I have been lucky enough to visit Barcelona, Spain a few times now. Unfortunately though, I have always been left with an empty feeling of ‘just passing through’, which leaves me less than fulfilled as a traveller and explorer.  Because I find cities the most stimulating places to visit, today I want to share the best places to visit in Barcelona.  Barcelona attractions are rich with culture and with lots to see and do.  When I head back to to this part of Spain, this will be my list of things to see in Barcelona.

My first visit to Barcelona was during a cruise in mid August 2011.  I was 8 weeks pregnant at the time and to say I wasn’t feeling my best was an understatement.  Being distracted by pregnancy related symptoms when you are travelling is no fun at all and definitely effected my Barcelona sightseeing.

I was back in Barcelona twice in 2016, but the first time was to travel onto our Al Fresco holiday in Tarragona and the second was to join the NCL Mediterranean cruise.  I’m feeling robbed, as Barcelona is one of the most popular city break destinations from the UK and there is so much more that I want to see.  I’ve ticked a few things of my things to do in Barcelona list, but here’s the Barcelona activities  I’d love to see and do (with a little help from Avis Car Hire UK and some of my favourite and most trusted travel bloggers), when I go back.

What to do in Barcelona

Barcelona Tapas Run

Barcelona is particularly famous for its range of culinary delights, but for me nothing beats an evening exploring the tapas bars, sampling different dishes and enjoying the local wines.  Head to the Old Fishermans Quarter to sample some of the best tapas in Barcelona in an authentic Spanish atmosphere.  This is one of the top things to do in Barcelona if you want to experience the local food culture.

plate of spanish tapas

Parc De La Cuitadella

There are many parks to visit in the city, but one of the perfect places to visit in Barcelona for a relaxed stroll and a little people watching is Parc De La Cuitadella.  Walk through the impressive Arc de Triomf to enjoy over 70 beautiful acres of luscious scenery surrounded by palm tree lined promenades.  No one will be disappointed with a visit here, as it has something for everyone including Barcelona’s Zoo.

Visit Barcelona Beach

Barcelona beach is a popular place to visit with locals and tourists not wanting to go too far a field to relax in the sun.  Monika from Mum On The Brink says ‘I love Barcelona! We loved the beach the most for the ability to nip into town for a culture and foodie fix in between fun in the sun and sea. I did it mostly on my own with 2 little ones, as my husband was working most of the time while we were there. The harbour is a Barcelona must see and the aquarium is an easy place to visit with kids too.

Barcelona beach and promenade

Go To Parc Guell

You will see Gaudi’s influence all over the city, but one of my favourite places to see in Barcelona is Parc Guell.  It truly embraces his flamboyant and organic approach to art and architecture whilst offering some incredible views over the city.  Claire from Tin Box Traveller recommends booking at least a day in advance if you want to access the memorial gardens, as slots get booked out in high season.  It’s one of the best tourist attractions in Barcelona to visit with children as they can explore the different colours and textures of the park, whilst burning off a little energy in the outdoors.

Sagrada Familia

If you speak to anyone who has visited the city, I’m pretty sure they will tell you one of the best things to do in Barcelona is visit the Sagrada Familia.  I have had the amazing, yet almost torturous experience of visiting the Sagrada Familia and enjoying it’s splendid architecture from the outside only.  Being one of the most famous places in Barcelona, when you arrive late in the day in August, the queues are incredibly long and not for the faint hearted.  The true colour and beauty of this building come to life when you step inside, so make sure you arrive early and book your ticket in advance to enjoy Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece.

inside Sagrada Familia

Visit Montjuic via Cable Car

Barcelona is a large city, and there’s no better way to get a feel for your surroundings than by taking a cable car ride to Montjuic.  Once you’ve reached the top, enjoy surveying the stunning city and spend some time visiting some of the nearby attractions including the Castle of Montjuïc.  It’s one of the best places to go in Barcelona to enjoy the city views.

Tibidabo Amusement Park

If you are visiting Barcelona with children then Kirstie from The Family Adventure Project strongly recommends that you add Tibidabo Amusement Park to your list of fun things to do in Barcelona and I have to say I agree with her!  She says ‘families may prefer some cool air and simple fun at the foot of another iconic church. Tibidabo Parc d’atracciones has one of the best views in Barcelona. The magnificent Temple of Sagrat Cor provides the architecture and culture fix, while the rides provide the fun.’  This place definitely ticks a lot of if you are looking for things to do in Barcelona with kids.

Las Rambla

human statue on Las rambla Barcelona

Samantha from North East Family Fun highly recommends a visit to Las Rambla as a must do in Barcelona.  ‘I love Barcelona’ says Samantha ‘and I have visited 3 times with my children. Our favourite thing to do is wander down Las Rambla and take in all of the street theatre then stop for a drink on a pavement cafe and watch the world go by.  There are lots of cafe’s, restaurants and shops in this area so it’s one of the most popular places in Barcelona for a number of visitors.

Explore Costa Barcelona 

If you are looking for things to do near Barcelona, the city is also a great base for exploring the rest of the region. If you have time during your visit it’s a very popular thing to do amongst travel bloggers too.  Just an hour outside the city you will find vineyards, a national park and the Olympic Water Sports centre says Cathy from Mummy Travels.

Lisa from Travel Loving Family shares a long list of things to do outside Barcelona, including visiting a 10000 year old thermal spa.  For those looking for tips for taking a road trip in Costa Brava, Gretta from Mums Do Travel has a great list of activities for you to try along the way.

I hope you found this list of things to see and do in Barcelona useful.  What Barcelona tourist spots do you plan on visiting while you are there?  Please do leave me a comment below and share your top things to see in Barcelona!

Pin these best places to see in Barcelona to your favourite travel board now!

The best things to do in Barcelona, Spain

This post was written in collaboration with Avis Car Hire UK

16 COMMENTS

  1. I didn’t realise there is so much to do and see, and it is somewhere I really would like to visit now with the little ones. Barcelona beach looks very inviting right now…..Lovely post x

  2. Great guide to Barcelona Zena. I absolutely adore this city, it has so much to offer for families. I would also add a tour around Camp Nou to your list above. I am not a football fan HOWEVER even I got a thrill from checking out the stadium and changing rooms of FC Barcelona, the largest stadium in Spain. Thanks for linking up my attractions a short drive from Barcelona;)
    Lisa (Travel Loving Family) recently posted…WIN a luxury family break at Ardencote, Warwick. Worth £440!My Profile

  3. This post has really come at the perfect time – after a slightly disastrous first trip to Barcelona years ago (rain, an ill husband, I could go on), I’m finally heading back in March. It’s a flying visit and I’ll be working most of the time, but I have a few hours free one afternoon and am currently trying to decide which unmissable Barcelona highlight to squeeze in. It’s a tough call – and I’ve got a second list of things to do with my daughter. Evidently I need a third trip…
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…UK travel for bookworms: literary tourism in EnglandMy Profile

  4. Enjoyed reading this via the BritMums travel round up – Spain. Great tips here for Barcelona – a city I love but haven’t been to for a while – you made me want to return!

  5. I have only spent a few hours in the city while waiting for a cancelled and hastily rearranged flight. I would really love to return there one day !

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