Planning a city break can get pretty overwhelming, especially if you don’t know which sights should be on your hit-list. Cities are filled with so much culture and Barcelona is no different! Here are our favourite things to do in the beautiful city of Barcelona…
Visit La Sagrada Familia
Unsurprisingly, La Sagrada Familia has made our list of things to do and places to see in Barcelona. It’s a church in the Eixample district of Barcelona, and is currently the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. Designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, his work on Sagrada Família is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction of the Basilica started in 1882, and Gaudí worked on it until he died in 1926.
After Gaudi’s death, Domènec Sugrañes i Gras assumed the main role of architect. The temple suffered heavy damage during Spain’s Civil War (1936-39), when a group of anarchists set it on fire, burning a significant part of Gaudí’s workshop. Fortunately, part of his material could be restored. Work resumed in 1954 and it’s been under construction ever since!
Soak Up City Views at Gaudí’s Park Güell
Another famous sight in Barcelona, which has Gaudí’s name attached to it, is the Park Güell. The landmark of the park is a friendly dragon, watching over the entrance of the market hall. It has broken ceramics decorated along it, creating a colourful open-air art feature. Through the main entrance, you will walk between two turreted pavilions to a staircase. From the staircase you get to a very unusual room, consisting of 86 columns, it was originally thought of as a marketplace of the residential area – the original purpose of Park Güell.
About 95% of the park area is accessible free of charge, only the monumental zone isn’t. This zone covers the entrance area with the dragon, the curved bench and the market hall. Tickets are available at the box office or online.
Kick Back In The Sun On The Beach
Barcelona boasts a number of beautiful beaches to suit everyone, whether you’re looking for a place to relax or you want to indulge in water sports like kitesurfing or windsurfing. Barceloneta Beach is Barcelona’s most bustling and touristy stretch of sand and sea, which inevitably makes it one of the most crowded. It’s a great place to enjoy delicious seafood dishes or take part in some wet and wild watersports. This beach is also very close to the city’s main attractions making it really accessible.
Nova Icària is considered the most peaceful beach in Barcelona so it’s the perfect place to head if you’re looking to relax. Although it’s quiet, it doesn’t mean Nova Icària is lacking in great restaurants and bars.
Wander Along La Rambla
During your city break to Barcelona, it’s pretty likely that you’ll spend some time wandering along Barcelona’s most famous street, La Rambla. This 1.2km boulevard starts at Plaça de Catalunya and ends at the statue of Christopher Columbus down by the port. Along La Rambla, there are plenty of different spots to stop and enjoy the Catalan culture. La Boqueria market has become one of the most flamboyant and busiest markets in the city.
Cafè de l’Opera has stood the test of time, still in the same spot on La Rambla where it first opened its doors in 1929. It’s a great spot to visit for having chocolate with churros on the terrace and doing some of the best people-watching of your life. If you get the chance, we also recommend stopping by the 2017 terrorist attack memorial – it’s the perfect place to pay your respects to the people who were sadly killed and injured during the August 17th, 2017 attacks.
Gaze At The Magic Fountain
Barcelona’s Magic Fountain was designed for the 1929 Universal Exhibition, and was later restored in 1992 for the Olympic Games. This huge fountain bubbles and bursts water in a fabulous show set to music and lit by every colour of the rainbow. So many people come to watch the show each night and will perch themselves on the steps that lead up to the MNAC museum.
Though this attraction isn’t necessarily as cultural as other sights in Barcelona, it’s definitely a beautiful one. This is a great place to come with your fellow travellers to sit and watch the sun go down, then enjoy the spectacularly colourful show unfold before you.
Experience Camp Nou
Camp Nou is a famous football stadium in Barcelona and has been home to FC Barcelona since it was built in 1957. It has a seating capacity of almost 100,000 and is the fourth largest association football stadium in the world. Many of football’s greatest players have graced the halls of Camp Nou, which translates as ‘The New Ground’, including Ronaldinio, Maradona, Ronaldo and Messi.
If you’re a football fan and want to see the stadium in all its glory, there are plenty of organised tours that you can book onto which will take you around all the must-see points of the stadium. If you buy your tickets online through the FC Barcelona website, you save 10% on the box office ticket price and can avoid the queues, so that’s worth thinking about!
Explore The Palace of Catalan Music
The Palace of Catalan Music is a concert hall in Barcelona which was designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It was originally built between 1905 and 1908, and was later restored between 1982 and 1989. The website states it is ‘an architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau, the only concert venue in this style to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO’.
There’s plenty to see and do here for the whole family, so no matter who you visit Barcelona with, a trip to The Palace of Catalan Music should be on your to-do list. There’s guided tours, workshops for children, workshops for adults and of course, the shows! The programme showcases an eclectic mix of acts including musical performances and opera shows.
Are the streets of Barcelona calling your name? Then what are you waiting for! Book a fabulous city break to this amazing destination, after all, we have planned your itinerary for you!