Founded almost 2000 years ago, cosmopolitan Barcelona has a magnetic cultural charm that remains unbroken with time. Fiercely individual, Barcelona is the city of midday siestas and vibrant fiestas, making it a much-loved vacation destination. Take in the fantastically surreal Sagrada Familia church, designed by none other than Antoni Gaudi. Don’t miss the Plaça de Catalunya where all Barcelona’s important avenues meet, setting the scene for the perfect ending - or in the topsy turvy style of Gaudi - beginning, of your Barcelona tour.
Things to do in Barcelona, Spain
A stroll down Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most vibrant and busy pedestrian boulevard, is the perfect way to soak up the vivacious ambience of the city. Starting from La Plaça de Catalunya, with its legendary fountain, down to the Rambla de Mar by the sea, you’ll be overwhelmed by the extraordinary energy of street performers, sellers and tourists alike on Barcelona’s most lively street.
As one of the Mediterranean’s busiest ports, there are endless vibrant bars, beach side cafes and restaurants, but it’s the diversity of history that you might not be aware of on your Barcelona visit. Romans, Arabs and Christians have all dominated Barcelona over time and traces of these eras are apparent in the central Gothic Quarter and its cathedral which were built on Roman ruins or the Art Nouveau Eixample district.
If there is one Gaudi building you must see in Barcelona, it is his mesmerising and final, unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. Created to stand as the “last great sanctuary of Christendom”, the Cathedral has been in the making for over a hundred and twenty years and it is likely to be completed in 2026.
When you’re wandering around the bay area of Barcelona, it is impossible to miss the Columbus Monument. Built in 1856, the 60-metre high statue recalls the moment Columbus docked into Barcelona’s port and rushed to inform Queen Isabella that he had discovered the Americas. The Columbus Monument is a lively and rich way of celebrating Columbus’ fame and world-changing discovery.
As you travel Barcelona, sample the city’s history through what they do best; art. Many museums are peppered throughout Barcelona, including the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. Though, you may find that the past is best evoked through the far ranging and obscure architecture in Barcelona.
Follow in the footsteps of Spain’s most famous artist, Picasso, at the Picasso Museum, which houses over 3,800 pieces of his work. Chronologically laid out, you can trace his journey from his traditional portraits as a conscientious child, melancholic blue period of his early twenties and his trademark, avant-garde cubism.