5 Things To Do in Barcelona

sagrada familia spain

When you think of Europe in the Summer, no doubt Barcelona comes to the forefront of your mind. From packed beaches to lively nightlife, this Spanish (or should I say Catalonian) city is full of life!

Read about our entire Europe trip here.

meat store barcelona

1) The Gaudi Highlight Tour

Having both been to Barcelona before, we were familiar with the epic Sagrada Familia and Park Guell but on this trip, we really took in these beautiful masterpieces through new eyes and with the addition of Casa Batlo. The tickets aren’t cheap but all three places are so impressive and absolute must-dos.

Sagrada Famalia

Sagrada Famalia is comically still in construction but there have been several additions since our last visits. It is awe-inspiring every time. Insider Tip: Be sure to cover up a bit. My tank top was fine, but Grant was turned away for showing to much man side-boob! Fortunately, there was an enterprising man selling scarves out front.

sagrada familia

sagrada familia ceiling

sagrada familia spain

Park Guell

Park Guell is the perfect mix of architecture and nature and is a nice reprieve from the bustle of the city. Plus the views are unparalled! Come early to enjoy the nature trails around the park.

park guell guadi

lizard at park guell

Casa Batlo

The tour at Casa Batlo is well-done and includes an interactive audio guide. I didn’t realize how much inspiration Guadi took from the sea. This house is like living in a sea shell!

casa batlo gaudi

casa batlo barcelona

For all three places, buy tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines. You could do them all in one day, but we found it more enjoyable to spread it out over two.

2) Eat Tapas

You can’t visit Spain without eating tapas! They are everywhere and range from upscale and trendy to divey and cheap. Pair them with Cava and Vermouth for a true Barcelona feel.

Bar Jai-ca

Head to Bar Jai-ca for an extensive tapas list and pitchers of sangria. It is crowded and fun!


Eldiset is a fun, fancy choice located in the hip El Born neighborhood. The tapas range from traditional to trendy and are delicious.

Cal Chusco

For that extra local vibe head to Cal Chusco. It’s located only a couple of blocks from touristy Barceloneta, but it feels a world away. Buy a bucket of mini beers quintos and the tapas are free! Standing room only.

tapas bar barcelona

We didn’t get a chance to try Dos Pallilos but I want to next time we’re there. It’s apparently a hipster joint with an Asian influence. Think tapas meet dim sum. And of course, after tapas you need your paella fix. We liked the paella at Bodega Joan’s. Tempranillo accompaniment highly recommended.

3) Go to the Beach

Beat the Barcelona heat with a trip to the playa. For a local vibe head to playa de llevant, that’s where our Airbnb was located.

Haven’t tried out Airbnb yet? Click here to get a $40 travel credit.

Or mingle with the masses at Barceloneta. Buy a big tapestry and a fresh mint mojito from one of the local vendors. But don’t wander too far down the beach unless you want to see the full monty!

4) Shop La Boqueria

Located on touristy Las Ramblas, La Boqueria is a gem. It is usually super crowded but this market has beautiful, colorful displays of produce, juices, and craft foods. It is a great stop for a mid-day snack. For a less touristy treat, head to Oggi Gelato. This is the best gelato we’ve ever had. Hands down. And it’s healthy! It’s all organic and they even have some vegan options!

oggi gelato barcelona

5) Have Cocktails in El Born

Located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, this is our favorite little area to spend an evening in Barcelona. While the beach area has nightclubs bumping until 5 am, El Born is more or an intimate sip and chat place. All of the bars are adorable, you can’t go wrong. We liked Eldiset and a cute Brazilian place we had beers at but all of the bars are cute! Paradiso and Mr. Robinson are more lively, fun options too.

Bonus: The Barcelona Magic Fountain

We were too consumed by our conversation and tapas that we were late and missed the Magic Fountain this trip but I saw it on my first visit to Barcelona and it is very cool and underrated. Think Vegas’s Bellagio meets Spain with a lot of color!

barcelona magic fountain

Spending your time in Barcelona as a digital nomad more than a tourist? Check out our guide to the best co-working spaces in Barcelona.

Want more information to plan your trip to Barcelona? Check out the Spain Lonely Planet here.

Googly-eyed for Gaudi,

5 things to do in Barcelona


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