Barcelona is a city filled with contrasts. It’s edgy and rough, yet artistic and refined. It’s a place that’s a cultural melting pot, but it’s also its own.
In this essay, I’ll tell you about my favourite activities to do in Barcelona. The city has its own vibe, and there are many things to do in Barcelona to keep you entertained.
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- Walking Tour
This is one of the top things to do in Barcelona when you first arrive. Walking tours are available in almost every major city in Europe, and by joining one, you’ll be able to orient yourself while also checking off some key attractions. A better alternative is to take this highly-rated walking tour or this completely private one. You’ll tour the Old Town ‘Ciutat Vella,’ the Gothic Quarter ‘Barri Gtic,’ and ‘El Born with your experienced and amusing guide.
- Antoni Gaudí’s Work
You cannot visit Barcelona without seeing Antoni Gaud’s stunning art. You couldn’t miss his masterpieces if you tried. The masterpieces of 20th-century genius architect Antoni Gaud stand in stark contrast to the more common modern architecture and the lovely, but less exotic-looking Catalan Gothic buildings. The majority of his structures are occurring organic shapes, curves, and bends.
- La Barceloneta
Barcelona’s Barceloneta beach region is stunning. It’s the ideal site for a lengthy stroll by the sea, with a huge boardwalk known as Paseo Martimo that follows the shoreline for 4 miles. There are a few great restaurants and pubs with tables spilling out onto patios right on the beach, and there are always people constructing sandcastles, swimming in the sea (during the summer months), and relaxing in the sun. Depending on where you are in Barcelona, you can go to Barceloneta on foot, via bus, or by taking the metro to the Metro stop “Barceloneta.” (Yellow Line, L4).
- El Born
El Born’s Barrio is a maze of narrow cobblestone alleyways, mediaeval structures, and majestic churches and basilicas. By day, you’ll discover cafes and boutique boutiques in this neighborhood, and by night, you’ll find cocktail bars and samba. El Born is usually entertaining and thrilling at any time of day, but it takes on a completely another vibe at night. Given that he lived in El Born from the age of 15, it’s no surprise that there are some works by Pablo Picasso in El Born, particularly in the Picasso Museum.
- Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is another magnificent mediaeval district in Barcelona. This article has now covered three of the city’s coolest neighborhoods, but, this is only a small sampling of the barrios that this metropolis has to offer. The Gothic Quarter is the crown jewel of Barcelona’s mediaeval barrios. Joining an old town and Gothic Quarter walking tour is a terrific way to discover the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gtic). At the end of the walking tour, you’ll share a glass of sangria (in true Catalan fashion).
- Paella Cooking Class
During our trip to Barcelona, we scheduled this paella cooking class, and it was one of the nicest experiences we’ve had to date. This is without a doubt one of the top things to do in Barcelona for couples, groups of friends, and foodies. Despite its origins in Valencia (further south in the region), Pallela is a popular dish across Catalonia.
- Tapas and Pinchos
Tapas, the famed Spanish appetiser plates, are well-known, but have you heard of pinches, the smaller, bite-sized snacks? Pincho translates to “thorn” or “spike,” and refers to the toothpick that holds each pincho together. There are many spots in Barcelona to get tapas and pinchos, but Poble Sec is the place to go for the variety of bars that line the street. I won’t spoil it for you by telling you about the delicious tapas we tried; you’ll have to book and find out for yourself. We had a great time with the tapas and thought it was a must-do in Barcelona to get the night started.
- El Raval Barrio
El Raval is a thriving multi-cultural neighbourhood in the heart of Barcelona. During our trip to Barcelona, we spent a day visiting El Raval and enjoyed seeing the city from a different perspective. Rather than mediaeval architecture and large, lush lanes, we discovered buildings with rugged edges, fascinating street art, and charming community gardens. El Raval is home to some of Barcelona’s best museums and restaurants, including Caete Bar and Dos Palillos.
- Paradiso Cocktail Bar
For good cause, the Paradiso cocktail bar is a Barcelona institution. This is the coolest secret bar we’ve ever visited, and that’s saying a lot! To access the bar, you must already be aware of it because it has a hidden entrance through a walk-in freezer door in the rear of a deli, but despite their best efforts, almost everyone who lives or visits Barcelona will be here at some point. The pricing in this bar isn’t cheap (about 15 euros for a cocktail), but neither is the liquor or the manner it’s prepared.
- Go Sailing
On a hot day or in the evening, sailing is one of the nicest activities to do in Barcelona. Board this sailboat and cruise up the coast to see the city’s skyline. Sagrada Familia, Tibidabo, Montjuic, and Diagonal Mar are a few of the highlights. The sailboat can accommodate up to ten guests, but the captain usually only rents it for seven or eight people to assure your comfort. If you contact them, you can also book it. Bring your bathing suit if you want to go swimming in the sea. Safety equipment, as well as local snacks and beverages (cava, white wine, beer, soft drinks, and water), are provided. Learn more about this sailing adventure in Barcelona.
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