Where to Visit in Barcelona
1. Las Ramblas
A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 1.2 km connecting the Plaça de Catalunya in its center with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. La Rambla forms the boundary between the neighbourhoods of the Barri Gòtic to the east and the El Raval to the west.
Las Ramblas is often the first landmark that most tourists identify with the city. It is a large boulevard which runs through the heart of the city centre.
Las Ramblas is a popular tourist attraction in its own right. Any time during the day or night several thousands tourists will be meandering along the Ramblas soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the activities.
2. La Boqueria - Food Market in Barcelona
La Boqueria is an open market and a name of reference in Barcelona. It is located in the center of the city of Barcelona (Las Ramblas).
The market sells food and fresh produce of the highest quality. You will find foods of all varieties and nationalities under one roof.
Around the market there are bars selling both food and drink. They are most popular for lunches but are also an option for a lighter snack.
This emblematic spot in the city, in what was once the patio of Sant Josep Church, was inaugurated in 1836. Initially the market was open-air, with travelling sellers' and farmers' stalls, selling their goods directly to the public. It was eventually covered and made into an indoor market in 1914.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 20:30
3. Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral receives three million visitors each year. The magnificence of its Gothic art, the splendid Gothic and Baroque altarpieces, its marvellous choir, the baptistery and the sepulchre of Saint Eulalia are evident to all observers.
Construction of the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona commenced on 1 May 1298, on the site of a Romanesque temple. The work was carried out in three stages over 150 years. The main façade was raised at the end of the 19th century, while the 90-meter high cimborio went up in 1913.
The cathedral roof is also open to visitors and commands interesting views of Barcelona. From here you can enjoy a close-up look at the bell towers and other architectural features that can only be seen from here, just as the builders would have seen them centuries ago.
4. La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Família is a one-of-a-kind temple, for its origins, foundation and purpose. La Sagrada Família is one of Antoni Gaudí's most famous works in Barcelona. It's a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882. Today, more than 135 years after the laying of the cornerstone, construction continues on the Basilica.
When you visit the building you will see the contrast in the stone colour between the front and back of the building. Also the actual style of construction appears somewhat different between the new and old parts of the building.
Gaudí played an active role in directing the construction of the Sagrada Família until his death in 1926. He would often request that work be modified and adjusted until it was exactly what he had in mind. However today, because of the nature of the existing designs, his work is partly open to interpretation.
5. Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is located at number 43 on Paseo de Gracia, a street that, in the past, connected the city to Villa de Gracia, which today is a fully integrated district of the city.
Textile industrialist Josep Batlló commissioned Gaudí to design this home after seeing what Gaudí had done with Park Güell. Influenced by nature, Casa Batlló has no straight lines (because they don’t exist in nature, said Gaudí), stone pillars that contort like animal bones, and a tall, ocean-blue stairwell that’s very Jules Verne.
Mr Josep Batlló granted full creative freedom to Antoni Gaudí, putting him in charge of a project that initially entailed demolishing the building. However, thanks to the courage shown by Gaudí, the demolition of the house was ruled out, and it was fully reformed between 1904 and 1906.
The Bone of Connection
In addition to Casa Batlló and at the same time, prominent architects were also reforming other houses that, at the time, were competing for the urban awards convened by the Barcelona City Council. Therefore, this specific period was known as The Bone of Contention.
These houses are also in the modernist style and, along with Casa Batlló, they are currently part of a unique group formed by:
– Casa Amatller (by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch).
– Casa Lleó Morera (by Lluís Domènech i Montaner).
– Casa Mulleras (Enric Sagnier).
– Casa Josefina Bonet (Marcel-li Coquillat).
At present, Casa Batlló is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an icon in Barcelona, a must see for those who want to discover Gaudí’s work and modernism at its finest. It is also one of the most highly rated cultural and tourist attractions, welcoming one million visitors every year.
6. Casa Mila - la Pedrera
Casa Mila (1906-1912) is a building designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi and commissioned by Pere Milà and Roser Segimon.
The name, ‘Casa Milà’ comes from the fact that it was the new home of the Milà family. The couple occupied the main floor and rented out the other apartments. Casa Mila (1906-1912) is Antoni Gaudi’s most iconic work of civic architecture due to both its constructional and functional innovations, as well as its ornamental and decorative solutions. It is a total work of art.
Known as La Pedrera (stone quarry) because it resembles an open quarry in appearance, the building features forms drawn from nature. It was Gaudi’s last work of civic architecture and represented a break with the conventions of his day. Today, in summer, the roof hosts cava and concert nights with classical performers
7. Park Güell
Park Güell is home to Barcelona’s famous mosaic lizard—The city’s grandest park began life as a collaboration between entrepreneur Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudí.
In 1890 Güell instructed the architect Antoni Gaudí to build a garden city, in which nature and an equal housing should form a symbiosis. In addition to the Sagrada Familia, this was the largest project of Gaudí. Only two buildings of the 60 villas, the roads and the extensive park were finished. The park was opened in 1922. In 1929, the year of the second World Expo, the park was handed over to public. In 1963, the former residence of Gaudí was opened as a museum. In 1984, the park was included in the UNESCO list of cultural heritage.
Park Güell thus became a public park much appreciated by Barcelona’s inhabitants, as well as a major focus of attraction for visitors. Take some time to be enchanted by Park Güell and discover the many small details.
The free ticket gets you into the park, but notnto the best parts. For that you need a Monumental Cove ticket.
8. Parc de la Ciutadella and Cascada Monumental
Parc de la Ciutadella is one of the city’s most relaxing and picturesque spots to relax and it’s free. The Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona is a very enjoyable green space that offers the possibility to relax in a unique open-air museum.
The park is truly magnificent with several elements that enhance its beauty, including a beautiful cascade made up by an enormous monument and the Castillo de los Tres Dragones (Three Dragon Castle), which currently houses the Zoological Museum.
The architect who designed this extraordinary monument was Josep Fontseré in 1875 and just five years later, in 1981, the Cascada was inaugurated. Antoni Gaudi, who is now a world-famous architect, was only at the beginning of his career at the time when he worked with Josep Fontseré. Indeed, he was only an architecture student when he participated in Josep Fontseré’s Cascada huge project of the Cascada. Gaudi designed the hydraulic pipework of the Cascada, as well as designing two beautiful decorative medallions which you can find on the top of the fountain.