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Barcelona has been by far one of my favorite cities to visit in Spain. It offers a crazy combination of the modern an the old that will make you want to explore every corner of it. You will never have enough time for it though!
Luckily I was able to explore some of the highlights of the city and loved every second of it. But with so many things, I know that it can be daunting to decide on what to visit with the time you have. So here is my list of recommendations with the top places to visit in Barcelona. I hope it helps you narrow down the ones you want to visit.
Places to Visit in Barcelona
1. Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
There is no doubt that this is Barcelona’s main landmark. This UNESCO-listed Basilica dominates the skyline in the northern area of the city. Antoni Gaudí was commissioned in 1883 to design this basilica. It was originally supposed to be a neo-Gothic church but he made some changes and went for his signature surrealistic Art Nouveau architecture. The church was never completed.
Luckily, visitors are able to tour it, but there are limited spaces but you need to purchase tickets for Sagrada Familia in advance, they go fast.
2. La Rambla
This is where you go to experience the fun and lively social life in Barcelona. It is gorgeous with old-style buildings (including Palau Guell) and tons of trees. It is a lively place with tons of restaurants, shops, large sidewalks and locals having a good time. The energy here is amazing, especially if you get there while there is live music!
Plus, it borders with the Gothic Quarter which I’ll talk about next.
3. Gothic Quarter
This 2,000-year-old place is usually referred to as the heart and soul of Barcelona. In the Gothic Quarter you can still find relics from Roman times, historic buildings from the Middle ages, and masterpieces of Gothic architecture.
This is also where the discovery of the Americas began taking shape. This is where Christopher Columbus was received by the Catholic Monarchs after his first voyage to the New World.
4. Palace of Catalan Music
This stunning building was built between 1905 and 1908. It was designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. What makes it so gorgeous is the curved lines of the design combined with all of the color from the interior decor. Its shape and decoration are dedicated to chorals.
5. Parc Güell
This surrealistic, colorful, and strangely beautiful park is another UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Antoni Gaudí. It was built between 1900 and 1914 and is made up of many unique features and architectural elements in Gaudí’s signature style.
While at the park I would recommend visiting the spectacular terrace with panoramic views of the city and the sea first. It is breathtaking.
Bonus fact: The park and a garden surround the house where Gaudi lived.
6. Camp Nou
This is completely different from everything that has been mentioned until know on this list. This is a modern building that is a MUST if you are a soccer fan. The impressive stadium is home to the FC Barcelona and sits up to 99,354 fans. Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe and the second-largest in the world.
7. Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso lived in Barcelona for a portion of his life. He joined La Llotja art school and opened his first studio in the gothic Quarter. This museum showcases some of his most stunning artwork and celebrates his life.
8. Santa Maria del Mar
This is a gothic style basilica that has been towering over El Born neighborhood since the 10th century. Just by standing outside you will be astonished by its looks but the real eye candy is inside.