With its proximity in Western Europe and on the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a typical city anyone can enjoy. It has its own way of life; a relaxing place to stroll around with a vibrating nightlife set in a cultural haven. Because of its multifaceted diversity, Barcelona attracts many tourists and local Europeans that enjoy this cosmopolitan playground. No matter what time of the year you decide to visit, it will be a busy and dynamic city to navigate. Planning to visit Barcelona? Here are our top 10 picks for attractions you should definitely add to your itinerary.
Columbus Monument: A lot of the new world has Christopher Columbus to thank for his exploration voyage that discovered many new lands. Barcelona pays tribute to the famous navigator with a nearly 200 foot tall monument at the end of La Rambla in the city. It is the location where Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to America. It is a tribute to remind tourists that Barcelona is where he reported after his most famous trip. The statue itself is not only nice to view, but a lift takes you to the top where you can see more beautiful scenery of the city.
Harbor Cable Car: The most exciting way to see a city is through a bird's eye view. A ride on the cross-harbor cable cars gives you a picturesque view of the city of Barcelona with views of the port, harbor and landscape ranges. The short ride takes you from Sant Sebastian tower in Barceloneta to Montjuic; another viewpoint situated on a hill.
The Montjuïc Castle: Overlooking the harbor side of Barceloneta, if you arrive via cable car you can explore the area on the hill. The name is translated to "Hill of the Jews" in medieval Catalan. What remains is a fortress that dates to the 17th century that once served as a prison that held numerous executions. Walk further towards the castle and make sure to enjoy the Gardens on a warm sunny day.
Plaça d'Espanya: Many squares in Spain share the name Plaça d'Espanya; but the one in Barcelona is one of the most important in the city. It was built during the 1929 International Exhibition and in modern day is a huge center for tourists and locals. As you walk through the city after the cable car ride that takes you to the castle, you walk down a street that passes through numerous sights. Plaça d'Espanya serves as a junction to these sites; a center square designed to be beautiful at day and especially at night. The most prominent figure being the huge fountain in the middle of the roundabout. It is also a huge metro line station and a location for fireworks and celebrations in town.
Futboll Club Barcelona Museum: Whether you call it football or soccer, everyone knows the FC Barcelona team for many distinct reasons. Their national pride and famous players makes the team a tourist attraction in itself. The museum tells the history of the team with photos, documents and trophies. It is where you can get an official #10 jersey if you are a fan of Messi; the team's most popular player.
Güell Park: Designed by a prolific Catalan artist, Parc Guell was one of the best works by Antoni Gaudi. It is recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage foundation and one can easily see why. It was built on a rocky hill close to an upper class neighborhood with a strange intention. It was built to exploit the fresh air away from the smoky factories and to provide views for the upper class residents. Luckily, anyone can enjoy this massive park facility. It features a municipal garden, fountains, columns and footpaths that lead up a mountain for even more spectacular views of the city.
Sagrada Família: Imagine making a work of art and not being able to complete it and enjoy its glory after your death? Also designed by Catalan artist Gaudi; the large Roman Catholic church had its first interruption after his death and soon after, the Spanish Civil War. Construction continued to this day, but the expected completion date is 2026; the centennial of his death. The Spanish Gothic and Baroque design attracts tourists with its huge detailed columns, statues and overall interior design. Also, there is one burial at the church; of the designer himself, Antoni Gaudi.
La Rambla: For years, Barcelona has kept its name as a fashion capital with its trendy and edgy Spanish style. Thanks to La Rambla; a huge tree lined pedestrian mall between two popular neighborhoods. The shopping street itself is also pretty fashionable besides the stores themselves with mosaic pieces and statues along the way. At night, it is a buzzing scene for late dinners or early drinks before the nightlife begins.
Happy Pills: If you find yourself having a bad time in Barcelona, which seems almost impossible, take yourself to see a medic. This medic specializes in delicious candy sweets as a remedy to long travel days. It is a candy store that holds sweets in a prescription bottle. One can find their own remedies to common illnesses: failed love, homesick blues or impotence. Be creative and make your own concoction of sweet candies and unique souvenir for friends and family that might need it.
Beachfront Boardwalk in Barceloneta: It is absolutely impossible to leave Barcelona without visiting the Mediterranean beach side. Barceloneta beach itself won best urban beach status in 2005 in a world competition. Besides a relaxing beach side, it is known for many unique restaurants and nightclubs along the boardwalk.