37+ Unique Things to do in Barcelona (Local’s Guide 2024)

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

Looking for the best things to do in Barcelona this 2024? Keep on reading! We just finished another trip to this incredible city so we’ve updated it with our top recommendations!

We love Barcelona so much, we even brought our parents to travel around with us.

The Adventure in You team spent a month living in Barcelona so this article will have a ton of recommendations on the best things to do in the city.

Barcelona is an unbelievable city: the mix of culture, art, and incredible food make every visit an absolute joy.

And even after multiple visits, there will always be hidden nooks of the city to explore. It feels almost impossible to get tired of wandering the streets – although it’s usually in search of my next sangria or dish of paella!

Today, I’m rounding up the best things to do in Barcelona for anybody who is yet to experience the delights of this wonderful Spanish city.

Whether you’re seeing the main attractions, wandering around the Gothic Quarter, eating your way around this gastronomic capital, or simply enjoying Catalan art, this post is for you.

So now, sit back and enjoy!

reflection of the sagrada de familia
Founder of this blog, Tom, staring at the Sagrada Familia!

Barcelona Things to Do Highlights

Barcelona is a pretty big city and is also one of the most visited places in Europe. If you only have a few days exploring this fantastic city, here are a few MUST-DO activities which I recommend you book in advance to avoid you standing around waiting in lines.

I’ve also included a few of the best local Airbnb experiences in the area for those looking for a unique way to experience and see Barcelona.

  • Sagrada Familia Skip the Line We’ve been in BCN where all tickets to the Sagrada Familia were sold out for the day so this one is definitely a must if you want to see the inside of the church.
  • The Original Wine and Tapas Crawl Discover THE best tapas in all of Barcelona through this local wine and tapas tour. This is a highly rated experience and is a MUST for food lovers!
  • Park Güell Admission Ticket  Super funky park which will give you a glimpse into the crazy mind of Gaudi
  • 360 Barcelona Tour, Helicopter Flight, and Sailing– Discover the best of Barcelona in this half day tour in land, water and air!
  • Barcelona Card This is a great time and money saver! Gives you access to over 25 museums and free public transportation.
  • Flamenco Show When in Spain, one of the best things to do on a night out is to watch a traditional flamenco show- worth every penny!
  • Sunset Catamaran During the summer, a boat trip to explore BCN’s incredible beach vibes is a must and is a great way to meet other travelers.
  • Interactive Cooking Class & Food Tour No trip to BCN would be complete without a food tour. This Interactive cooking class is well recommended and is led by a local!

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1. Visit the Sagrada Familia

Disclaimer: I’m usually not all about seeing religious sites. After one too many, I’m a bit twitchy and would much prefer to find the next scenic street full of cafes, bookshops and pretty places to browse.

So it’s a pretty impressive feat that the Sagrada Familia has made it to the top of this list. Honestly, it’s my favourite building in the entire world. AND…it’s unfinished!

The Sagrada Familia is a world-famous Roman Catholic basilica in Barcelona, Spain, and is considered one of the greatest examples of Catalan modernism. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, the church is a masterpiece of intricate detail and organic forms, with a unique blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.

Update: It is now our 3rd time INSIDE the Sagrada Familia and it is something I will never get tired of visiting!

Inside the Sagrada Familia Church
Taken during our most recent visit to Barcelona

The Gaudí masterpiece is spectacular on the outside but the interior is where things get really special. With colourful shafts of light flooding through the windows and geometric shapes that look almost cartoon-like, this is one queue that’s well worth the wait.

Insider Tip: During peak season, tickets to the Sagrada Familia can get sold out. We recommend purchasing priority access tickets ahead of time, so you can take a guided tour of Sagrada Familia without the waiting in line!

giant cathedral surrounded by trees and water

When you’re done exploring the Sagrada Familia and want something a little less touristy, for more local sights and events, check out this list of Barcelona museums and exhibitions by Miniguide.

In fact, I would even go to say that Barcelona is a city art lovers! There are a TON of art museums and exhibits that happen all year round so make sure you make time for these events.

2. Marvel at Santa Maria del Mar

So I know I said I wasn’t big on religious sites, but Santa Maria del Mar is another must-see church in Barcelona for the sheer amount of manpower that went into creating this massive structure.

Each boulder used for the construction of the church was carried from the countryside by ordinary civilians. And once they saw the final product you best believe they were in awe how something so amazing could be created from simple stones.

Enjoy the stained-glass windows and soaring columns. Plus, most of the original structure has been standing since 1383.

You can visit a lot of the popular attractions in the city by foot / metro.

Our favorite way to explore the city is to sign up for different Barcelona walking tours. These walking tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to wander around the most important sites while a guide shares unique historical information.

Highly recommend doing this!

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3. Take a Stroll on Las Ramblas

Fast forward a few centuries and you get creations like La Rambla (also known as Las Ramblas) to round out Barcelona’s religious and cultural scene.

La Rambla is a giant pedestrian boulevard, and the most famous street in all of Barcelona. It’s best known for the towering shady trees lining the avenue, talented street performers, and endless terraces to enjoy a meal or coffee.

If you continue all the way down La Rambla, you’ll hit the Columbus monument which comes complete with an 18th floor look-out. From here, you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of Barcelona and the sea beyond.

A word from the wise about hanging out in these parts: be sure to keep your belongings secured and close to your body! Las Ramblas is a popular place for pickpockets to hang out so just take extra caution.

Read More: Best Travel Purses

aerial view of barcelona with long avenue lined with trees

4. Go on a Sunset Sail

One of the best things to do in Barcelona is to go sailing. This experience offers a unique perspective of the city and its coastline. The Mediterranean Sea provides an idyllic setting for sailing, with its calm waters, warm climate, and stunning views of the city’s skyline.

This private sailing boat trip allows you to explore the waters of Barcelona and its surroundings in style. They serve light snacks, plus an open bar!

So, if you’re looking for a memorable and exciting activity to do in Barcelona, consider taking to the seas and experiencing the city from a different angle. Alternatively, you can also check out this sailing and jazz experience!

Enjoying the stunning BCN skyline on a sailboat

5. Eat Churros and Chocolate

For plenty of exploring, you’ll need plenty of energy. This easily-distinguishable long doughnut-style dessert is a Spanish delicacy and you’ll be hard pushed to find better than in Barcelona.

Find a tiny cafe in the Gothic Quarter with a table outside and settle in for an afternoon of people-watching. Smothering churros in lip-smackingly thick dipping chocolate — is there really any better way to spend a lazy afternoon in the sunshine?

In Barcelona, we recommend these two spots:

  • La Pallaresa Xocolateria Xurreria
  • Churrería Laietana

P.S. Want more Spain travel tips? Check out our full page for a full breakdown on top things to do, eat, and see!

6. Attend a Cooking Class in Barcelona

Spanish food is incredible so being able to recreate these amazing dishes at home is a huge plus — it’s worth the trip to Barcelona hands-down! 

During our time there, we went on the Paella Club Experience and absolutely loved it, click here to read our full review. Aside from that one, Here are some of the ones that we personally recommend.

paella cooking class
Photo of me cooking paella in Barcelona

7. Go on a Barcelona Food Tour 

If cooking isn’t your thing but eating definitely is, take a tour to taste some of the best delicacies in Barcelona!

Tom and I recently took our parents on a tapas tour during our last visit to Barcelona and it was one of their favorite activities during the entire trip.

There are hundreds of food tours to choose from, all offering visitors a different type of experience. Whether you’d like to explore markets with a professional chef, dine off the beaten path or taste tapas by candlelight, there’s a tour for you.

It’s undoubtedly the best way to discover all that the Barcelona food scene has to offer! Here are a few of our top picks, including local experiences:

tapas tour barcelona
Eating our way around Barcelona on a tapas tour

8. Book a Unique Experience

One of our favorite things to do in Barcelona is to go on a tour with a local. Unlike regular tours, they usually offer unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. We’ve handpicked some of our top tours below.

spanish food in Barcelona

9. Bridge Jumping Near Barcelona

Looking for an activity that breaks away from the traditional sightseeing routes in Barcelona? For something truly unique, jump off a bridge while attached to a rope!

For this activity, you’ll travel to Sant Sadurni d’Anoia bridge, just 50 kilometers from Barcelona, where you’ll be strapped into a harness attached to a bungee cord. The rest is up to you!

This is a true thrill seekers activity that only the bravest will dare conquer. If you’ve ever wanted to try bungee jumping, now’s your chance!

Want to know more about what this activity is like? Check out our Adventure Seeker review, where we take you through the entire bridge jumping experience!

bridge jumping barcelona
No going back now- bridge jumping in Barcelona!

10. Take a Tour of Camp Nou

Calling all football fans: Don’t miss out on a tour of Barcelona’s famous Futbol stadium, Camp Nou! This stadium holds more people than any other stadium in Europe and is home to some of the best players in the Spanish league.

A tour of Camp Nou comes complete with a walk-through of the FC Barcelona museum. You’ll also walk around the stadium, visit the player’s changing rooms, the tunnel onto the pitch, commentary boxes, the television studio, and more! Talk about an all-access pass.

11. Explore Park Güell

Park Güell is another of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions — and for good reason. It’s impossible not to include it in a piece of things to do there because each time I visit, I can’t help but pay another visit!

From the incredible “gingerbread cottages” that could easily be something out of a fairytale – I always imagine the witch’s house in Hansel & Gretel – to the stunning views of the entire city, stretching right down to the sea, there are a myriad of places to explore in the Gaudí-designed park.

Here, you can see his unique architectural styles, giving you an insight into how he designed more of his buildings.

Staring out into the crazy designs in Park Güell.

Getting to Park Güell is easy: just hop on the Metro to Vallcarca where you can take a set of huge escalators up the incredibly steep hills towards the city park. Believe me, you’ll be thankful for them after just a few minutes of climbing uphill! Park Güell is one of Barcelona’s main attractions and is visited by many.

Insider Tip: The lines at Park Güell can be absolutely insane so it’s best to purchase a skip-the-line ticket in advance so you can wait less and enjoy more!


12. Hike Up Tibidabo

Speaking of great places to enjoy city views, a climb to the top of Tibidabo will give you some awesome 360° views of Barcelona and the surrounding areas. Tibidabo is basically a giant hill that, as legend goes, was where Jesus was first tempted by the devil.

Today, it still has some devilish charm in the form of a lavish amusement park sitting on top of it. Hop on the ferris wheel to see the city from the highest point possible, or walk across the skywalk for a shot of adrenaline. Don’t forget to eat some cotton candy while you’re at it!

13. Enjoy Views from Turo de la Rovira

For a more casual view of Barcelona from above, take a trip to Turo de la Rovira. This site was once a place of strategic defense during the Spanish Civil War, and some of the warlike structures and bunkers remain.

While it’s no longer a war zone, today Turo de la Rovira is a popular hangout place among locals and visitors alike as it offers unparalleled views of the city in a much more laid back atmosphere. You won’t find lines of people pushing one another here, but rather people lounging on the grass to take in the city sights.

14. Go on a Helicopter Tour

For the most upscale aerial views of Barcelona, take a helicopter tour over the city! There’s no better way to get your blood pumping and capture unbelievably unique images as you soar through the Spanish skies.

You can take the Costa Tour which will fly you over the gorgeous sandy beaches and the Mediterranean, with sights of Barcelona’s main landmarks. Alternatively, go for the SkyTour which will take you over Camp Nou, Sagrada Familia, and other famous points in the city.

If you’re looking to explore outside of the city a little, consider opting for the Montserrat Tour which will follow the same route as the SkyTour but also fly over Montserrat, the largest mountain in Catalonia.

inside the helicopter over Barcelona
Seeing Barcelona from above!

Read our Adventure Seeker review to learn more about what it’s like to go on a helicopter tour in Barcelona!

15. Lounge Around Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona’s largest city park is one of the best places to enjoy the great Spanish outdoors without leaving the city. There’s tons of open space (perfect for an afternoon picnic), a large lake where you can take a ride on a rowboat, and even a zoo!

On a trip to Parc de la Ciutadella, be sure to make your way to La Cascada, the park’s fountain that was loosely based on Rome’s Trevi Fountain! It’s a great place for a little bit of everything the park has to offer like street performers, artists, and plenty of locals (and tourists) going about their business.

16. Sip a Cocktail at the W Hotel

The W Hotel has become a famous landmark in recent years, thanks to its location on the Barceloneta boardwalk and its distinctive shape.

For those of you able to splash out on a luxury stay, the infinity pool is great for getting those enviable Instagram shots. But if you’re on a somewhat tighter budget – which I always am – then get a taste of the glamor with a cocktail at the rooftop bar Eclipse.

This spot is one of the best rooftop bars in Barcelona! You can make up for the cost later with a jug of cheap sangria back in the heart of town!

Editor’s Note: Planning a trip to Spain? Check out our Europe Packing List Guide to make sure you don’t miss out on anything!

17. Bar Hop at Passeig del Born

If fancy drinking isn’t really your thing, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to experience nightlife in Barcelona. If you enjoy a good bar, head to Passeig del Born for some good old-fashioned bar-hopping. This place is home to some of Barcelona’s best cocktail bars.

This district is famous for being the congregation place for citizens during ancient times where Spaniards celebrated and enjoyed sporting events. No wonder there are so many bars in the area!

This district isn’t nearly as touristy as some of the others in Barcelona and it’s packed with places to eat and drink to your heart’s content.

open square with terraces, buildings and trees

18. Go to a Speakeasy Bar

As a self-confessed granny before my time, coming across hidden nightlife gems doesn’t happen often but there’s something about Barcelona that just pulls me in every time.

On my first visit, we were looking for somewhere to have a simple meal when the sounds of jazz music floated upwards from a mysterious staircase on the street. We ended up having a whale of a time enjoying a few drinks and listening to the sultry music – you can’t beat it for that real holiday feeling.

On my second visit at New Year, a wander through the streets after the firework display took us to an outdoor party without a tourist in sight. Instead, locals danced until the early hours and us with them – loving every second.

Speakeasies in Barcelona are plentiful and such a fun experience! Here are a few of our recommended ones to visit.

  • Bobby’s Free (don’t forget to say “barber” so they let you in!)
  • El Armario (the bar is THROUGH a wardrobe!)
  • Gimlet
  • Alchemix

19. Enjoy a Flamenco Show at City Hall Theater

If you’d prefer to watch other people dance over dancing yourself, head to a flamenco show at City Hall Theater (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) for some Spanish culture.

Watch the women twirl around in their flouncy dresses and stomp your feet to the beat of the classical guitar. There’s no better show in Spain than one that involves flamenco, so grab tickets and enjoy while in Barcelona!

20. Visit Casa Batlló

Another Gaudí spectacular besides the Sagrada Familia– what can I say? In all honesty, Casa Batlló is often covered with scaffolding of some sort but even with that, it’s worth a visit.

It’s been refurbished several times since its original design in 1904 but the original character still remains in the mosaics and irregular tiles that are typical of his Gaudí’s work. If you’re into quirky architecture and love Gaudí’s work, Casa Batlló is definitely a must-visit.

These fairytale buildings scattered across Barcelona make it such a special city to explore!

Insider Tip: If you visit Casa Batlló between the months of June and October, don’t miss one of the nightly concerts held on the rooftop! This is one of Barcelona’s attractions and is a must do when in the city.

21. Wander Around Casa Milà

Are you sick of Gaudí yet? Hopefully not, because Barcelona is bursting at the seams with his designs and personality! Casa Milà is yet another splendid example of this.

As the last project Gaudí took on before he passed away, Casa Milà is actually considered to be the pinnacle of his career. It was originally designed to house the wealthy families of Barcelona. You may also hear it referred to as La Pedrera (meaning “stone quarry”), a name that came about due to the vast amount of stone used to construct the building and the many features that seem to come from nature.

Casa Milà is certainly one of Gaudí’s most iconic works and can’t be missed! On a visit here, be sure to make your way to the rooftop to traverse the wild staircases and immerse yourself in a landscape that looks like it’s from another world completely.

wavy building designed by gaudi in barcelona

22. Take in Rooftop Views from Casa Vicens

Anyone who visits Barcelona is likely to swing by the three most famous Gaudí buildings in the city: Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, and Casa Batlló. But if you’re particularly fond of this Spanish architect, consider making your way to Casa Vicens.

Set a little ways out from the city center, this summer chalet was just opened up to the public in 2017 and is a splendid place to visit.

As one of Gaudí’s earliest works, Casa Vicens is a marvellously colorful creation with interesting ornate details, a gorgeous garden, a rooftop tiled with terra-cotta, and an insane floor influenced by the Turkish and Oriental empires.

23. See a Show at Palau de la Musica Catalana

A true Barcelona showstopper, Palau de la Musica is basically a concert palace, rather than hall. It’s one of the best places to catch a show in the city, whether it be musical shows, operas, symphony orchestras, and even flamenco shows!

Besides being designed with impeccably clear acoustics, this performance space is a colorful wonder, complete with a chandelier centerpiece hanging from the middle of the ceiling.

24. Take in the Sights and Sounds of La Boquería

Right in the centre of La Rambla, you’ll find one of Barcelona’s most popular markets.

If food is your thing, La Boquería has almost everything you could want including freshly caught fish, mounds of fruit, and even sweetie posts to tempt any eye away from the healthier fare.

Shop or sit on stools at one of the small cafes for lunch — the choice is yours. We did a market tour of the La Boqueria and loved it!

While La Boqueria is often filled with tourists, you will also find a few Barcelona residents wandering its aisles in search of some good eats!

la boqueria market Barcelona

25. Taste Delicacies at Santa Caterina Market

La Boqueria is great to get a taste of the hustle and bustle of Barcelona life, but Mercat de Santa Caterina has more of a homey, neighborhood feel, making it a lovely place to stroll through.

Instead of crowds of tourists, Santa Caterina is more laid-back, so you can get your tasty bites and morsels without any bumping and pushing. Go for local specialties like jamon iberico, local olive oil, and other mouth-watering delicacies.

And don’t forget to look up! The roof of the market is particularly striking with its wavy, colorful design.

26. Stroll Through the Barri Gòtic

While the vibrant La Rambla is a heaven for people-watching, you’ll often get ripped off by the premium priced cafes and stores lining the street.

Head just a couple of streets across and you’ll be happily lost in a maze of winding roads that you won’t want to end. This is easily one of my favourite areas of the city, and one where it’s really hard to get bored in.

gothic buildings with arch in barcelona

27. Visit Plaça del Rei & The Barcelona City History Museum

While strolling around the Gothic Quarter, stop by the center square, Plaça del Reii. Historically, this medieval Barcelona square has been a place for activity and meeting by noble people. It was even graced by the likes of Christopher Columbus when he returned from the “New World!”

Have a snack on the steps of the Plaça Reial under the arches and stop by the Barcelona City History Museum to learn even more about the ancient history behind Plaça del Rei. This is one of the main attractions in the Gothic quarter and is frequented by those interested in this style.

While wandering the City Museum, you’ll also get to walk on preserved remains from the Roman era, visit what’s left of a garum factory, and see the seat of the medieval Dukes that once ruled Barcelona. Here, you can also chance upon some traditional Catalan Art.

Definitely a must-do if you love art and have a few free hours while wandering around the Gothic Quarter!

28. Admire the Crazy Collection at Museu Picasso

For all art lovers, a stop at Museu Picasso is a must as he spent much time in Barcelona when he was a young artist. This art museum that stands today holds more than 4,200 of Pablo Picasso’s early works in the form of paintings, engravings, and sculpture pieces, making it more than noteworthy.

The layout of this museum is particularly interesting as it’s crafted from five 13th and 14th century residences, so be sure to marvel at the artwork in between Pablo Picasso pieces! This Pablo Picasso tour comes well recommended for art lovers!

If you love art, the the Picasso Museum is definitely a must visit while in Barcelona.

29. Learn about Contemporary Art at Fundacio Joan Miró

Sitting on top of Montjuïc, a hill that sits high behind Barcelona’s city center, you’ll find Fundacio Joan Miró, an art museum dedicated to the late and great contemporary artist.

Miró was greatly responsible for spearheading the contemporary art movement in the 1960s, and this shines through in his quirky works. He even worked with the architect of the museum to come up with the building’s design!

Here you’ll find more than 10,000 works of art on display, making it a great place to spend a rainy afternoon in Barcelona!

white barcelona museum with red sculpture outside

30. Dive into the Greats at Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya

For traditionalists, perhaps a visit to Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya is more appealing. Here, you can admire famous works like Velazquez’s San Pablo and the biblical fresco, Apse of Sant Climent de Taüll.

The expansive galleries here are filled with a wide range of art covering Barque and Renaissance time periods. But the real draw here is the Romanesque collection which is best known for the pre-Gothic religious art created in Catalonia.

31.Sample Spain at Poble Espanyol

A museum in its own right, Poble Espanyol is essentially a display neighborhood created for the 1929 World Fair. There are 117 buildings in this little village that are replicas of Spanish architecture from the 15 regions of the country — how cool is that!

Take in the whitewashed streets famous in Andalusia, stroll around a pre-Roman Austrias block, and pop into the many artisan craft shops selling handbags, glass, and jewelry in between.

After a few hours here, you’ll feel like you’ve seen all of Spain without leaving Barcelona!

Insider Tip: Purchase a skip-the-line ticket in advance so you can hop right in when you arrive!

32.Hit Barcelona Beach

And…relax. La Barceloneta beach is a short walk from the main area of the city and even in the winter months, it’s a lovely place to sit and listen to the waves crash against the shore.

In the summer, however, get down there early to bag the best spot for yet more people watching and a relaxing day away from pounding the city streets to take in the sights.

It is one of the main Barcelona attractions so expect it to be busy!

Founders of this blog Tom and Anna chilling in Barcelonetta Beach

33. Jet Ski Along Barcelona’s Coast

For an adrenaline-filled beach day, take a jet ski tour where you can wiz up and down Barcelona’s coastal waters.

You don’t need any previous experience to hop on one of these bad boys and take a ride on the wide open Mediterranean. Don’t worry though, you’ll be supervised by trained staff members who will ensure your ride is nothing but smooth sailing.

34. Parasail Over Spanish Waters

If jet skiing isn’t your thing, perhaps parasailing is more your speed. Take a leisurely flight 85 meters over the sea where you’ll get to see unbelievable views of the Barcelona skyline and beach below. Parasailing is surprisingly peaceful and gives you the chance to do something a little different from the typical tourist circuit.

This parasailing activity is super easy and doesn’t require any previous experience. Plus, you can even fly with other members of your group if you don’t want to be in the air alone!

Our Adventure Seeker review will tell you everything you need to know about parasailing in Barcelona. PS: it’s awesome, you won’t want to miss it!

Parasailing over Barcelona

35. Shop ’til You Drop

Well, you can’t go home without a few souvenirs now, can you?

If you’re after big brand names, El Corte Inglés is handily located at Plaça de Catalunya but otherwise, just browsing the markets and side streets will present a whole treasure trove of wonders. Just try to resist the urge to smuggle a few pans of paella away with you…

Plaça de Catalunya is one of Barcelona’s main squares and you can easily find a ton of shops here. Aside from shops, Plaça de Catalunya connects the old town of Barcelona to the Eixample district.

36. Explore the Gracia Neighborhood

As you venture outside of Barcelona’s city centre, you’ll find the hip neighborhood, Gracia. Passeig de Gràcia is known for its funky bars, interesting shops, and eclectic street performers, this is a great place to enjoy a sunny afternoon for a change of pace.

Hang out in the neighborhood squares, sit on a terrace for some tapas, and take in the local vibes of the place to get a sense of what it’s like to live in a quieter part of Barcelona, away from the hustle and bustle of everything.

Insider Tip: If you’re visiting Barcelona in August, head up to Passeig de Gràcia to witness Festa Major, where residents in the town decorate streets in fun different ways to see who can come up with the best idea!

aerial view of street lined with trees and buildings

37. Join a Walking Tour

Last but not the least, one of the best things to do in Barcelona is to join a walking tour. This is usually our first order of business once we get to a city as it gives us a great overview of where things are.

You can join a free walking tour of Barcelona from Sandeman (New Europe) and payment is tips based so its perfect for budget travelers.

Best Day Trips from Barcelona

Barcelona’s coastal location puts it in a prime position for weekend getaways. For awesome day trips from Barcelona, check out our full article however as a brief guide, here are some of our recommendations on where to go:


This charming city is located about an hour north of Barcelona and is known for its well-preserved old town, which is home to a number of historic landmarks, including the Gothic Cathedral of Girona and the Arab Baths. The city is also famous for its Jewish Quarter, which is one of the best preserved in Europe.

In addition to its rich history and culture, Girona is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, with a number of hiking and cycling trails in the surrounding countryside.


This beautiful monastery is located in the hills just outside of Barcelona and is a popular day trip destination for its stunning views and rich cultural history.

The monastery is also home to a number of interesting museums, including the Montserrat Museum, which houses a collection of art and artifacts from the region. In addition to its cultural attractions, Montserrat is also a great place for hiking and exploring the surrounding countryside.

Insider Tip: This day trip to Montserrat includes transportation to the mountain, a cogwheel train up Montserrat, a visit to the monastery at the top, and a local wine tasting at Codorníu Winery where you’ll sample some of the best cava in the region. Talk about day tripping in style!


This charming coastal town is located about an hour south of Barcelona and is known for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and vibrant art scene.

Poblet Monastery

This beautiful Cistercian monastery is located in the Catalan countryside and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a peaceful and serene place to visit, and the surrounding gardens and forests are perfect for a leisurely stroll.


This town is home to the famous Salvador Dali Museum, which is a must-see for fans of the surrealist artist. The museum houses a large collection of Dali’s works, including some of his most famous paintings.

Travel Must: We love renting cars whenever we travel — it just gives you so much freedom to explore at your own pace. Click here to compare car rental prices. You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is!

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Looking for the perfect place to stay in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a city with many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm. Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods in the city:

Barcelona is a city with many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm. Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods in the city:

El Raval

This central neighborhood is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a number of bars, clubs, and restaurants. It’s also home to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona).


This lively neighborhood is known for its bohemian vibe and is home to a number of independent shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. It’s also home to the Park Güell, a whimsical park designed by Antoni Gaudí.


This coastal neighborhood is known for its sandy beaches and lively atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, and there are many restaurants and bars along the beachfront.

Gothic Quarter

This historic neighborhood is known for its narrow, winding streets and beautiful Gothic architecture. It’s home to the Barcelona Cathedral and the Plaça del Rei, as well as a number of trendy shops and restaurants.


This upscale neighborhood is known for its wide, tree-lined streets and elegant buildings. It’s home to a number of major landmarks, including the Sagrada Família, and is a popular shopping destination.

Here’s our full article on where to stay in Barcelona featuring hostels and hotels that would suit every type of travel budget! This also includes tips on the best neighborhoods and which areas we recommend.

FAQ on Things to Do in Barcelona

What are the best free things to do in Barcelona?

Although Barcelona is relatively an expensive city, there are also a ton of free things to do like going on a free walking tour with companies like Free Walking Tours Barcelona.

Barcelonetta beach is also 100% free to visit and is a great way to spend the afternoon! A lot of sights like Parc de la Ciutadella, La Boqueria Market are also free to visit.

What are the best things to do in Barcelona on a rainy day?

BCN is a city to be enjoyed in the sunshine but if it is raining during your time there, don’t fret as there are still a ton of activities. Here are our top recommendations:

Visit the Sagrada Familia
Join an escape room
Book a wine tasting tour
Visit Casa Batlló and Casa Mila
Eat your way around the food market
Visit the many museums (Picasso Museum, Gaudi Museum, Miro Gallery)

What are a few weird things to do in Barcelona?

We always say that Barcelona has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re into the weird and funky, here are some of our suggested attractions to check out.

Get lost in the Labyrinth Park of Horta Park
Visit the chocolate museum
Antic Theater

What should I avoid in Barcelona?

While there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona, there are also plenty of things you should avoid. Busy streets in Barcelona means pickpockets! Avoid putting things in your pocket. Instead, make sure you have a good theft proof bag or a bum bag. Aside from this, be weary of buying souvenirs in Las Ramblas.

You can walk a little bit further and find things at half the price. There are a TON of amazing restaurants in Barcelona. Stay away from tourist traps and go where the locals go!

I hope this guide inspires you to visit Barcelona! It’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Spain and there’s so much to do it’s impossible to capture it all in a single list. Enjoy exploring the city streets, feasting on tapas, and some of the best panoramic views in all of Spain!

If you’d like any more tips for a city break to Barcelona, head over and visit Wander with Laura for more! What is your favorite thing about Barcelona?

Hopefully, this article gave you a ton of ideas on the best things to do in Barcelona, the Catalan capital! Happy adventuring.

This post was originally written by Laura Gois but has since been updated and expanded by the Adventure in You team.

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Things to Do in Barcelona | No trip to Spain is complete without a visit to Barcelona. Here's everything you should do while visiting this colorful city!
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1 thought on “37+ Unique Things to do in Barcelona (Local’s Guide 2024)”

  1. I’m so excited to visit Barcelona in 2023! This city has so much to offer, and I can’t wait to explore it all. Thanks for the recommendations on the best things to do here.


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