14 Top Tourist Attractions in Barcelona
14. Barcelona Cathedral
Add the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, as it is formally called, to the list of Barcelona's most magnificent Gothic structures. The cathedral is also known as Barcelona Cathedral or La Seu due to its role as the archbishop's residence.
The cathedral, built in the 14th century, is dedicated to St. Eulalia, co-patron saint of Barcelona, who was assassinated by Romans by being rolled down the street in a knife-studded barrel. The church is beautiful throughout, with turrets and spires rising to the heavens. It is a popular tourist destination and currently has a gift store.
13. Museu Picasso
The Museu Picasso contains one of the most comprehensive collections of Pablo Picasso's artworks, with over 4,000 pieces.
The Museu Picasso, in particular, shows Picasso's connection with Barcelona, a bond that began during his childhood and adolescence and lasted until his death. The museum is located in La Ribera, Barcelona, among five neighboring medieval mansions.
12. La Boqueria Market
When foodies visit La Boqueria Market, a vibrant market (and tourist attraction) in the old town, they may believe they have died and gone to paradise. The market, which is located just off La Rambla, dates all the way back to 1297, when meat was sold at the city gates. Today, more than meat is sold there.
There are almost 200 booths selling a variety of goods, including farm-fresh vegetables, seafood, spices, and sweets. Purchase the necessary ingredients for a picnic lunch or dine at one of the many eateries before continuing your tour.
11. Santa Maria del Mar
Santa Maria del Mar (Saint Mary of the Sea) is a Catalan Catholic icon. The construction of this colossal cathedral started in 1329, when King Alfonso IV of Aragon placed the cornerstone. It is a great example of Catalan Gothic architecture, having been completed in 1384.
Though the outside seems harsh, the inside more than makes up for it. The stained glass windows, the high thin columns, and the simplicity of the architecture all contribute to the sense of space and tranquility. The church has been devastated by earthquakes and fires throughout the ages, but has always reclaimed its splendor.
10. Camp Nou
Although it is geared at sports enthusiasts, it remains one of Barcelona's most popular attractions. This stadium is home to the mighty F.C. Barcelona, the reigning European football champions.
With a capacity of 99,000, this magnificent sports stadium is the biggest in Europe. A tour of the stadium is certainly fascinating, and who knows, you may even catch a game!
Montjuc is a wide shallow hill to the southwest of the city center with a rather level summit. The hill's eastern face is nearly steep rock, providing a magnificent view of the city's port just below. The summit of the hill was home to numerous fortresses, the most recent of which still stands today.
Another noteworthy site is the Palau Nacional (National Palace), which was initially constructed as the International Exhibition's primary pavilion. The magnificent neo-Baroque structure houses the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC). Montjuc also has a variety of sports facilities constructed for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
8. Casa Milà
Casa Milà (La Pedrera) was Antoni Gaudi's last civil construction, completed between 1906 and 1910. The vibrant structure is regarded as one of the artist's most outlandish and intriguing architectural works, since it lacks a single straight edge on the outside.
Tours of the inside are accessible, as are the amazing roof constructions. Additionally, it has a sizable exhibition of Gaudi's masterpieces, including the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlio, in addition to La Pedrera.
7. Gothic Quarter
Old is beautiful, particularly when it's the Gothic Quarter, which is situated in the oldest section of Barcelona's Old Town. According to some, the neighborhood goes back 2,000 years, although what visitors will find now is not that old: a labyrinth of tiny alleys bordered by medieval to nineteenth-century structures.
Travelers will see the Jewish Quarter, which is considered the prettiest section of the Gothic Quarter; they will walk the paths where a young Picasso attended school; they will eat at Can Culleretes, Barcelona's oldest restaurant, which dates all the way back to 1796; and they will shop at the vibrant Boqueria market.
Barceloneta is arguably the best of Barcelona's seven beaches, which span across 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) of shoreline. It is one of the most popular and is the nearest to the city's central business district. A boardwalk extends down the 1,100-meter (3,600-foot) sandy beach, which is popular with runners and cyclists.
Unsurprisingly, this location may get busy, particularly during the summer months, when beach bars open and the beach rapidly fills up with residents and tourists.
5. Font Màgica
Font Màgica is a fountain situated on the Montjuc hill under the Palau Nacional and close to the Plaça d'Espanya and Poble Espanyol de Barcelona. Like the most of the surrounding structures, the fountain was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.
When the fountain is lit on certain nights, it draws hundreds of people who marvel at the magnificent show of light, water, and music. Simultaneously, the Palau National is lit, creating a stunning backdrop.
4. Casa Batllo
Casa Batllo is difficult to explain, possibly because it resembles a carnival gone mad. Casa Batllo, one of architect Antoni Gaudi's most renowned works, is a kaleidoscope of colors, textures, and styles.
There is a huge onion-shaped dome resembling a mosque, a bright wavy tiled roof line, and many sculptures. Gaudi transformed a nineteenth-century structure into Casa Batllo, which is often referred to as the "home of bones" because to the many mouths on one sculpture. It was an unmatched house, but not one in which the majority of people would feel at ease.
3. Parc Guëll
With other significant works in the city, such as La Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, this has to be one of Antoni Gaud's most famous works, and perhaps one of the most iconic of Barcelona.
Originally, the area was intended to be a residential development, with Gaudi overseeing much of the planning and landscape design. Only two homes were constructed, and the property was subsequently sold to Barcelona and transformed into a park. It is home to the architect's renowned Salamander sculpture, as well as other buildings and structures. This is a wonderful experience with breathtaking views of the city.
2. La Rambla
This is arguably the most renowned street in the city, and it is a swarm of activity. It is often referred to as Las Ramblas, although it is really a collection of many separate streets, each with its own distinct character.
Visitors will discover street entertainers, a plethora of pubs and restaurants, and the magnificent Boquera Market, a real feast for the eyes, just off Plaza Catalunya.
1. Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is Barcelona's most visited destination, drawing approximately 2.8 million people annually. It is a huge and complex basilica built by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Construction started in 1882 and is still ongoing. The structure is expected to be finished during the next three decades. It's worth noting that this magnificent church was entirely financed by contributions, as Gaudi planned.
The diocesan architect Francisco de Pala del Villar started work on La Sagrada Familia in March 1882. At the end of 1883, Gaudi was commissioned to take over the project. He continued to design and construct this one-of-a-kind structure until his death on June 7, 1926, at the age of 74.
Following Gaudi's death, the building was continued according to Gaudi's designs by a succession of gifted architects. Regrettably, a fire destroyed many of these designs during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Attempting to follow the remnants of the original plans has been a problem for the building's current architects.
La Sagrada Familia's design combines elements of a variety of architectural styles, including Art Nouveau, Gothic, and Catalan Modernism. Gaudi's initial designs included a temple with a capacity of 13,000 people. Because he despised straight lines, he modeled his buildings after the peaks of Montserrat Mountain near Barcelona, which have similarly irregular lines.
Anyone with an interest in architecture will find this structure enthralling to examine. The designs feature 18 spires representing Jesus Christ, Mary, the four Evangelists, and the Twelve Apostles. Some of these spires are currently under construction, while others are accessible to the public.
Additionally, the design plans for the structure to have three facades. This includes the Nativity Façade, which faces east, the Passion Façade, which faces west, and the Glory Façade, which faces south. In 1930, the Nativity Facade was finished. The Passion Façade is still under construction, as is the Glory Façade.
Visitors will be mesmerized by the complex design features and religious symbolism woven throughout the church's rooms. The finished portion of the church, as well as the completed towers, are accessible to the public. Additionally, the building has a small museum with scale models and drawings depicting the building's construction designs.
Since the autumn of 2010, La Sagrada Familia has been providing worship options to anyone who want to participate. Additionally, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated and declared the church a basilica during his November 2010 visit.
Gaudi anticipated that his masterpiece would not be finished during his lifetime in his designs. He intended for it to be constructed in stages, allowing each generation to focus on a particular area. This magnificent church is almost complete, and when it is, Gaudi's vision will be realized.