Hey hey! Today I decided to start a new section on my blog. It’s been exactly one year since I moved back to Barcelona and I think it is time to dedicate a post to this amazing city or most specifically what to visit while in Barcelona. As I am living here it will be hard for me to summarize in one post all the things you can see and do in Barcelona, this is why I decided to share several post regarding the main tourist attractions, restaurants, tapas bars, cocktail bars and many more. Everything will be shared from my point of view – a local foreigner or a guiri as Spanish people call us, the things that I like and I have visited, so feel free to not agree with me. 😀
Living here directly turns me into first point of contact for advice where to go, where to eat or where to party. My friends who are coming to Barcelona always ask me for recommendations. I actually like this, this was my main reason to start this blog. I live here for almost two years in total (second time living here for those who don’t know) and I can say that I am still finding new things every single day! Said that, my post about Barcelona will be many, for sure, and constantly updated, I promise!
This post will be dedicated to the main tourist attractions. Barcelona offers many interesting places to be seen and there is so much information online, that you can get lost pretty quickly. If you have just few days here, it is hard to see everything, so I will share my opinion and you can decide on your own where to go afterwards.
NB: I don’t like museums, to be honest I hate museums, so my apologies if you expect to read which museum is the best one.
Bunker El Carmel – my favorite place in town. This hill offers the best view in Barcelona. It is high enough but close to the city at the same time.
This allows you to see every single detail from above. Incredible place! How you can reach it – bus 119 stops directly there, bus V17 stops relatively close – less than 10 minute walk and the closest metro station is on the yellow line – Alfons X, 20 minutes walk.
A lot of stairs are included though, but the view is worth it. In the past few years it became a really popular spot amongst tourists, so it is quite crowded now, but you won’t regret climbing there.
Sagrada familia – the basilica is the most popular jewel of Barcelona.
Being under construction for the past 100 and more years makes it different every time you come to Barcelona. Gaudí’s true genius made this building unique not only from the outside, but from the inside as well.
The entrance costs around 20 euros, buy it online, it will save you time (you don’t need to wait in a queue) and you will be sure that you can go inside, the tickets are normally sold weeks in advance.
Park Güell – another piece of art made by Gaudí.
There are several entrances so you can reach it using different types of transportation.
The monumental part of the park is paid and the rest of the open for free. The entrance is 8 euros.
You can see the monumental part from basically everywhere, so for me is kind of pointless to go inside, but if you insist to take a picture with the salamander, then you can pay and enter.
Park Ciutadella – really beautiful park close to the sea, nice for walking, picnic and relax. There is beautiful fountain inside and a lake, for a romantic pedal boat trip.
Arc de Triumf–beautiful monument and a nice walking area, located close to park Ciutadella.
Montjuic and La Fontana magica – amazing area, one of the most famous attractions in Barcelona.
During the night there is a water show with music and lights, check the schedule before you go, because it is not open every day, it changes during the year.
Keep in mind that is extremely crowded! I personally prefer the area during the day, you can climb the stairs to the National Art Museum of Catalunya and enjoy the panoramic view from above. There are electric stairs so don’t worry.
Tibidabo – the highest hill in Barcelona.
There is an amusement park and a church on the top of the hill.
The view from there is quite stunning as well, it is a bit high so you cannot see every detail as from the Bunkers but it is still super super beautiful. Getting there is a bit more time consuming – from Plaza Catalunya take the train S1 or S2 to Terrasa or Sabadell, get off at Peu del Funicular (make sure that the trains stops at this station, because some of them don’t), then take the Funicular and then bus number 111. This is the cheapest way to go there, you use only 1 ticket for all the transports, so in case you have the T10 ticket, it will cost you 1 euro. Traveling time approximately 45mins to 1h (you change a lot of transports but the distance for each is quite short). There are of course other ways to get there – the Tibibus TA2 from plaza Catalunya goes directly there and costs 3 euro.
Casa Batlló and casa Milá (La Pedrera) – other pieces of art created by Gaudí.
I’ve seen them only from outside, so I cannot say if the price of 20 euros each entrance is worth it, but from outside they look unique.
I actually like the whole street where the houses are located – Passeig de Gracia, one of the most expensive streets in Barcelona.
Cathedral de Barcelona – The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia is located in Barri Gotic – the Gothic quarter of Barcelona.
It is really impressive!
Barri Gotic– beautiful quarter with narrow streets, small shops and restaurants, street art and amazing vibe
El Born – this neighborhood is pretty similar to el Gotico , but it is more alive I would say, a lot of nice bars and restaurants are located there and it is quite popular among young people, especially guiris as me 😀
Mercat La Boqueria – the famous food market is located at La Rambla (the most iconic street of Barcelona, which I personally hate and I don’t understand why it is so popular, this is why I will not include it in my list), there you can find basically everything – jamon Serrano, fruits, juices, nuts, chocolate, fish and seafood, meat, vegetables, chees, etc.
You can also sit there and do delicious food tasting.
Hospital Sant Pau– one of my latest discoveries. This hospital is an amazing piece of art.
Part of it is still a working hospital and the rest is a tourist attraction. The place is quite big, really colorful with a stunning architecture style!
Every 1st Sunday of the month you can enter for free. It is one of the more unpopular attractions in Barcelona and it makes it even more unique.
Passeig Maritim – the beach sidewalk of Barcelona.
I really enjoy walking there. There are many palm trees that make it even more exotic, the sea is beautiful and some of the most popular clubs of Barcelona are located in the end of the alley.
They are open during the day as well – for coffee, cocktail or even a meal.
Montjuic castle– you can easily skip this one, nothing special there, except the view, but there are better views in the city.
If you have time you can go, every Sunday after 15h the entrance is for free and every 1st Sunday of the month – during the whole day. Apart from that the entrance is 5 euros.
Gracia– my favorite neighborhood in Barcelona, narrow streets, cute little squares, pretty small coffee places, I really love this part!
If you visit Barcelona in August, you definitely have to visit Las Festes de Gracia, famous festival of the barrio, where there are street decorations and parties day and night for a week!
Spanish people know how to party!
Camp Nou – I cannot miss this one. Barcelona FC is one of the most famous football clubs in the whole world so every football fan would be interested to visit their stadium, even though they support another club. The entrance is around 20-25 euros.
Port of Barcelona – starting from the statue of Columbus in the end of La Rambla to Barceloneta beach you can see many many yachts with different shapes and sizes.
It is an amazing area to walk around.
Palau de la Musica Catalana – this palace is another beautiful piece of art. I haven’t been inside but it looks amazing even from outside.
But again the entrance is quite expensive – 18 euros so it will be better to visit a concert than to pay for the entrance only.
Aquarium – nothing impressive. Actually I was quite disappointed when I visited it. Save your 20 euros and visit Valencia, theirs is 100 times better.
I haven’t mentioned things like plaza Catalunya or plaza Espanya, or Barceloneta beach, 1st because everything goes from plaza Catalunya and you cannot miss it anyway, but the square itself is nothing that special, same goes to Espanya, well it is actually a bit prettier in my opinion, and regarding the beach – nothing to recommend here, the city beach is kind of disgusting, especially during the summer – tons of tourists, beach sellers, burglars, dirty sand, dirty water, a lot of noise… If you have the chance – go outside of Barcelona. There are few more things that I haven’t visited yet, but I have heard about – Laberinto La Horta, the Zoo (this one is not that good I think), the Botanical garden, Pueblo Español, the Olympic village( I’ve been there, but I was not impressed).
Regarding the transportation – if you have just 2 days and you want to see a lot, maybe these Hop-on-Hop-off busses are good idea ( never used them), but if you have time – just walk! Barcelona is even more beautiful outside of the touristic areas. Buy metro ticket T10, it costs 10.20 euros and you can use it for 10 trips. Every ticket is valid for 1,15h and you can change transports. It is valid for every type of transport. Except from the airport. From there you can take Aerobus – costs 5.90 , train – 4.60 or a regular bus on the price of the normal ticket. It really depends on the place you would like to reach, so you can check what would be the best option for you. The taxi costs 30 euros to plaza Catalunya.
And always take care of your personal belongings. People steal like crazy in Barcelona. Never wear important things in your backpack, never leave your phone on the table, never leave your bag on the chair next to you or on the floor, it will disappear for seconds!
Well, this is it for now, next time I will share more about my favorite rooftop bars and party places, as well as favorite beaches and closest day trip escapes.
And as I told you – I am still exploring the city, so feel free to recommend other places to be seen.