Would you like to visit Barcelona? Great idea, this city in Catalonia is absolutely gorgeous. These are 9 fun things to do in Barcelona.
Fun things to do in Barcelona
There is so much to see and do in Barcelona and you can easily entertain yourself for weeks. Do you only have time to spent a couple of days in Barcelona? Check out this list with 9 fun things to do in Barcelona, which are perfect when you’re visiting Barcelona for the first time.
Barcelona is the city of Antoni Gaudí. All over the city, you will come across the beautiful buildings and parks designed by this famous architect. Park Güell is one of them and this is one and definitely one of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona. It’s obviously very popular with tourists, there are people everywhere!
This also has a reason, because this park on a hill in Barcelona is arguably the most beautiful park in the world. The houses at the entrance and the winding bench with a colorful mosaic are spectacular to see. It looks like you’ve found yourself walking around in a fairytale. It actually gets quieter the more you climb uphill. High in the park you also have an amazing view of the city.
TIP Skip the line and buy your ticket in advance via this website.
Almost every evening you can see the colorful fountain show of the Font Màgica several times. Very impressive and well worth it. Check this website in advance to see when the next shows start. Visiting the fountain is free. Also, the entire area around Plaça d’Espanya, where this fountain is located, is really beautiful to see. Here you can easily entertain yourself for a few hours.
Gaudí has designed two apartment complexes in Barcelona that you can visit; Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. AANP I have visited both, and as far as I’m concerned (the slightly less touristy) Casa Batlló is the most beautiful of the two. It has many colorful details, beautiful chimneys and the facade is gorgeous. Visiting some of Gaudi’s architectural artworks is definitely one of the best things to do in Barcelona.
Get your tickets for Casa Batlló on this website.
Parc de la Ciutadella
The largest park in Barcelona is Parc de la Ciutadella and this is a wonderful place to relax during your weekend in Barcelona. The most notable structure in the park is the beautiful Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella on the edge of a pond. In addition, there are also several beautiful works of art to be found in the park.
MNAC – Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Would you like to visit a museum during your trip to Barcelona? There are some really nice museums to be found in the city, but my personal favorite is the MNAC (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya). This is located near the Font Màgica and is housed in a gorgeous building. In this museum there is something for everyone, the collection is very varied. For example, there is a large collection of Romanesque art, but you can also see modern artworks and artworks from the Baroque and Renaissance.
Explore the streets of El Born
Narrow and winding streets, filled with small cafes where you can eat tasty tapas and churros. El Born is an old neighborhood that you definitely want to explore. Getting lost is not a bad thing, this is how you will find the most beautiful places.
Castell de Montjuïc
The ancient Castell de Montjuïc is a fortress on a hill in the south part of Barcelona, next to the Mediterranean sea. If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet, this is the place to be. Around the fortress, you will find some beautiful gardens with flowers and cactuses. On top of the fortress, you’ll have an amazing view of the city. And the best thing: there is no entrance fee!
La Sagrada Fámilia
The impressive cathedral Sagrada Família is definitely the most famous building in Barcelona. Don’t even think about skipping it. . This church is so huge that you can actually see it from many places in the city. Gaudí’s most famous building is still not finished, but breathtakingly beautiful. It’s great to see it from a distance (so much detail), but actually, it’s even more impressive to see the inside of La Sagrada Fámilia. You have to buy a ticket in advance for a time slot because a visit to the Sagrada Fámilia is very popular.
Daytrip to Montserrat
Do you want to escape the city for a day? Make a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat! You can reach the famous Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey by funicular (the fast way) or with a cable car (long wait, but spectacular views).
The Abbey itself is beautiful, but it can be very crowded. However, if you like hiking, make sure to climb to one of the viewpoints and explore the trails around the abbey. The views are incredible, and the trails are not that crowded.
Get your tickets to Montserrat here.
How do you get to Barcelona?
You can opt for a package holiday or arrange your own trip to Barcelona.
Book a package deal
There are many organizations that offer fantastic trips within Europe that include Barcelona. A package deal like this might be cheaper than arranging everything yourself, and it’s definitely easier. These are some great trips that include a couple of days in Barcelona.
- Best of Spain by Intrepid Travel: visit the most beautiful places in Spain with one trip.
- Barcelona to Venice by Intrepid Travel: this is a big trip. Perfect when you want to visit many awesome places (12 countries!) in Europe in one month.
- Check Love Holidays if you just need flights and accommodation in Barcelona.
Book a trip to Barcelona yourself
Do you want more flexibility? Then it’s pretty easy to book a trip to Barcelona yourself.
How do you get to Barcelona?
The fastest way to travel to Barcelona is by plane. Lots of airlines have good connections with Barcelona, so it doesn’t have to be very expensive. Check Skyscanner for the cheapest plane tickets and comparing flight times.
Are you ready for a more sustainable holiday? If you’re traveling from another European country, it is not that difficult to go visit Barcelona by train. Depending on where you’re from, it might take some time. But you will see many different landscapes during the train ride. Check Rail Europe for travel times and prices.
Where to stay in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city that attracts a lot of tourists. The big advantage of this is that there are many different places to stay with different price categories. These are a few great places to stay:
- Hostal Girona – I slept here once during a solo trip in Barcelona. Small clean rooms, a great breakfast and a great location. A good option if you are looking for an affordable stay.
- El Avenida Palace – Nice hotel in the city center with a rooftop pool. Lovely to take a refreshing dip in the evening.
- Ayre Hotel Rosellón – Nicely decorated hotel with a fantastic roof terrace. From here you have a great view of the Sagrada Fámilia.
Do you want to read more about traveling in Spain?
These were my tips and a list of fun things to do in Barcelona. Do you want to read more about Barcelona or Spain? Order one of these great travel guides:
DK Eyewitness Barcelona and Catalonia
And read one of these articles if you want to know more about other beautiful places in Spain:
This article first appeared in February 2016. Last update: June 2021.
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