Light show in the Montjuic fontains
A match in the Camp Nou
Don’t let another day go by without experiencing this modern, cosmopolitan and authentically Mediterranean city. Barcelona is a must-see for the world-famous architecture of Gaudí, and the charm of exploring the nooks and crannies of its Gothic quarter. Its cheerful, lively atmosphere is unique, and can be enjoyed at its best strolling along the Ramblas, beside the sea or in its city centre parks.
Shopping is a delight, with little hundred-year-old shops, top designer boutiques and luxury jewellers. Children have a great time here, discovering animals at the zoo and the aquarium, or enjoying parks like Tibidabo and Poble Espanyol.
It’s a gourmet’s dream, combining the healthy Mediterranean diet with the creative cooking of international award-winning chefs with restaurants in the city. And of course, Barcelona has spectacular sports, with Barça and its star players.
Gothic quarter: the old city centre with medieval streets and squares. See the Cathedral, City Hall, the Gothic churches… and lots of little shops and pavement cafés.
Gaudí buildings: magical architecture and fairytale houses, they are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milá are the most important.
The Ramblas: one of Europe’s most iconic streets, where locals and tourists mingle with musicians, living statues and street artists of every kind. The boulevard is lined with handsome buildings in the heart of traditional Barcelona.
El Born: explore this attractive and cosmopolitan neighbourhood, where you’ll find some of the city’s hippest venues, stylish boutiques, exclusive shoe shops, and must-sees like the Picasso Museum.
FC Barcelona: you can see a match or visit the stadium and explore the stands, dressing rooms, museum and shop.
Beaches: Barcelona faces the sea, with five kilometres of attractive beaches. If you don’t feel like swimming, a walk along the seafront is just as enjoyable.
Nightlife in Port Olimpic and Port Vell: great areas to spend the early evening, with fun, lively bars and restaurants.
Parc del Laberint d’Horta (Horta’s Labyrinth Park): Barcelona’s oldest garden. Its romantic atmosphere with sculptures, ponds, waterfalls, and a cypress hedge maze, make it ideal for a restful stroll.
Olympic Ring of Montjuic: built for the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games on the Montjuic hilltop. As well as a spectacular view of the city, you can also see the monumental architecture of the Olympic stadium, Palau Sant Jordi, and the iconic Calatrava Tower, symbol of the great sporting event.
Barcelona Shopping Line: get ready for fun – the Barcelona Shopping Line awaits with around 5 kilometres of wide pedestrianised streets full of exclusive shops, franchises and markets. A great way to get around town on a shopping trip is to take the hop-on hop-off tourist bus, which lets you get on and off as often as you want to visit the areas that interest you.
El Corte Inglés: if you want somewhere where you can find everything under one roof, visit these famous department stores. There are four of them in the city, offering prestigious international designers and special services for international customers, such as a welcome discount. The building on Plaça Catalunya includes a restaurant with spectacular views of Barcelona.
El Poble Espanyol: one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, it is also a unique shopping centre for artisan goods and crafts. It is open every day, and on the site you can watch more than 20 artisans working in their workshops, producing glassware, leather goods, ceramics and jewellery. Many of them offer the option of sending custom orders and personalised items to other countries.
La Roca Village: another recommended option is this shopping centre with over 130 outlet shops for luxury international brands, just 40 kilometres from the city. It also has free parking, restaurants, a tourist information centre, personal stylists and other services.
Attractions for children
The Zoo, the Aquarium, the cable cars at Montjuic, Park Güell, and Poble Espanyol de Barcelona are a just a few of the many options that children will enjoy. The first two gives them a chance to see all kinds of animals up close. The cable car provides a spectacular bird’s eye view of Barcelona. Children love Park Güell for its fantasy-tinged architecture, full of colour and even dragons. And Poble Espanyol is a park full of scaled-down replicas of buildings from all over Spain. Fun for all the family, as it is also one of the city’s main shopping centres. See more at this link.
Something different: the traditional fresh food market, La Boquería. Here, the stallholders seem to care more about displaying their goods beautifully than about selling them.
Something tasty: traditional local vegetable dishes, such as escalivada (roast pepper salad), calçots (spring onions), charcoal-grilled rovellons (wild mushrooms), samfaina (ratatouille) or esqueixada (salt cod salad). All accompanied by pa amb tomàquet (a thick slice of crusty bread with tomato and extra virgin olive oil).
Something sweet: the local speciality, crema catalana (caramel custard).
Halal delicacies: the restaurant chain Asador de Aranda has three branches in Barcelona offering halal cuisine. One of them is in an Art Nouveau house on Avinguda Tibidabo.
Opera and classical music: the main venues are the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Something special: the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. A fountain with music and a light show. It isn’t the largest fountain in the world, but it is one of the most entertaining. It was built in the early 20th century, before there was electronic equipment to make it easy. That might be why they devoted so much art, imagination and beauty to it. See it as night falls as it comes to life with lights and music. Montjuic Park also has great views over Barcelona.