Barcelona Tourist Attractions & Things to Do

You'll find plenty to keep you busy in Barcelona whether you're into museums, water sports, sight seeing or simply people watching from a street café. We give you some great day trip stops.

Traffic congestion and parking is a nightmare but there are, plentiful taxis, a good metro and regular buses running along all the main city routes. It's worth buying multi-trip tickets which give you good discounts.

For a guided tour of all the city's major places of interest take one of the tourist buses which have multi-lingual couriers.

Day Trip Stop 1 - Sagrada Familia

Topping your "must see" list is the magnificent cathedral of Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi's grandest and most beloved project. The great architect was a highly religious man and devoted much of his life to this Temple of the Holy Family.

Work on the cathedral started in 1883 but has never been completed. Gaudi died suddenly after being run down by a tram in 1926. In his final years he lived as a pauper in a shack on the cathedral site having sold all his possessions to contribute to his last, and arguably his greatest, masterpiece.


  • Spain Beach
  • Spain Beach
  • Spain Beach

Day Trip Stop 2 - Casa Mila

Once you've marveled over one piece of Gaudi's work you'll probably be thirsting for more so head off to the Passeig de Gracia boulevard where you'll find the extraordinary Casa Mila - an office and apartment block which is the most visited building in Barcelona.

Also known as La Pedrera (the Stone Quarry), the building is a monumental sculpture of swirling stone and extraordinary chimney stacks resembling medieval knights manning the castle battlements. Gaudi believed the straight line belonged to man and the curved line to God and he made solid stone twist and turn like flimsy rubber.

Day Trip Stop 3 - Casa Batllo and Parc Guell

At the nearby Casa Batllo, beautiful balconies cling to the glittering façade like bizarre birds' nests. The building flows and undulates, steadfastly avoiding anything as dull as a common corner!

In the wonderful Parc Guell, Gaudi turned his attention to landscaping with equally dramatic effect. Here you'll find lizard and snake sculptures, the most extraordinary park benches you've ever sat on in your life, columns of contorted stone, Gaudi's original home and a museum.

Beyond Gaudi - Montjuic and Tibidabo, La Rambla

Of course there's more to Barcelona than Gaudi. A stroll along the famous La Rambla is an absolute must - it's one of the best known boulevards in the world with its colourful flower stalls, shoe shine boys, street cafes and living statues who'll give an impromptu performance in return for a small donation. Hang on to your wallet and try to avoid looking like a tourist (i.e. don't stand around studying a street map with a puzzled frown on your face!).

Family attractions are centred around the Montjuic and Tibidabo mountains and Port Vell.

Tibidabo, at 542 metres, is the highest point in Barcelona reached via a funicular railway through the woods. At the top there's the Parc d'Atraccions fun fair, an observation tower with a hair raising glass lift taking you up another 115 metres, and the Temple del Sagrat Cor (Temple of the Sacred Heart).

The Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) on Montjuic has a variety of entertainment and attractions including glass-blowing demonstrations, arts and crafts, circus and magic shows.

Barcelona's many other daytime attractions are too numerous to list - they include a superb zoo with a dolphinarium and the world's only captive albino gorilla, more than 40 museums including one dedicated to the work of Picasso, an aquarium and the Olympic Village.

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