Barcelona really is a huge city with so much to see. You probably know of all the main sites in Barcelona like the La Sagrada Familia and the Las Ramblas Street, but there’s so many hidden treasures of Barcelona to see. And the best way to get around to make sure you don’t miss anything is by hiring a car and exploring. The city is full of wonderful places and experiences you’ll remember forever.
Over a century after their construction, the creations of architect Antoni Gaudí are still among the biggest draws in Barcelona. We recommend stopping by the Casa Batlló and the La Sagrada Família Cathedral to experience his picturesque masterpieces firsthand. Travelers should just be sure to get up extra early in order to avoid the crowds, especially during the peak summer months.
Excellent pork dishes and fine wines are a staple of Catalonian cuisine, especially in Barcelona. The Gràcia district is home to a number of quaint shops and tasty eateries. Travelers will be happy to learn that this atmospheric neighborhood caters to a more local clientele and is relatively free of visitors, making the district a pleasant change from the crowded tourist trails.
Another good place for authentic Catalan cuisine is the Poble Sec neighborhood. Dining options at this location do include some upscale restaurants, but there are also many eateries here that are far more affordable than those which can be found in the city center. Wherever one is eating, it is best to always avoid the illegal beer vendors on the streets and only buy beverages from reputable restaurants.
An underrated stop that is worth a look is the El Camel aircraft bunker, which dates back to the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s and provides stunning views of the city. Admission to the site is complimentary. Once travelers are done scanning the city skyline, they should head over to the Font Magica (The Magical Fountains) in order to catch the light show. This activity is popular with both locals and travelers alike.
Should the weather continue to prove conductive to outdoor activities, travelers may also want to stop by the Horta Labyrinth Park. Children can delight themselves by playing hide-and-seek in the extensive maze and their parents can enjoy a peaceful respite from the busy city. However, those who don’t want a break from the lively Barcelona atmosphere might prefer to stroll through the Sarrià district instead. If one is lucky, they might catch the local market that is held there on a regular basis.
The Palace of Catalan Music is a great stop for rainy days. The stained glass windows, mosaics, and traditional sculptures found at this World Heritage Site are all worth stopping by to see. Tours of the building are available every thirty minutes in many different languages (including English). Travelers who are fortunate enough to be in town when there is a concert should definitely take advantage of the fact.
Those who love the ballet, musical theatre, or the opera might want to catch a show at the Grand Theater of Liceu instead. This 1800s opera house presents the public with offerings such as English language performances of Porgy and Bess, as well as the more traditional operas like The Valkyrie by Wagner. Show tickets at this location are oftentimes only slightly pricier than taking a tour there. Therefore, the shows are recommended if one is not short on time. Tours of the facility last around 20 minutes and are available in English.
Of course, before leaving the picturesque Barcelona one may also want to stop by the Nacional d’Art de Catalunya to see its’ brilliant collection of artworks from the 1100s to the 1940s. This museum showcases works by Renaissance greats such as Ruben and Titan, as well as paintings by equally notable artists such as Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
That should keep you busy in this thriving city. The roads in Barcelona are easy to navigate so driving from place to place is a breeze. We recommend a smaller sized car (which is normal in Europe) so parking is easier.