but be prepared for high temperatures, humidity, and crowds.
    • Fall is a lovely season to explore the city without the summer rush and to experience some of the most important cultural events, such as La Mercè and La Diada.