Are you visiting Barcelona for the first time? Then you’ll find all the must-sees on this page. I’m sharing the top 10 sights of Barcelona here. You can’t leave Barcelona without seeing these ten iconic spots.
1 Sagrada Familia
If there’s only one thing you can do during your time in Barcelona, it should be visiting Sagrada Familia. This church that’s never finished is the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi. You can walk all around the Sagrada Familia to see the exterior from all its angles. But even better is to plan your visit ahead and book tickets online, so that you can see the church from the inside.
Tip: plan your visit in the afternoon, when the sun shines beautifully through the stained glass.
2 Park Güell
Park Güell is a popular spot for all ages. This park designed by Gaudi opened up in 1926 and is lovely to stroll around. The mosaic lizard is most famous, but the Doric columns are also beautiful. Gaudi designed the park for Eusebi Guell, hence the name. You can find a beautiful house in the park where Gaudi himself lived for the last years of his life. The house wasn’t designed by him, but by Francesc Berenguer.
3 La Rambla
The most famous street in Barcelona is La Rambla. This broad street is very centrally located in the old part of the city and goes from Place de la Catalunya to the harbour. Here you’ll find many touristic shops and restaurants. And, unfortunately, also pickpockets. Tourists often call it ‘The Ramblas’, but it’s without the ‘s’ at the end.
4 The Beach
One of the things that makes Barcelona such an appealing city to visit or to live in, is the beach. What’s better after a day of work, to buy some drinks at the supermarket and unwind at the beach? The Barceloneta neighborhood has a long coastline, but you can also go further North-East to neighborhoods like Poblenou and Badalona. Did you know that the beach at Barceloneta is artificial? It’s made with imported sand and occasionally they need to add some more sand because it gets eroded by the waves and the weather. Nevertheless, it’s a great spot to relax, swim or play volleybal.
5 Arc de Triomf
You might think that only Paris has an Arc de Triomf, but Barcelona also has one. The arch is made from red bricks was the main entrance gate for the Barcelona World Fair in 1888. From the Arc you can walk over a broad promenade leading to Parc de la Ciutadella.
6 Parc de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella is a beautiful park on the North-East side of the old city. For long it was the only green space in the city, and it’s still the biggest park in the city center. You can find a lake with rowboats, the Barcelona Zoo and a beautiful fountain. Two big stairs behind the water lead up to a platform that you can visit. In front is a gold colored statue of Venus. The fountain makes a perfect background for your Instagram pictures.
7 Camp Nou
Even when you’re not a soccer fan, Camp Nou is worth the visit. Yes, they’ve turned it into a bit of a tourist trap where you pay for almost everything and you wait in line with dozens of others. But it’s also the biggest soccer stadium in Europe with a capacity of nearly 100,000 seats.
Please keep in mind that the stadium is closed for renovations in 2023.
8 Barcelona Cathedral
Officially named The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, but known as Barcelona Cathedral is the cathedral in the Gothic Quarter. It took a while to complete it (from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century), but it was worth it as it’s now a beautiful place to visit. You can also visit the roof for some great views over the old city.
9 Casa Batlló
Besides Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, Casa Batlló is one of the top sights from Gaudi in Barcelona. You can walk through the house with an audio tour that gives you all the information about the ‘casa’. There are often all kinds of exhibitions in Casa Batlló, of art that’s made or selected especially for the house. If a ticket is too expensive, you can also just admire the exterior from the street.
The Spanish have a wonderful food culture, and tapas are an important part of it. Almost every restaurant in Barcelona has them on the menu. You can order a two or three to share as a starter or with an aperitivo in the early evening. It’s almost impossible to select just a few good tapas restaurants in Barcelona, so here you’ll find a few favorites:
Braseros & Asoc, Sant Antoni
Bar mono, Gothic Quarter
Tantarantana, El Born
BarCeloneta Sangria Bar, Barcelonetta