Things to do in Barcelona: The 25 Best Places to Visit and Highlights
You’re planning to visit Barcelona during your next trip to Spain?
In order to help you plan your stay, I have written this guide of the best things to do in Barcelona, with all the must-see attractions and points of interest.
From Parc Guell to La Sagrada Familia, you will discover all the best places to visit in the city as well as hidden gems, known only by locals.
And at the end of this article, you will also find itineraries to visit Barcelona in 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days (or even a week!) as well as my suggestions of the best accommodations depending on your budget.
So, what are the best places to visit in Barcelona? Where to stay?
Let’s find out!
- Things to do in Barcelona: The 25 Best Places to Visit and Highlights
- Visit Barcelona: All Must-See Attractions
- 1. La Sagrada Familia
- 2. Las Ramblas of Barcelona
- 3. Mercado de La Boqueria
- 4. Plaza Catalunya
- 5. Passeig de Gracia: Shopping in Barcelona
- 6. Casa Batlló
- 7. Casa Milà or “La Pedrera”
- 8. Park Güell – Where to Walk in Barcelona
- 9. Güell Palace
- 10. Visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)
- 11. Plaça d’Espanya and the Magic Fountain of Montjuic
- 12. The Olympic installations from the 1992 Olympic Games
- 13. Montjuic Hill
- 14. Visit Camp Nou Stadium
- 15. The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
- 16. Barcelona Port / Barcelona Cruises
- 17. Going to the Beach in Barcelona
- 18. Ciutadella Park
- 19. Barcelona’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross
- 20. The Palau de la Música Catalana
- 21. The Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau
- 22. The Best Viewpoints and Lookouts in Barcelona
- 23. Horta’s Labyrinth Park
- 24. Attending La Mercè
- 25. Exploring Barcelona’s Gastronomy
- The 6 Best Things to Do Around Barcelona
- Best Things to Do in Barcelona When It Rains
- Visiting Barcelona with Kids
- How Many Days to Visit Barcelona?
- 1 Day in Barcelona
- 2 Days in Barcelona
- 3 Days in Barcelona
- 4 Days in Barcelona
- 5 Days in Barcelona
- Where to Stay in Barcelona
- Where to Eat in Barcelona
- My Tips for a Trip to Barcelona
- Barcelona Tourist Map
- How to Get to Barcelona?
- FAQ – I Answer Your Questions About Barcelona
- You’re traveling in Spain? These articles will help you!
- Visit Barcelona: All Must-See Attractions
Visit Barcelona: All Must-See Attractions
1. La Sagrada Familia
You simply can’t visit Barcelona without planning a visit to La Sagrada Familia.
La Sagrada Familia is the most famous work of Catalan architect Gaudí, who shaped Barcelona’s architectural landscape until his death in 1926. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s Spain’s most visited monument and the emblematic symbol of Barcelona.
You’ll immediately understand why upon arriving at the Basilica: the building is impressive, with its details and Catholic references. Its unique architectural style, mixing Gothic and Art Nouveau, will take your breath away!
Under construction for 136 years, La Sagrada Familia is still unfinished and is not expected to be completed until 2027. In the meantime, the entry fees are used to fund the completion of the work. You can boast about having contributed to the construction of this masterpiece!
Practically speaking, La Sagrada Familia is open every day from 9 AM, and until 6 PM, 7 PM, or 8 PM depending on the season.
Of course, you can visit the interior as well as the museum displaying original plans and drawings that trace the evolution of the Basilica.
I highly recommend you book your ticket online before your visit to La Sagrada Familia. At any time of the day, the queue is often endless, and it would be a shame to waste hours waiting in line!
You need to book your skip-the-line ticket for La Sagrada Familia by clicking on the button below:
And if you prefer a guided tour of La Sagrada Familia with an official guide, simply click here to book it!
2. Las Ramblas of Barcelona
La Rambla (or Las Ramblas) is another place you don’t wanna miss during your visit to Barcelona.
It’s the pedestrian boulevard that connects the port of Barcelona to Plaza Catalunya (Plaça de Catalunya).
What to see along Las Ramblas of Barcelona:
- La Font de Canaletes: a gathering place for Barcelona residents during major events and football victories!
- Joan Miro’s mosaic, created directly on the pavement
- The Gran Teatre del Liceu, the oldest in the city
- Plaza Reial and its numerous bars
- Palau de la Virreina, which hosts temporary exhibitions.
Along nearly 2 km, you will also find numerous street artists, musicians, shops, and plenty of cafés and restaurants. Also, don’t miss the living statues: men and women dressed as creatures that are truly impressive.
You’ll find them towards the lower part of Las Ramblas, closer to the port.
3. Mercado de La Boqueria
During your stay in Barcelona, you should really go to the Mercado de La Boqueria.
The market, the oldest in the city, is the main tourist attraction on Las Ramblas. Look for an Art Nouveau portal and a crowd of tourists pouring in: that’s the spot!
This place is perfect for finding all kinds of Catalan products: tapas, Iberian ham, turron, fresh fruit… A true feast for the eyes and the palate. The stalls are beautifully presented, and the atmosphere is warm. You’ll want to try everything!
If you’re interested in Spanish cuisine, I recommend a super fun activity to do in Barcelona.
You can visit La Boqueria with a chef who will choose the best ingredients and then prepare for you a variety of hot and cold tapas as well as a paella. You’ll be able to watch the whole process and, of course, taste everything at the end accompanied by a small glass of sangria!
4. Plaza Catalunya
To continue your tour of Barcelona, I suggest you then head to Plaza Catalunya (Plaça de Catalunya), located at the end of Las Ramblas.
It’s the heart of the city, at the crossroads of Las Ramblas, Rambla de Catalunya, and Passeig de Gracia.
There, you’ll find several statues, including the statue of Frederic Marès, a few cafés, and an El Corte Inglés. You should have a drink on the roof of the department store, the view is really nice!
Plaza Catalunya is also the starting point of many metro lines and the Barcelona equivalent of the suburban rail, the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC).
So, this is the perfect starting point if you want to visit Barcelona using public transportation.
5. Passeig de Gracia: Shopping in Barcelona
Continuing from Las Ramblas, past Plaza Catalunya, you will find Passeig de Gracia.
It’s one of the most famous avenues in Barcelona and one of the many places to see.
Originally, Passeig de Gracia was the avenue where wealthy Barcelona families lived. Hence, you will find magnificent villas, including some designed by Gaudí (Casa Batlló and Casa Milà), and Puig y Cadafalch, another renowned architect in Barcelona (Casa Amatller).
Passeig de Gracia is also the perfect place for shopping among the countless luxury stores that line the promenade (or just window shopping if your budget doesn’t allow), with brands like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Cartier, Hermès, Gucci…
6. Casa Batlló
To continue this guide of the best places to visit in Barcelona, let’s head to Casa Batlló.
It’s one of the two villas designed by Gaudí on Passeig de Gracia. Known as La Casa del Ossos (the House of Bones) by the locals, it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
I strongly recommend visiting it as it is even more impressive inside than outside!
I suggest, again, that you book your ticket online in advance to avoid the potentially endless queue, even before 11 AM.
A 3D audiovisual guide makes the visit interactive and even more enjoyable:
Plan about 1 hour for the visit.
7. Casa Milà or “La Pedrera”
The other Gaudí villa located on Passeig de Gracia is Casa Milà, nicknamed “La Pedrera” (which means “the stone quarry” in Catalan, a nickname given for its unique architecture).
Also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, the building is recognizable from afar with its wavy white façade. Spanning 5 floors and 4,500 m², you can discover all of Gaudí’s architectural genius and immerse yourself in his world.
The view of Barcelona from the rooftop terrace is also breathtaking.
To book your skip-the-line ticket for Casa Mila, click here:
Should you wish to visit Casa Mila in a unique way, I suggest you book a night tour tickets (click here) with a show.
Starting from 9 PM, audiovisual projections take place in different parts of the building and on the roof. Plus, a glass of champagne is included.
8. Park Güell – Where to Walk in Barcelona
Let’s continue with Gaudí’s works: Park Güell is another must-see tourist attraction in Barcelona.
Built between 1900 and 1914 by order of Eusebi Güell, a friend and patron of Gaudí, the park was originally intended to be a garden city housing about 60 homes. In the end, only 4 houses were built due to budgetary constraints.
However, Park Güell remains a treasure trove of Modernist architecture and Art Nouveau, showcasing the blend of modernism and nature that characterized Gaudí’s work.
It’s divided into two areas: the “Monumental” zone, which has an entrance fee (this is where the famous curvy benches, the salamander, and the columns are found) and a free area.
You should plan to spend several hours exploring this park.
You can also climb up to the viewpoint (Mirador de Virolai), and even though the climb is a bit tough, it’s worth it. The panoramic view of Barcelona’s landmarks is stunning.
Tickets to visit the park must be reserved well in advance as availability is really limited:
9. Güell Palace
Güell Palace is yet another commission by Güell for Gaudí, located in the Raval neighborhood, in the historical center of Barcelona. It actually served as the Güell family’s residence.
Do not be deceived by the rather modest facade of the villa: the interior is truly luxurious.
The must-see elements of Palau Güell include the wrought iron gate, the entrance hall, and also the mansion’s bedrooms.
The full price ticket is 12€ but you can visit the palace for free on the first Sunday of every month.
If you have purchased the Gaudi Pass, entrance to Güell Palace is included!
10. Visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)
What are the best things to do in Barcelona if you love art and culture?
Go visit the MNAC!
The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) is famous for having the largest Romanesque art collection in the world. Besides its rich collections spanning all mediums and eras, it’s housed in a majestic palace specially built for the 1929 World Fair.
It’s also one of the largest museums in Spain.
You need to buy your MNAC entrance tickets by clicking here:
It’s possible to visit the MNAC for free, including both permanent and temporary exhibitions, on Saturdays after 3 PM and all first Sundays of the month.
11. Plaça d’Espanya and the Magic Fountain of Montjuic
Let’s continue this guide of Barcelona’s must-see attractions and head to Plaça d’Espanya.
Located opposite the MNAC, designed by architect Puig i Cadafalch, it was also built for the 1929 World Fair.
It’s recognizable by the former bullring, which is now a shopping center. I definitely recommend heading to the top floor, on the roof terrace: it offers a magnificent view of the square and Montjuic hill.
Don’t miss the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, located between the MNAC and Plaça Espanya.
Every evening, from Wednesday to Sunday, the fountain lights up to music. It’s an unmissable spectacle that both locals and tourists flock to see it: you should thus arrive early to get a good spot!
12. The Olympic installations from the 1992 Olympic Games
You may already know that Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games. A lot of sites were built for the occasion, especially in the Olympic port and on Montjuic hill.
Here are the main Olympic facilities to see:
- Montjuic Olympic Park, which includes the Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi, the Calatrava Tower, the Barcelona Sports Palace, and the Pavilion of Industrial Spain.
- Parc del Mar, home to the Olympic Port of Barcelona and the Mar Bella Pavilion.
For a hassle-free (and fun!) way to explore the Olympic sites, you should opt for a 1.5 hours guided Segway tour.
13. Montjuic Hill
Aside from the Olympic Park, Montjuic Hill still has many surprises in store. It’s a very peaceful area in Barcelona, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Here are the best places to visit in Montjuic:
- Montjuic Castle, which played a controversial role in the city’s history, notably as a vantage point for bombings during the War of Spanish Succession (18th and 19th centuries). It offers a breathtaking view of Barcelona’s coastline
- Barcelona Botanical Garden, where you can admire plant species from Australia, California, the Mediterranean, and more
- Miramar Gardens with their magnificent panorama over the entire city
- The Greek Theatre Gardens
- Mossèn Costa i Llobera Gardens, with a Californian theme.
14. Visit Camp Nou Stadium
What’s the best place to visit in Barcelona if you’re a sports enthusiast, especially a football fan?
The Camp Nou Stadium, without any hesitation!
The “Camp Nou Experience” combined tour allows you to visit the home of FC Barcelona, which is not only the largest stadium in Spain but also in Europe, as well as the FC Barcelona Museum. You will be completely immersed into the world of Spanish football.
You need to book this experience directly here:
To get there, your best option is to take the subway: line L3 to Palau Reial or Les Corts stations; and line 5 to Badal or Collblanc stations.
15. The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, located in the historical Born district, is a must-visit for fans of Gothic architecture and religious history.
You’ll surely be impressed by the immensity of the Basilica from the inside. You should ideally visit at night when it’s illuminated – it’s even more beautiful!
You can find opening hours and access information on the official website.
16. Barcelona Port / Barcelona Cruises
Port Vell is also worth a visit in Barcelona.
Theren you can find a shopping center (Mare Magnum), which might interest you if you’re fond of shopping. To get there, feel free to walk across the pedestrian bridge from La Rambla to the shopping center.
Here are some other attractions you can find at Port Vell:
- Christopher Columbus statue: you can climb to the top for a nice view of La Rambla and the port
- The IMAX cinema
- Barcelona Aquarium: This is a great activity for families visiting Barcelona. Tickets available here.
Port Vell is also where you can embark on Golondrinas cruises.
These boats take you to see Barcelona from the water, offering a different perspective of the city. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy. You need to book your tickets by clicking here.
And if you prefer a more festive cruise, you should opt for a catamaran ride.
The outing lasts 3 hours and includes a barbecue lunch (with drinks). A DJ is on board to set the mood, and there’s even a planned swimming stop.
Book by clicking the green button below:
17. Going to the Beach in Barcelona
Where to go to the beach in Barcelona?
Barcelona is also famous for its beaches, and if you’re visiting Barcelona during the summer, it’s the best way to cool off.
There are 10 beaches in Barcelona, spread along the Passeig Maritim.
The beaches closest to the center (Barceloneta, Sant Miquel, and Sant Sebastià) are the busiest. For a quieter experience, head to Nova Icària Beach.
18. Ciutadella Park
Let’s continue this guide with Ciutadella Park, another famous park in Barcelona, built for the 1888 Universal Exposition.
It’s a favorite spot for locals when the weather is nice, and you can even enjoy a boat ride on its lake.
In the park, you will find several tourist attractions such as:
- The Arc de Triomf
- The Museum of Modern Art
- The seat of the Parliament of Catalonia.
If you’re visiting Barcelona with your children, you can also take them to Barcelona Zoo. Tickets on sale here!
And to save money when you’re visiting Barcelona with your family, I recommend 2 packages that include entry to the zoo (click the links to book):
- Barcelona Family Pass: includes zoo entry + one-hour harbor cruise + fast-track entry to the Wax Museum
- The Zoo and Aquarium Pack: includes zoo entry + aquarium ticket + a ride on Barcelona’s port cable car.
19. Barcelona’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Barcelona is definitely the first landmark you’ll notice while wandering through the Gothic Quarter.
This impressive cathedral is one of Barcelona’s most majestic religious sights. Built in Gothic style, it is rich in detail and sculpture, both on the exterior and interior.
Admission costs 7€ and gives you access to the cathedral, the cloister, the terraces, the choir, the museum, and the chapel.
20. The Palau de la Música Catalana
This Art Nouveau concert hall is surely one of the most beautiful in the world.
This UNESCO World Heritage site was built in the early 20th century by Domènech i Montaner, who was a mentor to Gaudí and Puig i Cadafalch.
To visit the Palau de la Música Catalana, a guided tour is mandatory. Lasting 50 minutes, a guide will show you the intermission hall and balcony, the auditorium, and the upper balconies.
The tour is very interesting and full of fascinating anecdotes. It costs 20€ per person and various languages are available depending on the schedule.
21. The Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau
The Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau is another modernist masterpiece by architect Domènech i Montaner whom I just mentioned.
It was once a public hospital, designed as a garden city, and functioned throughout the 20th century.
You can visit several buildings on the premises, some of which host exhibitions, like the Sant Rafael Pavilion which shows what the hospital looked like in its early days.
22. The Best Viewpoints and Lookouts in Barcelona
What are the best places to go in Barcelona for a breathtaking view?
The best viewpoint in Barcelona is undoubtedly the Bunkers del Carmel, or Turó de la Rovira.
This site once hosted anti-aircraft bunkers that played a major role in the defense of the city during the Spanish Civil War. Today, not much remains except for a magnificent 360° view of the entire city of Barcelona.
Here’s a summary of the best spots to see Barcelona from above (most of which I have already mentioned)
- Montjuic hill (the castle or the Miramar)
- The Columbus Column
- Park Güell
- The rooftop of La Pedrera
- Torre Glòries (tickets available here!) from its 33rd floor, you get a spectacular view of Barcelona!
- The rooftop of the Las Arenas shopping center on Plaça Espanya
- The rooftop of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
- Mount Tibidabo
- Torre de Collserola
23. Horta’s Labyrinth Park
Horta’s Labyrinth Park is Barcelona’s oldest park, with a quiet and secretive atmosphere, ideal for a romantic stroll.
Once you’ve explored the labyrinth thoroughly, you can relax in the neoclassical park or even have a picnic.
Admission is 2€, but it’s free on Wednesdays and Sundays.
It’s a pleasant place to visit after seeing Barcelona’s more popular attractions.
24. Attending La Mercè
La Mercè is THE celebration in Barcelona you can’t miss. This religious festival, also known as “festa major d’estiu” in Catalan, takes place over a week around September 24th.
You’ll experience a full display of Catalan culture: castells and falcons, parades of Catalan giants, correfocs (fire runs), sardine barbecues, concerts, exhibitions, and more.
But the best way to understand what La Mercè is all about is to experience it for yourself!
25. Exploring Barcelona’s Gastronomy
What would a trip to Barcelona be without trying Catalan gastronomy?
Tapas, paella, arroz negre (black rice) and fideua (a type of paella made with short noodles), calçots (a kind of onion), crema catalana, turron, and coca de San Joan…
You will certainly have plenty to enjoy during your holiday!
The 6 Best Things to Do Around Barcelona
If you’re spending several days in Barcelona, don’t hesitate to leave the city and explore its surrounding areas.
Barcelona has the advantage of being located in a region rich in architectural treasures and diverse landscapes. Catalonia will delight lovers of urban art, ancient history, beaches, and mountains alike.
Here are the best places to visit around Barcelona:
- Montserrat Mountain: you should visit Montserrat Abbey and enjoy one (or more!) hikes. There are organized day trips from Barcelona, which is super convenient if you don’t have a car. You need to book your trip here!
- Colonia Güell: An industrial estate designed by Gaudí for the textile workers of Güell, featuring his unconventional church (the Crypt). To visit it, you should take the train from Barcelona. All-inclusive tickets with train journey, Colonia Güell and Crypt visit only cost 15€.
- Sitges: for strolling along the seafront and enjoying the beach in summer. It’s the ideal place to relax near Barcelona. Book your guided tour here!
- Tossa de Mar: on the Costa Brava, a unique village with a very charming medieval town center. It’s definitely one of the best places to visit near Barcelona. To book your day trip, you simply need to click here.
- Girona and Figueres, the 2 most important cities in Northern Catalonia. In Girona, you will visit many medieval monuments and in Figueres, you will discover the world of the famous Salvador Dali! Book your visit here!
- PortAventura Amusement Park: simply the best amusement in Spain and in Southern Europe. As an ultra-touristic attraction near Barcelona, you really need to purchase your skip-the-line tickets in advance. You can also reserve a day trip to PortAventura with transport included from Barcelona (very convenient if you don’t have a car).
Best Things to Do in Barcelona When It Rains
Even though Barcelona is a Mediterranean city renowned for its pleasant climate, it does rain in Barcelona sometimes!
So you’re not caught off-guard, I’ve prepared a list of the best activities to do when it rains in Barcelona:
- Visit museums: in my opinion, Barcelona’s must-see museums are the MNAC, the Picasso Museum, and the Miró Foundation on Montjuic. All of them are included in the Barcelona Museum Pass. But you could also take the opportunity to visit more unusual museums, like the Museum of Eroticism or the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, dedicated to cannabis.
- Drink a “chocolate a la taza”: this thick hot chocolate, often accompanied by churros, is a tradition in Barcelona. You can enjoy them in the numerous granjas, such as Granja Viader or Granja Pallaresa. One of my favorite spots is La Nena, in the Gracia neighborhood, an authentic café that’s quite popular with locals.
- Watch a Flamenco show: Flamenco is Andalusian, but it’s still very popular in Barcelona. Show evenings are especially organized at Los Tarantos, one of the oldest tablaos in Barcelona. You can book this activity here.
- Shopping: Barcelona has many shopping centers: Las Arenas, Glories (near Torre Agbar), L’illa Diagonal…
Visiting Barcelona with Kids
What are the best things do in Barcelona with your family?
To plan your trip to Barcelona with family, I have prepared a list of the best activities to do with children:
- Visit CosmoCaixa Science Museum, in Sarria district. Free for kids, it offers plenty of fun learning activities.
- A trip to the Tibidabo Amusement Park: located on Mount Tibidabo, this amusement park is one of the oldest in the world and offers stunning views over the city.
- The Blue Tram of Sarria: a century-old tramway connecting Avinguda Tibidabo with the funicular station. Note that it only runs on weekdays.
- Barcelona Aquarium: You’ll see fish and aquatic creatures from all over the world.
- The Magic Fountain of Montjuic: I mentioned it earlier on, and I can assure you that your children will love this show.
- Poble Espanyol: This “Spanish Village” offers a pretty amazing reconstruction of typical villages from Spain’s regions, from Andalusia to Castile. It’s great because it hosts many events and workshops for kids. It’s the perfect visit for a family stay in Barcelona.
If you’ve decided to visit Barcelona with your family, you can also take them to Barcelona Zoo. Tickets available here!
And to save money on your Barcelona trip with kids, I recommend 2 packs that include a visit to the zoo (click the links to book):
- The Barcelona Family Pass including: zoo entrance + one-hour harbor cruise + skip-the-line entry for the wax museum
- The Zoo and Aquarium Pack with: zoo entrance + aquarium ticket + a trip on the Barcelona Port cable car.
How Many Days to Visit Barcelona?
The length of your stay in Barcelona depends a lot on what you want to see and what kind of traveler you are.
It’s perfectly possible to visit Barcelona in a weekend or to spend a week there without getting bored.
To help you plan your stay, I’ve prepared itineraries to visit Barcelona in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days or even a week.
1 Day in Barcelona
If you’ve only got one day to visit Barcelona, you should focus your sightseeing around the heart of the city: the area that stretches from Ciutat Vella (the historic quarter) to Passeig de Gracia.
Here are the must-see attractions:
- Start your tour with the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and the Gothic Quarter, and take the opportunity to enjoy some tapas in the historic center of Barcelona
- Then, stroll down La Rambla
- Do some shopping at La Boqueria Market
- Taste tapas either at La Boqueria Market or in the upper Gothic Quarter
- Walk up along Passeig de Gracia, including a visit to Casa Batlló
- End your visit at the Sagrada Familia, so you can take your time to explore
- Enjoy a flamenco show in the evening
To optimize your time, you should book your tickets in advance online. You’ll find reservation links at each point in the article.
And if you don’t want to walk, you can also opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city. It’s the best way to make the most of Barcelona in one day.
2 Days in Barcelona
If you’re staying 2 days in Barcelona, you should follow the previous day’s itinerary, replacing the visit to the Sagrada Familia with a visit to Casa Milà.
Here are some ideas for your second day in Barcelona:
- Start your day with a visit to Park Güell
- Check out the Bunkers del Carmel, just a short distance away
- Pass by the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau
- Visit the Sagrada Familia (on the first day you would have visited Casa Mila)
- End your day in the Born district
All the details to organize your weekend in Barcelona are in this article: 2-Day Itinerary in Barcelona.
3 Days in Barcelona
If you’re planning to spend 3 days in Barcelona, you should do the itinerary mentioned above for the 2 first days and add a day on Montjuic hill.
Here’s how to organize your day:
- Head to Plaça Espanya and enjoy the view from the top of the shopping center
- If you have children, visit Poble Espanyol
- Visit the MNAC
- Have a picnic in one of the many parks on Montjuic (I especially like the Greek Theatre garden)
- Take a tour of the Olympic installations
- Finish your visit at Montjuic Castle
- Return to Plaça Espanya to eat some tapas and watch the Magic Fountain show
For 3 days in Barcelona, I’ve also prepared a detailed guide with all my tips to make the most of your stay in Barcelona.
Here it is: 3 Days in Barcelona, the ultimate guide!
4 Days in Barcelona
If you have 4 days in Barcelona, I recommend following the 3-day itinerary and adding a day around the beach and Port Vell:
- Take a tour of Port Vell: if it’s raining, go shopping and visit the aquarium, and if it’s sunny, take a Golondrinas boat tour
- Walk along Passeig Maritim to admire Barcelona’s beaches. In summer, you can even spend the afternoon at the beach.
- Visit the Olympic Port
- Return to the old town and rest in Parc de la Ciutadella
- Visit Santa Maria del Mar Basilica and climb to the top to enjoy the view over the city.
All these details and the day-by-day program can be found in my other article: 4 Days in Barcelona: the perfect itinerary.
5 Days in Barcelona
For 5 days in Barcelona, I recommend adding to the previous itinerary an excursion to visit Barcelona’s surroundings
Here are the best day trips from Barcelona:
- A visit to the Costa Brava from Barcelona: explore Lloret del Mar and Tossa del Mar + boat trip, bus transport, and guide included for only 55€ per person
- From Barcelona: Costa Brava, Kayak and Snorkeling: maximum of 12 people, transfer to the Costa Brava, kayak navigation and snorkeling (equipment provided) + lunch starting from 65€.
- Hot air balloon ride departing from Barcelona: hotel pickup + one-hour hot air balloon flight and picnic included
- Tickets for Montserrat from Barcelona + Museum: round trip – full-day tour with train ride, monastery and museum visit with audio guide included
- In winter, you can go skiing at one of the stations near Barcelona (La Molina, for instance, is very renowned)
- With children or with friends, go to PortAventura and don’t forget to book your skip-the-line tickets here.
To learn more about the best things to do in Barcelona in 5 days, you should read my detailed itinerary right here: 5 Days in Barcelona.
Where to Stay in Barcelona
As you know, finding a good hotel deal in Barcelona isn’t that easy!
That’s why I have selected for you the 5 best hotels in Barcelona, depending on your budget.
If you already know your travel dates and find a hotel that suits you, you should really book now, as the best deals don’t last long!
- Hostel One Ramblas: This hostel is located in the center of Barcelona. Dormitory beds start from €33 with dinner included. Strong points: the atmosphere, the price. A great choice if you’re visiting Barcelona on a budget.
- Hotel Grums Barcelona: Located next to Montjuic hill and 600m from Las Ramblas. Elegant and bright rooms starting from €134. Strong points: the spa with jacuzzi and sauna, room design, great location. It’s one of my favorite hotels in Barcelona for its excellent value for money!
- Ohla Barcelona: Perfectly located luxury hotel in Barcelona, between the Cathedral and the Plaza Catalunya, and 200 meters from the metro. This 5-star hotel offers contemporary and comfortable double rooms starting at €325 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the beauty of the establishment both outside and inside, the rooftop pool with breathtaking views, the 3 gourmet restaurants. This is definitely the perfect choice for a romantic stay in the heart of Barcelona.
- W Barcelona: The iconic Barcelona hotel is located in the Barceloneta district. Luxurious and well-equipped double rooms starting at €363. Strong points: the views, the two swimming pools, the facilities, the restaurants. Undoubtedly the most famous hotel in Barcelona!
- Hotel Arts Barcelona: 5-star hotel located in the Olympic Port district, 250 meters from the beach and 300 meters from Ciutadella Park. Design and ultra-spacious double rooms starting from €670 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the 2-Michelin-star restaurant, the outdoor pool with panoramic views, the design, and the contemporary art collection. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Barcelona!
To get a complete list of the best accommodations in Barcelona, sorted by area and budget, you should read my dedicated guide: Where to Stay in Barcelona?
Where to Eat in Barcelona
- For tapas: Taller de Tapas. This restaurant is part of a chain (with 6 locations in Barcelona, mainly in the old city), offering very affordable prices and a good sample of Catalan cuisine such as pan con tomate, paella, seafood tapas, croquetas, crema catalana, and more.
- For a good burger: Bacoa is also a chain, and it’s truly an institution in Barcelona. The burgers are artisanal, made with fresh products, and hearty.
- For a taste of chocolate a la taza: Granja La Pallaresa is one of the most famous and the best place to enjoy churros con chocolate. Moreover, the setting is really cool (in the Gothic Quarter, near the Cathedral of the Holy Cross).
My Tips for a Trip to Barcelona
Here are my tips to ensure you have the best time in Barcelona:
- Barcelona is known for its pickpockets. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, be very careful with your belongings in the busiest areas, especially Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter, the metro, and the beaches. If possible, try not to look like a tourist (with a city map in hand, camera around your neck).
- Embrace the Spanish schedule. In Barcelona, as in all of Spain, people live life late into the night. You’ll notice that shops and museums rarely open before 10 AM. Meal times are similar: Spaniards have breakfast at 11 AM, lunch between 2 PM and 4 PM, and dinner between 9 PM and 10 PM. Be careful not to fall into tourist traps: restaurants that open before 1 PM or 7 PM are usually targeting tourists.
- Don’t just stay in the tourist areas, like the beaches and the old town. The Gracia and Poblesec districts, for example, are authentic and you should really take a stroll there to discover Catalan life.
Barcelona Tourist Map
To help you get a better sense of the city, I have created a tourist map of Barcelona listing all the places I mentioned in this top 25 things to do in Barcelona.
You can display the map legend by clicking on the button in the top left with a little arrow.
How to Get to Barcelona?
It’s really easy to get to Barcelona.
From Europe, you can find cheap flights with Ryanair, or Vueling, the Barcelona-based low-cost airline.
It’s also possible to get to Barcelona by train. For example, the journey takes on average 8h20 to go from Paris to Barcelona. SNCF (the french train operator) offers 5-6 trips per day.
And you, what do you plan to visit during your stay in Barcelona?
If you need any help to plan your trip, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below!
FAQ – I Answer Your Questions About Barcelona
How to get around Barcelona?
- The Hola Barcelona card (to be purchased by clicking here!), Barcelona’s public transport card offers unlimited access to buses, metros, and trams for 2 to 5 days. Includes the metro line from Barcelona airport to the city center!
- A ticket for the Hop-On Hop-Off bus from Barcelona Bus Turistic + audio guide
- A ticket for the City Tour Barcelona bus + audio guide
- A ticket for the Aerobus shuttle that runs between the airport and the center of Barcelona
What are the best places to visit in Barcelona?
When is the best time to visit Barcelona?
In summer, you can enjoy the beaches, and in winter, the city’s rich architecture (and churros con chocolate).
To me, the best time to visit Barcelona is in September: the weather is still nice but not as hot as in mid-summer, the tourists have thinned out, and above all, it’s the time for La Mercè!
In September, you can still enjoy the beaches of Barcelona and the Costa Brava.
What to do in Barcelona at night?
Here’s my list of things to do:
- Explore Barcelona’s monuments by night. Casa Batlló and La Pedrera offer night tours with audiovisual projections and complimentary glass of wine.
- Attend a flamenco show (tickets can be booked here!) at one of the best tablaos in Barcelona: los Tarantos.
- A dusk catamaran cruise accompanied by a jazz concert
- Watch the Magic Fountain of Montjuic – Every evening from Wednesday to Sunday.
- Climb up to the Bunkers del Carmel to admire the view of the illuminated city
- Embark on a tapas bar crawl in Barcelona
- Go for a drink on a rooftop bar in Barcelona or join a guided bar tour with free shots!
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
You’re traveling in Spain? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about Spain: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Spain are listed there.