Barcelona, the cosmopolitan city and the capital of Catalonia. A city made famous for its history, art, and football and an essential destination for a mini break. The city attracts millions of visitors per year who come to sample the the diversity and culture in a city that has something for everyone.
If you are looking for the perfect short break in Barcelona and you want to make the most of your your time here, it’s a good idea to plan what you want to do before you go. I know planning a trip isn’t always easy and knowing what to do when you get there can be stressful unless you have done your research beforehand. Hopefully I can take some of the stress work away from you when it comes to planning your itinerary.
Here are my 10 cool things to do in Barcelona.
1. The Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is an exceptional piece of architecture, in fact it’s an unfinished piece of architecture designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. The construction of this gothic style Roman Catholic church began over 135 years ago, and will finally be completed in 2026. Although the church is yet to be finished, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without a visit here. It’s the most visited landmark in Spain, so that tells you something.
Entrance To the Sagrada Familia will cost you between €16-20, and free for children under 10.
2. Stroll along Las Ramblas
Take a stroll along Barcelona’s most famous street that stretches from Placa de Catalunya down to the waterfront. It’s the place to be seen in Barcelona, full of cafes, restaurants, shops, street performers, tress, and waffles! Many of Barcelona’s museums are also within easy reach from here.
While strolling from one end to the other of this 1.2 km long street you will come across some of the city’s best attractions such as Liceu Theatre (the city’s famous opera house) and the Boqueira Market (I have included this in my itinerary below).
There are tons of great hotels on Las Ramblas, although this is a noisy and boisterous area of the city so if I want a quieter night, find a hotel in one of the nearby streets or another part of the city.
A couple of tips when visiting Las Rambles though, beware of pickpockets here, with the strip being packed with tourists day and night, be extra careful.
Prices in bars and restaurants are a lot higher here that else where in the city. While it is nice to have a meal here, if you are on a budget, eat elsewhere.
3. Visit the Boqueira Market
Visit one of the most famous markets in the world, and possibly one of the best, in fact it was once voted the worlds best by CNN. With over 300 stalls here, it’s a must visit for all foodies with fresh ingredients and cooked food aplenty there are so many places to eat and drink here. You can take a guided tour or just wander around your self and immerse yourself in the culture.
With an entrance to the market on Las Ramblas, you can’t miss it.
This market is also where the locals come to buy some of there fresh produce so be respectful of this when taking photos and don’t touch anything unless you intend on buying it.
Speaking a Little Catalonian or Spanish (as I always try to do on my trips) goes along way with the locals and traders, as many won’t be fluent in English.
4. Visit the home of FC Barcelona (Camp Nou)
Weather you like football (soccer) Or not, a visit to the home of Barcelona football club should definitely be on your list. The Camp Nou is the biggest football stadium in Europe, seating just over 99,000 people. The place is enormous.
A true football fan will be in football heaven here, with a stadium and museum tour offering panoramic views of this stunning arena. Inside the museum you can learn all about this world famous clubs illustrious history, view the 5 European cups the club have won, and discover the area dedicated to Leo messi, the clubs all time leading goal scorer, (and in my opinion, the greatest player ever).
Even my partner who doesn’t like football, really enjoyed coming here, and doing the tour.
Prices for the tour start at €20 or £18 pp. Tours are not available on match days
5. Take a guided tour of the gothic quarter
The gothic quarter of Barcelona is situated in the old town, and is visited by most who come to the city. If it’s your first time in Barcelona, you won’t want to miss it.
The gothic quarter dates back to the Middle Ages, and you really do get a feel for this with its narrow winding streets, stunning architecture, Roman ruins and the cathedral.
But this area is not just for history lovers, it’s also a very popular area among the younger crowds looking for lively nightlife. The gothic quarter has some trendy restaurants, shops and Some cool bars all dotted around these old streets
if it’s your first time here, I recommend getting a guide to show you round the gothic quarter, some you can really get a feel for the history and culture of the area, and you won’t miss anything.
6. Cava and Wine tour
Cava is Spain’s famous drink, a sparkling wine, and 99% of the drink is produced in the Catalonia region. So if you want to sample some of the finest Cava around, then this tour is for you. You have a choice of taking a tour to the vineyards in Catalonia, where some of the best cava is produced or head to Bodega Maestrazgo, a cool little wine bar when you can sample some of Spain’s finest wine and cava, and tapas.
Take the Barcelona Turisme wine and cava tour, where you will be taken to some of the best winery’s in the Penedès region where you can learn how different wines and cava are produced, and also partake in a tasting session.
Come to the worlds first ice bar on the beech. While temperatures outside might be melting, temperatures inside are freezing! 5 degrees below freezing to be exact. Inside this sub zero bar everything is hand calved in blocks of ice by expert sculptors.
Once inside you will be given a jacket and gloves to keep you from getting to cold, and your choice of cocktail you get free with your entrance ticket. There are only a limited amount of cocktails due to the the freezing temperatures.
Every year the theme inside the bar changes and there is new ice sculptures on display, so even if you’ve been before, go again and see it differently.
Once you’ve finished in subzero temperatures make your way up to the terrace bar to warm up and soak up some sun. The terrace bar is right on the beech front, so chill here with a nice cold beer or cocktail or whatever takes your fancy.
8. Montjuïc Cable car
Barcelona actually has 2 cable cars offering great views of the city, the Port cable car and Montjuic cable car. My favourite is the Montjuic cable car. Take the cable car up Montjuic, Barcelona’s most historic mountain for breathtaking, panoramic views of the city, the best views of the city in fact.
At the top of the mountain is Montjuic castle, an old military fortress dating back to 1640, and sitting 173 metres above sea level. Spot some of the city’s famous landmarks from the cabins.
Your journey will begin at Telefèric de Montjuïc base station and takes approximately 10 minutes.
9. See the city by bike.
One of my favorite ways to explore a city is to hire a bike and just hit the road and see where the 2 wheels take me. Barcelona is one of the most bike friendly city’s in the world. It’s a great way to learn about the city and avoid overcrowded public transport.
With such flat terrain and lovely weather, getting around the city by bike is a lot of fun. Barcelona has over 200km of cycle track taking you on coastal paths, mountain paths and car free city streets. Another great thing about hiring your own bike is that you can go further than what you would of feet and explore some of the city’s outskirts.
There are many bike rental company’s in Barcelona and prices vary but Green Bikes Barcelona is pretty awesome, they also offer bike tours of the city. Prices start at €5 for 2 hours rental.
10. Cook and taste Barcelona
Fancy cooking up some delicious Spanish cuisine while on your trip. Spend the day at Cook and Taste Barcelona where you can Come and cook yourself a a traditional 4 course meal with help from a local chef.
Learn how to cook dishes such as tapas, paella and other traditional dishes. You’ll be able to impress your friends when you get home and even host a Spanish themed dinner party using your new cooking skills.
A truly unique and fantastic experience that gives you a real taste of genuine Catalan and Spanish cuisine. This is a great way to spend the day weather your a single traveller or a group. Check out their website here.