When planning a trip to Barcelona, it can be overwhelming with all the different places to visit. Here are Russell’s World Top 5 Tourist Attractions to Visit while visiting Barcelona.
Park Güell is a public park that is often referred to as “the park with gingerbread houses.” Eusebi Güell originally planned to take the property and turn it into a housing community. Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudi. Güell and Gaudi envisioned a community of high-quality homes equipped with the latest technological advancements that would also portray an artistic touch.
Another goal Güell and Gaudi wanted to showcase within the architecture of neighborhood was the symbolism of Catalanism and Catholicism. When you take a visit Park Güell, make sure to be on the lookout for these symbols.
The site of Park Güell is on the outskirts of town up on a rocky hillside. The purpose of this location was to allow for fresh air, well away from the smoky factories in town. Ultimately, only two homes were built, and neither of them was designed by Gaudi. Güell and his family moved into one and Gaudi, and his family eventually moved into the other home. Gaudi’s home has since been turned into the ‘Gaudi House Museum’ and has been declared a historical, artistic monument, showcasing several of Gaudi’s items.
After the plots of land in the neighborhood went unsold due to the location and strict building regulations, the community was transformed into a community park for people to enjoy.
The park is free to get into but the central area where you’ll want to admire Gaudi’s work isn’t. I would recommend booking your ticket online to view this one of a kind park.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is Catalan for “Holy Family.” This is Antoni Gaudi’s most well-known piece of architecture and thought to be the culmination of his life’s work. Work on La Sagrada Familia initially started in 1883 and has an expected completion date of June 2026. That’s well over a hundred years of working on this masterpiece. Gaudi worked on Sagrada Familia from 1883 until his death on June 10th, 1926. After his death, the city of Barcelona and tourists have helped to carry out Gaudi’s dream of working to complete this masterpiece.
Walking around this building is awe-inspiring and has the most impressive craftsmanship of any building I have ever seen. We spent hours here listening to the story of Sagrada Familia, all while trying to take in the millions of unique design features that make this church so remarkable.
I would highly recommend purchasing your tickets to view Sagrada Familia ahead of time, as tickets are limited. Purchasing ahead of time will also save you from having to wait in long lines. Purchase your tickets through La Sagrada Familia’s official site.
The red mosaic tile cross from the Portal of Charity, in the Nativity Facade, represents the Holy Trinity. Atop of the cross, you’ll see a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit. Below the dove is a Tau cross (a cross with three arms), the red represents the color of blood and Jesus Christ. The gold cross wrapped around the Tau, represents God the Father his crucified Son. Just below, you’ll see the cypress. The cypress symbolizes eternal love of Christ and in Catalonia, a cypress is planted as a sign of welcome in local farmhouses. There are so many more interesting features like this, go check them out!
The beaches in Barcelona are astonishing and so clean. One of my favorite things about visiting Barcelona is the beaches are only a short 10-minute walk from the city center. In Barcelona, you’ll find 4.2 km of golden sandy beaches lined with great restaurants to eat and drink. It doesn’t matter the time of year you visit Barcelona, a trip to the beach to watch the sunset is a must.
The Museu Marítim
Museu Marítim is a great place to bring the kiddos along. You’ll find an extensive collection of different ships and travel through the history of the of Spanish seafaring with recreations of different maritime.
The main exhibit is the full-scale replica of the ‘Royal Galled’ used by Juan Austria at the Battle of Lepanto, and the historic schooner ‘Santa Eulàlia.’ Housed in Barcelona harbor, Santa Eulàlia is a 46-meter-long, four-masted vessel dating from 1918. Along with your ticket to get into the museum, you’re able to tour Santa Eulàlia in the harbor.
Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau
If you are an architect or love gawking at architecture the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau (English: Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul) should be on your list to visit in Barcelona.
The hospital was fully functioning until June 2009. It is indeed a beautiful facility, and it’s hard to imagine it as a hospital because the architecture and detail is something you would never see in a hospital back in the states. The campus is made up of numerous buildings all which severed different purposes and all connected underground through tunnels.
Barcelona has so much to offer for planning a vacation, what would you add to your Top Tourist Attractions to Visit while in Barcelona?