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Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?

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You’re planning to go abroad and you’ve stumbled across Barcelona, seen so many incredible pictures and now you’re wondering to yourself ‘is Barcelona worth visiting’?

Believe it or not, we’ve heard mixed reviews from people visiting Barcelona. Some people absolutely love it and have visited multiple times whereas other people just can’t get on board and find that it is too touristy.

This travel guide will give you some of the reasons why you should visit Barcelona so that you can weigh up whether this is the right place for you. We will also share some reasons why you may not want to visit Barcelona so that you can weight up the pros and cons.

Finally, we will share some tips for visiting Barcelona so that you can explore like a local when you decide to visit this beautiful city.

View from Montserrat Mountains

Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?

We will cut right to the chase, ‘is Barcelona worth visiting’? In our opinion, yes it is absolutely worth visiting and there are plenty of reasons why!

Throughout the rest of this article we will share with you the reasons why you should visit Barcelona and disadvantages to visiting Barcelona too.

It will depend on the type of traveller that you are as to whether Barcelona is worth visiting for you. If you’re someone that is appalled by tourist attractions and busy crowds then Barcelona may not be for you.

However, if you are able to look aside from the crowds that Barcelona inevitably attracts then you are certainly onto the right track.

There are so many things to do in Barcelona that you will be spoilt for choice on things to see and activities to do. Whether you’re a history fanatic, interested in architecture, enjoy relaxing on a beach, exploring around cities or whatever you decide, you will find plenty of things to do in Barcelona.

10 Reasons to Visit Barcelona

1. Diverse Attractions

One of the best reasons to visit Barcelona is that there are a lot of attractions that cater to all different types of travellers. If you’re interested in architecture then Barcelona is definitely worth visiting for you because it is one of the main reasons most people visit Barcelona. A lot of tourists tend to visit Barcelona to find out more about Antoni Gaudi and his famous work such as La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo and Parc Guell.

For any foodie travellers, you will find that Barcelona has some of the tastiest cuisine with plenty of variety. You could honestly visit Barcelona every day for a year and not get to try all the restaurants in the city.

There are also a lot of attractions suited for those that enjoy viewpoints, parks, an aquarium, beaches and not to mention that there are plenty of day trips from Barcelona to choose from too.

View of Barcelona City

2. Great to visit all year round

Barcelona is a great destination to visit throughout the year and you will still have an amazing experience. Generally speaking, Barcelona is quite warm all year round so you won’t be too disappointed with the weather either.

Throughout the year, there are plenty of events and activities going on in Barcelona. We actually recommend trying to visit outside of the summer because it can get a bit too busy. In order to take advantage of the attractions, you’re best to try and visit off peak or at least think about purchasing skip-the-line tickets.

3. Incredible food

As Spain is renowned for its amazing tapas dishes, Barcelona is one of the best spots to visit and experience this. Whilst you’re in Barcelona, you need to try some patas bravas, jamon iberico de bellota and la bomba.

Tapas is a huge part of the Spanish culture and something that you should really try to embrace whilst you’re visiting Barcelona. Honestly, we wish that here in the UK we embraced a lot more of the Spanish attitude around meal times.

If you're wondering 'is Barcelona worth visiting?' well, the delicious Paella in Barcelona is one of the best reasons!

Everything is done slowly and casually, sometimes you will see people sitting around at restaurants, eating, drinking and socialising for hours. However, in the UK, we go to a restaurant, eat and leave.

Another amazing part of the cuisine in Barcelona is paella which is absolutely delicious. Often these dishes are best for between 2-4 people as they are served in a really large paella pan so it is made to share.

There are plenty of great places to try paella and in particular we recommend trying some seafood paella whilst you’re in Barcelona.

As we mentioned in the 1st reason to visit Barcelona, if you’re a foodie traveller, Barcelona is one of the best places to visit. There are plenty of different amazing food tours which will show you the best places to eat and food to try!


4. Great city for solo travellers

Liam walking through the streets in Barcelona

As it is really easy to get around Barcelona, this makes it a really great city to visit for solo travellers. This vibrant city is the perfect choice for travelling alone because you will find plenty of things to do, be able to get to the attractions easily and meet new people.

If you’re a traveller that enjoys making new friends then staying at hostels in Barcelona is a great experience. There are lots of great hostels in the city to choose from and they often have different activities to help you meet new people and learn more about the Spanish culture.

One of Amy’s first solo travelling experiences was in Barcelona and it was truly an epic adventure. Everything in Barcelona is so accessible and you will never be bored because there truly are so many things to do.

5. Incredible architecture

Barcelona is known as Gaudi’s city and there is definitely a reason for that! A lot of importance is placed on the architecture that Gaudi has created in Barcelona and these sights are one of the main reasons so many tourists visit every year.

If you’re wanting to learn more about Gaudi then it is well worth considering taking a guided tour so that you can truly appreciate his works of art.

In particular, we recommend visiting La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Parc Guell, La Pedrera and Casa Mila. They are all incredibly significant pieces of architecture that contribute to the beauty of Barcelona.

Amy walking through some of the columns in Parc Guell.


6. Awesome viewpoints

There are so many incredible viewpoints of Barcelona city where you will be able to get some incredible snaps for Instagram and we’ve got you covered for some Instagram captions for Barcelona too!

You may decide to head up to the Carmen bunkers, enjoy the viewpoint from the Christopher Columbus monument or even take a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat and get some views of the mountains.

There are so many beautiful spots within the city where you are guaranteed to get some great sights and snaps from these viewpoints too!

This is one of the best reasons to visit the city because you are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to panoramic viewpoints. If this is one of your favourite things to do when you’re travelling then Barcelona is one of the best places to visit.

View from Carmen Bunkers

7. Stunning beaches

One of the most unique things about Barcelona is that when you’re exploring, you will get to enjoy the best of both worlds with the city and the beach.

You will get to enjoy exploring the city and also relax on the beach. This is especially great if you’re travelling with a few different people that enjoy doing different things on vacation. Barcelona is a great spot that really does cater to all different types of travellers.

The most popular beach in Barcelona is Barceloneta Beach but there are plenty of different gorgeous beaches for you to choose from.

Spain has some of the best beaches in Europe and whilst you’re visiting Barcelona, you need to take advantage of these stunning beaches.

8. Great Nightlife

Barcelona has one of the best nightlife scenes that we’ve experienced in Europe so far! There are lots of different nightclubs in Barcelona where you can let your hair down and party the night away.

As Barcelona is a very sociable city, this is one of the best reasons to visit especially if you’re planning a hen / stag party (bachelor / bachelorette party). It has a really diverse nightlife scene that is suited for most party travellers.

Not just that but one of the best things about Barcelona’s nightlife is that it also has lots of quirky bars in the city. Before visiting Barcelona, you should do some research and find some of the cool secret bars across the city and see how many you can visit before you leave!

9. Very artsy

If you’re the creative type or love experience different cultural aspects of the destination you’re travelling to then Barcelona is the perfect choice for you.

Around the city, you will find plenty of different incredible street art to admire and marvel. If you have the time whilst visiting Barcelona then you may want to take yourself on a self-guided street art tour. This is one of the best free things to do in Barcelona so it is also great for budget travellers.

Alternatively, Barcelona holds a lot of literary inspiration too so this is something else that you should consider doing whilst you’re in the city. In particular, Barcelona is the setting for the novel “The Shadow of the Wind” and there is even a literary tour dedicated to it.

If art and books are not your thing then you may be interested in the popular TV show Game of Thrones. Well, you’re in luck because this is something else that you can do from Barcelona.

Just outside of Barcelona is a small city called Girona that hosts a lot of different scenes within Game of Thrones. You are able to go on a tour from Barcelona to Girona and be taken around these beautiful sights learning more about the filming that took place there too.


10. Plenty of things to do

As we have gone through the other 9 best reasons to visit Barcelona, you may have realised that there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona.

This is the ultimate and one of the best reasons to visit Barcelona because you will never be bored, not even for a second!

No matter what type of traveller you are, you are guaranteed to find something amazing to do in Barcelona. We would recommend spending at least 5 days in the city so that you can take advantage of everything there is to do.

Flamenco dancers

Even so, 5 days in Barcelona is still not enough to do everything in this city. You could honestly spend a year here and still not complete everything that there is to do in Barcelona.

Not to mention that Barcelona is a really great base for visiting other areas and there are plenty of amazing day trips from Barcelona to go on too. In particular, for those travellers looking to tick off countries from their bucket list, there is even a tour where you can visit 3 countries in 1 day from Barcelona too.

Honestly, it is an amazing city to visit and there are so many unique things to do that you will be more than satisfied with your vacation.


Reason You May Not Want to Visit Barcelona

Even though there are so many amazing reasons to visit Barcelona, depending on the type of traveller that you are, there are also some reasons why you may not want to visit Barcelona.

Before booking your trip, check out the cons for visiting Barcelona so that you can make the best decision on what you enjoy doing when you’re travelling.

1. Can be expensive

One of the main reasons that puts people off visiting Barcelona is that it can be expensive. You can often find cheap flights (from the UK) depending on how in advance you book your plane tickets so if you plan ahead, you can often cut down the costs easily.

Accommodation can be expensive in Barcelona but once again if you can plan in advance then this will really bring the costs down.

Liam at Parc Guell.

However, one of the most expensive parts of visiting Barcelona is being able to afford all the amazing activities that Barcelona has to offer!

There are ways to get around how expensive it can be to sightsee in Barcelona but it is still a lot more expensive than you see in other parts of Europe.

In order to save some money in Barcelona, you will want to take advantage of the free things to do in the city and cheap things to do in Barcelona too.

There is another way to save money in Barcelona and that is by purchasing an attraction pass. We used the Go City All Inclusive passes and we saved so much money by doing this.

We were able to visit as many attractions as we want so we scheduled a couple of days to cram in as many activities as we could to really take advantage of the all-inclusive passes.

There are also travel cards that you can use in Barcelona which will help you save money on public transport too. We’ve included a few links below so that you can check this out for yourself.

2. Target for pickpockets

Whilst we haven’t experienced this ourselves, Barcelona is a bit of a hub for pickpockets targeting tourists. Unfortunately, this is one of the downsides to visiting Barcelona because there are some areas that attract pickpockets.

As we say, we’ve not experienced this ourselves but we have spoken to other travellers that have had issues with pickpockets in Barcelona.

In particular, we recommend avoiding walking down Las Ramblas alone, especially late at night. This area is renowned for pickpockets so it is worth keeping your wits about you in these areas.

With this in mind, pickpockets are common in Europe so it is worth taking precautions to avoid pickpockets whilst you’re travelling anywhere.

You may want to consider purchasing some pickpocket proof clothing so that you can deter any pickpockets. There are lots of different things you can do to keep your valuables safe so this shouldn’t put you off visiting Barcelona.

3. Gets quite busy

As there are so many reasons to visit Barcelona, it will come as no surprise that it can get extremely busy. This can be a downside to visiting the city because at times it can be a little overwhelming.

Another downside to how busy Barcelona can be is that the queues for attractions can be a bit extreme. In order to prevent this being an issue, you may want to turn up to popular tourist attractions really early so that you won’t need to wait as long. Alternatively, purchasing skip-the-line tickets can really help too so that you’re not waiting around.

Walking through the Gothic Quarter

When it is really busy in Barcelona, this can also mean that it is tricky to get some great snaps without tons of tourists in the background. Visiting La Sagrada Familia is a great example of this because it is always heaving with tourists.

Another way to avoid this is to head out really early in the morning so that there are not as many tourists around.

Even though this is a disadvantage to visiting Barcelona, you shouldn’t let this put you off because there are definitely ways around it but unfortunately that involves waking up early a lot of the time!

4. Can be a little touristy

Barcelona is up there as one of the most touristy cities to visit in Spain but there is a reason for that! There are so many incredible things to do for tourists that it is somewhere that you need to visit.

The only downside to this is that you won’t get to have as much of an authentic Spanish experience whilst you’re visiting Barcelona. Once again, there are ways to get around this and you can take some day trips to places near Barcelona so that you can have a more traditional Spanish experience.

Parc de la Ciutadella

Tips for Visiting Barcelona

  • Wear pickpocket proof clothing
  • Book main attractions in advance
  • Plan your itinerary in Barcelona to save time.
  • Purchase a Barcelona public transport pass
  • Visit as many viewpoints in Barcelona as possible.
  • Purchase an attraction pass for Barcelona to help save money.
  • Save money by planning your trip to Barcelona in advance.

Don’t forget to check out our travel tips for visiting Barcelona before exploring this incredible city for more tips!

So… Is Barcelona really worth visiting?

Barcelona is truly an amazing city with plenty of attractions to visit that will make you come away from the city feeling wholesome. You may also come away from Barcelona with incredibly sore feet but it is all made worthwhile by the amount of incredible sights that you will get to see!

Another perk to visiting Barcelona is that your stomach will also be very full with plenty of the delicious Spanish cuisine. The food in Barcelona is truly to die for and you should definitely spend some time trying as many dishes as you can.

If you’re the type of traveller that cannot stand being in busy, touristy places then Barcelona might not be the right choice for you. However, there are ways to get around this by waking up early so that you can avoid tourists.

You can also purchase skip-the-line tickets so that you don’t have to spend too much time queueing and can enjoy as many attractions in Barcelona as possible.

Montserrat Mountains.

No matter what way you look at it, the pros of visiting Barcelona far outweigh the cons of visiting Barcelona. It mostly depends on the type of traveller that you are.

In our opinion, as long as you visit Barcelona fully prepared that it will be busy and slightly touristy, you will have an incredible time and it won’t dampen your experience.

Barcelona has a lot to offer travellers and you should embrace every opportunity that the city throws at you. It is a truly beautiful destination and you will come away from the city with an open-mind and your heart and stomach feeling full!

Barcelona Travel Resources

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