Published on February 27, 2014 | by Daniela1
Top 10 Must-Sees in Barcelona
For some time now Barcelona is no longer a simple tourist destination to me, and I don’t believe I am the only one who thinks so. A first trip to Barcelona brings with it the desire to discover a city described as wonderful, full of tradition and modernity, great food, and hundreds of different things to do and see all day, every day.
Nevertheless, the first trip to Barcelona also brings with it a strong desire to return as soon as possible to savor the things left halfway done and find out those that, for lack of time, were necessary to leave behind from the previous travel plan.
And therefore I myself, like millions of travellers around the world, go back and return to Barcelona to discover its many realities, and every time I feel honored by this magical city, that offers its streets full of beauty, its great architecture hidden among discrete buildings, the Mediterranean warmth of its people and the festive atmosphere that completely surrounds it.
Now then, if you have already purchased your flight to Barcelona and you realize that the time you have decided to spend there is rather short, don’t be discouraged, you have two valid alternatives: either extend your stay or visit as much as possible calmly and start planning your next trips in the City of Dreams. In the meantime, a good start would be taking a look at this list of the top 10 must-sees in Barcelona.
More than the City of Dreams, Barcelona is known as the City of Gaudi. The reason is simple: Barcelona is famous for the fantastic architectures designed by the Spanish architect, his buildings are scattered throughout the city center and they are undoubtedly a major attraction. The most famous ones are located on Passeig de Gràcia, and are La Pedrera and Casa Batllo. But also precious and unforgettable are Park Güell (especially if it’s not raining!) and the majestic Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s legendary unfinished temple.
A tip: if you do not have much time to spend hours in queue at the entrance, then settle only for the façade which will not make your visit vain, because the inside even though impressive, will always leave a bit disappointed those who… have just seen the outside! Even better, enjoy a comfortable and fascinating Gaudi Tour, in addition to being sure of not missing the best, you will also have guaranteed priority access thanks to the “jump the queue” system.
Let’s move on. La Rambla. La Rambla is not an attraction, it is an avenue that leads from Plaza de Catalunya to the foot of the statue of Columbus, but is full of tidbits, both extraordinary and attractive. Therefore, La Rambla is actually a must-see attraction, with its mimes and flower stalls that sell seeds of rare plants and marijuana, with the Canaletes fountain, Miró’s mosaic, Casa Cuadros, the Liceu Theatre, and of course Placa de Catalunya and the Mirador de Colon. And always on the Rambla, at no. 91, is an attraction in itself the beautiful La Boqueria Market, a large iron building with colorful vegetable, fish, meat and dessert stands, all immaculately kept and often lead by women in traditional costume.
Nearby, on the right side of La Rambla looking towards Plaça de Catalunya, is the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, full of bookshops and antique shops, bars and restaurants. The neighborhood is home to the Barcelona Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Eulalia and the Holy Cross, the lively Placa Reial and the unmissable permanent museum dedicated to Picasso in Carrer Montcada.
La Barceloneta, instead, is the old fishermen’s quarter, remained the same as it was after the 1992 Olympics that have upgraded the entire harbor area. This is the place where you go to eat fish, as well as “Pan y Tomate” (bread and tomatoes) and “bombas“, a spicy potato croquette filled with meat. It is also the beach area of the city, where it is great to watch the street artists who dabble with sand castles and walking in good company at sunset.
From the beach of Barceloneta a funicular leads up to Montjuïc, one of two hills located outside central Barcelona (the other is Tibidabo). One of the tourist attractions on the hill is the Palau Nacional which houses the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) and at the center of the square on the opposite side, do not miss the Magic Fountain, a great show of music and lights. Always in the area of Montjuïc, an interesting place to visit, especially if you are traveling with your children, is the Poble Espanyol, a strange village created in 1929 to mimic the different regional Spanish architecture styles, full of shops and craft shops.
The more sporty ones, as well as stocking up on hats, socks and jerseys of the legendary FC Barcelona at the various stalls (only to find out that many shops around the city sell the original brand at few more euros,) certainly will not want to miss Camp Nou – the FC Barcelona stadium. You can buy an online tour of the Camp Nou starting from € 23, which will allow you to trace the history of the club and the players who have made the history of this great team, visit the Museum with new interactive walls (the most-visited museum of Catalonia before the Dalí and Picasso museum), and buy your gadgets, strictly original, at the FC Botiga Megastore located at access 9 of the stadium.
Another very enjoyable tour, this time dedicated to less secular topics, is the Tour of Montserrat, one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the whole of Spain, home of the famous Virgin Moreneta. A visit to the picturesque villages of the province and an amazing arrival at the imposing Montserrat mountain, which rises to a height of 1,235 meters.
As the list of must-see attractions is still very long, I would finish off with a less demanding visit to the Aquarium of Barcelona in Port Vell, which has nothing to do with Valencia’s Oceanogràfic, but is still a beautiful experience especially for the little ones. And, after the Aquarium, enjoy a white chocolate Donut with a hot creamy Caramel Flan Latte sitting comfortably on the terrace of Starbucks in the nearby Maremàgnum shopping center, watching the boats returning to the harbor while your magical day in Barcelona draws to an end.