8 Must-See Sights in Beautiful Barcelona
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | May 31st, 2018
Barcelona is a beautiful seaside town filled with friendly locals, tantalizing bites, and architecture that will blow your mind. It's so easy to see why this cosmopolitan city is one of the most visited spots in Spain. If the mouth-watering paella and refreshing sangria aren't enough to make you fall in love, the breathtaking architecture surely will. Sprinkled throughout the city, some colorful and some Gothic, are eight stunning sights that should not be missed.
No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a visit to the Sagada Familia. This famous cathedral is captivating in every single way. Its Gothic-style towers are mesmerizing, its colorful interior is one-of-a-kind, and the fact that it has been under construction for over 140 years is quite fascinating. Expected to be completed in 2026, the Sagrada Familia is one of Antoni Gaudi's most famous pieces of work. Now under the supervision of Barcelona-born architect Jordi Fauli, this unfinished masterpiece is definitely a sight to see.
Another one of Gaudi's impressive beauties is the unique Casa Batlló. Its oval windows, wave-like stone work, and unusual use of broken tiles make this building unlike any other in the world. Its mosaic roof is said to have been made to represent either a dragon or a dinosaur. And, its overall design is a prime example of Art Nouveau. Whether you're just simply taking a look while strolling along Passeig de Gracia, or going inside for a more in-depth experience, Casa Batlló is one Barcelona sight you don't want to miss.
Often confused as another name for the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Cathedral is very much its own structure, and a gorgeous one at that. Dating back to the 13th century, this Gothic-style cathedral is rich in history and culture. Today, it serves as the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. Not only is the interior of the cathedral available for viewing but the rooftop is as well. Entrance to the cathedral is free, however, a small fee of 3€ is collected to take the elevator up to the rooftop.
Palau de la Música
The Palau de la Música is a gorgeous little concert hall located in Barcelona's La Ribera neighborhood. Seating just over 2,100 people, this concert hall may not be the biggest but it could possibly be the prettiest. Elegant handcrafted pillars, intricate mosaics, and a dazzling glass ceiling are just a few of the spectacular features you'll find inside this exquisite building. Guided tours are the only way to get a glimpse inside (or you could see a concert!), and tours run every thirty minutes from 10am to 3:30pm daily for 20€ / per person.
Located on Barcelona's Carmel Hill, is a colorful public park designed by none other than Antoni Gaudi himself. As if the awe-inspiring architecture and perfectly placed tiles at Park Güell weren't enough, the views over Barcelona certainly capture every visitor's attention. As one of the most photographed places in all of the city, this lovely spot is definitely a must-see.
Arc de Triomf
The Arc de Triomf, built by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, served as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. As it sits in good company with other notable arcs, such as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Wellington Arch in London, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch in New York City, Barcelona's famous arc is quite impressive and definitely worth a look.
Closed off to vehicle traffic, the Gothic Quarter is a fantastic place to explore on foot. You could easily spend hours wandering through the winding medieval streets exploring one amazing sight after the next. The Carrer del Bisbe is probably the most visited street in the whole quarter due to its remarkable neo-Gothic bridge. Once your feet get tired and are in need of a break, hop into one of the many local tapas bars for a tasty bite, or into the Jamboree Club to listen to some live jazz.
Bunkers del Carmel
Built in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, the military bunkers were used for anti-aircraft fortification to protect the city from bombings. Today, the Bunkers del Carmel is visited by those looking to experience a bird's-eye view over Barcelona from a unique, historic setting. Views are hard to beat and stretch all the way to the Mediterranean's glistening waters.