Barcelona, the subject of many a famous song and known for its football club, is a thriving, bustling capital city of Catalonia. And if you’re confused just like we were, Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain. Barcelona is known to be the masterpiece of the famed architect Antonio Gaudi. Experience some of the most unique and inspiring architecture in the world, pop into one of Barcelona’s numerous funky bars for a great night out, or go on local tours; there are a thousand and one things to do for visitors to this magical Catalonian capital. Besides the typical tourist hits, we highlight several unconventional activities to add to your Barcelona itinerary.
Visit the Sagrada Familia (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family)
It does seem as though every Europe country has its own famous church; the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris and the Dom at Köln are just a few examples of architecturally stunning structures of dedication to God. Not to be left out, Barcelona has the impressive Sagrada Familia to rival other famous churches in Europe. Despite its monstrous size, the Sagrada Familia is still unfinished and under construction. Nonetheless, the monumental church is still a sight to behold. Probably one of Antoni Gaudi’s grandest creations and most ambitious projects, the massive gothic-styled church is estimated to be completed within the next 2 decades. The interior of the church is just as amazing as its facades; from intricate stained glass windows to elaborate religious carvings. Visitors to the Sagrada Familia will be left in awe and humbled.
Stroll through Parc Güell
Also another masterpiece of the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi, Parc Güell was born out of the idea of a stylish park for the upper classes of Barcelona. Stroll through the vast magical park and you’ll find influences of the English garden city such as gatehouses inspired by the Hansel & Gretel opera. Anyone can enjoy the park and its many attractions within, from stunning stone structures and colorful mosaics to gingerbread houses and the Gaudi Museum. Perched atop a rocky hill near an upper-class neighborhood, Parc Güell is recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Foundation. For the best views of the park and the city, climb the footpaths that lead up the mountain. Visit Parc Güell to see for yourself how it truly is one of the most beautiful parks in the world.
Let your hair down and take part in a flamenco session while in Barcelona. While most of us may be less than graceful, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a spectator of this colorful, head-turning traditional Spanish dance form. El Tablao de Carmen is where you’ll find established stars and fresh talent doing flamenco songs, dance, and music. For more popular tourist hangouts, Los Tarantos in Plaça Reial is the place to be. But if you’re more for the avant-garde, make sure you visit Barcelona during May for the Festival de Flamenco de Cuitat Vella.
Visit the museums
Barcelona is a paradise of museums; with an astounding 55 museums located within the metropolitan city, it would be such a waste not to visit at least a few to learn more about Barcelona’s culture and history. If you’ve only time for a few, Museo Picasso de Barcelona sits at the top of the must-visit list of museums. Museo Picasso follows the brilliant artist’s progression from the more controlled artworks and whimsical masterpieces to the distorted artworks that Pablo Picasso is famous for. Visitors will find over 3,000 artworks from Picasso and other artists he drew inspiration from, namely Rembrandt and El Greco. Besides Museo Picasso, the Dali Museum is also a top favorite and may be one of the most interesting museums in the country. The museum is located one and a half hours by car from Barcelona in the village of Figueres where the eccentric artist was born.