Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Barcelona is a smorgasbord of history, modernity, culture, food, entertainment, friendly locals and everything else that a visitor would want. It is impossible to find dull moments in a happening city like Barcelona.
Barcelona is located along the northeastern Mediterranean coastline of Spain in the Catalonia region of Spain.
Facts about Barcelona
- Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain.
- Barcelona is the largest European city on the Mediterranean.
- Architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano was initially commissioned to design the La Sagrada Família.
Attractions in Barcelona
Sagrada Família: Undoubtedly the biggest attraction in Barcelona, Sagrada Família, as a Catholic Church, was designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. The construction of the church started in 1882 and is still ongoing, expected to be complete by 2026. One look at the structure is enough to understand why it’s taking so long…the building is incredibly complicated, beautiful and unlike any other monument in the world. Tourists flock to the church to view its stunning Christian imagery and make their way to the top of the spires to get a panoramic view of the city.
La Rambla: Barcelona’s most famous street, La Rambla is the place to go to experience the heart of the city. It is lined with street performers, bars, restaurants, and more. The Boquería Market is a true feast for the eyes as well as the stomach because here tourists can pick up some of the freshest ingredients in the whole of Barcelona.
Museu Picasso: Picasso, arguably one of the greatest Spanish artists in the history of art, spent a large part of his life in Barcelona. So it is a fitting destination to discover one of the best collections of his works. The Museu Picasso has over 4,000 works by the master himself including some early sketches and lesser-known works. It is a must for any art connoisseur.
Montjuïc: Located in the southwest part of the city center, the Montjuïc (Jew Mountain) is a hill that offers tourists a respite from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. The commanding views offered by the hill made it an obvious location for fortifications which can still be seen. However, it’s the museums located here that attract the larger number of tourists. The Palau Nacional and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, must for art-lovers, draw visitors by the sheer beauty of their architecture. The Font Mágica offers a spectacular show of water, lights, and music and is completely free. However, the fountain is sometimes closed due to exhibitions or events.
Camp Nou: Home to FC Barcelona, one of the best football teams in the world, Camp Nou stadium is a must for any sports fan. It is also one of the largest football stadiums in Europe with a capacity to hold nearly 100,000 passionate supporters of the team. Camp Nou also has a museum where visitors can learn more about the history of football clubs.
Parc Guëll: One of Antoni Gaudí’s most celebrated works, the Parc Guëll is a must on every visitor’s list. While the views from Parc Guëll are stunning, it is the architectural marvels within the park that will grab your attention, especially the Salamanders sculpture. The place was originally supposed to be a residential development, but after the construction of two houses, the area was sold to the city council that turned it into a park.
La Barceloneta: While it isn’t the only beach in Barcelona, it is definitely the most popular for being closest to the city center. Along the beach is a walkway quite popular with joggers and cyclists. Due to its proximity to the city center as well as various bars and restaurants that line the beach, the place can often get crowded with locals and tourists.
Casa Batllo: This used to be home of the Batlló family. During 1904-06, it was redesigned. You’ll find irregular oval windows, unusual tracery and flowing sculpted stonework on the ground floor. The roof will equally amaze you with its arch shape resembling the back of a dragon.
Palau de la Musica Orfeo Catala: This concert hall was originally built for Orfeó Catalá, a choral group in the early 1900s. In 1997, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, it is a host to a large number of musical performances ranging from jazz to symphonic and chamber music.
Magic Fountain: This is a must-see destination when you come to Barcelona, simply because of the magnificent display of light, color, motion, water acrobatics, and music.
Casa Mila: The wavy facade of the building impresses many. In fact, it is designed in such a way that one can’t draw a vertical line from roof to the ground. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Accommodation in Barcelona
Budget travelers would do well to check out the Hotel Ciutat de Sant Adrià or the Bonanova Park. Mid-range travelers can check out the Leonardo Boutique Hotel Barcelona Sagrada Familia or the Hotel Condado. High-end travelers can check out the Olivia Balmes Hotel or the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel.
How to Reach
By Air: Barcelona–El Prat Airport is the international airport that serves Barcelona and is located within the city.
By Rail: Barcelona is serviced by two railway stations. The Estació Central de Barcelona-Sants is the main railway station in the city and handles most of the national and international traffic while the Estació de França is the other major station.
By Road: Barcelona is well connected by a network of roads. There are a number of bus operators that ply coaches to other major cities in Spain like Madrid and to international destinations like Marseille and Frankfurt.
Best time to visit Barcelona
The period from May to June is considered to be the best time to visit the city as the temperature is mild and there are a number of festivals that are celebrated in the city.
More about Barcelona
What are the official languages spoken in Barcelona?
The official languages spoken are Spanish and Catalan.
Is there anything to be careful of in Barcelona?
It is a very good idea to keep an eye on your wallet, purse, and other belongings. Pickpocketing is quite common, especially in crowded areas like Las Rambla.