With more than 5.5 million visitors per year, Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Whether you want to soak up the sun on the beach or explore its rich culture and history, this city has everything you need and more. There are fascinating museums, stunning buildings, mouth-watering restaurants and some of the best nightlife in the world.
Visiting the famous landmarks and Antoni Gaudí monuments should be high on any traveler’s wish list, but there are also plenty of other exciting things to see and do in this beautiful city. So, book a flight, pack your bags and check out these exciting things to do in Barcelona.
Hike Through the Collserola Mountains
Barcelona is well-known for its beaches and architecture, but did you know that it is also home to some stunning mountains? The incredible views from Tibidabo, Mountjuïc and Collserola are something people often miss out on when visiting Barcelona. Don’t be one of those people! With more than 8,000 hectares of natural forest and woodland, exploring these beautiful parks is worth the hike (or ride in a funicular) up the mountain. Look out for the restored fountains dotted around the place, peeking out from behind moss-covered trees and planted in the middle of sparkling streams.
Pick Up a Bargain at the Encants Market
Mercat Encants Vells Fira Bellcaire is one of the oldest markets in Europe. Formerly situated at the end of C/Dos de Maig, you can now find the market located under the super modern architectural design of Fermín Vázquez. Home to over 300 stalls covering 35,000 square meters, it is the perfect space to find secondhand, vintage, unusual or collectors’ items that you can’t usually find in mainstream shops. There is also an abundance of mouth-watering food stalls here, so be sure to sample some of the cuisines to keep you fueled up for your shopping excursion!
Catch a Game at Camp Nou
The Barcelona football team, FC Barcelona, is renowned for being one of the best in the world, especially as it also features the talents of Lionel Messi, who may well be the greatest player of all time. Even if you’re not a football fan, the stadium makes an impressive stop on your tour of Barcelona. With a seating capacity of 99,000, the stadium is an excellent place to take a few holiday snaps before making your way into the FC Barcelona Museum, which showcases the club’s trophies and replays the history of the Barça team and Camp Nou.
Paint the Town Red at Las Ramblas
The nightlife scene in Barcelona is something special, and one of the best places to start your evening is on Las Ramblas and the narrow streets of the medieval Old Town. While the street is busy by day, the evening is when it comes alive. Watch the street performers before heading to one of the multitudes of bars and clubs dotted along the strip. Barcelona is home to a few celebrities, such as opera singer José Carreras and Team PokerStars player Ramón Colillas, so be sure to pack your best outfits in case you end up rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous!
Visit the Legendary Montjuïc Magic Fountain
Designed by engineer Carles Buigas for the 1929 International Exposition, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is an awe-inspiring display of light, music and water. Featuring more than 4,500 light bulbs and seven billion choreography combinations, the show features all styles of music, from classical right through to modern day. Grab a beer and stroll over to the fountain before the show starts — but try to get there early so that you get a good view!
Sample the Best Paella in Barceloneta
You can’t pay a visit to Spain without grabbing a paella or two. Luckily, the seaside neighborhood of Barceloneta is home to some of the finest paella dishes in the country. Head over to La Barraca for classic rice dishes made with a modern twist. Or check out the leading seafood restaurant La Mar Salada, a family business specializing in high-quality seafood cuisine. For those evenings when you fancy dining in 19th-century grandeur, 7 Portes is the place to be, or for seaside fare with a view to match, head to Platja Ca la Nuri.
As you can see, there is much more to this exciting city than first meets the eye. But that’s the perfect excuse to keep coming back!