What are the highlights and attractions you can't miss on your vacation in Barcelona? Here you will find a list of the top 10 attractions of Barcelona!
The beauty of Barcelona is known to the whole world - the impulsive city on the Mediterranean is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. The Spanish metropolis never stands still and is blessed with a delightful mix of sights.
Architecture, culture, sports and the beach: there's something for everyone on vacation in Barcelona! Visit the city's world-famous cathedrals, stroll through Park Güell or the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter, dine on paella and seafood at sunset, or unwind on the beach. To make sure you don't miss any important attraction, we have chosen Barcelona's top 10 sights.
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La Sagrada Familia - a name that is inseparable from vacations in Barcelona! The unique Roman Catholic cathedral in the Eixample district is the landmark of Barcelona and one of the most famous buildings in all of Spain.
The gigantic masterpiece is still unfinished, yet it is Barcelona's most visited landmark. World-famous architect Antonio Gaudí began its construction in 1882, and construction has continued over the master's tomb since his death. The massive amount of detail still matches Gaudí's original plans.
For the visit of the Sagrada Familia (not a little) entrance fee is charged - somehow the completion must be financed, after all.
The monumental splendor of the cathedral, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, only reveals itself to the viewer on site. Gaudí wanted to explain the teachings of the church with the Sagrada Familia. Accordingly, the facade decoration is bursting with Christian symbols, biblical representations and hidden number games, which are best revealed in the course of a guided tour.
Tip: Tickets for the Sagrada Familia are best ordered online - so you avoid the queues at the ticket office! However, you should expect waiting time for the entrance.
Those who are thrilled by the Sagrada Familia will also love the 17-hectare Park Güell. It, too, is a legacy of Antonio Gaudí. Amidst a secluded green park, countless colorful quarry ceramic works of art in the typical Gaudí style await visitors here. Admission to the upper part of the park is free. For the monument-protected area of the park, you have to pay admission between 8:00 and 20:00.
Among the most famous exhibits - for Park Güell can almost be called an open-air art museum - are the market hall with 86 Roman-like columns and the bench that Salvador Dalí dubbed a precursor of surrealism. Those who take a brief seat here can enjoy a magnificent view of Barcelona and its many sights. The 3,000-square-meter viewing terrace La Placa also invites you to linger.
Otherwise, you stroll through Park Güell between fairytale pavilions, bridges, towers and figures - you don't even know which detailed masterpiece to photograph first.
Tip: Right at the entrance to the park in his former home is the Gaudí Museum - also a must-see for those interested in architecture!
Casa Batlló and La Pedrera
Another of Gaudí's Modernisme masterpieces, Casa Battló is located on Passeig de Gràcia at number 43. The spectacular house was completed in 1906 and has been a listed building since 1962. With bone-like columns and undulating curved cornices and balconies, it has the characteristic features of the Modernisme.
The colorful facade of Casa Batlló tells the well-known story of St. George, the patron saint of Catalans. The fight with the dragon is represented not only in pictures, but also architecturally: The roof represents the back of the monster.
Just a few minutes walk from Casa Batlló, at number 92, is La Pedrera ("The Quarry"). The building, also known as Casa Milá, is not quite as colorful as the Casa Battló but still worth seeing. Its inner values also make it interesting: an ingenious ventilation system makes air conditioning unnecessary, there is not a single right angle, and the interior walls can be moved.
Tip: The roof of La Pedrera functions wonderfully as a viewing platform! Among other things, you will find the perfect view of the Sagrada Familia.
Plaça de Catalunya
The huge Plaça de Catalunya in the center of Barcelona is almost as large as St. Peter's Square in Rome, covering around 50,000 square meters. At the time of Barcelona's founding, it and the entire Eixample district were still outside the city walls, and it was not until 1927 that it was officially opened by King Alfonso XIII; just in time for the World's Fair, which took place two years later.
The Plaça de Catalunya also owes its numerous fountains and statues to this, which contribute a great deal to the artistic atmosphere of the square.
Tip: Apart from the square itself, Plaça de Catalunya is visited by most vacationers because of the sights in its vicinity.
La Rambla, probably the most famous street in Barcelona, starts at Plaça de Catalunya. "Rambla" is Arabic for "sandy ground," and a riverbed once ran along it. The exactly 1.3 kilometer long promenade leads to the harbor and has long since become a landmark of Barcelona. Along the wide pedestrian zone, boutiques, cafés and restaurants line up to form a paradise for shopaholics and gourmets.
Historical buildings, street performers and musicians give the Rambla its incomparable flair. Worth mentioning are the Palau Moja, the gothic-baroque Jesuit church Església de Betlem, the mosaic at the Pla de l'Os, the souvenir stands on the Rambla de Santa Mònica and the florists on the Rambla de les Flors. Numerous other sights can also be reached via the shopping mile.
Tip: If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Ramblas, you can go to the less populated and almost village-like Rambla de Raval and Rambla de Poblenou
Mercat de la Boqueria
The Mercat de la Boqueria, one of the most beautiful market halls in Barcelona, is a wonderful place to shop on La Rambla. Locals do their weekly shopping here, tourists let themselves drift in the turbulent hustle and bustle. Spices from all over the world, colorful flowers, nibbles to kneel down on, fresh fruit and vegetables, and in some cases still-living sea creatures offer a lively feast for the senses on 13,600 square meters.
Fresh food was sold here as early as the 13th century, and the official Mercat de la Boqueria opened in 1827. To this day, the huge hall is the right place to taste typical local dishes and their ingredients. Indulge in culinary delights by simply strolling from stall to stall - there are around 300 of them under the fascinating iron construction!
Tip: The abundance of Barcelona's most popular market hall is widely known. If you don't like being pushed by crowds, the Mercat de la Boqueria is the best place to have breakfast.
Barri Gòtic neighborhood (Gothic Quarter)
In Barcelona, over 100 hectares of pedestrian and strolling zones invite you to stroll. One of the best places for leisurely walks through the city is certainly the Gothic Quarter. It is also located directly on the Rambla and is one of the most beautiful areas of Barcelona.
The Barri Gòtic is the birthplace of Barcelona, here the Romans founded the settlement of Barcino in 133 BC. Today, the old town, which is well worth seeing, is characterized by small, winding streets, where enchanting cafés and stores invite you to enjoy and discover.
Bars and clubs provide a lively nightlife, museums and historical sights attract culture enthusiasts to the Gothic Quarter. For example, our next highlight: La Catedral!
Tip: The restaurants in the Barri Gòtic often offer inexpensive lunch menus - an ideal opportunity to enjoy Catalan specialties for little money.
Not only the Sagrada Familia, but also the urban cathedral in the beautiful Gothic Quarter is one of the top 10 sights of Barcelona. Its construction took about 400 years, starting in the 11th century, and the façade was not even completed until the beginning of the 20th century.
The interior of Barcelona Cathedral is over 80 meters long and 25 meters high. 29 chapels line the aisle of the nave to the high altar. In the crypt below it rests the martyr Santa Eulàlia, the patron saint of Barcelona.
In the cloister there is a simple but very effective alarm system. The flock of geese living there has successfully kept burglars and thieves away already in the Middle Ages. Their chattering still partially penetrates into the church interior today.
Tip: From the roof of the cathedral there is also a fantastic view over the old town of Barcelona.
Camp Nou Stadium and FC Barcelona Museum
To visit Barcelona without having been to Camp Nou is impossible! Even declared sports muffle should appreciate the largest soccer stadium in Europe at least from the outside of a brief look. Anyone who has anything to do with soccer or the world-famous FC Barcelona, must visit the unique arena from the inside!
Camp Nou was inaugurated in 1957 after three years of construction and has a capacity of 98,000 spectators. The massive stadium is 250 meters long, 48 meters high and around 220 meters wide.
Camp Nou Experience: When the stadium is not being played, visitors can tour the behind-the-scenes facilities , including the locker rooms, players' tunnel and press rooms. There is even a small chapel in the 55,000 square meter area. Speaking of the chapel, Pope John Paul II has already held a mass celebration at Camp Nou.
Of course, a guided tour of the FC Barcelona stadium also takes you onto the pitch. To step on the sacred turf of Messi and Co. is certainly an experience in itself!
Tip: If you want to learn more about the history and successes of FC Barcelona, pay a visit to the club museum in the northern part of the stadium!
It's almost unfair to other cities: in this metropolis of culture and pleasure, you can even lie on the beach. On average, the water temperature at Barcelona's beaches is 20°C. Holidaymakers in Barcelona are therefore happy to enjoy the bathing season almost all year round.
A good 1 kilometer long, Barceloneta Beach can be reached by metro and a ten-minute walk, it is also just a 20-minute walk from La Rambla. Despite its proximity to the city, the elongated beach is truly paradise! Beach bars offer refreshments, the colorful sails of kite surfers dance on the waves, and catamarans bobbing in the water make the setting perfect for a beach vacation.
Tip: Beach parties and fireworks turn nights on the beach into day, especially in the summer months.
PICTURES: The top 10 sights of Barcelona