Barcelona Places to Visit On your next Spain tour
Barcelona is an incredibly popular city for tourism in Spain. You can find countless tourist places to visit within Barcelona. Whether you’ve got one day or one month, there are plenty of options to visit and admire this incredible city. Although I have spent a full week there, yet that little time wasn’t enough to get a glimpse of Barcelona City. This blog post is for those tourists, who have very little time and want to see a glimpse of the city within two to three days. So, I included all the must-visit sights in my Barcelona, places to visit blogpost. This city tour was a part of my grand tour of Spain, Portugal, and France that was held in June 2019.
How to get to Barcelona
Barcelona has flight connections to major cities all over the world. So, its privileged location makes it an ideal place for getting to by land, sea, or air.
Renfe is Spain’s national train network which operates regular services across the country with high-speed, regular, and suburban train lines. Indeed, the best way to travel long distances in Spain is to book the high-speed train or AVE (Alta Velocidad) which runs between most major cities.
Although, getting the bus is one of the cheapest ways to get around Spain. So, I love to use this option and extensively used Flix Bus within Europe. Above all, you can use Movelia for a collective sum of all bus companies at a single point.
However, from the suburbs of Barcelona, you can select the FGC Trains that provide regular connections to and from Barcelona.
How to get around Barcelona
Barcelona has an excellent network of roads and highways. It has extensive and generally safe train, bus, subway, and airport transportation systems.
Hola BCN card is the best option to get around Barcelona in an economical as well as in a convenient way. This card provides you the unlimited journeys on Barcelona’s transportation system for 2, 3, 4, or 5 days. You can ride on the city’s metro lines, urban buses, commuter trains, trams, trains operated by Generalitat city network, and Renfe suburban trains that connect the city center with Barcelona Airport. In Montjuic Area, you can ride a cable car as a mode of transportation to go up to the Castle too. The single tickets can be purchased at any subway station either in the vending machines or from the ticket offices.
In addition, You can use a Barcelona card if you plan a visit for three days or more. It includes unlimited public transport and entry to 20 attractions. For adding skip-the-line facilities, you can use Barcelona City Pass.
Where to Stay on Your Barcelona Visit
Budget hotels start at around 50€ per night for a single room with basic amenities. You can check Generator Barcelona as it is a good chain or Rodamon Barcelona Hostel. If you want to stay near the beach then Sea Hostel Barcelona will be your good choice.
Other sites to plan and choose your accommodation might be Booking.com, Air BnB (start from 20€), Agoda, or Hostelworld. (dorm 15Euro and room 30Euro). However, when you’re looking for a hostel, do your research, and read reviews to get a feel for the place. and book somewhere that suits you.
Barcelona Places to Visit
In the following section, you can find some of the best places to visit in Barcelona. On the first Sunday of every month, many museums open their doors for free. So, check the available ones to save some bucks.
Sagrada Familia, An attraction to Barcelona visit
Sagrada Familia is definitely one of the top places to visit in Barcelona. It is also the most visited attraction in Barcelona that’s why I decided to start with it. Actually, it is an incomplete project that started in 1882 and is not finished yet. Due to its popularity and fame, you will always find a long queue of tourists that want to get in.
Sagrada Família is a kind of temple from its origin, foundation, and purpose. The project is started by Gaudi and after 139 years of work, it is still a way to see its inauguration. It means almost five generations now have watched the Temple progress in Barcelona.
You can visit Sagrada Familia with ticket of 26Euro.
Casa Battllo, the Place to Admire Gaudi
After visiting Sagrada Familia, I took the L2 metro line and got off at Passeig de Gràcia. From where a simple walk of 5 minutes leads to Casa Batllo. If you love to walk then you can reach Casa Batllo from Sagrada Familia in 25 minutes. Indeed, Casa Batlló is arguably one of the most popular Gaudí attractions next to La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Undoubtedly, Gaudi gave Casa Batlló a unique facade, full of imagination. Moreover, you can admire the effect of its corrugated surface that has a noteworthy blending effect of stone, glass, and ceramics. It should be noted that in 1906, it was rewarded as the “One of the best three buildings of the year”.
At present, Casa Batlló is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an icon in Barcelona. Especially, it is a must-see for those who want to discover Gaudí’s work and modernism at its finest. Most importantly, one million people use to visit this Maser piece every year.
Now, Casa Batlló presents a new tour(10D Experience) of the astonishing Gaudí masterpiece. With the addition of two new innovative spaces, technological installations, and intelligent devices. The new 10D Experience takes you into the mind of the genius when he created his masterpiece. Here, you can discover how, with the support of technology, you can feel like a genius at work. You can visit Casa Batllo from 9:00 to 18:30. In addition to day visits, the Magical Nights event takes place from Tuesday to Saturday at 18:00 and 20:00. Find the ticket price HERE, and you need approximately one hour to visit this place.
Gothic Quarter, Visit The Old Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter or Barrio Gotico is actually the oldest quarter of Barcelona city. It is sometimes also called the “medieval city of Barcelona”. It has narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars, old book shops, clubs, and Catalonian-style restaurants. The area is close to the La Rambla in the southwest and Plaza de Catalunya in the northwest. You can find lots of beautiful old churches, plazas, food places, and museums there. It is a great attraction for photographers to catch their dreamy shots here. As the streets are quite narrow, so it’s best to just go on a walk through them and enjoy.
La Rambla, The heart of Barcelona
La Rambla is the most famous walking street and among the must-visit places in Barcelona that stretches for 1.2km. It is a large boulevard which runs through the heart of the city center. It starts at Plaza Catalunya and ends at the Colombus monument near the cruise port marina. La Rambla is also known as Ramblas or Las Ramblas. It is quite a lively place and along the way, you’ll find street artists in the form of street performers, Painters, and human statues. As a downtown area, you can find the best hotels, hostels, restaurants, stalls, and cafes. And last but not the least, you have to keep an eye on Pickpocketers and scam artists.
Placa de Catalunya
Plaça de Catalunya is regarded as the central-most point of Barcelona city. For many travelers, it is the main transport hub for their journey. As it is located at the northern end of the Rambla. So, it is the focal point of many roads, pedestrians, metro stations, bus stops, and road crossings. With its large shopping centers and department stores, it is constantly teeming with people and becoming a favorite meeting place for locals and visitors. You can admire the square with its large fountains or relax on the benches. In day times, you can enjoy the company of a large flock of pigeons or do chit-chat with the countless statues of the square.
Christopher Columbus, an Italian, discovered the New World in 1492. Columbus monuments is a 60 m tall monument of Christopher Columbus at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona. This bronze statue of Columbus was erected in 1888, Where he is pointing out to sea towards his exploration of the new world. The base of the column is made of stone and decorated with a collection of statues that representing the discovery of the New World. At this time, It is a place where tourist takes their selfies with the backdrop of the Columbus monument.
Barceloneta beach is the closest beach to Barcelona city center. It is 422 meters in length and is one of the oldest and most traditional beaches in the city. We visited the beach after visiting the Placa Catalunya. After crossing Rambla de Mar, we took a left turn to reach there. On the way, we walked through many restaurants and shopping stalls. Undoubtedly, it is a favorite Beach amongst foreign visitors.
Camp Nou, A place for Soccer Lovers in Barcelona
Camp Nou is the home to the soccer club FC Barcelona and is a must one place for soccer fans. You can take a Camp Nou tour and Explore all the different parts of the Camp, the most emblematic stadiums in the world. In addition, you can also visit the FC Barcelona Museum there. Finally, you can visit and purchase the original sports items of FC Barcelona from the official megastore in Camp Nou.
Placa Espanya is a central transport communication hub in Barcelona. Arenas de Barcelona is an important place that we can spot at first sight. This former bull-fighting ring turned into a shopping compound now. You can head up to the expansive rooftop terrace for a breath of fresh air and catch 360-degree views. In addition, we can visit many other Barcelona attractions around this area. These include the Magic Fountain, La Rambla, Museum of National Art, and the Montjuic.
Montjuic Castle, The must visit place in Barcelona
Montjuic is one of the two local mountains of Barcelona. It is pretty much in the middle of the city, so, it is easy to get to. At the top, there is Montjuic castle, more accurately an old military fortress from the 17th century. We couldn’t go inside the fortress due to our time schedule but even the panoramic views around the castle were splendid. Alternatively, we can take a long distant photo of Barcelona city to spot the Sagrada Familia and Torre Agbar in one frame too. Furthermore, we can reach Montjuic by public transport, Funicular de Montjuïc, and the Montjuïc Cable Car.
Museum of National Art Barcelona
After visiting the Montjuic, we took the downhill walking path. Our main plan was to reach plaza Espana from where we see the magic fountain show. At midway, we reached to Museum of National Art of Catalonia. In the area, there were many local singers performing their art. There we also enjoyed the performance of a local youth group which was performing in front of the Museum. From the bottom of the steps, there is a beautiful photo opportunity to see the panoramic views with the addition of a fountain underneath you. If you want to visit the Museum then you can find most of the important Catalonian artwork from the 10th to 20th century inside.
Magic Fountain show, The magical place of Barcelona
Obviously, the magic fountain is a spectacular display of color, light, motion, music, and water acrobatics. The magic fountain has 4,760 lights in total that make a spell-bound effect on the audience. The first show went on air in 1929. So, attending the show, became a must-do activity for every tourist who comes to visit Barcelona. Above all, it is a free event and you can visit this show every day, except Monday.
Ark de Triomf
There are lots of these Triumphal arches dotted in cities across Europe like a famous one in Paris and Barcelona’s version is most definitely worth a visit. Whereas, I paid a short visit to this site due to a shortage of time. On my last day, I was about to leave Barcelona for Lisbon on Flix Bus. Arc the Triomf was very near to the Bus station, So, I quickly captured a couple of photos by my mobile and checked the box.
The places we missed in our Barcelona visit
So, in my one-week tour, I couldn’t spare time for some prestigious tourist sites like Park Güell which is another masterpiece by Gaudí. It is the “must visit” place in Barcelona. In addition, Barcelona Cathedral, Picasso Museum, Casa Mila, and Citudilla park are other prominent attractions that I had sadly missed. After visiting Barcelona I went to Lisbon and then to Paris to complete my tour. After that I again came to Spain but that time to Madrid. In this way, I was able to compare the city life of two important cities of Spain. Definitely, I will write a separate blog post on my Madrid visit too.