Barcelona is one place that easily tops the list of most people’s favourite city breaks. It has everything packed under one place – art, culture, food, and architecture to name the obvious. Having spoken to my friends who have visited Barcelona, the general consensus is that “you would go to Barcelona more than once”, which I duly agree.
3 nights were just about enough to see and do 15 different things, if you plan ahead. Being quite the spreadsheet freak, I planned my trip with Excel, gathering the necessary information (including the nearest metro stations and entry fees) all in one place.
To help with planning your trip, you can download my Barcelona Attractions Info Sheet.
Here are the top 5 places to visit in Barcelona (plus a recommended tapas place).
1. La Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia basilica is an ‘astonishing unfinished church in Barcelona designed by Antoni Gaudí’. Over a 100 years has this icon of Barcelona been under construction, since 1882. However unfinished it may be, millions of visitors gather to see the fine Catalan modernist architecture.
At an additional €4.50, a ride up the fast lift in one the towers will take you to the view of Barcelona city.
2. Park Güell
Yet another masterpiece by Gaudi considered as Barcelona’s gem, Park Güell displays an array of fascinating architecture and landscaping. Colourful ceramics fitted into mosaic patterns lines up the windows and roofs of each facade. It’s not a wonder this park was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site.
15 minutes hike up to the park from Vallarco metro station
With my travel buddy, Ee Vonn
View from the top of highest point of the park, from a mini stone hill called the Turó de les tres creus
The Nature Square, also known as the Greek Theatre is in the centre of the monumental zone. This large esplanade offers a panoramic view of the park including the two pavilions at the main entrance to the park.
Carob’s viaduct that is shaped like a wave
Gaudi House Museum. This was Gaudi’s very own home for 20 years until late 1925. Open to the public, this house provides an intimate glimpse of the Catalan architect.
3. Camp Nou
Home ground to the famous Barcelona football club, it is every FCB fan to set foot on the grand stadium.
4. Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter)
Situated in the old town of Barcelona and to the right of the famous buzzing street of La Rambla, the Gothic Quarter boasts the majestic creations and remains from the medieval times, featuring narrow and winding aisles. Due to its proximity to La Rambla, you will find lots of chic bars, restaurants and clubs nearby that are popular with the younger crowds at night-time.
Placa del Rei, a 14th century medieval public square
5. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
Housed in a palace that overlooks the Montjuic magic fountain, you will find a collection of all forms of arts of the Roman, Middle Ages and Baroque times to name a few. Visitors with the Barcelona Card will get free admission to the MNAC (free wifi too).
Another Barcelona gem is the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Thousands gather on an evening to watch the sound and light water display that lasts a while enough to rest your feet after a long day. Shows run every half an hour in the evening at 7pm from Thursdays to Sundays during winter and spring time. Check other show times here.
Top Tapas Place – Ciutat Comtal
Cabreaos egg style
Recommended by my travel buddy, Ciutat Comtal (in Catalan), otherwise spelt as Ciudad Condal in Spanish, is just northwest of Barri Gotic. The tapas dishes were incredibly delicious, atmosphere and service were up to great standards too. Although locals tend to eat quite late, I went in at the usual dinner time at 7ish only to be put in a long queue of 45 minutes waiting time for seatings inside the restaurant. I ended up going to the outdoor seats, which offered cool breeze and people-watching opportunities :-) Speaking of raw eggs, you may like the sound of raw duck eggs on duck confit and waffles.
The mini beef burger with cheese and caramelised onion, one can swallow in a second.