8 best things to do and see in Barcelona

Barcelona skyline view with the sun going down.

Barcelona, the city of the sun, the beach, and the vibrant atmosphere. The Mediterranean essence overflows its streets, where medieval and futuristic buildings create a perfect mix, all wrapped in a sea breeze. A big city where a Basilica is still under construction. To help you make the most of your trip, here is a list of the best things to do in Barcelona:

1- The Gothic Quarter

Carrer del Bisbe, in the beautiful Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.
Carrer del Bisbe, in the beautiful Gothic Quarter in Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter is part of the Ciutat Vella (Old City, in Catalan) district. It is located in the city center of Barcelona. Its streets make up a labyrinth of cobbled streets and beautiful narrow alleys. It hosts some of the most beautiful buildings and places in Barcelona.

The narrow streets in the Gothic Quarter hide many magical corners and magnificent buildings like Barcelona’s Cathedral or the archeological remains of the Roman baths and the Roman temple of Augustus.

Let yourself get lost in the Gothic Quarter, characterized by its cute narrow streets like Carrer del Bisbe, in opposition to the sunny squares like Plaça Reial, Plaça de Sant Jaume, or Plaça del Pi.

 

2- Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music)

The Palau de la Música Catalana is one of the most iconic modernist buildings in Barcelona. Designed by Domènech I Muntaner, it is the only concert venue declared a World Heritage site.

The architecture of Palau de la Música Catalana is astonishing. The main room features floral elements, mixed with mythological and historic personalities representations. In the middle of the ceiling, a colored crystal structure seems to melt, creating an illusory sensation. The colored light rays give something magical and mystic to the statues all around the chamber. The room is decorated with floral elements, mixed with Wagner’s Valkyries that descend from the ceiling.

Entering this building transports you to a world of quiet crystal nature in the middle of the city. An illusory world of colors and reflections.

 

3- Boqueria Market

Boqueria Market is located in the middle of La Rambla, one of the most crowded streets in the center of Barcelona. Full of bars and terraces, it is the place for social life in the city.

The huge Modernist sign that welcomes you to the market gives you a hint about what we are about to find inside: a mix of colors, tastes, and aromas that create a delicate and well-balanced tissue.

Boqueria Market is one of the best places to sample typical tapas, wonderful hams, and refreshing fruit smoothies. The culinary essence of Barcelona hides between the small market stalls. The perfect place to stop for a snack in the vibrant city of Barcelona.

 

4- La Pedrera

La Pedrera is one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelona
La Pedrera is one of the most iconic buildings in Barcelona

Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, is a stunning building located in a corner in Passeig de Gràcia, the most iconic luxury shopping street in Barcelona. Its rounded forms contrast with the traffic and the noise of the city.

La Pedrera is one of the best artworks of Antoni Gaudí. The architecture displays many nature-inspired elements. Its name, La Pedrera, means “The Quarry” in Catalan, due to its resemblance.

Its architecture combines white stone with iron, creating a peaceful sensation to the visitor. The Modernistic chimneys are one of the most iconic postcards of Barcelona. Even the stormtrooper aesthetic was inspired by them!

 

5- Casa Batlló

The colorful façade of Casa Batlló
The colorful façade of Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló is a building located in Passeig de Gràcia, very close to La Pedrera. In this case, Antoni Gaudí inspired his beautiful artwork in the marine world. Its colorful wavy façade highlights the color of the walls decorated with floral elements, contrasting with the mask shaped balconies.

The visit to Casa Batlló is a tour inside an aquatic universe, created by the beautiful architecture of the building. The different floors express different states of nature: from the submarine world to the woods, ending in a room with 60 consecutive arches, that represent the ribs of an animal.

All the details in Casa Batlló were created with a refined aesthetic. Inside the house, you can find a mushroom fireplace or wavy ceilings that evoke the sea.

 

6- Sagrada Família

Sagrada Família is the only basilica still under construction in the world
Sagrada Família is the only basilica still under construction in the world

Sagrada Família is THE symbol of Barcelona. This beautiful basilica was also designed by Antoni Gaudí, and it is his only unfinished work. Nowadays, it is the only cathedral in the world that is still under construction.

The beautiful towers are still surrounded by cranes, and they look like if they want to reach the sky. The beautiful gothic architecture is inspired by naturalist elements, like many of the artist’s works.

The inside of the temple highlights columns and floral elements, that create the effect to enter inside a forest. Stained-glass windows embellish it with colored light. As you enter, the sensation is to be inside an alive nature sanctuary.

 

7- Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar is a gothic church in the old quarter of Barcelona. It is the church that appears in The Angel’s Game novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

The gothic architecture combined with the geometric composition gives the sensation of lightness. The church is 80 meters long and 33 meters wide. The highness is also 33 meters, and its contemplation from the outside fits in a perfect circle.

The visit to the church allows you to see the interior, the crypt, and the terrace. From there you will have a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Barcelona.

 

8- Park Güell

Park Güell is a beautiful outdoor garden designed by Antoni Gaudí

Park Güell is an outdoor garden designed by Gaudí, which was declared a World Heritage site.

As many of Gaudí’s artworks, the design is inspired by natural elements. Rounded shapes are combined with vivid colors to create a beautiful outdoor space, which is perfectly integrated into the nature surrounding it.

Some of the most iconic pieces of Park Güell are a 150-meter long snake that is used as a bench, and the famous salamander, decorated with the colorful trencadís (small bits of ceramic, of different colors).

 

 

Barcelona is a beautiful city where the vibrant Mediterranean culture invades every corner. Barcelona is more than sunny days, paella and flamenco. A place where culture, architecture, and gastronomy are perfectly equilibrated.

Barcelona, the heart of Catalonia, is surrounded by beautiful countryside and charming villages. Not only the city, but its surroundings make it a great choice as a travel destination.


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