Barcelona can truly be considered a tourist paradise and a gem. Everything is here: from the sea with sandy beaches to magnificent gardens and creations of the great architect Gaudí. In addition to Spanish Art Nouveau, here you can find buildings in the Gothic, Moorish and neoclassical styles. And Mediterranean dishes with fresh seafood, combined with Catalan wines and local culture, will make Barcelona a point of attraction.
You will want to come back here again and again. And with tours to Spain it will be much easier.
The most interesting and beautiful places
Symbol of Barcelona – Sagrada Familia Cathedral, designed by Gaudí. A little aside and modestly stand other masterpieces of architecture – Casa Batlo, Casa Milo, Park Guell. But on this, the charm and charm of Barcelona are just beginning to unfold: the Gothic Quarter with the Royal Square, the Rambla, Ciutadella Park and the Columbus Monument are also ready to join the fight for the title of the main attractions of the city. Sophisticated tourists will recommend the large Botanical Garden, Gracia Avenue and Bogatell Beach.
➤ Sagrada Familia
Opus Magnum by the great architect Gaudi, the symbol of the city and probably the most amazing functioning Catholic church in the world. The cathedral is still being built on donations. Its full name is – Expiatory Church of the Holy Family. Construction began in 1882 in Eixample, which at the time was a suburb a few kilometers from Barcelona. Gaudi did not hide that he was inspired by the idea of a forest bathed in the sun. In the cathedral, this is achieved with the help of columns imitating natural forms and stained-glass windows of different heights.
In the second half of the 20th century, after the death of the architect, the construction of the Nativity façade and the Passion façade began. Currently, work is underway to create the facade of Glory. The grandiose building is planned to be completed by 2026. In general, this fits well into the tradition of the centuries-old construction of Gothic cathedrals. But the Sagrada Familia – a child of the past in modern style. Getting here is not difficult, because the temple is located near the metro station of the same name.
➤ Gothic Quarter
To visit Barcelona and not see the Gothic Quarter – at least strange. In fact, the Middle Ages – not the earliest era, which is represented here in the form of buildings. There are also buildings from the time of the Roman Empire. Artistic architecture, characteristic narrow streets, many cafes, restaurants and boutiques. And all this with a unique touch of antiquity. The quarter is bounded by the legendary Rambla and Laietana. Worth seeing during daylight hours. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes because of the paving stones.
➤ Barcelona Embankment
Barcelona's waterfront is interesting in any season. Having finished with the tour of the Rambla, you can continue walking along the promenade. She is only about 30 years old and is filled with sculptures, including floating ones. There are shopping centers and the opportunity to go on a boat trip costing from 7 to 20 euros. Nearby is the famous aquarium.
➤ Port Vell
As the name suggests, this is a port in the Gothic Quarter. Drassanes metro station is very close. The port offers a wonderful view from the monument to Columbus. What to do in the port? Of course, enjoy tapas and seafood, wines, sangria and watch the sunset pour bright colors over the sea. Boutiques and numerous shops are located here, there is a yacht parking.
➤ Spanish village
Poble Espanyol – this is not a village, but a museum located in Barcelona. Quite a bit will happen to walk from Espanya station with the magical fountain of Montjuic. This is an open-air museum created in the 1990s. It allows you to get acquainted with the life of the Catalans and Spaniards in the past. You should definitely consider and buy souvenirs here, as well as book a table in a cafe in advance, so you can get a good discount.
➤ Park Güell
It's interesting to know that one of Barcelona's main attractions stems from a commercial failure. We are talking about Park Güell, which, according to the project, was supposed to appear in the form of a garden city. But this was not destined to happen, and one of the houses built in the park was bought by the architect himself. We are talking, of course, about Antonio Gaudi. The Catalan genius designed the colonnades, tunnels and even benches in Art Nouveau style. The park was built from 1900 to 1914. You can talk a lot about it, but it's better to visit it. And do not forget about the house-museum of Gaudi himself in the park.
The total area is slightly more than 17 hectares, there are paid and free zones. To get to it, you should get off at the metro station dedicated to King Alfonso X the Wise. And then transfer to a special bus that goes to the park. Ticket price for an adult – about 10 euros for visiting the paid part of the park, for a child – 7. It is better to visit in sunny weather, when the ceramics will sparkle.
➤ Sant Pau Hospital
Sant Pau, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, – it is a large hospital complex. It was designed by the architect Luis Domènech y Mantenera and is one of the city's modern gems. The building was built only in the 20th century, but a hospital has existed in its place since the beginning of the 15th century. The easiest way to get there is from Sant Pau station. It is worth visiting the local temple here. Nearby there are cafes and restaurants. The route can be built from the Sagrada Familia, the entrance will cost about 15 euros. There are 27 buildings with stained-glass windows and underground tunnels.
➤ Barcelona Aquarium
To get acquainted with the life of marine life, it is worth coming to the Old Port. To do this, you have to walk a very short distance from the metro station Barceloneta or Drassanes. But you don’t need to dive, because we are talking about the aquarium of Barcelona. It is definitely worth a visit, because it is the largest aquarium in all of Europe.
The inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea will swim slowly behind the glass. We are talking about a grandiose construction – 80 m long tunnel. The entire exposition shows various ecosystems:
- underwater grottoes,
- algae thickets.
In addition, you can see fish and not only from the Caribbean and Red Seas. There are 11,000 animals here, of which 300 species are fish. There are also cafes, marketplaces and an exhibition. Tickets cost about 15-20 euros.
➤ The Magic Fountain of Montjuic
To visit the magical fountain of Montjuic, or Font màgica de Montjuïc, you first have to get to the mountain of the same name. The view of the building is futuristic as at the time of its construction – 1929 And since 1992, it has become a musical one and has undergone restructuring. The schedule of the fountain and all processes are supervised by automated equipment. From the port you can go uphill by cable car or use the metro. Nearby is Montjuic Park.
➤ Camp Nou
The literal translation of the name of this stadium – “new field”. Here you can find cafes and bars, but you have to walk a bit to get to it. You can get off at Collblanc or Palau Reial metro stations. It is unlikely that the fans of the football club “Barcelona” can come to this city and not visit this stadium. A visit is worth it, because here they tell about the history of the club and the stadium. You can also buy themed souvenirs. If you buy tickets online, they will cost a little cheaper.
➤ Boqueria Market
When people say the word “market” in Barcelona, Boquería immediately comes to mind. Mercat de la Boqueria is located on the famous Las Ramblas. The best way to get to the market is from the Liceu metro station. The main “prey”: wine, jamon, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as seafood. You can also find takeaway food and bars. The market has been operating since 1840, and today it is 2.5 square kilometers of fresh produce. You should definitely try sliced fruits, but the price of whole products is better compared with analogues from supermarkets.
➤ Barcelona Zoo
The zoo is located in Ciutadella Park, just a short walk from the Arc de Triomf metro station. More than 300 species of animals live here, surrounded by 400 species of flora. You can travel around the zoo on a special tram. The zoo was founded in 1892 and even then stood out for its innovations. Animals were separated from visitors not by metal fences, but by water barriers.
Not so long ago, an albino gorilla lived here, and in general, the zoo is doing a lot of work on their study. You can visit the terrarium and get to know the Komodo monitor lizards better. To see all the animals, including giraffes and elephants, it is worth visiting this zoo during the warm season.
➤ Agbar Tower
You should not look for a medieval donjon tower under the name Torre Agbar. Instead, you can see a modern skyscraper with rounded shapes. Building owners – Agbar Group company. And it houses the offices of Aguas de Barcelona, which provides fresh water to the city. The Rainbow Tower has 38 floors in its composition, but is not even among the ten tallest buildings in Spain. Authors – architect Jean Nouvel and Dragados. You can meet the tower on Diagonal Avenue, and it is best to admire it at night when the backlight is on.
➤ Castle of the Three Dragons
The Castle of the Three Dragons, or Castell dels Tres Dragons, does not belong to the Middle Ages, despite its name. It was built at the end of the 19th century for the same World's Fair as the Arc de Triomphe, located nearby. The inspiration for the name was probably the fashionable novel of those years by Serafi Petarra. The Art Nouveau building today houses the Zoological Museum and is located in Ciutadella Park. The easiest way to get there is on foot from the Arc de Triomf metro station. Initially, the building, by the way, housed a cafe.
➤ Flamenco show in Palau Dalmases
Palace of Palau Dalmases – one of the residences of the nobility, dating back to the Middle Ages, is located on Montcada street. It can be reached at a leisurely pace from the Jaume I metro station. Flamenco can be seen in different parts of the city and during various events, but it is in Palau Dalmases that the show takes on authentic features. Dancing in a baroque mansion really takes you back to the atmosphere of the past. The show starts at a certain time, which may vary depending on the day. Filming of the dance is prohibited. A child ticket will cost 15 euros, an adult 30. For an adult, 1 additional drink is included from the bar located here. Nearby is the Picasso Museum and many cafes.
The best beaches in Barcelona
Sea – Mediterranean. An area called Barceloneta overlooks the sea, and most of the city's beaches are located here. If for some reason one of the beaches is not to your liking, you can walk to the next one or use the bus routes that run along the street along the sea. It will not be possible to find private beaches, all are in city ownership. But the sea is almost always clean, and the mud will only testify to the washing out of the sewerage system due to severe storms. If the beach is closed for any reason for swimming, do not break the ban. In autumn, stinging jellyfish can be found in the water, they should be avoided. You can get rid of their burns by pouring heated sea water or lemon juice on the reddened area. For the same reason, you should not swim immediately after a storm.
If you plan to have lunch or dinner at a reasonable price, then you should not visit cafes and restaurants right on the beaches. Locals also recommend not to stop at the first cafe, but to walk around and make a choice. Some establishments offer menus in Russian. The best of them with fresh seafood and affordable prices are located not on the beach itself, but in the depths of the Barceloneta area. You can consume takeaway food and alcoholic drinks on the beaches. A large container of sangria may not cost much more than a glass of the same drink. On the beaches you can rent umbrellas and sun loungers, but usually the same goods from neighboring supermarkets are cheaper. The beaches of Barcelona are sandy. There are no changing rooms.
➤ Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta – the most famous beach in Barcelona. Skyscraper hotels are located right on it. Here you can visit a cafe or eat food brought with you, for example, from the city market. The beach is located in the area of the Old Port or Port Vell. You can get here from the Columbus column. Don't leave your belongings unattended on Barceloneta, as the beach is adjacent to residential areas.
- How to get there: It's only a short walk from Drassanes metro station. If you follow from the center, you will have to spend about 20 minutes on foot.
➤ Nova Mar Bella Beach
This is a place in the north of the city, and many people note that there are fewer people here compared to Barceloneta. Beach vendors are also less common. There are also opportunities for surfing, windsurfing, diving and snorkeling. The beach is well-maintained, equipped with toilets and showers, lifeguards are on duty, as in Barceloneta. Despite the sandy surface, it is hardly worth taking children here. There is also a nudist beach.
- How to get there:this beach is located in the Diagonal area, just a short walk from El Maresme-Fòrum metro station. Nearby are hotels, as well as cafes and restaurants, including those with Mediterranean cuisine and seafood. Prices for prepared meals can be lower than in Barceloneta.
➤ Bogatell Beach
Bogatell Beach is located in the Poblenou area, which can generally be considered decent and business-oriented. You can safely go here with children, although the female half of the population prefers topless sunbathing. To do this, you will have to get off at the Poblenou or Llacuna station and walk a little. There are almost no beach vendors here, but there are still beach amenities like lifeguards, showers and police. There are cafes and restaurants for every taste, prices are cheaper than in Barceloneta. You can walk to the funicular to Montjuic.
Famous streets and squares of Barcelona
Speaking about the streets of Barcelona, many people immediately remember the Rambla, laid along the bed of a dried-up river. The street consists of 5 boulevards and crosses the Old Town, reaches the Gothic Quarter and the Boqueria Market. Also in the Gothic Quarter, it is worth visiting the Royal Square. Other well-known streets may have a more modern look and may not always boast an abundance of green spaces. But majestic monuments and buildings are also present here.
➤ La Rambla
The Rambla is located in the quarter of the same name, next to the Liceu metro station. There are almost legends about its foundation, in which this one also appears: the street is laid along the bottom of the dried-up Kagallel River. The word “rambla” means dry land. Today it is a pedestrian place, on weekends there are too many people here. Many shopping centers, monuments and cafes for every taste. You can build your route along this boulevard to the Gothic Quarter and many attractions. The Rambla is about 1.2 km long and crosses the Old Town. From here you can get to the Boqueria market. Green spaces – plane trees.
➤ Plaza de España
Plaça d'Espanya is located in the Sans Mojuic quarter, where the Espanya metro station is located. This is a relatively young square, which was designed by two architects for the World Exhibition in 1929. More than her in this state is only the square of the same name in Madrid. Under the square there is a station for electric trains, and in the upper part in the center of the circle – monument and fountain. Along the edges of the square are the Venetian Gates and the Fira Barcelona pavilions. To emphasize the majestic structures, there are no tall trees in the square. It acquires a special charm at night, but it cannot be called a place for quiet walks due to the proximity of roads.
➤ Plaza Catalunya
Plaza de Catalunya – Quite a green area. It is located in the Eixample district between the Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter. The nearest metro station – Catalunya. There are sculptures and a fountain, as well as shops with designer clothes, cafes and restaurants. It was built in the middle of the 19th century, connecting the old and the new city at that time. An important transport artery of the city. Style – neoclassicism.
➤ Royal Square
Plaça Reial– this is the place to walk in the Gothic Quarter. It has existed since the 19th century, and before that there was a wasteland of the burned-out Capuchin monastery of Santa Madrona. Two architects were involved in the arrangement of the square, and the lanterns were created according to the designs of Gaudí. There are cafes and restaurants here, but they love it for numerous festivals, including Mexican-style ones. Do not confuse the Royal Square with the King's Square (Pla & ccedil; a del Rei), fortunately, both are located in the Gothic Quarter. The square looks best in the daytime, surrounded by palm trees. It is easily accessible on foot from the Liceu station.
➤ Gracia Avenue
Passeig de Gràcia– it is a wide green avenue in downtown Barcelona. Starts from Plaza Catalunya. The former name of the street was “Jesus Road” and existed in an era when Gracia was still a suburb of Barcelona. It is here that you can meet the famous Gaudi dragon house – Casa Batlo and Casa Milo. Casa Batlo must be seen both in daylight, and during sunset, and at night. You can get to the square thanks to two stations – Diagonal and Can Serra. There are also many cafes, restaurants, shops: from fashion houses to the Torres wine cellar.
Monuments and monuments of Barcelona
Barcelona is full of both landscape gardening sculpture and various monuments and monuments. Tourists can meet statues of the 19th century or examples of modern art. And it is not a fact that contemporary art will be found in the new quarters.
➤ Monument to Christopher Columbus
The Columbus Monument in Barcelona is located on the famous Las Ramblas. It was opened back in 1888 in memory of the end of the journey of the great navigator. After his geographical discovery, he went to a reception with King Ferdinand II and Isabella I in Barcelona. The sculpture was designed by Rafael Arche. The main value of the idea – this is a 57-meter elevator that allows you to go upstairs and see the panorama of the city. It is enclosed in a metal column, on top of which is a statue. From here you can walk along the wide avenue with palm trees Passeig del Colom.
➤ Arc de Triomf
Arc de Triomf is located at the entrance to the Ciutadella Park and at the metro station of the same name. It is close to the Old Town and the Gothic Quarter from here. It is a neo-Moorish red brick structure with four turrets arranged in pairs, and its appearance differs from other triumphal arches in the world. The architect Josep Vilasekoy erected it in 1888 for the World Exhibition. The height of the building is about 30 m. There are catering establishments nearby.
Best parks in Barcelona
Speaking of parks, the first thing that comes to mind is the creation of Gaudí – Park Guell. But, like any big city in Spain, Barcelona boasts several large-scale parks. Some of them additionally house museums, galleries and various pavilions. Entrance to them may be free. In the parks of Barcelona you can sit on the lawns, but it is not recommended to feed the birds. Starting from the end of February, they are a great place to stay and it is worth visiting at least one of them. It is enough to pay attention to the Ciutadella Park, the Botanical Garden, the Orta Labyrinth Park, Tibado, Montjuic.
➤ Ciutadella Park
In Catalan, it sounds like Ciutadella Park. It is located in the old part of the city, and was opened in the 19th century. This is the first official park in Barcelona. Today you can also look at the building of the Catalan Parliament, the zoo and museums. The park has an artificial lake that will make your stay comfortable during the summer hours. Once there was a fortress here, and today three alleys are green here:
Cutadella houses one of the sculptural symbols of Barcelona – “Despair” by Josep Llimona. Be sure to get to the monumental cascade of fountains. A group of architects worked on its creation, including the young Gaudí.
- How to get there:you can walk a little from the Cuitadella-Vila Olimpica station. The entrance is located at the Arc de Triomphe. It should be understood that most of the park is occupied by the territory of the zoo, but there is still something to see in it. It is better to visit it during the daytime;
- Bonus: there is also a palm greenhouse, the Castle of the Three Dragons, museums of geology and zoology. Fans of tasty and satisfying food will not be disappointed, there is a cafe right on the territory of the park, several establishments are located outside the perimeter.
➤ Orta Labyrinth Park
Parc del Laberint d’Horta is located in the Horta Guinardo quarter. Despite the fact that Ciutadella Park is considered the oldest park in Barcelona, the Horta Labyrinth can challenge this title. After all, it includes a piece of the 18th-century garden left over from the Desvalls estate. In the XIX century, other green spaces in the style of romanticism were added to it. And only in the 1970s the park became a public place and was restored a little later. Here you can watch theatrical performances in the open air, as well as admire the Desvalls Palace. The park has a canal, gazebos, topiary and numerous flower beds. The park will appeal to lovers of the Mediterranean nature; strawberry tree, sessile oak and African lily grow here.
- How to get there:you will have to walk quite a bit from Mundet station. But you will have to behave more quietly here than in Citadel Park: picnics and even noisy games are prohibited. It is better to visit the park on weekdays, as it has a limit on the number of visitors: no more than 750. The entrance fee is small, about 2.5 euros. And on Wednesdays, admission is free;
- Bonus: lovers of garden culture and Mediterranean flora will like it here, although the park is known for its small size. Its main detail – labyrinth of cut topiary bushes.
➤ Barcelona Botanical Garden
It will not be possible to visit the Botanical Garden, just walking around the center. You will have to get here by building a route in advance and checking the days of work. And yet he's worth it. Because it is a garden of Eden with an area of 14 hectares. It was built over 8 years and opened in 1999. Of course, there is a large artificial reservoir, the paths are wide, there are drinking fountains. The organizers of the garden set themselves the goal of – collect about 4,000 Mediterranean plants here, but for now their number is limited to 1,500.
But it's still enough to get to know the local flora. Birds will flutter overhead, more often green parrots. In addition to the Mediterranean basin, plants from Chile, South Africa, Australia and California are represented. There is also a collection of bonsai. On weekends in the morning there are free guided tours in Spanish. The best time to visit – the beginning of March, when the flowering period of many plants begins.
- How to get there:you should know in advance about the time and hours of work. The park may be closed on certain holidays, and opening hours are from 10 to 17. And yet, on some holidays, you can get here for free. On other days, the entrance will cost from 1.7 to 3.7 euros. The cost of visiting the exhibition pavilions and the museum is from 5 to 7 euros. The easiest way to get here – take bus number 13 to the stop of the same name. If you use the metro, you will have to walk about 2.5 km. And from the Joan Miro Foundation, where the corresponding bus goes, you have to walk about 400 m;
- Bonus:main – not to confuse the Barcelona Botanical Garden with the Historic Botanical Garden. The second garden has a much smaller, even modest, area. Jardí Botanic Historic has been open since 1930 and is located near the National Museum of Fine Arts of Catalonia MNAC.
Theatres and concert venues in Barcelona
Barcelona has every chance to compete with Madrid for the title of cultural capital, at least in terms of the number of theaters. There is even a theater institute here. And the establishments themselves can be majestic or chamber, can be located in cafes or castle premises. Large theaters include Gran Teatre del Liceu, Tivoli Theatre, L’Auditori, Teatro Nacional de Cataluñia, Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona. Micro-theatres include Palau Dalmases, Café Teatre Llantiol, Microteatre Barcelona and other places of interest.
➤ Palace of Catalan Music
Palace of Catalan Music – memorable architectural structure. The horseshoe-shaped hall is decorated with stained-glass windows and columns with mosaics. Everything in it attracts attention: from the ceiling to the lamps. It was built in 1908 and remains the first and only natural light theater in Europe. Style – Catalan Art Nouveau, architect Luce Domènech i Montaner. Here you can listen to Spanish guitar or book a tour.
- How to get there:located in the area of Born and Ribera, you will have to arm yourself with a navigator and walk from the stations of Catalunya or Urquinaona. Excursions inside the palace are paid, the cost is about 20 euros. Tour language – Spanish and English. If the goal is to get to the concert, then it is better to purchase tickets not at the box office, but in advance on the official website and carefully choose seats for better visibility;
- Bonus: photos do not convey all the beauty of this building. Within walking distance you can stumble upon the Picasso Museum and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar, as well as a large number of cafes, restaurants and original street food to go.
< h3>➤ Grand Theater Liceu
"Liceu" was opened in 1847. But both the interior itself and the performances today are closer to the present than to the eras of the past. The theater is constantly haunted by evil fate in the form of fires and even one terrorist attack, so it has been significantly rebuilt. This is the second largest European theater after La Scala, once seasons of the Russian ballet by Sergei Diaghilev were held here. The performances are subtitled in English, Spanish and Catalan, and the premieres usually attract guests from all over the world.
- How to get there: you can get to the unique theater while walking along the famous the Rambla. The Boqueria market is also located here. Nearby is the Liceu station and many cafes and restaurants;
- Bonus: despite its fame, the theater is famous for its affordable ticket prices. To visit it, it is not at all necessary to wear a cocktail dress and gloves, casual clothes are enough.