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Hey! We are two Michiganders with adventurous souls looking to explore the beauties and wonders of this spectacular world. Our mission is to provide you with budget-friendly itineraries that inspire and encourage you to get outside, eat delicious foods, and enjoy high-quality brews. Ultimately, there are three key ingredients to any amazing trip: 

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Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

Updated: Mar 8


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

Fun Fact


La Sagrada Familia has taken longer to build than the Great Pyramids (138 years and counting!)


Table of Contents

THINGS TO DO

WHAT TO EAT

WHAT TO DRINK

WHEN TO GO

WHERE TO STAY

GETTING AROUND

SUGGESTED DURATION



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What are the top attractions to visit in Barcelona?


1. Sandeman's Walking Tour


These gratuity-based tours are typically run by local students/historians who love sharing stories, lore, & fun facts about their cities. We have found that starting our trip with one of these tours is a great way to learn about the history & culture of a new city. These tours provide a helpful understanding of the city layout by foot while you take note of attractions to visit throughout the remainder of your trip.


Tickets: Free with suggested gratuity


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

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2. MNAC Museum

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-6pm (Sundays 10am-3pm)


"Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya" is a beautiful museum with a large collection of art that sits upon a hill with great views of the city! If you have no time to spend in the museum, it is at least worth stopping by to view the building, fountains, and Placa d'Espanaya.


Entry is free every Saturday after 3pm.


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

3. La Sagrada Familia

Hours: Daily 9am-6pm


You will want to buy your entrance ticket/audio guide at least a month in advance to ensure the attraction is not booked during your stay. This is one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona and is truly an incredible Basilica. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, this unfinished temple has been under construction for the past 135 years and is expected to be completed in 2026. Gaudí's architectural style is very unique with remarkable attention to detail. Make sure to plan sufficient amount of time to explore the ins and outs of La Sagrada Familia (roughly 1-2 hours).


Tickets: €20 (book at least a month in advance)



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4. Park Güell


Continuing the appreciation of Gaudí's art, Park Güell is another one of Barcelona's most famous attractions. A public park atop Carmel Hill that Gaudí used as his canvas to create gardens and sculptures throughout. His exceptional use of color accents the motif of the park which overlooks the city for spectacular views. In order to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of his significant mosaics pictured below, admission is €10. However, you can roam the remainder of this park free of charge.


J&L Recommended: A must-visit with incredible city views!


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5. El Turó de La Rovira


"The Bunker" is very close to Park Güell and has the best views in the city. Venture up the hill to watch the sunset and you will be in for a real treat. With Barcelona's grid streets and octagonal blocks, a birds-eye view will leave you in awe. This bunker is off the beaten path so make sure to follow the instructions in the attached link to find the hill. From there, you can work your way up to the top vantage point via one of the paved paths. The exact location is also save in our curated offline map of Barcelona, allowing you to use GoogleMaps to easily navigate to the bunker.


Hidden Gem: The hill is steep and it is a bit of hike to reach the bunker, however, the view is more than worth it at sunset.


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink


6. Casa Batlló

Hours: Daily 9:30am-8pm


Another Gaudí attraction in Barcelona, you will also want to purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid lines here. Your ticket will give you entrance into the house, as well as, an audio guide that pairs with each room. If timing/budget does not allow all of Guadí's attractions in one visit, we recommend prioritizing La Sagrada Familia & Park Güell. Both provide a great representation of his work.


Admission: €25 Adults; €22 Students


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7. Parc de la Ciutadella


Parc de la Ciutadella is a 70-acre park that includes the city zoo, Palau del Parlament de Catalunya, museums, a large fountain designed by Josep Fontserè, and a small lake. We greatly enjoyed taking a stroll around this park and admiring the beautiful landscapes.


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink


8. Parque del Laberint d'Horta


This park has an 18th century neoclassical garden and a 19th century romantic garden. The lower terrace is home to a labyrinth, or hedge maze, that gives the park its name. If you are someone who has an appreciation for gardens, this is one to add to your list!


Also Read: 9 Top Things To Do in Barcelona



9. Catedral de Barcelona


Catedral de Barcelona is a 14th century Gothic cathedral in the heart of Barcelona. With its breathtaking architecture and even more magnificently ornate inside, be sure to stop by and admire the beauty of the Barcelona Cathedral. With its central location, you should have multiple chances to gaze upon its immaculate beauty.


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10. Castel De Montjuïc

Hours: Daily 10am-8pm


Castel De Montjuïc is a 17th century military fortress (castle) built on top of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona. A cable car takes you to the entrance of the castle where you can explore most parts of the castle for free. We would recommend getting a one-way cable car ticket up Montjuïc hill to Castel De Montjuïc (roughly €6 each) so that you can walk back down through the botanical gardens on your way out.


Tip: Head to the castle rooftop for views of the city and marina


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

11. Platja de Sant Miquel


Soak up the sunshine and dig your toes in the sand at this relaxing beach! If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, you surely can not leave out a stop at the beach. Platja de Sant Miquel is clean, easy to get to, and has plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a slice of paradise.


Tip: get here early in the day to avoid the crowds


12. Picasso Museum

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-7pm


Home to one of the most extensive collections of artworks of the renowned 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. This is a great museum to check out while in Barcelona if you have an appreciation for the arts.


Admission: €6 or free Thursdays from 4pm-7pm (closed Monday)


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13. Museu d'Història de la Ciutat

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-7pm


Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat is a museum that details the history of Barcelona. This is a great museum to check out if you are interested in learning more about the history of Barcelona. Not only this, but it is very fascinating to see the ruins below the city that date back to the 4th century.


Admission: €7 or free after 3pm on Sundays (closed Monday)


14. Day Trip - Montserrat


This was the highlight of our trip and an adventurous day filled with breathtaking views and scenery. With an hour train ride and fun cable car ride up the mountain, getting to Monserrat is quick and easy. From the mountain, it is roughly a 2 hour and 30 minute hike to the San Jeroni summit. The 360 degree view of Catalonia and the entire Montserrat mountain are nothing short of awe-inspiring. To this day, this is the most rewarding hike we have ever completed and we would do it again in a heartbeat.


Also Read: For a full day trip itinerary, including all logistics to Montserrat, also read Montserrat Day Trip


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink


Noms

What is Barcelona's famous food?


1. Bo De B


Bo De B is a true hidden gem! Great sandwiches, great atmosphere, & great prices. We ate here multiple times during our trip and even stopped on our way out of town to grab a meal for the airport.


J&L Favorite: quick, easy meal!


2. Picnic


Picnic is an exceptional place to enjoy a delicious bunch. We recommend trying their amazing huevos rancheros. Huevos rancheros is a breakfast dish that consists of fried eggs served on corn/flour tortillas topped with pico de gallo. A delicious breakfast with generous portions, Picnic is a wonderful place to start your day in Barcelona.


Try: the local favorite, huevos rancheros!


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3. La Boqueria


La Boqueria is a large open market that has been open since 1836 with over 200 vendors providing food & merchandise. We recommend coming earlier in the morning to avoid the large crowds of people. This is an extraordinary place to sample a variety of local cuisines, all in one place!


J&L Recommended: sample a variety of local cuisines


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

4. Bosque Palermo


When in Spain, the dish to try is definitely Paella. Paella is a Spanish rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. Bosque Palermo is a great option for some authentic paella. The dishes take about 45 min to prepare, but are worth the wait and large enough portions to share!


Try: Paella is a must-try food in Barcelona


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5. Bar Bitácora


Bar Bitácora is an affordable tapas bar by the beach that give generous portions at a reasonable price. It is truly a hole-in-the-wall restaurant with great food! Our favorite tapas are patatas bravas, which are cubed potatoes, fried, and served in a spicy bravas sauce.


Try: Tapas are a must-try food in Barcelona



Brews

Top 5 Breweries in Barcelona


1. Edge Brewing

Recommended Brew: Hoptimista IPA (6.6% ABV)


This West Coast bold IPA has plenty of hops to inject full flavor with its fruit and pine aroma. The brewery is open to the public for tours and tastings by reservation only. Edge Brewing's beers have started to even emerge in California and Flordia's craft brew scene.


Also Read: Best Craft Brews of Europe


2. Barcelona Beer Company

Recommened Brew: La Niña Barbuda (English Brown Ale-7% ABV)


La Niña Barbuda is a noteworthy Brown Ale with the taste of toasted malt and notes of coffee, caramel, dark chocolate and nuts. Barcelona Beer Company may be outside the heart of the city, but it is sure worth a stop to taste some quality craft beers.


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3. Garage Beer Co

Recommended Brew: Soup IPA (New England IPA - 6% ABV)


Soup IPA is yet another tasty IPA that has fresh aromas of tropical fruits and citrus. Not too bitter, allowing this beverage to be sipped frequently. We highly recommend checking out their taproom which has a vibrant atmosphere and a large variety of beers to choose from. Great vibes here!


Also Read: One Day in Barcelona


4. Black Lab Brewery

Recommended Brew: The Sour Lady (Fruited Berliner Weisse Sour- 4.2% ABV)


Need a drink that will throw a curve ball at your taste buds? This gold medal winner at the '17 Barcelona Beer Challenge can help. This is a refreshing sour that will get you through a hot Barcelona summer day. The Sour Lady is a light, fruity, and acidic treat that is packed with raspberries. BlackLab Brewhouse & Kitchen is also a good spot to unwind with some foods as well as brews.


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5. La Mes Petita


Albert Sanchís is the chemical industrial engineer who made his dream of becoming a master brewer a reality. Translated as 'the smallest', La Mes Petita is a tiny place that has room for fewer than 10 people, but also has seating outside to enjoy nice weather. It has 8 beers on tap which change frequently. We definitely recommend for brew enthusiasts!


Also Read: Berlin Germany Complete Guide



Planning Your Trip


When is the best time to visit Barcelona?

We recommend visiting Barcelona between May and June for pleasant temperatures, minimal crowds, and the start of summer festivals.


J&L Recommended: May - June


Where is the best area in Barcelona to stay?

Gothic Quarter, El Born, El Raval. For our top-pick hostels based on location and value, also read: Best Hostels of Europe. For great deals on hotels, visit Booking.com


J&L Recommended: Itaca Hostel


Barcelona, Spain: Top Things to See, Eat, and Drink

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What is the best way to get around Barcelona?

Barcelona is an easily walkable city. We walked most placed we wanted to go with the exception of the airport and our day trip to Montserrat. "Hola BCN" 24/48/72 hour passes gives you access to metros/buses/& transportation from the airport. For information regarding the pricing for the Hola BCN pass please visit their website. These tickets can be bought in any public transportation station and make sure to scan your pass in the ticket-scanner before boarding a bus or train. Print the metro map ahead of your trip to be prepared when arriving to Barcelona.


Tip: Remember to validate your ticket in the ticket-scanner before boarding any public transportation to avoid any fines.


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How many days do you need in Barcelona?

We recommend at least 4-5 days in order to see the highlights of Barcelona. However, if your travels do not allow for 4-5 days in Barcelona, we recommend checking out our guide to 24 Hours in Barcelona


J&L Recommended: 4-5 Days in Barcelona


Affordable International Data

Want to avoid roaming charges and $10/day international data fees? Airalo allows you to download an e-SIM to your phone and activate while in Europe for a very affordable price. We bought 3 GB of data valid for 30 days from activation for only $7. It worked great throughout our entire Europe trip and was very easy to install. Airalo offers e-SIMs all around the world and we can validate that it works with ease in multiple European countries.


Get $3 off with code NBV8668 by signing up here!




Happy Adventuring!

J&L




Travel Planning Resources

Below are the resources we use to plan all of our trips, find great deals, and pack our bags with affordable gear. We received a small kickback whenever you purchase something through a link on our site. But rest assured, there is no additional cost to you. In fact, in some cases you even get a greater discount for shopping through NBV! A Win, Win!

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