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Barcelona Sights

Barcelona has many sights and monuments, dozens of museums, architectural gems, and fun places worth seeing; some of them have even been declared World Heritage Sites! But what are the real must-sees, and where should you go if you want to venture off the beaten path? As a born and bred Barcelonian, I know the city like the back of my hand and am super excited to show you the coolest places in Barcelona.

The 12 Most Beautiful and Famous Top Highlights in Barcelona

The city of Barcelona is full of beautiful sights and buildings. However, there are a number of attractions in Barcelona that you should not miss during your visit. The following icons of the city are absolute must-sees for any visitor to Barcelona.

1. La Sagrada Família

The Sagrada Família is one of the most famous churches worldwide and an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Barcelona. This impressive church, designed by Gaudí, has been recognized as a basilica and attracts millions of visitors annually. It is undoubtedly one of the most important symbols and most visited monuments of Barcelona and all of Spain.

2. Park Güell

Park Güell, one of Antoni Gaudí’s most renowned works, like the Sagrada Família, remains unfinished. The park offers an abundance of surprises and well-known architectural icons, including Gaudí’s house, the staircase with the salamander, the snake bench, and Gaudí’s famous trencadís mosaics. Since 1984, Park Güell has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

3. Las Ramblas

The Ramblas, located in the heart of Barcelona, is one of the world’s most famous boulevards and an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Barcelona for the first time. As you walk down the Ramblas, you’ll encounter a diverse mix of people, amidst flower and newspaper kiosks, fountains, and terraces. It’s a spectacle you definitely shouldn’t miss!

4. Stadium Camp Nou

It’s no surprise that Camp Nou and FC Barcelona’s museum attract thousands of fans and visitors daily. But did you know that this museum is Barcelona’s most visited museum, with 1 to 2 million visitors annually, and the third busiest museum in Spain? The FC Barcelona museum and a tour of Camp Nou are not to be missed by any football fan.

5. Casa Batlló

No one can overlook Casa Batlló, a colorful masterpiece. This enchanting building was designed by Antoni Gaudí between 1904 and 1906 on the famous Passeig de Gràcia, commissioned by the Batlló family. Gaudí gave the house an imaginative facade and a contemporary, stylish interior, making it a true masterpiece in terms of form, color, and light.

6. Casa Milà

Casa Milà, also known as ‘La Pedrera’, is a famous masterpiece by the architect Gaudí and has become one of Barcelona’s iconic symbols. The building features a wavy facade on the outside, two beautifully painted courtyards, and various apartments. The rooftop terrace, just as breathtaking as the rest, offers visitors an excellent view of the city.

7. La Boqueria

A trip to Barcelona is not complete without a visit to the spectacular Boqueria Market. The Boqueria, also known as Mercat de Sant Josep, is one of Spain’s largest fresh markets. The extensive array of fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and cheese is covered by a beautiful 19th-century cast-iron structure. Your senses will be greeted with an explosion of scents and colors.

8. Montjuïc

Montjuïc and the surrounding areas offer numerous interesting places and surprising attractions: from a castle to an open-air museum. Montjuïc is also an excellent place for jogging, running, or cycling. You’ll also find the cable car there as a final destination. Take your time to explore everything and enjoy the nature and views from Montjuïc.

9. Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf, also known as Arco de Triunfo in Spanish, is a brick triumphal arch from 1888. The design of the arch was by the modernist architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas and is built in Neo-Moorish style. It is definitely worth visiting the triumphal arch of Barcelona; it is truly a symbol of the city.

10. Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens, the first house designed by Gaudí, was only opened to the public for the first time in 2017. The beautiful and unique design of the house, with Gaudí’s signature style, makes it a very interesting place to visit. It’s no surprise that Casa Vicens has won multiple architecture awards and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

11. Cathedral de Barcelona

The Gothic cathedral of Barcelona is located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and is absolutely worth a visit. This cathedral is an important monument of both historical and artistic importance. The Catedral de Barcelona, also known as ‘La Seu’, also has a strong connection with the former patron saint of Barcelona, Santa Eulàlia

12. Palau de la Música Catalana

The concert hall of the Palau de la Música is an enchanting space, designed as an imposing glass box with a beautiful central dome. The Palau de la Música Catalana, opened on February 9, 1908, is one of the most distinctive buildings in Catalan modernist style. Since 1997, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is definitely worth a visit!

First Time in Barcelona?

If you’ve never been to Barcelona before, you should definitely visit the Sagrada Família and Park Güell, stroll along Passeig de Gràcia and the Ramblas, and lose yourself in the maze of streets in the Gothic Quarter. Enjoying tapas at a local bar or savoring Catalan cuisine is also a must. For the best view of the city, head to Montjuïc, and to end your day, take a beautiful beach walk at La Barceloneta and enjoy a drink at one of the bars at Plaça Reial and Passeig del Born.

👉 Read here my tips for your first time in Barcelona.

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Important Buildings in Barcelona

In the top 12 attractions in Barcelona, I’ve already shown you some buildings, but Barcelona has even more iconic buildings. The following buildings are attractions in themselves and definitely deserve your attention.

Museums & Attractions

I am an avid museum visitor, and as a child and as an adult, I have had the privilege to admire many museums in Barcelona. We are really fortunate to have so many beautiful museums and attractions in Barcelona. If you want to add fun museums or attractions to your list of sights to see in Barcelona, I can definitely recommend the following!

Strolling Outdoors

One of the biggest advantages of visiting Barcelona is the pleasant climate. Generally, during a city trip to Barcelona, the weather is great for enjoying the outdoors. There’s nothing better than discovering a city while strolling through its streets, squares, and parks. You will be amazed by the sights during a walking tour of the city. Click on the images below to find out which outdoor attractions you would like to visit.

Sightseeing in Barcelona: Tips & Tricks

  • The best way to get around in Barcelona is by using public transport. Don’t be afraid to take the metro: it is by far the cheapest and most efficient way to move around Barcelona. With a Hola Barcelona Travelcard, you can save a lot during your trip.
  • Plan your trip in advance so you know what you are going to do each day. For some attractions like the Sagrada Família and Park Güell, it is highly recommended to buy tickets in advance.
  • If you want to save money during your trip, get a discount pass that allows you to travel for free or get discounts at most attractions.
  • Adapt to local customs and eat at Spanish times (lunch between 2:00 PM and 3:30 PM and dinner from 9:00 PM). In between, you can eat delicacies like croissants and churros or even order some tapas to stave off hunger. Going out in the evening starts later, only after midnight do most bars and pubs get busy.
  • Be alert for pickpockets, especially in crowded areas, tourist attractions, and in the metro. If you pay attention and take the necessary precautions, you will be fine.
  • Discover the real Barcelona by going off the beaten path. Visit the local market, go to the suburbs, and look for lesser-known attractions.
  • Also, check in advance if your visit coincides with a particular holiday or fun event.