Barcelona: Top 10

(continuer en français) – Published: December 30, 2022

Gaudí, Picasso or Miró offer more than one cultural reason to visit and return to Barcelona. Although located by the sea, it is its heritage that has long made the city a success. More recently, as the cost of travel has fallen, younger travellers have flocked to the city, attracted by the festive atmosphere of Spain’s second largest city.

01. Las Ramblas

This long, shady promenade runs through the heart of Barcelona. Nowadays, it is mostly visited by tourists, awaited by vendors of all kinds, restaurants to be avoided, portrait artists or street performers. However, it is difficult not to pass along this route to the port, where shopping centres and recreational areas have developed.

02. Sagrada Familia

It’s only a building site, but what a site. This church seems to draw its attraction from its incompletion. It started with the construction of a gothic church in 1882. Antoni Gaudí was then entrusted with the project, which he completely restructured into a huge work of delirious decoration. Completion may take another ten years or more.

03. Casa Milà – La Pedrera

Antoni Gaudí’s last great civil architecture in 1912 before he devoted himself to the Sagrada Familia. It brings together all his stylistic innovations, such as the promenade roof with its warrior chimneys. You can visit one of the flats, which has been decorated as it was in the early 20th century. Casa Batlló and Palau Güell can also be visited, but I prefer Casa Milà.

04. Güell Park

Again Antoni Gaudí, this time for a luxurious housing estate financed by the Güell family. The development was a commercial failure and the park was later donated to the city. The colourful features designed by Gaudí can be seen here, such as the two caretaker’s houses, a grand staircase and a hall with massive columns that was to be a covered market.

05. Ciutadella Park

The 30-hectare urban park is the successor to a citadel. Several spaces are arranged in different ways and several institutions are located here, such as the zoo or the Catalan parliament. There is also a small lake with boats and a majestic fountain built for the Universal Exhibition held there in 1888, as well as the Arc de Triomphe at the entrance.

06. Barri Gòtic

The Gothic Quarter, the oldest part of the city, once fortified, dates back to the Romans who established a colony here. Then the Middle Ages piled up the palaces of the noble families. What remains are narrow streets and once dilapidated buildings in the process of gentrification. The political and religious powers have their headquarters here, as well as cultural institutions.

07. Picasso Museum

Born in Malaga, Picasso grew up in Barcelona and learned his trade as a painter. He left his youthful works here and those produced during his later stays while living in France. This collection was given to the city in 1970 to enrich the museum’s collection. As the collection continued to grow, several palaces were gradually brought together and fitted out to display it.

08. Montjuïc

The Montjuïc hill dominates the port and the city of Barcelona by a hundred metres. Several developments have made it a sought-after leisure spot. The view from the top goes up to the National Art Museum of Catalonia, where a fountain gives shows in the evening. There is also the 1992 Olympic Park and the Joan Miró Foundation in the middle of the gardens.

09. Joan Miró Foundation

Joan Miró was born in Barcelona and although he lived his life as an artist in France, he wanted to donate some of his works from his personal collection to his native city. The museum was opened in 1970, and it displays in large rooms works, often of great dimensions, that allow us to get to know the surrealist artist better.

10. Poble Espanyol

Provisionally created in 1929 for the Universal Exhibition, the Spanish village continues to attract visitors, both national and foreign. It groups together a hundred or so buildings typical of the various regions of Spain. About thirty shops and several restaurants are located there. Concerts and shows are also sometimes organised there.

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  1. Absolutely love Barcelona and it’s been too long since I visited. I think I’ve been to 8 of your top 10 but would happily do them all again. Currently our ‘23 plans include an extended Mediterranean tour so Barca would definitely be on the radar. I also adore Tarragona, about 50 miles south, and have visited many times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it’s a city with so much going on that you always want to come back because there’s always something else to see. And then the warm weather in the shoulder seasons when it starts to get cold further north.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Innocent Canadians are perfect targets for pickpockets. I’m afraid the risk exists in most tourist cities. This should not prevent from visiting Barcelonaso it’s up to us to mitigate the risk.


    • Barcelona has become a trendy destination, some people go there just for that. But basically there is a beautiful city to discover with the addition of recent artists who bring an extra dimension. There is something for everyone.


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