Barcelona attracts millions of tourists every year. Known especially for its fabled art and architecture, it is no wonder the city is so popular. The city is located in the north of Spain, very close to the French border. Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe. Upon arrival you’ll quickly notice the city is full of architectural wonders and the style varies greatly from area to area, which makes it a fascinating destination to explore.
Set sail and discover the best things to do in Barcelona, one of Europe’s most important art nouveau cities.
Best things to do in Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia is the one of most important touristic sites in Barcelona, with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. It is the largest Roman Catholic Church in the world and is one of the most iconic silhouettes in the Barcelona skyline.
The building of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882, From the very beginning to his death, Gaudi worked on the project. Even today, the building is not fully finished and it is estimated that it will finally be completed in 2026.
The cathedral has incredibly complex decoration and attention to detail. Gaudi expertly uses the interplay of light and colour, combined with the rising and the setting of the sun, to illuminate the magnificent facade.
Another of Gaudi’s fabulous works. Beginning in 1900, it took until 1914 for the park to be completed. The park was commissioned by Eusebi Güell.
Park Güell is the reflection of Gaudi’s naturalist phase and is reflected in his use of natural and organic shapes. For the actual building of the park, Gaudi advocated environmentally friendly and cost-effective construction, so that he did not adapt nature to its construction, but instead integrated his ideas into nature. However, the building was still expensive to create, because everything had to be made by hand. Park Güell is a popular destination and makes a wonderful day trip.
The Picasso museum
Tourists have another great option to explore: the Picasso Art Museum. It features many of Pablo Picasso’s early works from 1895 to 1904. The museum, built while Picasso was alive, holds one of the largest collections of his art, with 4,251 works on display. Located in five connected medieval palaces in Barcelona’s La Ribera, it’s a fantastic place for art lovers to visit.
The best beaches in Barcelona
Stepping out now into nature, there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona and outside the Catalan capital. The beautiful seaside and coastal areas are ideal to relax and enjoy the Spanish sun, some of the best beaches include:
- Sant Sebastià
- Sant Miquel
- Nova Icària
- Nova Mar Bella
The best spots to sail to from Barcelona
Barcelona Port is one of the biggest in the Mediterranean. The port consists of three subdivisions: the old port (Port Vell); the industrial port (Port Franc de Barcelona), where ferries, cruise ships and container ships also dock; and the marina (Port Olimpic).
A day trip by boat is a nice alternative to discover a country from a new perspective. On a boat trip in Barcelona and you can sail along the Spanish coast, discover creeks, and spend an unforgettable time in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Take a trip along the Costa Brava coast. The coastal cities of Cadaqués, Roses, Empuriabrava or Lloret de Mar and Palamós are especially interesting. On the other side, you can hike along the Costa Dorada, where you can find the beautiful cities of Tarragona, Salou, Cambrills and Sitges.
Aboard a sailboat or a catamaran, you can also reach the stunning Balearic archipelago, and discover the idyllic islands of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.
Take the opportunity to also carry out nautical activities, and spend a memorable afternoon with family or friends! With a semi-rigid, you can for example try your hand at a wakeboarding session or water skiing. Catalonia is also the ideal place for diving and snorkeling, with many great scuba diving spots (Cap de Creus and El Gast on the side of Roses, Los Ullastres, the Medes Islands just to name a few…).
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