Barcelona is full of so many wonderful sights. Here are our top 10 favourite attractions that you absolutely cannot miss. These are the sights that make Barcelona so special and so popular among tourists. You won’t be disappointed.
A lively and entertaining place by day or night, the city’s iconic central street, where hawkers, stallholders, eccentrics and tourists collide to gleeful effect. It’s at the heart of the city’s self-image – lined with cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops, flower stalls and newspaper kiosks.
This famous unfinished church – a pilgrimage to the ‘Sacred Family’ temple – is an absolute must for Gaudí fans. Gaudí spent more than 40 years working on the church and was adapting the plans right up to his untimely death.
Barcelona’s most adventurous art museum houses the life’s work of the great Catalan artist Joan Miró. Inside the stark white building is a permanent collection of works largely donated by Miró himself and covering the period from 1914 to 1978.
The city’s finest food market is a show in its own right, stacked high with delectable wares and busy with locals and tourists from dawn to dusk. Other markets might protest, but the city’s glorious main food market really can claim to be the best in Spain.
The largest collection of the artist’s work outside Paris. There are almost 4,000 works in the permanent collection – housed in five adjoining medieval palaces – which provide a fascinating opportunity to trace Picasso’s development as an artist.
Catalunya’s national art gallery showcases a thousand years of Catalan art in stupendous surroundings. It’s split into two main sections, Romanesque and Gothic – periods in which Catalunya’s artists were pre-eminent in Spain.
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At the heart of this old quarter, the city’s majestic medieval cathedral anchors the Old Town and is the pride of its Gothic era. Around here are hidden squares, some fascinating museums, the city’s old Jewish quarter and the remains of the Roman walls.
The great urban escape is to the city’s four kilometres of sand-fringed sea, dotted with parks and playgrounds. Locals make full use of the beach and boardwalks, descending in force at the weekends for a leisurely lunch or late drink in one of the scores of restaurants and bars.
A public park beyond compare, where contorted stone pavilions, gingerbread buildings and surreal ceramics combine unforgettably. Laid out on a hill, which provides fabulous views back across the city, the park is an almost hallucinatory expression of the imagination.
The former Casaramona textile factory at the foot of Montjuïc conceals a terrific arts and cultural centre, where there’s always interesting exhibitions or events being staged. The contemporary art collection focuses on the period from the 1980s to the present.