Barcelona, Spain

Map of routes and landmarks in Barcelona

Barcelona's must-sees

1. La Sagrada Familia
2. La Rambla
3. Gothic Quarter
4. Casa Batlló
5. Picasso Museum
6. Camp Nou Stadium

Catalan flag and Barcelona coat of arms

Useful Information

Population

Barcelona city limits: ~1.6 million

Metropolitan area: ~3.2 million

Nearby Towns

Badalona (7 mi / 11 km)

Castelldefels (15 mi / 24 km)

Sabadell (17 mi / 27 km)

Sitges (25 mi/ 40 km)

Tarragona (61 mi / 98 km)

Girona (63 mi / 102 km)

Lérida (105 mi / 169 km)

Palma de Mallorca (155 mi / 250 km)

Transport

Located a short distance from the city center, the Barcelona El Prat Airport has two separate terminals with a free bus shuttle service between them.

The most commonly used method of transportation to the city center is the city train, which makes numerous stops, including the Barcelona Sants bus and train station.

The other option is to take metro line I9 Sud, which connects with both terminals (and is the better option to reach Nord Station).

Taxi information can be found here. Public bus lines with a stop at the airport can be seen here.

Route 1. Passeig de Gràcia, La Rambla and Barceloneta Beach

This route starts on Passeig de Gràcia, one of Barcelona’s busiest commercial streets. Here you’ll see La Pedrera (Casa Milá) and Casa Batlló, both which were built by Antoni Gaudí, as well as Casa Amatller, built by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and Casa Lleó Morera, by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Their incredible, striking facades representing Catalan modernism never go unnoticed to passerbys.

Main avenue Passeig de Gràcia will take you to Plaça de Catalunya (Catalonia Square), a central point where the Touristic Bus station is located. Cross the square to reach the popular Rambla avenue, where you’ll pass plenty of restaurants, cafés, museums, theaters, street artists and the well-known La Boqueria market with fresh Spanish produce on display. You’ll also pass Joan Miro’s pavement mosaic before reaching the Columbus Monument.

Finally, take Passeig de Colom (Columbus Avenue) along the Maremagnum shopping center to the History Museum of Catalonia, then follow Passeig de Joan de Borbó until you reach the lively Barceloneta beach.

Route 2. The Sagrada Familia, Parc de Ciutadella and Port Olimpic

This route starts at Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece: the beautifully unique Catholic church, Sagrada Familia. It’s worth going inside and even climbing to the top, as its interior geometric patterns are just as captivating as its exterior spires and facades. Next to the basilica is the official FC Barcelona retail store, a must-see for soccer fans.

The street Carrer de Sardenya, which intersects with Carrer de Ribes, will take you to the Arc de Triomphe. This monument was built by architect Josep Vilaseca as an entrance to the Barcelona International World Fair of 1888, and today it functions as the entrance to the Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park). Originally created to be military grounds, this park now contains the Martorell Museum (natural sciences) and the Barcelona Zoo.

As you leave the park, you’ll cross the “Olympic Village”, a neighborhood built in preparation for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and end up at the Port Olimpic marina.

Route 3. The Gothic Quarter

Start out in Plaça del Rei – called “King’s Square” because its Grand Royal Palace once housed the Counts of Barcelona and the Kings of Aragon. Follow the set of 11th-century stairs that leads to the Salón del Tinell (“Tinell Room”) and the Saint Agatha Chapel, both from the 14th century. There you’ll see the Palau del Lloctinent (“Palace of the Viceroy”), with its giant 16th-century tower, and the Barcelona City History Museum, where Roman archeological remains are on display.

The next stop is the imposing Barcelona Cathedral in Plaça Nova square, built in the Gothic and neo-Gothic styles. Then head towards Carrer del Bisbe street to see another Roman archeological site and the Bisbe bridge before reaching Plaça Sant Jaume square, which holds the City Hall and regional government buildings.

Follow Carrer de Jaume I street towards Via Laietana avenue, then follow Carrer de l’Aregenteria street, which will take you to the grand Santa Maria del Mar Basilica. From there, follow Carrer Montcada street and end up at the Picasso Museum.

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Barcelona

Located in Catalonia, a northeastern province of Spain, Barcelona is a European capital of international tourism. A tourist magnet, this city attracts millions every year thanks to its pleasant beaches, Mediterranean dishes and temples of Catalonian modernist architecture such as the Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera (Casa Milà), Casa Batlló and Park Güell. Designed by master of architecture Antoni Gaudí, these buildings are known for their unmistakable peculiar style containing organic forms inspired by natural geometric shapes. Gaudi’s master piece, the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, is the greatest exponent of Catalonian modernism. Its construction has been and continues to be (its completion is planned for 2026) an enormous architectural challenge that has required revolutionary techniques and complex elements including catenary arches and double-twisted columns, among others.

Long before the era of Gaudi, Barcelona was already a major Roman colony. Traces of Barcino – the colony’s name in Roman times – can be seen in the remains of walls, baths and other ruins in the Gothic Quarter (the old city). This district also holds the Cathedral of Barcelona, which wasn’t finished until the 20th century and is now one of the city’s main attractions, along with the famous Rambla avenue, which runs through the middle of the Gothic Quarter. This vibrant main street has its own unique identity and connects Catalonia Square (Plaza Catalunya) with the marina. Shops, museums, restaurants and traditional markets such as the colorful Boquería make it impossible to walk past without stopping. Besides the array of restaurants and tapas bars, the Boquería offers some of the best quality commodities for a demanding palate including seafood, meat, fish and typical Spanish products such as jamón serrano y ibérico (cured ham), pimientos del piquillo (bottled red peppers), cured cheeses and sausages.

Barcelona’s ten districts house dozens of museums for all preferences. Some of the most well-known include the Picasso Museum, which is spread among five old palaces on Montcada street and emphasizes Picasso’s early artwork, the National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Joan Miró Foundation in Montjuic, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art in the Plaça dels Àngels (“Angels’ Square”), and the FC Barcelona Museum in Camp Nou. The only thing left to do is explore the routes section (above) and breath in Barcelona, but without first saying “bon vent i barca nova!”

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