Barcelona Tourist Attractions

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Whether you’re a first-time visitor excited for your upcoming adventure or the city keeps drawing you back for more time and time again, Barcelona is full of wonderful places to see and fun things to do. Regardless if you’re the type of tourists who wants to spend their time bustling from museum to museum or you’d prefer to sightsee in the midst of fresh air, bustling squares, hip neighborhoods, and the vibrant waterfront, Barcelona is home to a diverse selection of attractions suitable for all different types of visitors and their particular sightseeing desires.

Barcelona is home to a glittering array of museums devoted to a wide range of themes, topics, and subjects. An abundance of art museums makes Barcelona a delight for art lovers; from establishments focused on the work of singular artists like the Picasso Museum and Fundació Joan Miró to cutting-edge institutions like Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), there are renowned art museums everywhere you turn in Barcelona. History buffs will enjoy exploring the streets, structures, and exhibitions of Poble Espanyol, while if you’re in the mood for something lighthearted and casual you can always check out attractions like the Barcelona Wax Museum, Museum of Illusions, and the Big Fun Museum.

Few individuals are as closely associated with the city of Barcelona as the visionary architect Antoni Gaudí, whose innovative designs make such local attractions as Casa Batlló, Park Güell, and La Pedrera tourist-itinerary staples. And of course, no visit to Barcelona is complete with making time to tour the city’s breathtaking basilica, the one and only Sagrada Familia. The ornate façade of this magnificent church is among the most recognizable pieces of architecture in the entire world; not only does it stand today as Gaudí’s grandest accomplishment, but it’s actually slated to be completed in the coming years!

Walking tours of the gothic quarter are a great way to spend a couple hours in Barcelona

Barcelona is a family-friendly city, too, with numerous popular attractions tailored to the needs and interests of visitors traveling with children. Several of these destinations are located near the city’s waterfront-adjacent Port Vell neighborhood, including the Barcelona Zoo, L’Aquàrium de Barcelona, and the Museu d’Història de Catalunya. Barcelona’s coastline, with its plentiful beaches, is also prime territory for some fun-in-the-sun family time.

With so much to see and do throughout Barcelona, many visitors opt to go on a guided tour of the charming city. Walking tours, bike tours, boat tours, hop-on hop-off bus tours, tours that focus on particular neighborhoods, cuisines, and soccer clubs—you name it, and there’s a guided tour available here that’ll take you squarely into the midst of it.

Keep reading below for additional information on some of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions, including numerous other museums, historic sites, guided tours, and more.

Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar Tour

Completed in the late fourteenth century, the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar is one of Barcelona’s most important historical landmarks. The Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar Tour lasts anywhere from 60-75 minutes, and takes visitors through the attraction’s nave and crypt before concluding on its 115-foot-high rooftop.

Museu del Disseny (Museum of Design)

Located adjacent to Mirador Torre Glòries, the Museu del Disseny is home to a diverse assortment of artifacts, exhibits, and installations that span the fields of graphic, product, and fashion design. Highlights of the museum’s permanent collection include couture dresses, historic furniture, and a number of product prototypes.

Museu d’Historia de Barcelona (MUHBA)

The flagship branch of the Museu d'Historia de Barcelona is located at Plaça del Rei, squarely in the heart of the city’s popular Gothic Quarter. There visitors can explore an expansive series of Roman-era ruins, alongside informative exhibits that shed light on the city’s ancient past and modern development.

Big Fun Museum

Big Fun Museum contains eight exhibits designed to maximize unforgettable photo opportunities for guests of all ages. Highlights here include rooms that feature giant furniture, food, and chess sets, as well as an immersive experience that enables you to feel as though you’re in a magic forest.

Via Sepulcral Romana (MUHBA)

This ancient cemetery dates all the way back to the 1st Century, when Barcelona was a Roman settlement known as Barcino. When the Plaça de la Vila de Madrid was created some 70 years, the cemetery was rediscovered. Today it’s a popular attraction run by the Museu d'Història de Barcelona.

Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions contains over 60 floor-to-ceiling 3D paintings that present visitors with one remarkable photo opportunity after another. Popular paintings found here include images of the Grand Canyon, Camp Nou, and Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory.

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

MACBA is a contemporary art museum whose small permanent collection brings together a selection of Catalan, Spanish, and international works from 1960 to the present day. The museum curates multiple special exhibits throughout the year, and has a pleasant restaurant with an outdoor terrace that’s open year-round.

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)

The CCCB is Barcelona’s preeminent cultural center. Located in an architecturally striking building, this renowned institution hosts exhibitions, lectures, concerts, film screenings, and more. It’s also home to an experimental film archive, arts-centric bookstore, and bar-restaurant with an outdoor terrace.

Barcelona Bus Turístic Parada

This hop-on hop-off bus tour of Barcelona features two distinctive routes with guided audio commentary available in 16 different languages. Tickets are good for your choice of one or two calendar days. Barcelona Bus Turístic gets you to all of the city’s major tourist attractions while providing a variety of helpful information along the way.

Museu Egipci de Barcelona

This small museum of ancient Egyptian artifacts contains a treasure trove of historic jewelry, tableware, funeral relics, statues, mummies, and more. It sponsors educational programming, hosts special events, and contains a well-curated gift shop.

Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau – Museu

Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau is the crowning achievement of architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, whose striking designs guaranteed this former hospital complex was full of memorable buildings, lovely courtyards, and peaceful gardens. Today the renovated site is open for self-guided visits, guided tours, and more.

Gaudí Experiència

Gaudí Experiència occupies an exhibition space near Park Güell where visitors can enjoy an augmented-reality movie that brings the famed architect’s most beloved creations to life. The attraction also has museum-style interactive panels, architectural models, and a gift shop.

Casa Vicens Gaudí

Casa Vicens, the first major project completed by the architect Antoni Gaudí, is a fully restored former summer home renowned for its elaborate façade, which is defined by colorful tiles and ceramic flowers. The building’s distinctive roof has a terracotta terrace and multiple towers. Casa Vicens offers guests several different tour experiences.

Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol is an open-air museum consisting of over 100 full-size buildings that replicate different structures one might see in various towns scattered all across Spain. Poble Espanyol also contains an art museum and numerous restaurants. It regularly hosts a wide variety of activities.

Montjuïc Castle

Montjuïc Castle is a historic former military fortress that now houses a museum. In addition to its educational permanent installation, it also hosts diverse temporary exhibitions. Visitors will love the breathtaking, 360-degree views of Barcelona available from the castle’s expansive, open-air terrace.

L’Aquàrium de Barcelona

A great rainy-day attraction for families with children, L’Aquàrium de Barcelona is the world’s largest Mediterranean-themed aquarium. Here you’ll find some 450 animal species, including sharks, penguins, rays, and more, as well as a restaurant, gift shop, and interactive kids’ zone.

Mirador Torre Glòries

Mirador Torre Glòries is an observation deck located on the 30th floor of Barcelona’s distinctive Torre Glòries skyscraper that provides guests unparalleled views of the city. It also contains the Hyperview Barcelona exhibition and Cloud Cities Barcelona art installation.

Museu de la Música de Barcelona

The Museu de la Música de Barcelona is home to an impressive permanent collection of musical instruments, including one of the world’s finest selections of classical guitars. The exhibits on display here cover several centuries of music history, and guests can even try their hands at various musical instruments while visiting.

Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM)

Occupying the opulent interior of the impressively restored Palau Gomis, MEAM possesses a striking collection of contemporary realist art, modern sculpture, and twentieth-century Catalan sculpture. MEAM also hosts engaging temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Picasso Museum

Located within the stylish walls of a historic palace, the Picasso Museum contains approximately 5,000 paintings, sculptures, and sketches drawn primarily from the famed artist’s early career—namely between the years 1890 and 1917. Audio guides and guided tours are available to those so interested.

Moco Museum Barcelona

Moco Museum Barcelona is home to a pair of vibrant permanent exhibitions that showcase the work of contemporary art world luminaries like Banksy, KAWS, Keith Haring, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, Marina Abramović, and Yayoi Kusama, among many others.

Museu Frederic Marès

This quirky art museum showcases highlights from the sizable personal collection of notable art patron and sculptor, Frederic Marès. Approximately half of Museu Frederic Marès is dedicated to Spanish and Catalan sculpture of a predominantly religious nature, while the other half consists of “knickknacks”: eclectic objects like clocks, keys, pipes, and assorted antiques.

Casa Amatller

Designed by the acclaimed architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Casa Amatller is one of Barcelona’s most distinctive buildings. Originally the home of a wealthy local chocolatier, Casa Amatller is today a house museum open to the public for audio-guided tours.

CaixaForum Barcelona

One of the city’s preeminent cultural centers, CaixaForum Barcelona hosts a variety of exhibitions, activities, and performances in a renovated former factory building. Events taking place here typically include art shows, music concerts, film screenings, artist lectures, and immersive experiences.

Fundació Joan Miró (Joan Miró Museum)

This popular art museum is located on Montjuïc. Its collection features thousands of paintings, sculptures, sketches, and drawings by the acclaimed modern artist and Barcelona native Joan Miró. Its rooftop possesses beautiful city views, and the grounds also contain two shops and a terrace café.

Casa Batlló

World-famous for its colorful façade and array of astonishing architectural details, Casa Batlló is one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions. Visitors here will have their pick of ticketed experiences that include a wide selection of self-guided tours, audio guides, immersive installations, and more.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is the most popular attraction in Barcelona, and one of the world’s truly unmistakable landmarks. Designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, whose powerful vision to this day remains unfinished, Sagrada Familia is renowned for its striking towers, intricate façade, and unique layout.

Park Güell

This inimitable city landmark is Barcelona’s most famous park and one of the more memorable urban green spaces you’ll encounter. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, Park Güell is renowned for its monumental staircase and brightly colored salamander sculpture, distinctive architecture, and fabulous views.

La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

Another Gaudí masterpiece, La Pedrera is a residential building renowned for its unconventional stone façade and wrought-iron balcony railings. The structure’s rooftop hosts concerts and provides lovely views of the city, while a small exhibit on the life and work of Gaudí occupies the structure’s unique attic space.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

With room after room of artistic masterpieces spanning some ten centuries, the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya is the type of attraction where you could spend days and still not see everything. Renowned for its collection of Medieval Romanesque paintings, the museum is also home to treasures from the Medieval Gothic and Renaissance time periods.

Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món at Parc de Montjuïc

The Parc de Montjuïc branch of the Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món features a permanent collection of artifacts organized under the title Feeling the Heritage. Within this eclectic exhibit, visitors can examine such diverse objects as panel paintings, apothecary cabinets, handlooms, accordions, toys, and a whole lot more.

Joan Antoni Samaranch Olympic and Sport Museum

Located across from Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc, this interactive museum features exhibits on sports history, past Olympic Games, the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and more. It has a robust collection of sports memorabilia on display, and there’s a hands-on activities area where you can climb rock walls and practice your long jumping.

Telefèric de Montjuïc (Barcelona Cable Car)

This historic cable car runs from its boarding location in Parc Montjuïc to Montjuïc Castle. Along the way, you can enjoy fabulous views of Barcelona, while before or after your scenic ride you’ll find yourself in the midst of several popular Barcelona attractions.

Museum of Wax Barcelona

The Barcelona Wax Museum consists of approximately 150 wax sculptures arranged within 28 themed areas across three floors of a historic building located near La Rambla. From action heroes to pop stars, soccer legends to artistic geniuses, the Barcelona Wax Museum has a little bit of something for everyone.

Las Golondrinas Boat Cruise/ Port de Barcelona

With approximately 140 years of experience, Las Golondrinas is one of Barcelona’s most trusted operators of guided boat tours. Their signature Las Golondrinas Boat Cruise is a 60-minute experience that provides participants spectacular views of Barcelona and its lovely coastline.

Museu de la Ciència CosmoCaixa

CosmoCaixa is an interactive science museum that ranks among the most popular family-friendly attractions in all of Barcelona. Featuring multiple floors of fun, hands-on exhibits devoted to kid-centric topics like dinosaurs, rainforests, and more, CosmoCaixa is educational and entertaining. It’s also home to a planetarium.

Torre Bellesguard

One of Antoni Gaudí’s lesser-known architectural accomplishments, Torre Bellesguard is a castle-like manor home located in the affluent Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district. Just outside the city’s central sightseeing core, Torre Bellesguard provides spectacular views of Barcelona. It’s open for self-guided and guided tours.

Barcelona Zoo

The Barcelona Zoo is located within the Parc de la Ciutadella. It’s home to a terrarium, aviarium, primates gallery, and petting zoo. Multiple on-site dining options are available, while picnicking is permitted and quite popular with guests. Other notable animals found here include elephants, tigers, and giraffes.

Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

This family-friendly natural science museum is home to the educational Planet Life permanent installation, where kids can learn about how life on Earth has evolved through hands-on activities, interactive galleries, and informative exhibits.