A full list of experiences that will make you discover the city, not only as a tourist, but also with a local point of view (and experience!).
Of course, you will find all the information you need on our Barcelona Guide:
Mix and match all you need to make your trip memorable.
Because Barcelona is unique, and you should enjoy it in your own, unique way!
Must do in Barcelona
When you are traveling one week in Barcelona, you have time to do many things. Nevertheless, there are some things which are a must, even if you are visiting Barcelona just for 1, 2 or 3 days.
First things first: The best comprehensive tour of Barcelona is by Take Walks. It is a 7 hour tour that includes:
- entering Sagrada Familia with full tour
- Casa Mila with full tour
- the historical city center
- and even a sailboat cruise
Here you have all the things you should tick on your Barcelona Bucket-list:
1. Enter Sagrada Familia
You cannot miss the opportunity to see Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s Emblematic Temple , even if it is only from the outside.
This Roman Catholic church, (yes you read well, Sagrada Familia is a church), is one of the few unfinished building in the world that became an UNESCO World Heritage Site .
It began its construction in 1882
and it is said it will be finished by 2026.
If you want to enter the Sagrada Familia, make sure you buy the tickets ahead of time rather than queuing.
What happens if you do not prebook?
Well, queues are normally 1 or 2 hours long (it could be even longer in summer season). Can you imagine queuing in the sun? Not pleasant, really.
Also, in high seasons tickets to small tours sell out easily.
2. Enter Park Güell (but pre-book your ticket!)
Another gem from Gaudí, which includes amazing views over the city.
Since 2014 the main area in Park Güell with the salamander/ dragon and the beautiful, famous area has an entrance fee.
However, the park around itself of Park Güell remains free.
If you fancy to enter the most popular space make sure you book your ticket in advance.
Entrance cannot be bought at the moment.
3. Eat “Pan con Tomate”
The easiest “dish” in the world, very common in all Catalan houses, will make you realize that most of times simplicity is the best option.
This dish is just Bread, tomato and garlic. Simple and so tasty!
- Toast the bread
- Spread the garlic over the bread toast
- Spread the tomato all over the toast
- Add olive oil (extra virgin quality) and salt
- Enjoy it!
Normally, people eat this tomato bread together with the tapas, or just with cheese, an omelette…
For Barcelonis (people living in Barcelona) is very common to eat “Pan con tomate” for a fast dinner.
They eat this Tomato bread with whatever they find on the fridge: cheese, vegetables, cold cuts…
Here is my food guides for Barcelona:
4. Gothic Quarter
The Gothic quarter is the center of the Old City of Barcelona and their streets are very nice.
Walking around it you will discover these romantic streets, enchanting square or mysterious alleyway where all people picture themselves.
The most famous street in the Gothic quarter is Carrer del Bisbe, if you wanna get likes on your Instagram photo, make sure you make one at this street! (photo below)
Tip: always look up and around while walking around Gothic Quarter you or you may miss some of the best bits.
5. Daydream in Felip Neri Square
Hidden in the Gothic Quarter, this square has a special, melancholic atmosphere. Just sit there and enjoy some time.
The damaged façade of the church in Sant Felip Neri Square reminds the bombing in this part of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.
It is very common to find some street artists playing the guitar.
If not, simply sit on the fountain and enjoy the vibes.
6. Drink Cava
Cava is the Catalan answer to French champagne, and you can choose to drink white or rosée.
The most common or special one is the rosée.
A nice and famous place to try Cava in Barcelona is La Champañería.
In La Champañería you will be able to buy a glass of Cava and if you like it you could even buy a bottle. Or buy a bottle directly and share it with your friends.
Cava is produced nearby Barcelona, and you can actually take a trip to the cava village and discover how they produce it.
The best way to get to know the process is to join a Cava tour:
7. Visit Picasso Museum
Even though Picasso was born in Málaga (Andalucia), he spent many time of his life in Barcelona.
Besides the museum, you can also see in Barcelona more places related to Picasso:
- La Llotja:
School where he studied and a nowadays Academy of fine Arts.
- Quatre Gats bar:
Where he met with his friends and started to explore Modernism.
- Headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce:
Picasso’s original house.
- Avignon Brothel:
The place where Picasso got inspired to paint his famous “Las Meninas”.
It has been discovered that Las Meninas was an inspiration that Picasso got from a Brothel in Barcelona, and he gave a French name due to the street name.
For Picasso lovers, a visit to the museum is a must.
There you can trace his progress in the collection of early works.
The museum provides the most comprehensive records of this major artist, explaining all of his periods and evolution.
Note: Picasso Museum is free the first Sunday of each month.
If you want to take advantage of this free entrance, make sure you arrive early.
Related: 56 free things to do in Barcelona.
8. Drink a Smoothie at la Boqueria
La Boqueria is the most famous market and it really deserves to be seen, as they do offer lot of food and drink possibilities, as well as Gourmet products.
One of the best things while visiting La Boqueria is to have a fresh fruit Smoothie.
There are plenty of options, so just choose your favorite flavour.
9. Eat “Pintxos” and Tapas in Poble-Sec
“Pintxos” and tapas are very tasty. You can discover a great and cheap selection of Pintxos in Poble-Sec, one of the trendy neighborhoods in Barcelona.
Just go to Carrer Blai and start your bar hoping. On each bar, you can try a different Pintxo.
They do also offer tapas:
- patatas bravas (potatos) ,
- pimientos de padrón (green peppers),
- calmares a la romana (squids)…
Actually, each bar has its own Pintxo that you will not find in any other bar.
Try some Pintxos and decide which your favorite is!
10. Have an authentic Raval Experience
Raval was considered a no-go area for tourist during lot of years due to lot of Cabarets and nightlife, but it has been transformed and nowadays it is a must-see cultural Hub.
It has also plenty of bars and pubs to have fun in.
For an authentic Raval Experience, we do recommend 23 Robadors, a bar which does also offer live music.
Check out their concerts at Robadors website.
11. Get sun-Burned at the beach
Yes, we talk about the sun-burned north-European tourists!
Go to the beach and enjoy your day so you can show your color afterwards, but please do use sun-cream in order to avoid serious sun-burns.
There are different beaches in Barcelona.
The most famous is Barceloneta, were you will find the famous building and many vendors trying to sell
“Mojito – Cola – Beer – Agua”
There is a more local version just some steps away: Bogatell.
There, you will find less vendors and more locals.
If you go a bit further, to La Marbella beach, you will be even quieter.
Nevertheless, never leave your belongings unattended.
12. Have an Absinthe in the oldest bar in Barcelona
Bar Marsella is known as the oldest bar in Barcelona.
It is rumored that even Picasso, Dali and Hemmingway used to go to this bar to have an Absinthe.
Just go there and ask for an Absenta, but be careful because Absinthe is a very strong drink, and if you drink too much these famous ghosts may appear.
13. Get an amazing 360º city
This is one of the best places to have panoramic city, which has become very famous after the cheesy movie “3 meters above the sky”.
These anti-aircraft bunkers used during the Spanish Civil War offer a 360º overview in Barcelona which is very stunning, so just get some food and drinks and head there to enjoy the sunset!
14. Dance until the sun rises
For locals, party in Barcelona stars after midnight and goes until the sun rises.
Join this party time and you will start your journey very in a very differently and funny way!
We have 2 full articles about nightlife in Barcelona, with plenty of places where you can go and have an Epic night, together with tips and dress code advice.
Have a look at:
15. Eat Chocolate con Churros
After a whole night parting, the best way to finish the night before going to bed is eating Chocolate con churros.
Churros is a typical long and thing dusted pastry (some sort of Doughnut) which can be dusted in sugar.
Normally Churros are eaten together with warm chocolate.
You can find Chocolate con Churros in some Granjas (local Cafés) and Market Vans.
My favorite place?
A small place in Gràcia called La Nena.
Note: do not go there in the weekend evening if you have hangover, as there are many families with kids.
Montjuic has not only a stunning overview of the city and harbor, but also lot of parks.
This site hosted the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992, and there are lot of parks, museums and also gardens hidden there.
Just walk around and go up to the Montjuic castle for a panoramic view.
Also a cool and unusual place to go there is Jardins Costa i Llobera.
There, you will find many cactus and plants, as well as views over Barcelona city and Barcelona merchandise Harbor.
17. Passeig de Gràcia
This major avenue in Barcelona is not only an important shopping area, but also a Modernist Gallery.
Casa Batlló, la Pedrera, Casa Ametller,… are some of the buildings you can be amazed by in Passeig de Gràcia.
My recommendation: visit at least one of these important buildings.
Book your tickets easily here:
18. Barcelona’s Cathedral
The Barcelona Cathedral is dedicated to the co-patron of Barcelona and is one of the most important Gothic Symbols in the city.
Barcelona’s Cathedral is located in the Gothic quarter, so remember to stroll around it after your visit.
Not so long ago, they opened the rooftop and now you can walk on the cathedral rooftop for a small fee.
Note: The access to the rooftop is only from 10 to 12 AM.
Tibidabo is the mountain overlooking Barcelona on the upper side of the city and the views from there are amazing!
Just go there and you will be impressed how beautiful and perfect the city during sunset looks like.
Willing some adrenaline? Then go to Tibidabo park.
One of its major attractions is the Diavolo, where you will have the feeling that you’re flying over Barcelona.
The combination of speed, accents, height and spins is hilarious.
20. Get a Daily Menu
If you are in Barcelona during the week (from Monday to Friday), eat as locals do and find a good
“Menú del Día”
This is a menu where you can choose one starter, one main course and even some of them include drinks and coffee for a cheaper price than their normal menu.
Just look for the best option that suits you and enjoy it!
Find the best restaurants in Barcelona here.
21. Order a Beer like a local
“Una caña” is one beer glass in Barcelona, if you want to feel like a local just ask for
“Una caña, por favor”
If you prefer something softer, just order
“Una Clara, por favor”
one Clara is a mix of beer and lemonade in Catalonia.
The most local beer in Barcelona is Estrella, which is famous cause it has been promoted in many events.
But let me confess, personally the best Spanish beer is Estrella Galicia, which comes from the other side of the Peninsula.
You will find many places which have Estrella Galicia.
22. Eat a Bocadillo whenever you are hungry
In Spain it is very common to eat a roll sandwich when you are hungry, they are called Bocadillo and there are so many different tastes.
If you are hungry, just head to a bar and ask for their “Carta de Bocadillos” (Sandwich Menu), we are sure you will find some option which will satisfy you!
The most famous place in Barcelona for these sandwich rolls is near the City Hall.
It is called Conesa and if you go during rush hour you will have to queue.
23. Include a siesta in your day to re-charge your energy
Not all the people in Spain do siesta, because they do have to work, but you are on holidays, don’t you?
Then just get a small nap and recover your energy.
When taking a nap, do it during the hottest hour of the day. That way you will avoid the sun a little bit and have more energy for the Barcelona’s nightlife.
Note: find all you need to know about the Barcelona nightlife here.
24. Enjoy a drink in a rooftop terrace
What is better than a drink in a terrace?
A drink in a rooftop terrace with some city overview!
There are very nice rooftop terraces in Barcelona, some of them located in hotels where you can access if you have a drink.
Between my favorites:
- Majestic Hotel: from their rooftop, you can spot Sagrada Familia.
- Barceló Raval: located near las Ramblas, you will find this hotel with a rooftop terrace with 360º views.
- Attic Bar: located in Pullman Skipper Barcelona in Port Olimpic, you will find this classy (and a bit pricy) rooftop terrace. From there you will be able to admire the famous Barcelona fish structure from a top perspective.
25. Walk down the famous “La Rambla”
Stroll along the most popular street in Barcelona and enjoy the street art that is happening there.
You can have lot of fun just watching and trying to figure out who is who.
Extra Tip: Please make sure you pay attention to your personal belongings, as there are many pickpockets in this area.
Must do Barcelona
So here you have the list with the Must do Barcelona sights and activities. Of course, if you have more time than just 2-3 days, you have plenty of other activities you can add to your holidays schedule.
Need some inspiration? Check out:
Also important to know when visiting a city is how to move and where to stay. We have 2 complete different articles where you will get all the information you need:
Still having doubts?
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