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Barcelona’s highlights

Blend city living, intriguing architecture and friendly people with a beautiful coastline and you get a small taste of what Barcelona’s about. Be enticed by the huge number of things to do, from cycling around the sights to lazing on the beach.

Find cosmopolitan shopping areas, unique dining and incredible nightlife, Barcelona is a fantastic choice for city breaks. Spend your days sightseeing and your nights embracing exquisite Catalan cuisine and eclectic entertainment. Each area has its own character and history, like the Roman remains of Barri Gòtic or Eixample’s links to the Modernista movement.

Interior stained glass windows of the La Sagrada Familia, barcelona.

Sightseeing

Stroll along La Rambla – a ritual well worth observing. Visit Passeig de Lluis Companys, the Arc de Triomf and the Parc de la Ciutadella. Feast your eyes on Gaudi’s masterpieces, like Casa Mila or his most treasured building, La Sagrada Familia – a spectacular sight in the evening. Make sure to hike up Montjuic, for breathtaking views and a well-deserved beer.

Waitress serving tapas plates of food.

Delicious food

Find something for all tastes in Barcelona’s abundant restaurants – from endless tapas and pinxho bars to Catalan bistros, food is high on the agenda. Visit Sagardi in El Born, which brings Basque cuisine to the table, or head to the famous Boqueria Market to enjoy simple fresh fish and meat dishes. Those in the know head to Zero KM, which sources all food from no further than 100km outside Barcelona.

Art sculptures in La Barceloneta.

Art, galleries and museums

Find incredible street art in La Barceloneta and El Born, see surrealist architecture in Eixample, and find an array of museums and galleries in El Raval and Barri Gòtic. Learn about Barcelona’s history at Museu de la Catedral, see modernist art at the Fundacio Joan Miró, and the Picasso Museum’s vast collection is one of the most complete in the world.

Assortment of fresh julices at Boqueria market, Barcelona.

Shopping galore

Barcelona’s markets, boutiques, and department stores are very eclectic – find some of the best shopping in Europe. Visit exclusive high-end boutiques on Via Laietana, try the vintage shops in El Raval, or find a pair of bargain shoes in the Born-Ribera district before stopping for lunch in a local bar. Especially good is La Boqueria Market, which is both a visual and culinary treat.

Waiter serving drinks in Barcelona.

Bars and nightlife

Chic cocktail lounges and cheap bars share the same street in Barri Gòtic or lose yourself in the cool bars of Gracia, beyond Eixample, and don’t forget that the Spanish tend to go out a bit later. El Born and El Raval are very hip, and you’ll find a more international crowd around the Port Olimpic – especially The Coconut Club.

Beach at Port Olimpic, Barceloneta.

Barcelona: a city by the beach

Enjoy a city break with a difference along Barcelona’s fantastic 4.5km coastline. Combine the morning’s sightseeing with an afternoon at the beach. Barceloneta is an area worth exploring, and is close to the best beach. Rent out surf equipment, or if you are feeling lazy, buy a couple of beers from the local shop. Hire a bike, pack a picnic, and relax in the sunshine.

Our recommended Barcelona Experiences

Book your Barcelona sightseeing tours before you go.

Explore Barcelona at your own pace.

Explore Barcelona at your own pace

See the sights and visit Barcelona’s top attractions with the Barcelona discount card.

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Tour Barcelona FC’s Camp Nou.

Tour Barcelona FC’s Camp Nou

Retrace the footsteps of legendary players from past and present on this self-guided tour.

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Enjoy a tapas and flamenco experience.

Enjoy a tapas and flamenco experience

Combine authentic tapas and flamenco on this three-hour evening experience.

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Explore Barcelona by bicycle.

Explore Barcelona by bicycle

See the sights and learn the history of Barcelona on a bike tour.

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The ultimate Barcelona sightseeing tour.

The ultimate Barcelona sightseeing tour

Discover the exuberance and beauty of Barcelona on an action-packed morning tour.

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Go sightseeing with a bus tour.

Go sightseeing with a bus tour

See the best of Barcelona on this convenient bus tour.

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Experience the passion of flamenco.

Experience the passion of flamenco

Enjoy a flamenco night at Barcelona's legendary Tablao Cordobes.

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Pre-book your PortAventura ticket.

Pre-book your PortAventura ticket

Enjoy a trip to Spain’s top theme park and aquatic centre.

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Skip the line at Sagrada Familia.

Skip the line at Sagrada Familia

Visit La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona on a 1.5-hour skip-the-line tour.

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Skip the line at La Pedrera.

Skip the line at La Pedrera

Enjoy an audio tour around one of Gaudi's most inspired Barcelona buildings.

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Enjoy a wineries day trip.

Enjoy a wineries day trip

Discover the world of Spanish wine on this small-group day trip.

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Visit Barcelona’s hillside theme park.

Visit Barcelona’s hillside theme park

Take a trip to the iconic Tibidabo Amusement Park just outside Barcelona.

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Catalan classics in Barcelona

Catalonia has some of the best cuisine in the world, and was voted European Region of Gastronomy 2016. Sample locally-sourced seafood, cheese, meats and wine on a tour of the city, or venture into the countryside to find out more about this diverse and sustainable region.

One-artist museums.

Five of the best one-artist museums

Sunday Times Travel Magazines’ Lucy Thackray picks five of the world’s best one-artist galleries.

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