Attractions and Places to Visit in Barcelona
Catalonia's vibrant capital, Barcelona is a stunning seaside city that flaunts her beauty and sunny lifestyle. Gorgeous scenery, breathtaking architecture, and superb cultural attractions make for an alluring destination. Of course, the balmy Mediterranean climate adds to the charm.
Barcelona, a Spanish city that is both modern and ancient and everything in between at the same time is one of the most loved tourist destinations on the planet. Barcelona receives visits from several million guests every year, and the balmy climate and top quality Barcelona City activities ensure that they'll continue to return for many years to come.
Barcelona is the birthplace and cradle of Catalan modernism from the late-19th and early-20th-century, and modernist architecture can be seen all over the city. Its main exponent was Antoni Gaudí, designer of Park Güell - the jewel in Barcelona's modernist crown. The city recently introduced a €7 entry fee for the park, but you can still see some of his masterpieces from the outside: Casa Batlló and La Pedrera are both spectacular examples.
Culture in Barcelona goes back over 2,000 years. Things to do in this city includes relaxing with a fruity cocktail on one of the most magnificent beaches on the planet, going deep sea fishing off the coast, exploring local cafes, art galleries and shops, as well as attending live theatre and musical performances. If you or your companion happens to be an ancient history buff, you will find yourself with no shortage of top quality things to explore during your visit to the City of Counts.
Although the tourist infrastructure in Barcelona is extremely well developed, you should make a point of procuring a map before you embark on your adventure. A number of Barcelona tours are available for those who would prefer an experienced guide show them around. Whether you want to explore beaches, peruse artifacts in museums, or go on a wine tasting tour, you will be able to find appealing attractions in Barcelona.
Barcelona is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions upon millions of visitors each year. So why is it so popular? Well, it has almost everything any holidaymaker would desire. Easy access, favorable weather conditions, attractive beaches and surrounding mountains, a buzzing nightlife, tasty local cuisine and it’s steeped in culture and history. It’s also a sight-seeing wonderland, housing many recognizable monuments. Variety’s the word with Barcelona and the city has something for everyone; families, couples and singletons alike.
Perhaps the most distinctive features of the city are its unique buildings, designed in the modernist style by some of the leading architects of their time. The most famous of these are the works of Antoni Gaudí, with his passion for bright, pastille coloured structures that resemble the stuff of fairy tales. Palau Güell, Casa Milà (La Pedrera), Casa Vicens, and Casa Batlló are all fine examples of his work, however, it’s Park Güell and the Sagrada Família that make the biggest impression on visitors.
With over 4,000 works by the painter, the Museu Picasso houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. In particular, the Museu Picasso reveals Picasso’s relationship with the city of Barcelona, a relationship that was shaped in his youth and adolescence, and continued until his death. The museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces in Barcelona’s La Ribera.
Park Güell was originally intended to be a housing development with attached gardens but when this idea was abandoned it was opened as a public garden instead. From the gingerbread-like houses to the harlequin-tiled salamander that sits at the entrance, the park conjures a wonderfully surreal atmosphere. The main terrace forms the heart of the park, with its winding, tiled bench in the shape of a sea serpent from which you can enjoy panoramic views across the city.
Montjuïc is a broad shallow hill with a relatively flat top to the southwest of the city center. The eastern side of the hill is almost a sheer cliff, giving it a commanding view over the city’s harbor immediately below. The top of the hill was the site of several fortifications, the latest of which remains today. Another interesting sight is the Palau Nacional (National Palace), originally built as the central pavilion for the International Exhibition. The majestic building in neo-Baroque style is home to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). Montjuïc is also home to a number of sports facilities built for the 1992 Olympics.
There are also fine examples of Gothic architecture in the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) of the old city, one of the best places to stay in Barcelona for lovers of history, where many of the buildings date to medieval and Roman times. Barcelona Cathedral, which took over six hundred years to build, has an impressive Gothic façade and allows fantastic views over the city.