Best Sightseeing in Barcelona

Barcelona's Most Exciting, Authentic and Historical Sites to See

There's no lack of sights to feast your eyes upon in Barcelona. Even if you're just strolling up Passeig de Gracia or along Las Ramblas down to Barceloneta beach, the breadth of intricate architecture, zany characters, avant-garde design and gorgeous buildings can make a five-minute walk turn into an hour journey.

No matter what time of day, if you walk by Gaudi's Casa Batllo, you'll see people gathered together below, gawking up at the Modernist visage; and this is just one 'must-see' attraction in Barcelona.

Whether you're spending time along the water or feel like heading into the more Catalan filled, Gracia neighborhood, there are sights to be seen and one of the best things about Barcelona is that it's one of the easiest cities to navigate and to get around.

The metro quickly takes you from the Roman Ruins in the heart of ‘Ciutat Vella’ (Old City) into the Modernist period where you can hop a bus, a ‘ferrocaril’ (train) or cable car up to Montjuic or Tibidabo. Barcelona is a city designed to be explored and with so many landmarks, monuments and breathtaking works of art, there's no shortage of things to keep you occupied no matter how long your stay.



The construction of this cathedral began in the late 13th century and was not completed until the middle of the 15th century. The interior design is distinctly Gothic, whereas the front and spire of the church were touched with a French influence at their completion in the 1800's. The cathedral is dedicated to a Christian martyr whose tomb is located in the crypt beneath the high altar. The choir stalls are intricately carved with religious images. The Cathedral is situated in the heart of the Old City close to Santa Catarina market, amazing shopping and eclectic buskers and street performers.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: A stunning Cathedral in the heart of the Old City, beautiful architecture

Sam's expert tip: Go on Sundays during service and enter for free

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La Sagrada Familia

Without a doubt this is Gaudi's crowning glory. Set to be completed in 2046, the Sagrada Familia is a Barcelona must-see. Even if you don't want to go inside, the outside facades, history and master design are equally breathtaking. This was Gaudi's last piece of work before he died and is still yet to be finished having taken more than 100 years already. The outside is breathtaking and leaves most people gawking, eyes and mouths wide open. If you want to look inside it's worth it to take a tour or get the audio tour. The towers and elevator up provide for gorgeous city views as well.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Gaudi's finest work before he died, which is still in progress. Must be seen at least from the exterior

Sam's expert tip: Be sure to go early if you want to enter the Church, or reserve tickets online before hand.

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Parc Güell

Another one of Gaudi's amazing creations, Park Guell features the longest bench in the world as well as Gaudi's tiny house where he lived for several years. The park is a mix of design and architecture with nature and illustrates Gaudi's connection with natural beauty and its greatness. From the Park you can see beautiful city views and even bring food for a small picnic on the grass. This is a romantic and very unique park, intertwined with authentic Modernism structures as well as a rich and beautiful landscape. New to the Park is the Gaudi Experience which is a small shop and interactive ride at the bottom of the Park's entrance.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: A mix between Alice in Wonderland and Star Wars, this is a unique Gaudi park

Sam's expert tip: Get off at Lesseps metro and enter the Park through the back to avoid the long uphill steps

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Tibidabo is one of the best places to take in panoramic city views of Barcelona. Atop this mountain, which is accessible by tram, there is an amusement park, Church of the Sacred Heart as well as some excellent restaurants and places to picnic. This is a perfect way to see some of the outer lying areas in the city, get some fresh air and see gorgeous views. It's also nice for walking and hiking and if you feel like renting a motto for the day, this is the perfect place to ride through; even park the bike, walk around and go for lunch.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: A nice trip outside of the city center, beautiful views and a theme park as well

Sam's expert tip: Excellent half day trip outside of Barcelona's city center

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Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Another one of Gaudi's masterpieces, Casa Mila, otherwise known as La Pedrera, is one of Gaudi's most well known creations and is situated on Passeig de Gracia, just a stone's throw from Casa Batllo. Constructed between 1905-1912, from the outside La Pedrera looks like it is made up of skulls. Architecturally however, it is considered to be incredibly innovative as its facade is self-supporting. It also has underground parking and separate lifts and stairs for the owners and servants. Something that many people dont' know, is that the structures on the roof were actually what inspired George Lucas' Storm Troopers for his Star Wars series.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Gaudi's building with a stunning rooftop with it's beautiful chimneys

Sam's expert tip: Check out the book store in the building

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Day or night, the street in front of one of Gaudi's most classic buildings, is always full of people; mouths wide open, staring up in awe. If you're wondering which of Gaudi's creations to enter, this should definitely make the list. One of two great buildings created by Gaudi on Passeig De Gracia (La Pedrera being the other), the building's facade appears to be made of skulls and bones, which are in fact balconies. There are often parties in the museum, but they are usually private and hard to get into. Right across from this house is La Pedrera another Gaudi buildings definitely worth checking out.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: One of Gaudi's masterpieces on Barcelona's trendiest streets Passeig de Gracia

Sam's expert tip: If you have a press pass you can get in for free

Read more about Casa Batllo →

Another region of the city built as a host site for the 1929 World Expo, this village represents the range and styles of Spanish architecture. Restaurants, shops and bars on-site are usually open for a drink or meal and the streets are lined by quaint cottages. Situated atop Montjuic, Poble Espanyol is like a village within a city. You'll feel as if you've been whisked away to a far out land, and if you feel like venturing outside the confines of the little 'pueblo' (small town) step outside and take a stroll around Montjuic where you can see beautiful panoramic city views.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: A nice getaway from the city center in a fun and picturesque makeshift town

Sam's expert tip: Check out the Terrasa club at night

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Palau de la Música Catalana

If you're able to experience a concert in this gorgeous music hall, then definitely do it! Palau De La Musica is a modernist masterpiece, designed between 1905-1908 by architect, Lluís Dom?nech i Montaner. It was originally built as a home for the Choral Society but today has turned into a prime spot for live concerts on all scales. If you're able to take a tour of the inside, be sure to set up a time with the Palau de La Musica itself. Only their official guides are licensed to give tours inside, which they do in both English and Spanish.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: The most gorgeous concert hall in the city with stunning architectural designs inside and out

Sam's expert tip: Try to catch a concert inside the Palau during your visit

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This archway served as the main entrance during the city's 1888 Universal Exhibition. Built from sculpted brick and surrounded by statues, including a sculpture representing the city welcoming international visitors to the Exhibition. Barcelona's Arc de Triomf sits atop Parc Ciutadella and is a beautiful spot for pictures, to stroll, bike ride or picnic on the grass next to it. The attraction itself is eye catching but the area surrounding it is what makes it so stunning and serene. If you walk towards the water you'll be met by bike paths, beautiful gardens and lounging locals and tourists alike in Parc Ciutadella.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: A beautiful structure close to one of the city's nicest and most relaxing parks

Sam's expert tip: Ride your bike through Park Ciutadela and up the walkway through the archway of Arc de Triomf

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Castell Montjuïc

What used to be 'Mountain of the Jews' (Montjuic literally means Mountain of the Jews) has turned into one of Barcelona's greatest attractions. It's hard to find views as gorgeous as the ones you get from atop the mountain. Easily accessible via cable car (two of them to get to the very top) train or bus, the panoramic city views you'll find at the top are breathtaking. Where now sits a military museum and a castle, Montjuic used to be a fortress dating back to the 17th century. Today it is a hot tourist attraction and a nice place for locals to spend an evening. During the summer there is the open air Montjuic cinema, which features a different movie every night.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: A beautiful lookout point atop the city where you can go for walks and snap pictures

Sam's expert tip: Go at night and watch the city light up

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Meet Sam Mednick

Sam’s passion for the sea and mountains makes Barcelona the optimal living destination. 

Sam's love for traveling has taken her to Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Before...  More About Sam