The Catalan city of Barcelona is the perfect mix of white sandy beaches, old-meets-new architecture and stunning mountain scenery. A city full of famous sights, there are plenty of landmarks in Barcelona to tick off your to-visit list.
Barcelona’s list of landmarks is so awe-inspiring, it’s the top city to visit if you’re looking to see the most famous landmarks in Spain. So, make plans now to get an eyeful of Gaudi’s creations and other famous Barcelona landmarks soon.
- 20 Incredible Landmarks in Barcelona
- Gaudí’s Landmarks
- Famous Landmarks in Barcelona
- Historical Landmarks in Barcelona
20 Incredible Landmarks in Barcelona
1- La Sagrada Família
Designed by Antoni Gaudí in 1883, and worked on till his death in 1926, La Sagrada Família is an unfinished landmark synonymous with Barcelona’s skyline.
Expected to be completed in 2026 to mark a century since the architect’s death, this incredible church is unlike any other and the interior of La Sagrada Familia is as impressive as its exterior.
The interior has 18 spirals stretching towards the ceiling and numerous towers, with three ornate facades of the Nativity, the Passion and the Glory.
This architectural marvel is a grand statement of Catalan design.
Although since his death many other architects have worked to complete La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s design style is immortalised through each stone laid and each piece of ornate glasswork.
2- Park Güell
In an area known as Bare Mountain, Park Güell sits high above Barcelona with views over the city, the sea and the surrounding landscapes.
The park was designed for Eusebi Güell as a place for the wealthy to live.
Gaudí designed the park to reflect the Mediterranean climate by planting olive and carob trees alongside other hardy plants.
Park Güell also features numerous water features which allow for the collection and storage of water.
The park became a public garden in 1926 and continues to draw visitors in with its intricate and colourful mosaics adorning every surface, and unusual towers, and columns.
A fun way to explore Gaudi’s creations is to go on a Barcelona bike tour.
3- Casa Milà
Casa Milà was the last building designed by Gaudí before he spent his remaining years on La Sagrada Família.
The building, a residential complex in Eixample is an incredible stone building designed in the Modernisme style of Catalunya.
Stonemasons carved the building into irregular shapes with large curves and waves, and iron ornamentation.
In comparison to his other works, Casa Milà is colourless from the outside, giving it a more intriguing quality.
In the attic, there is a room dedicated to Gaudí’s architecture. However, the biggest draw is the roof. With panoramic views over the city, the roof also features ornately designed chimneys, ventilation shafts and staircases.
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Famous Landmarks in Barcelona
4- Las Ramblas
One of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona is Las Ramblas, a 1.2km long shopping street and promenade lined with tall trees, street sellers and indescribable atmosphere.
The street stretches from Port Vell up to Place Catalunya, and offers visitors many interesting stops along, or just off, the main street.
Close to the Liceu theatre, a circular mosaic designed by Barcelona artist Miró adorns the pavement.
Las Ramblas is a vibrant venue with numerous activities, from street performers and artists to food stalls.
Head down a side street to venture into the Raval area or Barri Gòtic to get away from the crowds.
5- Camp Nou
Hallowed ground for football fans everywhere, there is no mistaking the draw of FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium.
Opened in 1957, Camp Nou has drawn visitors from all over the world to see some of the best footballers in action.
Visitors to the stadium can explore Camp Nou up close with a tour of the club museum and the stadium.
The museum houses such club treasures as Lionel Messi’s six Ballon D’Or trophies, as well as relics from the team’s history including kits from when FC Barcelona was founded and trophies from early wins.
At 173m above sea level, the wooded hill of Montjuïc houses some of Barcelona’s most important cultural treasures.
Visit the National Museum of Catalan Art and the Font Magica, a large fountain that moves and illuminates to classical music each night.
Take the cable car to the top of the hill to explore Montjuïc Castle.
The grounds have remnants of the Spanish Civil War such as watchtowers and gun turrets, which are fascinating to see but the views over the port are equally enticing.
7- Mercat de la Boqueria
Celebrating its 180th anniversary in 2020, Mercat La Boqueria is an incredible food market in the heart of Barcelona.
Located just off Las Ramblas, the market surges with locals and visitors from all over the world.
The market offers a wide variety of food and fresh produce, including traditional Catalan delicacies, tapas, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish counters filled from the port.
The market also offers visitors the chance to take part in cookery workshops in its dedicated classrooms.
Stop by one of the bakeries for delicious filled rolls and sweet treats, before heading to one of the markets many bars for tapas and sangria.
8- Barceloneta Beach
The most famous beach in Barcelona, Barceloneta, is located in the fishing quarter.
The promenade offers an array of seafood and tapas restaurants that make the most of the fresh produce here.
Barceloneta Beach is the setting of a fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon in Miguel de Cervantes book, Don Quixote.
The beach itself is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a few busy days exploring the city.
Offering golden sands and sun loungers, as well as activities such as beach volleyball and table tennis, Barceloneta has something for everyone.
9- Fundació Joan Miró
The Fundació Joan Miró, created by Catalan artist Joan Miró to house his private collection, opened in 1975 to make art accessible for all.
Since then, the gallery has become a place where artists and visitors can explore the works of Miró and other contemporaries in pristinely designed surroundings.
The Fundació prides itself on its educational links and often runs workshops for visiting children, as well as running courses for schools to take part.
The Fundació houses temporary exhibitions and touring works of art, sculptures, paintings and drawings from Miró who was part of the surrealism movement.
10- Palau de la Música Catalana
Built by modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the Palau de la Música Catalana is considered by many to be a feat of architectural design in one of the most beautiful areas of the city.
The concert venue features a glass-covered metal structure at its core, allowing natural light to flow through the building, illuminating the coloured glass used inside.
The building brings together many areas of decorative design, and as such, the interior is highly intricate and filled with mosaics, sculptures and ironworks.
Visitors to the Palau de la Música Catalana can take a guided tour around this spectacularly designed building that is as much a work of art as the performances it puts on.
11- Museu Picasso
The Museu Picasso is a dedicated museum to the life and works of artist Pablo Picasso.
4251 works of art by the famous artist make up the permanent collection here.
One of the reasons to visit Museu Picasso is it offers visitors a glimpse into Picasso’s relationship with Barcelona and how it influenced his works.
The collection features works from all of Picasso’s artistic periods, including still life, surrealism, and sculptures.
Although Picasso never truly settled in Barcelona, the city had a significant influence on the artist during his apprentice years.
As such he wanted to dedicate the museum and its collections to the city and its people.
12- Parc de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella offers visitors to Barcelona an oasis of tranquillity.
Within its grounds are a zoological museum and zoo, Museu d’Art Modern, and the Catalan Parliament.
The centrepiece of the park is the Cascada waterfall, which features enormous dragons guarding the basin.
Josep Fontsère designed the fountain with his then apprentice Gaudí.
Walks through the park offer visitors the chance for some welcome shade and peace, as well as the opportunity to take a boat out onto the lake or to look for the hidden elephants nestled amongst the trees.
The highest mountain in the Collserola range is Tibidabo, at 520m high.
From the summit of Tibidabo, visitors can see as far as Montserrat on a clear day.
Not only is the mountain home to the Sagrat Cor, but it also features the Parque d’Atracciones, an amusement park dating from 1899 with a Ferris wheel taking visitors even higher to get more breathtaking views.
Pay a visit to the unusual Museu d’Autòmates or Mechanical Museum.
The summit of Tibidabo can be reached by journeying on the mountain cable car, which again offers spectacular views.
14- Parc del Laberint d’Horta
Nestled amongst the hilly district of Horta is Parc del Laberint d’Horta, one of Barcelona’s oldest gardens.
The park was initially a private garden for the Desvalls family, however, it was made public in 1971.
The gardens stretch across 55 hectares and feature woodlands, immaculately manicured lawns and plenty of water features.
The highlight is the labyrinth, which is guarded by heroes from Greek mythology.
This cypress tree hedge maze rewards visitors with a statue of Eros, the Greek god of love upon reaching the centre.
15- Arc de Triomf
The former gates to welcoming visitors to the city of Barcelona for the 1888 Worlds Fair, the Arc de Triomf is just a short walk from Parc de la Ciutadella.
The arc is built with deep-red bricks in the Moorish style that was popular at the time.
Carved into the arc are stone bats, the emblem of King Jaume 1 under whose rule Barcelona flourished, and nearby Valencia was liberated from the Moors.
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Historical Landmarks in Barcelona
16- Temple of Augustus
Hidden inside the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya building in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter is the Temple of Augustus. Dating from 1BC, the temple would have formed part of the Forum.
Built for Emperor Augustus and made from sandstone from Montjuïc, the temple was discovered in the 15th century, and its origins remained a mystery until the 19th century.
Today, only three columns of the temple remain intact and now form a part of the building.
17- Bunkers del Carmel
Another opportunity for visitors to get a birds-eye view of the city of Barcelona is the Bunkers del Carmel.
Built in 1938 as anti-aircraft fortifications to protect the city during the Spanish civil war, the bunkers offer views over the entire city, giving the gunners a strategic advantage.
Following the war, the guns from the bunkers were removed, but their concrete housings were left behind.
In 2000 the bunkers were renovated as more tourists began to flock to the area for its views.
The site is much more secluded than other viewpoints over the city.
Nearby the bunkers are the remains of an ancient Iberian settlement that can also be explored.
18- Cathedral de Barcelona
Designed in the Catalan Gothic style, building began on Cathedral de Barcelona in 1298 and would last 150 years.
The cathedral features two large bell towers and large windows of stained glass.
The cathedral houses many outstanding examples of religious artworks, including gilded altarpieces depicting the Transfiguration of Christ, as well as many gothic paintings showing other parts of the bible.
Visitors should look out for the 215 keystones which depict amongst other designs The Eternal Father, The Virgin with the Archangel Saint Gabriel, and the crucifixion of Christ.
Offering more spectacular views over Catalunya yet, Montserrat is a mountain retreat for Benedictine Monks and a fabulous day trip from Barcelona.
Montserrat is a place of great religious importance for the surrounding areas.
Still, it also offers a landscape of unbelievable natural beauty and unusual rock formations which many visitors explore on foot.
Visitors should visit the Basilica here to listen to the choir boys perform traditional Gregorian chants as well as more typical religious hymns.
Montserrat is the location of many holy visions, including a vision of the Virgin Mary which lead to the monastery becoming a sanctuary for pilgrims.
20- Sagrat Cor
Sitting at the highest point of Tibidabo, the mountain overlooking Barcelona, the Sagrat Cor is an impressive church with even more impressive views.
The church was designed in a Neo-Gothic style and is built from white stone.
Four towers surround a central tower adorned with a bronze statue of Jesus and each tower features the Latin words ‘Tibi Dabo’, meaning ‘I will give to you’.
Inside the church are impressive stained glass windows, and detailed mosaics depicting Jesus’ life.
According to local legend, the site is where the devil tempted Jesus.
Just below the statue of Jesus is a viewing platform offering views over Barcelona from the west, reaching out to sea.
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