City Spotlight



Barcelona: vibrant, artistic, relaxed city of Gaudi

Quick facts

Barcelona, a vibrant cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia region in Spain is famous for its art and architecture. Spectacular Sagrada Família church, designed by Antoni Gaudí, is iconic landmark and recognizable emblem of the city. Picasso Museum and Fundació Joan Miró host famous pieces by these masters.

The mix of old and new is so natural in Barcelona, so one will walk from medieval Gothic Quarter into central promenade, La Rambla, packed with famous brand shops and restaurants and cafes, and cross between ancient into modern within few steps.

When tired of city buzz, visitor can climb to Parc Güell garden, another jewel packed with Gaudí designs and breathtaking panoramic views of city and the coast.

Barcelona cuisine, while similar to rest of Spain, has some specific tastes, which tourists can explore in and around famous La Boqueria market, whether it is a high end dining or some tapas between strolls through this wondrous city.

Main attractions in Barcelona

There are plenty of attractions in Barcelona, both inside the city and in immediate surroundings. We are listing here only top 20-25 of them.

La Sagrada Familia. Monumental church In Barcelona, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, started in the 1880s, with museum and spectacular city views. Park Güell. Hilltop park on several levels, overlooking Barcelona, with Gaudi designed buildings and sculptures. Offering Gaudi museum and city views. Casa Milà. Known as ‘La Pedrera’ (‘stone quarry’), is another art nouveau building designed by Gaudi. Located in downtown Barcelona.

Casa Batlló. Originally an apartment building designed by Gaudi, now serving as a museum. Located in Barcelona’s center, it is recognizable by its rooftop dragon structure. La Rambla. Main pedestrian area in Barcelona, alongside many shops, restaurants and cafes. Filled with souvenir sellers and street performers. Gothic Quarter. Central area of Barcelona, Gothic Quarter, known locally as Barri Gòtic, is crossed with narrow medieval streets filled with trendy bars, clubs and diverse cuisine restaurants.

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Mercado de La Boqueria. Famous and vibrant public market with diverse foods: meat, cheese, produce and other items on sale in indoor space in central Barcelona. Montjuïc. The hill overlooking Barcelona featuring harbor views, a park with a castle and museums. Reachable via cable car. Picasso Museum. Located in five adjoining Medieval mansions, this museum is housing more than 4,200 works of this world-famous artist.

Plaça de Catalunya. Massive, central square in Barcelona lined with trees and sculptures, souvenir shops and cafes. Place of numerous public events. Cathedral of Barcelona. Originally named The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, this beautiful Gothic cathedral is located in the old city of Barcelona. Offering guided tours and city views. Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Large circular fountain offering scheduled shows of water and light choreographed to music. Located in Montjuïc neighborhood in Barcelona.

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Ciutadella Park. Park opened in late 19th century, featuring zoo, boating lake and walking trails. Located next to the Barcelona harbor. La Barceloneta. A seaside neighborhood of Barcelona popular with locals for surfing and sunbathing on Sant Sebastià Beach. Lined up with seafood restaurants and featuring a park as well. Palau de la Música Catalana. Art nouveau concert hall in central Barcelona, known for its ornate facade and lavish auditorium with stained-glass dome.

Camp Nou. Massive football stadium, with capacity of almost 100,000 visitors for FC Barcelona club. Offering guided tours and football museum. Passeig de Gràcia. Wide avenue in Barcelona, lined with modernist architecture buildings and high-end shops. Columbus Monument. Towering seafront monument to Columbus in Barcelona, in the lower end of La Rambla. Built in late 19th century and it is 60 m tall.

Aquarium Barcelona. A system of 35 aquariums containing about 11,000 marine animals from 450 species. Popular destination for family fun day. Poble Espanyol. Located next to the Fountain of Montjuïc, this open-air architectural museum is featuring Spain’s typical architecture in the complex of 117 buildings. Plaça d’Espanya. A monumental square, one of the most important in Barcelona. It was built on the occasion of the 1929 International Exhibition.

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From the other attractions in Barcelona, we recommend: Güell Palace, Tibidabo, Tibidabo Amusement Park, Joan Miró Foundation, Montjuïc Castle and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

Top things to do in Barcelona

Museums and art galleries are a must, together with all top attractions listed above. If travelling with kids, visit to Barcelona Zoo and Aquariumwill make sure you have exciting day. After all day sightseeing, easy stroll down La Rambla will be great choice to wrap up the day.

Day trips outside of Barcelona can be also fun; not to be missed, trip to Montserrat, mountain monastery with spectacular views and hikes.

Festivals and events in Barcelona

Barcelona is packed with festivals and events all year around. Here are some top recommendations.

Carnival (February/March), Dia de Sant Jordi (St. George Festival, April), Sonar Festival (June), Sala Montjuic (July/August), Festa de la Merce (end of September).

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Interesting facts about Barcelona

Here are some interesting facts about this marvelous city:

  • Barcelona has 68 parks, which is more than 10% of its total surface.
  • Barcelona is the biggest city on the Mediterranean coast.
  • Famous Spanish bullfighting is banned in Barcelona (and Catalonia).

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Best time for flights to Barcelona

The peak season for flights to Barcelona is July, August and September. The low season for purchasing tickets is February, March and November.

Barcelona is served by Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Direct flights to Barcelona are offered by 58 airlines.

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Top hotels offers for Barcelona

These are current top hotel offers for Barcelona. The list is updated automatically when page is refreshed.

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Safe travels!