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Ten Best Things in Barcelona

What to Do When you Visit Barcelona, Spain

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**This page has now been superceded by the far superior 100 Things to Do in Barcelona, written by Barcelona travel writer Paul Cannon**

On this page you'll find my top ten things I think every visitor to Barcelona should do. Each of these suggestions will take up half a day, so there's plenty to keep you occupied here.

Many of the sights mentioned here are free with the Barcelona Card.

See also:

1. Visit La Sagrada Familia and Hospital de Sant Pau

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
© Damian Corrigan

Two of Barcelona's best sights are just five minutes' walk from each other.

Most visitors to Sagrada Familia head straight for the metro station of the same name. But the more knowledgeable tourist instead heads up to the Hospital de Sant Pau at the Sant Pau Dos de Maig stop. This fully working hospital is built in the modernist design that Barcelona is so famous for.

Once you've seen the hospital, walk down Avinguda de Gaudi to see La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's famous unfinished basilica.

Read more about: Sagrada Familia and Hospital de Sant Pau

2. Wander Down Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas in Barcelona
© Damian Corrigan

Las Ramblas is Barcelona's most famous street. Check out the street performers, take a look at the interesting architecture, see a show, or stop for a beer and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

See also: Ten Best Things to Do on Las Ramblas

3. Walk Around the Gothic Quarter

The Barri Gotic is Barcelona's most famous district. Its narrow streets charm all visitors to the city. My favorite streets are those between Placa Reial and the seafront.

See also: Top Ten Things to Do in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona

4. Take a Day Trip to Montserrat

Montserrat, Catalonia
© Damian Corrigan

Montserrat is a stunning jagged mountain about half an hour outside of Barcelona. There is a famous monastery here and some great hiking trails.

See more Pictures of Montserrat

5. Explore El Born

After you've explored Las Ramblas and the Barri Gotic, on the other side you have El Born.

 

The most popular reason to be in El Born is to visit the Picasso museum, but there is much more to see than just that. The narrow streets are as interesting as those of Barri Gotic and there are some excellent wine bars around the Basilica de Santa Maria.

See also: Things to Do in El Born in Barcelona

6. Check Out El Raval

The Raval was Barcelona's seedy quarter in years gone by - but the city has done its best to clean it up and now it's got a lot of sights of its own to boast of. The music shops on Carrer dels Tallers, the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and some excellent restaurants await you.

See also: Ten Things to Do in Raval

7. Climb Up Montjuic

Montjuic is the big hill (or is it a mountain?) that looms over Barcelona from the south-west. The national art gallery is there, as is the Olympic stadium and the Joan Miro foundation.

 

Get there by cable car, funicular or on foot.

See also: Ten Things to Do in Montjuic

8. Look Down on the City from Tibidabo

Then there's the even bigger mountain to the north of the city. The views from here are astounding. There are also some rides for the kiddies and an interesting church to see. Plus, you can walk or cylce in the Caserola park.

 

Read more about Ten Things to Do in Tibidabo

9. Visit the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres

Salvador Dali Museum, Figueres
© Damian Corrigan

The Dali Museum in Figueres is a pain to get to - it's more than two hours away from Barcelona (and there's nothing much else there to see - it's the museum, and that's it). But it is truly worth it. The museum itself is a work of art and the Dali works on display are mind-blowing.

See more pictures of Salvador Dali Museum, Figueres

10. Check out the 'Barrios' of Eixample and Gracia

Gracia was once a separate village, until it was connected to Barcelona by the nineteenth-century Eixample development. Now these two areas are very different from each other and are relatively free of tourists.

 

Walking up from Plaza Catalunya, first you have the middle-class Eixample district. Big buildings, wide avenues and lots of Modernist architecture.

Then everything closes in and you're in Gracia, with its small streets and interesting plazas. This is the most Spanish of neighbourhoods and is an essential stop for a visitor to Barcelona.

Read more about the Things to do in the Eixample and Things to Do in Gracia

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