Most places offer something special. Activities, restaurants, or tourist attractions that nearly everybody will love. But besides the “must do” things in Barcelona, you may want to enjoy things adapted to your personality and your travel style. Our team of local experts has put together ideas with the most recommended things to enjoy in Barcelona in 1 day. In case you will stay longer you will also find recommendations for 3 day stays. And besides these, you will also find special suggestions based on your travel style. Do you travel with family in Barcelona? Are you looking for romance, or fun?… No worries. You will find specific lists with things to do in Barcelona for you along with maps for each travel style.
Ranking of Top things to enjoy in Barcelona
Get seduced by the genius of Gaudi at La Sagrada Familia
Our number 1 thing to do in Barcelona could only be this! Sagrada Familia is the most visited monument in Spain and despite this means lots of tourists any single day, it also means you should visit it. Looking at it from the outside is impressive, but we believe you will really be astonished when you visit from the inside. Gaudi is considered to be a genius today. He was however misunderstood at his time and did not enjoy the live of rich and famous… Dali gave a well-deserved credit to Gaudi, and only then and with the praises of many other artists, Gaudi acquired the world-wide master status he holds today. He designed La Sagrada Familia in such way that construction would be simple after his death. For decades the construction was built thanks to private funds. There are many interesting stories and anecdotes about the Sagrada Familia. You must visit it! Make sure you plan your visit in advance and book tickets to avoid long queues.
Enjoy the best views of Barcelona from Park Guell or Montjuic
One of the things that make Barcelona so special is nature. The City cannot grow since it borders the sea on one side and mountains on its back. This makes some parts of Barcelona pretty hilly and this is why it offers some fantastic view-points.
Two of the most famous ones are Park Guell and Montjuic. The upper part of Park Guell, the fascinating park designed by Gaudi and one of Barcelona´s top tourist attractions offers breath-taking views of Barcelona. The Mediterranean sea at the end and the city that spreads towards it. The only problem with park Guell is that it is one of the top attractions and, as such, it is not easy to get your perfect moment, or even take your perfect picture!.
Montjuic castle is located at the Montjuic mountain. It is probably the most strategic point in Barcelona and it offers fantastic views. You can get to Montjuic using the cable car, which will already ensure you profit from fantastic views.
There are many more view-points in Barcelona and some are lesser known. Tibidabo, the theme park, offers amazing views, specially from its Wheel. The bunkers of Carmel (where anti-aircraft bunkers were built due to its strategic location) offers one of our favorite views in Barcelona. Views from the National Museum of art (in Montjuic) are also fantastic, and we should not forget the views that can be enjoyed from the tower at the Sagrada Familia.
Walk from Plaça Catalonia to the Barceloneta beach to enjoy Las Ramblas and the Gothic district
Our number 3 top thing to do in Barcelona includes a superb walk.
This 4 kilometer, 2-3 hour itinerary, will provide you with a great overview of Barcelona and some of its most iconic streets, squares and attractions.
The itinerary starts in Plaça Catalonia. This is one of Barcelona´s top commercial areas. Many day excursions depart from here. The famous El Corte Ingles department store can be found at the Plaça.
La Rambla is the most famous street in Barcelona. It is colourful and full of flower shops. In La Rambla you will find La Font de Canaletes, a very special place in the history of FC Barcelona since this is the place where they celebrate tittles. Your next stop is La Boqueria, Barcelona´s (and probably Spain´s) most famous market. Enjoy the buildings of the Teatre del Liceu and the Guell Palace and then dive into the Gothic district. Since your stomach may start to rumble at this point, The itinerary continues towards la Barceloneta beach with stops at the Picasso museum and the Museu d´historia de Catalunya (there is a restaurant on the top with great views from its terrace). This itinerary offers a perfect way to spend a day visiting Barcelona and you will enjoy next to the sea! Time for a bite near la Barceloneta beach?
Enjoy at least 1 the top modernist buildings in Barcelona
Modernisme is a word you will hear a lot during your visit to Barcelona. Connected to Art-nouveau, it was inspired by the modern wave of change that took place in Europe during the XIX century. There was an ideal to improve the quality of live of people and to have architecture support this deal. Lluis Domènech I Montaner and Antoni Gaudi are the two most famous names, but there were many other architects that contributed to the movement. El Palau de la Musica is an amazing example and some building are icons (like Casa Batlo and Mila) There are many other amazing examples in Barcelona which normally graps less attention from tourists. Good examples are: Casa Vicens, Torre Bellesguard, La Casa de los Punxes or the Casa Padua 75
Enjoy tapas and catalan cousine
If this is your first time to Barcelona, you will have the chance to discover one of the examples of Mediterranean cuisine that can be enjoyed in a large city. Besides the many tapas bars that have developed local adaptations and recipes like the famous Bombas, in Barcelona you will be able to taste the traditional Catalan escalibada (a tasty grilled vegetable dish) enjoy the the all i oli (aioli) souce, get adventours and taste its famous cargols (snails), and eat the today´s internationally known pà amb tomàquet (bread with tomato), with nearly everything, including the superb botifarra sausagge
Be a “cule” for a day and discover the history of one of the world´s top clubs
Everyone in Spain knows that the FC Barcelona is more than just a soccer club. Locals and fans from beyond (the club has more than 350 million followers in social media networks according to Forbes) have the team deep in their souls, and would not miss the opportunity to visit the Camp Nour or, even better, enjoy a game. Camp Nou is one of Barcelona´s top tourist attractions, and the club as such a very important economic engine for the city of Barcelona. You can find more details on the history of FC Barcelona in this post.
Enjoy the genious of Picasso, Miro and many more!
Barcelona boasts many important museums and if you enjoy art you will for sure find many interesting things here! The art museums in Barcelona are not as prestigious or well-known as the ones in Madrid, but Barcelona has two museums dedicated to the genius of Picasso and Miro, besides other museums with collections that group many top artists. The Picasso museum is located in a very central area of Barcelona and it holds one of the most important collections of Picasso. Few of the paintings here were purchased, the museum received many donations throughout its history. The Miro Foundation is located in Montjuic, a fantastic place not just to enjoy this museum, but also to profit from fantastic views of Barcelona and discover other museums. Montjuic, though not listed as such, is a top visit in Barcelona and one of our favorite things to do here.
A relaxing day at the beach
Barcelona has fantastic weather. One of the things that make it such an amazing tourist destination is the mixture of culture, fun, and relaxation it provides. Few cities of this size in Europe offer the opportunity to take a dip after a long day of visiting!. The beaches in Barcelona are artificial ones, something that should not bother you too much. They totally serve their purpose.
Due to its location, the Barceloneta beach is the liveliest beach in the city. Further on the North, you will also find the Nova Icaria beach and the Bogatell beach. They get lots of visitors too, but not as many as la Barceloneta. If nudist beaches are for you, your place is Nova Mar Bella beach. And if you would like to enjoy a superb beach, then you should probably make it to Sitges, though a 30 minutes trip is needed (you can get to Sitges by train!)
Pay a visit to Montserrat
Montserrat, the “serrated mountain” received its name due to its shape. The mountain is located on the Way of Saint James from Barcelona and it has been an spiritual place for centuries and as such it is referred to as “The holy mountain” by people from Barcelona. A day excursion to Montserrat is perfect to the get out of the bustle of the city.
You can enjoy a trek amid this beautiful landscape and you will get the chance to visit the Basilica. ;Montserrat is home to the sanctuary of La Maré de Déu, known as “La moreneta” or Dark Madonna due to its dark colour. An excursion to Montserrat is probably the best day tour to enjoy from Barcelona.