Barcelona Travel Guide: Top 10 Must-Do Activities

If you love good food, beaches combined with distinctive architecture and the laid-back atmosphere of the southern nations, you’ll love the Catalan capital Barcelona as much as we do. Barcelona is one of the most dazzling Spanish city, famous for its festivals and excellent gastronomy. We’ve put together a list of places to see, things to do in Barcelona, where to stay strategically and, most importantly, when to go.

When is the best time to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona is the sixth most popular place in Europe. The date you go to Barcelona can affect your whole experience. Barcelona is one of the most crowded cities in the high season, so you should consider your preferences when to visit this Spanish gem.

We visited Barcelona at the beginning of March, when the temperatures were around 18 degrees, so we enjoyed Barcelona with very few tourists. Even so, we went to some attractions first thing in the morning, because later there were already queues.

Current weather in Barcelona:


High season: June to August and public holidays

  • The perfect time to visit if you want to experience festivals

In high season, Barcelona accommodation sells out well in advance and prices can be double those in low season. Locals tend to leave Barcelona because the city is full of tourists.

It is necessary to take into account that queues will form for the main attractions in the morning. Great cultural events and festivals, long sunny days and the possibility of swimming in the sea are great advantages.

Transition season: March to May, September and October

  • The perfect time for passionate travellers

The transfer season is ideal for those who want to pass Barcelona. The weather is mild and sunny, but not too hot. The crowds are smaller than in high season, but the sea can already be cold for swimming.

Just watch out for Easter, when the big crowds head back to town and accommodation can be sold out long in advance.

Off-season: November to February

Best time for budget travelers. If you like to travel on the cheap, this is the best time to visit as prices are at an annual low. The streets are empty, but the weather can be brisk. Temperatures range from 7°C to 13°.

Where to stay in Barcelona

Cheap accommodation: if you’re looking for the cheapest possible accommodation, try the stylish Hostal Portugal, which is a short walk from the main tourist street Las Rambas and a 13-minute walk from the beach; if it’s full, try the bohemian Sant Jordi Hostels Gracia

Best value for money: if you’re looking for stylish accommodation, check out the Hotel Granvia, located in a magnificent 19th century building. century, which has been tastefully and modernly renovated.

Best view: we chose the Hotel Gaudí, which has a spectacular rooftop view of the Palau Güell. The rooms themselves are small, but they were enough for an overnight stay. The hotel is located just off the main tourist street.

Things to do in Barcelona
View from the roof of the Gaudí Hotel in Barcelona

Guide: 10 tips on where to go and what to see in Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital Catalonia whose current appearance has been influenced mainly by famous artists of the 20th century. century, especially with Picasso a Antoni Gaudi who is the author of the most famous buildings that have made Barcelona famous. Let’s take a look at what to visit in Barcelona. Everything we mention below you can see in Barcelona in two days.

Park Güell

One of the most popular places to go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds. You don’t have to worry about getting up extra early, the park opens at 9:30. Park Güell is located on the Turó del Carmel hill and is one of the most famous works of architect Antoni Gaudí.

From this park , covered with colourful mosaics and statues, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Barcelona that you probably know from photographs. Park Güell has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. It is advisable to purchase tickets in advance(https://www.parkguell-tickets.com) and plan to visit outside of the weekend.

Park Güell
The view from Barcelona’s Park Güell

Temple of Reconciliation dedicated to the Holy Family – Sagrada Família

Probably the most magnificent temple in the world that you can visit, unlike any other religious building. You don’t have to be a believer to be impressed by the grandeur of the Sahgrad Família, given its form by Antonio Gaudí. The most special is the inner play of light achieved by the colourful mosaics, which literally gives you chills.

The construction of the temple began in 1882 and should be completed by the centenary of Gaudí in 2026. The Sagrada Família has three main facades, representing the birth, passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The twelve towers symbolize the apostles, the high tower personifies Jesus Christ, who is surrounded by the four evangelists.

When its towers are completed, it will become the tallest church building in the world. Tickets can be buy online or at the door. Again, it is best to visit the Sagrada Familia first thing in the morning.

Sagrada Família
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Casa Batlló

This apartment building, another work of Gaudí, was built by the turn of the century 19. and 20th century. Uneven lines, colourful mosaics and unusual shapes unite all of Gaudí’s buildings, but this house is considered one of Europe’s strangest.

Casa Batlló boasts a unique glittering façade made up of colourful mosaics with unusually protruding windows in a strange arched shape. As you explore the interior, you’ll be delighted by the play of light and shadow that is one of Gaudí’s specialities. You will also find original false ceilings and stairs with pictures of octopuses and starfish.

If you can’t get enough of Gaudí, you can also visit Casa Milà, La Pedrera or Palau Güell.

Casa Batlló - What to see in Barcelona
Casa Battló by Gaudí in Barcelona

La Rambla

La Rambla is Barcelona’s famous boulevard, stretching from Plaça de Catalunya to the Columbus Monument. It’s the “Wenceslas Square of Barcelona”, where you’ll find restaurants, shops and, in warm weather, street performers.

While football fans may appreciate the fact that one of the lamps (Font de Canaletes) near Plaça de Catalunya celebrates every FC Barcelona victory, we were more interested in the famous local fresh fruit, vegetable and fish market – La Boqueria.

barcelona la rambla

La Boqueria

Are you one of us who like to visit local markets with fresh fruit and vegetables? Then be sure to stop by La Boqueria for a fresh smoothie or to stock up on exotic fruits. You will also find meat, seafood, fish, cold cuts, eggs, dairy products and cheese.

You may be interested to know that this is the oldest market of its kind in Barcelona, as early as 1217 it was already selling meat, and this tradition became so established over the years that in 1470 a regular meat market was opened here, then called Mercat Bornet.

What to see in Barcelona? La Boqueria
La Boqueria Market in Barcelona

The largest football stadium in Europe – Camp Nou

Although Lukas and I are absolute football ignoramuses, it hasn’t escaped our notice that Barcelona is home to the pride of the proud Catalans, the stadium of their most famous football club, FC Barcelona. Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe, with a capacity of 99,500 spectators. It was built in 1957, and due to its huge capacity, it is said that it is no problem to buy tickets the day before the game for most matches. You can visit the museum at the stadium.

Museum of Modern Art Fundació Joan Miró

For all art lovers like me, here’s a tip. A little outside the centre is the Fundació Joan Miró, dedicated to Catalan abstract artist Joan Miró. It is set in a snow-white modern building with a spectacular view of Barcelona.

Catedral de Barcelona

It may not be as eccentric as La Sagrada Família, but it is a beautiful, huge Gothic temple, with bars and restaurants in front of it where you can sit back and enjoy this magnificent building.

The site of the cathedral was originally the site of a Roman temple some 2,000 years ago, when Barcelona was still called Bàrcino (you can find parts of the old Roman walls and aqueduct not far from the cathedral). Today, the cathedral is officially called the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia and is a tribute to Eulalia, a local girl who refused to accept Roman Emperor Diocletian’s demand that she renounce her Christian faith. Inside, you can take the elevator to the observation deck.

What to do in Barcelona? Visit the Catedral de Barcelona
Cathedral de Barcelona

Picasso Museum

Picasso moved to Barcelona as a 14-year-old boy, and throughout his life he returned often and happily. The museum is vast, spread over five palaces. On the ground floor there is a courtyard and gothic arches leading to the white studios that illuminate his works. But if you’re expecting Picasso’s big hits, you may be disappointed. Guernica is at the Reina Sofía in Madrid and The Weeping Woman at the Tate Modern in London.

Still, we think the museum is well worth a visit; in chronological order, each brushstroke (all 4,251 works) shows how the classically trained painter became a pioneer of Cubism. In addition, there are also lesser-known works by Picasso, such as his ceramics.

What to do in Barcelona? Go to the beach

Barcelona’s seafront promenade stretches for several kilometres. It takes a good hour to walk from Barceloneta to Diagonal Mar, but it’s a walk that adds to the atmosphere of the city and shouldn’t be missed.

The westernmost beaches, such as Sant Sebastià, are busier and more touristy, but beyond them you’ll find a section with trendy shops and bars with terraces and outdoor seating in Barceloneta.

As you move along the seafront behind the Olympic Port, you’ll come to the area where the locals gather. You can’t say they’re that much calmer. Spaniards know how to enjoy themselves and are not the quietest people.

A short walk from Platja de Llevant is the huge new Diagonal Mar shopping centre, which has revitalised the former industrial part of the city.

Beach in Barcelona

Arc de TriomfArc de Triomf in Barcelona

Barcelona also has its own Arc de Triomphe, which was built in 1888 when the city hosted the World’s Fair. The Arc de Triomphe was built as a gateway to the World’s Fair, held in the Parc de la Ciutadella. Today it is one of the iconic landmarks of the city.

Arc de Triomf in Barcelona
Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona

Tibidabo – the best view of Barcelona

Originally Lukas and I wanted to drive here on our way to the city, but we read in the reviews that cars are often robbed here (the last two reviews were photos of cars with smashed windows). In the end we skipped this viewpoint and due to bad weather we did not leave the town. But if the weather cooperates, according to our research, this is one of the best views of the city.

At the top of the hill is the beautiful Sagrat Cor Church and a popular amusement park. If you walk, you’ll pass through one of Barcelona’s richest and most enviable neighbourhoods on the way up.

The Best Tours from Barcelona

If you’re flying to Barcelona for more than one day, we also recommend going to the valley on day trips from Barcelona. Let’s take a look at the best ones that you can easily book through GetYourGuide or find a bus or train connection and go on your own:

Where to go by sea from Barcelona Costa Brava

Go kayaking or snorkelling at one of the beaches on the Costa Brava. If neither appeals to you but you still want to go to the Costa Brava, you can use the trip to visit a water park or simply to lounge by the sea. One of the most popular resorts here is Lloret de Mar.


Girona is a hidden treasure between the Pyrenees and the Costa Brava. You’ll find the Salvador Dali Museum, the Jewish Quarter, which is one of the oldest and best preserved in Europe, and if you love Game of Thrones, you’ll probably be pleased to know that many scenes from the series were filmed here. Just wander through the streets and discover the various passages and gardens and Girona is sure to enchant you.


Want something a little different than cities and beaches? Head to the Montserrat Mountains, where you’ll find the monastery of the same name, the most sacred place in Catalonia. This hike is better suited for autumn or spring, as you have to prepare for a hike that will reward you with spectacular views of the surroundings.

If you want, you can then take the cable car down to Santa Cova, the famous place where the La Moreneta, the Black Madonna . Don’t forget to take a walk to the top of Sant Jeroni for a beautiful view of the valley.

Barcelona tips and advice

Buy your tickets early and in advance, if you can’t do it through the official website, we usually do it through GetYourGuide (no extra fee, always works reliably and you can pay online without any problems). Through GetYourGuide, we skipped the lines several times in Spain because we didn’t have to wait in line to buy a ticket.

Barcelona Sightseeing Admission

If you’re going to more than one attraction, you can get one of the Barcelona Passes (Barcelona Pass / Barcelona card), which you can get on GetYourGuide, for example. This card gives you access to 20-45+ sights + public transport fares.

Admission to Sights in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia26 €
Park Güell18 €
Casa Milà25 €
Casa Batlló25 €
Palau Güell18 €
Montjuïc7,50 €
Font Màgica12 €
Tibidabo12 €
La RamblaFree
Gothic QuarterFree
El BornFree

These prices are valid from 1. January 2023.

  • Children under the age of 16 are free of charge at all sites except Park Güell, where admission is free until the age of 12.
  • Students under 25 years old have a 50% discount on admission to all monuments except the Sagrada Familia, there is a discount only for students under 18 years old.
  • European Union employees are entitled to a 50% discount everywhere except the Sagrada Familia.

Barcelona Secret Places

If you want to see some interesting places in Barcelona, you should definitely not miss the hidden bar or the rooftop of Casa Battlo.

  • Secret Bar – Paradiso

Head to the Paradiso Secret Bar. This bar is accessed via a fridge, so you’ll get the experience as soon as you enter. The bar was awarded the 20th best bar in the world in 2019 and in World’s Best Bar in 2022. It is open from 9pm to 3am and entry is FREE.

  • Park Güell – Hidden Gardens

Park Güell is one of the most famous parks in Barcelona, but few people know about its hidden gardens. These gardens are only accessible through a private house. 🙂

  • Casa Batlló – roof

Casa Batlló is another of Barcelona’s iconic buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí. The roof of the house has a beautiful view of the city and is also a great place to hide from the crowds.

  • Montjuïc – Bunkers del Carmel

The Bunkers del Carmel are former military bunkers located on the hill of Montjuïc. The bunkers offer a beautiful view of the city.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What to see in Barcelona in one day?

Sagrada Família, Park Güell, La Rambla, Casa Batlló and the Gothic Quarter.

How to travel around Barcelona?

We mainly walked around Barcelona, but for longer distances we recommend using public transport.

Where to stay in Barcelona?

The best place to stay is in the centre, try the cheap Hostal Portugal, a short walk from the main tourist street Las Rambas, or the Sant Jordi Hostels Gracia. If you don’t want a hostel, we liked the Hotel Granvia, located in a beautiful building from the 19. century, which has been tastefully and modernly renovated.

When to visit Barcelona?

Spring or autumn is ideal. In the summer it gets too hot.

What to Taste in Barcelona?

Typical dishes include paella, tapas, pan con tomate (bread with tomatoes), zarzuela (fish dish) and crema catalana (Catalan cream).

What to Visit Outside Barcelona City Centre?

Outside the centre you can visit Montjuïc Park with its impressive views of the city, Camp Nou – FC Barcelona’s stadium, and also explore the seaside area of Barceloneta.

Is Barcelona safe?

Barcelona is safe, but as in any other city, you should be careful of your valuables in the tourist areas.

What do you pay with in Barcelona?

Spain is part of the euro area, so you pay in euros.

What to See in Barcelona in 2 Days?

In two days in Barcelona you should see Park Güell, the Temple of Reconciliation dedicated to the Holy Family – Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Rambla, La Boqueria and the largest football stadium in Europe. You’ll definitely be able to catch a trip to the beach.

What to See in Barcelona in 3 Days?

In 3 days in Barcelona you should see Park Güell, the Temple of Reconciliation dedicated to the Holy Family – Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Rambla, La Boqueria, Camp Nou, the Museum of Modern Art Fundació Joan Miró, the Catedral de Barcelona and the Picasso Museum.
Be sure to take a trip to the beach and walk to the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona.

What to do in Barcelona?

There are several things you should do in Barcelona, see the most important sights, take a trip to the beach and make sure you go to the secret bar Paradiso.

How to enjoy Barcelona?

Stay in the centre, walk around the main sights and have a drink on the beach. To avoid stress, buy your sightseeing passes in advance through GetYourGuide.

Where to go on holiday in Spain?

Luke and I love Andalusia where you’ll find breathtaking cities like Cordoba, Seville or Granada . If you want to go to the sea, head to Malaga where the sea is warm and calm.

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