Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, attracting over 7 million visitors every year. The city was an important Christian pilgrimage site in the medieval period and remains one of the most-visited in Europe to this day. Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain and is the largest city on the shores of the Mediterranean. This historical city boasts 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From medieval churches and monuments to modern museums and infrastructure, Barcelona has a lot to offer to its visitors. Plenty of cultural activities and an active nightlife add to its charm. Here are our pick of 10 attractions that no tourist should miss when visiting Barcelona.
- Casa Batllo
Casa Batllo is a redesigned building in Barcelona that stands as one of finest masterpieces of architect Antoni Gaudi. He remodeled this house in 1904 and gave it a look that can be best described as a fusion of Art Nouveau and Modernism. The look of its façade has earned it the local nickname Casa dels ossos, or, the House of Bones. Casa Batllo is one of the 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona.
- Museu Picasso
Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest painters to come out of Spain. Museu Picasso, located in the La Ribera neighborhood of Barcelona, is the only museum that was established during the lifetime of the artist. It was founded in 1963 and with over 4250 displays, has one of the richest collection of works by the master. Museu Picasso is spread over 5 medieval palaces on Montcada Street. It is a must-visit attraction for art lovers.
Montjuic is a flat-topped hill located to the southwest of the Barcelona city center. The eastern side of this hill is a steep cliff that overlooks the harbor. The hilltop is home to the castle of Montjuic, the last remaining fortification of the site. The castle dates back to the 17th century and has been an integral part of Catalonian history. Other attractions at Montjuic include the Fundacio Joan Miro art museum, a botanical garden, an ethnology museum, a cemetery, the Catalan Museum of Archaeology, and the Olympic and Sports Museum Joan Antoni Samaranch.
- Palau de la Musica Catalana
The cultural excellence and glory of Catalonia is best reflected by the grandeur of the Palau de la Musica Catalana. It was built in 1908 for the Orfeo Catala choral society and remains as one of the architectural landmarks of the city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts over half a million visitors every year. It has been the venue of numerous musical performances that range from chamber and symphonic music to Canco and jazz. Both the interior and the exterior of the concert hall are very richly carved with statues and floral designs in what is nothing short of a visual spectacle.
- Parc Guell
Park Guell is a public park located on Carmel Hill on the Collserola mountain range. The site was originally designated to be a residential area but was later transformed into a park. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi who was renowned for his experiments with Catalan Modernism. Parc Guell was completed in 1914 after 14 years of construction but was opened to the public in 1926. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Parc Guell is not just a park but a work of art in itself. The splash of colors and fantasy-laden designs almost transport the visitor to a land of magic.
- Casa Mila
Casa Mila is the last redesigned private residence by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. It was completed in 1906 and was criticized from several quarters because of its twisted iron balconies and undulating stone façade. However, over the decades, the work stood out as one of the finest examples of Catalan Modernism style of architecture. In 1984, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on Passeig de Gracia and deserves a visit for its unconventional and almost eccentric design.
- La Barceloneta
Barcelona may not be known for its beaches, but it was ranked by both Discovery Channel and National Geographic as having one of the top 10 urban beaches in the world! Our pick of the Barcelona beaches is La Barceloneta, which combines beach fun along with a pounding nightlife. This sandy beach is home to many nightclubs and restaurants along its boardwalk. It is also a popular port of call for many cruise ships. If you want a break from the beach, then you can visit the neighboring Casa de la Barcelonata Museum, which provides insights to the history of the neighborhood.
- Camp Nou
Sports lovers will associate Barcelona as home of one of the leading football clubs in the world – Barcelona FC. Worth over USD 3.5 billion, it is one of the richest sporting clubs in the world. Barcelona FC lives up to its motto Mes que un Club, which translates to ‘more than a club.’ Camp Nou has been the home ground of this legendary club since 1957. However, the present look comes from extensive renovations and upgrading in 2008. Camp Nou has a seating capacity of 99,354, making it the largest stadium in Europe. Camp Nou has hosted the FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympics. Even if you cannot get tickets to any match at Camp Nou, a guided tour will surely be worth the time and experience.
- La Rambla
La Rambla is a 1.2 kilometer long street in Barcelona that is popular with the locals and tourists alike. The street is lined with trees, giving it a distinct look. It is dotted with cafes, restaurants, souvenir kiosks, street performers, and artists selling their crafts. During the peak tourist season, it is one of the busiest streets in Barcelona.
- Sagrada Familia
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, or simply Sagrada Familia, is probably the most prominent landmark of Barcelona. This impressive Roman Catholic church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was one of the last projects of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. The construction started in 1882 and is still ongoing. It is scheduled to finish in 2026 – the death centenary of Gaudi. The church is easily identified with its numerous spires that dominate the skyline of Barcelona. The façade is one of the most intricate with images from the Bible. With over 2.8 million visitors every year, this is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions of not only Barcelona, but the whole of Spain.
Originally posted 2017-06-06 08:01:22.