Top Thing to do in Barcelona
Possibly the most intricate and unique cathedral in the world, The Sagrada Familia is worth every penny. You need to buy your tickets well ahead of time and make sure you buy them on the website for the cathedral and avoid third-party sellers. I strongly recommend you buy the ticket with the audioguide (25 Euros) since you can spend hours gazing at the beautiful architecture. Keep an eye on the progress of the construction of the church since it is over 100 years old set to be finished by 2026. It’s confusing when you first get there, make sure you take a look at both sides of the cathedral before your entrance time. One of the greatest works of architecture in the world makes the Sagrada Familia the top thing to do in Barcelona.
Park Guell offers beautiful views of the city with cool architecture that makes you feel like you’re in a fantasy world. Take the number 24 bus to get there from multiple stops around the city. This bus is a public transport line and it runs frequently. If you do decide to walk, expect at least a steep 10-minute uphill walk. Once you get to the ticket office, take a left and walk by the Gaudi House Museum, then you will see the main courtyard. I do not recommend buying tickets to the Gaudi House Museum unless you’re very interested. I’ve heard from others that it’s small and there’s not much information inside. Afterward, hop into the line for the Park about 15-20 minutes before your timeslot. After the paid entrance, you may walk around the rest of the park for free. I recommend going straight up the path up the hill, to the right of where the lines form. You will reach an observation area with benches with more beautiful views of the city.
Gaudi’s designed houses scattered around Barcelona but they are mostly centrally located. One of the most well-known is pictured here, Casa Mila. I never bought a ticket because I did not think it was worth it (29 euro) and I didn’t have the time for it on my trip. However, all of the houses are extravagant to see. The other most famous one is Casa Batllo. This house is located down the road from Casa Mila. Take the extra few minutes to venture down Passeig de Gracia to observe these beautiful structures.
Mercado de la Boqueria
In a large public market on La Rambla, you will find cheap, delicious lunch here every day. Mercado de la Boqueria offers juice smoothies for 1 Euro (strawberry pictured here) amongst many other products. Vendors also sell empanadas, fresh meat, cheeses, fish, and fresh fruit. All of the vendors here spoke English and it was easy to communicate with them. Make sure you bring cash when you come here, but it’s a great experience. I recommend taking a walk around the entire market before buying anything to explore your options. Afterward, you should try as much as you can, especially things you might have never seen or tasted before.
The Arc de Triomf was created as the main access gate for the Barcelona World Fair in 1888. Today, the long walkway leads you through the beautiful Ciutadella Park. This walk is full of performers and “vendors”. At the end of the walkway, you will cross the street into the first public space of Barcelona. Inside the park, there is a botanical garden, the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona, plenty of statues, and a zoo at the very end. The park is well taken care of, but the trails are all dirt. If there is rain the day before or the day of, then make sure you dress accordingly.
The National Palace sits upon the bottom of the hill of Montjuic. This area was built for another world exhibition in 1929 after 1888 was such a success. Today, the National Palace holds a museum for Catalan art. The walk up to this building is long and begins from a large roundabout. On some of the parts, there are escalators available. There is a food cart at the top with expensive and bad food if you’re desperate. Try to go here on a nice day so you can see the Magic Fountain in action. As a side note, I never went into the building but I’m sure it would be worth the money if you’re into art and architecture.
Olympic Park at Montjuic
Further up Montjuic, past the National Palace, stands the large grounds which were also built for the 1929 World Fair. These grounds were also used to host the 1992 Summer Olympics. Once you are up the hill there are 3 main parts of these grounds: the right side (pictured here), with views of the city and this alien-like communications tower; the middle with a stadium for track and field; the left side with the soccer stadium. I suggest using Google Maps your entire time here to make sure you’re going where you want. Everything is well maintained on these grounds but unless there’s an event going on, it will feel desolate. This was the coolest part about being here, was having this entire space to yourself. If you wanted to, you could lie down and read a book in the grass too.
Tibidabo itself is a mountain overlooking Barcelona. At the summit is the church (Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) pictured here. There is an amusement park adjacent to the church. You can take the Funicular up to the mountain, then take bus111 up to the church or walk up to adore views on your way.
Remember if you would like to learn more about any of the places included in my Sights & Attractions for Barcelona, Spain, then you can visit my all-inclusive guide for free here!