Cruisers will not fall short of things to explore on their visit to Barcelona. This small city can be explored on foot or by taxi. Although, it feels extensive considering the number of attractions. The city is known for its eccentric street performances, shopping, and old church structures—the famous Columbus Statue at Mirador de Colom, commonly known as the Plaza de Colón or Columbus Plaza. The Gothic Quarter, Casa Batllo, and Sagrada Familia are some of Barcelona's most recognizable tourist attractions.
Explore Barcelona before or after your cruise from Barcelona. Stay longer and explore nearby attractions like Girona, Sitges, or Montserrat, a mountainous town with its basilica. Along with all these activities, you can learn about the region's history and culture and sample some local foods.
The city's founding is described in two legends: one attributes it to Hercules, and another traces it back to Hannibal's father, Hamilcar Barca, who founded the city in the 3rd century BC and named it Barcino. In the early 5th century, the Visigoths conquered Barcelona and made it the capital of Hispania. From 1640 to 1652, Barcelona was a hub for Catalan Separatism under Philip IV. While Spain was embroiled in the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona thrived as the second-largest city in this relatively prosperous region. In 1992, Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympics. As a result of the games, a two-mile beach was built along the waterfront of Barcelona to accommodate the massive crowds. New construction projects created more parks, beaches, and nature-centered areas in the city. As a result of these changes, Barcelona has become one of the world's most visited cities.
There is no doubt that Barcelona has mastered the art of eating well. A wide variety of restaurants offer Spanish cuisine, seafood paella, and a multi-course lunch menu that includes a glass of cava wine. Catalan cooking is best experienced by trying pa amb tomàquet (bread topped with tomatoes). With house-made vermouth in hand, you can eat tapas (bite-sized appetizers) like a local.
Barcelona markets offer a wide selection of leatherwear, jewelry, old books, and unique housewares that are sure to delight. Several family-owned shops supply textiles, stationery, decorative ceramic tiles, and earthenware kitchenware in the Gothic Quarter, where Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Shopping Line are popular retail promenades. Besides football memorabilia, small trinkets, leather bags, shoes, and handcrafted ceramics made by local artists, Las Ramblas offers a great selection of street stalls, vendors, and small shops.
Barcelona, a big city, is one of the most visited places in Europe. We recommend you book these MUST-DO activities in advance if you only have a few hours to explore this fantastic city.
A delightful boulevard lined with trees and a center of activity, Las Ramblas stretch from the waterfront to Placa de Catalunya. Stroll the lively promenade of the city's lively promenade, full of shops, cafes, and flower stands. There is nearly a mile of pedestrian walkways and thoroughfares known as Las Ramblas in Barcelona, which connects the cruise terminal to Plaza de Catalunya in the old city center. In addition to restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, street performers, street food vendors, and a famous food market (La Boqueria, or simply "La Boqueria"), you will come across restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, streets performers, and street food vendors as you stroll. You'll end up in Plaza de Catalunya if you walk Las Ramblas down an enormous square with fountains, a small park, and many photo opportunities.
La Sagrada Familia, envisioned and built by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi, is Barcelona's most iconic monument and a must-see for any visitor. Sadly, Gaudi died before the magnificent, towering cathedral was completed, devoted to its construction as a religious man. Throughout the cathedral and basilica, every square inch is covered with immaculate detail unparalleled in size and detail. In November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the UNESCO World Heritage Site basilicain 2005.
Gaudi's unique design and vision can be seen again in Park Güell. The city's wealthiest patrons were granted exclusive access to this garden city, located on a plot of land purchased by a wealthy count in 1900. In 1914, Gaudi abandoned his plan for the garden city and park inside due to the excessive complexity of his design. The two houses and the park grounds of this magical place contain many of Barcelona's most famous sights and symbols.
Miles of beachfront boardwalk stretch along Barcelona's shoreline. The walk from Barceloneta to Diagonal Mar will take about an hour. Still,this walk will give you a deeper understanding of the city. There are busier and touristy beaches in the west, like SantSebastià, but trendy bars and shops in Barceloneta surround them. You'll find more Barcelona locals and rooms along the waterfront after the Olympic Port. Diagonal Mar is a massive, brand-new mall just up the street from Platja de Llevant, revitalizing a former industrial area.