Top Five Things To Do When Visiting Barcelona

Things To Do When Visiting Barcelona

The city of Barcelona is the capital of the community of Catalonia in Spain, and is the country’s second-largest metropolitan area. In addition to being one of the largest economic, financial, and cultural hubs of Europe, Barcelona is a popular travel destination for tourists from all over the world.

Antique pastry shop in Ramblas street, Barcelona
Antique pastry shop in Ramblas St, Barcelona

Barcelona was founded as a Roman city in the European Middle Ages, and within the next thousand years suffered a number of sieges, wars, power struggles, and changes in leadership in addition to attracting immigrants from all over the world. As a result, the city has evolved into an abundant and multilayered center of a diverse heritage, and is the cradle of a truly unique saga in European history.

Also See: Where to Stay in Barcelona, Spain

As is the inclination among Mediterranean cities, Barcelona cultivates an air of welcome that is dynamic, yet refined. The city offers the perfect mixture of a modern, vibrant liveliness as well as a dignified legacy of Spanish and Catalonian ancestry.

Beautiful sightseeing, temperate weather, and a rich cultural mosaic make this sumptuous Spanish jewel a city to enjoy to one’s fullest. If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona in the near future, here are five recommendations on what you absolutely don’t want to miss while you’re there:

Sagrada Familia - Barcelona Spain
Sagrada Família in Barcelona Spain

1. Visit Barcelona’s churches.

The many religious structures and cathedrals of Barcelona are a major draw for spiritual folk and art lovers alike. Barcelona is famous for its iconic modernist and Gothic architecture, and there is no place that the breathtaking art of Spain can be more beautifully showcased than by its churches.

Perhaps the most famous of all churches in Barcelona, La Seu is a majestic and soaring cathedral that overlooks the entire Gothic quarter. Another is La Sagrada Familia, a bizarrely creative brainchild of famous Spanish architect Gaudi, filled top to bottom with art and statuary that range from divine to disturbing. Finally, Sant Pau del Camp is one of Barcelona’s oldest churches, dating back to medieval times and standing as a striking example of Spanish Romanesque design.

 2. Browse the boutiques for the latest fashions.

Barcelona is one of the fastest-growing fashion centers of Europe, quickly catching up with Paris and Milan, and recently boasting its own Fashion Week. In particular, the Raval and Borne areas of downtown Barcelona are home to a growing number of cutting-edge designers and boutique shops.

In fact, the sheer number of unique, one-off designer shops may be considered one of the strongest elements that distinguishes Barcelona from other European cosmopolitan areas. While window-shopping in a trendy urban area of Barcelona, you may find colorful tunic tops, high-quality handmade leather goods, designer jeans, the latest upcoming shoe styles, and everything in between.

3. Eat, drink, and be merry.

The food scene in Barcelona is quite unique to the area, as the culture largely follows a Mediterranean type diet rich in fish, legumes, and vegetables seasoned with olive oil. In contrast to the tapas bars that feature prominently across the rest of Spain, most people of the Catalan area will instead snack on meat and cheese plates referred to as raciones.

Lunch is the most important meal in Barcelona, and is colloquially named menú del día, literally “meal of the day”. A traditional lunch will involve three or four courses, including soup and salad, grilled meat and fish, a side of fresh bread, and a light dessert of fruit and yogurt. Some classic Catalan dishes you’ll want to try include botifarras (a local sausage variety, crème brulee, and the essential Barcelona snack, pa amb tomàquet (a rough bread topped with olive oil and tomatoes and served with cold cuts).

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 16: Bathers in Nova Icaria Beach on Au
Bathers in Bed And Beach Barcelona in Barcelona Spain

4. Soak in the Mediterranean Sea.

The city of Barcelona sits upon the beautiful Mediterranean shore and boasts exquisite beaches of golden sand and warm, shallow waters perfect for a day in the sun. All of Barcelona’s beaches are easily reached by bicycle or by public transportation, and they offer a comfortable array of amenities from quaint eateries and tranquil terraces, to sailing tours and water sports. Beaches are open to the public and generally even offer Wi-Fi, so you can lie back and watch Netflix as you sunbathe. St. Sebastia and St. Miquel are two of Barcelona’s oldest and most traditional beaches, and are a perfect destination if you’re looking to soak up some sunshine.

Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona
Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

5. Explore the city’s rich art heritage.

Barcelona is home to some of history’s greatest painters, sculptors, and architects. The works of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and the architect Antonio Gaudi are all an important part of Barcelona’s culture, and their pieces can be found all throughout the city. Museo Picasso showcases the paintings of Picasso, and the Joan Miro Foundation museum in the Gothic quarter houses over 14,000 Miro paintings, sculptures, and sketches – a day’s worth of sightseeing for any art enthusiast.

If museums aren’t your thing, take a stroll down La Rambla, Barcelona’s main pedestrian thoroughfare that offers a lavish array of statues, mosaics, medieval architecture, and picturesque cafes.

Also Read: Brilliant Streets and Genius Architecture: Two Days in Barcelona, Spain

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