Barcelona is a majestic city that has a lot to offer to tourists. If you're planning a cruise that starts or ends in Barcelona, consider spending a few extra days in the city before or after your cruise vacation. If this is your first time in Barcelona, here are a few of our recommended sights and attractions.
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Tips for Visiting Barcelona
You can combine many of Barcelona's top sights on an itinerary such as “Barcelona's Best.” Or consider a Barcelona Hop-on Hop-Off bus tour through the city that will also take you to some of the more out-of-the-way locations around the city and even to the airport in time for your flight home as part of a Barcelona Unlimited Attraction Pass.
The monastery of Montserrat is located on a mountain just a few miles outside of Barcelona. Visitors can drive or take a scenic train ride up the mountain to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The monastery is also home to the famous Black Madonna, a revered statue of the Virgin Mary.
Take in Barcelona Along La Rambla
La Rambla is the famous street that stretches from the heart of the city to the Christopher Columbus Monument by the sea. It is a bustling pedestrian street lined with street performers, souvenir shops, flower stalls, restaurants, and cafes. Take in the lively atmosphere of the heart of the city and see some of Barcelona's most famous landmarks.
The Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona's most iconic landmarks. The magnificent Roman Catholic church has been under construction for over one hundred years. Antoni Gaudí, the famous Catalan architect whose works can be found throughout the city, designed the church. However, he died in 1926, well before its completion. Visitors can tour this masterpiece of modern architecture with its intricate details found in the sculptures, stained glass windows, and mosaics. The outer facades on both sides of the church exemplify this detail.
Visit the Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum is a must-visit destination for any art lover. It features an extensive collection of Picasso's work, including several famous pieces, like "Las Meninas" and "The Three Musicians." The museum fills five historic buildings in the Gothic Quarter, showcasing over 4,000 works of art that span Picasso's career.
Explore the Casa Batllo
The Casa Batllo is another one of Antoni Gaudí's masterpieces. It is a unique building that features a wavy facade and colorful mosaics. The rooftop terrace offers stunning views of the city. Visitors can take a tour of the building and explore the different rooms.
Relax on Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach is one of the city's most popular beaches. On any given day, you can see local residents and tourists. Located in the Barceloneta neighborhood, this beach enjoys views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Barcelona skyline. Relax on the beach, swim in the sea, or even take to the waves on a surfboard or paddleboard. After you work up an appetite, visit any of the restaurants around the beach for outstanding fresh seafood.
Visit the Barcelona Aquarium
The Barcelona Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. It is home to over 450 distinct species of marine life, including sharks, sea turtles, and tropical fish. The aquarium also offers several interactive exhibits, including a touch pool and a 360-degree ocean tunnel.
Explore the Poble Espanyol
This unique open-air museum highlights Spain's different architectural styles and cultures. It features over one hundred buildings, including replicas of famous landmarks. Be sure to explore the different areas of the museum, including the Andalusian, the Castilian, and the Catalan quarters.
Go to Camp Nou
Camp Nou is the home of FC Barcelona, one of the world's most beloved soccer teams. Tour the stadium to see the field, trophy room, and locker rooms. Your tour also includes a visit to the FC Barcelona Museum, which features exhibits on the history of the club and FC Barcelona's most famous players. The store offers souvenirs, jerseys, and more so you can take home something to commemorate your visit.
Visit Park Guell
Park Guell is another not-to-miss landmark. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, Park Guell is located on a hill overlooking Barcelona and offers stunning city views. Visitors will find many unique sculptures, fountains, and buildings designed in Gaudí's distinctive style. The park is also home to a museum dedicated to Gaudí's life and work.
Stroll Through the Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of Barcelona, filled with narrow streets, charming squares, and buildings that showcase Gothic architecture. The narrow streets offer ample opportunity to explore the many shops, restaurants, and cafes located in the area. Visitors can find Barcelona's most historical landmarks here, including the Cathedral of Barcelona, the Roman walls, and the Plaça del Rei.
Enjoy Views From Montjuic Castle
Montjuic Castle is a historic fortress built in the 18th century. Take a tour of the castle and learn about its role in the Spanish Civil War. The castle also offers stunning views of the city and the sea. You can also combine a visit to Montjuic with Camp Nou on your way to the airport on Norwegian's Panoramic Barcelona & Barca Stadium excursion.
Barcelona is an exciting city with something for everyone. Whether you are interested in art, history, or soaking up the local culture, there are plenty of things to do and see. If you haven't booked your Barcelona cruise yet, sign up for Norwegian cruise deals to get the latest specials and offers delivered to your inbox.