Top 5 Places to Visit in Barcelona

Barcelona is such a magnificent city with everything you can hope for. On one side, you have the mountains, and on the other, you have the beach. But with this abundance of options, how can you decide on what to see first? Here are my top 5 recommendations (in no particular order!).

5. Gothic Quarter

Wander around the narrow corners of the Gothic Quarters and get lost in the maze-like paths! Every street is filled with a unique variety of shops and restaurants, you will never run out of options. The architecture in this neighborhood is preserved from the Middle Ages, so get ready to be transported back to medieval times. Afterward, make sure to walk to La Boqueria, one of the biggest markets in Barcelona. Here, you can try a variety of fresh fruits and cuisines for a taste of Barcelona (kind of like Reading Terminal Market!). 

4. Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is the most iconic building in Barcelona. I am here to say, yes! It is as impressive as it is said to be. Every inch of the wall is covered with intricate designs and you can easily spend hours just staring at them. This is one of the many works from Gaudi, so make sure to check out the rest as they are equally as astonishing. Construction on the Sagrada Familia started in 1882 and after 142 years, it still is not complete. However, the new completion date is set for 2026.

Look at the sheer size of the Sagrada Familia!

3. Montjuïc

Looking for a good view of the city? Then Montjuïc would be a great place to go! Named Jewish Mountain, this hill used to host a thriving Jewish community. The Montjuïc Castle also sits on top of this hill. Built around 1640, it has been used as a fortress and a prison. Now, this historic site is open to the public so make sure to come visit! Make sure to take the cable cars on the way to the top so you can enjoy the amazing view. Here is a pro tip: the castle is free to visit every Sunday after 3 PM.

The view of the city from the Montjuïc cable cars

2. The Beach

What is Barcelona without its beaches? With a beach stretching over 4 kilometers, it is hard to miss. Barcelona does get hot in the summer so make sure to get in the water to cool down! During the night, the beach is also popular to relax and get some quiet time. So you can visit any time of the day, really. Fun fact, Barcelona actually has no natural beaches, meaning they are all artificial! The beaches were constructed in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games but now have become a integral part of Barcelona. 

A map of Barcelona’s beaches

1. Montserrat

Just outside of the city lies the beautiful Montserrat. The name translates to “Serrated Mountains” as the mountain has jagged sharp peaks. The Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery sits on top of this mountain so you can see religious icons like the Black Madonna. However, Montserrat is more than just a religious site. You be able to see spectacular views of the nature surrounding you, which gets better the higher you hike. If you love nature, this has to go on your bucket list!

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