Barcelona: The Best of the Catalan Capital

by Jules on November 19, 2013

If you are thinking of heading to Barcelona, it’s probably safe to say that the main reason you are going is for the beautiful weather and the even more beautiful beaches. It’s a truly lovely place with plenty of style, and a great destination for a lazy holiday spent soaking up the sun, but we can’t help but think that maybe you’re missing out on something if you only stick to the sands.

Although yes, the beaches are fab, and they are definitely worth spending some time on (we love them!), you would be doing the amazing city of Barcelona a disservice if you didn’t take some time out from sunning yourself to go and explore.

So with that in mind, we set out to compile a quick guide to Barcelona’s best bits; read on to find out what you should experience in the Catalan capital.

La Sagrada Familia

This is the famous one, the one everyone knows – Gaudi’s cathedral has stood unfinished for a long time now: the Roman Catholic basilica was commissioned in 1883, and Gaudi died 46 years later without completing the job. It’s still a magnificent sight, however, and well worth the trip. If you’d rather see it in its finished state, you have a bit of a wait ahead of you – it’s due to be completed in 2026, to mark the centenary of Antoni’s death.

Also, just a few minutes’ walk away is the Hospital de Sant Pau. It’s still in use, but it is definitely worth paying a visit to, as it’s designed in the beloved modernist style that Barcelona is known for.

Las Ramblas

Make sure you take a stroll down the Catalan capital’s most well-known street, Las Ramblas. There’s plenty to do here – stop at one of the many great bars for some refreshments, take some time out to watch some of the street performers, or simply marvel at the fabulous architecture that lines both sides of the avenue. It’s great!


If you have a few hours to kill, take a hike to the top of Montjuïc. This little mountain can offer some great views from the top, but be prepared for a fairly demanding trek up. This also counts as a positive, however – you won’t find many other tourists up here!

Take a trek through the lush Laribal Gardens, say hello to the bronze statue of Dante, and check out the stadium built for the 1992 Olympic Games. Oh, and if you don’t fancy the hike, you could always head up on the funicular…

The Salvador Dali Museum

There is a chance that you might not want to make the effort to get to the Dali Museum. That’s understandable – you’ve spent time booking your holiday through Secretescapes, you’ve been on the plane, and you’ve travelled from the airport to your hotel; it’s not a tempting prospect, journeying two hours outside the city for a single museum.

Based in Figueres, the town in which the surrealist was born, the museum is itself the single largest surrealistic object on the planet, but it’s the works contained within that make the visit worthwhile. Dali’s art is mind-blowing; the Theatre-Museum is probably the only place where you’ll have the chance to see his pieces in person.

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