. The top 10 best places to see in Barcelona : Budget Travel Adventures

The top 10 best places to see in Barcelona

cafe con leche Barcelona

Coffee? Not on my list of places to see in Barcelona

Sitting in the café near my hotel, the time had come for me to try it again.  What better place to enjoy it than Barcelona!  While years had passed since I tried it, this seemed the Spanish thing to do.

As the first mocha colored aroma filled my nose, I took a sip.  My taste buds hadn’t changed.

I still didn’t like coffee.

Fortunately, I was here to savor the city of Barcelona.  While the years have passed and my disdain for coffee hasn’t changed, I developed a taste for Spain.

Instead of pleasing my palate, my eyes were served a savory treat with my favorite places to see in Barcelona.

A cup of coffee and timeless beauty in Barcelona

Cities grow, cultures evolve, and things change.  However, some places to see in Barcelona are eternal – La Sagrada FamiliaAntoni Gaudi and his Block of DiscordPark GuellLas RamblasBarceloneta beaches.

Barcelona, beaches, and football left an impression on me as the city became one of my favorite cities in Spain.

While I didn’t get locked out of my hotel or eat at McDonald’s, I shared my stories and travel lessons from my trip to Barcelona.  Some things in this beautiful city don’t change.

In my Barcelona photos, the words and descriptions are left up to you.  So let your passions be stirred, wear your FC Barcelona jersey, and unleash your inner Catalan as I share my favorite places to see in Barcelona.

So don’t hold it against me if I don’t love café con leche.  Enjoy your cup of coffee and take it from me.

If travel is a book, Barcelona deserves a couple of pages.

The top 10 places to see in Barcelona

From parks to museums to churches to funky buildings, Barcelona is full of culture and beauty.  Take some time and connect with the locals as you enjoy the 10 best places to see in Barcelona.

Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach places to see in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia places to see in Barcelona

Park Güell

Park Guell best places to see in Barcelona

Camp Nou – FC Barcelona

Camp Nou FC Barcelona best places to see in Barcelona

Casa Mila, Antoni Gaudí, and the Block of Discord

Casa Mila Antoni Gaudí Block of Discord best places to see in Barcelona

1992 Olympic village

Olympic village best places to see in Barcelona

Magic Fountain Montjuic Park

Magic Fountain Montjuic Park best places to see in Barcelona

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum best places to see in Barcelona

La Boqueria Market

La Bocqueria best places to see in Barcelona

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas places to see in Barcelona

What’s the best thing about these Barcelona attractions?  Over half of the places on this list are free!

What attractions would you add this list of places to see in Barcelona?

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  1. Carlos says:

    I would add two neighborhoods/areas: Born (really close to Barceloneta) and Gràcia. In Gràcia you are in Barcelona, but it feels like you were in a small town at the same time, Packed with bars, restaurants and nice squares. Totally recommendable.

    • Thanks for the tips Carlos. I didn’t know about those areas in Barcelona. However, I love exploring local neighborhoods when I travel. These sound like interesting places and great locations to connect with locals. I could probably find a few fellow Barca fans to hang out with as well :)

  2. You pretty much covered them all. I would add the streets around the Eixmple area. I never get tired of walking around Barcelona.

  3. Gray says:

    You hit a lot of my highlights in Barcelona, but missed two of my favorites: Montjuic Castle and the City History Museum. The latter has fascinating ruins in the basement and a timeline of how the city grew, over the centuries, on that site. Montjuic Castle has the best views of Barcelona.

    • Gray, I included the Magic Fountain and Olympic Village near Montjuic. Sadly, I didn’t get to the castle though. You are right – definitely worth adding and would have loved to seen the views of Barcelona from there. I can’t remember if I went to the city museum but I did go one to similar to what you are talking about. However, can’t remember the name of it. Had Roman columns in it though. Is that the same one? I can find a photo of it if that helps :)

      • Gray says:

        If it had Roman columns, that may have been it. Did it have an elevator that was like a “time machine” going back through time? If so, that was it. :-)

  4. Aryn says:

    All great! I suggest going to Park Guell at sunrise for an amazing view of the city!

    Aryn
    Driftwood and Daydreams

    • I don’t often get up early enough for sunrises. However, I do love a good sunset! Park Guell is beautiful no matter what time of day :)

      • Carlos says:

        Park Güell It’s a great visit for families with children too. Inside there are 3 different playgrounds. Our two boys never get tired of it.

        Seems that soon they will start charging an entrance fee so enjoy it while it’s free ;-)

        • That’s too bad they are going to start changing to go to Park Guell. Any idea when this will start?

          There are definitely lots of play areas there. Great views of the city too!

          • Carlos says:

            They will start charging a fee in october 2013, between 5 and 10 euros.

            It’s funny because due to the european laws they can’t allow free entrance to people who lives in Barcelona and charge to the europeans because would be discriminatory so… they thought a way to sort it: Any person can ask for a free entrance but it will arrive 7 days later to your address.

          • That’s interesting. So if you are a tourist, is there any way you can plan your visit ahead of time and get tickets shipped to your home before you leave on your trip? Just curious if there is a way around this for those that aren’t in Barcelona or Europe.

          • Carlos says:

            They will require to request the tickets physically in an office in the center of Barcelona to avoid that.

            So I guess there are two options: Stay more than 7 days or ask someone who already is in Barcelona to request the tickets in advance. But I’m not sure about the last one because they may require to request personally.

          • Well that’s a bummer. I wonder if people can order and have them delivered to their hotel or hostel? If the amount is 5 to 10 euros a person that can add up really quickly for a family or group. It’s a great park but I wouldn’t want to pay that much. Then you have lines to get in and it just makes the park a less enjoyable experience. It’s a park – not a museum.

  5. This pretty much covers the places I experienced in Barcelona. The only one that I remember that did not make the list is the statue of Columbus pointing to America. I know he has been discredited in history for being unusually cruel, but the historical significance is still interesting. Great pictures though. When did you got there?

  6. I haven’t been to Barcelona yet but I think the most intriguing things to me are all related to Gaudi.

    • I am not a big fan of modern architecture. However, Gaudi’s style was nice. I actually liked it. He has had such a huge influence on that city that his fingerprints are all over the place. Definitely visit Park Guell if you go.

  7. Barcelona is always my top favorite place for visiting.Thanks for showing the top best places of Barcelona ! By the way there happens a music concert named as “Sonar”.. this is a must to attend in Barcelona!

  8. Great list, Jeremy. I’ve yet to see the Olympic Village, will have to add it to my list.

    • Being the sports fan that I am, this was definitely on my list. I didn’t include this in the post but there is also an Olympic museum there as well. Worth checking out as it has some great memorabilia from the Olympics.

  9. brandy bell says:

    I agree with your list, Jeremy– although I am heart broken to hear you don’t like coffee ;)

    The views from the top of Park Guell are some of my favorite in all of Barcelona :)

  10. Laurence says:

    I made them all apart from the Olympic Park! Still, 9 out of 10 isn’t bad ;)

    • Being a sports fan, loved the Olympic village area. They also have a great Olympics museum there. Great views of the city as well. If you get back to Barcelona, check it out! Anything you would add to this list?

  11. What a great city and all of the places on this list rock–seen them all except the stadium. There wasn’t a game on when we were in town or we definitely would have gone!

    • The stadium used to serve as the Espanyol football team. However, I think they have a new one as well. There is also a great Olympics museum there so if you go back, check it out – even if there isn’t a sporting event.

      Would you add another place to this list?

  12. Doris says:

    The “real” coffee experience you can find in Italy!!! :) But just forget it if you dislike the taste… ;)

    Awesome list, my favorite city in Europe! I’d also add Gracia neighborhood and Tibidabo! It’s a mountain with an amusement park and a church… I went there often for a small hike and the view. You see the whole city beneath you and the sea in the horizon… :)

    • I never tried coffee in Italy. However, I don’t think I’d like it there either :)

      I’ve never heard of the Gracia area and Tibidabo. Next time I go back I will have to check it out. Sounds like an area I would love to explore. How did you discover it?

      • Doris says:

        Haha, yeah Italian coffee is even stronger… :)

        I used to live close to Parc Güell kinda between Gràcia and Tibidabo. Had to explore my neighborhoods. ;) Gràcia feels like a smaller city inside Barcelona with good bars and restaurants, very much recommend it! Thanks for sharing your passion for travel. :)

        • When people visit big cities like Barcelona, they always see the same things. I guess you have to because there are the attractions people don’t want to miss. I love the idea of exploring neighborhoods and finding new places. Thanks for sharing about Gracia and Tibidado.

          Great neighborhoods, connecting with people, and finding those out of the way places are what make travel enjoyable. Seeing the big sights is a must but it’s more of a checklist than a memory for many of these places. Maybe it’s just me.

  13. Dang, I’ve never made it to Barcelona, but now I want to go. Darn you and your beautiful photos :)

  14. Sofia says:

    I agree with all of the above, great things to do. Another tip is to take a day trip to nearby towns (like Sitges and Sant Pol). They’re really nice and the beaches are much better!

    • Thanks for the tip Sofia. When I was there, I didn’t get a chance to get outside the city. I enjoyed walking the neighborhoods in Barcelona. Glad to know there are some nicer beaches outside of Barceloneta. Any time I travel, connecting with the people and getting off the beaten path is a great way to discover new experiences in popular destinations.

  15. We really didn’t enjoy Barcelona to begin with as there were too many tourists etc. However after we dug around a little and explored Barcelona by bike, we took a liking to it.

  16. These are good tips, annnnnnnnd, there’s nothing new here; all of these are listed in guide books (for a reason!). Of the above I’d say skip the Magic Foutains.

    I’ve lived in Barcelona 7+ years and would also recommend seeing Gracia (another commented said the same), seeing Las Ramblas but then staying away from them, seeking out Plaza Neri, and going to other markets that are not La Boqueria. Yes, La Boqueria is impressive, but it’s also a bit of a tourist trap and overwhelming. Santa Caterina Market is a better choice for tapas and shopping.

    You’ve got La Sagrada Familia on the top of the list, and I think that’s fair. It still wows me to this day.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks for the suggestions! These are definitely the popular things to do but love that you recommended a few places away from the tourist areas. With my short time in Barcelona, I didn’t get the chance to explore like I would have liked. I agree about Las Ramblas – see it but don’t spend too much time there. The neighborhoods are much more interesting.

      As for La Sagrada Familia, I can’t wait until it is finished! Not sure I will be alive to see it though :)

  17. ya, you pretty much read through my own play book here! nice one. I even hate when guided tour groups get in my way on the streets. im going for the record on photo bombs!

  18. Peter says:

    Great guide to Barcelona! Especielly visiting Camp Nou is probably every guy’s biggest dream. Some day….

    • Camp Nou was a great experiences. 95,000 Catalan fans cheering on their team was awesome! As an American who loves soccer/football, I loved that experience. Now I want to visit a lot more stadiums in Europe. Glad to say Barcelona was my first!

  19. “La Barceloneta” one of the most emblematic beaches in the city of Barcelona. I think Barceloneta Beach and Olympic village are the great attraction of Barcelona. In La Barceloneta there have many possibilities of entertainment for all ages. It is one of my favorite place in Barcelona.

  20. 1992 Olympic village is one of the most beautiful and most symbolic places in Barcelona. The Olympic Ring in Montjuïc with the Olympic Stadium in the background, the Palau Sant Jordi and the Calatrava telecommunication tower. I like this place very much.

  21. Calle nueva says:

    La Sagrada Familia, It is Simply beautiful. Inside Sagrada Familia its look like a dreamy place. Great architecture!!

  22. DJ Yabis says:

    I love the viewing point in Turo de la Rovina

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