The capital of Catalonia – Barcelona, is the second largest city in Spain. The beautiful landscape, the breathtaking sights, and the mild Mediterranean climate make it one of the most attractive destinations that every person must visit at least once in his life. The large Mediterranean metropolis enchants tourists with its impressive architecture, which combines medieval buildings and modern buildings. The famous Catalan architect Antoni Guadí has left deep traces here. Its avant-garde, surrealist buildings, some of which have even been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, carry the breath of the past and fascinate people to this day. For all the enthusiastic travelers among you who would like to visit Barcelona, we have created this article. Take a look at our list of the most popular Barcelona attractions and make your trip truly unforgettable !
Barcelona Attractions: Basilica de la sagrada Família
Basilica de la Sagrada Família (in English: The Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) is one of the most famous sights in Barcelona. The basilica is located in the northern part of the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1883, Antoni Guadí was commissioned to design the basilica as a neo-Gothic church. Instead of following the original plans, he designed the building in the modernist style. The Roman Catholic basilica fascinates with its striking, ornate facade with many decorative details and its colorful mosaic windows. It is a real work of art, but unfortunately it is not completed yet. Antoni Guadí liked to change and complete the plans. He planned to build the church in the next 10 to 15 years. Their construction is still in progress.
Barcelona Attractions: Barri Gòtic
Barri Gòtic has been the spiritual and secular center of Barcelona for 2,000 years. This Gothic quarter used to be a Roman village and remains of ancient Roman buildings can still be seen here. In the Barri Gòtic is the magnificent medieval cathedral “Sant Pau”, which was built in the 14th century on the mountain Tabor. Here, the Catholic kings received Christopher Columbus after his first trip to the New World and since then also the seat of the Catalan government. The gothic quarter is a labyrinth of narrow, winding lanes and streets that turn it into a truly magical place. Here tourists can find many quiet places such as small cafes, restaurants, museums, shops etc. and enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of the medieval world.
Park Güell – the surrealistic park of Antoni Gaudí
Park Güell is another work by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Guadí and is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Built between 1900 and 1914, this surrealistic park is a charming place that displays the extraordinary mastery and creativity of its creator. Numerous viaducts, grottoes, pillared halls, moving staircases and beautiful seating are located in this park. These creative structures are adorned with multicolored ceramic fragments creating a unique cheerful ambience. A spectacular terrace offers panoramic views of the city and the sea, making Park Güell a magnet for all visitors to the city. Antoni Guadí himself loved the park and lived here for a while. Nowadays his house is transformed into a museum where tourists can see a collection of interesting decorative objects and furniture designed by Guadí.
Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
The UNESCO listed building Casa Milà is the most famous work of Antoni Guadí. Casa Milà is also called “La Pedrera”, which means “quarry house” in English. Built between 1906 and 1912, this extravagant residential building looks much more like an avant-garde sculpture than a functional building. Its natural stone facade is characterized by oval, wavy lines, rounded windows and metallic balcony railings that have plant-like shapes. Casa Milà also has a curved roof and decorative chimneys decorated with mosaic tiles. Visitors can visit the roof terrace to see the unique chimneys. The rooftop terrace also offers panoramic views of the city and the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.
Barcelona Attractions: Casa Batalló
Casa Batalló is another amazing work of Guadí and is one of the most characteristic Modernist buildings in Barcelona. The wonderful mansion was built as a private residence for the textile manufacturer Josep Batalló i Casanovas. With its interesting shapes and ornamental façade, this surreal building looks like a castle from a fairy tale. Due to the unique construction elements Casa Batalló differs significantly from the other buildings. The window frames on the first floor are surrounded by plant-like shapes, other window frames resemble cave entrances, etc. Decorative ceramic tiles in green, construction and ocher give this masterpiece more extravagance. Casa Batalló, like Casa Milà, has a wavy roof and many richly decorated chimneys. The interior is also very original. Some of the most valuable pieces of furniture and decoration, designed by Antoni Guadí, can only be seen here and in Casa Museu Guadí.
Montjuïc is a famous hill with many museums and a beautiful natural park with great views of Barcelona. Formerly there was an old Jewish cemetery on the hill, where his name comes from – “Mont Juïc” means in German “the mountain of the Jews”. Montjuïc is located 213 meters above sea level and is due to the many attractions a magnet for many tourists. Here you will find the famous theme park “Tibidabo” and the National Art Museum of Catalonia, where there is a large collection of Catalan art with many sculptures, paintings, drawings and photographs. Another place that tourists can visit is Poble Espanyol – a Spanish village created for World Equip- ment in 19929, and Anella Olímpica – an area hosted by the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site
Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site is a spectacular modern-style complex of buildings. This unique city in the city was designed by the architect Domènech i Momtaner and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sant Pau Art Nouveau site consists of tree-lined pedestrian streets, herb gardens, underground tunnels and 27 pavilions. Some of them are decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles, statues and ornaments. Tourists not only have the opportunity to visit the magnificent complex, but also to learn interesting information about the development of Barcelona in the 19th and 20th centuries, when the city is experiencing a historical and artistic highlight.
Barcelona Attractions: Monestir de Pedrables
Monestir de Pedrables is a notable example of the wonderful gothic architecture in Barcelona. This is a medieval monastery located in a small park with many palm trees, bushes and shady trees called “Jardines Reina Elisenda”. Monestir de Pedrables was founded in 1326 by Queen Elisenda for the Order of Saint Clare. The complex has a magnificent gothic church, a quiet three-story monastery and a few smaller convent buildings. Tourists can enjoy the peaceful surroundings and learn about the life of nuns in the 14th century. You can also visit the monastery museum, where there is a large collection of medieval art.
Parc del Laberint d’Horta (Park of the Labyrinth of Horta)
The Park of the Labyrinth of Horta is the oldest park in Barcelona and is for many tourists an undiscovered treasure. It is located in the northern part of the city and a maximum of 750 people per day have the opportunity to visit it. Parc del Laberint d’Horta was built in 1791 by Marquis Joani Desvalls of d’Arena and is divided into two halves: the older garden in the neoclassical style and the new garden in a romantic style. In the neoclassical garden is the magnificent labyrinth, which is about 750 meters long. In its center stands a statue of Eros – the god of love. In the Park of the Labyrinth of Horta there are also some pavilions and a beautiful pond, which make the place really enchanting. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the park was a meeting place for the social elite and three kings visited it. Here tourists can enjoy the nature and the unique romantic atmosphere, which carries the breath of the bygone times.
Museu de Picasso (the museum of Picasso)
The Museu de Picasso is perhaps the most famous museum in Barcelona and a place that every tourist must certainly visit. The museum is located in the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic) and was founded by Picasso and his friend and secretary Jaime Sabartés. Museu de Picasso consists of five gothic-style palaces dating from the 13th-14th centuries. Century were built. The museum has a huge collection of over 3,500 works depicting the genius of the artist. There is also a collection of 41 ceramic pieces (vases, crockery and plates) made in 1950 by Picasso. This collection was first owned by Jacqueline Picasso. In 1982 she donated the ceramic pieces to the museum.
Barcelona Attractions: Anella Olímpica
In 1992, Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympics and became the world capital for two weeks. The center of the festivities during this time was Anella Olímpica (the Olympic Ring). Nowadays, this area is much more than just a place that brings back beautiful memories of outstanding sporting achievements. It is located in the middle of the park Montejïc and offers a lot to see. In addition to the impressive Olympic Stadium “Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys” and the sports complex “Palau Sant Jordi”, tourists can also see the impressive communications tower designed by the engineer and architect Santiago Calatrava. The communication tower is 135 meters high and its shape resembles the body of an athlete. Its base is decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles, reminiscent of the techniques used by Guadí. Anella Olímpica is a truly enchanting place that will forever be a must for all Barcelonians, and it is certainly worth visiting it at least once!
La Rambla – the social center of Barcelona
La Rambla is the heart of social life in Barcelona. This is a long avenue that divides the old town in half. La Rambla stretches from Plaça de Catalunya, where there is the beautiful 12th-century Romanesque monastery of Santa Ana, to the old port of Barcelona. On this avenue there are many shops, restaurants and cafes and for this reason it is a popular meeting place. La Rambla is bordered on the northeast by the Gothic Quarter – Barri Gòtic and Plaça Reial – a beautiful square with many palm trees and many historic buildings. In the middle of the square is the fountain of the Three Graces. An important monument on La Rambla is Palau Güell. This is a beautiful mansion designed in 1886 by Antoni Guadí. Its owner – Eusebi Güell was a great admirer of the arts. The building has a large hall for poetry readings and private concerts. Magnificent decorations, precious textiles and handmade furniture from Guadí can also be seen here. The whole building reflects the enormous wealth of its owner.
The CaixaForum is one of the best cultural centers of the cosmopolitan Catalan capital. This is a large museum (3.000m²) that displays various temporary and permanent exhibitions of contemporary art. The building that now houses the museum is a former textile factory designed by the famous architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. In 1919, the factory changed its location. The building remained empty and in 2002 it was turned into a museum. In the CaixaForum tourists can see many works of art from the 14th to the 18th century. There are also rooms for concerts, film screenings, debates, conferences, etc. The museum also offers works by internationally known artists and is therefore a magnet for all art lovers.
Museu del FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain and an excellent attraction for families and children. It is located in the “Camp Nou” stadium and is the official museum of the famous football club FC Barcelona. The museum has an impressive collection of photos, documents and trophies from the legendary FC Barcelona football teams collected over the years. Here is also a valuable jersey issued by Lionel Messi. This jersey was worn by the phenomenal footballer when he broke Barça legend César Rodríguez Álvarez’s record of 232 goals in March 2012.
Barcelona Attractions: Los Bunkers del Carmel (the bunkers of Carmel)
Bunkers del Carmel were built during the Spanish Civil War for the inhabitants of Barcelona. Then the city was bombed and these bunkers were supposed to protect the civilian population. After the end of the war, the shelters were abandoned and left empty. The bunkers of Carmel are located on the hill of Turó de la Rovira and are positioned to offer panoramic views of the city. In the 2000s, many people started to visit the bunkers to enjoy the beautiful view. The place gained in popularity and therefore the bunkers were restored. Nowadays they are a popular attraction for many people. Not only Barcelonians, but also many tourists come here to see the bunkers and enjoy the magnificent views.
Basilica de la Sagrada Família
Barcelona Attractions: Park Güell
Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site
Barcelona Attractions: Monestir de Pederables
Park of the Labyrinth of Horta
Museu de Picasso
Barcelona Attractions: Anella Olímpica
Museu del FC Barcelona
Bunkers del Carmel