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The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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Things to Do in Barcelona

As a more than 2,000-year-old city, Barcelona displays a complex yet beguiling cultural heritage, shown in its exquisite art, architecture, and cuisine. Legendary creatives such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, and Antoni Gaudí were inspired by the historic Mediterranean town in northeastern Spain, and they each left their distinctive mark. Many sightseeing tours with knowledgeable guides are available to help navigate the multitude of attractions and offer historical perspective. A hop-on hop-off tour bus tour provides an opportunity to see all of Barcelona’s most popular sights quickly, with stops including the historic Gothic Quarter of Las Ramblas; Picasso Museum; FC Barcelona stadium Camp Nou; the Olympic Stadium; and Gaudi’s structural masterpieces, such as Park Güell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, and the soaring (and unfinished) Sagrada Família. Segway tours, bike tours, walking tours, and private tours are also superb for close-up Barcelona sightseeing. Lines at top attractions can be long during the summer months, making Barcelona tours with skip-the-line tickets a real time-saver. Culturally enriching, scenic day trips around the region include tours of Montserrat monastery, Sitges, the Dali museum in Figueres, and the Costa Brava town of Gironès. For a taste of Barcelona, have a local guide you through the city’s ubiquitous tapas and paellas and to the best local fare at the public market La Boqueria, or take a Barcelona cooking class. An abundance of varietals are produced in the Catalonia region, and wine-tasting tours are available in the city or as part of a day trip.
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Sagrada Família
The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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384 Tours and Activities

la sagrada familia is no doubt the most iconic structure in barcelona. the church, located in l'eixample, has been a fixture in barcelona since construction commenced in 1882 and as building continues on today the structure's fame only grows.

though still a work in progress, the church already is an amazingly intricate structure. antoni gaudí spent 43 years on this project and, since his death in 1926, the duty to finish it has been passed on to several architects. though the responsibility continues to change hands over the years, the architects have all respected gaudí's vision and have made additions with his design in mind. inside the church has an impressive stained glass windows line the main room and a lift takes visitors up one of the towers to enjoy the view. smaller rooms hold exhibits detailing the history and future of the structure. la sagrada familia is projected to be completed in 2026, the 100th anniversary of gaudí.

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Catalunya Square (Plaça de Catalunya)
104 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站strategically located at the meeting point of la rambla and passeig de gràcia, two of barcelona’s busiest boulevards, catalunya square (plaça de catalunya) makes a strategic starting point for walking tours of the city. more than just a navigational landmark, catalunya square is also the symbolic heart of barcelona and the large, tree-lined plaza is abuzz with activity both day and night.

365bet体育网站 as well as being surrounded by restaurants, cafes and bars, including the iconic cafe zurich and the hard rock café, catalunya square is also home to large department stores like el corte inglés, fnac and habitat, a pair of dramatically illuminated fountains and a number of monumental sculptures, including the white marble la deessa by josep clara and josep subirachs’s monument of francesc macià.

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Passeig de Gracia
The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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160 Tours and Activities

passeig de gracia is one of the most significant avenues in barcelona. in addition to being home to some of the most celebrated architecture in the city, it is considered to be the most expensive street in all of spain. originally known as carni de jesus, the avenue began as a rural lane connecting barcelona with the then-independent town of gracia. pursuant to an urbanization project in the 1820s, it was transformed into a wide avenue that eventually became a favorite of aristocrats. today, it is a popular tourist destination, both for its architecture and for its shopping.

by the early 1900s, passeig de gracia featured homes designed by notable art nouveau/modernista architects such as antonin gaudi, pere falques, josep puig i cadafalch, lluis domenech i montaner and josep vilaseca.

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Milà House (Casa Milà)
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215 Tours and Activities

officially known as casa milà, also known as the milà house, after the man who commissioned the project, this building is called la pedrera - the quarry - by the locals because of its uneven stone exterior. one of gaudí's several works dotting the city , la pedrera was started as a dual apartment and office block for the bourgeoisie.

though unfinished, the structure is a popular tourist attraction, where you can visit a floor decorated in the style of its era. the biggest feature to la pedrera is the rooftop, where you'll find several impressive chimney pots shaped into what look like medieval knights. a fascinating structure, la pedrera is recognized both as a symbol of the ridiculous opulence of the catalan elite as well as one of gaudí's most interesting works.

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Park Güell
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park güell is known as one of gaudí's most colorful works and its expansive display of this artist's playful architecture is what makes it one of barcelona's top attractions. while the park was originally meant to be a housing development for rich socialites, when the wealthy decided not to move to the hilltop, it became a public playground.

365bet体育网站 gaudí spent the first 15 years of the 20th century constructing the numerous fountains, pedestrian walkways and benches in his signature style that are still enjoyed by visitors today. one of the most popular spots in the park is at the top of the hill, where from brightly colored mosaic seats you can take in the panoramic view over barcelona city and capture some great photos of the park.

another must-see attraction in park güell is the gaudí house museum. this pink house near the base of the park is where gaudí spent the last two decades of his life and it is filled with furniture and other works designed by the artist.

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Ciutadella Park (Parc de la Ciutadella)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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128 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站barcelona’s oldest and most popular central park, the parc de la ciutadella is a picturesque expanse of greenery located just northeast of the city center, not far from the barceloneta beach. the 74-acre park was designed in 1872 by architect josep fontsère, who also created the impressive baroque cascada inside the park - a 19th-century triumphal arch and fountain – and was famously assisted by a young gaudí. at the northern entrance, the landmark arc de triomf designed by josep vilaseca, serves as the monumental gateway to the park, perched at the head of a wide pedestrian walkway.

365bet体育网站today the park is home to a boating lake, several museums and a much-celebrated series of sculptures, including the modern 'monument to the world fair' by antoni clavé, a giant stone mammoth, and pieces by frederic marès, eusebi arnau, josep llimona, pau gargallo and manuel fuxà, among others.

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Casa Batlló
The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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230 Tours and Activities

one of barcelona’s most fanciful works of architecture, the elaborate casa batlló was built by catalan architect antoni gaudí between 1904 and 1906 and stands on the famous central avenue of passeig de gràcia. the building was commissioned by its namesake josep batlló and forms one of a number of innovative structures on the street, locally dubbed the 'mançana de la discordia' (‘apple of discord’).

365bet体育网站the original 19th-century building was completely remodeled gaudi with an elaborate art noveau façade. inscribed on the unesco world heritage list in 2005, the casa batlló has become one of the city’s most memorable tourist attractions and is often nicknamed the ‘house of bones’, thanks to its contorted window frames and skeletal pillars.

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Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Música Catalana)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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54 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站one of barcelona’s most impressive architectural feats, presiding over the streets of la ribera, the palau de la música catalana is one of the city’s most popular concert halls, renowned for its spectacularly ornate interiors. built in 1908 to designs by catalan modernista architect lluís domènech i montaner, the concert hall was initially built to house the orfeó català choir and remains an important venue for a range of traditional catalan folk music.

365bet体育网站declared a unesco world heritage site in 1997, the concert hall features décor by some of the era’s most prominent catalan architects – a sumptuous museum including ceramic mosaics and relief busts by eusebi arnau, a stone arch by pau gargallo, vibrant mosaics by lluís bru and stained glasswork by antoni rigalt.

although the concert hall is not renowned for its acoustics, the palau provides a suitably glittering backdrop to performances, making attending a concert at the venue a rich audio-visual experience.

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Camp Nou
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football fans won’t want to miss a visit to the camp nou football stadium, the home ground of fc barcelona and the largest stadium in europe. inaugurated in 1957, the venue has hosted a number of key international games, including the fifa world cup, the european champions’ cup and two uefa champions league finals.

during your tour of the 55,000-square-meter stadium, designed by architects francesc mitjans, josep soteras, and lorenzo garcía-barbón, you'll walk through the players’ tunnel and across the pitch. you’ll also get to visit the chapel, the tv room, the press room, the sports medicine center, the fundacio zone, team locker rooms and the luxury presidential box. end your visit at the fc barcelona museum and have your picture taken with the european champions cup.

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Magic Fountain (Font Màgica)
The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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28 Tours and Activities

one of barcelona’s most dazzling attractions, the magic fountain, or font montjuic, was built in 1929 for the city’s world exhibition, taking 3000 people almost a year to complete, and later restored during the 1992 olympic games. taking center stage in plaça espanya at the foot of montjuic mountain, the fountain is celebrated for its spectacular illuminations display, set against the majestic backdrop of the montjuic palace.

This is no ordinary lightshow – the Magic Fountain does its name justice with a kaleidoscope of shimmering fountains, syncing light, motion and music to dramatic effect. The breathtaking display is held throughout the year on weekend evenings (from Thursday to Sunday during summer), when the series of fountains spring to life each half-hour from 9.30pm until 11.30pm, for a vibrant 20-minute show.
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More Things to Do in Barcelona

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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313 Tours and Activities

barcelona's gothic quarter (barri gótic) dates from medieval times. on the streets, passersby find gems tucked away in the little nooks and crannies.. the area's proximity to la rambla also contributes to its popularity amongst the young, nightlife-loving crowd. meeting with friends in one of the several placas (plazas) before heading to dinner or a club is customary amongst the locals.

besides the thriving night scene, there is plenty to see during the daylight hours. highlights of the barri gótic include barcelona's cathedral, the political hub of placa sant jaume, and some of barcelona's best surviving stretches of the roman walls. full of history, mystery and culture, this district of barcelona is worth at least a full day on every vacationer's itinerary.

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El Born

El Born

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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113 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站a small corner of barcelona's cuitat vella, or old city, el born lies just south of la ribera, close to the city’s coastal ports. with its narrow streets and historic squares teeming with cafés, el born is full of character and a perfect place to escape the bustle of the city’s more touristy areas.

the tree-lined passeig del born is at the heart of the district, casting off its origins as a medieval jousting arena in favor of a modern shopping and nightlife hub, presided over by the imposing façade of the gothic st mary of the sea cathedral. a cosmopolitan blend of locals and tourists fill the square’s many tapas restaurants, cocktail lounges and chic wine bars during the evening hours, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day’s sightseeing or catch up with friends in some of the city’s most fashionable haunts.

el born also houses some of the city’s key attractions, most significantly the parc de la ciutadella, or ciutadella park.

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Barcelona Cruise Port

Barcelona Cruise Port

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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80 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站welcome to the vibrant catalan capital, barcelona! with its laid-back mediterranean setting, exciting modernist architecture and labyrinthine gothic quarter, barcelona has enough shore excursions and activities to keep you bar-hopping and sightseeing for days.

barcelona’s cruise terminals are clustered in historic port vell at the foot of las ramblas, barcelona’s most famous thoroughfare. it’s a 10 to 30-minute walk to las ramblas and the gothic quarter. most visitors catch a shuttle bus to the iconic christopher columbus statue, a minute’s stroll from las ramblas. a quick taxi ride to the gothic quarter takes only 10 minutes from the port.

it’s de rigueur to take a stroll along tree-lined las ramblas, with its flower stalls and singing birds. drop into barcelona’s historic market for tapas and champagne, then follow winding streets through the gothic quarter to the centuries-old cathedral.

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Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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156 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站las ramblas, a series of 5 stretches of road that run through central barcelona, is known collectively just as la rambla. it's name comes from a stream (raml in arabic) that used to run along the same path before the land was developed in the 14th century. now in place of the stream is a 3/4 mi (1.2 km) street with a wide, tree-lined pedestrian boulevard down the middle. along the path are numerous shops, cafes and bars as well as some interesting attractions.

both the wax - cera and erotica museums are situated on la rambla as are the grand opera house - gran teatre de liceu - and the city's most colorful market, mercat de la boqueria. a large mosaic by joan miro is another iconic piece that warrants at least a second look, if not a photo opportunity. la rambla is filled day and night with snap-happy tourists as well as locals so there is never a dull moment to be had. no barcelona experience is complete without a stroll down this boulevard.

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Maremagnum

Maremagnum

23 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站framed by its wave-shaped walkway leading from the city out onto the water, maremagnum is recognizable from many sections of the barcelona beaches. the shopping center is home to many big name brands, as well as local restaurants and a cinema. two floors of shops range from home goods and electronics to clothing and jewelry. you’ll also find spanish brands such as desigual, and other european retailers.

many of the cafes and restaurants are open-air, making them especially nice on a sunny day. people come to leisurely watch boats pull in and out of the nearby port and absorb a bit of the barcelona waterfront. the structure itself, like many of the buildings in barcelona, is unique and well-designed. its curved, mirrored walls reflect the light off of the nearby water and make an interesting contrast to the natural wooden pier. walking down the central boulevard, las ramblas, toward the ocean will lead you straight there.

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Port Olímpic

Port Olímpic

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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92 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站facing the olympic village of the 1992 olympic games in barcelona, the port olimpic was built as a part of the redevelopment of the area in preparation for the event. with its proximity to the beach area and its iconic art and sculpture, it has become one of the most popular leisure areas in the city.

365bet体育网站 surrounded on both sides by skyscrapers such as the prominent torre mapfre and the hotel arts, the port is a marina for over 700 boats. the view of the many yachts on the water is something to see, as is the masterful copper ‘peix’ or fish sculpture by architect frank gehry. this is also the jumping off point for many sailing trips on the mediterranean sea. there are dozens of dining and shopping options along the area, as well as that famous barcelona nightlife once the sun goes down. the barceloneta and nova icaria beaches can be found on either side.

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Icebarcelona

Icebarcelona

2 Tours and Activities
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Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach

84 Tours and Activities

few cities do urban beaches with as much panache as barcelona and with 4.2 km of sandy coastline, there are plenty of options to choose from. the most popular is the barceloneta beach, an easy bus ride from the city center and crammed with locals and tourists during the summer months.

whether you’re looking to escape the city heat, top up your suntan or take a dip in the cool mediterranean, barceloneta has plenty of options to keep beach-goers busy. sip a sangria at one of the many chiringuitos (beach bars) along the waterfront, join the locals in a game of beach tennis or volleyball; or explore the souvenir stores and cafés crammed along the beachside passeig maritim boulevard. active types can enjoy water sports like surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing or hit the lively boardwalk – a popular spot for walkers, joggers and cyclists.

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Casa Lleó i Morera

Casa Lleó i Morera

37 Tours and Activities

one of the trio of striking buildings that make up the ‘illa de la discordia’ along barcelona’s famous passeig de gràcia, casa lleo i morera stands proudly beside gaudí’s iconic casa batlló and josep puig i cadafalch’s equally eye-catching casa amatller. elaborately restored in 1902 by architect lluis domènech i muntaner, whose other works include the magnificent palau de la música catalana and the hospital de la santa creu i sant pau, casa lleó i morera was built in 1864 and takes its name from its original owners, the morera family.

finally opening its doors to the public in 2014, visitors can now explore the spectacular modernist interiors of casa lleó i morera. along with the distinctive ornamental façade, highlights of the building include exquisite stained-glass windows, a series of sculptures by eusebi arnau, colorful mosaics by artists like mario maragliano and lluís bru i salelles and exquisite furnishings, handcrafted by cabinetmaker gaspar homar.

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Casa Amatller

Casa Amatller

34 Tours and Activities

though passeig de gràcia is most famously known for gaudi-designed masterpieces la pedrera and casa batlló, there’s another curious building to discover here: casa amatller. constructed in the late 19th century, the former home was constructed for its namesake, chocolatier antoni amatller, and is just the place to go to see spectacular modernisme architecture, and minus all the crowds.

365bet体育网站 like its neighboring buildings along passeig de gràcia’s famous block of discord, or illa de la discordia, casa amatller also mixes things up architecturally, featuring both flemish and catalan styles. a visit to its interior is equally impressive, promising exquisitely tiled walls and floors, colorful stained-glass detailing, and rooms decorated with the original furniture.

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Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de Barcelona)

Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de Barcelona)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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212 Tours and Activities

standing tall over a medieval square in the center of barcelona’s gothic quarter, the barcelona cathedral (known formally as the cathedral of the holy cross and saint eulalia, or la seu) is the seat of the archbishop of spain and a major landmark of the city. with octagonal bell towers, five aisles and two chapel areas, the hall church has stood since the 13th century. it is dedicated to saint eulalia, a patron saint of barcelona, whose body is entombed in the crypt. large, colorful stained glass windows look over twenty eight total small chapels inside.

the cathedral is known for its 14th-century cloister full of palm trees and a lush garden, as well as a massive gothic portico under which thirteen geese can be found wandering. each goose represents a year of the life of the young saint eulalia. as for the exterior, it is carved in great gothic style detail — and is particularly beautiful when illuminated at night.

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Forum Park (Parc del Forum)

Forum Park (Parc del Forum)

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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9 Tours and Activities

if you’re eager for views of the sea, lots of photo opportunities, and wide, open spaces, then head toward the northernmost coastline of barcelona to the parc del forum. this architectural park of sorts was built in 2004 for the universal forum of cultures, and continues to serve as a giant venue for events and exploration.

though many of its attractions come and go — such as primavera sound, an annual music festival that takes place in june — the forum is always a worthy destination, beyond just checking out the architecture. go there to visit the natural history-focused museu blau, which is situated in the park’s iconic triangular-shaped forum building; to take a dip in the mediterranean from the sand-free, direct-to-the-water forum marina and bathing area; or to let the kids burn off some energy at the seaside play area.

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National Art Museum of Catalonia (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya)

National Art Museum of Catalonia (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya)

44 Tours and Activities

365bet体育网站housed in the palau nacional (national palace of montjuic), the national art museum of catalonia (museu nacional d’art de catalunya or mnac) boasts one of the most spectacular locations in barcelona, fronted by the dazzling magic fountain and overlooked by the towering montjuic mountain and castle. the impressive neo-baroque building was designed by catalan architect josep puig i cadalfach for the legendary 1929 international exhibition and first hosted the national art museum in 1934. one of the city’s most iconic structures, the palace’s majestic façade, exquisite modernista furnishings and glittering chandeliers are as breathtaking as the art displayed within and a popular tourist attraction in itself.

today, the mnac is catalonia’s largest museum with some 260,000 works and home to the world’s most important collection of romanesque art, alongside a wide selection of gothic, renaissance and baroque masterpieces.

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Placa d'Espanya

Placa d'Espanya

The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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41 Tours and Activities

a large and significant square lined with trees and fountains, placa espanya is one of the busiest, most central hubs of activity in barcelona. many main roads intersect here, including para•llel and gran via. as it is both a main metro and train stop, it is a common meeting point for travelers and locals alike. it is known for its beautiful architecture, statues, and nearby shopping as well.

365bet体育网站 the placa espanya ends on one side with the font magica, or magic fountain, a large fountain that becomes a light and sound show in the evenings. on the opposite end lies the palau nacional (national palace,) with excellent city views from its steps. it is scenically set against the tall mountain montjuic, with the national museum of catalan art (mnac) located just inside. two towers on the avinguda maria cristina, reminiscent of those in venice, stand tall over the square.

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The Top 10 Things To Do in Barcelona
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