19 Sights In Barcelona You Must See!
This is my complete guide to what to see in Barcelona.
It’s about the landmarks, attractions and best experiences in the capital of Catalonia.
There are also the most important travel tips, a map of the sights at the end and answers to frequently asked questions.
1. Park Guell
The view of the Park Güell entrance from the Àera monumental is one of the symbols of Barcelona.
There are thousands of postcards with the colorful mosaics in the unmistakable style of Antoni Gaudí.
You need a ticket to enter the Àera monumental with the colorful mosaics by Antoni Gaudí. Reserve the ticket online or buy it a little further from the entrance in the ticket shop in front of Park Güell.
Access to the rest of the park is free.
If you still haven’t had enough of Gaudí after the tour of the park, you can visit the house in Park Güell where he lived from 1906 to 1926. It contains furniture and decorations designed by him.
It is best to plan the park with a meal in the surrounding neighborhood of Gracia.
Gràcia is a young, stylish neighborhood with students, artists and good local food. Along the streets you will see small bars, cafes for breakfast and restaurants with Spanish specialties.
The easiest way to get to Gràcia and Park Güell from central Barcelona is by metro, bus or Uber. It takes more than 45 minutes to walk from the Sagrada Família.
Tip: Gràcia, around Park Güell, is a neighborhood where locals like to come to eat. There are good restaurants, cafes for breakfast and wine bars with tapas.
2. Sagrada Familia
Traveling to Barcelona without seeing the Sagrada Família is illegal.
The unfinished cathedral is the lifework of Antoni Gaudí and the largest unfinished church in the world.
Its illusory end date remains a mystery, even more than 140 years after construction began.
Once its great tower is completed, it will be the tallest church in the world. But that’s not why she’s so famous.
Gaudí dedicated 43 years of his life to the Sagrada Família.
He donated the income from all other projects for the construction of the church. You can tell by the attention to detail, quality and beauty of the cathedral. Every element, no matter how small, has its own meaning. Gaudí is therefore buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Família.
If you want to see the finished interior, be sure to reserve a ticket for the Sagrada Família . Do this together with your flight and hotel in Barcelona.
Along the promenade of Barcelonata there are kilometers of fine sandy beach, restaurants, small cafes and terraces overlooking the sea.
In summer you lie on the beach by the sea, in winter you can sunbathe on the terraces of the restaurants.
The fastest way to get to the western Sant Sebastià beach is from the center, on foot in about 10 minutes from the old town Barri Gotic or in about 15 minutes from the end of Las Ramblas at the port.
Behind the beach you will find cafes, tapas bars and restaurants with terraces along the promenade. Along the streets, built in a checkerboard pattern, tapas bars, wine bars and clubs stand for Barcelona’s nightlife in the evening.
If you want to combine sea, party and music, reserve a ticket for the sunset catamaran cruise along the Barceloneta coast.
If you only want to lie on the beach for a day, you can also try the other beaches in the northeast of Barceloneta. There are more locals by the sea.
At least come to Barceloneta for a walk by the sea to the beach, a coffee overlooking the water or a meal in the tapas bars.
4. Mercat de la Boqueria
La Boqueria is Barcelona’s oldest market.
It all started in 1217 with small stalls on La Rambla.
Today, La Boqueria is one of the world’s famous delicatessen markets, with family-run market stalls, some in the fourth generation.
Whether you’re just popping in for a freshly squeezed fruit juice from one of the colorful stalls or wanting to grab an omelette with baby squid at the famous El Quim de la Boquería tapas bar, a stroll through the market is well worth it.
Some stalls sell cheese, chorizo and Iberian ham to try, Spanish chocolate, fruits from all over the world, torrons, olives, Medjoul dates and all the classics of Spanish cuisine.
You can try them at the market or take delicacies home for your friends. For us, food is one of the best souvenirs in the world.
If you like Spanish food, you should definitely not miss the Mercat de la Boqueria. Remember that the market is closed on Sundays.
5. La Rambla
La Rambla is Barcelona’s most famous street.
The 1.6 km long street connects Plaça Cataluyna with Port Vell.
Along the street are some of Barcelona’s most famous sights, including the Mercat de la Boqueria, the Palau Güell and east of La Rambla begins the old town Barri Gotic.
The selfie-stick vendors on the street don’t quite match the charm of the old-fashioned florists, but the smells of gelaterias, crema catalana candy stands and geofres (waffles) make up for it.
As soon as you arrive at the end of La Rambla at Port Vell harbour, you will immediately see the large Columbus statue, the Maremagnum shopping center and the Barcelona Aquarium .
Tip: Watch your wallet on La Rambla. In case you’re wondering, La Rambla or Las Ramblas? You can do both. The street signs say La Rambla.
The Gothic quarter Barri Gotic is the most famous district in Barcelona.
It is also one of the most beautiful areas of Barcelona with its tall houses, narrow streets, cafes, boutiques and monuments.
What is meant by Barri Gotic is the center of the old town between La Rambla, Port Velle harbour, Via Laietana and Plaça de Catalunya.
The sights in Barri Gothic include the La Seu Cathedral, the Historical Museum of Barcelona, the many small squares with cafes, the nightlife in the evening, restaurants and of course the colorful houses along the narrow streets.
Do you like it unusual, book a guided tour of Barri Gotic, with helicopter flight and boat trip .
Don’t miss this neighborhood during a trip to Barcelona. If you are looking for a good location from a hotel in Barcelona, Barri Gothic is also our first recommendation.
7. Camp Nou
FC Barcelona’s stadium is one of the great football cathedrals in the world.
Real football fans definitely don’t miss the stadium.
A guided tour through Europe’s largest arena with 99,354 seats is even an experience if you don’t like football.
For FC Barcelona fans, a guided tour of Camp Nou is like a trip to heaven. You can see the changing rooms, player tunnel and press rooms in the stadium.
You can walk along the dizzying stands, through the FC Barcelona Museum with the trophies from the Champions League and you can take home a real memory from the Camp Nou from the souvenir shop.
If you want to watch a game at the Camp Nou, you can.
While all seats actually belong to season ticket holders, they open them to the public if they don’t come to a game. That’s why you have chances of getting a ticket for FC Barcelona matches against smaller teams.
Important! The stadium tour is not possible on a match day or shortly before. Keep that in mind and reserve your Camp Nou guided tour ticket in advance just to be on the safe side.
8. Picasso Museum
Picasso was born in Malaga but later lived in Barcelona for a long time.
All his life he has returned to Barcelona because his family stayed in the city.
Paintings from Picasso’s time in Barcelona are on display at the Museu Picasso on Carrer de Montcada, divided into five palaces from old Barcelona.
If you want to see Picasso’s great works, you have to visit museums all over the world. Guernica is on display at the Reina Sofía in Madrid and The Weeping Woman is on display at the Tate Modern in London.
Barcelona’s museum shows how Picasso developed from a classically trained painter to a Cubist pioneer.
You first go through a Gothic archway in the museum into white studios with early works by Picasso. These include portraits of his sister.
He never painted her again after leaving Barcelona. After his death, his sister managed the estate with the paintings. That’s why there is the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.
The medieval Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria is one of the most beautiful sights in Spain .
It is 45 km outside of Barcelona at the foot of the Montserrat mountain range. That’s why many know it only as Montserrat Monastery.
In it you can see the Black Madonna, the life of the 70 monks and works of art from the centuries-long history of the monastery. Paintings by Picasso, El Greco and Dali are on display at the Montserrat Museum.
Another argument for a trip to Montserrat is the beautiful Catalan countryside. Montserrat is one of the best wine growing regions of Spain.
There are small wineries with tapas, own bottles of wine and a breathtaking view of the mountains.
You can get from Plaça Espanya train station to Montserrat-Aeri in 90 minutes by taking the R5 line towards Manresa. The train departs every 30 minutes. Afterwards, take the Aeri de Montserrat cable car or the Cremallera de Montserrat cog railway to the monastery.
Tip: There is a Montserrat small group tour from Barcelona that includes the monastery , museum, lunch, cog railway, free time and an optional wine tasting at a winery with tapas.
10. Arc del Triomf
The Arc de Triomf is one of the buildings from the 1888 World’s Fair.
It was the main entrance to the exhibition in Ciutadella Park. Today the 30 m high orange and red brick arch is one of the symbols of Barcelona.
You can’t miss the Arc de Triomf in the center of Barcelona. From the old quarter of Barri Gotic you walk only a few minutes to the arch.
The surrounding park is one of the most beautiful places in the center, with sculptures, the tall green palm trees, fountains, park benches and tranquility in the otherwise lively heart of Barcelona.
The park includes the Barcelona Zoo if you are looking for a place to visit with the kids.
Day 11 in Andorra
If you want to see Andorra, a day trip from Barcelona is the easiest way to do it.
Andorra is the picture-perfect little principality at more than 1,000 m above sea level in the Pyrenees between Spain and France.
Only 76,000 people live in the small country with exclusive ski resorts, old stone houses, snow-capped mountains and shopping centers in the capital Andorra la Vella.
You can get to Andorra from Barcelona by bus or day trip. There is no train station in Andorra and only one road to Spain and one road to France.
Our recommendation is the tour: “From Barcelona – 3 countries in one day” .
You will see the medieval Spanish village of Bagà, the French spa resort of Ax-les-Thermes with buildings from the Belle Époque and Andorra’s capital Andorra la Vella.
Of course there is one of the rarest stamps in the world in your passport upon arrival, from the Principality of Andorra.
More on this: We wrote our own post with our experiences with the 3 countries trip from Barcelona to Andorra . It deals with the most important travel tips, our experiences and opinions on the trip.
The Tibidabo is the amusement park in the north of Barcelona, on a small hill overlooking the sea.
You’ve probably seen pictures of the park before.
The Ferris wheel on Tibidabo and the church Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor are among the most famous motifs from Barcelona.
For some, the Tibidabo is therefore one of the top 10 sights in Barcelona. If you would like to walk around the park, are looking for retro-style attractions for children or want to see a beautiful view, you should plan a visit to the amusement park.
From the center of Barcelona you can take the Tramvia Blau to Tibidabo.
For the last meters to the top, you change to the funicular to the 520 m high mountain. The trip with the cable car and the Tramvia Blau is included in the Hola BCN ticket .
You can also get to Tibidabo with the hop-on hop-off bus .
Tip: It is best to drive to the Tibidabo at sunset. This is the best time with a romantic view of Barcelona.
13. Catalan food
Barcelona is one of the dream destinations for foodies.
Here you can find everything from Spanish tapas bars to Japanese noodle bars.
Eat at least once in a tapas bar with a bottle of wine, order a paella and eat a crema catalana.
If you decide to have a main course, order Arrò Negre. This is rice with squid and for dessert there is a Crema Catalana.
Here’s a quick list of interesting dishes:
14. Casa Batllo by Antoni Gaudí
The Casa Batlló is Claude Monet’s water lilies – only as architecture.
It is one of Antoni Gaudí’s postcards in Barcelona.
Look closely at the shards of stained glass. Depending on the light, they sometimes appear blue, then green, and then shimmer like a lake.
Like all Antoni Gaudí masterpieces, the house is influenced by nature. There are no straight lines because they don’t exist in nature, Gaudí said.
The stone pillars twist like animal bones, there’s a high, ocean-blue staircase with great attention to detail, and a mushroom-shaped fireplace that’s a cozy nook for couples to warm up in winter.
15. National Museum of Art of Catalunya
The National Museum of Catalan Art looks like a palace.
If you like art, with its exhibition of 250,000 works, it is a sight for a whole day or at least an afternoon.
Standing at the foot of Montjuïc, it was originally the Spanish Pavilion at the 1929 World’s Fair. It was later converted into the Museu d’Art de Catalunya.
In the museum you can see the largest collection of Catalan modernism, Romanesque murals, works from Italy and France, from the Baroque period, sculptures and of course works by Antoni Gaudí.
Come in summer for the water feature Thursday through Saturday evenings. Check out when it is exactly depending on the time of year.
Montjüic is the hill with the large park between the port of Barcelona and Plaça España.
It was the center of the 1992 Olympic Games and the 1929 World’s Fair.
The Transbordador Aeri del Port cable car, built for the World Exhibition in 1929, runs from Sant Sebastià beach in Barceloneta via Port Vell harbor to the top of the hill.
Another cable car runs from Avinguada Miramar to the Castell de Montjuïc at the top of the hill.
The 17th-century fortress was used by the Spaniards to quell uprisings in Catalonia and as a prison for political prisoners.
There are also museums surrounding Montjuïc, the 1992 Olympic site, exotic gardens and enough panoramic views of Barcelona to fill your smartphone’s memory card.
Museums near Montjüic include the Fundació Joan Miró (Miró Museum), Archaeological Museum of Catalonia, Ethnographic Museum of Barcelona and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
17. Casa Mila
The Catalans call the Casa Milà La Pedrera – “the quarry house” because its facade is reminiscent of rocks in a quarry.
Dating from 1912, it is the last building Gaudí designed before he started work on the Sagrada Família.
The house on Passeig de Gràcia is one of the masterpieces of Catalan Modernism listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As in all of Gaudí’s buildings, there are no straight lines. Compared to Casa Batllò, which is only five minutes away, the whole house is built with natural materials and few colors.
If you want to see the interior and the chimneys on the roof of Casa Milà, buy a ticket for the exhibitions .
With the ticket you will see an apartment designed by Antoni Gaudí on Passeig de Gracia and the Espai Gaudí exhibition at Casa Milà, which showcases Gaudi’s life and architecture.
18. La Seu Cathedral of Barcelona
The cathedral in the old town is not as extravagant and famous as the Sagrada Família.
Nevertheless, it is one of the sights in Barcelona’s old town Barri Gotic that you should not miss.
The cathedral stands on the ruins of a 2,000-year-old Roman temple, right in the center of the old town.
You can still find remains of the Roman walls and the aqueduct near the cathedral.
Tip: Do you want to see the most beautiful view of Barcelona’s old town Barri Gotic? Then take the elevator to the top of the cathedral tower.
19. Hospital de Sant Pau
The hospital is a UNESCO World Heritage site and still an insider tip in Barcelona, just 15 minutes from the Sagrada Família.
The hospital is the largest Art Nouveau complex in the world, with gardens, renovated pavilions, underground passages, sculptures, stained glass and the typical colorful mosaics.
You can visit the inside because the hospital moved to a new building in 2009 because Sant Pau was too small then.
In the abandoned hospital you see operating theatres, there are art exhibitions and events. The university, international organizations and associations also use Sant Pau.
It is curious that Antoni Gaudí died after a traffic accident with a tram in the Hospital de Sant Pau. He was not recognized for two days because he is said to have looked like a homeless person.
Gaudí is said to have spent so much time building the Sagrada Família that he didn’t bother about anything else, including his full beard, his clothes and his looks.
Map of attractions in Barcelona
Sightseeing tips for a city trip
I hope my guide to places of interest is of good help for your trip to Barcelona.
If you have any questions or would like to share your own tips or experiences, please let me know in the comments below.
For me, Barcelona is the most beautiful city trip destination on the Mediterranean, which I recommend to all travellers.
If you only have time for three sights, see the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and the old town Barri Gotic with a meal at Mercat de la Boqueria.
With sights such as the Sagrada Família, nightlife, museums, amusement parks, shopping streets and beaches, there is something for everyone.
Finally, I wish you a nice trip to Barcelona.