World-Known Landmarks

Feel the power of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia (Basilica of the Holy Family)

In spite of the incompleteness of the Basilica’s building, it has a long history and has already been labeled a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s no wonder considering the grandeur and monumentality of the Sagrada Familia, which will impress even the most well experienced travellers. The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia is a real architectural masterpiece. The building of the Sagrada Familia temple is one of the longest buildings constructed in all of history. Construction of the basilica has taken much longer than the building process of the Egyptian Pyramids, of which the greatest was completed in only 20-or-so years.

The idea of the Basilica first came to light in 1866, and almost 20 years later the first stone was laid. Antoni Gaudi was the initial architect who took on the creation and construction of this piece of art, but he did not finish the work on Basilica. After his death, the project was handed over to the other prominent architects that have worked on the building. Since 2012, the work has been handed over to Jordi Faulí as the chief Architect. Hopefully, the Basilica will see its completion by 2026, the 100th anniversary of the initial architect, Antoni Gaudi’s, death. Even though the temple is not yet finished, it still receives hundreds of visitors every day. Because of this, it is best to book your ticket in advance, otherwise you’ll be waiting in the long queue that stretches around the fence of the Sagrada Familia. It’s better to visit the Basilica of Sagrada Familia in sunny weather, as the many beautiful windows will be bright and colorful.

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)

If you want to travel back to the Middle Ages, simply visit the Gothic Quarter, located in Barcelona’s Old Town, where most of buildings were created during those times.

Although most of quarters in the center of Catalonia are square shaped, the streets of the Gothic Quarter are so narrow and meandering that it isn’t uncommon for tourists to find themselves lost amongst the maze. Therefore, it’s best to explore the area with a knowledgeable tour guide. There is a “Free Walking Tour” available in Barcelona for this quarter that will help you navigate the area and learn about its history.

On the other hand, getting lost in the Gothic Quarter might not be the worst thing as most of the time it’s a crowded area and there are many incredible spots to stumble upon, such as any of the numerous Gothic style churches. While strolling around the Quarter, visit the Barcelona Cathedral with its stunning façade and location in the very heart of area.

Always remember to be wary when walking there – like many tourist hot spots the Gothic Quarter is full of pickpockets.

If you really enjoy the spirit of the Gothic Quarter, you should spend time soaking it in by sitting in a cafe and enjoying the surrounding architecture, or even staying in a hostel in that area.

Cathedral Basilica of Barcelona (Catedral de Barcelona)

The Barcelona Cathedral is considered a gorgeous decoration of the Gothic Quarter. The Cathedral belongs to the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia whose tomb is situated in the crypt of the Cathedral. The history of the Barcelona Cathedral starts in the XIII century, and construction was completed by 1913. The Cathedral is worth seeing from outside, but if it impresses you enough from out there, you will definitely want to come inside. Many of you will be relieved to know that there is a lift that can take you up to roof, which offers incredible landscape views and close-ups of the gargoyles. These mystic animals fit perfectly into the Gothic architectural style. If you are a history buff, there is the museum of the Cathedral inside for you to explore and learn about the cathedral’s past. Musicians can enjoy listening to the organ and choir in a separate room.Behind the cathedral there is also a beautiful Fountain of St. George and Cloister, a perfect spot to take a break from the history and architecture and enjoy the sun.

The many different features of this one attraction make this a perfect location people of multiple interests.

FC Barcelona Museum (Museu del Futbol Club Barcelona)

Football fans from all over the world flock to Barcelona for its world-known football club “Barcelona” aka. “Barca”. With such a massive following, it is no wonder the “FC Barcelona museum” is the most visited museum in the city. The football club of Barcelona was founded in 1899 by a group of young people from different countries who resided in Barcelona at the time. After more than a century of developing the FC Barcelona, it has become the leader of world football. It is well worth it to visit the museum whether you are a football fan or not. The scenery of the stadium is stunning – you may have group or private tour there, or even come to the stadium for a game. For the most die-hard fans, in a symbol of pure dedication, it is also possible to buy a piece of grass from the stadium as a souvenir.

After attending a “FC Barcelona” team game, and seeing how many awards the team has won, you might even begin to take an interest in football yourself! Certainly, if any of your children were into football, then going to the “Barca” museum would be a perfect and memorable gift!

Park Guell (Park Güell)

Park Guell is situated on a high point on the way to the Tibidabo Mountain and offers a magnificent view of the central part of Barcelona. The territory of the Park Guell was conceived as living quarters with a green zone, and the concept of building a city-garden came to Barcelona from England. Spanish entrepreneur Eusebi Guell owned the park but was eventually forced by the city to sell the land. Luckily, famous architect (the same commissioned for the basilica) Antoni Gaudi’s residence happened to be situated in Park Guell, and so Eusebi Guell collaborated with him for the creation of the city-garden. There is now a museum of Gaudi located in Gaudi’s old residence. After seeing so many pieces of art created by Gaudi, it is a great place to visit to learn about the life of the architect whose name is so intertwined within the city.Besides the museum, there is a beautiful mosaic plaza area, “gingerbread” houses and a lot of the other wonderful constructions that offer a sweeping view of the entire city. It’s best to visit the Park Guell in the morning, as it becomes crowded later on in the day.

La Pedrera (Casa Mila)

La Pedrera, meaning “The Quarry” is the fantastic work of prominent Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. Certainly, it is not the only famous building of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona, but Casa Mila is considered to be of the most unique houses in the entire city. The modern style of the building is quite unusual, and its undulating facade drives visitors to think that this piece of art was fashioned from dough. Work on the Casa Mila was completed in 1912, and it was included to the UNESCO list in 1984. Currently it is a management building of the art foundation.

Going inside La Pedrera, you’ll be certain you’ve arrived in a small fairy palace. The courtyard of the building is a dark, circle-shaped area where you view Casa Mila from inside. Visiting the roof terrace of the building is highly encouraged – there, you’ll discover stunning monuments. If you do not want to wait for an elevator, stairs are available to access the terrace. All visitors of La Pedrera are recommended to book tickets in advance to avoid waiting in a long queue.

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar

The Gothic-style Basilica is also known as a “cathedral” and is found in the old quarter, La Ribera. Its location close to the Gothic quarter makes it perfect to end your walk around the historical part of the Barcelona in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. It’s interesting to know that the Basilica is considered the only building in Barcelona of pure Gothic style. This is because it was built in only 55 years, an extremely short period of time for building so great church in XIV century. The Basilica was built in a period of time where Catalonia was flourishing in both trade and seafaring. Pope Pius XI conferred the church of Santa Maria del Mar a title of Papal Basilica Minor in 1923.

Go to the Basilica if you want to relax after a full day. If you want more impressions before visiting, read the book “The Cathedral of the Sea.”

Torre Agbar (the Agbar Tower)

The 145m high Torre Agbar has become the third highest structure in Barcelona since 2005, when French architect Jean Nouvel deemed its construction complete. There are 38 floors of offices and conference rooms located in the Tower, and the name is explained by the fact that it is owned by the Agbar Group holding company, its own architect. Nouvel explained that unusual shape of the Agbar Tower was the result of his inspiration by the Monserrate mountain peaks that are located near Barcelona. Especially wonderful in the evenings, the Torre Agbar shimmers with different colors. You will notice it full of light from every open point of Barcelona, and it will beckon you to come closer, although it is better to snap photos of the tower from afar.

Like the mini Eiffel Towers you purchase in Paris, the Agbar Tower is one of the most popular objects for purchase as a souvenir in Barcelona.

La Rambla Street

La Rambla is the most popular pedestrian boulevard in Barcelona and is situated in the very center of the city. Connecting the Square of Catalonia with the port of Barcelona, everything in this boulevard is made for the tourists, including amazing cafes, inviting shops, fancy souvenirs, pleasant boulevard views and cozy hotels. It even possesses a lively market full of fresh fruit. Be sure to ramble along the La Rambla Street, as it is the best place to find the perfect souvenir. The incredible atmosphere can be enjoyed throughout the year, but be warned as the pleasant music and relaxing spirit may make you spend more money than you intended. Also beware of pickpockets who often take advantage of the popular tourist spot. In short, La Rambla Street is tons of fun and definitely worth a visit as one of the loudest and liveliest spots in Barcelona to get the full city experience.

Tibidabo Mountain

Tibidabo Mountain is the last place on our must-see list, but surely it is not the lowest in priority. It could even the make the top of your list if you prefer stunning views. From the 512-meters observation deck of the Tibidabo Mountain, you’ll be able enjoy all of Barcelona in one incredible go.

Some tourists are unsure if it is worth going to the Tibidabo top. If you are still hesitating, you should know that the Tibidabo mountain offers anything you could possibly look for in one place: an amusement park, the temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Temple de Sagrat Cor), abundant, wild nature and, of course, the spectacular view. The Jesus on top of the gothic-style church is identical to its bigger copy in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. Going to the Tibidabo Mountain peak gives you the chance to ride an attraction in one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, or take a ride to the top of the mountain in the old funicular, which has been running for over 110 years.

For Art Lovers

Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (MACBA).

Although the idea of gathering contemporary art collections was born in 1959, the Museum of Contemporary Art was only just recently founded in the year 1995. It has quickly become one of the most popular places for young people and both tourists and locals. More than 5 thousand pieces of art are constantly situated in the Museum, the oldest of which date back to the middle of last century. Contemporary exhibitions are changed every 3-4 months.

Besides the museum works and exhibitions, the Museum of Contemporary Art hosts many different types of social events. Education is just one vein of the Museum`s development, and holds a Study Center inside, which started its work in 2007. The MACBA also contains a Library Reading Room where visitors are invited to enjoy books and original publications. You may even approach archives of MACBA collections in Special Collections Room. Moreover the Museum of Contemporary Art suggest its visitors take part in guided tours, different seminars and lectures and the other opportunities of informal education. To those unfamiliar with contemporary art, the pieces may seem rather unusual. However, for those who love this style, the MACBA would be considered a paradise.

Picasso Museum

Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, who spent most time of his life in France, is considered to be among the most popular in the whole world. He began drawing early in his childhood and it is said that the first word of small Pablo was “piz” (“lapiz” means “pencil” in Spanish). Although Picasso is world-known as a painter, he is also a great sculptor, ceramicist, playwright, poet and even stage designer. His main intention was to open a museum of modern art in the biggest city of Catalonia. This is why there are mostly masterpieces gathered in this museum that were created during Pablo`s formatting period from 1895 to 1904.  You will have a chance to know more about modern art and this extraordinary person in the Picasso museum in Barcelona, where Pablo was living for some time. Management of the Picasso Museum aims to spread knowledge of modern art all over the planet and to make it more accessible. Therefore, you may see works of Pablo Picasso in many different art exhibitions. Although a highlight, the Picasso Museum is not only about his pieces of art. Different temporary exhibitions take place in the Museum all year round and are a bonus to those visiting the Picasso Museum.

Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona (CCCB)

The glass-made building of the Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona is a landmark on its own. Although the Culture Centre does not have its own collection, many peculiar exhibitions take place inside it such as expositions about Africa and Humanity – the most popular event that took place there last year. Basically, the CCCD is a space for contemporary exhibitions of creative people, for research and new creations, and also for debates and discussions about the modern culture. There is one caveat to know before visiting the Centre – most of these brilliant exhibitions are in Spanish! So be prepared for this if you don’t know the language. One of the main goals of the CCCB is to create conditions for dialogue between artists, professionals and non-governmental communities, as they believe that it is more efficient to create real values of art and education with a professional team.

Let the Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona inspire you!

CosmoCaixa (Museu de la Ciencia CosmoCaixa)

If you are fan of science you should definitely go to the CosmoCaixa. It is an amazing 6-story scientific and educational museum in the center of Catalonia where you are guaranteed to never be bored. The CosmoCaixa is a real temple of human knowledge about our environment. One of the largest expositions of the museum is dedicated to the Amazon River. The main object is a huge Selva tree that is 7 square meters around and possesses a huge root system situated under a glass roof. Visitors may see a smaller Selva tree and come to learn about vitamin D that is created by our body with the help of the Sun. Besides that, you may observe imitations of tropical wildlife and underwater creatures. In the planetarium you may see extraterrestrial life. The CosmoCaixa is especially interesting for children who always have a lot of questions about the environment. It 100% is worth dedicating an entire day to the museum.

The CosmoCaixa is situated on the way back from Tibidabo. If you have limited time, you may visit these two landmarks in one day.

Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Música Catalana is one of the Catalan modernista-style buildings in Barcelona and, because of its magnificent style, earned the title of a UNESCO heritage building. Not only is the Palau de la Musica Catalana a stylish building, it is also a concert hall. The Palau de la Musica Catalana was built in the beginning of the XX century when it fashionable to build grandiose choral halls; No wonder it won a prestigious award from the City Council in 1909. If you wish, you may attend a performance, which is a great opportunity to have a romantic evening, or just one more reason to treat yourself to something spectacular. The acoustics are incredible inside and even if you have neither the time nor desire to listen to an entire musical performance, it is possible to have guided tour inside. As it is still a concert hall, you will have the bonus of hearing some wonderful organ music at the end of your tour. This is must see place for all those who love architecture and music!

Casa Vicens

Barcelona is a perfect city for future architects, as you will soon discover the mix of different styles the city is made up of thanks to the prominent architects who were inspired by Catalonia.

The Casa Vicens is the work of Antoni Gaudi who is considered to be the most talented architect of Barcelona, and marks the beginning of the huge architectural heritage that Antoni Gaudi left behind. The structure was technically built in Art Nouveau style, which is a kind of modernism architecture style. However, it is not easy to attribute the building to any single, true style, because its creator enjoyed experimenting with different architectural features. This explains why a building, while being built in the modernist style, still has elements of oriental, neoclassical and even Arabic patterns. The Casa Vicens is important for Barcelona because it has become the first building of the new stage of Gaudi modernism architecture. The exterior of the Casa Vicens is amazing simply due to the sheer amount of detail it contains. Inside is also a museum that will keep you enraptured for a few hours, so it is encouraged to enjoy both inside and outside!

The Saint Paul Hospital (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau)

The building of the former Saint Paul Hospital is yet another site in Barcelona that has been labeled a UNESCO Heritage building. It was a real functioning hospital until 2009 when a new hospital was built next to it. The original building of the Saint Paul Hospital has become a cultural place since 2014 containing both the National Library of Catalonia, as well as the art school.

Buying a ticket gives you access to inside all 7 Hospital buildings and a beautiful park zone that enhances the hospital’s pleasant atmosphere. The Hospital received an award from the Catalonian Government in 1991. It is a 5-10 minutes walk from the Sagrada Familia unfinished temple so you may visit both architectural monuments in one day. The hospital makes for a nice stop, as there are fewer tourists who visit.

Maritime Museum (Museu Marítim)

Barcelona has always been a maritime city, so it comes as no surprise that it has a museum of that topic. The Maritime Museum, also known as a ship museum, is extremely interesting for those intrigued by anything marine. The museum is located in the place where the Drassanes shipyard used to be. You may explore the full maritime history of Catalonia and there are several main attractions in the museum – the ship model, the collection of navigational instruments and the collection of Gallions figures. You’ll mostly see sailing ships from XIX century, but the biggest feature of the museum is the reproduction of the Galleon – an impressive, full sized addition to your tour. Visit the museum after your walk along La Rambla Street – it is situated at the end of this street.

The Triumph Arch (Arc de Triomf)

You may visit the Triumph Arches in many European cities, and Barcelona is no exception. This is your chance to take a photo with the famous Arch if you are in Barcelona! Barcelona’s “Arc de Triomf” was created in 1888 by the talented modernist architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. It was built as the main entrance of the Barcelona World Fair, unlike the other Triumph Arches that were built as symbols of victories in significant wars. The Arch was built in Neo-Mudéjar style, which is quite common in Catalonia. The brick facade of the Arch has the inscription: “Barcelona rep les nacions,” which means: “Barcelona welcomes the nations.” During sunset, the Arch looks especially impressive, as it is lit from all sides.

The Triumph Arch is situated at the street on the way to the Ciutadella Park, so visiting the Arch is really just a bonus feature to the wonderful natural landmark. You may also listen to the many street musicians and watch performers who often surround the Arch.

National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC or Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya)

The Palau Nacional of Montjuic was built in classicism style in 1929 for the International Exposition. The National Art Museum of Catalonia is located inside it now, but the building, which is situated on top of a hill, is art object by itself. There is a long staircase that begins close to the Spanish Square and leads to the main entrance of the museum. Along the way up, the staircase boasts wonderful scenery, making it especially popular during in the evening when you may meet many couples enjoying the romantic music of a busker. If you go inside the museum, you will find a rich collection of medieval masterpieces. Although modern style art is widely popular in Barcelona, one of the most stunning collections of Romanesque mural paintings is located in the museum of the National Art. Moreover, there are beautiful works of Gaudi, art in Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles and photo collections. So, as it seems, there are plenty of reasons to visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia, even besides the art!

Outdoor Attractions

Walk along La Barceloneta

La Barceloneta is a luxury quarter of Barcelona and is located in the central coastal zone. Due to the wonderful, sandy beaches it boasts along the coast, it is a favorite neighborhood for tourists and is one of the most crowded during the summer season. Besides lying on the Barceloneta beaches, there are many other things to do in the area that most are unaware of.

The Barcelona or Hotel Vela can be seen from the entire seafront of La Barceloneta. The hotel is considered to be a landmark of the city for its high-tech architecture – it is fully made of glass and is built in the shape of a sail. If you feel inspired to take a stroll around the neighbourhood, visit the Historical Museum of Catalonia. On the way, you’ll be able to spot the Clock Tower, which was redesigned from the old lighthouse. Because of its coastal location, La Barceloneta has always been an area for fishermen, so, it is highly encouraged to try an incredibly fresh order of paella, the national dish, in one of the cafes. If you would rather just see fish instead of eat them, you have the chance to observe 1000’s of live fish at the biggest Aquarium in Europe, which is also located within La Barceloneta.

Royal Plaza (Plaça Reial)

One of the most beautiful plazas in Barcelona is situated in the Gothic Quarter next to the popular street La Rambla. While walking around the historical part of Barcelona, it is worthwhile to visit the Royal Plaza. However, keep in mind that the Royal Plaza is a meeting point in central Barcelona, so if you’re trying to spot a new friend or find a tour guide, be sure to know what they look like! The Royal Plaza is a pleasurable place, but is also incredibly touristy at the same time. You will find fancy cafes and nightclubs there, but be aware that prices are not cheap. The Plaza itself, however, is free to visit, so place yourself under a palm tree and relax for some time while enjoying the flowing water in the center. In addition, many of the Barcelona Free Walking Tours meet there, so feel free to tag along if you spot one.

Carretera de les Aigües

Carretera de les Aigues is a famous walking route in Barcelona, with 20kms of path to explore. The hiking trail is situated in the Collserola nature park in the mountain of the same name, and is also open to bikes. The view from Collserola Mountain to the Barcelona and Tibidabo Mountain is stunning, so go to the top for sure! If you are not fond of physical activity, you may reach the top of the Carretera de les Aigues by car, bus, or train and then take a funicular. For those who are going to visit the observation deck by car, it is advisable to visit the place during any working day, because it might be impossible to find a parking spot during the weekend. A favorite place for runners and cyclists, it is planned to extend Carretera de les Aigues to connect the other surrounding hiking trails.

Plaza Espanya (Plaça d'Espanya)

Plaza Espanya was built for the International Exhibition, which took place in 1929 in the National Museum of Catalonia (also built for the same purpose). The Plaza is the located at the junction of 4 major streets. There is unified architectural style of all the buildings in the Plaza Espanya: the Venetian Towers, the Arena, the Fira de Barcelona and so on. The Venetian Towers lead the way to the National Museum of Catalonia. On the way to museum, you often see various trade fairs. Very close to the Plaza Espanya you will find the park named after the painter Joan Miro, whose statue is situated in the middle. There is a beautiful fountain in the center of the Plaza and it makes for a great snapshot with the National Museum in the background. The Arena, built in 1900 for the purpose of bullfights inside, is currently used as a fashionable shopping center.

Montjuic Hill (Parc de Montjuic)

You may get to Montjuic Hill by bus, metro, car or even by funicular, so you’ll be able to choose your own way of reaching the famous hill and the attractions you’ll visit there. Did you know that the Summer Olympic Games were held in Barcelona? The Olympic village was situated on Montjuic Hill. Even if you haven’t been in any Olympic Games, you will have the chance to visit the Joan Antoni Samaranch Olympic and Sports Museum. This museum is a real godsend for sports amateurs! One other major sporting event took place in the Montjuic hill in 1975 – the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix.

Besides the sports attractions, you may be interested in visiting the botanical garden, the museum of ethnology, the modern art museum named after Joan Miro and the archeological museum, which is located in the National Museum of Catalonia. Those who are curious about the Catalan history should visit the Montjuic Castle. Enjoy the spectacular view of all of Barcelona. If you wait until evening, you’ll be able to watch the amazing fountain show with musical accompaniment.
With so much to do, it is worth spending the whole day at Montjuic Hill.

Bunker del Carmel

Bunker del Carmel offers yet another panoramic view of Barcelona, but from the vantage point of Rovira Hill. The bunkers were built on the hill during the Spanish Civil War in order to defend civilians from attacks. There is no longer a shelter at Bunker del Carmel, but the site has remained as a historical landmark. There is no roof at the viewpoint, so it is better to go the bunker during the evening in summer. Then, it is not so hot, and you may watch the wonderful sunset. What a brilliant idea to have a romantic picnic or meet with friends to witness the 360-degree panoramic view of Barcelona!

The only drawback of the Bunker del Carmel viewpoint is that it is not as accessible in comparison to the other attractions and observation decks in Barcelona due to its location in the El Carmel district. On the other hand, this place not nearly as crowded as the Tibidabo and Montjuic viewpoints.

If you visit the viewpoint on your first day in Barcelona, it may help you plan your trip around the city.

Parc de la Ciutadella

Parc de la Ciutadella was the only green zone in the entire city for many years, so it is considered to be Barcelona’s first park. It is situated in the Old Town along with the Barceloneta neighbourhood. However, Parc de la Ciutadella is not simply a park! Inside you will find several museums, an artificial lake, a zoo and even the House of the Catalonian Parliament built in baroque style. The Museum of Geology is also located there and it is the oldest one in Barcelona. You may also visit the Museum of Zoology.

Aside from its natural beauty, the Parc de la Ciutadella also has an important historical context. In was created in the place of a medieval Ciutadella that was built during the War of the Spanish Succession. In order to subordinate the Catalan people, Spanish king Felipe V ordered them to build the Ciutadella. Eventually, Catalonia lost its national sovereignty in that war, the Ciutadella was demolished, and the Parc has become a popular tourist attraction. The International Exhibition in Barcelona was held in the Parc de la Ciutadella and is the same park that is guarded by Triumphal Arch, which was also constructed for the Exhibition.

Do not forget to take a photo with the giant mammoth!

Montserrat (Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey)

The Montserrat monastery is a popular spiritual place and is found outside of Barcelona about 48 km away in the Montserrat Mountains. The main reason why the monastery is so popular is because it is situated in a wonderful location among serrated mountain peaks (it explains the name “Montserrat”), with a breathtaking view that stretches to the Catalan coast. About 80 monks still live in the abbey, but there are also places for visiting pilgrims inside the Montserrat. The Black Madonna statue inside the Montserrat monastery is a gorgeous feature as well. Music lovers will appreciate the boys’ choir named L’Escolania, and everyone may listen to them in the Basilica of Montserrat. History experts have a chance to increase their level of knowledge by visiting the museum dedicated to the monastery, as it delves into its history as a religious and spiritual place.

Many people decide not to visit Montserrat because of a distance, but if you can, stay an extra day in Catalonia to make it out there, as it is well worth the trip. If it is sunny out, take a train or go by car, then use the cableway. Visit Montserrat, and you will remember that spectacular trip for the rest of your life!

Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanico de Barcelona)

The Botanical garden is a lovely place in Barcelona and isn’t quite as popular as some of the other attractions the city has to offer. Visit the Botanical garden with the other landmarks on Montjuic Hill. The best seasons to visit the Botanical gardens are spring and summer as the trees and flowers are flourishing and their enticing scents fill the air. You will discover different types of plants that grow in countries with Mediterranean climate zones, and they are divided into areas according to the country it grows in. There are plants from California and Latin America, Australia, Chile and even the Canary islands. The favorite attractions of tourists in the garden are the “bee hostel” and the collection of bonsai trees. For those fond of biology, it would be very valuable to visit the Botanical Garden, as it is a real journey into the area’s plant and wildlife.

Keep in mind that if you are going to use public transportation, you should be prepared to have a bit of a walk to the entrance. In the meantime though, you’ll have spectacular views of Barcelona.

Parc de Cervantes

Barcelona is full of parks and natural attractions. The Parc de Cervantes is situated in the Pedralbes district and is outside the central part of the city. Let’s find out what makes people visit the Parc de Cervantes!

First, try to imagine this – more than 245 types of roses grow in the Parc de Cervantes, similar to a botanical garden or even a natural museum, but out in the open air. Many women love to visit this park, as the rose flower is a symbol of love and tenderness and it conjures up a romantic mood. There are over 10,000 rose bushes to see! No wonder, the Parc de Cervantes launched the Barcelona International New Roses Competition for the first time in 2001. Now, the competition takes place in a variety of cities all over the world. Don’t think that the Parc de Cervantes is only a place for roses – It also has a green zone that provides opportunities for jogging, riding a bicycle, playing sports or simply relaxing in a field of soft grass. There are two monuments in the park, but neither of them belong to the Spanish. The only memorial plaque for Cervantes was made in honor of the talented writer of the “Don Quixote”.

Other Interesting Places/Attractions

Visit the St. Antonio Market (mercat de Sant Antoni)

The St. Antonio Market is the most central market in Barcelona. Due to the fact that it was designed in 1882, it is also considered to be one of the oldest in the city. It is named after its creator Antoni Rovira i Trias. Anything you could think of that you might want to buy will almost certainly be found here. Non-food products are sold outside and food is sold inside under the market roof. Drop in to the St.Antonio Market while hungry after walking around the Gothic Quarter and La Rambla Street. By buying goods there, you will not only save some money, but will more importantly have the unique opportunity to choose original products. This is your chance to try homemade dishes or buy fresh fruit to sink your teeth into for a tasty snack. Do not forget to bargain a little bit – most of marketers respect clients who know the real prices of their product. In addition, it is a good occasion to talk, and more than a little fun to try. If you visit the St.Antonio market on Sunday, you may choose a second-hand book for a good price, a new stamp for your collection or any other knick-knacks. Keep in mind it is a crowded and a little bit crazy of a place, so beware of pickpockets. Enjoy the shopping!

Jewish Quarter

The Jewish community played a significant role in medieval society in Barcelona, but from the beginning of the XIII century, Christian and Jewish communities had strained relations with each other. So, after 150 years in 1391, more than 300 Jewish people were killed as a result of attack from the Christian community. The King named the Montjuic Mountain after the Jewish cemetery, which became located on the hill. The name, consisting of two words “mont” (mountain) and “jew” (Jewish), literally means “the Jewish Mountain.” The naming of the hill drew an official end to the Jewish quarter in Barcelona.

The remains of the Jewish quarter are also known as “El Call” quarter, which means “little street”. It is situated in the Gothic quarter. The most memorable place in this area of Barcelona is the ancient Sinagoga Major, which is the one of the oldest synagogues in Europe. It was finally opened to the public in 2002, and one year after the opening, a Canadian couple were actually married in the over 600 year old place of worship! Wandering in the Jewish quarter you will also find antique shops, but be aware that this place has great historical background. If you want to explore it properly, you should visit a museum or enroll for a tour.

Magic Fountain of Montjuic (Font màgica de Montjuïc)

Carretera de les Aigues is a famous walking route in Barcelona, with 20kms of paths to explore.

The hiking trail is situated in the Collserola natural park in the mountain of the same name, and is also open to bikes.

The view from the Collserola Mountain to the Barcelona and Tibidabo Mountain is stunning so go to the top for sure! If you are not fond of sport activities, you may reach the top of the Carretera de les Aigues by car, bus, or train and then take a funicular. For those who are going to visit the observation deck by car, it is advisable to visit the place during any working day, because it might be impossible to find a parking spot during the weekend.

A favorite place for runners and cyclists, it is planned to extend Carretera de les Aigues to connect the other surrounding hiking trails.

Labyrinth Park of Horta (Parc del Laberint d'Horta)

If you were dreaming of visiting a fairytale, the Labyrinth Park is the right place for you. Alternatively, if you enjoyed the film “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”, a visit is also recommended, as some of the scenes were filmed there and you may recognize certain areas. The Labyrinth Park of Horta is also known as the Horta Labyrinth or Jardins (Gardens) del Laberint d’Horta in Spanish, and originally belonged to the Desvalls family. The garden is not only beautiful, but it also has historical meaning and is located on a slope of the Collserola Mountain. The Labyrinth Park is out of the ordinary because it was created in two different styles belonging to two different centuries – neoclassical and romantic. It is a real open-air museum, which only has the capacity for 750 guests at a time. The maze is both challenging and fun, and is definitely a favourite place for children. Don’t be afraid to get lost amongst its green walls. Besides the stunning park, you may also visit the palace where members of the Desvalls family used to live, and where fancy fountains still spray, pools glisten, springs flow and beautiful statues stand guard. If you visit this place on Sunday, the entrance will be free.

Ride the Ferris Wheel on Tibidabo

Those who are amusement park buffs should definitely visit the one on the Tibidabo Mountain. The Tibidabo amusement park is one of the oldest in the world, celebrating its grand opening in the year 1901. It possesses a charming atmosphere and is filled with smiling people all around. The Ferris wheel is considered to be the most popular attraction in the Tibidabo Park for its spectacular view of the entirety of Barcelona in a single glance. If you have already had a ride on the Ferris wheel, but still are seeking that adrenaline and thrill, take a ride on the red plane. This model of the real plane, which used to fly around Spain, has been situated in the Tibidabo amusement park since 1928 and gives you a chance to “fly” on it – treating you to a similar, breathtaking view of Barcelona like the Ferris wheel. The whole park is a bright and exciting place and you may take as many photos as you have time for – Carpe diem!

The Tibidabo Mountain itself is also awesome to spend time on. You may visit the Sagrat Cor temple on the very top of the mountain, enjoy wonderful views all around, or do sports activities to help work off the churros and incredible Spanish food you’ve no doubt been enjoying.

Take a picture with Botero’s Cat

The story of Fernando Botero`s Cat is even more exciting than the tremendous cat itself! It appeared in Barcelona after it was purchased by the City Council in 1987, but the cat couldn’t find the right place. First, it was installed in the Parc de la Ciutadella beside the real animals, then, the cat was moved to the Olympic Stadium on the Montjuic Hill. That still didn’t seem quite right and so it was moved to decorate the medieval shipyard of Barcelona. Finally Botero`s Cat was moved once more and found its permanent location in 2003 at the end of Rambla del Raval Street, where it quickly took up the role as being the most well-known meeting point of the El Raval district.

Botero`s Cat has become one of the symbols of Barcelona and many climb the cat or try to find their own unique way to take a photo with the landmark. How are you going to take yours?

Visit Colonia Guell (La Colònia Güell)

Colonia Guell is a small town in the suburb of Barcelona, whose concept is very interesting – it actually used to be an autonomous state inside Catalonia, and even possessed its own currency. The town was originally built for workers who were constructing a factory nearby. The Gaudi Crypt serves as a house of prayer there, and is another amazing work from Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who made this masterpiece for his friend Eusebi Guell. Basically, it is an unfinished church, but had it been complete, Gaudi said it “would have been a monumental model of the Segrada Famlilia.” The Crypt columns are extraordinary, and you should pay attention to the windows, which are wonderfully coloured and shaped into intriguing and beautiful patterns. Gaudi had an interesting idea that those praying had to sit turned away from each other so that no one could disturb their prayers.  You may go to the roof of the Gaudi Crypt and get a feeling for the place that would have been the first floor of the church had it been completed.

Go to a Nightclub

Nightlife in Barcelona is vibrant and diverse and you have a huge list of options for where you can go: nightclubs, cafes, pubs, open air cinemas, bars on beaches, parties on rooftops – they all are waiting for you every night. If you want to meet tourists, visit these places on Friday or Saturday, but in order to get acquainted with locals, you should chill out on Sunday. It’s good to keep in mind that some cafes and restaurants have days off on Mondays.  It is simply impossible to describe each nightclub, as the diversity in music, style, and atmosphere is vast so you may want to figure out beforehand which one you think you’d prefer. Many of the clubs are located on La Rambla Street and in the Gothic Quarter. However, if you want to get away from the tourist vibes and experience more local affairs, try to find clubs in districts away from those areas. Cover prices at the nightclubs usually start around 10 euros, but if you are a thrifty person, you may go to a club earlier, when entrance before 11 p.m. is usually cheaper, if not free. Definitely check online before you go.

Use the Barcelona Card

With the Barcelona Card you may move around the city center, visit famous attractions and do many other popular activities in the main city of Catalonia. The Barcelona Card has been recognized to be one of the most profitable offers in all of Europe for visiting tourists. You may buy the Barcelona Card for 2, 3, 4 or even 5 days to assist you in discovering the city. The card gives you the following free services after you’ve paid for your selected number of days:

  • Guidebook of Barcelona, city map and metro map.
  • Public transportation: metro, buses, trams, FGC, trains in zone 1 and the train to the airport.
  • Lot of offers and deals on tours, food and other activities.

Visiting museums are not free, even for the Barcelona Cardholders, but you may have a discount for more than 80 different places, such as museums, entertainment and cultural places, venues of leisure, comfortable cafes and restaurants, shops and so on. Basically, you may choose the type of the Barcelona Card that would be the most efficient for you depending on quantity of days you are going to stay in the city, what are you going to visit in Barcelona and whether you are going to visit venues at night or not.

Important to note is that the airport bus is not included into the Barcelona Card services, but you may use the train to reach it instead.

Use a T10 Ticket

The T10 ticket is another way to save money and it time takes to stand in line to buy transportation tickets for around Catalonia. It gives you a chance to make 10 trips (no longer than 1 hour 15 minutes each) within zone 1 where the most popular attractions are located. If you want to, you may also get T10 ticket for the other transport zones.

In comparison to the Barcelona Card, T10 ticket only provides you the opportunity to use public transportation, but for much cheaper and without the hassle of lineups for those without tickets. Another bonus of the T10 ticket is that you are able to share it amongst your friends and travel partners whereas the Barcelona Card is under your name. So, nine friends of yours may use your T10 ticket after you’re done with it! Moreover, you may use your T10 ticket around the clock and at any point – It will expire January the next year after you bought it.

You may buy the T10 ticket at any metro station in Barcelona.

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