Last Updated: September 2017
When coming to Barcelona, there is so much to see and so much to do, especially if you are a first-time visitor! “Where do I start?” I hear you ask… Well, whether you have one month or one weekend to fall in love with the city, there are a few ‘musts’ that you simply can’t leave off your sightseeing list. Here, the Apartment Barcelona Team has put together the top 10 things you absolutely have to do during your stay in the Catalan capital.
No journey to Barcelona would be complete without a venture down the famous Las Ramblas. Actually 5 streets combined into one, here you can find stalls, artistic performers, shops of all varieties, boutiques, restaurants, and bars, filling this impressive avenue to the brim. The street itself is a hub of activity, leaving visitors with a buzz of excitement and awe. About half-way down the street, stop at La Boqueria for a unique experience of the local market full of fresh fruits, juices, sweet treats, vegetables and more.
Metro stop: Catalunya, Liceu or Drassanes (L3)
2. Parc Güell
Next on the list is Parc Güell. Designed by Gaudí, this gorgeous park is decorated with mosaic-style sculptures and glasswork. Situated on a hill, it is a wide garden complex with lush vegetation and beautiful architectural elements. Plan for a relaxed stroll, with a few stops to admire the sculptures – and don’t forget to visit the museum inside the park.
Metro stop: Lesseps (L3)
3. Gothic Quarter
Head to the Gothic Quarter for an authentic feel of Barcelona. Known as the heart of the city, this historical part of downtown Barcelona was once an ancient Roman village. With quiet, quaint streets, small boutiques and plenty of delicious chocolate shops, take your time to slowly wind your way down the alleys and take it all in. The Catedral de Barcelona, Roman ruins, and Catalan-Gothic architecture, make this neighborhood in particular one to refrain from neglecting on your trip.
Metro stop: Jaume I (L4)
4. Sagrada Família
Dedicated to the Holy Family, Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia is definitely worth at least a few hours of admiration. The outside of the unfinished basilica is adorned with every little detail from the bible that Gaudí saw fit. Witness scenes from different passages, symbols of the Holy Family, and intricate decorations which will dazzle your senses. Step inside the church and experience the incredible colours, details, and creativity looming throughout the masterpiece that is Gaudí’s most famous work.
We recommend staying in one of the modern Sagrada Familia apartments, allowing you to look out everyday onto one of the world’s most breath-taking buildings.
Metro stop: Sagrada Familia (L2 & L5)
5. Camp Nou
A huge part of life in Barcelona is football. Visiting the FC Barcelona stadium and its museum inside is crucial to your stay in the Catalan capital. The ‘Camp Nou Experience’ is a must for avid football fans, where you can tour the stadium, visit the interactive media hall, and even take a peek inside the champion team’s dressing room. Feel the true Barça passion when you see the most emblematic areas of the Camp Nou.
Metro stop: Collblanc (L5)
6. Passeig de Gràcia
The main street of the Eixample district, Passeig de Gràcia, is the shopping and financial core of the city. There are many places to shop, eat, and explore while you meander down the avenue. A few to look out for are two of Antoni Gaudí’s finest buildings, La Pedrera and Casa Batlló.
Metro stop: Passeig de Gràcia (L3)
7. El Born
Another barrio you cannot miss out on is El Born. Here you will encounter a variety of places to visit, including some of the city’s quirkiest boutiques, as well as the famous Picasso museum. While in this fantastic area, make sure to stop and take a tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana situated in the nearby Sant Pere ‘barrio’. This magnificent concert hall opened in 1908 and was designed by modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Over the years it has been host to some of the world’s best known orchestras. Check out some of the hip bars and restaurants that line the streets here as well.
Metro stop: Urquinaona (L4)
At the end of a long day of tourism, plan to stop by the magic fountain of Montjuïc at the foot of Barcelona’s famous hill. The water in the fountain is synchronized with amazing colours, sounds, and patterns, creating a show worth viewing by visitors of all ages.
The winding roads on the Montjuïc hill itself are also worth exploring, as well as the picturesque castle situated at the very top. Make a day of the trip up to Montjuïc, finding your own favorite parts of the mountain.
Metro stop for the fountain: Espanya (L3 & L1)
Metro stop for the hill: Paral-lel (L2 & L3) – then take the Funicular de Montjuïc train up the hill.
If you turn away from the sea, there is only one way to go: to the mountains. Situated on top of Mount Tibidabo, a church lights up against the dark backdrop of the sky at night, and during the day you can peer down at the amazing view of the city. Also home to an amusement park, this site is a definite must for kids, or those in search of something different.
Metro stop: Catalunya (L3 & L1) – take the Ferrocarril L7 to Av. Tibidabo station, then take the Tramvia Blau up to the Funicular del Tibidabo, which will then take you the rest of the way to the church and the amusement park
No matter what time of year it is, the sandy beach in Barcelona awaits you. If the weather is hot, hit the Barceloneta beach in your bathing suit and spend some time soaking up the sun and enjoying some cervezas (beers) in true Spanish style! If you are coming to Barcelona outside the summer months, you can still visit this laid-back part of the city as it has some fantastic seafood restaurants, as well as many bars and cafés lining the beach.
Stay in one of the beach apartments in Barcelona with incredible Mediterranean sea views, and make the most of your trip by staying only a few steps from the sunny Barceloneta shore!
Metro stop: Barceloneta (L4)
Check out Apartment Barcelona’s latest video guide to the ten best sights in Barcelona!
For more on the city’s various ‘barrios’, be sure to head over to our Youtube Channel http://bit.ly/15JXnUM