What to Do in Barcelona to Experience the Best of the City
If you haven’t visited Barcelona yet, it’s time to put this magical city at the top of your list! It’s one of the largest cities in Spain and one of the country’s most-visited. A surprising mix of historical and modern, traditional and unique, Barcelona is a city that prides itself on these things. With so much to see and do, how do you decide where to begin and what to do in Barcelona? Read on to discover what to do in Barcelona to experience the best of the city to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Make your way through the Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is in the heart of the old city and many buildings date back to the foundations of early Barcelona. Get lost in the small, winding streets which are now filled with shops and restaurants but was once the Jewish quarter centuries ago. The architecture here is well-preserved so you can get a sense of what Barcelona used to look like in the past. The Cathedral is exceptionally beautiful and worth a look, and you can see the old city walls that fortified the city from invaders. You can even find ancient Roman ruins in various sites in the Gothic quarter, the first traces of civilizations in Barcelona. This neighborhood is the best place to start to discover the history of Barcelona and learn its hidden stories.
Stroll down Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas is the iconic pedestrian street that runs from Plaza Catalunya to the port. Lined with shops and restaurants, this street is always bustling with life. Street performers, artists, and musicians pack Las Ramblas, as well as vendors selling things like art, clothes and jewelry. It doesn’t matter the time of day that you visit, Las Ramblas is an epicenter of activity in Barcelona!
Take in the sights and smells at La Boqueria market
Located on Las Ramblas is La Boqueria, the most well-known food market in Barcelona, drawing in both locals and tourists alike every day. Make your way through La Boqueria to indulge your senses in the various sights, smells, and tastes of the local cuisine. The market sells both fresh ingredients and mouth-watering snacks and tapas for sampling. It’s best to visit when you’re in the mood to do a bit of snacking since there are so many temptations! You can try delicacies like Iberian ham, creamy cheeses, salty olives, and sweet desserts However, if you’re looking for food markets that are a little less crowded, you can try some smaller, yet equally as great, ones. Visit Santa Caterina or Mercat de la Concepció for an authentic market experience, or sign up for the Market Lover Tour!
Montjuïc is a large hill that rises over the harbor and is an important of Barcelona’s history, past and present. It once served as a key to the city’s defense against enemies, and currently is a center of activity and cultural importance. Arrive in style on the city’s cable car, or take any other method of public transport to arrive at this hub of activity. Montjuïc boasts lush parks and gardens which is a great escape from the noise of the city. Stop by Montjuïc Castle where you can take in incredible panoramic views of the harbor below, and learn about its role in Barcelona’s past. There are several museums on the hill, as well as Poble Espanyol, a park that is themed to showcase all of the different regions of Spain.
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Muse at Gaudí’s architecture
Gaudí is synonymous with Barcelona, so you must take time to explore some of his brilliant works of architecture that are scattered throughout the city. The largest tourist magnet is the Sagrada Familia cathedral, which is still actively under construction. This church is unlike any you have ever seen before and is constantly changing. Therefore, its possible you might see something new with every visit. Stroll down ritzy Passeig de Gràcia, an upscale area for shopping, and you will find Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. Commissioned as private residences to Antoni Gaudí, these two homes are now available for public tours. Lastly, any fan of Gaudí should visit Parc Güell, a park designed by this famous architect. You will feel like you’ve left reality and are living in a dream as you explore the beauty and magic of this park. Go around sunset for views unlike any other!
Hit the beach
It doesn’t matter in which season you decide to visit Barcelona, the beach is always a good idea! In the summer, Barcelona’s several kilometers of shoreline are filled with sun-worshipers enjoying the Mediterranean summer. In the cooler months, visitors can still take advantage of the warm climate and sunny days. Enjoy a drink at any of the beach bars, dig into some fresh seafood at the restaurants, or enjoy a walk down the boardwalk. Water sports like kayaking and windsurfing can be done as well if you’re up to the challenge! Barcelona’s climate is almost always beautiful, so enjoy the sunshine, waves, and salty breezes anytime.
Try the local cuisine
Fresh-grilled seafood, homemade wines and cheeses, mouth-watering dishes sourced from local ingredients. Sound good? This is exactly what you’re in for when you come to Barcelona! Stop in any tapas bar and sample some of the local cuisine to try typical Spanish and Catalan dishes. There’s something for everyone as you can find local dive bars and Michelin-star restaurants, often in the same neighborhood. Your palate is in for many delicious surprises in Barcelona!
Barcelona is a dream for travelers. In this global city rich in culture and heritage, you’re sure to find the right balance between excitement and relaxation. It’s family-friendly, exciting, and there is definitely something for everyone here. So don’t worry about what to do in Barcelona since you have so many options. Visit this incredible city and prepare to be amazed at all the great things in store!