Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Sagrada Familia ceiling, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Sagrada Familia ceiling, Barcelona pictures. Photo sba73.

Barcelona pictures: main attractions

Barcelona, on Spain’s north-east coast offers the tourist sensational architecture by the great and gaudy Gaudi, a lively, walkable old centre, truly sensational restaurants and bars at reasonable prices, beautiful Barcelona hotels and resorts, cultural activities by the ton and good beaches nearby. Traffic and petty crime temper the pleasure of Spain’s funkiest city, but only slightly.

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Parc Guell, design by Gaudi.

Barcelona pictures: Casa Batllo and Sagrada Familia

Casa Batllo, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Stunning Casa Batllo (centre-right) in Passeig de Gracia, one of Barcelona’s main streets.

Fondacion Antoni Tapies, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Fondacion Antoni Tapies, a modern art museum dedicated to Tapies, with amazing roof adornment but sadly lacking much interest inside. It’s just 60m from Casa Batllo, around the corner.

Visiting some of Anton Gaudi’s incredibly off-world, architectural gems is number one priority for any Barcelona tourist and Casa Batllo is, in our humble opinion, the best example of the master’s work as it displays immense variety, skill, imagination and humour, and you can see these ‘House of Bones’ features close-up, unlike the formidable and vast Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familia spires, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s biggest, eternal project.

The Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882, with a completion date supposedly in 2026, but this is the nation that made the term mañana famous so somehow we have our doubts.
However, the Sagrada Familia is – even unfinished – an astonishing building, one of Spain’s best sights, Barcelona’s top tourist attraction and it can only get better as bits get finished and the wrapping comes off.

Barcelona pictures: Parc Guell and Barceloneta beach

Parc Guell, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Parc Guell.

Parc Guell is a delightfully kaleidoscopic and wacky park designed, of course, by Barcelona’s G-man, Anton Gaudi in the early 1900’s on a hill known as Bare Mountain. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a dazzling must-see even though it is a bit off the beaten track.

Parc Guell Pictures

Barceloneta beach sculpture, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Barceloneta beach.

Barceloneta beach sand is a little coarse but the waters of the Mediterranean are cool, clean and reasonably calm as they are protected by spits of land. The beach is bordered by a fine, wide promenade crammed with action, lifeguards, Red Cross first aid stations, toilets and of course a mass of hawkers, bars and restaurants. It’s easily accessible by bike, metro or about 20 minutes walk from the bottom of La Rambla. Barcelona beach pictures

Barceloneta port, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Pre-prandial drinks and tapas in Barceloneta port.

City Transport

Barcelona is a large and complex city so if you have just a couple of days it may be best to stick to the walkable central-south region that stretches from L’Eixample’s Casa Mila down to the beaches of Barceloneta, with a couple of side trips to Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and Montjuïc using inexpensive taxis if necessary.
However, there is a useful Metro system for those with more time, though it’s not exactly intuitive, including platforms where if you chose the wrong direction you have to exit the turnstiles (and pay again) to reach the other side. Get a day pass.

Bicycles? The city has bike rental stations in many locations so this could be a good way to get around if you have a credit card and feel adventurous, or private cycle rentals and tours are available too. Bikes can be delivered to your hotel.

Buses? Cheap but complicated routing and pick-pocket territory, so only for very savvy, turistas with little money and a lot of time.

Barri Gotic

placa reieal, Barcelona Pictures, Spain

Placa Reial (Plaza Real). Photo by Andriy Sadivsky.

Just off Las Ramblas and part of the Barri Gotic (medieval quarter), Placa Reial is a popular tourist spot for drinks, dinner and some famous clubs; it’s attractive and car-free but overly touristy.

Barcelona weather

With its many indoor attractions, mild winters and not too hot summers, Barcelona is an all-year-round holiday destination.
September and October are the wettest months but that means just rain in about one day in five.
Summer average temperatures run from lows of 18C (64F) to average highs of 28C (82F) and there are decent beaches within walking distance of the city centre.
Winter temperatures range from 5C (41F) to 14C (57F).
All in all, anytime is OK but the very best time to visit would be the shoulder months of April-June for warmth, lowish rainfall and reduced tourist herds – aside from Easter holidays of course.