Photo of Barcelona

Visit Barcelona

Barcelona is capital of the province of Barcelona in the Catalonia region of Spain. It is considered to be one of the 'Most Beautiful Cities of Spain'. Barcelona has an incredible mixture of beautiful architecture ranging from the medieval to modern times but it is for its Art Deco buildings, especially those of Antoni Gaudi that Barcelona is justly famous.

There are three main areas of Barcelona loved by visitors: the old town, called the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter); Eixample which is home to much of the spectacular Art Nouveau architecture and Montjuic which was the site of the 1929 International Fair.

Explore Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona is home to many historic buildings and is also home to the Ramblas, the famous avenue known around the world for its living statues and lively atmosphere. Along its length are beautiful palaces, the lovely Placa Reial square and the popular covered market, the Mercat de Sant Josep known as La Boqueria.

Also in the Old town is the Gothic Cathedral with its attractive cloisters and the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, a magnificent Gothic church with a 15th century rose window.

Placa Reial

The beautiful Palau de la Musica should not be missed for its mosaic-covered columns and its huge stained-glass dome.

The attractive waterfront area around Passeig de Colom and the waterfront shopping area are also very popular.

In the Gothic Quarter there are a number of splendid museums. The Picasso Museum contains early works of Picasso and some of his ceramics as part of its collection of Picasso's artworks. The Frederic Marès Museum is part of the Royal Palace complex and has an excellent collection of Gothic and Romanesque religious art.

The Modern Art Museum contains works by Catalan artists though the works of Miro, Picasso, Dali and Tapies, the most famous Catalan artists have their own museums.

The Eixample Quarter of Barcelona is the area filled with stunning Modernist buildings from the early 1900s and especially famous for those of Anton Gaudi. The Passeig d Gracia is the main avenue of Eixample and along its length are some of the most famous Modernist buildings.

At its southern end the Illa de la Discordia is a city block with four of Barcelona's most famous Modernista houses all in the same block and all with different styles. The superb Casa Batllo by Gaudi is an iconic building of Barcelona. Next to it the Casa Amatller, the Casa Ramon Mulleras and the Casa Lleo Morera wih its beautiful ornate tower make this one of the most photographed blocks in the city.


Opposite the Illa de la Discordia is the Fundacio Tapies with its wonderful cloud sculpture on the roof and collection of Tapies paintings and sculptures inside.

Further up the Passeig de Gracia is another famous Gaudi buildingn the Casa Mila, known as La Pedrera and which has a rippling facade and fabulous chimneys.

Nearby is the Casa Terrades with its conical roofs and red brick facade with stone decorations.

Most famous of all and a 20 minute walk from the Passeig de Gracia is the Sagrada Famila, the stunning church designed by Anton Gaudi and his greatest achievemet. The building of the Sagrada Familia is still not quite finished but is now nearly finished and is absoulutely fabulous.

It has huge spires topped with mosaics and inside the unique structure and the vibrant stained glass windows are superb.

Casa Mila

The third area that is interesting to visitors is the Montjuic Quarter. This area was the site of the 1929 International Fair and a number of impressive buildings were built for the event as well as the Magic Fountain which has sound and light displays at various times of day.

From the Placa d'Espanya walk along the Avida de la Reina Maria Cristina next to the fountains and then uphill to the Palau Nacional home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia. The views from here are impressive . Further along are the Miro museum and the Museum of Archaeology.

Also on the hill is the Olympic statium from the 1992 Olympics and the Castle of Montjuic.

Places to visit near Barcelona

The beautiful Monestir-de-Montserrat is an easy excursion from Barcelona.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Barcelona guide and the Catalonia guide.

See also: 

Photos of Barcelona

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Map of Barcelona and places to visit


Barcelona places to visit

Eixample, Barcelona

Eixample, Barcelona

The Eixample district of Barcelona is home to the largest number of Art Nouveau buildings in Spain with many examples by Gaudi.

Eixample, Barcelona guide
Montjuic, Barcelona

Montjuic, Barcelona

From the Montjuic district of Barcelona you can get some great views over the city and also see some great sights.

Montjuic, Barcelona guide
Gothic Quarter of Barcelona

Gothic Quarter of Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona is at the heart of this beautiful city and has many historic buildings and a great atmosphere.

Gothic Quarter of Barcelona guide
Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo

The Casa Batllo building in Barcelona is one of the iconic works of Anton Gaudi and is open for visits.

Casa Batllo guide
Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is the pinnacle of the work of Anton Gaudi. It is the iconic symbol of Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia guide


Sitges is a highlight of the coastal towns south of Barcelona. It has some excellent Modernist architecture.

Sitges guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Catalonia