Top 5 Things to Do and See in Barcelona
What Should You Visit While in Barcelona?
Barcelona is my favorite city in the world. From the incredibly friendly people, beautiful weather, and wide variety of things to experience; you can understand why! The whole city is a piece of art, especially the feats of architecture done by Antoni Gaudí.
Having been to Barcelona on two separate occasions, I have experienced a wide variety of what Barcelona has to offer. If you are on a time crunch however, these are the five places you need to experience before you leave.
Top 5 Places in Barcelona
1. Basilica of Sagrada Familia
As I mentioned above, Antoni Gaudí is one of, if not, the best architect to ever live. Most of his work, and especially his most famous work is housed right in Barcelona.
On pace to be the world’s tallest church by 2026, the first stone was laid in 1882. Over the course of the next almost 140 years, the Sagrada Familia would become a worldwide icon, and a testament to not only Antoni Gaudí’s one-of-a-kind style, but also to Barcelona as a whole and what it represents.
On both of my trips to Barcelona, I failed to get inside the Basilica. This was due to bad planning on my part. See, being one of the most famous churches in the world, there are over three million visitors to this attraction alone per year.
If you really want to see the interior of this behemoth, you need to buy your tickets early, and arrive to the church early. Both trips to Barcelona, I found that the line to get in was six hours long. The people with tickets still had to wait. So get there before it opens in the morning. You can Google the operating hours.
Not many people can say they have been inside the Sagrada Familia, make sure you are a part of the lucky few that got to experience this thing in all of its glory!
2. Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló was originally built in 1877 by one of Antoni Gaudí’s professors. Some 25 years later, a man by the name of Josep Batlló purchased the building. Josep Batlló and the rest of the Batlló family were very well known in Barcelona as major powerhouses in the textile industry.
In 1904, Mr. Batlló commissioned none other than Antoni Gaudí to completely rehab the original building. Antoni had complete creative control over the building, so it was his easel. Originally, the plan was to tear the building down and restart, however Antoni fought against this and one.
This led to the creation of one of the most significant cultural icons in Barcelona, and to modernism architecture as well. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and welcomes over one million visitors every year.
If you are going to Barcelona, this is a must visit. The museum offers some amazing pieces of art that are guaranteed to blow you away. Mentally, not physically!
3. La Barceloneta
The best neighborhood in Barcelona, in my opinion, because it has everything I could ever want. The great thing with Barceloneta, is that it is right on the sea. So you have some of the best seafood restaurants you could ever eat, a long line of bars and clubs to get your party on, and even tour some historic landmarks.
Now, the reason I put this on the list, is because of the bars and clubs. This is where the party is, and where the party always will be. Who doesn’t love partying on the beach in Barcelona? Very few people.
Go out for an amazing dinner, and lead that right into a night of fun, only at Barceloneta.
The following day you can go back to experience the natural beauty it possesses, as well as the man made beauty such as boats and ships coming in and out of the port.
Barceloneta is centrally located as well, so it is no trouble at all to get there.
For a complete list of places to see in Barceloneta, check out TripSavvy’s list of twelve iconic destinations.
4. Camp Nou
This is for all of you football (soccer) fans out there. Camp Nou is the home to FC Barcelona, one of the biggest names in sports worldwide. This mega stadium can seat just shy of 100,000 people! That is enough to rank it as the largest stadium in Europe, and the third largest football stadium in the world.
If you have ever been to Dallas Cowboys Stadium (AT&T), they both have about the same seating capacity, just to put it into perspective.
Even if you aren’t a soccer fan, getting a ticket to tour the stadium is well worth it. I did the self-guided tour, as I wanted to be on my own schedule and do my own exploring. If I were to go back, I’d buy the full players experience tour.
See, my basic tour just involved the museum and tour of the stadium itself. I got to sit in the seats, check out the press boxes, VIP lounges, and even the changing rooms. Now, for $30, that was one of the coolest experiences of my life. The museum was packed with history, soccer balls used in World Cup matches, and even jerseys from legendary players.
The full players experience involves all of that, but you also get professional photos, an official gift from the football club, and the opportunity to walk on the field! It comes at a much steeper price, but with proper planning and budgeting, I’d highly recommend going this route.
5. Magic Fountain
I’m a sucker for fountains, especially fountains that put on a show. I just think they are always so cool! The Magic Fountain in Barcelona is all of that and then some. Want to hear something great about it? It’s completely free.
This grand champion of a fountain operates 3620 water jets that circulate 687 gallons of water every second. On top of this, the pool itself contains over 818,000 gallons of water, and hosts 4760 lights, all according to BarcelonaHacks.com.
The show lasts for around 20 minutes, which means that zero dollars you spent goes a super long way. I promise you the display the fountain puts on will leave you speechless and will stick with you for a lifetime.
The first fountain show I ever watched, was in Dubai. To this day, I still get chills thinking about it, or whenever I hear the song that accompanied the performance.
The key to getting the best fountain experience is to know when and how to arrive. Ensure you know what buses you need to take, or if you are renting a car, where to park. Also, get there early. As you can assume, this thing is a huge magnet for locals and tourists alike, so getting there early will guarantee you a good view!
Read through this post for up-to-date information on the showtimes for the fountain.
The city of 1.6 million people has an immense amount of opportunity for fun and great experiences. If you plan on going to Barcelona, try to spend at least five full days there. The city is ginormous, and five days is allows you plenty of time to see everything you want to see.
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