Barcelona is one of those places that easily get to your heart because it has a soul of its own. The soul of the Catalonian city is so intriguing that it is impossible to describe it in one word. This is why, many people say that Barcelona is not one city, but many different places, gathered together, forming a special place that everybody wants to go back to.
Because there are so many things to do, it is impossible to explore everything, by visiting the city once. However, you can see the most important spots. So, in order to help you see the best of Barcelona, we put together a list of 20 things all tourists should see in this lovely city.
- La Sagrada Família
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One of the most famous touristic attractions in Barcelona is La Sagrada Familia, an incomplete but spectacular work of the well-known artist, Antoni Gaudí. The giant Basilica has been under construction since 1882, but this is not what makes it the symbol of the city. What gained its fame is the artist’s talent and the manner of combining his passion for nature with Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms, creating an imposing and fascinating piece of art.
- Las Ramblas
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La Rambla (known by many as Las Ramblas) is a popular street in the center of charming Barcelona. The vibrant promenade is always full of tourists, as well as artists, human statues, shops and restaurants. This is often the first landmark travelers identify with the city, but the chic boulevard is just the beginning of an unforgettable adventure.
- The Gothic Quarter
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Part of Ciutat Vella district, the Gothic Quarter is the center of the old city and it is definitely one of the favorite places of all travelers who love culture. The Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic, used to be a Roman village. Now, it attracts tourists with its old style buildings, charming streets, a multitude of peaceful squares, and of course, with many lively bars and coffee shops.
- La Barceloneta
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La Barceloneta is a neighborhood in the Ciutat Vella district, which used to be a fishermen’s village. Now, it is a cosmopolitan area, where you can find fancy bars and restaurants, where mouth-watering seafood is served. There are also a few other touristic attractions here but the most important part of the area is, of course, the beach. This is what makes Barcelona one of the best cities in the world: it gives people the busy city experience, as well as the relaxing beach treat.
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Besides being a cosmopolitan city with lively areas and relaxing beaches, Barcelona also has a mountain inside it. Montjuïc gives locals, as well as travelers the fresh breath of air they need after wandering around the busy city. With a rich history, magnificent views and an impressive number of things to do, Montjuïc is a must-see on every traveler’s list.
- El Raval
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Whoever goes to Barcelona falls in love with El Raval, an intriguing neighborhood, located in the Ciutat Vella district. El Raval offers its visitors interesting historical spots, vibrant coffee shops and superb restaurants, as well as an impressive number of cultural activities. Wandering around its busy streets is always a fantastic idea, no matter if you are here alone, or with a romantic partner.
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Tibidabo is the perfect place if you want to see and admire the spectacular views over the city, as well as the surrounding coastline. If you decide to have a picnic with a view, go to Tibidabo. And if you go all the way to the top, a small, but charming amusement park, will surprise you. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
- Park Güell
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People who live in Barcelona are very fond of their time at the beach, but nothing compares to the days they spent in one of their beloved parks. One of the most beautiful parks in this city is Gaudí’s masterpiece, Park Güell. Wondering around its bizarre, but fabulous structures will give you the feeling that you are actually inside the artist’s mind. And if you want to get closer to his soul, don’t miss the small house, which Gaudí lived in, for a while.
- Parc de la Ciutadella
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Another famous park in Catalonia’s most important city is the Parc de la Ciutadella. Not only does it offer its visitors a beautiful green space, but it is also the home of the city zoo, as well as the place where you can see the imposing Parliament of Catalonia and visit some very interesting museums.
- Camp Nou
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You don’t have to be a football addict to visit Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona since 1957. People from all over the world go to this impressive stadium, not only because it is the third largest football stadium in the world, but it is also the place where famous football players make art out of this sport.
- La Boqueria
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The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is simply called La Boqueria, and it is a large public market in the Ciutat Vella, exactly near Las Ramblas.
This is definitely the paradise for all food lovers. The multitude of options will blow your mind and make you wander around the stalls and try the appealing products.
In addition, around the market there are many bars selling delicious food and tasty drinks, so you can have a great lunch here.
- La Pedrera
La Pedrera is the popular name of Casa Milà, a masterpiece designed by the famous Antoni Gaudí. The modernist building has an impressive appearance and strangely shaped rooms. Therefore, instead of being a house, it is now a museum, visited by all curious minded travelers.
- Casa Batlló
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Another great building that should be on every traveler’s must-see list is Casa Batlló, designed by the same Gaudí. Close to La Pedrera, on Passeig de Gràcia, Casa Batlló looks like it’s made from skulls and bones, attracting everybody who wanders around!
- Basilica Santa Maria del Mar
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When you go to the charming Ribiera district, you cannot miss seeing the imposing church, known as Basilica Santa Maria del Mar. This perfect example of the incredible Catalan Gothic style was designed by Berenguer de Montagut and used as the place of worship for the shipwrights and merchants of Barcelona.
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With a few very interesting heritage sites spread all around the city, Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA) is definitely a great place for all people who want to get closer to history. The MUHBA Plaça del Rei is the headquarters of the museum and it offers fascinating archaeological remains below the square, as well as impressive collections of historical objects.
- National Art Museum of Catalonia
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National Art Museum of Catalonia, also known as MNAC, has not only amazing exhibitions but also a fantastic location, being positioned on the charming Montjuïc hill. The museum is hosted by the gorgeous National Palace, and it offers visitors beautiful examples of Catalan art and design.
- Picasso Museum
Like all artists who lived in this charming city, Picasso had a special relationship with Barcelona and this can be easily observed at his museum. Picasso Museum offers art lovers one of the most extensive collections of his work. It is definitely a must-see, especially if you have a passion for the Spanish artist and his masterpieces.
- Palace of Catalan Music
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The Palace of Catalan Music is not only a spectacular building that attracts tourists from all over the world, but also a fully functioning music hall. Therefore, this place is perfect for people who love classical music, and a great touristic attraction for travelers who are interesting in architecture.
- The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
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The musical fountain of Montjuïc represents another interesting attraction Barcelona offers. This is Barcelona’s biggest ornamental fountain and it became famous thanks to the unforgettable music, light and water show that amazes the public’ s eyes. If you happen to be in Barcelona when this spectacular show is offered, make sure you don’t miss it.
- Royal Plaza
Barcelona is full of plazas. When the sun goes down, these plazas become social points. Plaça Reial (Royal Plaza) is one of them. The charming square is located next to Las Ramblas and it is the perfect place to end a busy day the Catalonian way, with delicious food and tasty drinks.
These are the top 20 things to do in Barcelona, but the list can continue since there are many more interesting things to see and do in this fascinating city. However, as mentioned in the beginning, this is definitely not one of the places you only visit once. Going to Barcelona is like opening a bag of your favorite candies. One is never enough, and you always go back for more!