So you are about to go on a trip to beautiful Barcelona and know you have to see the Sagrada Familia and the beach. Cool! But there are many more tourist destinations in the city. You can find many lists with the “top 5” or “top 10” but I’m here to give it all to you.
Below you will find all the tourist attractions (even some that aren’t as famous). I even made a super convenient checklist and 4-day itinerary you can print out, so be sure to grab that too!
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Here are some spots with beautiful views. Some take more effort to get to, but are definitely worth it.
Montjuic is by many other attractions listed a bit later (check the map to see) but it is a great viewpoint of the city, the beach, and the port. It used to be an old castle, but I honestly would not recommend paying to get into the castle. I would just take the Funicular if you want views while going up, or take a bus and get to the top cheaply and easily.
Tibidabo means “I will give to you.” According to the story, the Devil told Jesus that he would give everything to him while they were up at the highest mountain. Now, in modern times, you can find an old church as well as an old amusement park with little kid rides like a carousel and swinging chairs (not your modern amusement park).
I wouldn’t go on the attractions unless you are with little kids, but I would definitely go for the view. The views are breathtaking and it’s a bit crazy to see the amusement park and the church together.
There are multiple ways to get up there, but definitely check the way that’s more convenient for you. I would recommend taking a direct bus, and not the metro+cable car.
The Bunkers of Carmel
The Bunkers is a bit less known by tourists and international people, but it is still a great place to go. You can take the metro and the bus to get close to it, but you will have to walk and take stairs to get to the top. For all the effort though, I would recommend going in the evening when the sun will set and to take some snacks.
You can relax, eat, drink, and watch the lights slowly turn on in the city (it also won’t be as hot!) Also, don’t be turned off by signs of “Tourists Go Home.” Barcelona locals have had huge issues with the growing amounts of tourism in the city, but just be respectful — pick up your trash and don’t yell or have a huge party — and you should have a nice time.
These are locations that you have probably heard about and can’t leave Barcelona without seeing.
This is the famous football (soccer) stadium for the wonderful and adored FC Barcelona team. There are lots of home games and the city goes wild when they play. Wild in a good way though. Even if you’re not at the stadium watching the game, you can hear people at bars and in their apartments all yelling and screaming at the same time. Whether that’s an ‘ayyyee!!’ for scoring the goal, or ‘oohhh!!’ for the other team scoring.
Anyway, if you decide to see the stadium without a game, it doesn’t cost too much. As of now, it’s 25€ per ticket but you get to go through a museum, see all their trophies, their history, some pictures, their locker rooms, press room, and even walk on the field. It’s pretty worth the money even for those who don’t really care for football (me!) You can easily get there by bus or metro as well.
This is also a bit underrated, but it is the stadium used for the 1992 Olympics. It’s free to see, and they also have a huge area around the stadium for all the other activities played during the Olympic games. I would definitely go if you’re in the area to begin with (around Montjuïc), but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there.
This park is one of Gaudi’s many famous pieces around Barcelona. It is where the famous mosaics and the beautiful structures can be found. I think of this place as a cartoon town. Be sure to book your tickets online in advance, otherwise you might have to wait a while. OR, you can always go before or after their opening hours, and you can get a free entrance + less tourists for more beautiful pictures!
ALSO READ: The Barcelona Neighborhood Guide
This is one of Gaudi’s famous houses that looks like skeleton faces on the front. It’s a very interesting house and the architecture is intense, but definitely worth a look from the outside. You can also pay to go inside the house, but if you’re not too into Gaudi, history, or art, then I would skip the trip inside — not sure the price is worth it.
Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
This other Gaudi house is super close to Casa Batlló and is also interesting by design — with a very crooked rooftop. Thing is, you have to pay to get to the rooftop. There is also a mini-museum inside that explains the building of the house, if you’re interested in that.
This is of course one of Gaudi’s most famous works — the huge unfinished church that is estimated to be completed by 2026. It has been under construction for the longest (I remember visiting it in 2007 and it was still in the works). It is a beautiful church and this one is definitely worth entering. Just make sure to buy tickets online in advance, otherwise you might not be able to get in.
This is not the Sagrada Familia, even though many people confuse the two. This is a much smaller church that rings it’s bells every 15 minutes to mark the time. It’s a beautiful church too, where in the front you can sit and people-watch, or see the locals dance on Sunday mornings. Definitely worth a visit, at least from the outside.
Santa Maria del Mar
Another church near the cathedral, but it is a bit hidden and doesn’t look very “churchy” from the outside (looks more like a fort). But it usually has less tourists and has good places to eat right outside. Add it to your list if you can’t get enough of churches. I also believe you can go to the top of the church and see the gothic quarter and el born.
These are places that don’t really fit into any other category but are definitely popular amongst visitors.
Plaça de Catalunya
This is the center of the city. It also marks the top of La Rambla, the end of Passieg de Gracia and the beginning of Portal d’Angel (two busy shopping streets). As a plaza, I would say it doesn’t offer too much but is a good way to know where you are. And it has pigeons. Lots, and LOTS of pigeons. However, sometimes they have concerts or events in the plaza which can be fun to go to.
Book an Airbnb and get a discount off your stay in Barcelona!
This is the main touristic street in the city. It goes straight down from Plaza Catalunya to the end of the city by the port. This street is super busy but you can find street vendors and a lot of movement. It’s also a good straight street compared to the crooked and winding streets in the gothic quarter (which is ANOTHER must-see). The thing with the Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótic) is that there is no specific place to see — it’s more about getting lost. Be careful near the Rambla though (or all the touristy areas really) as pickpocketing is a huge deal here. Off the Rambla, you can also find the famous Boquería.
This market is famous because of its food presentations. The fruit, chocolate, meats, grains, etc., all look so delicious and are laid out in instagram-worthy ways. Try to get here early though as the amount of tourists can easily add up and make picture-taking nearly impossible.
It’s a great place to grab some quick fruits or juices, some cheese and ham to pick at, or even to sit down and eat on stools. It’s definitely a must-see even if you’re not hungry…I’ve gone maybe 12 times since I’ve moved here, honestly, just to look at the all the food.
This plaza is literally a square with a big fountain in the middle. There are loads of palm trees, and places to eat and drink. There are also usually some performing artists here. It’s a nice spot to take a small break and admire the life and movement.
The easiest beach to get to because it is a short walk (depending where you are) and has a ton of restaurants and life. When I put it in the popular category though…it’s because it is popular, and populated!
It’s a long beach area that goes from The W Hotel all the way to Port Olympic, but there are A LOT of beach goers, and vendors. It can get a bit annoying hearing “cerveza, beer, agua, water” or “massage, 5 euros.” Stuff like that.
So of course, go see it, But if you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach, avoid this area and go further up North to Nova Icaría, Bogatell, or even to Badalona.
This is the area with many of the well-known clubs in Barcelona. Here you can find Shoko, Opium, Carpe Diem, and more. (Barcelona Nightlife post coming soon!) This is for the younger crowd (20’s to mid 30’s) but can also be visited during the day for meals. These clubs are restaurants during the sunlit hours and supposedly Carpe Diem has really good sushi. Visit if you think it’s the area for you! Besides the clubs, I wouldn’t say there’s much more to see here.
Arc de Triomf
Not the one from Paris, but Barcelona’s own big red arc. It’s super pretty but takes a quick minute to see. If you have time on your hands, might as well have a relaxing picnic in Park Ciutadella nearby.
This park is pretty big and relaxing. You can take a blanket (or buy one there) and take some snacks, music, and relax. There is also a nice fountain to take pictures of, and even a tiny lake you can row a boat around. It’s a nice way to spend a chill Sunday when shops are closed.
This plaza is a huge roundabout that houses a few attractions. Just on the side of it is the old Plaza de Toros (bullring), that has since been turned into a mall. You can go up on to the very top of it as well to get good pictures of the area.
Just under the plaza, is the huge Montjuïc Fountain that lights up at night. It’s a pretty nice show with colorful water displays and sometimes music. It’s definitely worth the trip.
Just behind this fountain, is also the National Museum of Art of Catalunya (MNAC) — which is another category entirely.
I’ll admit that I am not a huge museum person so I can’t give too much in-depth information on these, but definitely check them out if you’re into them.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
This museum sits on top of Plaza Espanya and has great views of the city. It is a pretty big museum with Romanesque murals, Catalan Modernism, and artwork from European Renaissance painters. It also has a more medieval collection of props and sculptures. While in there, be sure to check out the beautiful ceilings too!
This museum is in the heart El Born and is home to Picasso’s artwork from his formative years until the Blue period. For art lovers, this is definitely the place to go.
Palau de la Musica Catalana
This palace is not really a museum but it is a great place to visit because it is absolutely stunning inside. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts musical performances with a range of genres. Be sure to visit during your stay, even if you can’t see a performance.
**NOTE: Most museums in Barcelona are free the first Sunday of the month, so be sure to check the hours!
Well there you have it! 22 places around Barcelona that you should make time to see. Of course don’t forget to look around the different neighborhoods and walk around. And don’t be afraid to get lost!
Be sure to grab your printable checklist and itinerary too! Hopefully it makes your trip easier to plan and arrange.
In case you want some more information be sure to check out my other posts:
- 7 Tips for your Visit to Barcelona
- Transportation from Barcelona’s Airport
- Barcelona Neighborhood Guide
- The Best Way to Exchange Money
- 5 Ways to Get Currency for a Trip
- How to Find an Apartment in Barcelona
If you’re planning on visiting like a local, rent an Airbnb!
What’s your favorite thing to see in Barcelona?