Top places to visit in Barcelona
We compiled the first 1,000 results in Google to create the ultimate list of places to visit in Barcelona
20 best places to visit in Barcelona
Which are the top places to visit in Barcelona? We checked and analyzed the top 1,000 travel websites in the world to find out the best places to visit in Barcelona. One hint: it’s not what you would expect.
Below we uncover some interesting findings.
Best places to visit in Barcelona: Our Key Findings
1,000 Google results later, we’ve finally found the 20 top things to do in Barcelona! According to our research, these are the can't-miss monuments and places that should be at the top of your list for a trip to this amazing city.
Yes, iconic Barcelona landmarks like Sagrada Familia and Camp Nou made it to the list, but other less likely places to be considered by the regular tourist also made it.
Now, let’s look at each one of them.
1. Montjuic (10.51% of the mentions)
Not surprisingly, Montjuic mountain, one of Barcelona’s tourist hotspots made it to the top of the list. And for a good reason! Montjuic has breathtaking views and it's also home to some of Barcelona's best museums and attractions. So, if you're wondering what all the fuss is about, check this list of things to do and see in Montjuic:
- Montjuic Castle: This former military fortress sits at the top of the mountain, offering breathtaking 360º views of Barcelona.
- Montjuic Cable Car: Take the journey to the top of Montjuic mountain whilst you enjoy unmatched views of the city’s most emblematic monuments.
- Magic Fountain: Built for the 1929 International Exhibition, it’s a display of music, water and light that has been thrilling audiences for almost 100 years.
- Anella Olímpica: At Montjuic you can find Barcelona’s Olympic Park, featuring the most important venues used for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
2. Park Güell (10.21% of the mentions)
We were not particularly surprised to see one of Gaudí’s masterpieces and Barcelona’s most iconic park at number 2. The stunning, 17 hectare Park Guell was shaped, built and decorated by the catalan architect by the turn of the 20th century.
The fairy-tale-like park features Gaudí’s most outrageous works, from tilted columns that defy gravity, to sinuous and colorful shapes inspired by nature and religion. Not to miss is the famous dragon sculpture, one of the symbols of Park Güell.
3. Sagrada Familia (9.31% of the mentions)
Although it made it to the Top 3, we were a bit shocked not to see this monument at the top of the best places to visit in Barcelona. Not only is it Spain’s most visited landmark, but Sagrada Familia is Gaudí’s most emblematic work. The inside of Sagrada Familia is an experience for the senses, resembling a tall and slender concrete forest under a fantastic display of light and color.
The yet unfinished temple -set to be completed in the near future – will feature 18 towers, one of which (dedicated to Jesus Christ), will be the tallest structure in Barcelona, reaching up to 170 meters.
4. Casa Batlló (8.71% of the mentions)
It's a no brainer that Casa Batlló, one of Gaudi's most amazing creations made it to the Top 5 most Googled Barcelona attractions.
A remarkable and unique modernist façade combined with one of the most innovative visits in Barcelona make this landmark a must-see.
You will enjoy a sensorial tour of this remarkable house, with access to the famous Dragon Rooftop and the state-of-the-art “Gaudi Cube”, a stunning immersive experience featuring over 1,000 LED screens.
5. Las Ramblas (6.31% of the mentions)
Mostly avoided by locals, who shy away from the big crowds and high prices, but there’s no denying that Las Ramblas, aptly called the most famous street in Barcelona, is a top place to visit in the city. It runs through Plaça Catalunya all the way down to Columbus monument, by the seafront.
The 0,8 mile (1,3 Km) long boulevard is packed with (usually pricey) bars and restaurants, street vendors, flower and plant shops, and a very colorful array of human statues and street performers. However, it’s also home to several Barcelona landmarks like the prestigious Liceu Theatre and the Boquería market.
6. Camp Nou (6.01% of the mentions)
Camp Nou Barcelona stadium is home of the FC Barcelona Football Club, one of the world’s most successful clubs.
Those who have experienced a football match or a rock concert at Camp Nou really know what they’re talking about. With a near 100,000 seating capacity, it’s the largest stadium in Europe.
You can see if the hype is real by taking the Camp Nou Tour Experience to walk through the field, locker room, press room and they’re legendary trophies of course.
7. La Pedrera (5.11% of the mentions)
Never in his wildest dreams Gaudí would’ve thought his buildings would end up becoming one of the best places to visit Barcelona. La Pedrera, also known as Casa Milà, it’s an outstanding work that once again, shows an incredible versatility whilst staying true to his own style.
But it wasn’t love at first sight. When inaugurated in 1912, Barcelona residents reacted so negatively to it that for decades it was ridiculed, disliked and criticized. Appreciation came with time and after becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s one of Barcelona’s most beloved icons.
Highlight: the stunning rooftop features amazing views of Passeig de Gràcia with the ever present figures of the chimneys resembling warriors.
8. Palau de la Música Catalana (4.80% of the mentions)
Believe it or not but to a distracted pedestrian walking through El Born neighborhood, the Palau de la Música Catalana might be unnoticed at first sight. Hint: even though it’s so pretty on the outside it’s a million times better on the inside.
This astonishing modernist concert hall is one of the most beautiful in the world and many Barcelona visitors unknowingly skip it. A visit to the interior is strongly recommended, even more so if it managed to land a Top 10 placement on this list.
Highlight: The remarkable stained glass skylight is worth the visit.
9. Parc de la Ciutadella (4.50% of the mentions)
After Park Güell, the Parc de la Ciutadella is the largest public park in the Barcelona center. Even though today is an oasis in the Old City, with plenty of green areas, a big lake, fountains and lovely promenades, it has a dark past.
In 1714, following the surrender of the city after the defeat in the War of the Spanish Succession, a large military fortress was built to control the people. Labeled as “the most hated structure ever in the city” it was finally torn down after 1869 and turned into a public park that hosted the 1888 Universal Exposition.
You can also find the Barcelona Zoo in its grounds.
10. Gothic Quarter (4.20% of the mentions)
Shockingly, the Gothic Quarter, one of the most famous neighborhoods in the catalan capital, barely made the top 10 of the most mentioned places to visit in Barcelona. This charming neighborhood breathes history at every step you take.
This is the place where the origins of Barcelona can be traced, from its Roman remains, to the medieval squares and the narrow streets of the Old Jewish Quarter.
It’s all here, amongst the impressive Barcelona Cathedral, the Plaça Sant Jaume – home of the city council and a hotspot for demonstrations and public events – to the “Els Quatre Gats” café, where painters, artists and intellectuals of Modernist times (such as Picasso and Rusiñol) were frequent clients.
11. Fundació Joan Miró (3.60% of the mentions)
Joan Miró was one of the most acclaimed catalan surrealist painters and sculptors. So, it’s no wonder that the Fundació Joan Miró, a museum exclusively dedicated to his work made the Top 20. A surprise nonetheless, given that not even the famed Picasso Museum Barcelona didn't make the cut.
It’s located at Montjuic Mountain, not far from the Barcelona Olympic Stadium.
12. Museu National d’Art de Catalunya (3.60% of the mentions)
Also located in Montjuic, the MNAC is one of the largest museums in Spain. It is notable for exhibiting mostly catalan art from the romanesque, gothic and baroque period.
Even though its building is quite iconic, it’s quite surprising to find it so high on this list. This is due to the fact that its art exhibits are extremely particular and specific and not as “pop” as the modern art collection at MACBA or the hip Moco Museum Barcelona. neither of them found anywhere amongst the Top 20.
13. Boqueria Market (3.30% of the mentions)
To no wonder, Barcelona’s most touristic and emblematic market is up here with the best places to visit in Barcelona. Formerly an open air market back in the 13th century located outside the borders of the Old City walls, La Boquería Market is a gastronomical experience and a feast for the senses.
It’s a great place to visit if you’re strolling down Las Ramblas, whether to buy fresh produce or indulge in some traditional tapas. Expect big crowds and high prices.
14. Tibidabo Amusement Park (3.30% of the mentions)
Tibidabo Amusement Park is a staple and the oldest amusement park in Barcelona (and the 3rd oldest in Europe), providing great family fun since 1905. It has a “vintage” feel to it, as most of the original rides are still in use, as well as new and modern attractions.
Even if you’re not into amusement parks, the amazing views of Barcelona from Tibidabo mountain and the Collserola telecommunications tower are worth the visit.
15. Casa Vicens (3.30% of the mentions)
We were quite surprised and pleased to see Casa Vicens so high on this list. Not that there’s nothing wrong with Gaudí’s first major project, but Casa Vicens is usually (and unfairly) overlooked by the outstanding Casa Batlló.
Completely different in style compared to his later works, Gaudí found inspiration in oriental, islamic and neo-mudéjar architecture to build a fantastic creation in the Gràcia neighborhood. Casa Vicens definitely has all the features to be amongst the best landmarks in Barcelona.
16. Poble Espanyol (3.00% of the mentions)
Poble Espanyol (Spanish Town in spanish) is an open-air museum featuring close to 120 real-size replicas of some of Spain’s most traditional architecture. You'll get to feel the atmosphere of many different towns of the Iberian Peninsula.
Built for the renowned 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, At this Barcelona location, culture and leisure shake hands, so you can find artisan shops, art galleries, restaurants, live music and events.
17. Sant Pau Recinte Modernista (2.70% of the mentions)
Would you ever guess that this stunning building used to be a hospital? Yes, only in Barcelona. The former Hospital de Sant Pau, built by Lluís Domènech i Montaner (Gaudi's archenemy) functioned as a hospital until 2009. It was fully restored and reopened as a museum and cultural center in 2014.
It is definitely one of the top things to do in Barcelona now.
18. Barcelona Cathedral (2.70% of the mentions)
After Sagrada Familia, the Barcelona Cathedral is the main temple in the city and the seat of the Archbishop. It marks the pathway to the Gothic quarter, dominating the Seu square in full gothic glory, (or should we say, neo-gothic).
Even though its main structure was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the main gothic-style façade, tower and other elements were added by the turn of the 20th century. A great time to see the cathedral (and overall the best time to visit Barcelona) is during La Mercè holiday, the main festivity in Barcelona.
19. Santa Maria del Mar (2.40% of the mentions)
Santa Maria del Mar is another important church and a true gem in the Old City of Barcelona. Also known as the Cathedral of the Sea, it was built during the 14th century in an unusually short span of time (1329- 1383) considering the great undertaking.
It is one of the few examples of pure Catalan Gothic style. The entrance is free and the guided visit to the museum and crypt is just 5 euros.
20. Parque del Laberint d'Horta (2.40% of the mentions)
Out of all the Barcelona locations included in this Top 20, this is the most surprising one. Horta's Labyrinth Park is one of the best kept secrets of Barcelona and one of its most romantic places.
Conceived now as a museum-garden, it was designed by Italian gardener Domenico Bagutti in 1808, whose main feature is a labyrinth, made from cypress hedges. Inside the garden you will find Tuscan columns, fountains and a Neoclassical Pavilion dedicated to the muses.
20. (Tie) Passeig de Gràcia (2.40% of the mentions)
Closing this top 20 list of things to do in Barcelona, we find none other than one of the most distinguished avenues in the city and one of the biggest Barcelona highlights: the stylish Passeig de Gràcia.
Along this central and elegant avenue, that runs parallel to Las Ramblas, there are many places to check out such as:
Burberry, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton…you can find all the top luxury brands in Barcelona practically one next to the other. Also, according to The Economist, Barcelona ranks as one of Europe’s “most cost-effective luxury shopping destinations”, thanks to its relatively low prices for high-end items.
Illa de la Discòrdia
Translated as “Block of Discord”, and refers to the block situated between Carrer del Consell de Cent and Carrer d'Aragó. This block is notable for housing several high profile buildings from famed architects that were competing for the most innovative design.
The houses were built in the early years of the 20th century and are located right next to each other. These were:
- Casa Batlló (Pg. de Gràcia 43 – Antoni Gaudí)
- Casa Amatller (Pg. de Gràcia 41 – Josep Puig i Cadafalch)
- Casa Bonet (Pg. de Gràcia 39 – Marceliano Coquillat)
- Casa Mulleras (Pg. de Gràcia 37 – Enric Sagnier)
- Casa Lleó i Morera (Pg. de Gràcia 35 – Domènech i Muntaner)
Remarkably, La Pedrera by Gaudí, another Barcelona sightseeing icon, is located just 4 blocks away.
Amongst numerous hotels, restaurants, rooftops and the iconic modernist streetlights/benches covered in trencadis (broken tile mosaics), you can find El Nacional.
This high profile restaurant features different areas and atmospheres in a unique setting. The impressive structure, built in 1889, it used to house a café-theater, a car dealer’s shop and a car park garage.
We scraped and stored the first 1,000 results of google for the keyword “places to visit in barcelona” in a spreadsheet. We then cleaned up the data and looked for the subheadings of each article (namely h2 and h3’s), as most writers specialized on SEO tend to group those places so that they can rank better in google.
Once we collected that data, we arranged all the monuments and cleaned it up for easier count. We then counted all the mentions we’ve found, and that’s how we came up with this list.
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