Best 20 things to do in Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Barcelona, where the sun is hotter than your friendly neighbor’s gossip! Brace yourself for an exhilarating journey through this vibrant city. We've gathered the crème de la crème of Barcelona's attractions, from dancing fountains that make you want to shake it off like a flamenco star, to navigating the mind-boggling streets of the Gothic Quarter like a professional labyrinth navigator. Don't forget to indulge in tapas galore and marvel at Gaudí's whimsical creations like you're about to design a quirky gingerbread house competition!

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1. Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

4.5 (147262)

La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the vibrant and slightly chaotic Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, also known as Boqueria Market! Brace yourself for a feast of colors, smells, and sights that will leave you both inspired and slightly bewildered. As you wander through this culinary wonderland, be prepared to dodge flying fish and navigate through narrow aisles packed with kaleidoscopic fruits, enticing seafood, and more jamón than you could ever dream of. Whether you're a dedicated foodie or simply a curious traveler, this lively market is sure to tantalize your senses and leave you craving for more tapas and local delicacies.

www.boqueria.barcelona

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2. Picasso Museum

4.4 (26905)

C/ de Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, where you'll be introduced to the bewitching world of the legend himself, Mr. Pablo Picasso. Nestled in the heart of the city, this delightful museum boasts an impressive collection of Picasso's works, enough to make even an imposter like me feel like an art connoisseur. So grab your monocle, prepare your best "hmm" expression, and let's delve into the vibrant world of cubes, curves, and confounding creativity!

www.museupicasso.bcn.cat

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3. Barceloneta Beach

4.4 (7038)

Barceloneta Beach, Spain

Are you ready to experience the sandy oasis of Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona? This vibrant hotspot is practically begging for your presence. Picture this: you'll find yourself surrounded by locals and tourists alike, all gleefully frolicking in the sun and making sandcastles that would put Michelangelo to shame. And fear not, dear visitor, for when hunger strikes, you can indulge in some of the most mouthwatering seafood that will make your taste buds do a happy dance. So grab your flip-flops and prepare for a sun-soaked adventure at Barceloneta Beach – your tan lines and unforgettable memories await!

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4. Columbus Monument

4.5 (42296)

Plaça Portal de la Pau, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Oh, the grandiose and ostentatious Columbus Monument in Barcelona! Standing tall at a whopping 197 feet, it's like the Statue of Liberty's long-lost Spanish cousin. As you gaze up at Columbus, it's hard not to wonder if he's pointing towards America, or perhaps just showing off his magnificent arm muscles after a vigorous round of salsa dancing. Be warned, though - don't get too close, or you might end up tangled in his noble cape or accidentally flicked by his well-manicured finger!

www.barcelonaturisme.com

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5. Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

4.6 (85397)

Pl. de Carles Buïgas, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in beautiful Barcelona! Prepare to be mesmerized by this enchanting water spectacle that will surely leave you wondering if Hogwarts might actually exist in real life. Be prepared to witness a show that combines the magnificence of a fireworks display with the elegance of synchronized swimming—except with water shooting up instead of graceful swimmers. The Magic Fountain truly has it all: jaw-dropping colors, impressive water acrobatics, and the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner child and try to catch droplets in your mouth while dancing along to the tunes.

www.barcelona.cat

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6. Poble Espanyol

4.2 (29389)

Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

Tucked away in the heart of Barcelona lies Poble Espanyol, a peculiar little village that seems like it got lost on its way to being a real village. But fret not, fellow travelers, for within its faux stone walls and whimsical streets awaits a curious blend of Spanish culture, architectural wonders, and a handful of confused tourists who mistakenly think they've stumbled upon the motherland. Here, you can wander through mini-replicas of Spain's most famous landmarks, like a giant kid playing with a peculiar mix of legos and cardboard cut-outs. Gawk at the Sagrada Familia, that unfinished masterpiece that keeps Barcelona's construction workers employed for centuries, or pretend to run with the bulls in Pamplona without risking a horn between your buttocks. And fear not if your stomach starts growling, for Poble Espanyol has a treasure trove of culinary delights to tease your taste buds. From tiny tapas bars serving up bite-sized delicacies to flamenco-themed restaurants where the waiters may spontaneously break into a jaw-dropping impromptu dance routine, you'll find yourself laughing, eating, and wondering why you haven't moved to Spain yet.

www.poble-espanyol.com

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7. Barcelona Cathedral

4.6 (59290)

Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the Barcelona Cathedral, where impressive Gothic architecture meets a splash of whimsical charm that'll tickle your fancy. With spires that reach for the sky like an overachieving contestant in a limbo competition, this cathedral will have you craning your neck in awe. Explore its nooks and crannies, but watch out for its mischievous gargoyles who seem to have a knack for photobombing unsuspecting tourists.

www.catedralbcn.org

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8. La Rambla

La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to La Rambla in the vibrant city of Barcelona! This bustling boulevard seems to have it all - from street performers showcasing their talents (ever tried balancing a barstool on your chin?) to enthusiastic pigeons looking for unsuspecting tourists to "decorate." Be prepared to stroll along this lively strip, where you'll find yourself dodging vibrant flower stalls, lively cafes serving up mysterious "local blends," and selfie-stick enthusiasts eager to document their every step (and misstep) along the way.

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9. Park Güell

4.4 (168613)

08024 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Park Güell, where whimsy meets architecture in the most peculiar of ways! This mind-boggling masterpiece, designed by the ingenious Antoni Gaudí, will have you questioning your senses and wondering if you mistakenly entered a psychedelic wonderland. From the undulating mosaic benches that seem to welcome your derrière with open arms, to the surreal gingerbread-like houses that appear straight out of a fairy tale, this place will leave you chuckling, scratching your head, and desperately searching for a magical rabbit hole.

parkguell.barcelona

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10. Park de la Ciutadella

4.6 (61622)

Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Park de la Ciutadella in sunny Barcelona, where you'll find a melting pot of botanical beauties, leisurely lagoons, and tourists trying to conquer the art of walking and reading maps simultaneously. Locals affectionately refer to it as their urban oasis, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city while narrowly avoiding enthusiastic Frisbee throwers and the occasional runaway skateboarder. Don't forget to visit the grand fountain that looks like it was borrowed from a palace, where you can pose for selfies proving that you've indeed visited a real-life fairy tale.

www.barcelona.cat

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11. National Art Museum of Catalonia

4.6 (27399)

Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

Nestled in the vibrant city of Barcelona, the National Art Museum of Catalonia awaits adventurers with open arms and an impressive collection of art. Prepare to be whisked away on a cultural journey as you marvel at the museum's exquisite masterpieces, all while pretending to understand what the different art movements actually mean. And fear not, weary traveler, for the museum's stunning views of the city's rooftops serve as the perfect excuse to take a much-needed break from deciphering abstract art.

www.museunacional.cat

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12. Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

4.6 (78252)

Pg. de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Casa Milà, the quirky masterpiece also known as La Pedrera in Barcelona! Designed by the whimsical architect Antoni Gaudí, this building appears to have been melted like cheese under the Spanish sun, forming a structure that defies all geometric norms. Its undulating façade is reminiscent of ocean waves, or perhaps that's just Gaudí's way of saying, "I prefer buildings with some serious swagger." Step inside this architectural adventure and prepare to have your mind boggled by the interior of Casa Milà. The apartments are like a rabbit's warren, with curving walls that seem to have a mind of their own. It's as if Gaudí thought, "Why have a straight hallway when you can have a hallway that dances with you?" Marvel at the innovative ventilation system that allows natural light to fill the rooms, and make sure to put on your detective hat to spot the elusive hidden staircases that might lead you to Narnia. But the highlight of La Pedrera has to be the iconic rooftop, where Gaudí played a game of architectural Tetris with sculptures and chimneys. As you walk among the peculiarly shaped chimneys, you'll discover what looks like a scene from a surrealist painting come to life. It's like Gaudí's secret message to future generations, saying, "Let's make rooftops great again, but this time, with a touch of wackiness." So grab your camera, strike a pose, and prepare to emerge with a newfound appreciation for the wonderfully eccentric mind of Antoni Gaudí.

www.lapedrera.com

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13. Casa Batlló

4.6 (112733)

Pg. de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Casa Batlló, the whimsical masterpiece of Barcelona! Prepare to have your imagination tickled and your jaw dropped as you step into this mind-bending architectural wonder. With its wavy lines, swirling colors, and a facade that resembles a dragon's scales, this house will make you wonder if Gaudí secretly took a crash course in wizardry. Marvel at the kaleidoscope of colors that dominate every inch of Casa Batlló – it's like someone went wild with a paintbrush and forgot to stop. The cerulean blue tiles dance alongside the fiery red balconies, while the walls melt into shades of lavender and tangerine. Fair warning, this place is not for the faint-hearted or the color-blind, as it may leave you feeling like you walked into a Salvador Dali painting. Step inside and prepare to have your architectural expectations shattered, just like a window pane hit by a football. The rooms are a visual feast of curvy lines, stained glass windows, and playful shapes. It's like if Dr. Seuss took up interior design – everything from the swooping banisters to the undulating ceilings will make you feel like you've entered a Dr. Seuss book on psychedelic steroids. So get ready for an experience that will leave you equal parts amazed, perplexed, and questioning how much time Gaudí spent with Alice in Wonderland.

www.casabatllo.es

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14. Sagrada Familia

4.7 (209233)

C/ de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

Prepare to be in awe of Barcelona's architectural sweetheart, the Sagrada Familia! This magnificent basilica, affectionately called the "most epic construction project in history," has been under construction since 1882. Yep, you read that right! That means you'll have plenty of time to practice your patience while waiting for Gaudí's masterpiece to be completed… sometime around the year 2026. But hey, who's counting? Once you step inside this mind-boggling wonder, get ready to have your jaw drop like a clumsy tourist's map in the wind. The soaring ceilings resemble a celestial dance of stone, and the stained-glass windows give Michelangelo's David a run for his money in the art department. Don't forget to keep an eye out for the architectural angels who look like they've just landed from a heavenly GQ photoshoot. If you're feeling up for a challenge, take the elevator (yes, they exist!) up one of the towers for a bird's-eye view of Barcelona. But fair warning, you may need a telescope to find the end of the construction site. The good news is, you can brag to your friends that you've conquered both a breathtaking basilica and a serious test of your architectural endurance. Bravo, my friend, bravo!

sagradafamilia.org

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15. Palau de la Música Catalana

4.7 (38107)

C/ Palau de la Música, 4-6, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the Palau de la Música Catalana in lively Barcelona! This architectural treasure looks more like a wedding cake than a concert hall, but don't worry, no one's getting hitched here (not that we know of). Designed by the genius Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this UNESCO World Heritage site will make your jaw drop faster than a flamenco dancer's heel. Step inside and feel like royalty, surrounded by pillars covered in colorful mosaics and a dazzling stained glass ceiling that's prettier than your Aunt Linda's Christmas tree. It's so Instagrammable, even your pet parakeet will want a photo.

www.palaumusica.cat

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16. Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the Gothic Quarter, a maze of narrow streets where you'll feel like you're tiptoeing through history, but without the cloak and dagger stuff. Prepare to get lost in its labyrinthine alleys, lined with charming medieval buildings that give off vibes ranging from "haunted castle" to "fancy gingerbread house." Don't fret if you stumble upon the Cathedral of Barcelona, it's just there to remind you that this neighborhood takes its Gothic ambience seriously, with its tall spires reaching high enough to make even the sassiest pigeon envious. Remember, only the brave and the Google Maps savvy shall conquer this quarter!

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17. Camp Nou

4.6 (148307)

C. d'Arístides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Camp Nou, the colossal home of FC Barcelona! Brace yourself for a stadium so mighty, it could probably house a unicorn stable without breaking a sweat. As you enter, prepare to be awestruck by the sheer magnitude of the place, where getting lost is as easy as misplacing your car keys in an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with blue and red jello. Remember, if you see Lionel Messi, try not to embarrass yourself by begging for an autograph...or tearfully professing your undying love.

www.fcbarcelona.com

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18. Montserrat

4.8 (4127)

Montserrat, 08691, Barcelona, Spain

Montserrat, the enchanting mountainous jewel of Barcelona, is often mistaken for a secret entryway to Narnia. With its towering peaks and jagged cliffs, it's a haven for both nature lovers and adventurers seeking a close encounter with gravity (and possibly with Gandalf, if you're lucky). The allure of this mystical place lies in its legendary monastery, where monks have reportedly mastered the art of making the most delicious cup of tea that could make even the Queen of England green with envy.

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19. Montjuïc

Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Montjuïc, the charming hilltop neighborhood that will have you huffing and puffing your way to breathtaking views! Be sure to pack your walking shoes, as this place will give your calves a full workout. Don't fret, though, because once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with jaw-dropping panoramas of Barcelona and the perfect excuse to indulge in some well-deserved tapas afterwards.

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20. Tibidabo

4.5 (4712)

Tibidabo, 08035 Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to Tibidabo, the mountain where even the clouds come for a breath of fresh air! Perched on top of Barcelona like a magician's hat, this charming amusement park promises thrills, laughter, and maybe even a bit of stretching for those calf muscles. Be sure to keep your hands and feet inside the rides at all times, unless you want them to end up in another dimension, where clowns throw pies at bad drivers.

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How to get there

Plane

The best way to get to Barcelona by plane is to fly into Barcelona-El Prat Airport, the main international airport in the city, served by many major airlines from all around the world.

Car

The best way to get to Barcelona by car is to drive on the AP-7 toll motorway that runs all along the eastern coast of Spain, passing through cities like Valencia and Alicante before finally reaching Barcelona.

Train

The best way to get to Barcelona by train is to take a Renfe Train from Madrid to Barcelona. The journey takes around two and a half hours and the train station in Barcelona is called Sants Station.

Boat

The best way to get to Barcelona by boat is to take a ferry that runs from several cities along the Mediterranean coast, such as Rome or Palma de Mallorca, to Barcelona Port. There are several companies that provide this service including Grimaldi Lines and Balearia.

Bus

The best way to get to Barcelona by bus is to take a Eurolines coach that runs from major European cities to Estació del Nord Bus Station in Barcelona.

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Barcelona, Spain, offers a perfect mix of vibrant culture, breathtaking architecture, and family-friendly attractions to ensure an unforgettable trip for all ages. Explore the iconic Sagrada Familia or take a stroll down Las Ramblas, where street performers and local vendors will keep the little ones entertained. Delve into the city's rich history at the Gothic Quarter or take a day trip to the magical Park Guell, where the whimsical designs of Antoni Gaudí are sure to captivate both parents and children.

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Barcelona is a captivating destination for a family-friendly trip with an array of fascinating attractions. Explore the iconic architectural marvels of Gaudí such as the famous Sagrada Familia or Park Güell, which offer an enchanting experience for kids and adults alike. From the delightful beaches and lively street performances on Las Ramblas to the enchanting Gothic Quarter, Barcelona promises a memorable vacation filled with cultural richness and fun activities suitable for the whole family.