If your destination is the exciting and beautiful Barcelona, you can see amazing parks and buildings beside the beaches with golden sand. The suitable Mediterranean climate also guarantees that your stay is pleasant. The best place to stay in Barcelona? We are now going to introduce the city and the must-see places nearby.
This article gives you an overview of the following topics:
- The best place to stay in Barcelona: Sights to see in town
- What to see in Barcelona? Explore nature!
- The best place to stay in Barcelona: Wonderful holiday resorts
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and the capital of Catalonia. There are several sights to visit here; let us see the most popular ones.
La Sagrada Familia
You can find La Sagrada Familia – the Expiatory Church of the Holy Family – here, which is the most frequently visited tourist attraction in Spain. Approximately 3 million visitors admire it every year. Similarly to other famous buildings in the city, it was built by one of the most famous architects in the world, Antonio Gaudi. The church was declared a basilica in 2010, and it has been a World Heritage Site since then. Although it has the characteristics of organic architecture, they also regard it as an Art Nouveau and Cubist building. As La Sagrada Familia is visited frequently, we should arrive well in advance or book tickets.
Cathedral of Santa Eulalia
Visit the centre of the Gothic quarter where you can admire the cathedral of Barcelona. They started building it in the 13th century, but they finished only in the 19th century. The sight of swans swimming in the courtyard is truly unique. On the square in front of the cathedral, you can see the traditional Catalan Sardana dance every Sunday.
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
The church, built in the 14th century, is a breathtaking example of Catalan Gothic, as it is characterised by a uniform design. The basilica can be found in the El Born district, which is the cosiest corner in Barcelona. You can choose from several bars, cafés, shops and traditional restaurants that have fair prices.
The most frequently visited museum in Barcelona is the Picasso Museum where you can see the works of the famous painter, Pablo Picasso, from the period when he was young. This means a collection of more than 3500 paintings, drawings, prints and ceramics. The building is located in the cosy Carrer de Montcada street which is also ideal for a nice walk.
The “dancing” fountain is also a sight that you must see. You can find it at the Plaça d’Espanya square, which is the most important square in Barcelona. The fountains are special because they change their colours and patterns to the rhythm of the music. The 15-minute-long show is admission-free. It is a wonderful experience that we strongly recommend.
La Rambla, the main pedestrian precinct in Barcelona
The long and wide La Rambla is the main pedestrian precinct in the city; it is lined with wonderful sycamore trees. There are dozens of cafés, bars, boutiques and shops here, and visitors are entertained by comedians and jugglers. The Columbus monument can be found at the lower end of this street; there is a wonderful view from the top. If you visit La Rambla, you should also see a nice square nearby called Plaça Realt; they organise concerts and celebrations here. The famous market, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria also opens from the street. It is special, as they consider it one of the best markets in Europe.
Parc del Laberint d’Horta
This wonderful place is interesting because it is the oldest park in Barcelona. Its hedge maze is very popular, and you can also admire fountains, ponds, statues and small bridges here. As for animals, there are ducks, swans, fish and turtles. If you like a good picnic, this park is a great choice that children will also love because of the playground.
Parc de la Ciutadella
The park offers the perfect recreation on 30 hectares. One of the most famous sections is the fountain, designed based on the Trevi Fountain. The beauty of the park is further enhanced by the palm trees, and we can also take out a boat on the small lake. The zoo of Barcelona, established in 1892, can be found here as well; the farm is very popular among kids.
The popular Güell Park
The park is located in the Gràcia district and has been a World Heritage Site since 1984. It has a territory of 17 hectares and was originally designed as a residential area. However, it has become a very popular tourist attraction. It consists of two parts, an admission-free and a paying zone. We recommend that you visit both; the latter offers an amazing view from the terrace, which is a monument. We should book the ticket in advance, as the place is very popular among visitors.
The resort can be found near the El Prat airport; it got its name from the wonderful Casteldefells Castle. It is a significant and popular residential and tourist centre in Barcelona today. Many restaurants can be found on the 5-kilometre-long beach.
Sitges is located to the south from Barcelona, and it used to be a fishing town. It’s well-equipped, white sandy beaches are very popular but are still not too crowded. Many of them have a Blue Flag certificate as well. The Passeig Maritim is a long boardwalk in town. There are fine restaurants and bars here, as well as many watersport opportunities.
If you like monuments, you must visit the St Bartholomew and St Techla churches. You can find them in the town centre. Do not miss the Casa de la Vila either, which was built in the 19th century. The Gothic restaurant has characteristics of the Renaissance, the Baroque and the medieval period. If you would like a delicious meal, try the local cuisine. The so-called yató is a unique dish made with endivia, codfish, tuna, anchovy and olives, and served with Romesco Sauce.
This beach resort can be found between Montgat and Premià de Mar. You can admire many interesting buildings in the centre. It is worth mentioning that there used to be a Roman village here, the Cal Ros de Les Bares. The most significant sights in El Masnou include the beautiful beach and the port with several services offered.
The resort is located in the southern part of Costa Brava near Barcelona. If you prefer peace and calm, the city is a perfect choice. The main beach is 650 metres long; it is a sandy shore segment with great watersports opportunities.Visit the famous Járdin Botanic Marimurtra botanical garden. Pinya de Rosa might also be a good choice, even though it is mainly famous for the cactuses. The latter can be found between Blanes and Lloret de Mar.
Do you like easier sports? There is a minigolf course here called Garbi Minigolf. If you have plenty of time, visit the monuments and the boardwalk with the palm trees as well. In case you would like a beautiful view, go to Castillo de San Juan, from where you can admire the sea. If you are lucky and the weather is clean, you can also spot the silhouette of the Montjuic mountain.
It can be found in the southern part of Costa Brava, between Cabrera de Mar és Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, 30 kilometres to the northeast from Barcelona. If you would like to swim, the sandy beach surrounded by palm trees is a perfect spot. Mataró is the birthplace of architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who designed several buildings in town. The archaeological remains of the Can Llauder Roman mansion can also be found near the city.
If you visit the place, you can try the long and wide sandy beach, which even has a Blue Flag certificate. The water is rapidly deepening, which is the case at most beaches in Costa Brava. They have restaurants, bars and sports opportunities. There are a few clubs as well, but the nightlife here is nowhere near as buzzing as in Lloret de Mar. A popular sight in town is the lighthouse built between 1856-1859, which is still operating today. You can access it on foot, on a longer path leading up the hill. It is definitely worth visiting because of the view. Dalmau Park is also located in the city centre, providing a fascinating panorama.
Santa Susanna is located between Pineda de Mar and Malgrat de Mar. It is particularly quiet with no buzzing nightlife. It has a beautiful beach with sandy and sometimes rocky parts and rapidly deepening water. Beside the beach, there is also a cosy and idyllic hilly section here, too. Santa Susanna is ideal for swimming as well as sunbathing, but there is no old city or historic sight here.
Malgrat de Mar
It can be found between Santa Susanna and Blanes and has already been built together with the former. The holiday resort is mainly suitable for families and couples. Even though there are a few bars, they close earlier than in Lloret de Mar. Similarly to the other beaches nearby, the one in Malgrat de Mar has sandy and pebbly parts. We recommend the Parc Francesc Macia to families with smaller children in particular, which is an exciting playground and also a park. In the periphery of the town, you can find an aqua park called Marineland. It is also a dolphinarium, offering animal shows beside the slides.
Barcelona and its neighbourhood offers dozens of natural sights and monuments to the tourists. If you sail at the southern part of Costa Brava, you must definitely visit these places and have an unforgettable experience.