Planning a visit to Barcelona? You can rest assured this Catalonian capital city will seduce you. Everything about Barcelona is a superlative, whether you are talking about food, attractions, nightlife or beaches. If you haven’t make your plans yet, here are 5 (of many) things to do and see while in the city…
La Sagrada Familia is considered Gaudi’s masterpiece, but Parc Guell will charm you even more. Walk down its alleys, enter the architect’s house, enjoy the mixture of symbols, the eclectic design and the fairy-tale like atmosphere of the place. Take at least a few hours to explore the park.
Barcelona’s most famous boulevard, this colourful collection of streets is a serious tourist hotspot, and with good reason. At any time of day or night the place is buzzing with activity, all the way from the Christopher Columbus monument to La Catedral de Barcelona, the many stalls and street entertainers seemingly never sleep. It is a festival of light and sound in every direction.
You don’t have to be a football fanatic to appreciate the majesty of one of the world’s most iconic stadiums. Home to the immeasurably successful FC Barcelona, this enormous bowl can hold a staggering 98,780 people, making it the largest stadium in Europe and 11th largest in the world.
Inside the stadium visitors can enjoy the FC Barcelona Museum which alongside numerous displays of football memorabilia also includes a 3D cinema as well as an art exhibition displaying work by famous Catalan surrealist Salvador Dali.
The stadium is well worth a visit as a truly awesome sight to behold and is open every day.
Although born in Malaga on Spain’s southern coast, Pablo Picasso spent much of his adult life in Barcelona and it is said he always considered the city his spiritual home. One of the most famous artists of the 20th century his work is known across the world and he was at the forefront of the Cubist movement for which he is probably best known.
Whilst there are numerous museums dedicated to Picasso across Europe, the Museu Picasso houses one of the most extensive collections of his work with over 3,500 different pieces set across the five adjoining medieval palaces that make up this grand exhibition space.
The museum is closed on Mondays.
One of the best ways to truly appreciate the beauty of this world renowned city of culture is atop mount Tibidabo which overlooks the city and surrounding coastline. You can get to the top by car or bus but far more enjoyable is the funicular railway which is open from March to December and on weekends in February. Over 100 years old this steeply climbing mountainside tram car offers a unique and memorable way to reach the summit.
Once you’re at the top you’ll have the opportunity to visit the famous Tibidabo amusement park. Originally built at the end of the 19th century this family attraction has rides and entertainment to delight all ages including the Sky Walk, 500m above the sea!
Hit the beach
Of course, being situated on the coast of one of Europe’s sunniest countries, Barcelona boasts a number of beautiful beaches for when all you want to do is relax in the beautiful weather. Closest to the city centre is Barceloneta which is, unsurprisingly, busy all year round but still remains well worth a visit for the sheer quantity of entertainment on offer from sand artists to percussionists and much more besides.
However if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter, try Ocata beach which is further out (about a 30 minute train ride) from the city centre but receives far fewer tourists as a result. Its beautiful golden white sands invite visitors to while away the hours in blissful peace.
Or for the more adventurous there’s Mar Bella which welcomes nudists behind purposefully built dunes and often hosts late night rave parties throughout the summer for revellers who don’t want to go home when the sun goes down.