Barcelona is a place where ancient and modern clash, creating a mix of rare beauty. And although it is one of the most visited tourist centers in Spain, it still retains its innate authenticity.
What to see in Barcelona: the city's sight-seeing attractions
Barcelona is alive: it is a city where everything is aimed at achieving the pure ecstasy of the senses. The eyes are constantly captivated by the architectural beauties scattered in every corner of the city; one’s taste and smell are strenuously tickled by inviting restaurants, which severe plenty of local delicacies and tapas. It's hard to stand still in Barcelona, as there are so many things to see and do. The important thing is not to panic and enjoy every moment you spend in the city.
But what is there to see in Barcelona? Let's start our sightseeing tour in the city with the Sagrada Familia, symbol par excellence of a city open to the most diverse influences. Because the Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudì, represents the extreme synthesis of the intersection of very different influences: this unique church is, at the same time, modernist and Catalan, Renaissance and Gothic and, finally, even Islamic. Imposing, splendid and bizarre, this incredible building is an asset now protected by UNESCO. So, watch every groove and every corner, climb the steep steps (or take the elevator!) and admire the unfinished beauty of one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Because the construction of this church, which began in 1866, has not yet been completed.
Continuing on the theme of "Gaudi" and his architectural wonders, we now introduce you to the amazing beauty of Parc Güell, a real open-air museum. Located on the hill of the Gracia district, this magical place has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. It is a green corner of Barcelona where you can freely enjoy the modernist genius of Gaudi. The entire park is dotted with his architectural works: from the Hipostila Room to the Banc de Trancadis, we also find the artist's museum house, filled with his objects, furniture and furnishings. Parc Güell, in short, is simply a mandatory stage of a trip to Barcelona. And if you want to deepen your knowledge of Gaudi, you should also visit Casa Batlò, a building that was completely renovated in 1904 by the versatile Catalan architect.
Among the things to see in Barcelona are also its important museums. Let's start with the Picasso Museum, located in the historic center: it is a huge museum that houses over 4000 works by the artist, who spent his youth in Barcelona. If you are interested in the phase of Cubist influence of the painter’s artistic career, however, you may be disappointed, as there are no traces of it. Picasso's work is well represented until the famous blue period.
Speaking of museums and paintings, we cannot help but mention the Miró Foundation, a must for all those who are planning a trip to Barcelona. Wanted and desired by Mirò himself, this is where most of the artist's works are found, which were donated entirely to the city.
What to do in Barcelona: from the rambla to music festivals
Not just art and culture: Barcelona is a city to experience through the night. Take a long walk along the Rambla, one of the most famous avenues in the world. The Rambla of Barcelona starts from Plaça de Catalunya and ends right in front of the Columbus Monument, very close to the sea.
You either love it or hate it, because on the Rambla you will find everything from street artists to the mosaics of Mirò, from the colorful florists to the most extreme examples of cheap tourist attractions there are today. Yet the Rambla offers many treasures that are more or less hidden. Stop at the Canaletes Fountain. Made of wrought iron, it is said that anyone who drinks its water sooner or later will find himself returning to Barcelona. Then, continue along and let your eyes gaze upon the beautiful Baroque facade of the Eglesia de Betlem, dating from the 18th century.
And right on Barcelona's Rambla are two other major attractions of the city: the flower market and the Boqueria Market. The latter especially, is the perfect place for those who want to discover the culinary delicacies, whether local or international.
Usually very crowded (we recommend that you visit it in the morning to avoid to many people), this varied Market will make your senses go wild: treat yourself to a few tapas and... Enjoy your meal!
Barcelona is also the destination of many football fans. Among the things to do in Barcelona, therefore, you can’t do without a visit to the Camp Nou, the stadium of the home football team that is famous around the world. If you're lucky enough to be in the city at the time when a game is being played, take advantage of it: it's an incredible experience. Otherwise you can always buy tickets to visit the stadium and the museum.
Among the things to do in Barcelona are also a host of musical events. World- renowned, the Primavera Sound and Sonar attract visitors from all over Europe and beyond every year. The first is the Indie music festival par excellence and is usually staged between the end of May and the beginning of June. The Sonar (usually scheduled for mid-April) is a paradise for lovers of electronic music and multimedia art. Definitely not to be missed!
Beaches in Barcelona: sun and sea in the city
A city by the sea is everyone's dream. If this city is Barcelona, the dream turns into a paradise. Because beach, in Barcelona, means only one thing: Barceloneta. This is the district of the city that overlooks the sea: once known as the popular district, today it is one of the coolest in all of Barcelona. Sunbathe on the beach, have a drink in one of the many clubs on the promenade and enjoy the sea breeze: it's truly priceless.
And since you're already here, take a tour of the Barcelona Aquarium, one of the largest in Europe.
Getting around Barcelona by public transportation: the Barcelona Card
If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, get a heads’ start and buy the Barcelona Card online, which offers lots of benefits. If you need to get around and use the Barcelona metro, this card will give you free access to the entire subway network of the city, including the Montjuïc cable-car.
Buying the Barcelona Card will also allow you to visit more than 20 museums free of charge, including the Picasso Museum and the Miró Foundation, which we have just mentioned. The Barcelona Card also offers discounts on site at a number of other city sight-seeing attractions.
The price of the Barcelona Card depends on its validity, which can range from 48 to 120 hours.
To plan a trip to Barcelona, you must have a valid passport or valid identity card for expatriation with you. Spain, in fact, is a member of the European Union and adheres to the Schengen Agreement.
Barcelona is a city that is worth visiting all year round: in winter, the temperature never drops too low, however at the height of summer it can get quite high. This is why, if you are planning a trip to Barcelona, the best time to visit is undoubtedly spring: from mid-April to mid-June, you can enjoy pleasant temperatures while avoiding the typical heat of the summer months. However, if you want to enjoy beach life and plan to go for a swim in the sea, you should definitely opt for the summer months.