See the best of Barcelona
Whether you’re soccer crazy or curious about Catalan culture, Barcelona awaits. With its award-winning architecture, modern and classical art exhibits and picturesque parks, this city has it all. For travelers holding on to summer vibes, Barcelona has you covered - the sea coast is lined with five ‘urban’ sand beaches, easily reachable by train or bus and taken care of all year round.
- Sagrada Família
Gaudi started the construction of the Sagrada Família back in 1883, but it remains unfinished until this day. Still, that doesn’t mean the sight of the building is any less stunning with its stained glass windows, massive towers, and extraordinary sculptures.
Head over to the church early in the morning or late in the evening so you can catch the sun shining through the stained glass windows painting the church interior with beautiful colors.
- Mercat de la Boquería
A lot of Barcelona’s top restaurateurs purchase their produce at Mercat de la Boquería, the largest food market in Europe. Nearly 200 years ago the founders decided to set up the market hall right alongside La Rambla in order to attract more passers-by. Nowadays, the market still attracts quite some tourists, but is mainly home to the locals.
Visit the market in early mornings to find the freshest food and drinks and to fully enjoy the smells, sights, and sounds of the market.
- Park Guell
The Sagrada Familia isn't Gaudi’s only art piece that didnt get finished. Park Güell clearly shows Gaudi’s playful imagination. Upon entrance you will be greeted by a colorful smiling dragon. Further along in the park you can find nature shaped into galleries, archways, and other intricate structures.
The park is open seven days a week from early morning until the beginning of the evening. Purchase your ticket online in advance in order to skip the long waiting lines.
- Museu Picasso
Museu Picasso is spread across five palaces in the center of the city. His classics have been placed in museums in other cities in Europe. However, Museu Picasso offers pieces of art that are all but mainstream. The gothic arches in the courtyard lead you into studios that highlight his works . The higher floors are occupied by luxurious rooms filled with lesser expected pieces of art such as ceramics.
Entrance is free on Thursday evenings and on the first Sunday of the month. Otherwise, tickets are 12 euros.
- Camp Nou
Even though Camp Nou is not a church, the massive stadium has been dubbed a football cathedral. The stadium has been FC Barcelona’s home base since 1957. Even non-fans of the team that visit Camp Nou are left perplexed by its scale. If you are a fan, you will have a lot of fun exploring the stadium and browsing through the team’s collectibles and souvenirs.
Prices for the stadium tour start at 29 euros. The stadium tours will not be offered on the day of or days before a match, so keep an eye on the calendar.
- Monument a Colom
At the lower end of La Rambla you will find a tower-like construction, the Monument a Colom. On top of the sixty meter high pillar, a magnificent statue of Christopher Columbus points towards sea, a reference to the New World. The column is set on a stone pedestal decorated with beautiful statues.
Both the column and the pedestal are hollow and can be accessed by the public. Step in the elevator and enjoy a panoramic view of the city and Port Vell. Tickets to enter the monument range between 4-6 euros.
Add a bit of magic
When the sun gets low in the sky, head over to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Locals and tourists alike gather in the evenings to see the whimsical dancing jets of water illuminated in a dizzying array of colors. Assorted music choices make for different 'choreographies,' each one more impressive than the last.
Of all the delicious and colorful foods that you can and should try in Barcelona, pa amb tomàquet (literally bread with tomato) is the simplest, but it’s also arguably the most quintessentially Catalan. This classic combination usually accompanied by olive oil, salt, and sometimes garlic, feels as natural with morning coffee as it does with late-night drinks.
Take it all in
If you’re after jaw-dropping views of the city, you can’t beat the scenery provided by the Bunkers del Carmel. These bunkers, which date back to the Spanish Civil War offer what many locals consider the best views of Barcelona.
Getting there by train
Barcelona is well connected by train to both Spanish and French cities. It's only a short trip by high-speed train to Madrid or Valencia, and there's a direction connection all the way to Paris. Most domestic and international tains arrive at Barcelona Sants, which is within walking distance of the old city.
You can find all trains to and from Barcelona in the Eurail timetable.
From Madrid to Barcelona
From Paris to Barcelona
From Geneva to Barcelona
Flights and public transport
When you're flying into Barcelona, you have several options. Nearest to the city is Barcelona International Airport, but many low-cost airlines from fly into Girona and Reus. Both of these are over 60 miles from the city, so take this into account when booking your flight.
Barcelona has an excellent metro system that takes you anywhere you want to go in the city (including Barceloneta beach). Alternatively, you can use the bus network to get around.