How to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to Barcelona

How to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to Barcelona

Are you planning a trip to Spain? Is Barcelona on your itinerary? If you visit the city, there are quite a few memorable sights you can’t miss.

Barcelona is the most popular tourist destination on the Mediterranean Sea. It’s one of the most important cultural and economic centers in southern Europe. And it’s also at the forefront of biotechnology innovation in Spain.

Yet the majority of people that visit go there for the impressive structures and unique architecture. Check out some of the most famous sights you shouldn’t miss on your trip.

1. The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia

Translated as the Church of the Family, this is Gaudi’s masterpiece and an excellent example of Catalan modernism. Considered the most iconic building in Barcelona, it’s impossible to miss a trip to this location if you’re visiting Barcelona.

With its 18 spindly towers, the basilica towers over all other monuments in the city. The lavish exterior and immense interior are gorgeous and awe-inspiring. And the interior alone boasts a ceiling height of 90 meters. On the outside, you can see a Nativity façade, as well as a Passion façade. 

Interestingly enough, the basilica has yet to be completed even today. Yet it’s a UNESCO-listed building that attracts millions of tourists every year. The building is a one-of-a-kind monument that inspires through its stature, religious motifs, and Art Nouveau architecture.

2. Parc Guell

Parc Guell, Barcelona

Another one of the most famous Barcelona spots is Parc Guell. It’s another UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s also designed by Gaudi. The park opened in 1914 and offers a surreal experience to tourists and locals alike.

Its architectural elements include winding staircases, viaducts, and grottoes. The park also has unique seats scattered throughout the area. The creativity of the famous Catalan architect is on display everywhere you look.

Within the park, you can also see where Gaudi lived. The garden that surrounds the architect’s home offers a collection of artwork and decorative objects. All in all, Parc Guell is a very colorful location that’s perfect for a stroll.

3. Casa Mila

Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Among other things to do in Barcelona, a trip to Casa Mila quickly comes to mind. This is a UNESCO-listed secular building, also known as La Pedrera. Also designed by Gaudi, it now houses a cultural center.

What’s unique about the structure is its façade that resembles an open quarry. And it was one of the most striking residences of its time. 

Commissioned as a private home and apartment complex, Casa Mila looks more like a sculpture. The sinuous lines and natural decorations set it apart and make for an amazing sightseeing attraction.

4. The Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum

Compared to other sights on this list, the Picasso Museum doesn’t impress with its architecture. Yet it’s what’s on the inside that matters. 

Opened since 1963, this museum houses one of the largest collections of the painter’s earliest works. The museum offers over 4,000 works of art and many rare pieces – pieces you won’t see anywhere else in the world. 

It also paints a terrific picture of the artist’s evolution through the years and his connections to the city.

5. Camp Nou

Camp Nou Stadium

Even if you’re not a soccer fan, visiting the stadium of its most famous local team, Barcelona, FC, is worthwhile. Camp Nou is the second-largest stadium in the world. It seats over 99,000 spectators and is an iconic site of the city.

Its impressive architecture, as well as the stadium’s museum, attracts tourists from all over the world. If you’re lucky, you can even catch a game and see the stadium come alive.

6. Magic Fountain

Magic Fountain, Barcelona

If you’re visiting Barcelona and you want something to do at night, a trip to the Magic Fountain might entertain you. Every night, you can catch a one-hour show at the art deco fountain. The light and water shows choreographed to music catch the eye of anyone passing by.

7. Monestir de Pedralbes

Monestir de Pedralbes

Another impressive architectural display is the Monestir de Pedralbes. It’s a Catalan-Gothic structure located in the picturesque park of Lardines Reina Elisenda.

The gothic church sits in a three-story complex that features many convent buildings. There’s also a museum you can visit. During the day, you can relax in the idyllic garden and sit under the shade of native palms.

8. Hospital de Sant Pau

Hospital de Sant Pau

Not many people think about going sightseeing in old hospitals. That said, Hospital de Sant Pau is one of Barcelona’s architectural gems. Today it’s no longer operational. But during its heyday, it was one of the most technologically advanced in Europe.

The complex spans several blocks and has a total of 27 buildings. The hospital inspires through both aboveground and underground ingenuity. Its isolated pavilions even feature tunnel connections. On the outside, there are many gardens and other open spaces that brighten up the complex.

It’s one of the largest and most impressive buildings in Barcelona. If you want to explore Barcelona, this is a must-see location.

9. Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo Barcelona

Another one of Gaudi’s impressive works, Casa Batllo, is a very elaborate-looking mansion. Construction on the building ended in 1877 and it underwent renovation from 1904 to 1906. 

This is one of the structures that Gaudi touched but didn’t create from scratch. Nevertheless, it features iconic organic shapes and many colorful windows. The architect’s signature style is all over the mansion. Its roof is particularly appealing as it resembles the back of a dragon, complete with scales.

10. Church of Santa Maria del Mar

Church of Santa Maria del Mar

One of the smaller churches in the city, the Church of Santa Maria del Mar is nothing short of impressive. What it lacks in size, it makes up for with its signature Catalan-Gothic architecture. The interior is very spacious and gets in a lot of light.

The wide arches and slender columns come together really well and make the church look even bigger. Many tourists appreciate the sober décor and lack of ornamental features. This style choice separates this small basilica from the more lavish ones in the city.

A Catalan Architectural Gem

Barcelona has a very long history, dating back to its founding as a Roman city. And it’s one of the most vibrant cities in Spain today. While very modern, it still does a great job of preserving its most iconic structures and sights.

Whether you go by air, land, or sea, the city welcomes tourists all-year-round.

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How to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to Barcelona