Barcelona Tourist Attractions

Barcelona tourist attractions include Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Família church, Palau de la Música Catalana, La Rambla boulevard, Montjuïc castle, and Barcelona’s Olympic harbor.

Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Família church (www.sagradafamilia.cat) is a massive, magnificent church in Barcelona, that has been under construction since 1882.

The estimated date of completion for the church is 2026, exactly 100 years from Gaudi’s (the church’s designer) death.

The church is one of the most famous symbols of Barcelona, similarly to, say, Eiffel tower symbolizes Paris.

Sagrada Família is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain, with over 2.3 million annual visitors.

Gaudi’s intention was to create “a shelter for Christianity“, and to emphasize this vision, the church is full of major themes from the Bible…

…including the 18 spindle-like towers, allegorical to:

  • 12 apostles,
  • four evangelists,
  • Virgin Mary, and
  • Jesus Christ (the tallest of the towers).

One way for you to get to know the place is with a guided tour, which are available in English, Spanish, and Catalan.

VIDEO: Tour of the buildings made by Gaudi in Barcelona.

Palau de la Música Catalana (www.palaumusica.org), meanwhile, was designed by the other (in addition to Antoni Gaudi) famous architect from Barcelona, Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

The palace was build in modern Catalan style, from 1905-1908, for Orfeó Català, to be used for major cultural events in Catalonia.

Today, the palace is part of UNESCO’s world heritage list, especially for its wonderful and unique architecture, with highlights such as:

  • Catalan modernism’s round corners over straight lines, and
  • dynamic shapes over static figures.

A good way to visit the building is to see one of the musical performances here, with alternatives ranging from symphonies to chamber music, and from jazz to Cançó (a local specialty).

Top Barcelona tourist attractions also include La Rambla boulevard, the most famous street in the city.

La Rambla is a pedestrian route of 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from Barcelona’s harbor up to the La Plaça Catalunya, through Ciutat Vella.

An unique feature within it are the many street performers, and you can find excellent cafes within La Rambla, to take a breather and just watch Barcelona walk by.

During daytime, the street is full of tourists, but as darkness falls, the locals come here for the cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs….

…and when the local football (soccer) club, FC Barcelona, wins their matches, most of the celebrations take place here, at La Rambla.

Spanish poet Federico García Lorca described La Rambla as “the only street in the world which I wish would never end“.

Of the Barcelona tourist attractions, Montjuïc castle (www.bcn.cat/castelldemontjuic/en/welcome.html) is located within the hill of Montjuic, with great panoramic views to the most beautiful parts of Barcelona.

The first version of the fortress was completed in 1640, as part of Felipe IV’s defensive projects against the Catalan rebellion.

Current version of the castle is from 1751, from plans by Juan Martín Cermeño, when the buildings were extended, and a moat was added to the defenses.

Since 1962, Montjuïc castle has been a military museum.

Finally, Barcelona’s Olympic harbor (www.portvellbcn.com) (Port Vell) is Barcelona’s center for tourism, rebuild entirely for the 1992 Summer Olympics.

The harbor includes…

  • Maremàgnum shopping center (with shops, a multiplex movie theater, bars, and restaurants)
  • IMAX Port Vell movie theater, and
  • Europe’s biggest aquarium, with 8,000 fish & 11 sharks, within 22 pools.

You can get to the harbor using Rambla de Mar pedestrian bridge from La Rambla.

VIDEO: Eurail’s tour of Barcelona highlights.

The area is popular for nighlife, as it contains the best variety of bars, discos, and nighclubs in Barcelona…

….and the harbor even has the best casino in the city: ‘Barcelona Casino‘.