The second-largest city in Spain, Barcelona sees hundreds of tourists every year. But what compels people to visit this beautiful city? Is it the stunning architecture that leaves you mesmerized? Perhaps it’s the sunny weather that makes people cheery year-round? Roomi’s got the answers, along with a list of the best things to do in Barcelona!
Related: Find Rooms For Rent In Barcelona
Outdoors in Barcelona
1. Hiking trails in Santa Cova de Montserrat
Barcelona is a haven for those who love adventure! One of the best places to visit in Barcelona if you’re looking for an interesting hiking trail is the Santa Cova de Montserrat. Apart from the steep climb towards the end, the trail is easy to hike though – even for beginners. Gorgeous views and numerous sculptures lead the way to the cave chapel at the end of the trail.
- Costs: Free
- Timings: Monday to Friday: 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM; Saturday and Sunday: 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM
2. Kayaking trips to Costa Brava
The crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea await you at Costa Brava. Undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Barcelona is to go on a day trip to Costa Brava for some water sports. From kayaking to snorkeling, you’ll find plenty of options for trips that last anywhere between 6 to 8 hours.
- Costs: vary as per tour booked, usually starts from $94 per person.
- Timings: Vary as per tours; you can book 6-hour or 8-hour day trips.
3. Enjoy a camping trip at Camping el Solsones
Take a day trip from Barcelona to Camping el Solsones, and enjoy an environmentally-friendly camping trip at this ecological campsite. While you’re heading back, make a stop at Solsona, the nearby town where you can learn more about traditional Catalan and visit some historical centers.
- Costs: varies based on accommodation
- Timings: Monday to Thursday: 9 AM to 9 PM; Friday to Sunday: 9 AM to 11 PM.
Sports in Barcelona
1. Visit the largest stadium in Europe to watch FC Barcelona play
You can’t talk about sports in Barcelona without mentioning the legendary FC Barcelona team. If you’re a fan of soccer, don’t forget to head to Camp Nou to catch a game.
- Costs: ticket prices start at $33
- Timings: varies as per game season
2. Catch an FC Barcelona Bàsquet game
The FC Barcelona Bàsquet is one of the top basketball teams in Spain and has been around since 1926. Six-time NBA All-star player Pau Gasol is a well-known icon in the team. It is the oldest club in Liga ABC, and trust us, you don’t want to miss out on watching them play.
- Costs: average ticket prices start at $33
- Timings: Varies as per game season
3. Learn all about handball
Unfamiliar with handball? A popular sport throughout Europe, the FC Barcelona Handbol team is arguably the most famous sports team in the city and dominates most of the European championships.
- Costs: average ticket prices start at $33
- Timings: vary as per game season
Museums in Barcelona
1. Visit the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Standing on the steps of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a Disney novel. Nope, that’s not a palace – just a museum in Barcelona that displays artwork ranging from religious murals to Catalan Modernism paintings.
- Costs: General admission $14
- Timings: Summer opening hours (May to September): Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 AM to 8 PM; Sundays and public holidays, from 10 AM to 3 PM
2. Explore the Museu Marítim de Barcelona
After some major renovations, the Museu Marítim de Barcelona opened to the public in 2014. Though the current building is much farther away from the sea, the original one was used to build galleys during wartimes.
- Costs: General admission: $11.91; Reduced fee: $5.91; Group: $9. 45;
- Timings: Monday to Sunday:10 AM to 8 PM (Entry closes at 7 PM); Sunday: 3 PM onwards
3. Visit The Stapler and marvel at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona
The Design Museum of Barcelona is located in the futuristic building known as The Stapler. Here, you will find some intriguing exhibitions centred around fashion, graphic design and more. While you’re here, don’t forget to visit the flea market nearby which you’ll find beneath a mirrored pavilion.
- Costs: General admission: $7.09; Reduced prices: $4.73; free admission on Sunday from 3 PM to 8 PM
- Timings: Tuesday to Sunday:10 AM to 8 PM
Culture in Barcelona
1. Head to the Magic Fountain
While you’re visiting the MNAC, head to the base of the Montjuïc Hill to see the Magic Fountain, a famed landmark of the city. Though it’s no wishing well, you will catch an incredible color, light and music show which is one of the best things to do in Barcelona.
- Costs: Free
- Timings: June to September: Wednesday to Sunday; October to May: Thursday to Saturday; timings vary, usually during the evening with a 15 to 20 minute break between two shows.
2. Experience La Mercè if you can
Unless you’ve timed it perfectly, it can be hard to experience the wonderful celebration of La Mercè (short for La Mare de Déu de la Mercè or The Virgin of Mercy, who was the patron saint of the city). This is a week-long celebration that takes place in the days leading up to September 24th and has been celebrated since 1871. During the celebration, you will see everything, from traditional dances, to paper mâché processions, and the thrilling La Mercè event ends with an incredible firework display throughout the city.
- Costs: Free!
- Timings: Week long; shop timings may change during the week so keep an eye out if you plan to visit some places.
3. Discover the masterpieces at The Joan Miró Foundation
Joan Miró is the city’s most renowned artist. Discover some of his finest works at the Joan Miró Foundation. In addition to the famed artist’s work, you’ll also find exhibitions dedicated to the works of contemporary artists.
- Costs: General admission: $15.36; Reduced price: $8.27
- Timings: Thursday to Sunday: 11 AM to 7 PM
4. Devour some calçots
If you happen to visit Barcelona between January to March, you’re in luck as it is the season for calçots, a type of green onion which is found only in the Tarragona region. Calçotada is a big ceremonial meal, during which families eat calçots, which are typically cooked over an open fire and then dipped into a nut-based sauce. Every family has a different sauce recipe, which gives you plenty of opportunities to experience the many different tastes of calçots—one of the best things to do in Barcelona.
- Costs: varies across eateries.
- Timings: January to March is the best time to experience calçots.
Restaurants in Barcelona
1. Eat some tapas at Tickets
Part of elBarrri, global gastronomy projected headed by Albert and Ferran Adrià, Tickets provides a unique outlook on tapas. Each meal takes about 2 to 2.5 hours and is an experience you won’t forget any time soon. Menu items are constantly changing depending on the season, and they provide tasting menus catered to your taste, as well as vegan options with a 48-hour prior notice.
- Costs: varies as per season and menu items.
- Timings: Tuesday to Friday: 7 PM to 10:30 PM; Saturdays: 1 PM to 3 PM & 7 PM to 10:30 PM
Pubs in Barcelona
1. Visit the backstreets of Raval
Although the location is often considered to be a no-go area, the backstreets of Raval are home to Bar Marsella, one of the city’s oldest and most famous watering holes. The bar’s famous drink is known as the “Green Fairy” with an alcohol content of about 45%-74%.
- Costs: varies based on drinks.
- Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 10 PM to 2:30 PM; Saturday and Sunday: 10 PM to 3 PM.
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