8 Essential Things to Do in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is one of the world’s most vibrant cities, situated in the northeast coastal region of Spain, it is a bustling metropolis that blends modernity and tradition in perfect harmony. From stunning architecture to exquisite cuisine and unmatched nightlife, Barcelona offers something for everyone. Here are eight essential things to do while visiting this amazing city.

1. Explore the Historic Gothic Quarter

Spanish culture is rooted in some of Europe’s oldest traditions, which is part of why Spain is one of the best places to retire. Regardless of your age, Barcelona is the perfect place to explore this part of history.

Get lost among winding alleyways, majestic cathedrals, and centuries-old cobblestone streets while exploring Barcelona’s Historic Gothic Quarter. This is a must-visit destination that offers plenty of historical sights, as well as some incredible restaurants, bars, and artisanal shops.

While much of this neighborhood was built in the 19th and 20th centuries, it also contains the oldest parts of the city, including old Roman architecture, the Catedral de Barcelona, the Plaça del Rei, and some incredible medieval buildings.

2. Visit La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona’s most noticeable (and famous) landmark, La Sagrada Familia is an extraordinary example of modernist architecture designed by Antoni Gaudí. This highly detailed and ornate masterpiece has been under construction since 1882 and still isn’t finished yet. La Sagrada Familia is breathtaking, and seeing it in person is one of the most essential things to do when visiting Barcelona.

3. Shop at La Boqueria Market

Experience Barcelona’s bustling culinary culture at La Boqueria Market, a vibrant food market located on Las Ramblas, the city’s iconic street. Here you can find an incredible selection of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and cheeses. The market is also home to numerous restaurants and vendors who offer up some delicious local specialties, from roasted suckling pigs and Iberian ham to trays of freshly-made churros.

4. Check Out Barcelona’s Cannabis Clubs

Throughout the city, Barcelona has several upscale clubs for smoking cannabis. These clubs provide a variety of different cannabis products and offer an immersive experience for visitors that includes lounges, bars, and live music.

Smoking cannabis in Barcelona is legal, but it is only allowed within private venues such as these cannabis clubs. They are designed to give customers a luxurious and relaxing experience, similar to that of a hookah lounge or cigar bar. And since they are all only a few years old, they’re modern inside and out. Our favorite club is Dragon’sChamberClubBarcelona, an invite-only club with live music and DJs that specializes in high-end cannabis products. You can visit their site to learn more.

5. Take a Day Trip to Montserrat

Montserrat is a stunning mountain range located about an hour away from Barcelona by train. With its striking rock formations and incredible views, it’s no wonder why this place is so popular with visitors. At the top of the mountain, there is a Benedictine abbey and monastery that houses some incredible works of art. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the aerial tramway ride up to Sant Jeroni peak for amazing views of the surrounding area.

6. Enjoy Barcelona’s Nightlife

Barcelona has an incredibly vibrant nightlife scene that caters to people of all ages and tastes. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away at one of the city’s many nightclubs or enjoy a cozy evening at one of its hip bars, Barcelona has something for everyone. A few of Barcelona’s wildly famous and unique nightclubs include:

  • Sutton
  • Opium
  • Shoko
  • Input
  • Razzmatazz

Considering Barcelona has 639 nightclubs, there are plenty of choices for getting your groove on.

7. Explore Barcelona’s Beaches

Barcelona is a city by the sea, and its beaches are an essential part of its identity. With several beautiful beaches located throughout the city, it’s easy to find a place to relax in the sun or take a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean waters. The most popular beach is Barceloneta Beach, located in the city center. This beach offers plenty of restaurants and bars, as well as a boardwalk for strolling and people-watching.

The best thing about this beach is that it is long; you can seemingly walk for miles along the shore, and there are plenty of beachfront tapas restaurants and bars along the way. For something a little more secluded and off-the-beaten-path, head to Mar Bella Beach or Bogatell Beach. These beaches offer quieter settings with fewer people and more space to lay out a towel.

8. Eat Tapas, Iberian Ham, and Paella

Tapas are small plates that can range from simple finger foods like olives and fried potatoes to more elaborate dishes like patatas bravas and croquetas. Barcelona is filled with restaurants that specialize in tapas, so you’re sure to find something to your liking.

For a classic Spanish dish, try the paella—a rice dish with seafood, meats, vegetables, and spices. In Barcelona, this delectable dish is a must-try, and you can find it in many of the city’s restaurants. If you want to indulge, sample some of Spain’s famous Iberian ham. This cured meat is salty, smoky, and intensely flavorful, and it isn’t available in many places outside of Spain, so it’s definitely worth enjoying.

Travel Tips for Visiting Spain

If you want to make your life easier while traveling, here are a few tips:

  • In Barcelona, the widespread language is not Spanish. The locals speak Catalan, and while Spanish and English will help you get around just fine, learning a few phrases in Catalan will be helpful when it comes to reading signs, menus, and understanding the locals.
  • Bring comfortable shoes when visiting Barcelona, as you will do a lot of walking. The city is very pedestrian-friendly and it’s easy to get around by foot.
  • Be aware of pickpockets in large crowds or tourist areas. It’s always wise to be vigilant with your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings
  • Barcelona is usually warm, but pack layers if you’re traveling in the winter months. The temperature drops to the 40’s at night, so a light coat or sweater is recommended.
  • Take advantage of Barcelona’s excellent public transportation system. It’s fast, efficient, and budget-friendly.


Overall, Barcelona is a fantastic place to visit, with plenty of things to do and see. From its charming cafes to its rich culture and history, it’s a must-visit destination for people of all ages.

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