Few cities in Western Europe are as interesting or as popular as Barcelona, Spain. As the capital of Catatonia and the second-most populous city in the country, Barcelona is known for its architecture, its culture, and its diverse, lively population.
Of course, reading about the city and actually visiting it are two entirely different experiences. There’s no shortage of things to do in Barcelona, but there’s no way for you to see and do everything unless you wind up living there. All you can do is immerse yourself in the experience as much as possible, and make sure you see the attractions that make Barcelona such a legendary city.
If you’re going to travel to Spain in the near future, you need to make Barcelona a part of your trip—and there are a handful of can’t-miss destinations that need to be on your itinerary.
Top Destinations for Barcelona
These are some of the most important stops you’ll need to make for your Barcelona vacation:
- Guell Park. Guell Park is a sprawling park system in the city that comprises both architectural features and lush gardens. Free to attend and explore, it’s one of the more beautiful features of the city, and it characterizes the charm of the area. Within your first few days, be sure to invest some time in wandering around the Guell Park area.
- La Sagrada Familia. One of the most famous and recognizable works of architect Antoni Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia is an impressive Roman Catholic church that was constructed in the early 1900s. It was one of Gaudi’s final works, and wasn’t completed until after his death. It remains one of the most commonly recognized structures in Barcelona.
- The Picasso Museum. Even non-art enthusiasts can recognize and appreciate the works of Spaniard Pablo Picasso. Barcelona is home to the Picasso Museum, which features one of the most robust selections of Picasso’s works in the world. Originally opened in 1963, the museum continues to be a top draw for tourists and locals alike.
- Las Ramblas. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, there’s no better spot in Barcelona than Las Ramblas. This is a tree-lined mall that stretches more than a kilometer, near the Gothic Quarter—which is worth checking out for its astounding Gothic buildings.
- Mercat de San Josep. After you’re tired and hungry from wandering around all day, make sure you stop by the Mercat de San Josep. This market is full of locals who sell fruits, vegetables, meats, chocolates, and even fish. It’s been in operation since the early 1900s, and is the perfect place to get food to throw together a picnic. Of course, if you’re not into picnics, you could also eat at one of the cafes and restaurants in the surrounding area.
- Parc De Ciutadella. Another of Barcelona’s lush parks, the Parc De Ciutadella includes an enormous lake, a signature fountain, and the Barcelona Zoo. If you’re interested in navigating the waters, you can even rent a boat to row.
Preparing for Your Trip
Barcelona is always a beautiful city, and it tends to get exceptionally hot in the summer. Its winters are mild, so there’s no bad time to go. If you don’t like the heat, it’s wise to plan your visit during the winter months—you may also avoid the influx of tourists on their summer vacations.
In any case, Barcelona is a must-visit city in Western Europe, and certainly in Spain. Hopefully, someday soon, you’ll get the opportunity to see some of the inspiring and beautiful attractions the city has to offer.