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50 Best Places to Visit in Barcelona (2024) – Top Things to Do

Sagrada Familia as one of the top things to do and best places to visit in Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona is a city of endless wonder, from its breathtaking architecture to its lively beaches. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just in search of some fun, there’s something in Barcelona for everyone.

As someone who lives in Spain and has spent a ton of time exploring the Catalan capital, I can confidently say that you’ll never run out of places to visit in Barcelona.

But what are the absolute must-dos and must-sees in this vibrant metropolis? Stick with me, and I’ll take you on a journey through the top things to do in Barcelona – from hidden gems to iconic landmarks and everything in between.

Table of Contents

Best places to visit in Barcelona

1. Sagrada Família

Sagrada Familia as one of the top things to do and best places to visit in Barcelona, Spain

Ah, the Sagrada Família – no trip to Barcelona would be complete without visiting this architectural marvel. 

This basilica is the genius work of Antoni Gaudí, a visionary who spent his life designing it. Unfinished yet magnificent, it’s a symbol of persistence. 

Each façade tells a unique biblical tale, and the incredible interior mirrors a forest with its branching columns. You might think I’m exaggerating, but wait until you step inside! 

PRO TIP: The Sagrada Familia is easily the most visited tourist site in Barcelona and tickets frequently sell out weeks ahead of time.

To make sure you don’t miss out, you need to book your tickets for the Sagrada Familia well in advance of your visit. As once they’re gone, they’re gone – and seeing inside is a definite must while you’re here.

2. Park Güell

Park Guell one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Fancy a walk in a whimsical wonderland? Make a beeline to Park Güell

It’s not your average park! Gaudí strikes again with his innovative designs, embedding nature and architecture in a seamless blend. 

Picture this: organic shapes, vibrant mosaics, and the stunning serpentine bench overlooking the city. Get your camera ready for the colorful lizard sculpture at the entrance, one of the park’s most iconic figures. 

It’s an open-air museum that’ll inspire you beyond words. Grab a picnic and enjoy a leisure day amidst Gaudí’s magic.

Tickets are also limited here each day though, so make sure to secure your spot well in advance of your visit so you don’t miss out.

FYI: If you’re looking to visit both the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell and you’re short on time, you can get skip-the-line entry and a tour of both sights in one day right here.

3. Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

La Boqueria market one of the places to visit in Barcelona

Hungry for some authentic Catalonian flavors? Well, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is the spot. 

This bustling market right off La Rambla is a feast for the senses. From the freshest fruits, local cheeses, to all sorts of seafood, you’ll find a mind-boggling array of treats. 

(In fact, many people combine a trip to La Boqueria with a paella cooking class, to experience the best of both worlds. This paella workshop is always my favorite one to recommend, as you’ll be taken with an expert chef to La Boqueria to learn about the market and see how to pick out the freshest ingredients.

After that, you’ll learn how to actually make paella, as well as sangria, all of which you’ll then get to enjoy! And I think we can all agree that taking these skills home with you is a pretty excellent souvenir of your Barcelona trip.)

But if you don’t want to go for a class, that’s ok too – instead, grab a seat at one of the tapas bars and watch the world go by as you dig into some mouth-watering dishes. And the chocolate stalls? Let’s not even get started on those! 

Trust me, your taste buds will definitely be in favor of this plan. The buzz, the people, the food – la Boqueria is an authentic slice of Barcelona life.

4. Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic)

Gothic Quarter one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Feeling adventurous? Strap on your walking shoes and head to the Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic. 

This ancient district is a tangled labyrinth of narrow streets full of mystery and history. Lose yourself in its time-worn charm, find secret courtyards, or gaze up at the looming Barcelona Cathedral

Oh, and did I mention the buzzing bars and unique boutiques hidden around every corner? 

There’s an authentic old-world allure here that will whisk you back to medieval times. You’ll leave with stories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

Want to learn more about the Gothic Quarter? This Old Town and Gothic Quarter Walking Tour will take you to from Roman ruins to medieval monuments and all the history in between. It’s a great walking tour for exploring all the main sights while learning a ton about what you’re seeing at the same time.

5. Casa Batlló

Casa Batllo one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Say hello to Casa Batlló, another gem from Gaudí’s collection. 

From afar, it might seem like a house sprung out of a fairy-tale. Its vibrant mosaic façade and undulating roof give it a touch of surrealism that’s hard to match. 

Step inside, and it’s like walking through an underwater dream with its wave-like walls and marine-inspired motifs.

Visiting Casa Batlló isn’t just sightseeing – it’s stepping into an immersive art experience. Prepare to have your mind blown!

(Not to mention that you should also prepare your visit in advance as Casa Batlló is another one of those places where tickets frequently sell out in advance. You can pre-book your tickets here.

6. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Casa Mila one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

A hop, skip, and jump away is Casa Milà, or as locals call it, La Pedrera. Gaudí breaks all architectural norms yet again with his innovative design. 

With its unique stone façade and twisted wrought-iron balconies, La Pedrera stands out even in a city known for its architectural wonders. But while plenty come for the outside of this building, don’t forget this top Barcelona travel tip – make your way to the rooftop, ideally at sunset, where surreal chimneys dominate the scene, and you get a 360-degree view of the Barcelona skyline. 

Inside, you’ll discover how Gaudí was ahead of his time, integrating functionality with aesthetics in a harmony rarely seen.

7. Camp Nou Stadium

Camp Nou Stadium one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Football fan or not, the Camp Nou Stadium is a must-see. It’s more than a stadium – it’s a temple for football lovers and the home ground of FC Barcelona. 

Feel the energy of the roaring crowds, even if it’s empty. Take a tour to explore behind-the-scenes: the locker rooms, the player tunnel, even the edge of the sacred pitch. 

(And here’s a fun Barcelona fact for you: the FC Barcelona Museum that’s in the stadium is the most visited museum in Barcelona – which is pretty crazy when you consider the artists and history that have come out of this city and the museums dedicated to them!

You can grab tickets to the FC Barcelona Museum here.)

And for an unforgettable experience, time your visit to coincide with a match. Witness the magic of football in action, under the stars, in the electrifying atmosphere. Even for non-diehard fans, it’s pure goosebumps!

8. La Rambla

street of La Rambla

La Rambla, the vibrant artery of Barcelona, is where the city’s pulse truly lies. This pedestrian boulevard is packed with street performers, artists, and vendors selling everything from flowers to souvenirs. 

Cafés and restaurants line the streets, perfect for grabbing a coffee or some churros while people-watching. I wouldn’t recommend getting an actual meal here, as it’s basically the definition of a tourist trap, but for a quick drink or snack, it’s perfectly fine.

But be sure to duck into the side streets too. You never know what local treasures you’ll stumble upon. It’s vibrant, it’s lively, it’s the beating heart of Barcelona – definitely a must-see!

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9. Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia)

Barcelona Cathedral one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Step away from the bustle of La Rambla and discover the Barcelona Cathedral, an impressive gothic beauty dating back to the 14th century. Its towering spires, detailed sculptures, and intricate carvings are a testament to the craftsmanship of the bygone era. 

Step inside and prepare to be awed by the high vaulted ceilings and beautiful stained glass. 

But the real treat? The serene cloister, home to a tranquil pond and… a flock of geese! It’s a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city that you’d never want to leave.

10. Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

If you’re an art lover, the Picasso Museum is like hitting the jackpot. Tucked away in the artsy El Born district, it houses one of the most extensive collections of Pablo Picasso’s artworks. 

The museum’s chronological display lets you journey through the Spanish maestro’s artistic evolution. From his early sketches to his famous blue period, each room opens up a new chapter of Picasso’s life. 

It’s not just a museum; it’s a deep-dive into the mind of one of history’s most influential artists.

11. Magic Fountain Show

Magic Fountain Show at Montjuic one of ther best places to visit in Barcelona

The Magic Fountain Show at Montjuic is a must-see as, believe me, ‘magic’ is the right word! This free light and water spectacle is a visual feast that will leave you spellbound. 

As the sun sets, the fountains come alive with a dazzling display of colors, music, and water acrobatics. It’s a ballet of water and light that’s perfectly choreographed to a variety of songs. 

Whether you’re a solo traveler or with your family, this spectacle is the perfect way to end a day in beautiful Barcelona. Pure magic, indeed!

(Just double check the official website that it’s actually on when you’re visiting Barcelona, as it has been turned off in recent months due to water shortages in the area.)

12. Montjuïc Hill

Montjuïc Hill one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Looking for the best panoramic view of Barcelona? Head up to Montjuïc Hill.

Ride the funicular and relish the amazing cityscape as you ascend. Once you reach the top, you’ve got the castle to explore, stunning gardens to stroll through, and views that’ll make you reach for your camera every few steps. 

From the bustling city to the azure Mediterranean, the vista is a memory card filler! It’s the perfect spot for a sunset picnic, too.

13. One of Barcelona’s beaches

Barcelona beach one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Everyone loves a good beach day, right? Well, luckily, Barcelona has a ton of beaches both within the city and just outside of it for you to soak up some sun and sand!

Barceloneta Beach is the city’s most famous stretch of sand and is right in the city itself. However, this also means that it’s the most crowded, so depending on the vibe you’re looking for, you may want to go a bit further out for a more chilled day. 

And whether you fancy a dip in the sea, a jog along the promenade, or simply lazing around with a good book, any of these beaches are going to be a great choice. 

Don’t miss out on the beachside bars at many of these beaches, known as chiringuitos, which are the perfect place for a chilled out drink and great vibes. And as the day winds down, stick around for the sunset – it’s worth every second.

14. Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Música Catalana one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Even in a city overflowing with architectural wonders, the Palau de la Música Catalana stands out. This concert hall is an art nouveau masterpiece with its ornate façade, stained glass, and sculptural detailing. 

Once you get inside, you’ll see it’s like stepping into a kaleidoscope of colors, especially when the sunlight streams in. But to truly appreciate its beauty, catch a concert and let the music resonate within the architectural splendor. 

It’s a symphony for the senses that you won’t forget.

15. Bunkers del Carmel

two women sitting and enjoying the view of Bunkers del Carmel

Here’s a local secret: the Bunkers del Carmel. These old Spanish Civil War bunkers sit atop Turó de la Rovira, providing an unobstructed, 360-degree view of the city. 

It’s a bit of a hike to get there, but once you do, you’ll realize why it’s worth every step. It’s less touristy and quieter than other viewpoints, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful sunset viewing. 

Bring some snacks, a bottle of cava, and soak up the city from a bird’s-eye view – it’s Barcelona like you’ve never seen it before.

16. MACBA – Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art one of the best places to visit in Barcelona
Source: Núria (CC BY-SA 2.0)

MACBA, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, is a playground for art aficionados. With its sleek, modern design, the building itself is a canvas that contrasts sharply with the surrounding historic neighborhood. 

Inside, you’ll find a thought-provoking collection of art from the mid-20th century to the present. And it’s not just about viewing art; MACBA encourages interaction and conversation about contemporary culture and societal issues. 

A must-visit if you appreciate a healthy dose of creativity!

17. Palau Güell

Palau Güell one of the best places to visit in Barcelona
Source: Thomas Ledl (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Palau Güell, one of Gaudí’s earliest masterpieces, is an under-the-radar gem you shouldn’t miss. This urban mansion is packed with quirky design elements that offer a glimpse into Gaudí’s budding genius. 

From the intricate ironwork to the colorful chimneys, you’ll be amazed at the attention to detail. Don’t forget to climb up to the rooftop terrace for a closer look at those chimneys and a lovely city view. 

If you’re a Gaudí fan, Palau Güell is a trip down the memory lane of his artistic journey.

18. CaixaForum Barcelona

CaixaForum Barcelona one of the best place sto visit in Barcelona

Another cultural hotspot is CaixaForum Barcelona, an art center housed in a beautifully converted textile factory. The blend of old and new architecture is a sight to behold! 

It hosts a revolving door of exhibits from ancient to contemporary art, concerts, and film screenings. The center also offers workshops and family activities, making it a great place for both art enthusiasts and families. 

The best part? A lot of the events are free, so it’s perfect if you’re traveling on a budget!

19. Fundació Joan Miró

Fundació Joan Miró one of the best palces to visit in Barcelona

If you’re into modern art, the Fundació Joan Miró is right up your alley. Set in a white, airy building on Montjuïc Hill, it’s home to the most comprehensive collection of Joan Miró’s work. 

His distinctive style, filled with vibrant colors and symbolic motifs, unfolds beautifully across the gallery. But it’s not just about Miró; the museum also features works from other contemporary artists. 

As a bonus, the rooftop terrace offers yet another splendid view of Barcelona. A true art lover’s paradise!

20. Jewish Quarter (El Call)

Jewish Quarter one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Dive into Barcelona’s rich past in the Jewish Quarter, or El Call. It’s one of the oldest and most atmospheric parts of the city. 

Meandering through its narrow alleys, you’ll come across historic synagogues, ancient Roman walls, and remnants of medieval Jewish life. 

But it’s not stuck in the past — today, El Call is brimming with trendy shops, cool cafes, and boutique hotels. It’s a harmonious blend of past and present, history and hipness that’s hard to resist.

If you’re keen to immerse yourself in Barcelona’s rich Jewish heritage, you can’t miss the Jewish Quarter Walking Tour. This two-hour tour delves deep into the city’s Jewish roots. 

You’ll discover the oldest synagogue in Spain, visit the site of a medieval Mikveh, and learn about the rise and tragic fall of the Jewish community in Spain. The tour is peppered with anecdotes and stories that make the history of Barcelona come alive

21. Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri one of the places to visit in Barcelona

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri is one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets. Tucked away in the Gothic Quarter, this tiny square is steeped in history and emotion. 

The Baroque church and the charming buildings around the plaza bear the scars of the Civil War bombings, reminding us of the city’s tumultuous past. 

Yet, amidst this poignant history, the square exudes a serene and peaceful atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to sit, reflect, and appreciate the history that shapes Barcelona.

22. Maritime Museum of Barcelona (Museu Marítim de Barcelona)

Maritime Museum of Barcelona one of the best places to visit in Barcelona
Source: Enric (CC BY-SA 4.0)

If you’re fascinated by sea voyages and naval history, the Maritime Museum of Barcelona is your ticket to an exciting journey. 

Housed in the medieval shipyards, the museum presents a rich array of maritime artifacts, model ships, and interactive exhibits. From ancient galleys to modern vessels, it’s a deep dive into maritime history. 

And don’t miss the replica of the Royal Galley which was in the Battle of Lepanto—it’s truly impressive! You’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for Barcelona’s seafaring past.

23. Illa de la Discòrdia

Illa de la Discòrdia one of the best places to visit in Barcelona
Source: GeoTravellers (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Illa de la Discòrdia, or Block of Discord, is a fascinating showcase of the city’s modernist architecture. It’s home to three spectacular buildings designed by the most celebrated architects of their time — Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner, and Puig i Cadafalch. 

Each building boasts a unique façade that’s bold, colorful, and beyond conventional. It’s like an outdoor museum of architectural rivalry, and you’re the judge.

Take your time to admire and compare — the Block of Discord is a feast for your architectural appetite.

24. Hospital de Sant Pau

Hospital de Sant Pau one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Trust Barcelona to turn a hospital into a work of art! Hospital de Sant Pau is a UNESCO World Heritage site, not because of its medical history, but for its outstanding Art Nouveau architecture. 

Its pavilions, adorned with colorful tiles, mosaics, and stained glass, are a sight to behold. 

Wander through the grounds, visit the exhibition inside to learn about the hospital’s history, and marvel at the beautiful gardens. It’s a unique testament to the vision of architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

25. Bellesguard Tower

Bellesguard Tower one of the best places to visit in Barcelona
Source: GerthMichael (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Bellesguard Tower is another Gaudí treasure that flies under the tourist radar, making it all the more appealing. 

It blends the medieval history of Barcelona with modernist flair. Gaudí was inspired by the site’s history — it was once the residence of a Catalan king—and the result is a fusion of Gothic and modernist styles. 

The tower, with its distinct Gaudí-esque features and the panoramic views of Barcelona, offers an intimate and less crowded Gaudí experience. It’s truly a hidden gem!

26. Parc del Laberint d’Horta

Parc del Laberint d'Horta is one of the best place to visit in Barcelona
Source: Till F. Teenck (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Parc del Laberint d’Horta, away from the city’s hubbub, is a treat for those seeking a tranquil retreat. As the name suggests, its centerpiece is a labyrinth, made from manicured hedges. 

Lose yourself (literally) in this fun maze or explore the beautiful Italian-style gardens, fountains, and sculptures that adorn the park. 

It’s an ideal spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll. A visit here is like stepping into a fairy-tale; you won’t believe you’re still in the city!

27. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

MNAC National Art Museum of Catalonia  on eof the best places to visit in Barcelona

Located on Montjuïc Hill, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, or MNAC, is a treasure trove of Catalan art. The museum’s collection spans a thousand years, from Romanesque and Gothic to Modern art. 

Highlights include the medieval frescoes, Gaudi’s furniture designs, and works by Catalan masters like Ramon Casas. The museum building, Palau Nacional, is a marvel itself with its domed roof and cascading waterfalls. 

After your visit, feel free to hang out on the front steps for a fantastic view of Plaça Espanya and beyond.

28. Tibidabo Amusement Park

Amusement Park on Mount Tibidabo one of the best place to visit in Barcelona

Who says amusement parks are just for kids? Tibidabo Amusement Park, perched on the highest peak of the Collserola hills, offers fun for all ages. 

Ride the century-old carousel, brave the roller coaster, or simply enjoy the park’s retro charm. But the real thrill? The panoramic views of Barcelona! 

The park’s unique location makes it a great mix of excitement and sightseeing. So let loose, be a kid again, and enjoy the vistas.

29. Parc de la Ciutadella

Park de la Ciutadella one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Parc de la Ciutadella is the green lung of Barcelona. It’s more than just a park; it’s a hub of activity. 

Here, you can row a boat on the lake, admire the gorgeous fountain, visit the city zoo, or check out the Catalan Parliament building. Art and nature lovers will enjoy the park’s sculptures and lush greenery. 

On weekends, it’s a lively spot with locals enjoying picnics, practicing yoga, or just lazing around. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge after a busy day of sightseeing.

30. Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar one of the best places to visit in Barcelona
Source: Jiuguang Wang (CC BY-SA 3.0 es)

In a city studded with architectural wonders, Santa Maria del Mar stands out with its pure Catalan Gothic style. Known as the ‘Cathedral of the Sea,’ it was built by the seafaring community of Barcelona in the 14th century. 

The simplicity and symmetry of its interior create a serene and harmonious environment that’s quite unique. Don’t miss the chance to climb up to the rooftop; the views over the city and the sea are simply fabulous. 

This church is a symbol of the people’s devotion and determination — a must-visit!

31. Plaça de la Virreina

Church of Sant Joan at Plaça de la Virreina

Plaça de la Virreina is a charming square located in the lively Gracia neighborhood. Dominated by the Church of Sant Joan, the square is a great place to experience local life. 

It’s lined with cozy cafes and bars where you can indulge in people-watching over a cup of coffee or some tapas. 

And on weekends, it becomes a hub for families, dog walkers, and friends catching up. It’s the essence of everyday Barcelona, wrapped up in one square.

32. CCCB

CCCB one of the best places to visit Barcelona
Source: G.Rogers (CC BY-SA 2.5)

CCCB, short for Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, is a cultural center dedicated to contemporary culture. Exhibitions, music, dance, film festivals, debates — you name it, CCCB has it. 

The exhibits often challenge the conventional notions of art and culture, making it a thought-provoking experience. Don’t forget to check out the ‘Mirador’, the viewing gallery, for a panoramic view of the city. 

For anyone keen on culture with a contemporary twist, CCCB is a must-visit.

33. Plaça Reial

Plaça Reial one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Step into Plaça Reial, and you’ll feel the heartbeat of Barcelona. This vibrant square is lined with palm trees, beautiful lamp posts designed by Gaudí, and iconic porticoed buildings housing bars and restaurants. 

Whether it’s day or night, the place is buzzing with energy—from diners relishing Spanish cuisine to night owls enjoying the lively clubs. It’s the place to soak in Barcelona’s zestful atmosphere and, if you’re up for it, even dance the night away!

34. Mercat de Sant Antoni

Mercat de Sant Antoni fruits display is one of the best place to visit in Barcelona

For an authentic Barcelona market experience, head over to Mercat de Sant Antoni. It’s less crowded than the Boqueria but equally vibrant. 

From fresh fruits and veggies to local cheeses and ham, the food stalls are a feast for your senses. And on Sundays, it transforms into a bustling book market. 

Even if you’re not buying, the market offers a slice of local life and gastronomy. So, go on, explore and taste to your heart’s content!

35. Plaça de Sant Jaume

Placa de Sant Jaume one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Plaça de Sant Jaume is a square brimming with historical significance. It’s home to the City Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat, Catalonia’s government. 

The square has been the center of political life in the city since Roman times. Today, it’s a bustling spot where you can observe locals going about their day and street performers entertaining crowds. 

Come here to appreciate the blend of history, politics, and daily life that is Barcelona.

36. Monestir de Sant Pere de les Puel·les

Monestir de Sant Pere de les Puel·les is an oasis of calm amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. It was once a prominent female monastery during medieval times, and now, its serene square and the simple, rustic church invite you for a moment of peace. 

Soak in the tranquil atmosphere, admire the Romanesque architecture, or just escape the city’s pace. It’s like finding a piece of countryside right in the heart of Barcelona!

37. Temple of Augustus

Temple of Augustus one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

The Temple of Augustus, hidden away in the Gothic Quarter, is a remarkable relic of Barcelona’s Roman past. It houses the remnants of four Roman columns, which once formed part of a larger temple. 

The sight of these towering columns, tucked within a medieval courtyard, is somewhat surreal. It’s a stark reminder of the layers of history that coexist in Barcelona. 

Feel free to pop in for a quick visit—it’s free and undoubtedly intriguing.

38. Santa Maria del Pi

Santa Maria Del Pi  is one of the best place to visit in Barcelona
Source: C messier (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Santa Maria del Pi, or Saint Mary of the Pine Tree, is another of Barcelona’s impressive Gothic churches. Its spacious, uncluttered interior with soaring pillars and beautiful stained-glass windows create a peaceful and reflective ambiance. 

The church also holds a little secret: a treasure room showcasing religious relics and artwork. 

And for a small fee, you can climb up to the bell tower for a close-up of the bells and a great city view. While it’s a bit of an effort, it’s well worth the climb!

39. Torre Glòries (Agbar Tower)

Beautiful panoramic view of the Agbar Tower and Barcelona at night

Torre Glòries, formerly known as the Agbar Tower, is an emblem of Barcelona’s modern skyline. Its bullet-shaped structure and colorful nighttime illumination make it stand out. 

Recently opened to the public, this iconic 38-story skyscraper now offers an observation deck. But even if you choose not to go up, even just seeing it from the outside adds a contemporary touch to Barcelona’s skyline. 

Especially at night, when it lights up like a beacon, It’s a real testament to Barcelona’s innovative spirit.

40. Santa Caterina Market

The Mercat de Santa Caterina in Barcelona, Spain is one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Step into the Santa Caterina Market, and you’ll be greeted by an explosion of colors — not only from the fresh produce but also from the wave-like mosaic roof! This renovated market is a gastronomic paradise where locals shop for fresh food. 

Stop by the tapas bars for a quick bite, or just stroll around savoring the lively atmosphere. 

And, it’s right next to the beautiful Santa Caterina church, giving you a mix of food, art, and history in one go.

41. Plaça d’Espanya

Plaça d'Espanya, one of Barcelona's major squares

Plaça d’Espanya, one of Barcelona’s major squares, is where the magic happens—quite literally! After all, it’s the gateway to the Magic Fountain and the MNAC. 

Admire the Venetian towers that frame the entrance to Montjuïc, or relax by the beautiful central fountain. 

The square buzzes with energy, whether it’s from people heading to the nearby trade fairgrounds or music fans off to concerts at the Palau Sant Jordi. It’s a spot that always has something going on!

42. Arenas de Barcelona Shopping Center (former bullfighting arena)

Arenas de Barcelona Shopping Center is one of the best place to visit in Barcelona

Talk about a transformation! The Arenas de Barcelona, once a bullfighting ring, is now a stylish shopping center. 

You’ll find everything from fashion stores to a multiplex cinema here. But the real highlight is the rooftop. 

Hop on the exterior elevator, and you’ll find yourself on a panoramic terrace with some of the best 360º views of Barcelona. You can even enjoy a meal at one of the rooftop restaurants if you want — it’s shopping and sightseeing rolled into one!

43. Barcelona Aquarium

tourists looking at fishes at the aquarium of Barcelona one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Prepare to be fascinated by the marine world at the Barcelona Aquarium. It’s one of Europe’s largest, hosting a spectacular variety of marine life. 

Walk through the Oceanarium’s tunnel as sharks and rays swim above you—it’s quite the experience! The aquarium is a hit with kids, but adults will be equally enthralled. 

It’s a great chance to understand the underwater world a little better and admire its incredible biodiversity.

44. Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol is one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Ever wanted to see all of Spain in a day? Poble Espanyol is your chance! 

It’s an open-air architectural museum featuring replicas of characteristic buildings from all over Spain — from Andalusian courtyards to Catalan gothic structures. Explore the craft shops, watch artisans at work, or grab a bite at the restaurants. 

With concerts, festivals, and workshops, it’s a place that blends architecture, culture, and fun. It’s like a mini-Spain within Barcelona!

45. El Raval neighborhood

El Raval one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

El Raval is an edgy, multicultural neighborhood that’s a world away from the conventional tourist routes. From street art to independent boutiques, and a variety of bars and eateries offering global cuisine, it’s a place that celebrates diversity. 

Don’t forget to check out the Rambla del Raval, with its giant cat statue, and the bustling Boqueria Market. El Raval is raw, authentic, and offers an alternative view of Barcelona.

46. Gràcia neighborhood

Gràcia neighborhood is one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

In Gràcia, it’s easy to forget you’re in a big city. This charming neighborhood, once a separate village, has retained its tight-knit community feel. 

It’s a creative and bohemian haven, teeming with artisan shops, indie cinemas, and vibrant squares perfect for café-hopping. The area really comes alive during the Festa Major de Gràcia, where streets compete with elaborate decorations. 

For a taste of local life, away from the city’s frenzy, Gràcia is the place to be.

47. Casa Amatller

Casa Amatler one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

While Gaudí might steal the limelight, Barcelona has other architectural gems worth your attention. Casa Amatller, designed by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, is one of them. 

This unique building combines Catalan gothic and Dutch elements, creating a façade that is a feast for the eyes. The interiors, once the residence of chocolatier Antoni Amatller, are equally intriguing. 

The guided tour offers insight into the family’s life and Art Nouveau furnishings—a real step back in time!

48. Barcelona History Museum (Museu d’Història de Barcelona – MUHBA)

inside the MUHBA

Unearth Barcelona’s past at the Barcelona History Museum, or MUHBA. From Roman ruins to medieval city models, the museum covers 2,000 years of Barcelona’s history. 

The underground Roman archaeological site is a highlight—you’ll see ancient streets, villas, and even a winemaking facility. 

And the museum’s exhibits help you understand the city’s evolution and its rich historical layers. It’s a history lover’s paradise!

49. Casa de les Punxes

Casa de les Punxes one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Casa de les Punxes, or “House of Spikes”, gets its name from its pointed turrets. Another masterpiece by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, it’s one of the few Modernist buildings you can explore from the basement to the rooftop terrace. 

The audio-guided tour takes you through its history, architecture, and the legend of Saint George, which inspired some of its decoration. And the rooftop terrace offers a panoramic view of the city—plus, it’s an excellent spot for a sunset drink.

50. Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens is one of the best places to visit in Barcelona

Last, but certainly not least, Casa Vicens is where Gaudí’s genius began. It was his first major work, and you can see him experimenting with different styles, materials, and themes. 

The oriental and Moorish influences, combined with a riot of colors and patterns, make this house incredibly distinctive. 

The gardens offer a peaceful retreat, while the museum provides a fascinating look at Gaudí’s work and Casa Vicens’ restoration. It’s a must-visit for any Gaudí fan.

What is the most touristic thing in Barcelona?

The most touristic thing in Barcelona is easily the Sagrada Familia. This jaw-dropping basilica, designed by the city’s favorite son, Antoni Gaudí, sees millions of visitors every year. Whether it’s the intricate exterior that tells biblical stories or the mesmerizing interior inspired by nature, the Sagrada Familia is the ultimate icon of Barcelona.

But don’t think the Sagrada Familia is just about its grand design. As you step inside, you’ll find that it’s also a showcase of Gaudí’s deep understanding of geometry and his innovative use of light. 

The lofty columns mimic trees, branching out towards the ceiling, while the colorful stained-glass windows bathe the space in a heavenly glow. Don’t forget to visit the museum in the basilica’s basement, where you can delve deeper into Gaudí’s process and the ongoing construction work. 

Yes, that’s right — the Sagrada Familia is still under construction, more than a century after its foundation stone was laid. It’s a work in progress, much like the city it calls home.

Grab your skip-the-line entry tickets here – just don’t forget to book in advance as the Sagrada Familia often sells out weeks ahead of time.

Why is Barcelona popular for tourists?

Barcelona is a city that knows how to win hearts. With its unique blend of history, art, vibrant street life, and gorgeous seaside locale, it offers a little something for every kind of traveler. Factor in the world-class dining scene, and it’s no wonder Barcelona ranks high on the global tourism map.

For history buffs, Barcelona’s past unfolds in its Roman walls, Gothic quarter, and modernist landmarks. Art lovers can follow in the footsteps of Picasso and Miró or admire Gaudí’s whimsical architecture. 

Foodies will be spoilt for choice with the city’s tapas bars, seafood restaurants, and the legendary La Boqueria market. Not to mention the urban beaches that offer sun, sea, and a lively beachside culture.

And let’s not forget the city’s palpable zest for life, best seen in its lively festivals, late-night dining, and passionate football culture. The welcoming locals, too, add to the charm. 

From bustling plazas to serene parks, Barcelona is a city that invites you to live it rather than merely see it.

What is the most visited street in Barcelona?

When it comes to popularity, no Barcelona street can compete with La Rambla. This vibrant boulevard, which stretches from Plaça de Catalunya to the waterfront, is a constant hive of activity. With street performers, kiosks selling everything from flowers to souvenirs, and a multitude of shops and eateries, La Rambla is undoubtedly the city’s beating heart.

As you saunter down La Rambla, you’ll pass by historic landmarks like the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s famous opera house, and the eye-catching La Boqueria market. It’s also home to the stunning Plaça Reial, a square brimming with palm trees and Gaudí-designed lampposts.

Yet, La Rambla is more than its sights. It’s about the energy that radiates from the crowd, the rhythm of the city that you can feel under your feet, the pull of the stalls that spill onto the street. 

It can feel touristy, yes, and you should definitely keep an eye on your bag around here, but it’s also a place where Barcelona’s lively spirit shines through. So, take your time, embrace the hustle and bustle, and let La Rambla work its charm.

Final thoughts on the top things to do in Barcelona

There you have it, my favorite picks from the beautiful Barcelona – a city that never fails to impress. From iconic landmarks to lesser-known treasures, Barcelona is a city to be experienced, not just visited.

Whether it’s your first time here or you’re coming back for more, I’m sure you’ll find something to fall in love with. And remember, the city is always changing, always evolving, so there’s always something new to discover.

But what are you most excited about visiting in Barcelona? Is there a particular place that has sparked your interest, or are you eager to discover it all?

Either way, the city is waiting for you with open arms!

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