Must See Places to Visit in Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the world’s greatest cities. It is home to stunning Gaudi architecture, history, culture, beautiful beaches, art, and delicious local food and drink. The city’s historic roots are everywhere you look but the newer more modern features are far from eyesores and add to the city’s style.
Barcelona is perfect for city breaks and for longer stays.
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With this in mind let’s take a look at some of the best places to visit in this truly beautiful city.
Best places to visit in Barcelona
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família
The Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family was Antonio Gaudi’s last and arguably his greatest work. He was commissioned to build it in 1882 by a conservative society who wanted to build a temple to atone for the city’s sins of modernity.
Gaudi’s design was 95m long and 60m wide construction with a 170m high central tower to represent Christ. The temple would be able to seat 13,000 people. The temple would feature 100 more towers to give it truly a remarkable appearance. If you are familiar with Gaudi’s work you will know that he hated straight lines as there were none in nature and this philosophy is carried through to the Sagrada Familia.
The funds for the temple soon ran out. By this point, Gaudi was so obsessed with completing the project he put in his own money into it. That to run out and he resorted to donors to help finance the project further.
That is not the end of the story, however, as work now continues on the temple to complete it. Pope Benedict XVI consecrated this church as a minor basilica in 2010. It is believed that the work will be completed by 2026.
The story of Gaudi’s temple attracts 4.5 million visitors a year. This magnificent building is one to visit so put it on your itinerary.
Skip the lines and book your Sagrada Familia ticket online here.
Barcelona is a coastal city and so no visit is complete without a visit to the coast. Much of the coastline is sandy white sand and beaches are well used by tourists and locals alike. Generally, the westernmost beaches tend to be touristy with bars and stores aplenty. If this is your thing head towards Sant Sebastià.
For quieter beaches frequented more by locals head towards Olympic Port and keep going. The beaches are less packed and locals tend to come here to escape. Places such as Lugaris offer quieter beaches which are often frequented by locals.
If you are in the mood to visit the stores visit Diagonal Mar mall. This is relatively a new edition and is an old industrial site repurposed.
To reach the beachfront many undertake the journey on foot. Though this takes about an hour from the city center the walk helps you understand Barcelona. It is particularly enchanting on sunny days.
Park Güell is another Gaudi treat but very different from his incomplete masterpiece. This was the great master’s stab at landscape gardening and as you can imagine the result is both enchanting and stunning.
In 1900 Gaudi was commissioned to build the park by Count Eusebi Güell to the brief of building a miniature city of houses for the wealthy in landscaped grounds. Gaudi created 3km of roads, enchanting walks, steps, a magnificent plaza, and two gatehouses.
In 1922 the city bought the park as by this time it was deemed a commercial failure. They opened the park to the public and now it is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Barcelona.
Due to high visitor numbers, the center of the park is ticket only. It is advisable to book online so you can avoid the queues and indeed the entrance price. Here you will find the recommended tour to book online.
La Boqueria is a historic part of the city and a vibrant market. This particular version of La Boqueria has been in existence for around 200 years. There has always been a La Boqueria market in Barcelona, however, dating back to medieval times.
One of the eye-catching parts of the market is the cast iron glass roof which was built in 1914.
Predominantly, this is a food market selling all kinds of food and features food that can only found in Spain. Exotic vegetables and fruits, fish, cheese, Spanish olive oil, and meats are all for sale.
You may not need any of the wares sold at the market but taking in a cold beer and a delicious tapas while watching the vibrancy of the market, may be a highlight of your trip to Barcelona.
Barcelona is an amazing city with plenty of amazing things to see, no matter if you are spending just 3 days in Barcelona or you will be there for a week. This snapshot features attractions and places that should be on your to-do list. You won’t be disappointed and you will never forget them.