Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia province of Spain, located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula which is one of the essential stopovers of cruises in the Western Mediterranean. It is the first maritime destination in Mediterranean and the fourth worldwide in terms of passenger traffic, just behind the three ports on the East Coast of Florida. Every year, nearly 3 million cruise ship passengers make a stop in this city, including many ships making cruises out of Barcelona. As a part of a stopover in this Spanish metropolis, we offer you to reveal the places that are worth to be seen during a day or even half a day. The advantage is that the port is close to the city center, and you can get there easily on foot or on the local bus which takes you from the ship.
1. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
It is certainly the first monument we quote when talking about Barcelona. This massive cathedral, that is recognizable by his style from the Catalan modernism, was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Its construction began in 1882 and expected to be completed in 2026, date at which we will celebrate the hundred years of Gaudi’s death. the Nativity Façade, which was completed in 1936, evokes the appearance of a sand Castle. The interior architecture is also very detailed, with columns, arches, and absolutely beautiful stained glass windows. A paid lift can you bring to the top of the tower. More than hundred meters of height, you have a magnificent panorama of Barcelona and enjoy the mosaics perched on the roofs that represent fruits. For claustrophobic people, be aware that the elevator is quite cramped and the descent of the towers is on foot, by the closed spiral staircase. Finally, if you wish, you can visit the museum under the Cathedral, dedicated to its construction.
2. Park Güell
Located north of the city, this park is another masterpiece of the architect Antoni Gaudí. It was commissioned by Eusebi Güell, a patron who wanted to offer the city a garden in English style with houses and a chapel. Unfortunately, Mr. Güell found himself in financial difficulties and could not honor his original project. Today, only the Park survives. There are also two houses, which are located at the entrance of the Park. You can also see a staircase where a colorful dragon stands, decorated with trencadís, pieces of ceramics of recovery. At the top of the Park, there is a terrace and its magnificent panorama of the coast of the city known for its many benches, also covered with trencadís. Before accessing this terrace, you’ll be taken by the columns to the majestic constructions decorated with stones and mosaics that stretch up to the vaulted ceilings. You will surely pass under the viaduct and its supporting columns, which are slightly tilted and make a small tour through the garden.
This long pedestrian avenue more than 1.2 kilometers in length is located between the place of Catalonia and the column of Christophe Columbus. It has newsstands, flower shops and pet shops: this is the shopping paradise. Do not miss to make a detour through some buildings as the most famous, the Boqueria Market (with its stalls of fruits and candy) whose metal roof dates back to 1914. This is an opportunity to dine at one of the counters and enjoy some tapas. You can’t miss the House of Umbrellas’, whose walls were decorated with sculptures reminiscent the open umbrella. On the ground, you will walk on a work of art, made of mosaics: it is the masterpiece of Joan Miró. The Liceu theater is a beautiful building built in a former convent, which is easily recognizable with its canopy made of glass and steel. Finally, the Fountain of the Canaletto and his legend the person who drinks the water who wants the person who drinks the water will come back in the city.
4. Barri Gòtic – the Gothic District
Located close to the Rambla, this district has narrow streets. It is the oldest district of Barcelona, dating back to the Roman era. In this area, we find the plaza del Rei, a beautiful inner place worth visiting for its Tower called “the Mirador del Mar”, kind of skyscraper with arcades built in the 17th century. The Cathedral, built in the 13th century, is a marvel of Catalan Gothic architecture. It is recognizable by its three naves and it’s false transept. There are also the “Palau de la Generalitat”, which is the seat of the Government of the Catalonia province and the Ajuntament de Barcelona which is also called the City Hall, a building in neoclassical style, rebuilt in the 19th century, which resembles a ‘mini Buckingham Palace with its columns in the Center. At night, the Barri Gotic becomes one of the areas that are conducive to the tasting of tapas. Attention, there are a lot of pickpockets in this district.
5. Mount Tibidabo
If you visit the city with your children, this part of Barcelona is the perfect place, since there is an amusement park built at the beginning of the Twentieth century. There is something for everyone, from the carousel to the roller coaster, everyone will find happiness among the six levels that the Park offers. Around the park, there is a forest of trees, composed primarily of pine trees between which you can see the greatness of the city as well as the Mediterranean Sea. Also, the Sagrat Cor Church was built in the early 20th century on this hill. When you see this monument there are two parts that stand out: the crypt is Neo-Byzantine style while the building itself is of Romanesque and Gothic, topped with a statue of Christ.
6. Hill of Montjuïc
It dominates the city of Barcelona with its 173-meter height. This place has held sports competitions like legendary the grand old car to Spain and the 1992 Olympics. Besides, there is the Museum of Olympism and Sports as well as other cultural institutions such as the Joan Miró Foundation, which preserves many works of the artist. The national Museum of the art of Catalonia is also located at this place. On the universal exhibition, you can see the Magic Fountains, where, they offer a wonderful spectacle of lights and sounds in the evening: music and lighting harmonize with water jets in a perfect rhythm. Finally, the imposing Montjuic Castle, which is more than two hundred years old.
7. Nou Camp Football Stadium
The place for all football fans and supporters of the club in the city: FC Barcelona. This unmissable place of football opened its doors at the end of the 1950s. Paid visits are organized and the heart of the stadium can be visited, changing rooms in the Presidential Gallery through the benches. Of course, before leaving the premises, the detour through the official store of the club with a surface area of 2000 m² is almost obligatory. The stadium also has the Museum of FC Barcelona, inaugurated in 1984 and distributed over two floors and 3550 m². There are not only audio and video documents, photos, objects related to the key moments of the Club, but also works of art created by artists like Salvador Dali.
8. Park of the Ciutadella
This huge ‘green lung’ established on nearly 60 hectares built on the remains of an ancient citadel, under the direction of the Catalan architect Josep Fontsere with the collaboration of a young architect named Antoni Gaudí. This place has hosted the first world’s fair that Barcelona has received in 1888 and a few buildings from this time are still visible: Today, The Three Dragon Castle houses a Museum of Zoology. The Den, also known as building made of iron and glass, and the Museum of Geology are in the Park. This place promises you a beautiful and long walk through wooded areas and gardens with tropical plants. You will be pleased to take a trip in the boats on the lakes or refreshing breaks near the fountains. Several works of art decorate the Park. This is also the place where you can visit the Barcelona zoo featuring more than 300 animal species.
9. The Buildings of the Modernism
For architecture lovers and admirers of the architect Antoni Gaudí, there is a treasure located in the Illa of the Discordia. The most famous are the Casa Batlló, a home to the colored façade whose roof is covered with ceramics and the balconies are reminiscent of the masks. Also, the Casa Mila is Gaudi’s. Built after the Casa Batlló, this white building was classified as a world heritage by the Unesco in 1984, that has amazing external and internal architecture. In the summer nights, you can enjoy jazz concerts on the terrace. Finally, the Casa Amatller is the final resting place of modernist style. It was built by Josep Puig Cadafalch for a photographer. You can still visit the photography studio.
10. The Olympic Port
This is a new area that was built in 1991, one year before the Olympic Games. Former Brownfields have been replaced by marinas. This place runs from Barceloneta to the Nova Icària beach. The most emblematic thing about this place is the Peix, a huge sculpture of 35 x 54 meters made of copper, which represents a fish. This place allows you to stroll along the docks, admiring the. There are many bars and lounges are established in this corner and guests can enjoy a cocktail in comfort. In the evening, you can dine in one of the restaurants or you can attend parties all night in the many nightclubs
You have, now, all the best addresses of key places of Barcelona. During your next cruise in the Western Mediterranean, this city will have no secrets for you. Interested in a stopover in Barcelona? You want to discover this city or rediscover arriving by sea? Don’t wait any longer and book your cruise now.