Heading to Barcelona? It’s one of my favourite cities after four trips there, so check out my top 10 must-do’s:
1. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
This famous Barcelona landmark was designed by the architect Gaudí, began construction in 1882 yet is still not finished. Designed in a Gothic and Modernist style, the basilica is very striking and unlike any other church in the world.
2. Park Güell
Again designed by Gaudí, originally to be a housing estate for the well-to-do, the park is now a great place I go to admire the curvilinear designs, get a great view over Barcelona and people watch.
3. Mercat de la Boquería
Feeling hungry? The colourful Mercat de la Boquería, just off La Rambla, is a great stop-off to see counters piled high with cured meats, stalls overflowing with colourful fruits and juices or to grab a snack at the tapas bars within.
4. Olympic complex, Montjüic
The Olympics were held in 1992 in Barcelona in the area of Montjuic. You can see the impressive structures that were built and redeveloped for the Olympic Games, as well as the Montjüic Telecommunications Tower, a white tower built to resemble an athlete holding the Olympic torch, that is now a more modern landmark across Barcelona.
5. La Rambla
La Rambla, one of the main streets in Barcelona, stretches from Placa de Catalunya down towards the harbour. The lively street has countless souvenir shops, florists and restaurants, as well as street performers.
6. Picasso Museum
If you love art, then the Picasso Museum is a must-see, comprising of one of the most extensive collections of Picasso’s artwork, from ceramics to paintings. My top tip? Visit on Sundays after 3pm, and entry to the museum is free (museum open 10am until 8pm, closed Mondays).
7. Tapas tour
You can’t miss Spanish food whilst in Barcelona and there are a myriad of options throughout the city. My favourite tapas crawl is in the Barrí Gotic, where it is easy to get from one place to another and the crowds spill out onto the streets.
8. Casa Batlló
I couldn’t resist slipping another Gaudí creation into the list and having been to quite a few, I can say that the Casa Batlló is one of my favourites. With the audioguide that you are given, learn how Gaudí took care of even the smallest details. Even the door handles are carefully designed to fit the hand, so that the house is not only stunning in its Modernist style, but eminently liveable and ergonomic too.
9. Barrí Gotic
The Barrí Gotic, in the centre of Barcelona, is the most ancient part of the city and makes a pleasant contrast to the Catalan modernism found in the Gracia district. Wander through the alleyways and discover hidden squares, have a drink outside, or salivate at cake and chocolate shops.
10. The beach
One of the advantages of Barcelona is its seaside location, meaning fresh sea breezes and great seafood. Strolling along the beachfront or the harbour and taking in the fresh air and sunny vibe makes Barcelona the uplifting place it is.
Do you agree? What are your top 10 places in Barcelona?
Fancy a visit to Barcelona? Have a look at our signature tour, Highlights of Madrid & Barcelona
Thanks to photographer Pedro Cambra for the header shot.