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Top Barcelona Attractions

The first time you visit Barcelona, or any new destination, the question asked isn’t usually what attractions should be scene but what attraction to see first, what to expect, how to get there, and how much time is needed. We’ve provided tips, advice, and other information about the top tourist attractions in Barcelona to help with your itinerary planning.

Sagrada Familia Sagrada Familia
Parc Guell Parc Guell
Picasso Museum Picasso Museum

Sagrada Familia

 Hours Open Daily: October - March, 9am-6pm; April-September, 9am-8pm.
 Admission EUR 8

Antonio Gaudi’s unique style of design and unparalleled vision has given Barcelona some of the world's most astonishing architecture. Among them is the Sagrada Familia, a breathtaking cathedral that was begun in 1882 and is yet to be completed. (Some estimates say completion will not occur for several decades). Gaudi played an integral role in overseeing the construction of the cathedral until his death in 1926, when he was killed by a train. The cathedral is only half-built today and controversies surround the site. There are many who believe the cathedral should not be completed, but left as is as a memorial to a master whose tragic death ended a brilliant career. Others believe the material being used today would never have been approved by the great architect. Controversies aside, one thing is certain - the building is extravagantly carved and its stones are irregularly shaped, making it one, if not the, most important site in the city of Barcelona. When completed, it will have 18 towers representing the 12 Apostles, 4 Evangelists, and the mother of God. The 18th and tallest tower will represent her son. Note: No matter what time you visit, you will always be likely to see construction, which also serves as a highlight of the site.


Parc Guell

 Hours 10am to 7pm daily
 Admission Free

Yet another masterpiece envisioned and executed by Gaudi is the city's famed Parc Guell, a playground marked by its wonderland-type structures and whimsical atmosphere. The park was intended as a place where Barcelona's aristocracy could gather and was commissioned by Eusebi Guell, one of Barcelona's most well-known businessmen (and coincidentally one of Gaudi's closest friends). The entire park is a magical experience, leaving you to guess what's real and what is not. In true Gaudi style, it has extraordinary and unique stone carvings, accompanied by breathtaking tiles. The buildings and their facades give a nod to the gingerbread houses depicted in Hansel and Gretel, and you can spend hours going in and out of its mazes and tunnels. To get an idea of what the park looks like before you go, make sure to see the film 'L'Auberge Espagnole', which has a beautiful scene taking place inside park. The house where Gaudi himself lived in for 20 years is on the premises, and has now been turned into a museum housing some of his self-designed furniture.


Picasso Museum

 Hours The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am to 8 pm. It is closed on Mondays and on major holidays: January 1, May 1, June 24 and December 25/26.
 Admission EUR 6

Barcelona's Picasso Museum is located in a medieval mansion and houses one of the most impressive collections of art today. The museum consists of five different buildings (or palaces, as they are often referred to). The museum was inaugurated in 1963 and seven years later, the Barcelona City Council enlarged it by adding the Palau del Baro de Balaguer. In 1999, it was enlarged once again with the inauguration of two special exhibition venues. On the outside, serene gardens and quiet spots make the museum an ideal place to get away from the heat (if you go in the summer), the people and the touring. On the inside, the mansion showcases Pablo Picasso's work - more than 3,000 pieces that include paintings, drawings, ceramics and engravings. The collection focuses on Picasso’s career from 1895-1904 and his affinity for and his relationship with the city of Barcelona. In addition to this vast collection, two rooms in the museum are devoted to a series of interpretations of Diego Velasquez’ “Las Meninas” done in the 1950’s.


Barcelona Travel Guides
 Frommer's Barcelona
 Lonely Planet Barcelona
 Let's Go Barcelona
 Fodors Barcelona