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Things to do in

Barcelona

Otherworldly architecture, colorful markets, and tasty tapas await you in the Catalan capital.

Our most recommended things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona: Montserrat Tour, Monastery & Optional Wine/Lunch

1. Barcelona: Montserrat Tour, Monastery & Optional Wine/Lunch

Experience an unforgettable guided group tour to Montserrat, Catalonia's most famous mountain range. Take in the beauty of its natural rolling landscape and discover the history and traditions of its medieval monastery. After your bus journey from Barcelona, board the cogwheel train up to the monastery and admire the beautiful nature and iconic multi-peaked mountain range of Montserrat. Once at the monastery, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the historical center of the complex.  Learn about the rich history of the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, an 11th-century monastery that still functions to this day, with over 70 monks. Entry to the monastery is included in the tour price. Use the allotted free time to wander freely and visit the famous Black Madonna and see paintings by Picasso, El Greco, and Dali at the Montserrat Museum. During your free time, you can also ride the funicular train up the side of the mountain to get even better viewpoints of the monastery.  Travelers who booked the half-day tour option will return to Barcelona after the visit to Montserrat. If you chose a full-day tour option, you'll continue toward a beautiful boutique winery. Arrive at the winery and, depending on the food option you booked, enjoy a light tapas or multi-course lunch. Admire amazing views of the winery and Montserrat mountains as you feast on traditional foods of the region. After your meal, wander around the vineyards, learn about the wine-making process, and enjoy a wine tasting session, before traveling back to Barcelona.

Barcelona: Small-Group Catamaran Cruise with Sunset Option

2. Barcelona: Small-Group Catamaran Cruise with Sunset Option

Discover the beauty of Barcelona on board a small-group catamaran cruise. Relax as you feel the sea breeze and the sun's rays with a stop for swimming during the day, or a magnificent sunset in the evening. After meeting your guide in the exclusive Marina Vela port, board the catamaran and be handed a welcome drink. Find a nice spot to sit in the sun or shade on a vessel that has a maximum capacity of just 30 people. The boat will then set off and leave the port. As you leave the city behind, pass by the famous W hotel and admire its striking architecture. As you head out to sea, listen to relaxing lounge music played on the onboard sound system. Marvel at the views of the Barcelona skyline, including Montjuic, the Sagrada Familia, Barceloneta beach, Torre Agbar, and Tibidabo. Use this opportunity to take incredible pictures, with the sea and city as your backdrop. The cruise will continue to Port Forum, in the eastern reaches of the city. If you have selected the daytime option, the boat will then stop for 30 minutes. You can either soak up the peaceful atmosphere on the boat or go for a quick dip in the sea. If you have picked the sunset option, you will be able to admire a beautiful sunset over the city. The boat will then return to the port.

Barcelona: Sagrada Familia Entry Ticket with Audio Guide

3. Barcelona: Sagrada Familia Entry Ticket with Audio Guide

Explore Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, and discover the beautiful basilica at your own pace. Learn about its history with an included audio guide. Find out firsthand why Gaudi's iconic work — its impressive facades and interior — is one of Spain's most visited monuments. Admire a combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau forms in this UNESCO-listed structure that dominates the Barcelona skyline. Gaudi began working on the true symbol of Barcelona in 1882, and the Sagrada Familia remains a work in progress today. Although unfinished, the basilica remains a must-see. 

Barcelona: Park Güell Admission Ticket

4. Barcelona: Park Güell Admission Ticket

Visit Park Güell with your timed admission ticket and explore the unique site at your own pace. Marvel at Antoni Gaudí's colorful mosaic art such as the Dragon Stairway with its world-famous salamander. Have a break from the city life while strolling through the green Austria Gardens and take stunning photos of Barcelona from the park's viewing points.  The plan for the park was assigned to Gaudí by Eusebi Güell, a Catalan entrepreneur who wanted to recreate a British residential park on Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain). It was opened as a municipal park in 1926, recognized as an artistic monument in 1969 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. While you have to enter the park at your booked time slot, you can stay for as long as you like after and take it all in.

Barcelona: Camp Nou and FC Barcelona Museum

5. Barcelona: Camp Nou and FC Barcelona Museum

Tour Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, and visit the accompanying museum. Retrace the footsteps of the Futbol Club Barcelona's legendary players including Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona, Guardiola, and Ronaldinho. Begin your tour of the modern museum with large-format interactive walls, new showcases, and a wide collection of objects that reveal the history of FC Barcelona, explaining the values that have made Barça “more than a club.” Then, take the Camp Nou Experience tour. Visit key Barça areas, including the visitors’ changing room and the tunnel onto the pitch. Catch a panoramic view of the entire stadium. Experience the pitch in 360 Virtual Reality (if this option is booked). Visit the television studio, the mixed zone, the press room, and the commentary boxes. The tour ends on the second floor, where you can visit the fascinating multimedia space, which was renovated in January 2010.

Barcelona: Hola Barcelona Public Transport Travel Card

6. Barcelona: Hola Barcelona Public Transport Travel Card

With a public transport ticket that offers unlimited travel for 2 days or more, you’ll be able to get around Barcelona and the surrounding area and save yourself time and money. Discover Barcelona at your leisure as you travel by the metro, buses, and trams as many times as you like. Before beginning your adventure, head to a Tourist Information Office and exchange your voucher. Visit the city’s landmarks and monuments at your own pace on a pass that’s valid for an unlimited number of journeys on the metro and buses operated by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), trains operated by the Generalitat city network, and the tram and Renfe suburban trains. A pass to connect with the Barcelona airport line is included. Your public transportation ticket is valid for 48, 72, 96, or 120 consecutive hours after the validation date (depending on the option chosen).

Barcelona: Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes

7. Barcelona: Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes

Catch a flamenco show at an historical venue in Barcelona's famous La Rambla district with this entry ticket. Sip on a complimentary drink while watching passionate dancers perform. Be moved by live music and singing. Upgrade your experience by choosing an option with traditional food. Make your way to the Tablao Flamenco Cordobes theatre and take your seat in front of the cozy and traditional tablao (flamenco stage) where legendary artists such as Juan Villar have performed. Admire the colorful décor of the venue, inspired by motifs that transport you back in time. Embrace the sensual rhythms and primal power of the music, song and dance. Listen to live music and talented singers. Upgrade to the tapas option and go on a culinary journey with gazpachos (cold tomato soup) and delicious pintxos (small snacks) of the Basque Country. Satisfy your appetite with dinner option where you can choose from dishes like an authentic paella from Valencia or another mouth-watering options from a menu with over 40 different delicacies to try.

Barcelona: Flamenco Show at City Hall Theater

8. Barcelona: Flamenco Show at City Hall Theater

Make your way to Barcelona City Hall to enjoy the traditional Spanish art form of flamenco, awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010. Watch as some of the most talented artists in Spain create a unique atmosphere with music, singing, and dancing. Surrender to the charms of some of the most prominent dancers on the Catalan flamenco scene as they perform in the former Teatro de Barcelona. Admire the beautiful features of the early 19th-century theater, including a stage framed with light bulbs, velvet curtains, and original stage machinery. Let the improvised flamenco "jam sessions" get under your skin and sense the visceral emotion taking place on stage. Get back to the roots of authentic flamenco with performances like the fast-rhythm "Bulerías," guitar "solos," beat percussion, singing in its purest form, face-to-face duels and "Soleás." See legendary dancers including Ivan Alcalà, Raúl Ortega, Patricia Dominguez, and Yolanda Cortés. Hear seductive singers like Antonio el Mantecao, Miguel de la Tolea, La Tana, and Josefa G.Contreras. Admire flamenco guitarists, Oliver Haldon, and Eduardo Cortés, along with percussionists Joni C. Sanchez and Jacobo C. Sanchez.

Barcelona: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour 1 or 2-Day Ticket

9. Barcelona: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour 1 or 2-Day Ticket

Embark on a sightseeing tour of Barcelona with a choice of 2 different routes and 40 stops. See the major sites aboard an open-top double-decker bus, hopping off at key points of interest to you, such as the Gothic Quarter or the Picasso Museum, before jumping back on the bus to continue the route. Sit back and relax on an open-deck double-decker hop-on hop-off bus. See all the major sites of Barcelona, hopping on and off at your leisure. Stop to see the Picasso Museum that boasts one of the largest collections of Picasso’s artwork anywhere in the world. Walk down La Rambla and discover one of the city’s most vibrant areas with countless bars and eateries. Marvel at the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites Barcelona boasts. Especially remarkable is the Sagrada Familia, one of the most iconic works of the famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, which can be seen throughout the city on your tour. The buses come every 20-30 minutes and each route is around 2 hours. The tour stops along the routes are as follows:  Red Line: • Plaça de Catalunya • Casa Batlló - Fundació Antoni Tàpies • Passeig de Gràcia - La Pedrera • Francesc Macià - Diagonal • Estació de Sants • Plaça d’Espanya • Caixa Fòrum - Pavelló Mies van der Rohe • Poble Espanyol • Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya • Anella Olímpica • Fundació Joan Miró • Telefèric de Montjuïc • Miramar - Jardins Costa i Llobera • World Trade Center • Colom - Museu Marítim • Port Vell • Museu d’Història de Catalunya • Port Olímpic • Zoo • Parc de la Ciutadella Blue Line: • Plaça de Catalunya • Casa Batlló - Fundació Antoni Tàpies • Passeig de Gràcia - La Pedrera • Sagrada Família • Sant Pau Recinte Modernista • Park Güell • Tramvia Blau - Tibidabo • Sarrià • Monestir de Pedralbes • Palau Reial - Pavellons Güell • Futbol Club Barcelona - Camp Nou • Diagonal Les Corts • Francesc Macià – Diagonal • Eixample

Barcelona: Catamaran Cruise with Cocktail or Live Music

10. Barcelona: Catamaran Cruise with Cocktail or Live Music

Jump aboard the catamaran boat and set sail on the Mediterranean sea. Take a break and relax from the hustle and bustle of the city. Soak up the sun, sail on the ocean waves, enjoy cocktails, or dance to live music, depending on what you book. Choose between a daytime cruise with a local cocktail included and chill-out music atmosphere or sailing in the golden hours while enjoying the sunset with a live music show. Fancy a drink or a snack? You can take advantage of the bar service onboard to purchase what you look for. This catamaran trip is a great day out for all the family. Enjoy breathtaking views of this city's skyline that you won't forget.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Barcelona

Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He has visited Barcelona many times, and you can see his guide to spending three days in Barcelona.

What should I do on my first trip to Barcelona?

A trip to the Sagrada Familia should be at the top of the list for any visitor to Barcelona. This incredible organic cathedral is the masterpiece of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, and is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Definitely take the time to go inside and explore as well, because the inside is just as impressive as the outside!

What are some hidden gems to see in Barcelona?

The Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi, in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, is definitely worth a visit. It's a 14th century gothic church with a massive bell tower you can climb. The views from the roof across the Gothic Quarter are excellent, and from here you can really get a feel from the different epochs the city has gone through from Roman times.

How much time should I spend in Barcelona?

Two days would be the minimum amount of time to see the highlights of the city, whilst three days would let you add in a few of the hidden gems.

What food is Barcelona known for?

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without trying some tapas. These small plates features all sorts of different dishes, from patatas bravas (fried potatoes), through to squid, meatballs and lots more. Tapas can be found throughout the city, with many bars serving them as snack food as well.

What is the best way to get around Barcelona?

The majority of Barcelona can be easily explored by foot, although the city also has an excellent metro system that will get you around a little bit quicker. If you are aiming for the main tourist sights, the Hop on Hop off bus is also a good option.

What are the best months to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona can be visited most times of the year. Whilst the Mediterranean climate means the summer months are obviously hotter, the city conveniently has a lovely beach with swimming so you can cool off. However, if you want to do more sightseeing, the months of April - June are a good option. The city also hosts a number of festivals at this time of year which are worth checking out.

What is neighborhood "The Gothic Quarter" known for?

The gothic quarter is perhaps the most interesting neighbourhood to explore from a visitors point of view. The maze of winding streets is largely pedestrianised, and filled with interesting shops and tucked away churches and restaurants. Do expect to get lost though, as it's quite a maze!

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

For tucked away bars and courtyard dining, it's hard to go wrong with the Gothic Quarter, which is great for tapas and casual fare. For a quieter experience away from the tourist crowds and more of a focus on traditional Catalan cuisine, had to the Gracia neighbourhood.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The Passeig de Gracia, which leads away from the central square in the city, is well known as a good shopping destination if you're interested in luxury brands. If you're more of a market person, head for La Boqueria on Las Ramblas!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Barcelona?

If you'd prefer to be centrally located and within easy walking distance, or a short metro ride, from all the major attractions, then you'll want to stay in the Gothic Quarter. This part of the city is home to many of the attractions as well as plenty of dining, and it's easy to reach from the main transport hubs in the city.

What are the best beaches around Barcelona?

Barcelona has a series of incredible beaches with are popular with both locals and tourists alike. The closest, and one of the best, is definitely Barceloneta Beach, just a few minutes walk from the city.

Other Sightseeing Options in Barcelona

Want to discover all there is to do in Barcelona? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Barcelona

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 123,411 reviews

Me and my boyfriend purchased this ticket for Montserrat and I can't fault it at all. We enjoyed the experience and definitely recommend taking a day to visit. I was concerned that it would be complicated to get to judging by the reviews but I have to say I'm not sure what people have found so difficult. The instructions clearly state that you have to pick up your tickets from Place de Catalana. The information desks are all clearly signposted and the people on the desks are very helpful. The train departs from Espanya Station. The train you need is the R5 - it departs at 36 minutes past the hour, the first one being at 7:36 - the station is well signposted - you just need to follow signs for R5. You need to get off this train at Monistrol de Montserrat if you've chosen the Cremella (track railway) or Aeri de Montserrat if you've opted for the cable car. Again, this was all very well marked out. We opted for the Cremella and again this was very easy. Definitely recommend this ticket.

My only complaint was that the instructor seemed a bit shy, at least at the beginning of the class going to the market and in the 10-15 minutes that he set up the kitchen when we arrived back, but I think that was in order for the group to develop a good chemistry among us and really enjoy ourselves, the sangria also helped haha. My suggestion would be to perhaps implement more historical facts about Spain and paella during these moments? Otherwise, the instructor was very knowledgeable and kind, cracking jokes and spending time to know us for the cooking and eating part of the class. Chef Gabriel was really cool and he knows how to make a kickass paella, easily the best one I have ever eaten ( and I work as a chef so I can be a critic at times!)! I really enjoyed this experience and it was easily worth the price of 130 euro for 2. Highly recommend!

Nice music and dancers. However has a poor feeling about it. I believe because of the costumes. Dancers were very good but dreased poorly which reflects negatively on the overall show and performance. Overall we did enjoy the music and traditional flamenco.

Fantastic half day tour. Our guide Alex did an amazing job and was very knowledgeable. 3 hours free time was plenty for lunch, a short walk and browse. Very well organised

Really easy to use and the perfect way to travel around the city. Saved us a lot of money