If you’re looking for a city that combines a relaxed, laidback lifestyle with a forward-thinking mindset and a flair for the unusual, Barcelona is the place to go.
Throughout the city, you’ll find a range of places to shop and eat – including some excellent spots that aren’t always the first choice of tourists. Then there’s nightlife, which is sure to keep you coming back for more!
If you have ever been to Barcelona, it’s likely that you’ve strolled along Las Ramblas at some point. This 1.2km stretch is a major thoroughfare in the city and it’s packed with street performers, souvenir stands, local vendors and restaurants.
One of the most famous attractions on La Ramblas is the iconic Pla de l’Os mosaic by Spanish contemporary art legend Joan Miro. You’ll also find the city’s most famous opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
One of Barcelona’s top-rated attractions, Poble Espanyol is an open-air architectural museum that focuses on the diversity of Spanish culture. Designed to mirror an authentic Spanish village, it features 117 buildings and monuments from across the country including palaces, stately homes, religious edifices, squares and pleasant streets.
During the day, it’s a great place to stroll, and there are plenty of shops offering traditional Spanish crafts like weaving baskets, embroidering and blowing glass. In the evenings, there are concerts, flamenco shows and more!
Designed by Antoni Gaudi, Sagrada Familia is one of the world’s most famous landmarks and is a must see on any Barcelona trip. It was first built in 1882 but is currently slated to be completed in 2026, the centenary of Gaudi’s death.
Ingenious design details abound within the church’s intricate architecture. Soldiers with six toes, babies in the womb, turtles carrying jambs and even faces of dead citizens can all be found embedded within the stone of Sagrada Familia’s facades.
Gaudi’s lavish use of geometric patterns echoes through the windows, vaults and roof of the cathedral. He also designed four columns in the centre to honour the Evangelists, each with a symbol representing Matthew, Luke, Mark and John.
Arc de Triomf
The Arc de Triomf, or Triumphal Arch, is one of Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks. It’s situated near the El Borne neighborhood, a popular tourist area.
It’s also easy to get to from many of the city’s hotels. It’s a red brick structure that crosses over the Promenade Passeig de Lluis Companys, a grand pedestrian boulevard.
Built for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair, this neo-Mudejar arch (an architectural style with Moorish origins) was designed by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. Its sides were decorated with sculptures by various Catalan artists.
La Boqueria Market
La Boqueria Market is one of the most famous markets in the world and is an absolute must visit for food lovers. It is packed with produce, meats, cheeses and finished goods that will satisfy even the most hungry visitors!
The stalls are brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, cheeses, olive oils and sweet and savory treats. And the best part is that it is totally free to enter!
The awe-inspiring displays are gorgeous and the cafes are engaging, filled with locals eating delicious dishes. So grab some snacks and walk around the stalls to get some great shots.
L’Eixample, Barcelona’s newest district, is a thriving area with modernist architecture and plenty of cafes and restaurants. It also has a lot to offer tourists, including Gaudi’s masterpieces and the UNESCO-listed Sagrada Familia church.
One of the best ways to explore Eixample is by walking along the famous Passeig de Gracia, a grand avenue that is lined with modernist buildings (la Casa Mila and la Casa Batllo). Another good place to start is the Centre del Modernisme, a one-stop information point on the modernist movement.
Other attractions in this part of the city include family-friendly options like La Rambla and Barcelona Aquarium and Zoo. To make the most of your stay, book a vacation rental near L’Eixample.