WeSwapper Ilana lets us know her thoughts on one of the world's most vibrant and popular cities...
Capital of Catalonia and hub of Spanish culture, Barcelona welcomes millions of travellers every year - I was one of those travellers for three weeks last summer.
So rather that just daydreaming about my Catalonian travels past (during lunch of course) I decided to put my experience to good use and rustle up the 7 things that I think everyone should do when visiting Barcelona. I also dipped into Jess' awesome blog for some more insight.
Oh my Gaudi!
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_¿Sabes que la finalización de las obras de la Sagrada Familia está prevista para el 2026? _Saps que la finalització de les obres de la Sagrada Família està prevista per al 2026? _Did you know that construction of the Sagrada Família is scheduled to finish in 2026? #SagradaFamilia #SagradaFamília #AntoniGaudí #Gaudí #architecture #arquitectura #Barcelona #modernisme #modernism #Basílica
How could we not mention this guy first? If you didn’t know, Antoni Gaudi was an architect, designing buildings in Barcelona in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Sagrada Familia, his immense church, and the Parc Güell (unmissable according to Jessica) are simply phenomenal. But buy tickets in advance! I bought on the day and had to wait 2 or 3 hours after buying my ticket before I could enter each attraction.
Sagrada Familia: 15 euro entry
Parc Guell: 7 euro entry
A Walking Tour
The best way to take in a city is, of course, by foot. Just wandering around Barcelona allows you to soak up its vibrant atmosphere. And whilst you’re exploring, check out Jessica’s favourite spot Boqueria Market on the Ramblas.
However, if you want something with more guidance, Runner Bean Tours offer some great walking tours.
The Old City and Gaudi tours are free - the tour guides work for tips which means they are dedicated to making the tours as entertaining and informative as possible. Plus the guides are a great source of travel tips so ask lots of questions!
I would particularly recommend the night tour - costs 15 euros and you need to book in advance but it is definitely worth it! Not a ghost tour, but I found some places pretty spooky in the dark!
The Life of Pablo
What city break could be complete without a trip to a gallery? To get your fix of creative genius, Barcelona’s Picasso museum is a must! The museum and audio guide (included in the price: 11 euros or 7 euros if you are 18-25 or over 65), gives you a great overview of the development of Picasso’s work through his lifetime.
TIP: If you go on the first Sunday of the month or after 3pm on any Sunday, entry is FREE. Watch out though – the queues get very long at these times and a limited number is allowed in so get there early!
A Cable Car Ride
On one of your days in Barcelona, grab the cable car up to Montjuic. An 8 euro single or 12 euro round trip is a great, efficient way to head up the mountain. So take a seat, get comfy, and admire the glorious view!
Once you get there, take in the Castle de Montjuic (5 euros), Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (12 euros), the Olympic Stadium and have a quiet stroll around the botanical gardens (3.50 euros).
TIP: The Castle de Montjuic is free on Sundays after 3 and the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalonia is or free after 3pm on a Saturday and on the first Sunday of every month.
Nearby in the neighbourhood of Poble Sec where there are loads of good value places to get dinner and drinks afterwards – Jessica’s top recommendation here is Quimet i Quimet.
A Night Out
Barcelona nightlife is great fun and really varied so you will definitely find something up your street.
The organised bar crawls are a great place to get chatting to travellers from all over the world. Usually about 15-20 euros but they allow you to return for free as many nights as you want…and Bar Crawl Barcelona even give you a free tank top…!
If you are looking for a chart-based club, check out Boulevard on Las Ramblas (15 euro entry but you can often find promoters outside who will get you in for free). Otherwise, head to Razzmatazz - a monster of a club with five different spaces where you can hear indie rock, tech house, techno pop and electro pop. Its 17 euro entry includes a free drink - worth it because drinks were pretty pricey to buy!
So there we have it – 7 must-dos in the brilliant Barcelona. Bon viatage!