Barcelona is the second biggest city of Spain, the capital of Catalonia, and one of the top attractions in Europe. The city offers something for everyone. There is the wonderful architecture of Antoni Gaudí, more than 20 Michelin stars restaurants, many urban beaches, museums, great shopping, interesting culture, beautiful parks, Camp Nou for soccer lovers, the Gothic quarter, nightlife, and so much more.
There are so many awesome attractions in the city that every visitor may have a different list for the best things to do in Barcelona. You will find many tourists traveling to Barcelona again and again because it is difficult to cover the city in just one or two visits. Plus, there are many good day trips as well from Barcelona.
Here’s our list of the top 5 things to do in Barcelona
1. La Sagrada Familia
Pay your homage to Antoni Gaudí by starting your Barcelona travel from the Sagrada Familia church. A UNESCO Heritage Site, this Roman Catholic Church is located at the center of the city. Incredibly, construction started in 1882 and it is expected to be completed only in 2026. Once its impressive spires are ready, it will be the world’s tallest church.
La Sagrada Familia is unique. It is hardly like anything you might have seen, both from the inside and outside. When complete, Sagrada Familia will have a total of 18 towers. The building blends many architectural styles that include Spanish Late-Gothic, Catalan Modernism, and Art Nouveau.
You can go inside even though the building is still under construction. Must-see attractions include the towers, stained glass work, and the Gaudi Museum. See the birth of Jesus on stained glass in the east-facing Nativity façade. The Gaudi Museum is in the basement. You can see the original plans and plaster models of the church here.
2. Visit a Local Cannabis Coffee Shop
Every city has its own coffee shops. Amsterdam is different because you can legally acquire marijuana in the ones you will find there. Barcelona has hundreds of cannabis clubs throughout the city where you can find many types of weed and cannabis products. However, there is a difference.
You have to first become a member before you can enter one of these clubs. The other members of the club are marijuana connoisseurs and growers because the city allows the locals to grow up to 2 plants in their homes legally for personal consumption. You will often find them discussing the various growing techniques and sharing their harvests.
You can drink coffee, beer, and also play games in such a club or coffee shop in Barcelona. Remember, you can legally smoke weed only in a home or a cannabis club in the city. Buying, selling, and smoking on the street is illegal. You can even be jailed.
3. La Rambla
Paris has the Champs-Élysées. Barcelona has its La Rambla. It is a beautiful pedestrian-only avenue that runs for more than a kilometer. In the summer months, you will find many street performers, living statues, flower stands, and bird sellers below the shade of tall trees. You will also find many boutique stores, tapas bars, and souvenir shops. There are many street markets as well. Often, festivals are also held on this road.
The avenue runs between the Christopher Columbus monument in the south and the Plaça de Catalunya square in the north. The Gothic Quarter is in the east. Many weed clubs and prominent city attractions are close to the La Rambla. It is somewhat touristy, but still a must-see in the city.
4. Casa Mila
Also known as the La Pedrera, this stunning building is a masterpiece of Gaudi. Its construction was completed more than a century back, in 1912. This modernist-style building takes up one full block in the Eixample district. The front of the building looks like a quarry, which is why Casa Mila is sometimes also called “The Stone Quarry”.
Gaudi constructed the Casa Mila as the private home of businessperson Pere Milà i Camps and his family. The upper floors were given out on rent.
The façade has huge stone slabs. In the courtyard, see the many colors and round natural shapes. The building’s roof has imaginative shapes, featuring chimneys, ventilation shafts, and colored staircases. The chimneys look like medieval knights guarding the roof. There is also a Gaudi museum (Espai Gaudí) in the attic where you can see many slideshows.
Casa Mila is one of the best examples of Antoni Gaudi’s amazing creations in Barcelona. You will rarely find better Gaudi architecture anywhere else.
5. Casa Batlló
This is another modernist-style building constructed by Antoni Gaudi. However, Gaudi did not construct this from scratch. It was remodeled by him in the beginning of the 20th century. Gaudi remodeled this building for Josep Batlló, who was a local textile merchant. Josep suggested that the building be demolished completely, but Gaudi didn’t agree. He remodeled the existing structure. However, the façade was redone completely. Once ready, Josep started living on two floors. Its upper floors were rented out.
Casa Batlló is also a UNESCO Heritage site and a popular landmark in Barcelona that attracts a million tourists every year.
One thing that makes the construction unique is that, it has very few straight lines. Tiles on the roof also look like the scales of a dragon. Inside, you will find that Gaudi has given close attention to the details. The noble room has a fireplace that is shaped like a mushroom.
The city has so many other attractions that should make it to the list of the best things to do in Barcelona like the Catedral de Barcelona, the La Boqueria market, Parc del Laberint d’Horta, Picasso Museum, Park Güell, and the Palau de la Música Catalana. It is very difficult to see them all in one visit unless you plan your trip carefully. See the main attractions of Barcelona, enjoy the cannabis, and have a wonderful stay in the city.