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Barcelona sightseeing tips for travelers

Nightime view of Barcelona's harbor
Nightime view of Barcelona's harbor
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Barcelona is a beautiful city in northeastern Spain, and those who are planning a day of sightseeing in this enchanting location will be intrigued by its outstanding scenery and numerous historical landmarks. Although a prominent contributor to Spanish life and culture, Barcelona is also a hub of commerce and tourism.

The sprawling urban are is well able to accommodate a significant number of vacationers each year, and travel packages are available to fit almost every lifestyle and budget. Numerous Barcelona hotels are situated in the city's center, and almost everything the area has to offer is within walking distance. Tourists have their choice of activities such as dining, shopping, sightseeing and guided tours.

Although a fairly large city, Barcelona's numerous parks, religious landmarks and common buildings create an enjoyable atmosphere for tourists. Those who are planning to spend a day or two sightseeing in this engaging city will find that its unique characteristics distinguish it from all other cities in the world. There are many one-of-a-kind landmarks and sites to explore in Spain, and when creating an itinerary, travelers may wish to include the following:

When sightseeing in Barcelona, no visitor should miss a trip to the Picasso Museum. Featuring fascinating collections by the late artist, the museum consists of three separate buildings, all of which date back to the 1300s. Permanent Picasso collections are housed in the first two buildings, while temporary exhibits are displayed in the third. The museum is opened to the public throughout the year.

Located in the northern outskirts of Barcelona is Guell Park, where Antoni Gaudi, one of Barcelona's most famous architects, tried his hand at gardening and landscaping. Gaudi was hired by Count Eusebi Guell in the early 1900s to design a tiny garden city of homes for Barcelona's wealthy families. Although the project was never completed, by 1913 Gaudi had created two magnificent gatehouses, three kilometers of steps and walkways, and an outstanding plaza. Those who enjoy gardens will find many photo opportunities at this impressive landmark.

No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to one or more of the many beaches for which Spain is famous. Anyone who visits Barcelona will find the beach of his or her dreams, whether parents with young children looking for a family-friendly beach or a couple on their honeymoon searching for seclusion. In addition, many Barcelona beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag, an honor given to European beaches that are kept clean and in optimum shape.

Additional attractions include strolling through the Plaza de Catalunya, with its numerous statues and fountains, or a visit to Barcelona's Gothic quarter, where buildings dating back to the 1300s can be explored. For a picturesque view of the entire city, one should head to Montjuic Mountain where the city, its harbor and the Barcelona Cathedral can all be seen in their entirety.

Although it is not possible to see all the city's famous landmarks during one visit, an enjoyable day of sightseeing in Barcelona is sure to create many beautiful memories for visitors of all ages and from all walks of life.