10 things to tick off your Barcelona Bucketlist

Top 10 things to do in Barcelona

Conspicuous in its vibrancy and proud of its quirks, Barcelona is the Spanish city with an infectious buzz. From a secret bunker with sweeping views over the metropolis to the ultimate spots to sample Catalan’s most delicacies, here is a list of the top 10 things to you simply MUST do when you are in Barcelona!


Paella, Sangria and Tapas in Barcelona

1. Feast on Paella, Tapas and Sangria

It is traditional in Spain to eat a big meal at lunch time and a smaller meal for dinner, so make sure you’ve worked up an appetite by midday. In Barcelona, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants offering a scrumptious selection of share plates, referred to as Tapas, alongside pans of steaming hot Paella. Of course, all this food must be washed down with a generous jug of Sangria, the national drink of Spain.


Park Guell Barcelona by Gaudi

 2. Marvel at Gaudi’s architectural genius

If anyone is responsible for shaping the aesthetic of Barcelona, it’s Spain’s most revered architect, Antoni Gaudi. From the wondrous La Sagrada Familia, a cathedral that has been under construction since 1882, to Park Guell’s gingerbread-like buildings, every Gaudi piece looks like it was conceptualized for a fairytale. Make sure you take time to explore the all the must-see Gaudi sites during your visit!


Barcelona Bunker Sunset

3. Have a picnic at the bunker

If you want to find the best panoramic views over Barcelona, head up to the Bunker del Carmel. This idyllic spot is still reasonably undiscovered by tourists, so it makes for a great place to bring a picnic and watch the sun setting over the Barcelona sprawl. To get here, take metro line L4 (yellow) to station Alfons X. From Alfons X, take exit Ronda de Guinardo, cross the street and turn left. From here, you have to walk up a hill for about 25-30 minutes. I promise you, the view is worth it!


4. Visit Espit Chupitos Bar

Chupitos means ‘shots’ in Spanish, so you can probably take a stab at what this bar has on offer. With over 150 different types of shots on the menu, you can expect a little more than tequila with lime and salt. It’s a bit of a lucky dip when making your selection, but expect each one to be somewhat of a fun suprise. My personal favorite was when the bartender lit the bar on fire, and handed us all marshmallows. We proceeded to toast the marshmallows, dip them into our shot, eat the gooey goodness and then finally, consume the alcohol.


Barcelona Gothic Quarter Alleyway

5. Get lost in the Gothic Quarter

If there ever was an ideal place to get lost, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona would be it.  Throw aside all plans and spend a few hours simply meandering through the endless maze of intriguing alleyways, quaint shopfronts, hip bars and Gothic architecture. I spent hours wandering through these streets and never ran out of things to photograph.


La Sagrada Familia Inside

6. Go inside La Sagrada Familia

On my first visit to Barcelona I never actually made it inside La Sagrada Familia and I regretted it ever since. I made it a priority on my second visit to Barcelona and I am so glad I did! If you are under the impression that all cathedrals look the same, get ready to have your mind blown away. I would recommend booking your tickets in advance so you don’t miss out or have to cue for hours!



Food Lovers Company Tour


7. Go on a food tour of Barcelona

When visiting a new city, one of the easiest ways to get an authentic taste of its culture and cuisine is by going on a local food tour. The Food Lovers Company, for example, offer small group tours focused on showing you real Spanish and Catalan culinary culture. On the tour, locals and culinary experts Nuria and Margherita show you around Old Town on a four-hour drinking and eating session. Just make sure you schedule time for a serious siesta once you’re finished!


8. Stroll along Barcelona Beach

In the height of summer, Barcelona beach is teeming with locals and tourists alike. Here, you can sunbathe (and if you’re brave, join the locals and go topless!), cool down in the waters or simply sit at a beachfront bar imbibing Mojitos. I personally found the beach WAY too crowded during the middle of the day, but I did enjoy strolled along the sand at sunset before retreating to one of the restaurants along the water for a steaming hot bowl of Paella.


La Boqueria markets on La Rambla

9. Try everything from La Boqueria Markets

La Boqueria markets is brimming with an irresponsible throng of food stalls, selling just about everything under the sun. On entering, you’ll find a rainbow array of smoothies and fresh fruit, delectable crepes brimming with fillings and exotic candies. Walk in a little further to discover food stalls offering a place to sit and feast on local delicacies.


magic fountain show Barcelona

10. Watch the magic fountain show

First spouted all the way back in 1929,  this magnificent display of colour, light, sound and water is an absolute must-see when you are in Barcelona! The show occurs outside of the National Museum of Art Cataluyna at different times depending on the season, so I would recommend checking on the Barcelona Tourism website before planning to go.


How to get around:

Barcelona is a fairly straight-forward city to navigate so getting around is pretty easy. In my opinion, walking is always the best way to get from place to place (it allows you to see the most), but the city is also very bike-friendly and has a great public transport network of metros and buses. If you are going to use public transport during your visit, your best option is to pre-purchase a transport pass for the duration of your time in the city.


 Where to stay:

$- Still to this day, the best hostel I’ve ever stayed at was the Casa Gracia. Here, you’ll pay hostel prices for hotel standards, and they will throw in an amazing breakfast and a bunch of social activities!

$$- Barcelona has a lot of great options on Airbnb. By using Airbnb, you can often score yourself a beautiful, self-contained apartment for a fraction of what you’d pay for a hotel. If you haven’t yet signed up to Airbnb, you can sign up here and get $45 credit towards your first stay.

$$$- If you want to treat yourself, check out the exquisite W Hotel Barcelona. Located right on the Barcelona beachfront, you can hardly pick a room with a bad view at this place!



Have you been to Barcelona? Got something to add to this bucketlist? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    The gothic quarter looks great! The food looks delicious. Barcelona is definitely on my travel list! :)

  • Reply
    Madeline | Mad's Muses
    November 15, 2016 at 2:21 am

    I absolutely love Barcelona and your list hits all of the perfectly unique things the city has to offer! I’ve checked off eight from your list – guess I need to go back to finish the final two. :)


  • Reply
    Jovana | @ms.jvl
    November 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for great recommendations! Love the look of the Food Lovers Company tour. I am currently planning a trip to Barcelona for next year and will definitely keep this in mind :)

  • Reply
    December 28, 2016 at 5:54 am

    I’ve booked the tickets to Barcelona today…! I’ll make sure I see and do of the things you recommend!

  • Reply
    The Moment Keepers
    January 3, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Great list Nicola! We’re planning to go on April and we’re more than excited after seeing this! Thank you, we love your blog and your photos! :)

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    You might want to change the typo La Boqueria in your text:)

  • Reply
    Molly on the Move - 5 cities You CANNOT Miss in Europe - Molly on the Move
    January 13, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    […] Barcelona has so much personality on top of the already vibrant and bustling city. The energy can be felt from the dynamic natives all the way to the crazy architecture to the unbelievable food. Keep your camera out because you will be stunned by the buildings throughout this city. Some of the most gorgeous and creative architecture I have ever seen was in Barcelona, and it was often amidst ordinary-ish buildings. The adorable Polkadot Passport knows what’s up- take a look at her guide here. […]

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