Sat on the edge of the Mediterranean sea and home to Gaudi’s flamboyant architecture, Barcelona is the perfect city break. Whilst not the most beautiful city in the world to wander around, it’s the perfect size to be able to visit most of the top sites on foot and to burn off all the croquettes you’ll undoubtedly eat.
Top things to do in Barcelona
1. Visit the Sagrada Família.
The gothic outside is a sharp contrast to the inside where light streams in through the coloured stained glass windows. This amazing 18 tower Cathedral is absolutely huge and still being completed nearly 100 years after Gaudi’s death. We nearly didn’t venture inside as whilst the outside is striking, it’s not exactly beautiful but I am so glad we did as it was my favourite thing we saw in Barcelona. Book tickets online with a specific time to visit as they can sell out, especially if you want to go up one of the towers. Booking online is also marginally cheaper.
2. Visit the Park Güell.
Here you can see the famous Gaudi balcony and Lizard. Again book online to save hanging around, but also make sure you take a wander through the park to the top of the hill. Here you get unbeatable views of Barcelona and can see the real scale of the Sagrada Família.
3. Take a sunset walk along the harbour
This is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail at one of the restaurants overlooking the port.
4. Visit Las Ramblas
Visit Las Rambles, but be sure to keep your belongings close to you as pickpocketing is known to be rife. Whilst it great to stroll down the tree-lined streets, avoid the tourist trap restaurants to the side.
5. Visit La Boqueria
This is the food market just off Las Ramblas which has everything from serranos ham and manchego cheese to oysters or smoothies – all delicious.
6. Visit Casa Batllo.
This house looks like a real Hansel and Grette sweet box and is definitely worth a visit. We just looked at the outside as the entrace price was quite expensive.
7. Wander the Gothic Quarter,
This is Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhood. and the perfect place to bar hop between tapas bars – the best ones will have a queue out the door so use this as a sign somewhere is worth visiting. Most people won’t eat till 9 or 10pm so make sure you’ve eaten a good breakfast first. We loved Llamber and Marlowe bar for after dinner cocktails. Forget a food tasting menu, Marlowe did a cocktail tasting menu where you try 5 different and unusual cocktails, absolute heaven!
8. Go to the beach for the day.
Even in December people were in the water swimming and sailing. There are lots of beachside restaurants to sit and enjoy a beer and paella.
There are loads of great hotels in Barcelona, but we loved Soho House, you can see my review here.