As you know, or even if you don’t know, I tell you anyway – Barcelona is my most favourite of all the cities I have ever visited. I love those chilled Spanish vibes, the variety of food and places to have your morning (okay, evening) sangria, the sound of the sea on Playa de Barceloneta and how vibrant it feels at evening. There is something for everybody. For students seeking their University exchange programs, for couples looking for a romantic gateway, to families with kids and older people who just want to enjoy some architecture and history.
In this article, I prepared for you a list of 10 things to do in Barcelona!
1. La Sagrada Familia
You can’t visit Barcelona and not see the most iconic place there. Designed by Catalan Antony Gaudi back in 1852 and now part of UNESCO World Heritage Site guarantees that the church is always busy and full of tourist. I personally haven’t been inside, but heard is an exquisite masterpiece, so I do recommend to book tickets in advance. It applies pretty much everywhere you go in Barcelona if you don’t want to miss things and your time there is limited.
2. Park Ciutadella
Without a doubt, Park Ciutadella is one of my most favourite parts of Barcelona. Full of green scenery, mandarin trees, picnic places, and benches to sit down and let the time pass by, it is a great escape from all the other tourist attractions. Interested in yoga classes in a park? Not a problem! There is also an option to rent a boat on the pond; ice cream stands offer a nice cool down on a hot day, and during the day the park is full of entertainment activities for kids.
3. Barceloneta Beach
Looking for a beach holiday somewhere in Europe? Than Barcelona may be your choice. The beach stretches over one kilometer with soft golden sand, plenty of restaurants and bars nearby offering a great selection of cold beer or fruity sangrias in those hot summer temperatures. The beach gets busy, and locals do like to participate in summer sports like volleyball and football. When I went there with my friend, we tried to keep up with some volleyball, but we failed, so we enjoyed a beach bar and plenty of sangria instead!
Tip 1: As you probably heard, Barcelona is full of pickpockets. I went twice and never had any problems (touch wood). You have to be conscious around your surroundings, don’t wear a backpack in busy places like Las Ramblas, make sure all your purse and expensive items are somewhere where you can reach for them, e.g., hidden pocket in jacket or fanny bag.
4. Gothic Quarter
If you want to get lost in a historic part of Barcelona, look no further than the Gothic Quarter. It used to a Roman village, and it still has got the beautiful remains and spirit hidden within the old walls. Nowadays it is a mix of old and new and is one of the most popular places when staying in Barcelona. The old town, or Gothic Quarter as you like, has got plenty of cafes, bars, shops and restaurants and hidden squares around. You just need to find your way through this concrete maze.
5. Cable Cars: Port Cable cars and Teleferic de Montjuïc
What about seeing Barcelona from a birds perspective? All those sleeping boats and yachts in the harbour, people moving around like ants in their nest? You can either jump inside the Port Cable Car; or climb your way all the way to Castell de Montjuic and then take a ride on top of the hill by Telefèric de Montjuïc.
Entrance: 11€ for a one-way ticket or 16.50€ for a round trip
For more information visit the website: https://www.holabarcelona.com/tickets/cable-car-montjuic-barcelona
Tip 2: Don’t confuse the Port Cable Car with the Castell de Mountjuic aka Telefèric de Montjuïc, which is located at the top of the Castle and takes you even higher. You will also need two separate tickets to be able to ride them both.
Telefèric de Montjuïc is a modern cable car while Port Cable Cars are a little bit outdated.
Entrance: 8.40€ for one way or 12.70€ for a round trip
6. Castell de Montjuïc
Built-in 1640 as a military fortress, Barcelona castle is now a municipal facility stretched on top of the Montjuïc Hill. A year after the Castle was built, it already faced its first battle. In 1694 the fortress was repaired and turned into a castle.
The Castle is a tourist attraction which you don’t want to miss, not only offering a piece of history but also gorgeous views of the harbour and the city; and in warm summer evenings the open-air cinema ‘Cinema a la Fresca’ takes place on the castle grounds.
Entrance fee: 5€
7. Ice Bar Barcelona
What is the best way to cool down on a hot summer day? Well, maybe the beach, but if you already did that, perhaps you should consider something totally different, and crazy at the same time. Icebarcelona is a wild place with the temperature down to -10 filled with illuminated ice-sculptures, cocktails served in ice glasses and disco music! Coats and gloves and a welcome drink are included in the entrance fees. I loved it, although my nose turned into an icicle!
Entrance: 16.50€ when buying online
8. Las Ramblas
The most famous street in Barcelona. Lined by trees, filled with local markets, scammers, artists, street performances and also – thieves. Alongside the street is plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops to buy anything from tacky t-shirts, mobile cases, to camera gear to also some illegal stuff (Signs are warning you not to buy from some people). Keep your belongings close to yourself and watch out for dodgy people or purposely made fights to avoid a big disappointment. This place is chronically overcrowded during the day, and when the darkness sets in and the streets are emptier, local prostitutes offer the trade.
Who doesn’t like amusements park? What’s even better is this one comes with a breath-taking view of the entire Barcelona. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to the park for the view; if this is not your cup of tea; you can skip the amusement park and visit Temple de Sagrat Cor instead. It is a church built on top of the Tibidabo back in 1806 with a bronze statue of Jesus. Entrance is free, you only have to pay for the lift on top of it and please your eyes and heart with a view from 575 metres above the sea level.
Entrance: Free; lift 2€ (Church)
Amusement Park: 28.50€
10. Montjuic Fountain
I missed this. Twice. Once because after 35K steps in one day and no energy left to go back during the evening; the second time it was under reconstruction. The fountain was designed back in 1929, restored for the Olympic Games in 1992 since then is one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona. The fountain lit up in every colour of the rainbow and plays music – so if you are visiting Barcelona, make sure you will see this show of lights and music. Below I also included opening times for your convince, so you don’t miss it as I did. The show is free.
Winter Season: October to April
Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
From 30 October to 30 March
The showtimes: 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM
Summer Season: May to September
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9:00 pm to 11:30 pm
From 31 March to 25 October
The showtimes: 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM 11:00 PM
Tip 3: Always check if you can book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment and also check if any construction works will stop you from experiencing it fully.
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