Barcelona Sightseeing

When it comes to treasures, Barcelona can be likened to the fabled riches of the isle of Monte Cristo! The city is positively overflowing with polished diamonds and rare gems, all ready to be unearthed by the intrepid explorer. A natural starting point for taking in Barcelona's attractions is of course the renowned Las Ramblas boulevard, the main artery of the city, which stretches from Placa Catalunya right down to the harbour. This huge thoroughfare is heaving 24 hours a day with tourists, theatre goers, party animals and of course those mischievous - and often bonkers - street performers. You can't and you won't miss it!

Either side of Las Ramblas are the two halves of the Old Town, La Raval and the Barri Gotic. The Barri Gotic (or Gothic Quarter) is certainly the most touristy part of the city and its popularity is well deserved. The area's labyrinthine alleys will lead you past Roman ruins, picturesque plazas and Catholic churches, not to mention all manner of funky boutiques and bars. Two unmissables for your itinerary are La Seu Cathedral, with its thirteen white geese, and Placa Reial, with it fountain and palm trees. Venture a bit further in the same direction to find the delightful Born district, which has much of the same vibe as the Gothic Quarter but without the hordes of digital-camera-wielding wayfarers. The Picasso Museum and the Ciutadella Park are two highlights, as is a beer on the Passeig del Born.

Above: Anyone for ping pong?

Below: Inspiration for your new bathroom walls...

Step onto the other side of Las Ramblas and you will find the somewhat shabby district of Raval. Whilst some bits of Raval are far from wholesome, some of Barcelona's prettiest streets and outdoor cafes can be found here, and the MACBA hosts some of the best contemporary art in the city.

We've come so far and yet haven't even mentioned Senor Gaudi yet! Time to introduce the great man. Whilst his handiwork is dotted all across Barcelona you'll find the maestro's most familiar facades, La Pedrera and Casa Batllo, on the Passeig de Gracia (another of the city's huge boulevards, and a haven for high end shopping). For his masterpiece however you'll have to take the metro into L'Eixample ('The Addition') where you can witness first hand the overpowering architecture of La Sagrada Familia. Complete your Gaudi-themed tour with a trip to Park Guell.

Sick of sightseeing? Well chomp on an energy bar and get going again because there're plenty more attractions you can't go home until you've seen. Montjuic mountain with its castle and Magic Fountain, views from the top of Tibidabo, and lazy days on the beach at Barceloneta. There really is more to see than can be printed here so check out our district by district guide to find out more about Barcelona's abundant attractions, or venture further into Catalonia on one of these unmissable day trips.

Barcelona guide

Love this city. Love FC Barcelona. Been here 3 times in just over a year. First time for football. 2nd time for football and sightseeing, culture. 3rd time for sightseeing.
Love Placa Reial for eating and people watching. La Boqueria is amazing to walk through. La Ramblas is not as frightening as revieww make out. Guadi's works are amazing, parc guell, casa batllo and la pedrero are awesome. Picasso museum too.
Placa espanya and the font magica are well worth a visit. So too montjuic castle and gardens.
This really is one of the best places in europe to visit. Go there!!!

reviewed by Steve from United Kingdom on Jul.04.2016

Our holiday in Barcelona dedicated an entire day to the city center. Morning visit the Boqueria market and the Ramblas where we also ate. Then we were all afternoon store Paseo de Gracia and took advantage and had dinner there. We left the shop at the hotel and visited the quarry. I recommend going at night to this monument. It is amazing and well worth going.

reviewed by Laura from United Kingdom on Dec.28.2015

I love your blog! Just moved to BCN and found your website really helpful! If you like check out

reviewed by Claudia V. from Spain on Nov.19.2014


Im from Spain and I loove festivals of my favorite is Tomato fight, its in August. This year Im going with group of friends with with this agency which arrange transport, food and accommodation...also unlimited beer! See you there ,)

reviewed by vanesa from Spain on Mar.11.2013

Barcelona is fanstastic, I had fantastic tapas while I was there!!

reviewed by John McLarnan from United Kingdom on Oct.19.2011

Thank you guys. I'm looking forward to exploring the city for myself and I appreciate these recommendations. I have three days in BCN. I hope that will be enough.

reviewed by Chris from United States on Feb.22.2011