Talking about Barcelona, Miguel de Cervantes, through his character Don Quixote, says “[Barcelona] is a fountain of courtesy, shelter of strangers, hospice to the poor, land of the valiant, avenger of the offended, reciprocator of firm friendship, a city unique in its location and beauty.”
These lines were true in the seventeenth century and are true today.
So, after you’ve taken a taxi transfer from the Barcelona Airport to your hotel, rested for a while, you're now ready to explore the cosmopolitan city of Spain. We’ve curated a list of places that you should definitely visit while in the city.
Situated around 100 kilometres from the centre of Barcelona, in the city of Tarragona, overlooking the sea, is the Roman Amphitheatre. It was built around the second century, and was designed to hold more than fourteen thousand spectators, who gathered here to watch a range of events, from gladiator wrestling wild beasts, to public executions by burning.
Camp Nou is the modern counterpart of Tarragona Amphitheater, and thankfully hosts football rather than gladiators fights and executions. The stadium is world renowned as the home stadium of the football club Barcelona and can seat more than ninety-nine thousand football fans.
The Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is situated around 65 kilometres from Barcelona. The distance from Plaça d’Espanya in Barcelona to the Montserrat mountains is best travelled by train. The beautiful hills with the monastery make for a great place for hiking around in a day-long trip. The tenth century abbey can be reached after an hour’s walk, or by the taking the cable car service.
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
This work-under-progress structure is a catholic church and is yet to be completed since its commencement in 1882. Since then, it has become one of the most culturally significant buildings and a quintessential symbol of the Catalan city. Designed by the nineteenth century architect Antoni Gaudí, the “cathedral” is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Gothic Quarter provides a glimpse into the old city of Barcelona. Most of the buildings have been restored to preserve their character of the middle ages. The place is characterized by its narrow, maze-like streets in which it’s easy and fun to get lost without a map.
Montjuic is a hill that overlooks the whole city, and the Balearic sea. There is a cable car service that slowly ascends from Funicular Station to the Montjuic Castle, and offers stunning vantage of the city. On the flat hill, the fortifications, including the Castle of Montjuic date back to the seventeenth century.
The exhibitions at the museum detail early life and the formative years of the cubist master, Pablo Picasso. A rich collection of over four thousand of his early works provide an insight into how Picasso honed his style over the years and grew as a painter.
Now that you know which places should be on your list, you can spend more time enjoying and less time making edits to your Barcelona travel bucket list.