Barcelona is a wonderful city that I highly recommend visiting. I first went to the city about ten years ago and then again just a few months ago. From the great food, laid-back lifestyle, street performers, people, and history, there is a lot to see and do in Barcelona.
Before going into details on how to maximize your time in Barcelona, I first must provide you with a tip. Study Spanish first! While it is possible to visit Barcelona without knowing Spanish, you are going to have a much better time while you are there if you can understand at least some of what the locals are saying. Learning Spanish will also help make getting around much easier.
If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, read on for some suggestions of what you should see while you are there.
Barri Gotic is the historic center of the city. It dates back to the pre-Roman era. This area offers a maze of small streets that open up into lovely plazas. Some of the highlights of the area include:
History Museum: this is one of the best history museums in the world. It does a great job explaining the importance and history of the city of Barcelona and offers more than 4000 square meters of Roman ruins that can be explored. It is truly spectacular.
Picasso Museum: there are over 3000 pieces of art in this museum, making it totally worth a visit.
Gothic Cathedral: in the heart of this area is the Gothic Cathedral. It was built over an 11th century church. Take the elevator to the roof for some breathtaking views of the area.
Parc de La Ciutadella: this is an absolutely wonderful park that offers a wonderful fountain and art area. The fountain was designed by Gaudi when he was an architectural student. There is also a zoo here that you can visit.
Take a Food Tour
While you are in Barcelona you will enjoy amazing food. Spend a day learning more about the food of the area. There are several food tours that you can go on that are simply amazing. Context Travels food tour is one of the best and will take you throughout Barri Gotic and highlight the history of food in the area.
Take a Beach Day
There are many wonderful beaches throughout Barcelona and you should definitely spend some time on them while you are in the city.
Gaudi is a famous architect of Barcelona and his work is found throughout the city. In the Eixample area you will find four major sites, Park Guell, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila. While you are in the Eixample area you can also visit some of the other modernista movement sites. You can identify the modernista sites by the red circle that is located on the sidewalks in front of them.
On Thursday evenings Placa d’Espanya offers lights and fountains that line the streets to Montjuic Hill. The Magic Fountain of Montjuic is at the end and here there is a spectacular water and light show that you must see. After the show, walk to Museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya for a great view of the area.
These are just a few of my favorite places in Barcelona. There are many more wonderful sites to see as well as food to enjoy. The most important thing to remember when visiting Barcelona is to just take things slowly and truly take in all this great city has to offer.