Known for being the second largest city of Spain, Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and is a treasure trove of landmarks and neighborhoods to venture through. From its jaw-dropping architecture to hidden art galleries, designer boutiques to cocktail bars, there is lots to explore in this bustling city of Barcelona.
The city of Barcelona has numerous tourist attractions and cultural areas to visit.
While it may be impossible to explore all of Barcelona in a day or two, we have compiled 39 experiences that are a must to be ticked off your Barcelona bucket list to make the most of your trip.
39 Bucket list Experiences in Barcelona
#1 Walk the cobbled alleys of the Gothic and El Born quarters
Meander through some of the oldest buildings in Barcelona as your walk through the the cobbled alleyways of Gothic and El Born quarters. Walk by labyrinth of local shops, bars, and restaurants for a complete experience and check out Gaudi’s very first project - the street lamps at Plaça Reial. One of the most famous landmarks in the Gothic Quarter is the 13th to 15th-century Gothic Cathedral (free entry throughout the day!). The night-life in Gothic Quarter is lively, to say the least, and you will always find somewhere to have a drink or a dance.
#2 Immerse yourself in a Flamenco show
Explore Barcelona like a local by immersing yourself in its culture by being a part of the Flamenco show. Flamenco is a Spanish art form that consists of three key elements – flamenco guitar playing, songs, and dance; with an addition of a little bit of foot-stomping, hand-clapping and finger-snapping. Some of the best Flamenco shows in the Barcelona are at Palacio del Flamenco, Tablao Flamenco Cordobes or El Tablao de Carmen.
Tickets to best Flamenco shows in Barcelona right now
#3 Buy skip the line tickets for Sagrada Familia and climb up the Towers
No visit to Barcelona is complete without visiting Sagrada Familia. Since everyone visiting Barcelona thinks the same, expect hour-long queues here. Best solution - Grab fast track access tickets to Sagrada Familia online, in advance and skip the on-venue queues. For a truly offbeat experience, spend a few extra euros and get tickets to the Sagrada Familia Towers and enjoy impeccable views of Barcelona.
#4 Go on a Gaudi’s trail across the city
Barcelona is almost synonymous to Gaudi and his works. Everywhere you go in Barcelona, you will find a dash of Antoni Gaudí's magic. His work will stop you in your tracks and leave you awestruck with its rarity and grandeur. If you don’t have the time to go inside each and every one of his masterpieces, a self-guided Gaudi’s tour is what you need. Tour the 12 most important works of the modernist architect Antoni Gaudi scatter
#5 Watch FC Barcelona play at Camp Nou Stadium
Alé alé, alé alé, Força Barcelona alé” - join in on this raucous chant that reverberates through Camp Nou when FC Barcelona plays at their home ground. If you are a football fan in the city of Barcelona a Camp Nou tour and match is an absolute must!
Discounted Camp Nou Tickets
#6 Catch the magical Montjuïc fountain show
One of the best things to do at night in Barcelona is watching the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. The fountain is a spectacular display of light, motion, color, and music that is an absolute must-see when you are in Barcelona. The show occurs outside the National Museum of Art Catalunya and is absolutely free. The show takes place between 8 pm and 9.30 pm, but make sure you check the latest timings before you head to the show.
#7 Spend a lazy afternoon at Park Güell
One of the most iconic images of Barcelona in the days of social media is Park Guell. Situated higher than the rest of the city, Park Guell is filled with numerous pieces of art by Antoni Gaudi and is a true beauty that should be added to your Barcelona bucket list. Enjoy epic views overlooking the city by spending an afternoon at Park Guell.
Discounted Park Guell Tickets
#8 Take an action-packed day trip to PortAventura
Enjoy a thrilling day at Spain’s largest theme park, PortAventura. The theme park is just 45 minutes away from Barcelona by train. Have a great time exploring the PortAventura World, which is divided into 6 different destinations, each one suitable for all ages. From discovering a tropical paradise in Polynesia to exploring the Far West, Sesame Adventure rides and so much more to explore. If time permits, don’t forget to check out Ferrari Land and Caribe Aquatic Park next door.
#9 Shop & people watch at Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas is a tree lined pedestrian street known for shopping, local delicacies and people watching. Running through the heart of the city center, it is a chaotic thoroughfare at its best. Walk by ‘living statues’, grab yourself a cup of cafe con leche, shop and eat to your heart’s fill, but be warned, the prices are on the higher side.
#10 Relax like the locals at Ciutadella Park
Head to the Ciutadella Park in Barcelona and enjoy the lush green space to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The Parc de la Ciutadella is present on the site of the 1888 Barcelona World Fair, which was the city's only green area at a point in time. From taking horse and carriage rides to taking a relaxing picnic, the park has so much to offer.
#11 Sangria and sunbathe at Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach has flocks of locals and tourists flowing in during summers. You can sunbathe and get that flawless tan on, or simply sit by the bar at the beach sipping on Sangria. Stroll along the beach during sunset and head to a nice restaurant along the beach for a hot bowl of Paella.
#12 Attend a concert at Palau de la Musica Catalana
When in Barcelona, attending the concert at Palau de la Música Catalana is a must. With a seating space of 2200, this is the only concert hall in Europe that is illuminated during daylight hours with natural light. A perfect representation of Catalan culture and social life, this World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO is a symbol of their history and heritage. Designed by the renowned architect Lluís Domenech i Montaner, Palau de la Música Catalana is a blend of modern architectural brilliance and heavenly grandeur.
#13 Shop some local produce at Mercado de La Boqueria
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, otherwise known as La Boqueria is situated at the heart of the city and is heaven on earth for food lovers. This market sells an array of local produce and is one of the biggest in the city of Barcelona. Often frequented by locals, this market has everything right from fresh meats to seafood, luscious fruits to vegetables, and crepes - all under one roof.
#14 Soak in some Catalonian history at Poble Espanyol
Poble Espanyol is an open-air museum resembling Spanish architecture. Built for the 1929 World Expo, this museum is a good place for you to get acquainted with the architecture and the history of other Spanish regions. If you love indulging in art, architecture, great food, and shopping, you will love Poble Espanyol.
#15 Take a trip back to childhood at the Tibidabo Amusement Park
If you wish to relive the best moments of your childhood, head to the Tibidabo Amusement Park. For children and all those who are kids-at-heart, you can enjoy the vintage rides, roller coasters, interesting sideshows and so much more. Also head to the nearby Skywalk and take the Ferris wheel, or hop onto a carousel if you do not wish to pay the full price to enter the park.
#16 Walk an art trail at the Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum has a large collection of Picasso’s artwork and gives you an insight into the early days of Picasso and his association with the city. The collection amounts to over 4200 pieces of art. The museum is located inside a series of buildings, the Carrer De Montcada, which have a history of their own as well.
#17 Take a selfie by Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf
Unlike other triumphal arches, Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf is not military in nature. This landmark was originally built as the main entrance during Barcelona’s 1888 Universal Exhibition. Built from sculpted brick with various statues, Arc de Triomf is a popular spot for pictures, to take a stroll, or for a ride around it.
#18 2 words - Tapas & Sangria
It is hard to miss out on Tapas and Sangria when in Spain. Some of the best tapas include croquettes, empanadas, patatas bravas, pan y tomate and jamon iberico. For the best of both worlds, head to , Casa Lolea - a sangria and tapas bar that is a favourite among locals and less frequented by tourists.
#19 Learn all about Catalan art at Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
If you are looking to visit one of the most magnificent museums in Barcelona, head to Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Situated at the foot of Montjuic, this museum has a marvelous collection of art from different timelines, right from Romanesque to Gothic to Renaissance and Modern Art. Apart from the paintings, there are a lot of drawings, posters, and prints dating from the 16th century. If you’re an art enthusiast, this museum should top your Barcelona bucket list.
#20 Visit the highly underrated Santa Maria del Mar
Santa Maria del Mar is the best example of 14th century Catalan Gothic-style architecture. Designed by Berenguer de Montagut, this used to be a place of worship for merchants and shipbuilders in late medieval Barcelona. It looks solid from the outside and the interiors consist of three naves and an ambulatory. The best feature is the towering center nave with striking octagonal columns.
#21 Hop on a train and visit Montserrat
Montserrat has stunning views, historic sites, and a lot of other adventurous activities , making it a popular destination in Barcelona. It houses the Virgin of Montserrat, and the highest peak of Montserrat, Sant Jeroni which is a great sight to witness from the top. Take the R5 train from Plaza Espana in Barcelona headed towards Manresa and get down at Aeri (Cable Car starting point) and Cremallera (Foot of Montserrat mountain).
#22 Learn all about ocean life at Aquarium Barcelona
Situated in Port Vell, the Aquarium of Barcelona is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. The Aquarium is divided into three themes – the Mediterranean - which shows the Mediterranean’s marine life, the Tropical - which exhibits corals, and the Oceanarium. The Oceanarium is the largest one and features a glass tunnel with water that enables one to walk under the large species swimming above. If you’re traveling to Barcelona with kids, this one is a must in your bucket list.
#23 Hike Montjuïc or take the cable car up
The cable car ride is an absolutely wonderful experience that will take you from the park of Montjuic to the beach at La Barceloneta within 20 minutes. Enjoy an incredible view of the cityscape to the distant mountains of Spain and also a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea from up top. You can also go hiking if you are adventurous enough. The Montjuic Castle sits atop the hill and is an old military fortress, with roots dating back from 1640. Pro tip: Get free entry to the Montjuic Castle on the first Sundays of every month.
#24 Witness the most magical views of Barcelona from Bunkers del Carmel
High above the city of Barcelona, Bunkers del Carmel offers spectacular views overlooking the city and some, arguably the best panoramas of Barcelona. The views from the Bunkers are spectacular regardless of the time of day, but the best time would be sunset as you’ll get to witness the entire city of Barcelona drenched in a soft, golden purple light. Unfortunately, as you can probably imagine, sunset is also the busiest time of the day at the Bunkers.
#25 Eat your weight in paella
Paella is a rice dish cooked in a large shallow pan and is one of Spain’s most famous dishes. The locals eat the dish quite often, especially on grand occasions, and you’ll find it on almost every menu around the city . If you want to try the paella, opt for the fideua version of it, which is prepared with thin noodles instead of the typical rice.
#26 Contemplate life as you see the city life go by from Turo de la Rovira
Turo de la Rovira is another view point in the city which is entrenched in history. It is worth the climb for its unparalleled 360-degree views of the entire city, the Mediterranean Sea, and the rolling green hills of Collserola. The best part is that it is absolutely free and is open 24/7.
#27 Hang out at Bar Marsella, the oldest bar in the city
The Marsella Bar in Barcelona opened in 1820 is rumored to have entertained everyone from Picasso to Hemingway at some point in this establishment’s long and louche history. The moment you enter the bar, you will feel like you’ve been transported to the past. . Funnily enough, while the grime on the chandeliers thickens and the floor tiles become even tattier, the bar’s appeal only seems to grow. Make sure to have a shot or two of the famed absinthe here.
#28 Step inside the Barcelona Cathedral
The Barcelona Cathedral is a must on your bucket list. You can explore the gothic interior of the cathedral, as well as the cloister courtyard outside situated beside it. This is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and a historic one constructed from the 13th to 20th centuries. You can see the famed statues and sculptures in addition to the windowed gallery in the chapels.
#29 Join a Street Art Walking Tour
Love something offbeat? Go on a street walking tour with a local guide who will take you around hidden alleyways brimming with graffiti, murals and other forms of street art. Discover famous expressions of art pieces by artists like SIXE and C215 and hang around in the legendary skate spot Tres Chimeneas. If you’re an art lover, we guarantee you’ll love this tour!
#30 Have dinner under the stars at Observatori Fabra
This (g)astronomical event is one of the most unmissable experiences in Barcelona during summer. Enjoy an excellent dinner inspired by Mediterranean cuisinem, served on the terrace of the astronomical observatory with panoramic views of Barcelona at dusk. After a sumptous meal,visit the inside of the observatory and see the stars and parts of the solar system through the telescope of the Fabra Observatory, a Mailhat of 1904. It is one of the largest ancient telescopes and the fourth oldest which still working in the world.
#31 Set on a sunset cruise and have your heart’s fill of cava
Watching the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea and enjoying nice wine in Barcelona is a must-do on your bucket list. Cava is a sparkling wine that is produced outside of Barcelona in the Penedes region. Watch the sky turn shades of purple and pink as you slide quietly through the glistening waters with a glass of cava - a true once in a lifetime experience.
#32 Geek out at the CosmoCaixa Science Museum
The CosmoCaixa Science Museum features an array of exhibitions, both permanent as well as temporary, showcasing nature, science, environment, and space. You will find a lot to explore in this museum, from depictions of ancient humans to an indoor jungle with various creatures, from electrical voltage testing to the generation of waves and sand storms and so much more. Understanding science is much easier at the CosmoCaixa Museum as you can try everything out yourself and learn with your senses.
#33 Attend the Primavera Sound Music Festival in June
The Primavera Sound is one of Barcelona’s most popular music festivals. It has a reputation for offering a very innovative and forward-thinking line-up in Europe. This festival is held annually in Barcelona and is for true music aficionados. If you’re in the city during June, make sure to grab your tickets in advance.
#34 Be amazed by The World Begins With Every Kiss mural
Get awestruck by a collection of freedom-themed photos in the form of mosaics, which from a distance may look like a wall art of two people kissing one another. The romantically-named mural is situated near the Barcelona Cathedral and was only meant to be a temporary exhibition. Close up, you can see something unnervingly intimate about seeing people’s family pictures used in a public space. If you love street art, this is a must-see.
#35 Check out the world’s largest Art Nouveau complex - Sant Pau Art Nouveau
Sant Pau is a city within a city. It is the world’s largest Art Nouveau complex and is the most significant work by Lluis Domenech I Montaner, the architect of Modernisme. The attraction is known for its artistic beauty and comprises an architectural complex of 12 pavilions and is interconnected by underground galleries that are worth a visit. The attraction was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997.
#36 Get lost in the labyrinth of Parc del Laberint d’Horta
This park is the green jewel of the Horta and Guinardo region and is one of the oldest gardens in the city of Barcelona. The place is a perfect example of artistic gardening with a taste of neoclassical gardens during the time. You can discover decorated sculptures of mythological figures in the garden. The park is also home to Torre Soberana, a country house that was revamped in the Arabesque style in the 19th century.
#37 Sample 150+ shots at the Espit Chupitos Bar
If you are looking for a unique and cheap spot to have a good time, Espit Chupitos Bar is a must-visit in Barcelona! It is a small, shot-only dive bar with bright fluorescent lighting. You can check out an array of shots on the menu, all for €2,50. Try the Boy scout shot, served with fire and you get marshmallows too before you dunk in your shot.
#38 Love animals? Visit the Barcelona Zoo
The Barcelona Zoo is a famous one that consists of three core themes – spreading information, research, and protecting animals that are on verge of extinction. The zoo houses more than 4,000 animals from over 400 kinds of species like dolphins, tropical birds, gorillas, and different reptiles. The zoo also hosts a lot of activities and workshops making it an ideal family destination.
#39 Hike up the beautiful Mediterranean countryside of El Penedès
El Penedes is a very old wine-making region in Europe famous for its exceptional wines and a place where cava is produced. You can hike up between the vineyards of the wonderful Mediterranean countryside. You can learn a lot about the various grape varieties in the area, the kind of tradition they follow, and an insight into the history of this region.
What should I not miss in Barcelona?
Barcelona offers a great amount of touristy and cultural sights which are too hard of a miss. Make sure you check out Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Museo Picasso, Santa Maria del Mar, La Pedrera, to name a few.
Is 1 day enough for Barcelona?
One day in Barcelona if you’re up for an action packed day with lots of sightseeing and long walks. You can explore all the major attractions in this short time. If time permits, explore the beach, parks or wander through the city.
What is Barcelona best known for?
The city of Barcelona is famously known for its outstanding football team, mind-blowing architecture, the nightlife, sandy beaches, and exotic cuisine. It is best known for its vibrant cultural heritage and festivals, attracting visitors from around the globe.
What is unique about Barcelona?
Barcelona is the only city that has been awarded the prestigious Gold Medal for its tremendous architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Is Barcelona expensive to visit?
It can be quite expensive to visit the city but it is still affordable if you manage to keep your costs low. Barcelona also has cheap and good deals which are not very expensive in comparison to other destinations like London, Paris, and Rome.
What do locals do for fun in Barcelona?
The locals in Barcelona head to the Bunkers del Carmel for a stunning city view or they enjoy nature at the Parc Natural de Collserola. They are seen hiking on top of the Tibidabo or even getting lost in El Raval.
What should I see in Barcelona?
One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona with nearly 4.5 million visitors in the last 2 years. You should also check out Park Guell and FC Barcelona Museum during your visit.
What are some sites in Barcelona that travelers should not miss?
It is not possible to cover all that the city offers, but travelers who are visiting for the first time should try and make sure they visit the Sagrada Familia, MNAC, Park Guell, La Pedrera, Picasso Museum, Cathedral, to name a few popular attractions in Barcelona.