Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city and capital of Catalonia, is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for a city break. It’s easy to be captivated by its charms the minute you set foot on its vibrant streets. And by foot is definitely the best way to explore this relatively flat, compact city, although there is an excellent public transport system to whisk you around efficiently to all the major sights.

One of Barcelona’s biggest draws is its world-famous architecture, crowned by the extraordinary buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí. The Sagrada Familia, his outstanding masterpiece, has become a worldwide symbol of the city. The fairytale towers of the basilica can be seen from all directions and offer wonderful panoramas from the top. Several of the lavish mansions he created for Barcelona’s high society are open to the public, including Palau Güell, built for his patron, who also lent his name to the weird and wonderful Park Güell, home of the famous mosaic-encrusted lizard fountain which has become one of Gaudí’s most recognisable images.

The main artery of the old town is Las Ramblas, a leafy pedestrian promenade lined with shops and restaurants which buzzes with life day and night. From here it’s easy to explore the Gothic Quarter, stopping to pay your respects to Saint Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona, in the atmospheric 14th-century Barcelona Cathedral.

Head to Port Vell, the old port, at the southern end of Las Ramblas and ride the cable car to Montjuïc. This airy country park offers a host of attractions, including the fascinating Poble Espanyol, a living museum of traditional Spanish architecture and cuisine.

Barcelona is a culture vulture’s dream come true. Check out priceless works of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century in the neo-Baroque Palau Nacional, or visit the Picasso Museum to view one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of paintings and sculptures by the legendary Spanish artist, who spent his childhood in the city. Book a ticket for a concert at the Palau de la Musica Catalana and enjoy world-class music-making in this fabled modernist masterpiece, then head for the clubs and bars of the old town to keep the party going into the early hours.

Known for

Museums, Architecture and Cathedrals

Explore map

Where to stay in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

Known for Cathedrals, Churches, Architecture

Walk in Gaudí’s footsteps by visiting his breathtaking temple, an impressive labor of love that started in the late 19th century and is still ongoing today. 

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou
Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou, Barcelona, Spain

Diagonal Mar i el Front Maritim del Poblenou

Known for Beaches, Shopping, Bars

4/5(12 reviews)

Discover one of Barcelona’s up-and-coming neighborhoods, a rejuvenated area by the sea with an urban park, a big mall and swimming beaches.

Top hotels in Barcelona

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Barcelona Airport Hotel
Barcelona Airport Hotel
4 out of 5
Plaza de la Volateria, 3, Poligono Mas Blau, El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
AU$136
per night
15 Nov. - 16 Nov.

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 miles (10 km) of Fira Barcelona, Gran Via 2 and RCDE Stadium. Placa d'Espanya and Poble Espanyol are also within ...

4.1/5Very Good! (6,494 reviews)

"Friendly staff, decent breakfast. Airport shuttle was something that could’ve been better."…"

Reviewed on 19 Oct. 2019

Barcelona Airport Hotel
Hotel Barcelona Universal
Hotel Barcelona Universal
4 out of 5
Del Paral.lel, Del 76-78, Barcelona, Barcelona
AU$109
per night
12 Nov. - 13 Nov.

Located in Ciutat Vella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sant Pau del Camp, Refugi 307 and Raval Cat. Columbus Monument and Joan Miro Foundation are ...

4.4/5Excellent! (8,904 reviews)

"Wonderful friendly hotel , staff really helpful. Excellent location to sites , 10 min walk to la ramble , underground out front of hotel . Will def stay again"…"

Reviewed on 21 Oct. 2019

Hotel Barcelona Universal
Hotel Colón Barcelona
Hotel Colón Barcelona
4 out of 5
Avenida Catedral, 7, Barcelona, Barcelona
AU$262
per night
8 Nov. - 9 Nov.

Located in Gothic Quarter, this spa hotel is steps away from Portal de l'Angel and Barcelona Cathedral. Palau de la Musica Catalana and La Rambla are also within ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,074 reviews)

"Great location. Great staff. Close to everything. From breakfast in the beautiful dining room to the rooftop lounge, this hotel has it all. The rooms have good amenities and are very comfortable."…"

Reviewed on 15 Oct. 2019

Hotel Colón Barcelona

Popular activities in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia
Image for Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

4.5/5(145 reviews)

Buildings don’t come more iconic than this extraordinary basilica which has become the symbol of Barcelona worldwide.

Casa Batllo
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Casa Batllo

4.5/5(66 reviews)

This unusual family home designed by Gaudí is now open to the public as a museum.

Palau de la Musica Catalana
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Palau de la Musica Catalana

4.5/5(23 reviews)

Take a tour of this modernist gem and then buy a ticket for a performance in Barcelona’s main concert hall.

La Rambla
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La Rambla

4/5(153 reviews)

Take a leisurely promenade along Las Ramblas to experience Barcelona life in all its colourful intensity.

Placa de Catalunya
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Placa de Catalunya

4/5(123 reviews)

Pass through Barcelona’s main plaza while heading between shopping districts and notice how the old city meets the new.

Park Guell
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Park Guell

4.5/5(99 reviews)

A surprise awaits you at every turn in this fantasmagorical park with fabulous views over the city.

Top activities in Barcelona

Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

AU$49

A city of ground-breaking art, architecture, and style, Barcelona—Catalonia's cosmopolitan capital—is a treasure trove of sights and sounds. Explore this vibrant seaside metropolis on a double-decker bus to tour at your own pace, setting your own itinerary and hopping on and off as you please.

Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour
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Fast Track: Sagrada Familia Guided Tour

AU$63

Soaring skyward in the heart of Barcelona, the Sagrada Famíla—Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece—is an awe-inspiring place of worship. Bypass the long lines outside this icon of the city to step inside the light-filled interior, learning about the fascinating past and ambitious future of this modernist marvel.

Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour
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Sagrada Família Fast-Track Tickets and Guided Tour

AU$67

Still unfinished over 100 years after its construction began, La Sagrada Família is unlike any other church you've visited. On a guided tour of this architectural wonder, witness the ornate towers and multifaceted exterior before skipping the long lines and venturing inside to learn about the basilica's complex history.

Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)
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Camp Nou Tour: F.C. Barcelona Open Date Ticket (Ticket Only)

AU$50

Football fervor hits a fever pitch in Barcelona, where the passion of the fans is almost as famous as the team itself. Set foot in Camp Nou—Spain's largest stadium—to experience the locker rooms, tunnel, and team museum firsthand.

Montserrat Monastery Tickets with Transport Pass & Lunch
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Montserrat Monastery Tickets with Transport Pass & Lunch

AU$83

Make the most of your holiday at Montserrat, the multi-peak mountain near Barcelona, at your own pace. Your ticket includes everything you need—roundtrip transportation, cable car, and funiculars—to reach the top of the mountain, as well as admission to the beautiful abbey and a Catalan lunch.

Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic
Image for Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic

Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour by Bus Turistic

AU$49

Bounce around Barcelona at your own pace with this convenient hop-on hop-off bus tour. Take in the Catalonian capitol's Gaudi-filled streets, visit the city's famous monuments and architectural wonders, and enjoy discounts to area attractions and local businesses along the way.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Barcelona

Barcelona Vacation Ideas for Planning an Itinerary
Image for Barcelona Vacation Ideas for Planning an Itinerary

Barcelona Vacation Ideas for Planning an Itinerary

Here are our favorite vacation ideas for Barcelona, one of Europe’s premier cultural destinations.

Decadent Chocolate Tours Worth Planning Your Trip Around
Image for Decadent Chocolate Tours Worth Planning Your Trip Around

Decadent Chocolate Tours Worth Planning Your Trip Around

Love chocolate? Love to travel? Here’s your chocoholic travel guide.

Appreciate a Dragon Day
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Appreciate a Dragon Day

From real-life dragons on Komodo Island to the world’s largest walking robot, here are the top places in the world to appreciate dragons.

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