When putting together My Recommendations for European City Breaks I was shocked that I do not have one for Barcelona. I have been to the gorgeous seaside city twice and despite spending Seven collective days in this Spanish gem did not ut together a top level guide – let’s fix that today! Some of these you have seen in recaps from my 2016 trip to Barcelona but I also visited at the end of 2019 and believe it our not did not share at all – a shock, I know. It was because I visited with an ex-boyfriend and it is proof that travelling really shows you another side of something and to keep it nice – it was not a side I found attractive. But now for my Barcelona City Guide:
Casa Batlló – This has to be one of the most beautiful apartment buildings I have seen and I did a feature on Casa Batllo as well as it was such a gorgeous place! A private family owns the house and the 22 euro per person admission goes towards keeping it safe.
Mercado de La Boqueria – Many have described it as one of the best food markets in the world and while I have not been to enough to say, I was quite impressed. The most difficult part of your visit will be choosing what you want to get from one of the 100 booths bursting fresh fruit, chocolate, Spanish meats, seafood, and more!
Montjuïc Park and Castle – On the edge of Barcelona Montjuic mountain is a beautiful park which has winding footpaths or a cablecar to take you to the summit with spectacular views. Plus there is also Montjuïc Castle at the top – an old military fortress dating back to 1640 which you can visit.
Cathedral of Barcelona – This landmark 13th-century house of worship is gorgeous and while no photos are allowed on the inside my favorite part of this Renaissance inspired church was the climb to the rooftop and the expansive views. The church is free but as you can see from my detailed post here, it is worth the small fee!
Arc de Triomf, Barcelona – Not to be confused with the one in Paris this Arco de Triunfo was built as the main entrance to the Universal Exhibition in 1888 in a classical style. It is beautiful up close and at a distance and worth a stop plus the promenade next to it, the Passeig de Lluís Companys, is one of the prime picnic spots.
Picasso Museum – Vast collection of great artist’s works and while I am not a fan of modern art he certainly had talent! You can not take photos of the 4,000+ pieces of art (some of which you can see here) but believe me, it is worth a visit.
Palau Güell – A gorgeous mansion designed Antoni Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell, and was built between 1880’s for industrial tycoon and his family which included ten children! You can find the full feature on Palau Guell here.
Montjuïc Fountain – If it can fit into your schedule I would recommend a visit to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, known as Font Magica, for the daily twenty minute light show which is worth the wait. You can see photos of the gorgeous evening display Travel Diaries: The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc.
Barcelona Waterfront – La Rambla dead ends into the Christopher Columbus Monument, the Plaça de Catalunya, and the Barcelona waterfront which is worth a visit any time of day. Artists, boats, merchants, and more await you at this free-hot spot – you can see a full view of the waterfront here.
Parc de la Ciutadella – Located less than five minutes from the Arc the park is small space but continues museums, walking trails, a boating lake and even a zoo! My favorite spot is the Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella the fountain with gold statue of Venus!
La Rambla, Barcelona – Being from New York I love a good shopping street and not only is this long street in the heart of the city it is the center for shopping and also the cultural hub of Barcelona.
Park Guell – In the city filled with Gaudi’s great works the Parc Güell is not to be missed. It takes a bit of time to get to Carmel Hill no matter where you are coming from but it is worth the trip to see the The Serpentine Bench, El Drac’ and the Laundry Room Portico.
Bike Tour – And to see many of the other attractions I did not mention above, I would suggest hop on a bike tour. It is a great orientation to the city and have now done the exact same tour twice taking in the Plaça Sant Jaume, Plaça del Rei, Palau de la Mùsica Catalana, and the Parc de la Ciutadella. I covered the highlights here and you can find the details on the Fat Tire bike tours.
La Sagrada Familia – Best for last, didn’t want you to stop La Sagrada Familia – Gaudí-designed landmark church. This got it’s own post back in 2016 but as the number one tourist attraction in the entire city of Barcelona it really should not be missed. Make sure you book tickets ahead, both for a guided tour and a visit to the towers as you can not enter the church without tickets and they tend to book out days or weeks in advance.
Lastly, if Barcelona is not your Spanish city of choice I do have recommendations for Ibiza, Madrid, and Toledo! And in case you are not quite ready to plan your trip just yet feel free to bookmark or pin one of the images below to come back to!
If you have been, would you have added any locations to my Barcelona City Guide?