You probably know a bit about Barcelona, the timeless Mediterranean city and one of the most popular travel destinations in Spain (and in the world as well), but probably not so deep as to have had the opportunity to discover hidden niches, live like the locals do, or try the authentic Catalan cuisine. There are always plenty of good travel deals to and from Barcelona, making it a great place to go on a budget!
If you don’t want to end up like the “guiris” (foreigners) who spend their time walking up and down the Rambla drinking sangria and eating an expensive and not so traditional paella, read our tips on 30 things to do in Barcelona and watch the Barcelona Travel Guide video!
1. Wander the streets and squares of the Born and the Gothic Quarter and discover their hidden secrets.
Tip: Go to “Plaça Sant Miquel” and find the monument which is an homage to Castellers also known as human towers.
2. Walk down Passeig de Gracia and admire the many architectural works of art of Antoni Gaudi.
Tip: Don’t forget to visit the “House of Bones”, officially known as Casa Batlló. The house is open to visitors 365 days a year from 9am to 9pm. The whole block (between calle Aragó and calle Consell de Cent) is called Block of Discord and there are other popular buildings such as Casa Amatller and Casa Llò Morera.
3. Skate (or walk) the Paseo Maritimo from the Barceloneta beach until the end of the Forum.
Tip: Stop by the beach bar commonly known as “chiringuito” for one mojito (or two!).
4. Have a drink at the Bar Marsella, the oldest in the city, and once a second home to Hemingway.
Tip: Drink a glass of absinthe, which is the typical drink in this bar. Besides Hemingway, there were other popular artists that also visited Bar Marsella, such as Picasso, Gaudi and Dalí.
5. See a free exhibition in Palau Robert (on Passeig de Gracia) or one of the many galleries in the city.
6. Relax with a cold beer in hand on the patio at the Antic Theatre and see a show.
Tip: Arrive early in the afternoon if you want to sit outside on the patio because this popular bar gets full very quickly.
7. Have a picnic at the Ciutadella park and do a bit of people watching.
Tip: Search for the gigantic mammoth sculpture and take a photo!
8. Eat fresh tapas in a bar near the Barceloneta beach (Jai-Ca or Can Mano) and follow it up with a delicious paella at Can Ros.
Tip: And to finish up go for a caña (beer) at “Bar Ke”.
9. Go to a live flamenco show, dance and drink a glass of vermouth on a Saturday afternoon at Bar Leo (Barceloneta).
Tip: Admire and enjoy the feeling and atmosphere of this emblematic bar.
10. Eat the fantastic “churros con chocolate” on calle Petritxol, in the Gothic Quarter.
Tip: Calle Petritxol was the first street in Barcelona without sidewalks, completely pedestrian and asphalted.
11. Take a break in the MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art) plaza, watching the skaters do their tricks.
Tip: If you get tired of watching the skaters, go for a walk on “calle Joaquin Costa” to see some street art.
12. Spend an evening in the Gracia neighborhood in one of the many bars or have a drink in the open air in the Plaça del Sol.
Tip: Go to Plaça del Diamant if the Plaça del Sol is too crowded.
13. See Messi score a hat-trick in the Camp Nou stadium.
Tip: Pay attention to the “independence” chantings at the 17 minutes and 14 seconds mark.
14. Hunt for antiques and trinkets at the Mercat dels Encants (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays).
15. See a movie in its original language at cinema Verdi in the neighborhood of Gracia, or for a few euros a film d’essay at the Filmoteca (Raval).
16. Have a seafood snack at the bar Pinotxo in La Boquería market.
Tip: Get a fruit smoothie while you’re at Boqueria.
17. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the Montjuic Cable Cars: Teleferic de Montjuic.
Tip: To get there, take the funicular from the Parallel metro stop (line 2 & 3).
18. Instead of choosing the very touristy Barceloneta beach, try “Mar Bella” beach for a drink at a chiringuito (beach bar) and relax under the sun.
19. Observe the vibrant cultural melting-pot that is the Rambla del Raval.
Tip: Search for the cat sculpture made by Fernando Botero.
20. Stroll Gaudi’s Park Guell at sunset.
Tip: the park is no longer free entrance, so save time and book your tickets online in advance.
21. Get lost in the labyrinth of the park “Laberint d’Horta”.
Fact: Some scenes of the movie “Perfume” were shot here.
22. Cycle along the beautiful Carretera de les Aigues in the Collserola Park and see some of the best panoramic views of Barcelona.
23. Sift through old volumes of books at the Sant Antoni Sunday market and explore the vintage shops in the Raval neighborhood.
24. Try Catalan cuisine: esqueixada, escalibada, calçots amb romesco, butifarra de pagès, pa amb tomaquet, mel i mato, panellets, escudella, suquet…
25. Go to a concert at the Palau de la Musica to enjoy the fantastic acoustics and architecture.
26. Have any type of drink at the W Hotel, “Hotel Vela” (a bit expensive but worth it!).
27. Take the tram “Tramvia blau“, the oldest in Barcelona, and admire the houses along Avenida Tibidabo.
28. Walk the Eixample neighborhood and see the eclectic houses of the “Passatge de Permanyer”.
29. Unleash the Catalan rhythm and see a concert at the Barceloneta beach.
30. Step back in time and take a tour of Gaudi’s Modernist marvel, Casa Milà, colloquially known as “La Pedrera“.
Tip: Go on a night visit, offered Wednesday-Saturday from 7pm-10:30pm. It’s open 7 days a week from 9am-6pm.
Did we convince you to visit (or revisit) Barcelona? If the answer was yes, start searching for some of the best Vueling flight offers to the Catalan capital.
And now you… What do you recommend to see, do, or eat in Barcelona? Let us know in the comments below your favorite things to do in Barcelona!