Modernist, colorful, vibrant, with Mediterranean smells, magnificent parks and with an outstanding cultural scene for both young and old, Barcelona is always a good choice for a vacation with family, friends or that special loved one.
So if you’re planning a getaway to this beautiful Spanish city before the imminent end of the summer or for the beginning of fall, keep reading for 10 incredible plans for enjoying a weekend full of magnificent experiences.
- La Sagrada Familia: Also called Gaudí’s dream, this church is the most iconic attraction in Barcelona and the symbol that characterizes the city worldwide. After St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, this masterpiece by Antoni Gaudí is the second most visited church in Europe. Sinuous forms, gothic style and unique details have made it the most popular place in Spain, drawing in hundreds of locals and travelers from all over the world every day. Make sure to admire its high towers, curved shapes and the colors of the stained-glass windows; if you have the chance, take a tour of the interior for a 100% rewarding experience.
- Parc Güell: Take a scenic walk in the incomparable park that Eusebi Güell commissioned the famous modernist architect to design. Here everyone admires the famous dragon statues, the fantastic staircases straight from the artist’s imagination and the Austrian Gardens. A bonus is that the park also offers some of the best, postcard-perfect views of Barcelona.
- Turó de la Peira: Undoubtedly one of the best viewpoints in the city, located about 140 meters above sea level to provide a bird’s-eye view of the Eixample neighborhood and the Mediterranean Sea that colors the coasts of Barcelona blue. There are also several picnic areas in the area where you can spend part of a day and playgrounds for little ones.
- Capital of board games and comics: Every year Barcelona celebrates the Saló Internacional del Cómic de Barcelona and Saló del Manga, the country’s biggest comic and manga trade fairs, where thousands of comic book lovers come together in one place to buy, sell and exchange merchandise. We recommend a visit to the Gigamesh, Chunichi or Norma Cómics bookstores if you’re looking for hidden treasures in these genres.
- Admire Paseo de Gracia: A must is to walk around the spectacular buildings of Paseo de Gracia and its surroundings to see buildings designed by Gaudí, Puig i Cadafalch and Domènech i Muntaner, which are interspersed with some of the most luxurious stores in the city. You should also visit the Casa de les Punxes on Avenida Diagonal, or go down to the famous Ramblas to enjoy Gaudí’s Palacio Güell and stop for a drink in one of the street’s many terraces.
- Beach day at Mar Bella: Along with the famous Barceloneta beach, this beach is perfect for the entire family. Spend the whole morning by the sea enjoying the sun, sand and waves. The area is home to the Parc Esportiu Urbà de la Mar Bella, where fearless skaters practice their tricks on skateboards and skates at one of the most popular skateparks in Barcelona.
- The miniature train at Parc de l’Oreneta: A fun activity is to take a ride on the miniature train in Parc de l’Oreneta, which is located in the upper part of the city; the experience is both fun and instructive, as you’ll learn how the trains ran on steam in the old days. The route is circular, and the slow speed of the train makes it posisble to truly appreciate the beautiful surroundings of Parc de l’Oreneta and the views of Barcelona from the top, perfect for snapping some spectacular photos.
- Montjuic, the magic mountain: This spot is known for its famous magic fountain and its incredible shows of music, lights and water on weekends. There are tons of other things to see in the area: the Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi, Pueblo Español, the Miró Foundation, and the beautiful Montjuic Castle perched on the top of the mountain. One advantage is that during the summer they set up a giant screen in front of its walls to enjoy the famous “Cine a la fresca” outdoor film series.
- Tibidabo amusement park: This destination is a Barcelona classic; perche 512 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak of the Collserola mountain range. This is the oldest amusement park in Spain, and the third oldest in Europe, opened in 1901. Many of its attractions have been modernized since then but still retain their former nostalgia, a sure bet for young and old.
- Horta’s Labyrinth Park The park’s biggest attraction, as its name suggests, is the famous labyrinth whose passages run between walls of cypress trees that block guests from seeing where they’re going. The fun is to get lost and take shortcuts until you find the center of this maze, home to the sculpture of the goddess Eros; reach the center and you’ll have beaten the labyrinth!