Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, Spain and with 1.6 million people, it is the second most populous city in Spain. Its location on the northeast Iberian Peninsula means it is lined with beautiful beaches, and that’s one of the many things that makes it such a popular destination. Aside from beaches, Barcelona is also packed with history, good food, lively markets and plenty to keep busy with, even if only traveling for a short weekend. Below are some examples of things to do in Barcelona:
Marvel at the Sagrada Familia
Perhaps the most popular destination within Barcelona, Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona that was designed by Spanish architect Antoni Guadi over 100 years ago. Although the church is technically incomplete, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed it a minor basilica, distinguishing it from a cathedral. Its iconic spires can be seen from the ground and also from inside during a tour. The line often wraps around the block to get into the church, but the wait is worth it and the views are spectacular.
Visit La Boqueria Market
La Boqueria is a large public market in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona accessible from La Rambla near Liceu, the opera house. The market has a very diverse selection of goods that attracts tourists from all over to shop. Swing by to try some of the local fare, or even just to have a quick look around.
Wander around Park Guell
This is a public park system on Carmel Hill in Barcelona that is composed of gardens and architectonic elements. Eusebi Guell assigned the design of this park to Guadi to promote urbanization. Park Guell opened publicly in 1926 and in 1984 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under “Works of Antoni Gaudi”.
Take a cooking class
You should also make time to take a cooking class to learn some Spanish recipes. You’ll be sampling lots of tasty dishes during your visit, so why not take some of those recipes back home with you? A cooking lesson could turn out to be a rather unique souvenir if you go back with a new skill.
Indulge in tapas
While in Barcelona, eat lots of traditional tapas – a variety of Spanish snacks that are served hot or cold. Restaurants right and left will be offering these dishes in a variety of forms, so don’t be afraid to ask the waiter for a few suggestions if you’re not sure where to begin.