Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and among the top visited cities in the world. There are more historical places to explore than recreation things to do In Barcelona.
So what to do when visiting Barcelona for historic buffs? The city is well-known for its Catalan art scene where views of the city comes in the form of Gothic quarter, majestic cathedral and UNESCO architectural sites.
It’s pretty unique and thanks to the generation of 19th century architects and artists. Tourists who had visited Barcelona surely would appreciate Antoni Gaudi and his astonishing achievements.
The primary purpose of visiting Barcelona’s historical sites is that it provides the real experiences that you cannot acquire from textbooks or travel photos.
The city is a great vacation destination and has something to enchant everyone. If you always wanted to stroll down cobblestone streets where historical things happened, here are the top 11 to do list.
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1. Barcelona Gaudi architecture
Famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi has a pretty impressive list of architecture projects in Barcelona.
You can visit all 14 of his elaborate structures if you’re interested on Antoni Gaudi captivating achievement.
The works of Gaudi continue to be admired and studied by architects on a global scale featuring the Gaudi House Museum, Casa Batllo, Park Guell and Casa Mila.
In Antoni Gaudi’s creation, the confluence of innovative design, intriguingly carved masonry and stunning color combinations makes this visual experience the top attraction for visitors.
The most visited Antoni Gaudi’s creation is La Sagrada Familia or Basilica of the Holy Family church.
This uncomplete UNESCO heritage site is schedule to be completed by 2026. (tallest church in the world)
2. Casa batllo gaudi
One of the best work of Antoni Gaudi, Casa Batllo is among the top vacation spots in Barcelona.
This architectural building was not created from scratch, rather it was a remodeled at the beginning of the 20th century.
The crown (summit) of Casa Batllo will uniquely glow and glimmer in the morning sun, bringing in mind the scales of a mystical dragon.
The dragon’s lair or house of bones have both been related to Casa Batlló with a number of distinctive bone-shaped columns coupled with stunning attention to detail (tiling).
Currently, Casa Batlló is a Barcelona landmark and UNESCO World Heritage site.
It’s a beautiful setting for visitors who want to understand and admire more about Antoni Gaudi’s brilliant architectural wonder.
This historical site received over a million tourists every year, making this vacation place a must-visit locale in Barcelona.
3. Casa Mila
Antoni Gaudi is responsible for a good number of Barcelona tourist attractions, including the iconic Casa Mila (La Pedrera or stone quarry).
It was Antoni Gaudi’s final acclaimed work for the general public. He started working on it in 1906 and finished it in 1912.
The work was listed on the World Heritage List back in 1984, along with another work of his – Park Guell. Casa Mila opens all year round, but the opening hours may change depending on the season of the year.
To draw visitors to Gaudi’s building with a fresh appearance, a number of special events have been scheduled, like the La Pedrera with DO cycle in cooperation with the Catalan Institute of Wine and Vineyard.
4. Park Guell
One of the best places to visit in Barcelona, Gaudi Park or Park Guell is a privatized park system consisting of architectural elements and gardens located on the popular Carmel Hill.
The park was constructed between 1900 and 1914 and was unveiled to the public in 1926.
Today, the 17 hectares park is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites under “Works of Antoni Gaudi”.
The park was commissioned by Eusebi Guell a prominent entrepreneur in the 19th century, who was looking to create a exclusive park for Barcelona’s aristocracy.
In the park, you can enjoy the sight of incredible stone structures, amazing tiling as well as stunning building architecture.
5. Gothic Quarter
Visiting the Gothic Quarter is among the best things to do in Barcelona, especially for architectural buffs. It dates back more than 2,000 years and is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Barcelona – full of allure and charming history.
The neighborhood itself has plenty of things to see and do and no matter how comprehensive you spend exploring it, you will always stumble upon another mystery alleyway or enchanting square.
Some of the best Barcelona’s sightseeing are located here by the Placa Reial . For instance, you could get a glimpse of Gaudi’s first project in the form of the street lamps.
The fountain, streetlamps, and palm trees add to the Plaça Reial’s exquisite atmosphere. It is one of Barcelona’s bustling and liveliest places, especially at night.
6. Placa de Catalunya
Placa de Catalunya is a Barcelona must-see tourist attraction and one of the most popular junction in the Catalan’s capital. It is located at the top of Las Ramblas and stretch all the way to Passeig de Gracia.
This is a great place to relax with friends or family trip in the evening, for a shopping expedition or a meal since a lot of dining and shopping are located a few minutes on foot from Placa de Catalunya.
7. La Boqueria
Perhaps the most underrated Barcelona market, La Boqueria or Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is decked with flower stalls, food kiosks and much more.
It’s situated in the center of Barcelona city (Las Ramblas) along 1.2 kilometers and lined with trees. The market is a symbol of the famous Catalan culture and one of the must-stop places.
Las Ramblas extends from Placa de Catalunya to the well-known Columbus Monument near Port Vell. In addition to shady trees lining the boulevard, you will also pass by some living statues, bird-sellers, flower stands, and street buskers.
The Christmas holidays period allows La Boqueria to hold unusual opening and closing hours for a few days such as Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s day.
Whether you are a history buff or just craving for local food, at La Boqueria Barcelona market, there are tons of local favorites to devour.
8. Placa Del Rei
Placa Del Rei is among the most popular Barcelona tourist attractions. It is considered the only-standing Gothic architectural collection that perfectly embodies Barcelona’s medieval past.
A symphonic and peaceful square that still exudes the grandeur of the Middle Ages. From the late 13th to the early 15th centuries, the Catalan counts lived in the spectacular royal palace (Palau Reial Major), whose history may be traced back to the 11th-century Barcelona.
9. Magic Fountain Barcelona
The Magic Fountain is a popular hot spots to just relax. This is not your normal fountain because here you get to witness some of the most brilliant lighting performances.
After two years of hiatus due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Magic Fountain light and color display are back.
The choreographies include around 7 million light and water combination using the latest application system.
The formation of custom choreographies for occasions and festivals is now made simpler with modern technology.
Each show is 20 minutes long from Thursday to Saturday. There is a 30-minute interval between shows. Magic Fountain is a great place to be at in the evening hours.
10. Art Museum
Barcelona is home to some of the most incredible art museums that are also among the best in Europe. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya have extensive work of art in Spain.
The Catalan art center is known for being home to some of the most important masterpieces in the world and these museums and galleries try to pay homage to the long list of artistic geniuses that emerged from the region and beyond.
If you love art and culture, visiting art museums such as Museu Picasso, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and CaixaForum are among the top to do list of places to visit in Barcelona.
11. Camp Nou
Located in the western part of Les Corts, Camp Nou Stadium is the home ground of European football royalty FC Barcelona.
It can accommodate up to 99,000 spectators and is considered one of the football cathedrals in Europe.
Irrespective of your football affinity, a trip to Barcelona is not complete without visiting Camp Nou.
Appreciating the scale of the stadium is among the best activities to do in Barcelona.
What is Skip The Line?
La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, two of Antoni Gaudi’s modernist masterpieces, draw enormous lines as tourists flock to these top vacation spots in Barcelona.
With Skip The Line access to the cathedral and the park on a guided tour, you may spend more time touring and less time waiting in line.
With a small group of less than 12 people, local guided online tour Viator has a pretty cool Skip The Line trip experience including pick-up at your hotel, guide and tickets.