If you are travelling to Barcelona and looking for the best things to do we and some of our favourite bloggers have put together the ultimate Barcelona Bucket List, covering the main Barcelona tourist attractions, Barcelona hidden gems and the best things to eat and drink in the city to make sure you have an amazing trip! If doesn’t matter if you are a first time or repeat visitor this guide will have you covered with the best things to do in the city.
First Published: August 2019
Barcelona Bucket List including Barcelona Hidden Gems
Among all the Barcelona architecture masterpieces you cannot miss under any circumstances when visiting the city, the Sagrada Familia should top the list. Under construction since 1882 and originally designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi, the Sagrada Familia has long been the symbol of the city and the pride of its people.
Not surprisingly, the economic efforts that have been made to accelerate its construction (which requires a virtuosity of yesteryear, difficult to reproduce in the current times), have been enormous. And they should not cease until its completion, planned for 2026.
Tourists also contribute to this pharaonic work with a large percentage of the price of their ticket.
Economic matters aside, it is easy to understand why it is worth your visit. From outside, its towers announce its presence from afar. But, as it usually happens with many buildings, the real magic is inside. If you decide to visit it, here are some tips that will make your visit easier:
- Book your ticket in advance. The demand for some dates is very high and the tickets are sold out quite frequently. CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE with skip the line access!
- If you want to climb the towers, remember that visiting them will depend on the weather conditions. Hence, if it rains, you will not be able to climb because they are closed all day to avoid accidents.
- At least 2 hours are recommended to enjoy it calmly. Not only the interior of the church and the towers are visited, but also the museum and the crypt. It takes time.
- Arm yourself with patience. Almost certainly, it will be full of tourists everywhere.
Nominated by A World To Travel
Park Güell was a place I umm-ed and ahh-ed about visiting on my first trip to Barcelona because I worried it was busy and after already visiting Sagrada Familia and a number of other of Gaudí’s buildings, I questioned whether you can have too much of a Gaudí thing – sorry! As it turned out my visit to Park Güell l was the highlight of my trip. I went early in the morning just as it was first opening (I took a taxi from my hotel on Barceloneta beach and then made the short walk up the hill) and it stayed relatively quiet for the full two hours or so of my visit, but it does get busier as the day goes on.
Just to be clear, most of the park is free to walk around as it is a public space covering 17 hectares, but the monumental area, which is where you’ll find Gaudís famous work can only be entered after paying a fee. The park also limits the number of visitors at any one time so if you want to visit this part of the park (which most do!) it’s very wise to book your tickets in advance to be sure to get it on the day you want to. YOU CAN BOOK YOUR TICKETS ONLINE IN ADVANCE HERE!
Thanks to going early, and being alone, I was able to wander around the monumental zone at my own pace, just taking in the architecture, the dream-like mosaic structures and the spectacular views of Barcelona. There are a number of things you need to keep a particular eye out for in Park Güell like the famous “El Drac” salamander statue and the Doric columns, in addition to the mosaic curved seats on the park’s principal terrace which is where you’ll that impressive view. Personally, I most enjoyed walking around the colonnades directly underneath as they were less busy and blissfully shady on a hot day.
You can also visit Gaudí House Museum which is inside the park but that is an additional entry price. I sadly didn’t have time to see inside Gaudí’s home for nearly 20 years, but I did enjoy looking at it from outside. There are also special guided tours you can go on in Park Güell if you want to incorporate both and make it a really Gaudí day.
Nominated by As The Bird Flies.
Works of Gaudi
Aside from the famous La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi has various architectural works spread out through Catalonia, most of which are located within the city of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi was a Catalonian architect known for his uniquely organic style that was extremely modern for the time. Some of his best works in the Barcelona area also include Park Guell and Palau Guell. Both were commissioned by the Spanish entrepreneur Count Eusebi Guell and were named amongst the Works of Antoni Gaudi, a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Park Guell is has some of the most beautiful views of Barcelona, you can catch a glimpse of them from the famous serpentined tiled bench. The public park was originally part of an upper class housing development commissioned by Guell. However in the end, only two houses were built, the Larrard House where Guell lived and Gaudi’s home which is now the Gaudi House Museum.
Palau Guell was Count Guell’s mansion built prior to the Park Guell development. It was built between 1886 and 1888 in the El Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. In his design, Gaudi centered the home around a main room created to entertain high society guests. Gaudi had a knack for bringing the outside into the home and in the main room, he incorporated holes in the ceiling where lights would be hung, resembling the night sky.
Nominated by The Adventures of Panda Bear
Indulge in a Night of Jazz on the Rooftop of Gaudi’s Iconic Casa Milà
Casa Milà, or ‘La Pedrera‘ as it’s nicknamed, is one of Antoni Gaudi’s most awe-inspiring buildings in Barcelona. Built in a prime location on the glitzy boulevard of Passeig de Gràcia between 1906 and 1912, this extraordinary property is one of the city’s most recognisable emblems and oozes with old world charm. But although it’s a joy to explore at any time of day, there’s simply no better time than during one of the summer “Jazz Nights”.
Entry tickets include a complimentary glass of quality Catalan cava (like French Champagne only better), which you can sip on as the sun sets and the musicians swing into action. The lineup changes on a nightly basis, but whenever you go you can always be sure of discovering the finest homegrown and international jazz acts.
Arrive early to tour the ornate apartments and fascinating Espai Gaudí museum in the attic, before taking to the sinuous rooftop to explore what are easily some of the most spectacular views over Barcelona(you’ll even see Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia on the horizon). There’s really no more romantic way to start a night out in Barcelona.
Music starts at 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights, from early June to mid-September.
Nominated by Driftwood Journals
Walk Down La Rambla
La Rambla is one of the most touristic places in Barcelona. About 150,000 people visit this street a day, which makes La Rambla one of the most famous walkways in the world. Crowded, loud, colorful, and vibrant during the day La Rambla starts at Plaza Catalunya and goes over 1.5 kilometers to the monument of Christopher Columbus. Along the way, you pass through colorful flower stalls and street artists performing for all the visitors.
There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants that tempt tourists with a menu full of local tapas and jars of sangria. Walking through La Rambla, you will find a wide range of shops where you can buy sweets, souvenirs or clothes. Being there don’t miss the local market places called La Boqueria (close to the Liceu metro station). For only 1 euro you can buy fresh juices and a cup full of sliced fruits, as well as some original Catalan and Spanish delicacies. We recommend trying a sandwich with Jamón serrano.On the other side of La Rambla, there is an entrance to the Gothic Quarter.
The last section of La Rambla street is Rambla de Santa Monica with the famous statue of Christopher Columbus. It is also a viewpoint (called Mirador de Colom) from which you can watch the panorama of Barcelona.
Nominated by Backpackers.WRO
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, better known as La Boqueria, located in the heart of the city just off La Rambla, is a real delight for food lovers. The market is the biggest in Barcelonaselling a wide variety of products. Everything from fresh meats, seafood and spices to luscious fruit, vegetables, candy and crepes all under one roof.
This iconic produce market is one of the city’s leading landmarks and is frequented by locals, people from other parts of Catalonia and tourists alike. However, due to its popularity it can and does get very crowded. It doesn’t help that that there are very few places to sit in the market to eat all that you could possibly buy.
To avoid the crowds it is best to visit early in the morning and make sure to arrive hungry. Few things beat fresh fruit juice or fruit cups for €1 and a stop at La Boqueria is well worth a visit.
Nominated by A Rai of Light
While Barcelona endures the throngs of tourists in the city center, Tibidabo mountain is an alternative area that’s under-visited in comparison. At 512 meters high, it’s also the highest point of the city, where you can get magnificent views of the cityscape and beyond. Tibidabo has an attraction for everyone.
First, it’s home to the majestic Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, which is a minor basilica topped with a monument of Jesus Christ spreading his arms wide open.
For the kids and kids-at-heart, Tibidabo also has the Tibidabo Amuseument Park, a theme park with vintage rides, death-defying roller coasters, and entertaining sideshows. If you don’t want to pay full price to enter, you can also go to the nearby Skywalk, which has a colorful ferris wheel, a carousel, and the daring ride called the Talaia, an “arm” that raises you up to the utmost highest point of Barcelona.
Another Tibidabo attraction is the nearbly Torre Collserola, which is a communications tower that you can visit at the observation deck. To get to Tibidabo, take the bus from Plaça Catalunya, which costs under 3 euros for a one-way ticket. Tibidabo is worth it if you want the best views of Barcelona also avoid the city’s crowds!
Nominated by Latitude Forty One
Explore the Gracia Neighbourhood
Escape the crowds of central Barcelona and head to the hip neighbourhood Gracia to hang out with locals. This is my favourite area to stay in Barcelona, but it’s also worth visiting for a day (or night) of wandering and eating.
Gracia has a village feel with narrow streets and leafy squares. It was an independent town until it was swallowed by the city in the late 1800s. Now it has a bohemian vibe with independent art galleries, cool bars, stylish boutiques, and cosy bookstores.
Many of the quiet streets are pedestrian-only and it’s a very walkable neighbourhood with lots of backstreets to get lost in and pretty squares to stop for a rest on your wanders.
Gracia is known for its many affordable restaurants and bars. There’s a huge range available from a vegan bakery to Thai restaurants and traditional tapas bars including plenty of vegetarian options. The Mercat de l’Abaceria is an indoor market with a fantastic range of fresh produce.
There are many Gaudi sites not far from Gracia including Park Guell, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, and the Sagrada Familia. Gracia even has its own little-known Gaudi site—Casa Vicens, which is the first house he designed.
In August don’t miss the raucous Gracia Festival which takes over the streets with colourful decorations, food stalls, rides, and children’s activities.
Nominated by Never Ending Voyage.
Barceloneta Beach is one of the most popular and oldest beaches in Barcelona. This beach is the most accessible to La Ramblas (a very historic street with lots of sites and opportunities to experience the culture) and other tourist areas. It’s also located in the traditional fishing district, and it has a lot of history. It has been said the Barceloneta Beach inspired Miguel Cervantes’ setting of the fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon! In addition to the fascinating history, the beach itself has clean, chilly waters for you to cool off after the summer heat. However, since it’s a city beach, the areas can get a little crowded at times.
To start off, grab yourself a sun lounger, beach umbrella, a drink or some ice cream, and enjoy the breeze as you relax under the sun. Take a plunge into the ocean and soak in the chilly waves afterwards for a cool, calming experience. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and want more than just ocean swimming, paddle boards are available for you to rent! Moreover, you can engage in other fun activities the beach has to offer: beach volleyball, beach tennis, gymnastics area, and table tennis.
Afterwards, get yourself some delicious food at one of the restaurants in the neighborhood behind the beach.Try out some seafood dishes or perhaps a glass of champagne or wine. La Xampanyeria — a recommended restaurant — is known for their house champagnes and mini sandwiches! As you are eating, lean back and enjoy the sunset.
Nomintated by Road Goat
Aquarium of Barcelona
The Aquarium of Barcelona in Spain, situated in Port Vell, is considered to be one of the largest aquariums in Europe and in the world. There are parts of the Aquarium, divided into themes:
- Mediterranean aquariums contain 14 tanks and represent the Mediterranean’s marine communities.
- Tropical aquariums consist of seven tanks that are full of beautiful and colorful corals and most characteristic species.
- Oceanarium is the highlight of the Aquarium, also the largest one and most impressive. It features an 80-metres glass tunnel filled with water and enables to walk under the species swimming above – sharks and other fellow creatures. If you are brave enough and a qualified diver you can observe sharks close as well.
There’s also a section with a permanent shell exhibition – clams, oysters, squids, octopuses, slugs and snails are only some of them.
It’s especially interesting if you are traveling with kids, as there is a play area with educational elements. Kids of all ages will love to see, touch and discover the underwater world.
There’s an entrance fee: adults 21 eur, children 5-10 years old 16 eur, children 3-4 years old 8 eur. If you are travelling in peak season we recommend booking your tickets online in adance. TO BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE CLICK HERE!
Nominated by Safari Nomad
Port Vell is a waterfront harbour area of Barcelona which is just a stone’s throw away from the city centre. The Columbus Monument (which was constructed in 1886 to honour Columbus’ first voyages to the Americas) marks the beginning of the port, which stretches out into the sea thanks to a wooden boardwalk known as the Rambla de Mar. Along here you’ll find plenty of benches where you can sit, relax and take in the peaceful environment of Port Vell. Watching the harbours boats bob gently around in the water here feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Barcelona!
However, while Port Vell has a relaxing vibe, there are also tons of things to do! For example, you could visit the funky and modern ‘Maremagnum’ (a unique shopping centre) at the end of the Broadwalk. Or, if you’re looking to do something more unique, why not ride Port Vells cable car across the harbour to Montjuïc. Doing so you’ll be blessed with some of the most unique and breath-taking views of Barcelona.
Because of this, Port Vell is definitely one of my favourite parts of the city, and I think a visit should be on everyone’s Barcelona Bucket List!
Nominated by Earth’s Magical Places
Montjuic is a bit of a hidden gem in Barcelona and a great place to escape the crowds of the city. The best way to get up to Montjuic is to take the Cable Car up from Port Vell and you will be awarded with fantastic views across the cities on the ascent. It is advisable to book your cable car tickets in advance.
When you reach the top you are rewarded with a wealth of tourist attractions. Some of our favourites include
- Montjuic Castle– an amazing fortress dating back to the 1640s.
- Palai Nacional– the national art museum
- Poble Espanyol– built for the 1929 World Exhibition which showcases the different architecture of the regions of Spain
- La Fundacio Miro– a gallery dedicated to the artist Miro
- The Botanic Garden and
- Font Magica of Montjuic – my favourite thing to do in MOntjuic – an amazing light and fountain show that is sure to delight any traveller of any age.
Flamenco Dance at Tablao be Carmen
Flamenco is a traditional Spanish art form and it’s originated in Andalusia from the 8th to the 15th centuries. The performance consists of three key elements: flamenco guitar playing (guitarra), songs (cante), and dance (baile); and dance movements include foot-stomping, hand-clapping, and finger-snapping. All these art forms combined to perform different emotions ranging from passionate, lament to deep.
Flamenco was introduced to the rest of Europe by Gypsies. Today, there are performing venues all over Spain for tourists to enjoy. In Barcelona, I recommend Tablao de Carmen, the venue was established as a tribute to a great flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya.
The word “Tablao” refers to a place where flamenco shows are performed. Situated in Poble Espanyol de Montjuïc, Tablao de Carmen is nestled in a historic complex that has souvenir shops, restaurants, and a glass-making studio. There are also beautiful fountains, staircases, and houses – perfect for some photo-taking. Typically, Tablao de Carmen’s shows have at least four flamenco dancers; it is an intimate space and we got a table that was really close to the stage. The show started at 7 pm after a pitcher of Sangria was served; each performer wore dresses in different colors which represent different style and moods. I enjoyed their performance with delicious ham and cheese along with some great guitar playing.
Nominated by Knycx Journeying
Parc de la Ciutadella
Taking a walk under the Arc de Triomf to Parc de la Ciutadella is a Barcelona must do. The Arc de Triomf was built as the main gate to the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. Pass under the arc and walk down the central promenade to Parc de la Ciutadella. Parc de la Ciutadella sits on the site of the 1888 Barcelona World Fair and was once the cities only green space. The park has much to offer. Take a horse and carriage ride under the trees or relax on the grass with a picnic.
Explore the Barcelona Zoo or the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona. Take a walk past the Parlament de Catalunya checking out the many sculptures along the way or take a rowboat out in the lake. Stop to let the children play in one of the many playgrounds or on the large mammoth sculpture. Watch the musicians, browse the street vendors souvenirs and be sure to wander past the bandstand, I was lucky enough to find a group of couples salsa dancing. Do not miss the impressive waterfall fountain, Cascada Monumental, built for the 1888 Universal Exhibition. If you are a fan of Gaudi, he assisted the architect of the fountain as an apprentice. The Arc de Triomf is easily reached by metro; do not miss this iconic landmark.
Nominated by OutOfOffice.Blog
Barcelona History Museum
History buffs will be fascinated by a visit to the City Museum of Barcelona, or, as it’s known in Catalan, the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat (MUHBA). This museum tells the entire history of Barcelona, from ancient Roman times, when it was known as Barcina, right up to the present day.
It’s housed in the Palau Padellàs, which has quite a history of its own. Facing destruction to make way for a new road, the palace was moved stone by stone to its present location on the Plaça del Rei in the Gothic Quarter. During the rebuilding of the palace at its new location, remains of ancient Roman Barcino were uncovered.
An archaeological dig was begun, leading to the discovery of an entire neighborhood of the ancient Roman city concealed underneath the streets of modern-day Barcelona. This excavation site, and the artifacts found during the excavation, now make up a large part of the museum’s exhibits.
Here you’ll see ceramics and marble busts of anonymous Roman citizens, as well as the ruined buildings of the city itself. These include homes, workshops, a laundry, and a factory that produced garum, a pungent fish sauce highly prized by ancient Romans.I suggest timing your visit around lunchtime so that you can follow it up with a meal at Cat Bar around the corner, which is among the best of the many vegan restaurants in Barcelona.
Nominated by The Nomadic Vegan
Torre Agbar (Agbar Tower)
The Torre Agbar or Torre Glòries is the tallest building of Barcelona in Spain and is still the example of finest architectural masterpiece of urban architecture in Barcelona. As Barcelona is famous for historic architectures and forms a beautiful skyline but its urban architecture is worth admiring too.
This tower is designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and now is the symbol of modern Barcelona. This 38 storeyed building which is approximately 144meters height name – Agbar is derived from the word Castilian Aguas de Barcelona and houses many companies.
This tower represents a water fountain which constantly changes its appearance and colors. 40 different glossy shades are reflected at specific timing intervals. The specific tilted window angles on the outer cladding of this tower produces different shades of light. Generally the shades from deeper red turns to deep blue with many shades in between. These lights are controlled by computerized animation sequences which also involves 4500 LED lighting devices on the surface. These illuminations are enjoyed during evenings. Also on special occasions like New Year and other special days, people gather here to enjoy this beautiful building.
Nominated by Travel with me 24 -7
Hospital de Sant Pau
Barcelona is full of wonderful modernist buildings, and of course the most famous works – such as the Sagrada Familia or La Pedrera – were designed by Antoni Gaudí. Nevertheless, there were several contemporaries of Gaudí who left their mark on the city. The modernist Hospital de Sant Pau is a Barcelona hidden gem and was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and was built for almost 20 years at the beginning of the last century. When we moved to Spain, the building was still a functioning hospital, but a decade ago it was closed and transformed to be a museum.
The building complex consists of a main building with an impressive art-nouveau façade and several smaller pavilions. The whole building complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. When you visit the Hospital de Sant Pau, you will be amazed by the buildings richly decorated with stained glass and mosaics. The exhibitions in the museum will let you learn a lot about the history of Barcelona as well. This museum is our personal favorite, since it’s the symbol of the neighborhood – El Guinardó – where we have lived for a decade now, and got to see the whole transformation of this fascinating site.
Nominated by Surfing the Planet
Bunkers del Carmel
Barcelona is a wonderful city full of amazing sights and breathtaking views. Once being a hidden insider-tip only known by a handful of locals and even fewer tourists, the Bunkers of Carmel are one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the whole city.
Even though nowadays it’s not such a hidden treasure anymore (it even has a bus-stop and is part of several Barcelona tours), it still hasn’t lost its beauty and unique views.
The bunkers were built for strategic reasons on top of the hill as during the civil war the locals of Barcelona were able to see approaching enemies from all directions way before they could reach the city. Even though the bunkers are no longer needed as a strategic viewpoint, its unique views can be used to get a breathtaking overview of the city and shoot some amazing pictures.
Since you have a Panoramic view over the whole city, you cannot only enjoy the unique sights of Barcelona such as the Sagrada Família but also have a look at the beach, the surroundings of the city and the huge cruise ships waiting in the port. Moreover, the bunkers are one of the best places to see the sunrise and sunset in Barcelona. So make sure to get here pretty early or late before or after the crowds are arriving.
Nominated bt Vicki Viaja
La Mercè Festival
Each September, Barcelona is buzzing with excitement for the local street festival, La Mercè which honors the city’s patron saint, Our Lady of Mercy. Each day of the nearly week-long festivity is filled with free activities and events that run until the sun comes up. The festival takes place in key locations throughout the city and includes free concerts, fireworks, dance performances, outdoor art exhibitions, circus acts, parades, and more. The main highlights of La Mercè are local traditions like the correfoc (fire run), parade of giants, and the jaw-dropping castellers (human towers).
Watching castellers is a nerve wracking and unforgettable experience. Every La Mercè, colla (teams of castellers) from around Catalonia meet in Plaça de Sant Jaume in front of the City Hall and attempt to make the tallest human tower possible. Children are lightest and make up the top tiers of the towers, which often reach up to 10 levels. To view everything that’s going on for the festivity, visit the official La Mercè website or grab a program in businesses throughout the city.
Nominated by Lost and Abroad
Food and Drink Barcelona Bucket List
Paella cooking class
Barcelona is a fabulous city with some incredible food, but there are also plenty of tourist trap restaurants selling microwaveable meals and frozen paella. However, one way to make sure you are getting the real deal is to prepare it yourself at a paella cooking class!
Marta will teach you how to make the perfect paella, welcoming you into her home with a few other budding cooks to prepare a delicious meal which you then enjoy all together.
We made a seafood paella from scratch, starting with chopping the ingredients for the base of the paella – onions, peppers and tomato. This sofrito was fried gently in the huge paella pan over the specially designed gas burner on Marta’s terrace. We added the rest of the paella ingredients one by one, under the watchful eye of our teachers.
Waiting for the rice to cook was the hardest part as it all smelled so good! Finally, we decorated the paella with seafood, fat prawns and juicy mussels. Then came the best bit – eating our paella! It was delicious, one of the best paellas I’ve ever had, and there was enough for a second helping too. I loved this class, from explaining the ingredients for her own recipe to a step by step cooking lesson and getting to enjoy the fruits of your labour this is an experience you won’t want to miss in Barcelona!
Nominated by Tales of a Backpacker
Take a Food Tour
With its iconic Gaudi architecture around every corner, it would be easy to spend a week in Barcelona focusing on only the best-loved and most famous sights. But don’t miss the opportunity to taste the unique and incredible Catalan cuisine that can be had here. We enjoyed an incredible evening on a food tour in Barcelona led by two former journalists turned foodies. When they’re not guiding tourists to the best of Barcelona, they can be found leading retreats for chefs interested in sherry tasting and farm to table experiences in the rural countryside.
While the tour changes every night according to the interests of the guests, we enjoyed sampling the best of the cosmopolitan Eixample neighborhood. Our first stop: a lovely local bar for vermouth tasting with salty seafood, of course, including mussels and herring with sundried tomatoes.
After that, we ducked into a bodega that’s been selling wine in a regional cooperative since the 1930’s. A bottle of Grenache can be had for just two or three euro here! We watched an elderly woman pick up her glass bottles of milk as we lamented the changing ways of the world with the owner here.
Then it was off to Cerveceria Moritz, internationally recognized for its beers for more than 150 years. I sampled a beer mixed with lemonade here and it wasn’t half bad. (Our guide explained that locals are more likely to serve this than Sangria on a hot summer evening with friends.)
The final stop was at a beautful family-owned restaurant where we enjoyed a full meal, dessert, and some memorable Cava. Highly recommended!
Nominated by Explore Now or Never
Drinking Vermouth at a Classic Vermuteria
One of the most quintessential things to do when traveling in Spain is to “take a vermouth” at a classic vermuteria. An essential part of life in Catalonia, drinking vermouth at one of the many vermuterias, or vermouth bars, is a must for any visitor.
Vermouth is a fortified wine, which is fortified with herbs and spices to make it a mix of bitter and sweet. Many Catalans “take a vermouth” before lunch or dinner. It acts as a digestif before a big meal, opening up the stomach before the meal.
Often the vermouth is accompanied by a small tapa, which is normally a little salty to offset the sweetness of the vermouth. One of the best places to do this in Barcelonais at Bar La Plata on Carrer de la Mercè in the Barrio Gótico. Bar La Plata is a cozy corner bar with just a handful of tables. It is always busy, particularly on Saturday. To accompany the vermouth that is stored in large barrels behind the bar, order a small plate of traditional Catalan food, like boquerones or butifarra sausages. Order the plate of local Catalan anchovies, with olives, tomatoes, and onions for the perfect pairing with a glass of vermouth.
Nominated by Food Drink Destinations.
Cava, possibly the least well known sparkling wine, is produced right outside of Barcelona in the Penedès region. Many cava wineries are a short trip from the center of Barcelona and accessible via car or train (with a short taxi ride once in Penedès).
To visit the wineries make sure to book a visit ahead of time online: most places require a booking as they don’t have daily tours. The top two places I recommend visiting in Penedès are: Segura Viudasand Codorinu.
Segura Viudas is about 45 minutes outside of the city and offers tours with prior booking. Tours are 16 euros (12.50 for children below age 12) and includes a tour of both the vineyard and the winery, snacks and a tasting of three cavas. Our tour guide was extremely generous with the tastings and let us drink as much cava as we wanted to. The winery is off the beaten path but has one of the most personable tours in the region.
Codorinu is also about 45 minutes outside of Barcelona. It’s easily accessible via train (Sant Sadurní D’anoia station) and there’s ample parking. Codorinu requires booking online prior to visiting because of the large volume of people who visit the winery. Tickets are 16 euros for adults with discounts for children. The tour is very theatrical with a train ride through the cellars as well as a presentation of the gardens and museum of the winery. The tour finishes with a tasting of 2-3 wines. Codorinu is a classic winery in the cava world and worth a visit for the history (and delicious cava)!
Nomintaed by Well Balanced Adventures
Dining at Cal Pep
Dining at Cal Pep is a must on any visit to Barcelona, especially for those looking for an authentic dining experience. This casual tapas spot features a no menu policy, as many of them do. However, at Cal Pep you will discuss your preferences and dietary restrictions with the waiter and he will order an assortment of tapas for you. While seating is offered in the back, for a more local experience wait for a spot at the bar!
An average dinner for two with a drink each typically ranges between 50-80 EUR depending on which tapas you receive. Tapas range from spanish omelettes and tomato toast to tuna tartare and clams.
Definitely on the pricier end compared to other tapas spots and restaurants in the city, but the food is incredible and the experience of dining at Cal Pep is definitely worth the price! There is almost always a line so come by right at opening or towards the end of the night for a shorter wait.
Nominated by Taverna Travels
Best Day Trips From Barcelona Bucket List
Montserrat Day Trip From Barcelona
An easy day trip from Barcelona, Montserrat offers great hiking and phenomenal views. Getting there is fairly simple, just head to the station at Plaça Espanya where you can purchase a ticket. The local train takes around an hour to get to the bottom of Montserrat. From here, you can choose to take the funicular train up the mountain side, or the cable car.
At the top is a monastry and a tourist information centre, plus plenty of view points for stunning views. You can take a short hike, around 20 minutes, up to a cross, which offers panoramic views over the countryside. If you decide you want to make a full day out of it, you can continue hiking and do the whole loop which will take several hours. The views up at the top as you loop around the back of the mountain are breath taking. The great thing with Montserrat is there is a hiking trail for everyone, from those who only want a gentle walk to a great views, to those who wish to escape the crowds and wander along steep ridges.
Whilst there are a view shops and restaurants around, I highly recommend taking some food and water as it is a huge tourist attraction and as such, prices are high! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!
Nominated by Around the World With Her
Sitges Day Trip From Barcelona
Sitges is a posh and quaint small village 30min south of Barcelona accessible by a train ride. It is located by the sea and famous for many cultural events including the Carnival, the Vintage Car Rally, and the many gay festivals. It is also the birthplace of the founder of Bacardi Rum and the first pizzeria in Spain.
Sitges is a popular weekend and day trip destination from Barcelona and many locals will have a house there. The beach is a main draw, as the village has a 3km shore lined with smaller bays and a pretty promenade alongside.
Culturally, there are a few museums, the most notable Maricel and Cau Ferrat which are housed inside former mansions built when Sitges was the center of literati and artists at the end of the 19th century.
The town center is mostly pedestrian and makes for a great place to stroll and you can also do some shopping or enjoy a drink and some tapas at one of the many terraces. In the summertime, it is common to get there on the train, spend the day at the beach followed by a lazy lunch at one of the terraces and a walk to the end of the promenade. Try Santa Maria for a casual paella or tapas, a pizza at Pizzeria del Cap de la Vila, a coffee at people-watching Bar Roy and a more formal meal at La Fragata.
Nominated by Once in a Lifetime Journey
Spend a Whole Day at Tibidabo Amusement Park
The imposing Sacred Heart Church and the colorful Big Wheel is hard to miss in Barcelona’s skyline. To see them you must visit the Tibidabo Amusement Park, a hill-top amusement park. Tibidabo is one of the most affluent areas of Barcelona, situated at the tallest hill in the Collserola mountain range. Established in 1899, this is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world.
On a sunny day, you will get an unobstructed view of the coast of Barcelona. Tibidabo is impressive even before you visit the amusement park.
You can take a funicular ride to the top of the hill. A package ticket with the Funicular railway will give you access to two of the rides along with the panoramic area.
The entry to the church and the panoramic area is free. With a ticket worth 10 Euros, you get access to most of the rides as many times you like. If I could choose only one ride it would be the Avio, a flight simulator which gives you a 360-degree panoramic view. What makes it special is that it’s a replica of the first aircraft to fly from Barcelona to Madrid. However, we simply wandered in the panoramic area soaking in the beautiful views of the city. The Sacred Heart church is a grand religious architecture which stands right at the center of the panoramic zone.
Nominated by Backpack & Explore
Where is top of your Barcelona Bucket List? Have you found a Barcelona hidden gem that we didn’t mention let us know in the comments.