Top 16 Things to Do in Barcelona
Heading to Sunny Barcelona and wondering what to do? The thriving destination welcomes countless tourists year after year, and it really delivers when it comes to diversity in activity!
So, you’re spending some time in Barcelona and you’re looking for things to do. Luckily for you, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into here. Craving some arts and culture? Check. How about some mouthwatering food? Check. And what about a dash of beach time? Check, check! Barcelona is a city filled to the brim with action, and it doesn’t seem to matter the time of year either. There’s truly always something going on here. So let’s get into it, shall we? Here are our picks for the top 16 things to do in Barcelona!
1. La Rambla
This tree-lined promenade is first up on our list of things to do in Barcelona! And it’s one of the most bustling places in the city. La Rambla starts at Plaça de Catalunya, and ends at the waterfront. Along the street you’ll find an array of shops, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, and flower vendors, so you can find your keepsakes here. You’ll also see tons of street performers, especially in summer! The trees and historic buildings of La Rambla are extremely picturesque, and they truly capture the essence of Barcelona. La Rambla captures a typical plaza ambience with a distinct Catalonian twist.
2. Go on a Walking Tour
The best way to get your bearings in any destination in by going on a walking tour. You can find a range of tours, varying in length and theme. It’s also a great way to explore the city with a local, and scout out cool places you can visit later. Kabul Party Hostel organises two different free tours daily: the Gaudi Tour, and the Gothic Tour. Interested patrons can meet at 10.30 in the lobby, and are offered in both English and Spanish.
3. Picasso Museum
If you’re a bit of an art aficionado, or just want to escape the scorching Barcelona heat, then head to the Picasso Museum! Located in Ribera district, the museum is housed in 5 different Gothic palaces from the 13th-15th century. Before gaining international fame as a Cubist master, Picasso spent quite a bit of time in Barcelona where he drew tons of inspiration. The museum has an extensive collection of his work, boasting more than 3,500 pieces.
4. Spend a Day at the Beach
A holiday in Barcelona is incomplete without a trip to the beach! Sitting on the Mediterranean coast, the sandy beaches here are as beautiful as they are lively. And you have plenty to choose from! Our favourites include Barcelonata Beach, Playa de Bogatel, and San Sebastian. While these are all very popular beaches equipped with sport facilities, restaurants, and rentals, you can also find quieter spots in Barcelona. We recommend heading to Nova Icària, located just a little outside the city!
5. Barrio Gótico
Want to visit the oldest neighbourhood in Barcelona? Then head to Barrio Gótico! While most of the current architecture is from the 19th and 20th centuries, you can also find some Roman ruins and several medieval landmarks. The entire area is closed to traffic, so you can freely walk and explore it without the added noise. Barrio Gótico is a beautiful maze full of lots of great shops, bars, and restaurants. Top landmarks here include La Merce Basilica, Barcelona Cathedral. Afterwards, walk further up to see the very scenic bridge that crosses over to Bisbe street and check out the classical architecture at City Hall.
6. Sagrada Familia
Easily the most recognisable landmark in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia is next up on our list of things to do! Designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudi, his eccentric style is well displayed at this landmark. Gaudi passed away in 1926, and left this project unfinished. But it’s expected to finally be completed in 2026, which will also be the centennial anniversary of his death. While entrance to the church is free, we recommend you book a tour. They last about 90 mins, and will give you insight into the architect’s life, information on the church, and a tour of the museum.
7. Indulge in Delicious Tapas
One thing is for certain: you won’t go hungry in Barcelona! From thirst-quenching beer and sangria, to delicious tapas and paella, there are tons of great spots to dine all throughout the city. The best neighbourhoods to dine are Raval, Barrio Gótico, and Gràcia. You’ll find plenty of great spots to try any number of famous Spanish and Catalonian dishes. If you need more information on the gastronomy scene, check out our Barcelona food guide!
8. Park Güell
Continuing on the Gaudi theme, we’ll now take you to Park Güell! Located in Gràcia, this garden complex is a beautiful display of Gaudi-style architecture and greenery. Take your time as your wander through the park and admire the unique mosaics that characterise it. You’ll surely find a few Instagram hot spots here!
9. Camp Nou
If you’re a fan of Barcelona FC, or just want to bear witness to world class football, then you have to pay a visit to Camp Nou. Easily one of Europe’s most famous stadiums, it boasts 99, 000 seats, it’s a spectacle to see even if you aren’t a fan of the sport.
10. Casa Milà
Completed in 1912, Casa Milà is another Gaudi wonder you’ll want to check out. Known locally as La Pedrera, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is another popular tourist spot in Barcelona. Just like Park Güell, you’ll also find this landmark in Gràcia. Casa Milà is a true architectural gem!
We’ve mentioned this area a few times already, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s one of the top things to do in Barcelona. Gràcia feels very different to the rest of the city, and is a perfect example of what a typical Catalonian town feels and looks like. The neighbourhood also attracts a younger crowd, so you’re bound to find lots to do while strolling through it’s charming streets.
If you want to combine stunning views with a small theme park, then head to Tibidabo. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, and speaks to the uniqueness of Barcelona. Easily one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city, you’ll also find a stunning cathedral perched atop the hill.
13. Plaça de Catalunya
This is a great spot to meet with friends or spend some time in the evening in a bustling urban setting. Plaça de Catalunya sits between Passeig de Gràcia and La Rambla, so you’re bound to come across it while touring through Barcelona. It’s also a main party spot in the city on New Year’s Eve, so be sure to check it out if you’re planning to ring in the new year in Barcelona!
14. The Bunkers
This is probably the best spot in Barcelona for views of the city, and one of the most unique places to visit. In the late 1930s, Spain was engaged in a brutal civil war. The Bunkers are remnants of the former defence plan to protect the city, and are a popular hangout spot for lots of young locals.
If you want to explore more of Barcelona’s museums, this is the neighbourhood you have to visit. Home to the National Museum of Catalan Art, the Museum of Archaeology, and the Ethnology Museum, Montjuic has plenty to offer. This particular area of Barcelona was only developed in 1929 for the International Exhibition, but if you do a bit more exploring, you’ll find a 17th century fortress perched atop a hill.
16. La Boquería
Looking for a place to grab some fresh and local fruits & veggies? La Boquería is where you need to go! The market is housed in a beautiful glass and iron building, constructed in 1914. Like we said, it’s a great spot to pick up some food for a picnic, but you should also grab some tapas and a beer at one of the many bars inside.
Where to Stay in Barcelona
If you’re looking for a hostel notorious for a great party and welcoming atmosphere, then we recommend booking a room at Kabul Party Hostel. Located next to La Rambla, and only 20 mins from the beach, they couldn’t be more perfectly located! And you’ll love the vibe of their rooftop patio, perfect for catching some sun during the day, or grabbing some drinks in the evenings.
Top 16 Things to Do in Barcelona
Barcelona is a hot destination for holidays for a reason, and – additional to our own tips – we’re sure you’ll discover tons more to do while here. If you need more information to help you plan your adventure, click here for a range of helpful tips, city guides, food guides, and more. For all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.