Rooftop of palau guell in Barcelona

Is Barcelona Worth Visiting? All Your Questions Answered

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, and one of the most popular European city breaks. It’s unquestionable why many travellers fall in love with the Catalan city.

Its unique architecture and landmarks, beautiful beaches, lively nightlife and culture are a few of the reasons that make Barcelona worth visiting.

If you want to know more in detail about why is Barcelona worth visiting, in this blog, you’re going to discover 9 top reasons to visit this amazing city as well as important information you must know before visiting Barcelona.

is barcelona worth visiting

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Is Barcelona worth visiting? 9 Reasons to visit Barcelona

If you’re wondering if Barcelona is worth visiting, these things will make you want to add Barcelona to your Spain bucket list!

1) Its unique architecture

casa vicens barcelona

Wandering around Barcelona is a unique experience. Whilst Barcelona has beautiful and well-known Gaudi buildings like Sagrada Familia, Casa Milá and Casa Vicens, it isn’t a surprise to come across other buildings and architectural styles across the city.

If you’re passionate about architecture and history, you must explore the Gothic Quarter where you’ll also find the impressive Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona and Pont Bisbe, one of the most photographed places in Barcelona.

One of the best ways to learn about Barcelona’s buildings and history is by going on a tour with a local guide that can tell you the history and legends behind the Gothic Quarter and other significant places across Barcelona.

📌 Check out this walking and food tasting tour with a local guide

2) Its incredible attractions

Barcelona has some of the most impressive landmarks in Spain, and you’ll never run out of things to do in Barcelona because there are plenty of attractions and activities to do.

What are the main attractions in Barcelona?

If you’re visiting Barcelona for a few days, these are the must-see attractions:

Sagrada Familia

What’s the first image that comes to your mind when someone says Barcelona? Probably a picture of Sagrada Familia.

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited monuments in the world. There’s no doubt why many travellers come to see Sagrada Familia – its detailed and unique architecture is out of this world.

Antoni Gaudí started building Sagrada Familia but many other architects have been working on finishing this stunning building.

Although its facade is incredible, the interior of Sagrada Familia will amaze you – its columns inspired by tree branches, its beautiful rooftop and colourful stained glasses makes it magical.

Visiting Sagrada Familia is one of the most unique experiences in Spain.

Park Güell

Another work of Gaudí is Park Güell which is one of the top attractions of Barcelona, and probably the second most visited in the city.

This is a public park located on Carmel Hill, however, some parts of the park have been privatised and you must pay a fee to access it. These areas are where you’ll find the stunning works of Gaudí.

Access The Greek Theatre which has colourful mosaic seats and panoramic views of the city; The Dragon Stairway to see the famous mosaic salamander statue, and the Austria Gardens to wander its beautiful and peaceful gardens.

Barcelona Cathedral

Situated in the Gothic quarter, Barcelona Cathedral, known as La Seu, is an impressive historical building to add to your list.

This 14th century gothic cathedral is one of the largest in Catalonia, and it’s as impressive on the inside as on the outside.

When visiting Barcelona Cathedral, access its rooftop to enjoy the city from a different perspective. It’s a great place to take photos too!

If you want a meal with a scenic view of the Cathedral, go to Colon Hotel which has a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Other attractions in Barcelona
  • Arc de Triomf
  • Casa Batló
  • Casa Miró
  • Casa Vicens Gaudí
  • Güell Palace
  • Montjuïc Magic Fountain
  • Boqueria Market

📌TIP: In addition to these incredible places to visit in Barcelona, if you have time, I recommend exploring lesser-known but beautiful attractions and hidden gems like Parc del Laberint d’Horta, a lovely park with gardens and a maze situated outside the city centre.

3) Its delicious food

crema catalana

A good reason to visit Barcelona is its food too. Catalonian dishes aren’t as popular as dishes from other regions but it’s worth immersing yourself in its gastronomy.

Paella and fideua are very popular dishes in Barcelona, and although you can have delicious paellas in the city, it’s good to know that these aren’t Catalonian dishes. 

So if you’re wondering what dishes are from Catalonia, here’s a short list: 

  • Pa amb tomàquet. A baguette slice topped with a homemade sauce made with tomato, olive oil, garlic and salt.
  • Calçots. A dish that consists of calçots (a type of spring onion) which are grilled or barbecued. They’re normally served with Romesco, a traditional Catalan sauce.
  • Escalivada. A salad made with roasted vegetables like tomatoes, aubergines, onions and garlic.
  • Canelons. Cannelloni filled with beef mince meat and vegetables, and topped with bechamel sauce.
  • Crema Catalana. A delicious dessert that is similar to the French creme brulee. 

Barcelona is home to many restaurants and bars, and although it’s great to have a good selection of places to eat, you also need to know where to eat to avoid touristy traps and poor-quality dishes.

Eating in a restaurant next to Sagrada Familia sounds like an excellent option. I mean, who doesn’t like a meal with a view? However, most restaurants in this area are overpriced and the food isn’t the best. I can tell you this from previous experience.

My advice is to avoid eating near popular attractions and have a look at TripAdvisor or ask someone who has been to Barcelona before if you can.

Another fantastic way to taste traditional Catalan food is booking a culinary experience. EatWith offers cooking lessons and tours where you can eat delicious paella, Bravas potatoes and garlic prawns, and drink sangria.

4) Its beautiful beaches

Barceloneta beach

Barcelona is home to incredible beaches and each one has something to offer – from beaches that offer water sports activities and a great atmosphere to quiet beaches where you can unwind by reading a book or simply sunbathing.

Barceloneta Beach is the most popular beach in Barcelona due to its location and atmosphere, however, there are less crowded and more beautiful beaches in the city.

Other beautiful beaches you may want to check out during your time in Barcelona are:

  • Mar Bella Beach
  • Bogatell Beach
  • Sant Sebastià Beach
  • Somorrostro Beach

In summary, if you love a beach holiday, Costa Brava has some of the best beaches in Spain. Go outside Barcelona city to find many more incredible and lesser-known beaches.

5) Its cosmopolitan vibes

Casa Batllo façade

Are you looking for a city break in Spain? Don’t look any further, Barcelona ticks all the boxes.

Attractions, restaurants, hotels, high-street shops and nightclubs to mention some of the many things that make Barcelona cosmopolitan.

If you’re looking for the most cosmopolitan area in Barcelona, then head to Passeig de Gracia which is also the most luxurious avenue in Barcelona. Here you’ll find the best high-street shops and attractions like Casa Batló and Casa Miró as well as the headquarters of important companies.

Another area to not miss is Las Ramblas which is home to many restaurants, cafes, and one of the best markets in Barcelona, La Boqueria Market where you can go on a food tour.

It’s a city with so much to do that you’ll never get bored, and no matter what you like,- whether you love history and culture and food or festivals, parties and concerts, you’ll find an activity for you.

In addition to all of this, Barcelona hosts amazing festivals, concerts and events that you won’t find anywhere else in Spain.

I highly recommend checking out the event calendar before you visit Barcelona. You may be there when an international singer is giving a concert or a traditional festival is taking place.

6) It’s easy to move around

Barcelona is a big city, but it isn’t difficult to move around. The city is very well-connected by public transport (underground, bus and train), but depending on the location of your hotel and what you plan to visit, you may not need to use public transport.

I love walking when I’m travelling because I always discover a cute street or building, and walking around Barcelona is amazing because of the architecture of its buildings and atmosphere.

However, If you want to maximise your time in the city, the best way to move around Barcelona is the underground. Just avoid peak times!

Renting a car in Barcelona isn’t a good idea as the traffic can be a bit chaotic and parking isn’t cheap either. The only situation in which I’d recommend hiring a car is when you want to go on a road trip around the Costa Brava or other Spanish cities.

📌TIP: If you’re going to use public transport check out the Hola Barcelona Travel Card to save money and enjoy free unlimited use of public transport (including the airport train).

7) Its amazing day trips

a view of the mountains and railway in montserrat barcelona

Barcelona is home to many attractions and there are always things going on, however, if you plan to visit Barcelona longer than 4 days, consider going on a day trip.

The city is surrounded by beautiful coastal and mountain towns with historical buildings and many outdoor activities. 

One of the easiest day trips from Barcelona is going to the Montserrat mountain as you can easily get the train from Barcelona city centre and it only takes about an hour. In Montserrat, spend the day visiting its famous monastery, and museum and going on a hike.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to worry about transport and all the logistics of the day trip, you can book a guided tour to Montserrat from Barcelona.

Other day trips that are worth checking out are Girona, Sitges, Cadaques and Tarragona. These places aren’t far from Barcelona and have many things to offer.

📌 Check out other fantastic day trips from Barcelona here

8) Its mild weather

a beautiful maze in barcelona spain

Whether you’re looking for the perfect summer getaway or escaping the cold winter, Barcelona is the destination for you.

The Catalan capital enjoys sunny and warm days during the summer and mild weather the rest of the year.

It doesn’t rain much in Barcelona, but when it does, it often rains for 1 or 2 days, and if you’re wondering if it snows, it is very rare that it snows in Barcelona.

The weather in Barcelona by month

  • January enjoys an average temperature of 10 degrees (51º F)
  • February enjoys an average temperature of 11 degrees (52º F)
  • March enjoys an average temperature of 13 degrees (55º F)
  • April enjoys an average temperature of 15 degrees (58º F)
  • May enjoys an average temperature of 18 degrees (64º F)
  • June enjoys an average temperature of 23 degrees (73º F)
  • July and August enjoy an average temperature of 26 degrees (79º F)
  • September enjoys an average temperature of 22 degrees (72º F)
  • October enjoys an average temperature of 19 degrees (67º F)
  • November enjoys an average temperature of 14 degrees (57º F)
  • December enjoys an average temperature of 11 degrees (51 ºF)

9) Its multicultural atmosphere

Barcelona has a very multicultural atmosphere and you’ll realise that from the moment you step into the city. 

Not only will you see travellers from all around the world but many expats that choose Barcelona as their home. According to the Council of Europe Portal, non-nationals represent 17.6% of Barcelona’s residents.

The multiculturalism in Barcelona brings even more life to the city, and it’s something that attracts other travellers to come to Barcelona.

Although knowing Spanish is always an advantage and shows you appreciate the locals, you don’t need to know the language to survive as many people speak English.

How many days should I spend in Barcelona?

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, and there are many things to see and do in the Catalan capital, so it deserves at least 4 days.

You can visit Barcelona’s main attractions on a weekend, but you’ll miss out on many incredible places, and this is why the longer you are the better.

The truth is that no matter how many days you spend in Barcelona, you’ll probably want to go back at some point. Whether you want to see attractions you missed on your first trip to Barcelona or explore its surroundings.

Is Barcelona expensive?

Barcelona is one of the most expensive destinations in Spain, but this doesn’t mean you can’t travel to Barcelona on a budget.

Most attractions have expensive entry fees, restaurant and bar prices aren’t as affordable as cities in the South of Spain, and accommodation is probably where you’ll spend most of your money.

If you’re travelling to Barcelona on a budget, avoid staying right in the city centre and eating at fancy cafes or bars, walk to most places, and be selective with the attractions and museums you want to visit.

To have a clear idea of prices in Barcelona, Numbeo is a useful website that offers approximate prices for accommodation, food and transport. Take a look at it before setting your budget.

a street in barcelona spain

Is Barcelona safe?

This is a tricky question to answer because there are different points of view when it comes to the safety of this city.

From my experience, I don’t feel Barcelona is a dangerous place for tourists, however, you need to be aware of petty crimes as these aren’t unusual. I’ve never had a bad experience in Barcelona, but I’ve heard of many travellers who “lost” their wallet or something valuable while visiting Barcelona.

Pickpocketing in Barcelona is real, so you want to keep an eye on your bag, use an anti-theft bag when visiting crowded places, and never leave your belongings unattended.

In addition to pickpocketing, Barcelona has other problems like unhappy residents because of the crowds and disrespectful travellers. However, I’ve never encountered a rude resident. The worst thing they can do is speak to you in Catalan when they know you aren’t from there.

You may have also heard of Catalonia’s independence which has caused strikes and protests. They do happen every now and then, but it isn’t a problem for travellers.

Overall, Barcelona is safe for tourists, but you just need to be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.

When should I visit Barcelona?

Late spring (May and June) is the best time to visit Barcelona as it isn’t high season yet, it starts to get warm enough to go to the beach but it’s a heat you can manage when sightseeing.

Although summer brings a very lively atmosphere to Barcelona, it’s very crowded which causes queues to get to attractions and restaurants, an increase in hotel and food prices and it isn’t the best temperature to explore the city.

Another good month to visit Barcelona is October. Prices are lower than in summer and the temperature is pleasant too. It’s a great time to visit Barcelona if you’re on a budget and want to avoid crowds.

Last but not least, if you love all Christmas-related things and activities, you’ll love Barcelona Christmas markets, the Christmas lights, events and unique traditions. Catalans know how to celebrate Christmas!

So, is Barcelona worth visiting?

Absolutely! Barcelona is one of the prettiest cities in Spain. Its outstanding architecture, impressive historical and cultural buildings, interesting museum, delicious gastronomy and character make it an excellent destination.

Have I convinced you to visit Barcelona? Let me know in the comments below.

If you have any questions about visiting Barcelona, you can always reach me via email or DM on Instagram. I’m happy to help plan your Barcelona trip!

Safe adventures!

Cristina x

Pin this Barcelona article for later

Top things to do before visiting Barcelona

Frequently asked questions about visiting Barcelona

What is so special about Barcelona?

Barcelona is famous for many things but the ones that stand out are its beautiful attractions and buildings, its rich culture and, of course, football.

Is Barcelona a walking city?

Barcelona is a walkable city, however, things aren’t as close as it happens in other Spanish cities.

If you don’t have enough time in Barcelona and you want to visit as many attractions as possible, it’s a good idea to use the underground as it’s very well-connected and most lines run regularly.

Is Barcelona or Madrid better?

Barcelona and Madrid are incredible cities to visit. No matter which city you choose, you won’t be disappointed because both destinations have impressive landmarks, delicious food and a lively atmosphere.

Is Barcelona worth visiting? Yes, choose Barcelona over Madrid if you want a combination of beach and sightseeing.

Is Madrid worth visiting? It is too. Choose Madrid if you want to know Spain’s capital, love sightseeing and learning about Spanish culture and history. Also, Madrid is an excellent destination for Christmas! Its lights and New Year’s Eve event are the best.

Other travel guides about Barcelona

If you’re still wondering if Barcelona is worth visiting or if you’re ready to plan your trip to Barcelona, check out these travel guides.

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