Barcelona has long been a favourite destination for travellers from all over the world. Whether you’re looking to explore Europe for the summer, wanting a quick city break, or to travel and work as a digital nomad, Barcelona has plenty of amazing things to offer.
It’s no secret that Barcelona is a great place to enjoy the beach, the city, the club scene and the historical interludes, all within walking distance or a short subway ride. Getting to Barcelona is pretty easy from most places in the world. It has a huge international airport as well as being served by plenty of low-cost options from within Europe.
Once you’re there, an ideal place to base yourself is one of the city’s many hostels. Regardless of whether you’re travelling solo and looking for new friends to hang out with, travelling as a couple looking for an affordable and central option, or travelling with friends and are looking for a more social atmosphere to enjoy, there is always a Barcelona hostel to suit.
If you’re looking to save some money on your European accommodation (and who isn’t?!) then for just £19.99 ($28) a year you can get yourself a Hostel Card which gets you up to 40% off hostels and activities all across Europe. That includes dorm rooms and privates as well as some excursions, drinks deals, transport and more. There are eight hostels in Barcelona alone on the Hostel Card, so it’s well worth checking out!
Okay, so let’s get down to business – what are the five best things to do in Barcelona? Let’s find out!
Best Things to do in Barcelona
1. Go Wine Tasting
Let’s be honest, the Spanish definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to wine, and the Catalan region is no different! The Catalan wine region is just a short drive from Barcelona and there are plenty of organised trips and public transport options heading that way. You might even find that your hostel organises tours to some of their favourite vineyards, so it’s a good idea to ask when you get there.
Head to Penedès and spend the day enjoying the rural views while sipping on fizzy cava, deep and bold “black wines” and learn more about how these specialist wines get made. Make sure you stock up before you leave. The wines of this region have protected designation of origin, so they’re only made here!
2. Walk the Gothic Quarter
Barcelona truly is an architecture lover’s playground with so many different building styles and historic references around every corner. Take in the beauty and artistry of the buildings around you by taking a leisurely stroll around the famous Gothic Quarter in the heart of Barcelona’s Old Town.
Weave through the labyrinth of back alleys, promenades and plazas and feel like you’re walking into another century. Don’t forget to slow down, take a second, and look up – often there are extra, ornate details etched into the architecture that feel like a secret bonus. Spending a couple of hours wandering among Roman walls and medieval alleyways is a must for any history, culture or art fan – and the best part is it’s completely free!
3. Experience traditional dancing in Poble-Sec
One of the interesting things about visiting Barcelona compared with any other major Spanish city is that it has so many unique aspects of Catalan culture that you’re not going to see in any other region. You can experience a beautiful and unexpected example of this if you head to the popular Poble-Sec area in the evening.
Poble-Sec is where the majority of Barcelona’s nightlife is, so it’s no wonder that locals are dancing in the street. However, the fact that they’re doing a traditional Catalan dance called the Sardana folk dance, which is led in a circle with specific steps and flute music makes it a really cool, cultural moment to witness when you’re out on the town. Remember, this is a cultural display, and it’s important to be respectful while you’re watching.
4. Enjoy a Food Tour
Okay, we cannot talk about Barcelona without talking about its food. It’s insanely good. With the city being on the Mediterranean coast there is some world class seafood to enjoy, as well as local wines, meats and cheeses. Let’s not forget about tapas culture! Don’t be surprised if you go to a bar for a drink and are faced with free small plates of primarily salty, delicious food – enjoy and eat up.
With so many delicious options, it can be difficult to choose where the best places to eat are. That’s why going on a food tour is such a great option to discover where the locals eat and get the most out of your time. Our Hostel Card even has discounts on food tours in Barcelona, so there’s yet another reason to grab yours now. Check out all of our discounts in Barcelona.
5. Check out the art in El Raval
Many great artists have passed through Barcelona at one time or another and the result is a gorgeous city that feels like a living art gallery. This is being kept alive in the El Raval district which used to be the industrial area of the city and has now become the Bohemian Quarter.
You can wander around for free, taking in the murals, street art and thought-provoking graffiti, or you can visit one of the many independent galleries or have a look behind the scenes and buy a beautiful souvenir direct from the artist’s studio. It’s definitely a cool and quirky way to see a new side to Barcelona.
Best Things to do in Barcelona Roundup
What did you think of our list of the vive best things to do in Barcelona? With near year-round sunshine and warmth, frequent flights and festivals, there really is no bad time to visit Barcelona, so what are you waiting for? Grab your Hostel Card and book those flights! Barcelona is waiting for you.