Barcelona enchants millions of visitors every year who love the mix of beach vacation and city trip as much as I do.
More interesting articles about Barcelona
There is a lot to discover, but which sights should you definitely have seen? Here are the 25 best sights of Barcelona with my very personal tips!
All attractions in Barcelona on a map
All Barcelona sights on the map for a quick overview:
My best sights in Barcelona
The Sagrada FamiliaReligious Site in EixampleAdd to myTravel added
The most famous building in the city and probably the most popular sight in Barcelona is not only the life’s work of Antonio Gaudí, but also one of the most unusual churches in the world.
The Sagrada Familia is still unfinished today, after more than 100 years of construction, and is a real eye-catcher due to its special exterior facade. The landmark of the city should be visited in any case. You should definitely buy tickets online in advance to avoid the long lines. The extra charge is worth it in any case, because otherwise you have to wait well and truly two hours. La Sagrada Familia is the TOP sight of Barcelona.
Park GüellPark in GràciaAdd to myTravel added
Wherever you go in Barcelona, you can’t miss the buildings of architect Antoni Gaudí. This also applies to the beautiful Park Güell in Barcelona. Gaudí’s plan was to build a workers’ housing estate in the middle of the greenery. Unfortunately, in the end, he lacked the financial means to complete the project.
The Park Güell is always well visited. Here, too, you should definitely buy a skip the line ticket to save time. The line is always incredibly long and only with an online ticket you can see the Park Güell without a long wait.
If you want to visit the famous terrace with the colorful mosaic benches and enjoy the unique view of Barcelona, you should be early in the park, because the terrace is one of the highlights of Park Güell.
Barcelona CathedralReligious Site in Barri GòticOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
La Seu Cathedral is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in the Barri Gotic and for us one of the best sights of the city. It is located in the middle of the Gothic quarter on the Pla de la Seu Barcelona.
The exterior facade was renewed in the 19th century and replaced with the lush ornate facade. Of course, the Gothic cathedral of Barcelona is not comparable to the Sagrada Familia, however, a visit is still worthwhile. From the roof of the cathedral in Barcelona you have a great view of the city.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)Museum in BarcelonaOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, also known as the National Art Museum of Catalonia or MNAC, is the largest and for me the best museum in Barcelona. It is located in the beautiful Palau Nacional at the foot of Montjuïc mountain – over 250,000 works of art are on display. This was originally the Spanish pavilion at the 1929 World’s Fair and is truly impressive.
In 1934 it became the Museu d’Art de Catalunya, and since merging in 1995 with the Museu d’Art Modern, it has become known beyond the country’s borders under its current name.
In the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya you will find not only the world’s most comprehensive collection of Romanesque mural painting, but also works from Catalan Modernism, which has been influenced by artists such as Gaudi or Casas. It is completed by exhibitions from the Renaissance and Baroque.
Mercat de la BoqueriaFood Market in El RavalOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
Spain has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. That’s why Barcelona’s La Boquería market hall is one of the best places to visit in Spain. The Boqueria, or officially Mercat de Sant Josep, is a huge indoor market right on the busy La Rambla in the Barri Gotic. Here you can find everything your heart desires, which is why the Boqueria is a shopping destination for locals and tourists alike.
What you’ll find here? Fresh food from meat, fruits and vegetables to authentic tapas and sweets. Even if you are not hungry, you should definitely stroll through the Boqueria. Maybe you need a fruit smoothie to refresh yourself? Treat yourself to at least a snack here and take your time in the market hall.
Casa BatllóBuilding in EixampleAdd to myTravel added
Casa Batlló is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also a life’s work of Antonio Gaudí. A tour of this impressive house in Barcelona is absolutely recommended. From the outside, the Casa Batlló, with its gray columns, resembles a skeleton. That’s why this building is also called the House of Bones.
Inside, you can then be convinced in many different rooms of the art and history, as well as his special talent for architecture. Be sure to get your ticket here in advance to avoid long waits.
Barri GoticNeighborhood in Barri GòticOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The Barri Gotic is probably the best known district of Barcelona, which for me is also one of the most beautiful – it is Catalan and translated it means “Gothic Quarter”. It is the center of the old town, which stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana and from the port to the Ronda de Sant Pere. Here you will walk through the old Barcelona with its impressive buildings, small streets, churches and the famous (and touristy) boulevard La Rambla.
Just let yourself drift through the many small streets. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll come across during your tour. The Barri Gotic is one of the most exciting areas in Barcelona. If you want a tip on a guided tour of this neighborhood in Barcelona, I can definitely recommend the 2-hour tour of the Gothic Quarter.
Casa MilàBuilding in EixampleAdd to myTravel added
Also a World Heritage Site and the work of Antonio Gaudí, Casa Mila was built on the street corner of Passeig de Gràcia. Since the beginning of construction, the Casa Mila reminded the inhabitants of Barcelona of a quarry.
The Casa Mila is one of the best sights in Barcelona and can be recognized from afar by its special construction and beauty.
A visit to the Casa Mila is worthwhile in any case. Inside you can expect fascinating staircases and corkscrew-like chimneys, which became the symbol of Gaudis in Barcelona. In the attic is the “Espai Gaudi” exhibition. Tickets are available online in advance, which saves you a long queue in front of the sight and is highly recommended if you want to see this sight in Barcelona.
The beach of BarcelonetaBeach in Barceloneta & Waterfront ENAdd to myTravel added
The special thing about Barcelona is, among other things, the special mix of beach and city trip. Therefore, a side trip to the Barceloneta is a must.
In addition to sports activities, you can also simply relax in the sand and enjoy the sun. Another eye-catcher is the sculpture by German artist Rebecca Horn. Several diagonally stacked squares represent the sculpture “Estel Ferit”, in English “injured star”.
La RamblaNeighborhood in Barri GòticOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
If you really want to immerse yourself in Spanish life culture, La Rambla is the place to be. From shopping to local markets, street musicians and restaurants, it has it all.
The wide avenue that takes you from Plaça Catalunya down to the harbor is one of the MUST SEE in Barcelona. By the way, near Plaça Catalunya you will find the Font de Canaletes (a small fountain), which is the meeting place of Barça fans after a match. This is the place where people celebrate after a successful FC Barcelona match.
There is always a lot going on on La Rambla. Therefore, pay special attention to your personal belongings here. Pickpockets are unfortunately not uncommon here.
Museum of contemporary art (MACBA)Museum in El RavalOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The Museum of Contemporary Art MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona – is definitely one of the best museums in Barcelona. In an area of more than 20,000 square meters, since 1995, in addition to 5,000 works in the permanent collection, there are always changing collections of renowned Spanish and Catalan artists.
In total, the museum covers three eras: from 1940 to 1960, the seventies and eighties, and the contemporary era. So there is guaranteed to be something here for every art fan. Also quite exciting is the building in which the MACBA is located: it is built in the style of modernism and definitely stands out in the old town of Barcelona.
Nearby attractions include the Gothic Quarter, the Contemporary Cultural Center of Barcelona (CCCB), the Erotic Museum, the Museum of Illusions, the Palau Güell and the Mercat de la Boqueria.
Museum of the History of CataloniaMuseum in Barceloneta & Waterfront ENOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The Museu d’Història de Catalunya is one of the most important and best museums in Barcelona – here you get an insight into the constant (identity) struggle of the Catalonia region.
As the recent past shows, there are still independence movements today (we were in Barcelona during the very last clashes) – the historical reference with all its facets and perspectives bring you closer to the museum of Catalonia’s history. Even if I’m not the typical museum goer, I can only recommend this to you – after all, Barcelona is the most important city of Catalonia (and Spain).
Palau de la Música CatalanaBuilding in Barri GòticOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
Both from the outside and from the inside, the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona is beautiful. The famous concert hall in the La Ribera neighborhood hosts many classical concerts each year, is home to the local choir and many international artists perform here. Since 1997, the Palau de la Musica Catalana has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This popular attraction was designed by the Barcelonese architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner and financed by private sponsors between 1905 and 1908.
During a tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana, you can get a great behind-the-scenes look at the beautiful building.
Palau GüellBuilding in El RavalOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
An absolute must for Gaudí fans. Somewhat hidden in the Raval district is another masterpiece of the artist. Towards the end of the 19th century, he started building the Palau Güell. From the outside, quite little of his very distinctive style can be seen. Inside, however, you will again be enchanted by Gaudí’s creativity and talent.
On the roof, you’ll have a great view of the area all the way to Montjuïc, and then you’ll recognize Antonio Gaudí’s style through the colorful chimneys and roof alone.
Olympic village BarcelonaNeighborhood in BarcelonaAdd to myTravel added
The former Olympic Village was once the accommodation of 15,000 athletes during the Olympic Games in 1992.
Today, in La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou you can find many restaurants, bars, clubs, but also a lot of history around the Olympic Games, such as the Olympic Stadium, or the area around the Montjuïc mountain.
The neighborhood is worth to walk around, because after the restructuring was created here a modern residential area, new beaches, as well as spacious green areas.
MontjuïcBerg in BarcelonaAdd to myTravel added
An absolute highlight in Barcelona is the 173 meter high Montjuic. It is one of two hills in Barcelona and a great change from the hustle and bustle of the city.
You can climb the mountain either on foot or by cable car. Once you reach the top, you’ll have a fabulous view of Barcelona. We took the cable car ourselves – it’s the best way to get from here to the beach of Barcelona. Simply ingenious!
Be sure to visit the mighty fortress, which was a military barracks and a famous and scary prison during the dictatorship. On the way there you will pass the Palau Nacional. There you will find an impressive art museum.
Picasso Museum BarcelonaMuseum in El BornOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The Picasso Museum is one of the most popular museums in Barcelona. Here you can learn everything about the life and works of art of the famous artist, as it displays over 4,200 works of the most important artist of the 20th century.
Founded in 1963, it shows how connected Picasso was to Barcelona, even though he only spent five years of his life here.
During a tour of the museum you’ll see masterpieces such as “Science and Charity,” “Royan,” and “Las Meninas,” a reinterpretation of the Velazquez painting of the same name.
Placa de CatalunyaSquare in EixampleOur highlightAdd to myTravel added
The Placa de Catalunya is probably the best known square in Barcelona: it is located at the southern end of the Eixample district and borders on the Barri Gotic.
Around the Placa de Catalunya there are big department stores and chains like El Corte Inglés, Mediamarkt, Starbucks and McDonalds (that’s why I find it rather boring as a shopping address), but only two streets further you are back in the middle of the maze of small streets.
Barcelona AquariumZoo & Aquarium in BarcelonaAdd to myTravel added
The Barcelona Aquarium is one of the city’s best attractions. It is located in Port Vell, the old port area of the city. On site you’ll find 35 Mediterranean and tropical aquatic tanks that serve as home to 11,000 animals from around 450 genera.
Also very impressive is the massive oceanarium, which is 5 meters deep and 36 meters in diameter. The transparent, 80-meter tunnel takes you through the oceanarium past sharks, dorado, moray eels, moonfish and many other species.
This attraction in Barcelona attracts millions of visitors every year, which is why it is worth securing tickets online in advance, so you can go straight in and save yourself a long wait in front of the aquarium.
Hospital de Sant PauBuilding in BarcelonaAdd to myTravel added
The old hospital is my personal insider tip among the best sights of Barcelona.
Domenech i Montaner planned this hospital in 1902, which should provide a lot of fresh, clean air and a lot of space for a quick recovery of the sick. Thanks to a donation from Pau Gil, his plans were put into practice and the most beautiful hospital in Barcelona, or even in Europe, was born.
All areas of the largest Art Nouveau complex in the world are interconnected. You can see old operating rooms as well as explore all other parts of the hospital. It was only a little over 10 years ago that patients were moved to a modern complex. A tour of the old hospital is a must. In 1.5 hours you’ll discover everything from sculptures, stained glass and mosaics to many other exciting areas of the Hospital de Sant Pau.
Camp NouBuilding in BarcelonaAdd to myTravel added
Camp Nou is a must see in Barcelona not only for soccer fans. FC Barcelona’s stadium is one of the most visited sights in Barcelona. For soccer fans, it is the most important sight in Barcelona, as many agree that FC Barcelona is more than just a soccer club. Camp Nou is absolutely worth seeing, even if you are not interested in soccer.
A behind-the-scenes look at Europe’s largest soccer stadium takes you to the guest locker rooms, unique photo stops, the museum, the press room, as well as the hallowed turf where world-class players usually play soccer.
Arc de TriomfBuilding in EixampleAdd to myTravel added
The Arc de Triomf in Barcelona is one of the best sights in Barcelona It opened as part of the 1888 World’s Fair.
The 30-meter-high Arc de Triomphe was the main entrance to the World’s Fair, which was held in Ciutadella Park, and you can’t miss it at all: its red brick and its many decorations are the reason (not to mention its size). The architect Josep Vilaseca loved the contrast of unplastered material and decorations. You can see this wonderfully in the many details.
On the side facing the sea you can see a stone sculpture called Recompense and on the side facing the park it is entirely dedicated to the symbolism of the World Expo: this work is called “Barcelona rep les nacions”, which means “Barcelona welcomes the nations”. On all sides there are angels, crowns and lions – and you can also see the coat of arms of the city of Barcelona and those of the 48 other Spanish provinces.
Museum Fundació Joan MiróMuseum in BarcelonaAdd to myTravel added
For culture fans Barcelona is a dream and a visit to the Museum Fundació Joan Miró is an absolute must. It is dedicated to the artist Joan Miró, which he founded himself, so to speak, through his foundation and the transfer of his works to it.
He was an extremely active and versatile artist: Joan Miró was active as a sculptor, graphic artist, ceramist and as a painter and his traces can be found all over Barcelona. Sometimes in the form of a sculpture, sometimes as a huge mosaic but also as a logo at companies.
In the Museum Fundació Joan Miró more than 10,000 of his works are exhibited – an incredible number. The museum building is also an eye-catcher and the exact opposite of the richly decorated Palau with the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC): Cubes and smooth large surfaces characterize the style. Incidentally, it was built by his friend Josep Lluís Sert, who collaborated with artists such as Pablo Picasso and Le Corbusier and left his significant footprints around the world (he was head of the School of Design at Harvard University, among others).
Parc del Laberint d'HortaPark in Horta-GuinardóAdd to myTravel added
One of the oldest parks in Barcelona, created as early as the 18th century, Parc del Laberint d’Horta is a real insider’s tip far from the tourist crowds. That is why for us it is one of the best sights in Barcelona. You will find the park, which is divided into a classicist park and a romantic garden, on the slope of the Collserola mountain. By metro, simply get off at Mundet station and walk up the slope.
In the Parc del Laberint d’Horta you will find, besides a pleasure palace, some elements of Greek mythology, but also a real labyrinth that gave its name to the park. Many small temples, a pavilion and fountains make the Parc del Laberint d’Horta an enchanting place to stay.
Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can relax in the 9.1 hectare park and then have a picnic.
Bunker BarcelonaBuilding in BarcelonaAdd to myTravel added
In the El Carmel district of Barcelona, the former bunker facilities are now a real insider tip if you want to see Barcelona from above. The bunker is located on the 260 meter high hill “Turó de la Rovira” and is an ideal vantage point in clear weather.
From up here you have a sensational 360° view of the whole city: all the big and important buildings like the Sagrada Familia or the Torro Glories (which looks like The Gherkin building in London) are easily visible. This was exactly the reason why the bunkers with an anti-aircraft gun were built here (in 1937 during the Civil War).
For the 1992 Olympics, the city decided to dismantle them and relocate the residents. Nothing happened here until the early 2000s and the now empty facility was left to its own devices. Citizens’ initiatives brought it back into focus; after all, the bunker was also of historical importance for Barcelona. Meanwhile, there is even a small museum that found space in one of the bunkers and is dedicated to the history of this vantage point.
Personal savings tips for the best Barcelona attractions
Although there are also some free attractions, you can quickly spend a lot of money for many Barcelona sights. To save money from your travel budget, I recommend one of the Barcelona City Passes. Don’ t miss out on any great experiences in Barcelona, see many attractions such as Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou and Park Güell for free and also get great discounts on many sights and highlights of the city. On top of that, you get tickets for the public transport and a ticket for the popular hop on hop off bus tours through Barcelona.
There are four different Barcelona Passes, all of which are somewhat similar. So there is definitely a Barcelona City Pass for you. To help you find the best savings option for you and decide which attractions to visit, I’ve created a Barcelona Pass comparison for you.
Even more about Barcelona
You haven’t had enough of Barcelona yet? Here you can find more interesting articles about the popular city in Spain.