Top 8 places to explore in Barcelona, Spain

We had always loved traveling growing up and dreamed about heading to Europe as we were older. Once we finally planned to take our first trip to Europe together, we knew we had to put Spain on the list of places to stop.

Barcelona

When we got to Barcelona, we immediately fell in love with the food scene (give us all the tapas, vino and cheese, please!), the lively nightlife and beautiful beaches.

What we didn’t expect was the overwhelming beauty of Barcelona’s architecture scene. You have probably heard of most of these spots in every tourist publication, but we were awed by actually experiencing these attractions in person. Add some culture to your trip, by checking out these top 8 must-see places in Barcelona, which will be sure to inspire! 

1.     Sagrada Familia – this is an absolute must for anyone in Barcelona. What an unbelievable church, with the most stunning architecture, details and stained glass windows (these were our favorite). Seriously breathtaking! The craziest part of this church is Gaudi passed away while in construction, but progress has slowly continued and the church will finally be complete in 2026. A couple tips: highly recommend arriving early because this place gets packed! We also debated going to the top of the towers, which was completely worth it, you just have to book in advance.

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia

2.     Tablao Cordobes – You cannot go to Spain without seeing a flamenco show and we absolutely loved this location. It was a very intimate room, the sound was so powerful and you are very close to the stage. The costumes and overall performance were just exceptional. Such a treat! Only caveat, we don’t recommend doing dinner prior, there are definitely better options in the area. 

3.     Park Guell – we absolutely loved walking through this whimsical park. You could spend a couple hours here or an entire afternoon, depending on what you are looking to do. There are so many trails to take where you may run into a beautiful garden and could totally hang out for a picnic, sit at the top of the park and take in the views or explore all the mosaics, which we found fascinating. Gaudi’s artistic style truly stands out here. The park is also open every day, which is a plus.

Park Guell
Park Guell

4.     Boqueria Market – fresh meat and cheese, chocolate for days, fresh bread, spices, vino ..we could go on and on. If you like food, just go here! We stayed at an Airbnb during our stay and would stock up on a lot of our food here.

Boqueria Market

5.     La Barceloneta – aka the beach. We absolutely fell in love with the beach. Yes, it will likely be extremely busy, but we would grab wine & cheese from the local markets and just post up on the sand. Note the reoccurring wine and cheese theme here. =) Chiringuitos (beach bars) are a hit, with each bar having their own unique cuisine and decor. We legit got back to America and were determined to open our own “beach bar” on the beach. 

Barcelona Beach

6.     El Born & Barri Gotic – hands down our two favorite neighborhoods in Barcelona. You can wander the streets here for hours …between the local bars, amazing tapas restaurants, and boutique markets and shops. It will really give you a feel for the “real” Barcelona.

7.     Font Magica – We thought this experience may be very corny, but this is a beautiful show of water, light and music. Feels very Disney-esque. Depending on time of year, the shows are usually Thurs-Sun or Fri & Sat only, so check the schedule. It is really fun to check-out if you are visiting over the weekend. 

Font Magica

8.     Camp Nou Stadium – if you are a sports fan, stop by the home of Barcelona’s futbol (soccer) team. If there is a game, DEFINITELY get a ticket to experience this atmosphere. Even if they aren’t in season, the stadium is awesome to book a tour at. Bonus – they have one of the largest Nike stores within the stadium.

After full days of exploring, you may be wondering where to get some grub and where to rest your head at night. Another post coming soon on our favorite spots to eat in Barcelona, separated out by neighborhood.

If you have been to Barcelona, we would love to hear about your favorite attractions, that you deem “can’t miss” =)