This is a brief overview of the main sights that you may want to visit in Barcelona and a brief description of each one.  Later we will add a link for each one to more information and provide detailed instructions, opening times etc there.  But for anyone looking for a brief guide to Barcelona’s main sights this is the guide for you.

Plaza Catalunya

Most people begin their tour of Barcelona at Plaza Catalunya, and this is a great place to start. From here people generally head in either up (i.e. towards the mountains) or down (towards the sea) to begin their tour: Down the Ramblas, towards the Port area or Up through the shopping districts of Eixample.

Photo Copyright D Birkett © 2010

The main tourist office is located in Plaza Catalunya, as are central terminals for the bus and metro, there is even a connection to the local railways here for heading out of the city.

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas is actually a collection of streets that lead down to the port. It has become one of Barcelona’s most famous attractions and is worthy of the acclaim. It is studded with performance artists, bars and cafes and it’s flanks are lined with tall trees. A slow stroll down this famous street can take all day long if you wish to take in all the sights it has to offer. Don’t miss the Boqueria market on the right hand side and the Plaza Reial on the Left.  There is also a stylish coffee shop called Cafe de l’Opera on the left hand side, about halfway down.  Near the bottom on the right side there is a Flamenco bar, and on the left side at the bottom a small street that leads to the Wax Museum and a very curious bar called El Bosc de Les Fades.

Statue of Columbus

At the foot of the Ramblas stands the statue of Columbus, you can ride the elevator up to the top for a great view of the city.  As you can imagine, there is very little space so this may not be for the claustrophobic; it’s not unheard of for the lift to get stuck!  But there is a decent view from the top.  Around here on the opposite side of the road, by the port and Rambla del Mar there is often an impromtpu-looking market selling “antiquities”.

Casa Batllo

On Paseig de Gracia, (heading towards the hills from Plaza Catalunya) you will find, and will not miss, the Casa Batllo. Privately owned and quite expensive to enter, it is emblematic of Gaudi’s peculiar style and stunningly beautiful, especially when illuminated at nights.  Be prepared to queue.

La Pedrera

Another of Gaudi’s monuments, La Pedrera revels in the Gaudi Modernist style. Visitors can also reach the rooftops for a view of the city.  There are often small exhibitions and events held in the lower rooms of the Pedrera.

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia requires little introduction. Gaudi again left his mark on Barcelona, but unfortunately died before its completion. It is still incomplete and even under threat from the high-speed train that will be passing right underneath it. The Paseig Gaudi, lined with restaurants and bars will lead to another Gaudi masterpiece which is the Hospital de Sant Pau.

Gothic Cathedral (Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia)

Built from the 13th century and consistently under restoration (hence the enormous advertising banners across it) the Gothic cathedral is a must-see on any Barcelona tour. Just further down, crossing the Via Laietana you will also find the renovated Mercat de Sant Caterina with its colourful roof, which is crammed with great stalls and a market. Further up the Via Laietana you will also find the Palau de la Música Catalana which is a beautifully designed modernist treat by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

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