Things to do in Barcelona

Otherworldly architecture, colorful markets, and tasty tapas await you in the Catalan capital.

Our most recommended things to do in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Guided Tour & Ticket

1. Sagrada Familia: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Guided Tour & Ticket

Make your visit to the Sagrada Familia unforgettable with a 1.5-hour guided tour of Gaudí’s masterpiece. See the Basilica’s dream-like façade and interior in a small-group or private tour setting accompanied by an expert guide. During the tour you will learn about the ongoing construction, the current predicted completion date, and the generations of craftspeople, architects and artists learned how to bring Gaudi’s vision to life. Your guide will meet you outside, starting the tour with a little introduction before heading to the Basilica’s entrance. After you’ve headed through security, hear all about the Nativity Façade, the first completed section of the Basilica. Next, you will step into the interior of the Sagrada Familia. Marvel at the world created by the intense colored light from the stained glass windows and the branch-like columns extending over the ceiling. Gaudí intended for the interior to look and feel like a walk through the woods, with the light exuding a sense of sifting through forest leaves.  As you exit the Basilica you will hear about the Passion Façade, representing the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Experience the drama of the Passion through the tower’s stark and angular sculptures. This façade, like most of the Sagrada Familia, was built after Gaudí’s death.  Head to Sagrada Familia Schools next, designed for the children of the workers building the Sagrada Familia. Hear how it was reconstructed more than once and even moved locations to make way for the Basilica.  Your last stop will be the Sagrada Familia Museum, where your guide will share original sketches and plans with you that demonstrate the complexity of Gaudi's architecture and vision. Find artifacts here from Gaudi’s life and the Basilica's own history, like his upside-down model of the Basilica.

Barcelona: Montserrat Tour, Monastery & Optional Wine/Lunch

2. Barcelona: Montserrat Tour, Monastery & Optional Wine/Lunch

Experience an unforgettable guided group tour to Montserrat, Catalonia's most famous mountain range. Take in the beauty of its natural rolling landscape and discover the history and traditions of its medieval monastery. After your bus journey from Barcelona, board the cogwheel train up to the monastery and admire the beautiful nature and iconic multi-peaked mountain range of Montserrat. Once at the monastery, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the historical center of the complex.  Learn about the rich history of the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, an 11th-century monastery that still functions to this day, with over 70 monks. Entry to the monastery is included in the tour price. Use the allotted free time to wander freely and visit the famous Black Madonna and see paintings by Picasso, El Greco, and Dali at the Montserrat Museum. During your free time, you can also ride the funicular train up the side of the mountain to get even better viewpoints of the monastery.  Travelers who booked the half-day tour option will return to Barcelona after the visit to Montserrat. If you chose a full-day tour option, you'll continue toward a beautiful boutique winery. Arrive at the winery and, depending on the food option you booked, enjoy a light tapas or multi-course lunch. Admire amazing views of the winery and Montserrat mountains as you feast on traditional foods of the region. After your meal, wander around the vineyards, learn about the wine-making process, and enjoy a wine tasting session, before traveling back to Barcelona.

Barcelona: Sagrada Familia & City Sights Bike or E-Bike Tour

3. Barcelona: Sagrada Familia & City Sights Bike or E-Bike Tour

Cycle through Barcelona's vibrant city blocks on a guided cycling tour. Choose from either a small-group or private experience, with both regular bikes and e-bikes available. Learn about the city’s culture, see historical sites, and discover hidden gems loved by locals. Meet your guide, get set up with your regular bike or e-bike, and then set off to first admire the impressive Gothic style of the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral. Continue over narrow medieval streets to arrive at The Born Cultural Center, featuring excavated city ruins from the 1700s on display. Cross Parc de la Ciutadella and take in the picturesque scenery of the park’s green spaces and its large majestic fountain. Arrive at the city’s seafront and explore the urban projects around the Port Olímpic marina. Peddle back towards the city center to make your way over to the world-famous Sagrada Familia. Marvel at Gaudi’s yet-to-be-completed masterpiece and learn fascinating facts about the church’s unique blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.  Get another dose of Gaudi magic as you ride over to see the whimsical architecture displayed on Casa Batlló and Casa Mila. Snap pictures of the building’s surreal walls before returning to back where your bike journey began.

Barcelona: Sagrada Familia Entry Ticket with Audio Guide

4. Barcelona: Sagrada Familia Entry Ticket with Audio Guide

Explore Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, and discover the beautiful basilica at your own pace. Learn about its history with an included audio guide. Find out firsthand why Gaudi's iconic work — its impressive facades and interior — is one of Spain's most visited monuments. Admire a combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau forms in this UNESCO-listed structure that dominates the Barcelona skyline. Gaudi began working on the true symbol of Barcelona in 1882, and the Sagrada Familia remains a work in progress today. Although unfinished, the basilica remains a must-see. 

Barcelona: Park Güell Admission Ticket

5. Barcelona: Park Güell Admission Ticket

Visit Park Güell with your timed admission ticket and explore the unique site at your own pace. Marvel at Antoni Gaudí's colorful mosaic art such as the Dragon Stairway with its world-famous salamander. Have a break from the city life while strolling through the green Austria Gardens and take stunning photos of Barcelona from the park's viewing points.  The plan for the park was assigned to Gaudí by Eusebi Güell, a Catalan entrepreneur who wanted to recreate a British residential park on Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain). It was opened as a municipal park in 1926, recognized as an artistic monument in 1969 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. While you have to enter the park at your booked time slot, you can stay for as long as you like after and take it all in.

Barcelona: Camp Nou and FC Barcelona Museum

6. Barcelona: Camp Nou and FC Barcelona Museum

Tour Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, and visit the accompanying museum. Retrace the footsteps of the Futbol Club Barcelona's legendary players including Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona, Guardiola, and Ronaldinho. Begin your tour of the modern museum with large-format interactive walls, new showcases, and a wide collection of objects that reveal the history of FC Barcelona, explaining the values that have made Barça “more than a club.” Then, take the Camp Nou Experience tour. Visit key Barça areas, including the visitors’ changing room and the tunnel onto the pitch. Catch a panoramic view of the entire stadium. Experience the pitch in 360 Virtual Reality (if this option is booked). Visit the television studio, the mixed zone, the press room, and the commentary boxes. The tour ends on the second floor, where you can visit the fascinating multimedia space, which was renovated in January 2010.

Barcelona: Casa Batlló Entry with Self-Audioguide Tour

7. Barcelona: Casa Batlló Entry with Self-Audioguide Tour

Immerse yourself in the "Casa Batlló 10D Experience," which combines artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and machine learning. Delight in a unique experience of one of the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí, an architecture and design legend. Journey into a Gaudinian universe of seemingly impossible volumetric projections, binaural sound, motion sensors, immersive spaces, tastes, and smells. Access Lord Batlló's Bedroom (if gold option selected). Enjoy two new immersive rooms: the Gaudí Dome (the first room with a dome featuring more than a thousand screens) and the Gaudí Cube (a six-sided LED cube unique in the world). Listen to a script available in 15 languages, as well as a soundtrack created exclusively by the composer Dani Howard and performed by the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Among the novelties on offer, discover a new core of vertical communication designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, a floating ladder of 13 tons of polished marble suspended in the air, the first 6-sided indoor mapping on a patio of Gaudí's lights, and the new “Simbolic” store.

Sagrada Familia: Tour

8. Sagrada Familia: Tour

Start your tour outside the UNESCO-listed basilica and meet your guide. Gaze up at the immense facades and towers and get your first impressions of Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece. Then, enter the basilica and see the awe-inspiring interior with its forest of pillars. Bathe in the colorful light from the stained-glass windows and understand what Gaudí meant when he said that "the sun is the best painter." Discover a vibrant clash of Gothic and Art Nouveau designs. Home in on the symbolic details and modernist representations of the Holy Family with your guide. Hear how the current construction is progressing after over a century's worth of work. As you walk around the basilica, learn more about Gaudí's life through his work and the legacy he left behind. At the end of tour, enjoy the freedom to keep exploring with your newfound knowledge.

Sagrada Familia: Private Tour

9. Sagrada Familia: Private Tour

Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site with a dedicated expert. Meet your private, local guide outside the monument, where you will enjoy separate group access. Allow yourself to take in the forest-like interior, with its towering pillars and colorful stained-glass windows. Listen to stories about the most important events to have occurred in the basilica. Feel yourself dwarfed by the detailed Nativity and Passion facades. Let your guide explain the contrasting architectural styles and bring the symbolism of the stone sculptures to life. Trace Gaudí's exciting life through his work and learn about how his legacy is steering his masterpiece's ongoing construction today. Satisfy your curiosity and ask your guide any questions that come to mind about the Sagrada Familia and its creator.

Barcelona Aquarium: Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket

10. Barcelona Aquarium: Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket

The Barcelona Aquarium is located in Port Vell, the city’s old harbor area, and is the world's most important marine leisure and education center dedicated to Mediterranean undersea life. Book your priority access ticket for this unique attraction that has already been visited by more than 14 million people. The aquarium is the perfect place to learn about the seabed and the many species that live there. See the 35 Mediterranean and tropical tanks that are home to 11,000 animals from some 450 different species. Most spectacular of all is the immense Oceanarium, 5 meters deep and 36 meters in diameter. A transparent 80-meter-long tunnel runs through the Oceanarium, making it possible for you to walk among sharks, gilt heads, morays, ocean sunfish, and many other species. With your ticket you'll also be able to visit the permanent exhibitions, Planeta Aqua and Explora! that show the importance of water in the development of the planet, and where kids can discover the underwater world, using all of their 5 senses. After your visit, you'll be able to enjoy the different services on offer, such as the café, shop, and others. 

Frequently asked questions about Barcelona

What top attractions are a must-see in Barcelona?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Barcelona?

The best day trips and excursions from Barcelona are:

Sitges

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Barcelona

Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He has visited Barcelona many times, and you can see his guide to spending three days in Barcelona.

What should I do on my first trip to Barcelona?

A trip to the Sagrada Familia should be at the top of the list for any visitor to Barcelona. This incredible organic cathedral is the masterpiece of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, and is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Definitely take the time to go inside and explore as well, because the inside is just as impressive as the outside!

What are some hidden gems to see in Barcelona?

The Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi, in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, is definitely worth a visit. It's a 14th century gothic church with a massive bell tower you can climb. The views from the roof across the Gothic Quarter are excellent, and from here you can really get a feel from the different epochs the city has gone through from Roman times.

How much time should I spend in Barcelona?

Two days would be the minimum amount of time to see the highlights of the city, whilst three days would let you add in a few of the hidden gems.

What food is Barcelona known for?

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without trying some tapas. These small plates features all sorts of different dishes, from patatas bravas (fried potatoes), through to squid, meatballs and lots more. Tapas can be found throughout the city, with many bars serving them as snack food as well.

What is the best way to get around Barcelona?

The majority of Barcelona can be easily explored by foot, although the city also has an excellent metro system that will get you around a little bit quicker. If you are aiming for the main tourist sights, the Hop on Hop off bus is also a good option.

What are the best months to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona can be visited most times of the year. Whilst the Mediterranean climate means the summer months are obviously hotter, the city conveniently has a lovely beach with swimming so you can cool off. However, if you want to do more sightseeing, the months of April - June are a good option. The city also hosts a number of festivals at this time of year which are worth checking out.

What is neighborhood "The Gothic Quarter" known for?

The gothic quarter is perhaps the most interesting neighbourhood to explore from a visitors point of view. The maze of winding streets is largely pedestrianised, and filled with interesting shops and tucked away churches and restaurants. Do expect to get lost though, as it's quite a maze!

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

For tucked away bars and courtyard dining, it's hard to go wrong with the Gothic Quarter, which is great for tapas and casual fare. For a quieter experience away from the tourist crowds and more of a focus on traditional Catalan cuisine, had to the Gracia neighbourhood.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The Passeig de Gracia, which leads away from the central square in the city, is well known as a good shopping destination if you're interested in luxury brands. If you're more of a market person, head for La Boqueria on Las Ramblas!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Barcelona?

If you'd prefer to be centrally located and within easy walking distance, or a short metro ride, from all the major attractions, then you'll want to stay in the Gothic Quarter. This part of the city is home to many of the attractions as well as plenty of dining, and it's easy to reach from the main transport hubs in the city.

What are the best beaches around Barcelona?

Barcelona has a series of incredible beaches with are popular with both locals and tourists alike. The closest, and one of the best, is definitely Barceloneta Beach, just a few minutes walk from the city.

Other Sightseeing Options in Barcelona

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What people are saying about Barcelona

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 145,504 reviews

This was a GREAT tour! Our guide, Daniel, is a former history teacher and gave us great details about both the food and areas/neighborhoods that were part of our tour. Our group became fast friends and even after the tour was over, we chose to get more cava at another bar to keep talking. The food and drinks were delicious and it was a great way to find places we would never have found on our own. Highly recommend.

It was very successful trip and everything went well! The guide was very nice and helpful and it was nice that the guide took pictures throughout the trip. ☺️

Our guide was joe, who was charismatic, funny, and insightful. Had a great time on Halloween, cannot recommend this tour enough.

Was having difficulty booking on the official website. Get Your Guide made the process quick and easy!

Well organised, informative and a really beautiful place