Things to Do in Barcelona

Things to Do in Barcelona featured image
Published on April 19, 2023

Barcelona is a Spanish city that is filled with pleasant places to see, nice people to meet and great opportunities to explore. 

In case you are looking for what to do in Barcelona while enjoying the wonderful beaches, rich culture, and intercontinental delicacies, we have you covered.  A visit to Barcelona will always be a nice experience when you get to know when, where, what, and how to do things per time. 

So, to help you make sure you know where to visit and what to do when in Barcelona, continue to read this piece as we take you through some of the best things to indulge yourself while in Barcelona.

1. Visit Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter happens to be one of the most famous places in Barcelona. It dates as far back as 2,000 years and there are endless things to do in the Gothic Quarter such as learning about the Jewish account  of Barcelona. 

What about the El Call? The El Call is a very beautiful spot you need to see in the Gothic Quarter. You can also explore the old stomping grounds of the young Pablo Picasso. At the same time, you can see the first project of our famous architect, Antonio Gaudi. 

Gothic Quarter in Barcelona

There are old restaurants that are dating as far back as 1786. Interestingly Can Culleretes is the oldest restaurant in Barcelona and the second in Spain. You can enjoy Spanish dishes and traditional Catalan at an affordable price in this restaurant. 

We also have modern shopping areas that are mixed with the olden ones in this place. The nightlife in the Gothic Quarter is always lively and worth the time. You have a lot to drink or dance.

2. Explore the La Boqueria Market

La Boqueria market is officially called Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria. It happens to be an iconic landmark for lovers of food visiting for shopping. Trust me, a visit to Barcelona without exploring this market seems incomplete. 

True to your guess, there are a lot of things to do in this market. The market is the true picture of the gastronomic image of the city. The market opens from dawn to dusk as it is one of the busiest places for visitors in Barcelona. 

The origin of the market is as far back as 1200s. It started as an open-air market until the covering of the metal roof in the 1900s. The market has different sections where assorted items are sold. To get the best out of La Boqueria market, take note of the following important tips.

Explore the La Boqueria Market

Go for the Best Deal

When you enter the market, there are stalls in front of the market that sell different items you would like to buy. The downside is that you will pay higher than the usual price than the ones inside the market. 

To get the best deal, move down the aisle, and get the items at the cheaper price. Try to negotiate further if possible. You will be happy to go home with a quality and affordable item. 

Avoid the Rush Period

The market opens every day at 8 a.m., which is the time vendors begin to display their items. Tourists and locals start to flood the place, making it more crowded than normal. 

You may choose to visit the market early before the rush period or in the evening. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars often take last orders at 8:15 p.m. So, when planning your schedule, have this in mind. 

Eat like the Native

When you enter restaurants, observe the locals and follow suit. Do not expect someone to serve you in a way different from what is happening there. Remember, this is a market area. The place is crowded and somewhat noisy.

Grab a drink and take the available seat to give yourself a treat. Wait a little for the best food of your choice as the chef prepares your order. Sometimes, you may wait a little longer due to the number of customers to be served. 

3. Produce Your Shoes

Handmade Shoes Barcelona

While spending your time in Barcelona, you can create a lasting memory for yourself. Instead of buying a pair of traditional shoes, why not create one for yourself? It is one of the unique things to do in this city that you will be glad you did.

Make your pair of Catalan espadrilles a special gift for you to keep from your visit to Barcelona. Visit Luis and his lovely wife, Kathe, founders of Handmade Barcelona. They will be glad to guide you because they have been in the business for years.

During the time they are guiding you, you will visit them at the Gothic Quarter. This is where you pick materials that will help you customize the type of shoe you like. There are some cava in case you need to quench your thirst. 

4. Watch Some Dances in Plaça de la Virreina

Dances in Plaça de la Virreina

Plaça de la Virreina is a beautiful place with great bars that are appealing to every visitor. It has a friendly and cosmopolitan atmosphere that makes it a meeting place for people in the neighborhood. 

The square was built by architect Josep Artigas in 1878. It is situated at the junction of four major streets. The streets are Carrer de Torrijos, Carrer d'Asturies, Carrer de la Santa Creu, and Carrer de l'Esglesia. 

The square is peaceful and a nice setting for meeting and taking drinks at one of the bars. Visitors enjoy their time here, and you see people dancing to the popular lindy hop on Sunday.

5. Learn at the Roman Temple

Learn at the Roman Temple

Do you know that the name, Barcelona, came from "Barcino", which is a famous Roman city? Barcelona was given to the city after Caesar Augustus got control of the area from the Carthaginians in 19BC.

The history of the city and the reflection of what happened can be seen in Roman temples. This temple is popularly known as the Temple of Augustus. It is a hidden temple that is located in the serene and quiet part of the Gothic Quarter. 

Dedicated to Emperor Caesar Augustus, the temple has eleven columns with impressive scales. There is no gate fee, you can enter at no cost. The temple remains open until 8 p.m. 

6. Spend a Day in the Gothic Cathedral

A Day in the Gothic Cathedral

Do you know that one of the most outstanding monuments in Barcelona is the Gothic Cathedral? Yes, the Gothic Cathedral is a monument that took almost two centuries to complete. The magnificent building has soaring towers that make it visible at a far distance. 

The stained-glass windows filter the light that streams through it. The architectural design makes the cathedral ethereal, causing the viewers to gaze towards the sky. We have some architectural innovations like flying buttresses to give the Gothic style. 

The Gothic style was conceived by Abbot Suger in the North of Paris. He is the mastermind behind a Gothic cathedral called the Basilica of Saint-Denis. He and others, like him, believed that light was divine and could be a tool that raises human consciousness from the earthly realm to the heavenly realm. 

He and others with the same belief tried to flood cathedrals as well as abbeys with light. They also built tollers and elegant structures as places of worship. The design distributes the weight of the structure more effectively than normal buildings. 

The Gothic Cathedral opens from 8 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. and 5:54 p.m. – to 7:30 p.m. for visitation at no cost. Outside these regular schedules, you must pay to get access to the building. 

7. Taste Some Good Wine at the Vineyard

Good Wine at the Vineyard

Spain is a country that is famous for wine. Being in Barcelona is an opportunity to have a taste of the riches the vineyards produce. Good enough, you won't travel too far to visit the vineyards. 

A known place like the Penedes wine region should be around 45 minutes by train or 35 minutes by car. You can have a good time visiting the vineyard. During your visit, you can stop at the beautiful Montserrat for cavas or premium wines. 

Interestingly, between stops, you will get to the multi-peaked mountain in the Montserrat area. Use the opportunity to entertain the eye from the cogwheel train as it moves along the mountain region.

Here are some Barcelona vineyards you may want to visit if you are a lover of good and quality wines.

Alta Alella Vineyard

Alta Alella Vineyard

Alta Alella offers fantastic varieties of wines, ranging from sweet wines, and fine cavas, to still wines. There is a visitor center near the side of the mountain that surrounds the vineyard. This is where you can give yourself a special treat as you view the great Mediterranean Sea. 

The vineyard has music events, Wednesday yoga, a special dinner, and other activities beyond a general tour. You can visit their website and purchase a lunch, tour, or wine. Alta Alella has more than 27 varieties of wines for your selection. 

Castillo Perelada

Castillo Perelada

Pereada is where the history of wine began in the Emporda region. In 1923, the Mateu family commenced the production of wine as Castillo Perelada. The Mateus have been in wine production for many years. The brand has global acceptance and recognition. 

Apart from the wine in Perelada, the town is very touristy. There are museums and theatres for concert series during the summer. Renowned international musicians, ballet performers, and actors have performed in this town. 

As you are visiting, we recommend visiting with money in your pocket as the price is a bit higher than a few other places. 

Bouquet d'Alelle

At the North of Alella, Pau with his family, has a vineyard called Bouquet d'Alella. The vineyard has been in the family as far back as the 1400s. One unique thing about this vineyard is that Pau has customized personalized visits to the vineyard.

During the visit, Pau and his wife give complete attention to your visit. He may even give you his bicycle to ride around the vines. The vineyard has four major varieties of wine which are 2 whites and 2 reds. They offer a dining experience to visitors with either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Pau also organizes a full moon dinner once a month.

Cellers Scala Dei

Celler Scala Dei is the oldest vineyard under DO Catalunya in 1974. They have fantastic wine with an incredible environment. There are different ways you can get your price for the wine, either through a visit or online. 

While there, you can give yourself a Scala Dei Monastery tour to see the areas where monks planted their vines in the 1200s. The vineyard has a rich history that is essential for all wine connoisseurs to very this vineyard. 

Cartoixa, one of the best wines in the world, originates from this vineyard. The present vintage has the same features as the previous ones. It is difficult to see any wine that matches the flavor and punch of Scala Dei.

8. Go Sailing

Go Sailing Barcelona

On a hot afternoon in Barcelona, sailing can be one of the best things to enjoy your day. Explore the coast with a sailboat that helps you to cruise the coast. The sailboat can hold 10 guests but some captains allow 7 – 8 persons for comfort.

You can also opt for a private sailboat with your family. If you want to have a dip in the sea, carry your bathing suit along. Don't forget your safety equipment, drinks, and items that will make you feel comfortable while spending time in the sea. 

Things To Do While Sailing In Barcelona 

While sailing, it is essential to enjoy your moment and still stay safe. We have a few tips that you may consider while sailing.

1. View Barcelona from the Skies

If you want to see Barcelona in another way, view it from the sky. The view from the coastline gives a new look entirely. Try parasailing as it will give you great sightseeing while causing your adrenaline to flow with speed. 

Different organizations offer jet skis, parasailing, and watersports. Check them out and soar over the city of Barcelona. 

2. The Ice Bar Cooling Down

The ice bar in Barcelona is a Port Olimpic. The temperature goes down to sub-zero here. It provides an opportunity to cool down from the hot sun. You can enjoy the moment with a cup of chill ice. 

While enjoying the moment, use a coat to cover yourself, otherwise, you will soon become cool with close resemblance to the ice bar statues. If you have some underlying health challenge, it is advisable that you avoid too much cool.

9. Take a bite of Tapas and Pinchos

Tapas and Pinchos

I guess you are pretty much about tapas. What about pinchos? Well, it is a nice snack with a small shape you can take as a bite. The name, 'pincho' is translated literally to "spike", which t refers to the eating toothpick you hold together each time you eat. 

As pinchos are becoming popular, there are places you can get both pinchos and tapas for yourself. However, you can use the time to visit Poble Sec, which is filled with different kinds of bars along the street. 

There are special things about tapas and pinchos you need to know. The taste alone is something you won't forget in a hurry. So, add tapas and pinchos in your todo list during your visit to Barcelona.

10. Join a Cooking Class

Join a Cooking Class

It is very easy to forget some memories if it has no direct impact on you. On the other hand, there are some memories that stay for a long time, and one of them is learning how to cook a native Barcelona food.

During your visit, you can join a cooking class to learn how to cook different indigenous delicacies. 

You can try it like a friend of mine. During her visit, she booked a cooking class so that she could cook Barcelona delicacies for her foody friends and family. At the end of the classes, she cooked paella as an expert with a nice taste.

The great advantage of joining a class is that you will observe the cooking process from the start to the finish and you will see how the ingredients gradually transforms into a sumptuous meal. 

Once you start cooking, it will be easy and you will also be glad to know how to prepare Spanish food within a short period of joining the class. Moreover, it will be another moment to interact with others and learn from their culture while learning.

11. Walk, Skate, or Run on the Boulevard (La Rambla)

Run on the Boulevard

Visitors and tourists catch some cruise along this kilometre-long road called La Rambla. The 1200m boulevard begins at Plaça de Catalunya and stops at Christopher Columbus's statues. 

There are various sections where you will see some names of saints. The names act as a reference to the time when convents and churches lined up the street. Currently, Barcelona Cathedral is the only church that remains with its remarkable features. 

If you are a lover of skating, there are places you can rent or borrow rollerblades to cruise on the boulevard. If you cannot skate, you can run or stroll in the evening along the boulevard. You are sure to enjoy the breeze and the ambiance of the place. 

12. Watch Some Football Matches at Camp Nou

Football Matches at Camp Nou

Are you a lover of football? Then, FC Barcelona is not a team you should miss their live matches. In Barcelona, Camp Nou is a stadium that is known for important matches. 

It is obviously no news that FC Barcelona happens to be a team that plays a key role in shaping football globally. So, if you are in Barcelona between September -May, you can plan to watch live matches at the Camp Nou stadium. Sure, your experience at every moment of the game will be an exciting one. 

Having Known What to Do, Get Ready!

There are lots of things to do in Barcelona. It happens to be one of the best cities in Spain. Get ready to experience the epic nightlife, the architectural designs, the mouth-watering food, and the exciting atmosphere.

The people are welcoming and receive visitors. There are different things to engage yourself both in the day and the night. So, we hope that these tips will be part of your guide for planning your trip. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is there any tax-free shopping for visitors in Barcelona?

Most shops offer tax-free shopping for visitors who are shopping in Barcelona. Tax-free simply means that when shopping, you pay the 21 percent IVA during payment. However, you claim back the tax when the purchase is higher than EUR 90.16. 

What kind of activities can I do in Barcelona?

There are a lot of activities you can do in Barcelona. Some of them are visiting museums, watching matches at the stadium, visiting the beach, sailing, joining cooking classes, producing native shoes, etc.

Are there must-see sights in Barcelona? 

Well, there are various places you need to see anytime you visit Barcelona. Some of them are the Gothic Quarter, beaches, Barcelona Cathedral, etc.

What should I not do when visiting Barcelona?

The city of Barcelona is incredibly large. So, do not start touring around the city without having a plan and enough money to pay for the expenses. Avoid fixing too many activities in one day. 

Conclusion - Things to Do in Barcelona

While looking forward to spending time in Barcelona, it is essential to think of what you will do when you are there. There are wonderful places you need to visit to have a wonderful experience on your visit.

We have stated some key places in Barcelona you can visit and things you can do in Barcelona. Kindly make the most out of your stay in this city. There are opportunities and avenues to express yourself in your way. 

Ryan S. Mills
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