Five reasons to visit Barcelona

There are plenty of reasons to visit Barcelona. City meets sea in the medieval, colourful and sun-kissed Catalan capital. Here are our top five:

1. Marvel at La Sagrada Familia

You can’t visit Barcelona without visiting La Sagrada Familia. Unfinished and under construction for over a century, it is the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí. It’s awe inspiring to look at from the outside, but head inside on a sunny day (which are fortunately quite common in this sun-drenched corner of the world) and the stain glassed windows will cast multicoloured light over the interior walls. Book your tickets in advance.

2. Fall in love with Park Güell

Gaudi turned his hand to landscape gardening with the utterly brilliant Park Guell, which overlooks the city from above. Although the wider park is accessible for free (which is worth exploring, as the viaducts are exceptional), the central area is chargeable. You’ll need to book a time slot in advance, which can be done online. Once inside grab a photo of El Drac (the dragon) and climb the stairs and marvel at the views back down towards the sea.

3. Ascend Montjuïc

View the city from above from Montjuïc. Take the (rickety) cable car from Barcoleneta beach to the side of the hill and walk the remainder, or alternatively, take the funicular from Paral-lel station and then the more contemporary cable cars to the top for a more leisurely ascent. Marvel at the views of the city from the castle, before wandering down to the Olympic stadium which hosted the 1992 games.

4. Sample some Tapas

Tapas bars line the side streets of Barcelona and the only thing more plentiful than Gaudí in this city. Grab a seat in the relaxed bar environments for a quick bite to eat, perfect as a pre dinner snack (as lots of little plates can add up quickly). Patatas bravas anyone?

5. Put your feet up

This hidden gem is perfect for relaxing after exploring the city. AIRE Ancient Baths is an underground spa in a former warehouse. Get changed and then descend the steps into the candle lit cavern below where you will be able to explore all pools at your leisure. With a selection of hot, warm and cold pools, as well as a steam room, salt pool and even a wine bath (extra charge), you’re guaranteed to leave feeling refreshed.

Has this inspired you? Check out more European travel recommendations.