Barcelona will always have a special place in my heart. I spent five wonderful years there, made amazing friends, had the most fun experiences and made memories for life there! After careful consideration I have compiled this list of no less than 100 things to do, see, eat and drink during your time in Barcelona! All tried and tested by yours truly over the 5 years! I hope you find them useful and try to tick off as many as you can! This is my Barcelona Bucket List, Part I…
1. Visit the Cathedral.
- Visit inside the cathedral for these gardens & don’t forget to visit the rooftop for amazing views and close ups of the Cathedral building.
- Location: Placa del Rei
2. Experience a cookery class.
- Learn more about Catalan & Spanish cuisine by cooking it first hand. Buy your fresh ingredients at the famous La Boqueria market then head to the kitchen on Las Ramblas to get cooking! I highly recommend this experience with ‘Barcelona Cooking’.
- Location: Las Ramblas
3. Eat pinxos at Carrer Blai.
- The best place to find pinxos in Barcelona! My all time favourite is this place: La Tasqueta de Blai. I highly recommend what we used to call the ‘crunchy nut corn flake cheese one’ – if you know, you know.
- Location: Carrer Blai, Poble Sec area
4. Visit inside the Sagrada Familia.
- There is nothing like seeing the light shining through the stained glass windows of La Sagrada Familia. My tip: Book it in advance to beat the queues.
- Location: Carrer de Mallorca, Eixample
5. Experience the cable cars.
- There are two cable cars. One takes you across the port to Barceloneta and the other takes you up to Montjuic.
- Location: Teleferic de Montjuic
6. Eat cakes from bubo.
- Some of my favourite cakes in the city – & believe me I’ve tried more than my fair share! They have all kinds from cakes that look like hamburgers to these delights.
- Location: Carrer de les Caputxes
7. Visit the church of Santa Maria del Mar.
- One of my favourite squares to sit at, eat, drink, listen to musicians and watch the world go by.
- Location: Placa de Santa Maria
8. Experience Camp Nou.
- Watch some of the best footballers play at Camp Nou. Eat Barca crisps. When I first went to a game they won 8-0! Over the years I saw Messi score hatricks & break records. If that’s your thing – Enjoy!
- Carrer d’Arístides Maillol
9. Eat at Flax & Kale.
- One of the healthiest spots in town. Good for food intolerances, gluten free, vegetarians and vegans.
- Location: Carrer dels Tallers
10. Visit the Magic Fountains.
- The magic fountain is a free event, the colourful fountains play to music at the weekends. Each night they play different music and I’ve heard Disney to classical over the years. It really is magical, such an experience – I’ll never forget the first time I saw it!
- Location: Plaça de Carles Buïgas, 1
11. Experience the outdoor cinema at Montjuic castle.
- The outdoor cinema is on during the Summer months and is not one to be missed! It gets better and better every year. There are a selection of films on each week, with a different musical performance before each one. People bring picnic blankets and food and drinks and you can hire these deck chairs from the site as well as buy food from the food van. At only 6.50 euros – It really is worth it.
- Location: Montjuic castle
12. Eat & drink at Montiditos.
- Montiditos is a Spanish chain which has the cheapest food and drinks. You get these little sandwiches with savoury and sweet fillings & Jarras of beer and tinto de verano for 2 euros. Many a good afternoon has been spent here and I hope you enjoy it too.
- Location: Placa d’Urquinaona, rambla catalunya, rambla raval, carrer rossello
13. Visit Park Ciutadella.
- Barcelona’s best park for picnics, festivals, parties, listening to live music and hanging with friends.
- Location: Park Ciutadella
14. Experience paddle boarding.
- Paddle boarding at La Barceloneta is a fun activity to do with your friends! In case you were wondering – yes that is me looking like a tangerine – and yes that was the only photo where I managed to stand up and look like I knew what I was doing! haha!
- Location: La Barceloneta beach
15. Eat at Bun Bo.
- Our favourite Viatnamese restaurant in Barcelona.
- Location: Carrer dels Sagristans, 3 & Carrer dels Àngels, 6
16. Visit ‘The Kiss of Freedom’ mural.
- Made as a temporary exhibit originally to celebrate ‘La diada’ Catalunya’s Independence Day, it was kept as a permanent feature. It is made up of lots of little tiles which are individual photos which people sent in to show what love and freedom meant to them. The inscription reads: “The sound of a kiss isn’t as loud as a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.”
- Location: Carrer dels Capellans. Right outside the afore mentioned Bun Bo restaurant.
17. Experience the view from the Bunkers del Carmel.
- The Bunkers del Carmel are one of the highest places in Barcelona, close to Park Guell and offers some of the best views of the city. Years ago they were quite unknown but they are becoming more popular than ever with people having picnics, drinks and photographers admiring the view. Once we were up there and a thunder storm came in! I couldn’t describe what it was like to see the lightening strikes rolling in and yes – we did get soaked and had to run for shelter with everyone else who had been caught out! I don’t have photos of that – but I don’t think I will forget the memory!
- Location: Bunkers del Carmel
18. Eat and Brunch and Cake.
- An instagrammers paradise and colourful, foodies heaven! To this day my favourite cake I had there was a chocolate and banana cake! I never had one as good! I loved it and I hope you do too! Keen to see more brunch spots? Check out this blog I wrote dedicated entirely to brunch spots in Barcelona Where to Brunch in Barcelona!
- Location: There are now multiple locations: Enric Granados, Passeig de Joan de Borbo, Carrer de Rossello, L’illa shopping centre.
19. Visit Casa Batllo.
- Just one of Gaudi’s most stunning works to date! I love this house! I’ll never forget the first time I saw it, I came out of the train station at Passeig de Gracia and on the way to our hotel we passed it. It was all lit up and I just thought it looked magical. I’ve loved it ever since! I recommend buying tickets in advance to see inside and on the rooftop! Also see it during the day and lit up at night as it looks different at both times of day. At times like the La Merce festival you may see it lit up in a special light show too! Check what’s on there the time of year you go for opportunities like this!
- Location: Passeig de Gracia
20. Experience exhibitions at Caixa Forum.
- Caixa Forum is such a great gallery! Some of my favourite exhibitions I saw here were the Andy Warhol one (Pictured above) and the Disney one! Prices are very reasonable (we’re talking a few euros) and if you live in Spain and have a bank account with La Caixa Bank tickets are free.
- Location: Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8, close to Plaza Espanya
21. Drink in my favourite ‘secret bar’ El Paradiso.
- A very special bar indeed. I remember when it was first renovated, I saw what was a long, sleek bar with dance music and free chupitos turn into a small Pastrami bar with only a few seats at the front. I told my bf at the time, like how could that be? Why is it so small now? Ahah! My friends if you enter through the cupboard door you will find a feast for all the senses! I haven’t included photos of the bar itself to keep a bit of mystery – just the drinks – and me enjoying them! haha. We spent many a good night there and I highly recommend going!
- Location: Carrer de Rera Palau, El Born (ssshhhhhh!)
22. Visit Hospital de Sant Pau.
- Hospital de Sant Pau was designed by the Catalan modernisme architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. You can see similarities between the hospital and The Palau de la Música Catalana, which he also designed. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with one visit you can see why. It is absolutely stunning! The details are beautiful! Entry prices start at 15euros. I was lucky enough to visit with a friend who works on site!
- Location: Carrer de Sant Quintí, 89
23. Experience the second hand books shops.
- Second hand book shops in Barcelona are a good way to spend rainy days or sunday afternoons. They will usually have an English section which is good for expats. This particular afternoon I was engrossed in the travel section and found a book on the South of Spain with old stamps and tickets inside. It was a really special find.
- Location: Carrer del Planeta, 17, Gracia
24. Eat ice cream from Eyes Cream.
- One of my absolute favourite places to get ice cream, you can choose one shaved ice cream flavour or frozen yog & two toppings. They all come with eyes and then you get to make your own ice cream monster! Fun and tasty!
- Location: Joan de Borbo, Barceloneta
25. Visit Placa d’Espanya.
- Such an impressive square and site to festivals, marathons and also home to the Magic Fountain. You can get this view from the top of the bull ring.
- Location: Placa d’Espanya
26. Experience shopping in Sephora.
- Shopping in Sephora is such a fun experience – starting with the slide to get into it! Which yes – I did go down! haha! At the bottom of the slide you will find yourself in make up heaven…
- Location: El Triangle shopping centre, Carrer de Pelai, 13-39 for the one with the slide!
27. Eat at Tropico.
- Tropico has delicious smoothies and yummy food to boot! Definitely worth a visit! You can find out more about it in my article Brunch in Barcelona is calling you!
- Location: Carrer del Marquès de Barberà, 24, Raval
28. Visit the Gambrinus Lobster Statue.
- This cute lobster statue was originally part of the decor at the Gambrinus seafood restaurant. The 10m long fibreglass sculpture was designed and built by Spanish artist Javier Mariscal. When the Gambrinus restaurant closed the statue was bought by Barcelona city council, restored and now takes pride of place on Passeig Colom near the Port Vell.
- Location: Passeig Colom
29. Experience a boat trip.
- Boats can be hired from La Barceloneta. You can hire your own or hire a tour. This was taken on my friends boat (before I was sea sick lol).
- Location: La Barceloneta
30. Eat at Foc.
- Foc is a latin restaurant which has the yummiest food! You can’t make reservations so try to beat the queues by going at off-peak times!
- Location: Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 66
31. Visit Casa Vicens.
- When I first moved to Barcelona Casa Vicens was closed to the public so we just used to see it on our walks in Gracia, however last year it opened up to the public. Entry is 10 euros.
- Location: Carrer de les Carolines, 20
32. Experience a Flamenco show in El Born.
- Although Barcelona is not the home of flamenco, this intimate show at this stunning location is well worth a booking! Palau Dalmases Flamenco
- Location: Carrer de Montcada, 20, El Born
33. Eat dumplings.
- Dip dumpling was one of my favourite places for take away dumplings. We used to love getting a take away there and eat them on the steps of the plaza round the corner. Really recommend the pork ones and get 10 or 12 – you won’t regret it!
- Location: Carrer de Ramón y Cajal, 61, Gracia
34. Visit the maze like streets of El Born.
- They are seriously the cutest streets in all of Barcelona! Just enjoy getting lost in the maze like streets, enjoy the pretty lights and the cute boutiques.
- Location: El born
35. Experience a football match at Espanyol’s stadium.
- Image taken from google.
- As we always love an underdog – you can’t visit Camp Nou without visiting their rival in Barcelona – Espanyol. I went with a group of friends, with cheap tickets at the front of pitch. We met at the local Montiditos first then went on to the stadium. I’m not a big one for the football but I love a good atmosphere and here there was a great one! One of my favourite things was when they scored a goal – on the big screens a video would come up with all the players dancing and celebrating! Such a good party atmosphere!
- Location: Estadi Cornellà-El Prat
36. Eat Calcots.
- Catalunya has its own traditions and food and one of them is eating Calcots in the winter. Tradition is that you go for a walk and cook Calcots (green onions) on the BBQ and enjoy them in a group. There is a particular way to eat them: first you peel off the blackened parts, then dip it in Romesco sauce and eat it from the bottom up like I’m holidng it in the pic! This was taken at a Calcotada at the Cathedral so if you’re visiting in winter months check out where you can find your local Calcotada.
- Location: Catalunya
37. Visit the dragon gate.
- Another design by Antoni Gaudi. A beautiful part of town and if you are up in Pedralbes it is worth a visit.
- Location: Av. de Pedralbes, 7
38. Experience dancing in the street.
- So many times over the years I saw different musical acts playing in the square outside the Cathedral and one of my favourites are this trio with a piano, banjo and trumpet. Also, is there anything more heart warming than an old couple dancing in the street? I think not! <3
- Location: Pla de la Seu
39. Eat Pa amb tomaquet.
- Image taken from google.
- Like I mentioned previously, Catalunya has its own traditional food, a staple is Pa amb tomaquet which means bread with tomato in Catalan. You will find it in all tapas restaurants in Barcelona and Catalunya. It is simple but delicious, made with glass bread, garlic, tomato and olive oil.
- Location: all over Catalunya.
40. Visit Placa Reial.
- Placa Reial is one of the most famous placas in Barcelona. I will say this for it – take care of your belongings in this part of town especially (wear over the shoulder bags etc as this is where most of the pick pocketing happens) – That being said, it is a cool square – one of our favourite bars there is Ocaña. There are also local markets on there like this one in the picture above.
- Location: Placa Reial, El Born
42. Experience the second hand Flea market.
- Visit the local second hand flea market which is on the second Sunday of each month. You can find second hand clothes, books and music.
- Location: Plaça de Blanquerna, Raval/ Poble Sec area.
43. Eat at the place where Vicky Cristina Barcelona was filmed.
- Fancy eating and drinking in the same spot as Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz. Look no further..
- Location: Carrer de Ferran, 23
44. Visit Passeig de Gracia.
- Passeig De Gracia is arguably the grandest, prettiest street in Barcelona. It has so many stunning buildings such as Casa Batllo and this pretty mural. Such a lovely street to walk along (and shop if you have a few bob).
- Location: Passeig de Gracia
45. Experience an Impro Show.
- Ok so what’s the deal? Impro Show is an improv show, where there is no set script, the actors make it up as they go along based on your suggestions. As you go into the theatre you fill in a piece of paper with your idea and as the show goes on they open more and more and that is what fuells the show. A word of warning – you will need a basic understanding of Spanish for this to understand what is going on – & if you don’t – well the actors faces and gestures are so expressive that you will generally get the gist of what is going on. I went a couple of times with friends and had a great time with lots of laughs! Tickets are 13 euros
- Location: Teatre Neu, Gracia
46. Eat and drink at Soda bus.
- Sodabus has delicious burgers and crazy cocktails! As you can see in the pic our cocktails came in many shapes and forms – including one in a medicine bottle! The restaurant is cute and quirky – with an actual bus in it and this cute caravan behind us! Worth a visit!
- Location: Carrer d’Aribau, 150
47. Visit Barceloneta Beach.
- La Barceloneta Beach is Barcelona’s own man-made beach. A word of warning – it can get very overcrowded in the summer months so avoid it then if you can – walk along to the left to the other beaches, take a metro to Badalona beach or train to Masnou Beach. However, I have still had many a good time at Barceloneta Beach, having drinks at the W hotel (pictured above), shooting a music video with my choir on the beach whilst drinking cava, sunbathing and laughing with friends and walking along the beach in the Autumn and Winter months when I lived only 5 mins walk away. The sun rises over the beach in the morning and at sunset it is left with a pink haze which is just beautiful.
- Location: La Barceloneta
48. Experience riding a Moto.
- In Barcelona very few people have cars. The way to get around is by ‘moto’. I had never been on a motorbike before I moved to Madrid and I had never been on a scooter until this time in Barcelona with my wonderful friend who kept me safe and took me on my first ride through Barcelona! Honestly I was a bit scared – you literally feel every bump in the road & let me tell you it does not feel natural to lean the way the bike is going – but it was some experience and I’m so glad I climbed onto the back of my friends pretty moto that day!
- Location: You can hire motos all over Barcelona, by day or months at a time!
49. Drink Cava.
- Cava is a sparkling wine – similar to champagne & Prosecco. It is mainly made in Spain, in the region of Catalunya, where Barcelona is. So instead of trying the traditional Spanish sangria, why not try Sangria de Cava? (Pictured above). It is delicious! A famous Cava spot in Barcelona is: La Xampanyeria.
- Location: Cava de Sangria: Barceloneta Beach. La Xampanyeria: Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 7
50. Visit Ayre Hotel Rooftop.
- For unique views of La Sagrada Familia. Such a lovely rooftop to sit and admire Gaudi’s work. In my last years of living in Barcelona I lived only one street away from this and used to take a little shortcut through the small, hidden street at the back of the hotel. It is like a little oasis from the bustling street one parallel to it, directly in front of the Sagrada Familia. I also met Olly Murs on this street as he was filming a music video there! How funny! I wanted to leave you with one of my favourite views in Barcelona for the final point of my Barcelona Bucket List Part I.
- Location: Ayre Hotel, Carrer del Rosselló, 390, Barcelona
Well, we come to the midpoint of my Barcelona Bucket list – 100 things to see, do, eat and drink – and I hope you are enjoying it so far! They are all experiences I recommend after 5 years of living in Barcelona and living life to the full and trying as many things as I could in that time! You can also enjoy the many changing hairstyles I had in those 5 years! haha! I hope you have found it useful and have a list of new places to see and things to try on your next trip in Barcelona!
Please let me know what you think of this article below & if you have any to add please comment below!
Stay tuned for my Barcelona Bucket List Part II, coming soon…
The Wee Wanderer x x