I’ve been to Barcelona 7 times. Maybe 8. Either way, Barcelona is my most visited European city, and I’m going back again in October, hopefully.
It’s cheap to get to, relatively cheap to explore and there’s so much to do for free. I’ve done a lot here, and weirdly haven’t written that much about it on my blog. I have thousands of photos of Barcelona stacked up so you can expect more over the next few weeks.
Here are my top 5 things to do in Barcelona, for any first time visitor. Or just keep going until you’ve ticked them all off. Trust me.
Things you need to do in Barcelona
1. Bar hopping in El Born / Barrio Gothic
There are so many cool bars in El Born, Raval and Barrio Gothic. As in, so many. You’d need a few months to get round them all. This area of Barcelona can be difficult to navigate, never mind to map out so I’d recommend you just go where your senses take you and make the most of the Sangria.
If you’re looking for somewhere tasty to start, find Bemouth (pictured), order everything, and take it from there.
2. La Boqueria Market
Another place to make the most of the food and drink. La Boqueria Market is one of the oldest and most interesting markets I’ve ever been to. Here you can try Catalan sausages, jamon, fresh fruit drinks, veggies, tapas, chocolate, wine and coffee, just by walking round and sampling the delights as you please.
Pull up a chair at one of the bars and get yourself a beer while you debate what to scoff next. Make sure you go hungry.
3. Montjuic Fountains
The Montjuic Fountains are awesome. Located at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, they might not be that much to look at in the day, in fact, they might not even be on. But go down in the evening, at around 9pm, and you’ll find an incredible fountain display timed (loosely) to music.
You can take a bottle of a little something up there, or a few cans and sit and admire the colourful water set to pop songs and Spanish opera. I strongly recommend you move around, and up and down levels so you can enjoy the different points of view. Don’t stand too close, you’ll get drenched.
4. The Sagrada Familia
You need to go in the Sagrada Familia. Yes, it’s incredible from the outside, but to really admire it properly, get in there. Whether you’re of the religious persuasion or not, the interior of the Sagrada Familia is absolutely stunning with stained glass windows, thought in every detail and amazing lighting fixtures.
You can do a tour to understand more about the architect Gaudi, his inspiration, life and death, and to go up in the towers. Amazing views up there, but lots of stairs too!
5. Museum of the History of Catalonia, Rooftop Bar
Well this was a local’s gem that my brother led us to last time I was in Barcelona. He lives there y’see, and when he said to go to the ‘Museum of the History of Catalonia’ I thought my techno loving, previously shown no interest in history, gym devoted brother had lost it. Turns out there’s an awesome rooftop bar up there, that looks out over Barcelona’s awesome Port Vell.
Drinks are exp-en-sive, but still, it’s Barcelona, they’re not that expensive. And it’s worth it for that view, right?
*Dealchecker have even more reasons why you should visit Barcelona this Autumn, just click through!*