Tourist Attractions in Barcelona

  • Tourist Traps
    by Roadquill
  • Many many pigeons at the plaza.
    Many many pigeons at the plaza.
    by Jerelis
  • Overview of Placa de Catalunya.
    Overview of Placa de Catalunya.
    by Jerelis

Most Viewed Tourist Traps in Barcelona

  • Danalia's Profile Photo

    Three days in Barcelona

    by Danalia Written Feb 6, 2011

    As big as Barcelona is, its not an impossible mission to enjoy it even if you have only 3 days.
    Make sure the hotel you choose is at city center cause it is a good start point to most of the "To Do" things.
    If you can't get hotel in the city center, try to get one which is 10 min drive by bus.
    Take a simple and clean B&B, or check good deal for 4 stars hotel.

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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    The long queue at Sagrada Família

    by Gili_S Updated Jan 30, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is not a really bad tourist trap, it is not warning either, just to let you know of the long queue when want to visit the Cathedral Sagrada Família. Maybe as early is possible in the morning could be the best solution for this.

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  • Belsaita's Profile Photo

    Flamenco

    by Belsaita Updated Nov 8, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Certainly, Barcelona may be not 'the' place for flamenco and Spanish guitar venues. Places like Tarantos in Plaça Reial may not be a bad show, but most likely the only 'locals' there will be the performers. However, it may be OK if you will not be visiting other parts of Spain on your trip. The same as the other places specialized in Flamenco in town that, funny enough, are located only around the touristy area of town. The one in Poble Espanyol (El Tablao de Carmen) is said to be very good indeed. Avoid the places that include a buffet dinner, these scream "tourist trap".

    Fun Alternatives: However, there is a big population from Andalusian descent living in Barcelona, some of them, children of migrants arrived to Catalonia in the 60's-70's are now a new generation of flamenco performers with some distinctive characteristics, as well there is the genre known as 'rumba Catalana' that originated here on the 70's as well

    So, there are really 'authentic' performances of Flamenco in Barcelona, but these will better be in regular theaters, clubs, etc that program different kinds of music and shows (Palau de la Musica Catalana, Sala Bikini, Luz de Gas...) or cultural associations (i.e. Ateneu Nou Barris program many performances from 'unknown' local artists).

    As well, Sala Apolo has regular "flamenco nights" on Wednesdays (rumba) and Thursdays (flamenco singers). These are the places where we locals go, even from many of us flamenco is as alien to us as Russian dances (but we may go to see these as well ;))

    Warning: do not expect a "Las Vegas" type show with many performers and beautiful dresses on these local places, this is what tourist expect but not what happen in authentic flamenco performances geared to local aficionados.

    A good resource to find upcoming venues:
    www.deflamenco.com/agenda/events

    And if you can read Spanish:
    www.flamencobarcelona.com

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  • Dizzyhead's Profile Photo

    You dont needed guided tours.

    by Dizzyhead Updated Apr 12, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I read that Barcelona companies offer walking tours through the city with guides, but you dont need that at all. Barcelona is such a nice city and it is so easy to walk around. Almost everything is in the central of Barcelona. But if you are interested in getting a lot of information at the same time and dont have a guide book, or just lazy. Then you can consider my suggestion carefully.

    Fun Alternatives: My suggestion is that you walk with your friends and use the map. It is not difficult, and of course you can get lost. But think in the good way, then you will see something new and different. Use good walking shoes when you all days through the city.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • Mikebond's Profile Photo

    Everybody speak Spanish... but won't admit it!

    by Mikebond Written Apr 28, 2009

    What I am going to write is not a real tourist trap, it is just a cultural matter. As I have already written in my Local custom tip about the Catalan language, the Spanish constitution recognizes regional official languages, as established in the regional charters.
    Catalunya is one of Spain's regions that have chosen a different language from Spanish as their official language, i.e. Català (Catalán in Spanish). This choice has had as a consequence that everything in Barcelona and Catalunya is written in Catalan.
    Now, I don't mind that at all. I think that multilingualism is a richness and I am a supporter of local languages and dialects.
    What I do mind is this: article 3, point 2 of the Spanish constitution does allow a region to pick its own official language, but article 3 point 1 states that "castellano (Spanish) is the official language of the State. All the citizens have the duty to know it and the right to use it".
    This doesn't always seem to apply in Barcelona. Many restaurants and other places only have menus, explanations or any kind of information in Catalan. When we arrived to our hotel, the receptionist (an Italian guy!) gave us a leaflet with the menu of a restaurant we could call to have our dinner carried at our room. Guess what: it was in Catalan and all the leaflets the guy had were in Catalan! Another day, he phoned the restaurant and asked if they could take some menus in Spanish. They did have them and did take them, but they wouldn’t have if they hadn’t been asked to. When we visited the Pedralbes monastery, the only beautiful guidebook about the painting gallery they own was in Catalan, while they only had an old book in Spanish.
    This receptionist told me that, while most Barcelonans actually speak Spanish (as I could realize), people in the villages only speak Catalan (I don’t know how true this is, as I didn’t have time to visit any place outside Barcelona).

    All that said, I have nothing against the Catalan people. There are many nice Catalans here on VT too...

    Unique Suggestions: If you can't speak Catalan or do not want to learn it, just speak Spanish and it will be enough! After all, dura lex sed lex (the law is hard, but it is the law): Catalans must be able to speak Spanish beside Catalan!

    Fun Alternatives: If you want to understand all the inscriptions and to be able to talk to everyone in Barcelona and Catalunya, you can learn Catalan (even without having learnt Spanish first). You can find some useful titles in my Local custom tip.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
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    La Sagrada Familia - The museum.

    by Jerelis Updated Mar 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    But even though La Sagrada Familia is far from finished, the remarkable church is well worth a visit. After our disappointment of the central nave we visited the museum which is housed in the building. This museum details the history and development of La Sagrada Familia and gave us fascinating insights into Gaudi himself. We saw photos of the development of the church from the present day back to its early beginnings. Through a glass pane we watched model makers in their workshop restoring the original models of Antoni Gaudi and reproducing them at different scales. There is also a model of La Sagrada Familia depicting what it will look like once it's completed (predicted to happen in the next 30 years).

    Finally we left the church via the Passion Facade. The construction started in 1954, but only in 1987 sculptures depicting the crucified Jesus Chirst were added. A controversial work, because its sculptured figures are angular and often sinister. A strange picture that will keep being focussed on your eye ... even when you have left it.

    Unique Suggestions: Note, though, that the term “tourist trap” is ambiguous. What I classify as tourist trap may even be the highlight of your tour. They may not be in your list but they are in mine. But anyway, La Sagrada Familia is too improtant not to see whenever you're in Barcelona.

    Address: Calle Mallorca 401, 08034 Barcelona
    Directions: It's north of the Gran via de les Corts Catalanes and can be reached via the Avinguda de Gaudi. Metro: Sagrada Familia (Blue Line, L5) and (Purple Line, L2).

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
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    La Sagrada Familia - A huge disappointment!

    by Jerelis Updated Mar 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We read that the church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles. That's what we wanted to see :). After our strenous walk down the spiral staircases we had a well deserved refreshment and after that we entered the Sagrada Familia for a closer look at the interior, but this led to a huge disappointment. La Sagrada Familia was completely empty ... everything was taken out for restauration ... O gheee ...

    The only thing that we could see was its magnificent measures. The central nave vaults reaches 45 meters, while the side nave vaults reaches 30 meters. So the only thing we really saw were the trully huge columns of the interior which are a unique Gaudi design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms. But, of course, this wasn't all we intended to see ... such a huge disappointment, most of all because we were never told, not even when we bought the tickets!

    Unique Suggestions: Note, though, that the term “tourist trap” is ambiguous. What I classify as tourist trap may even be the highlight of your tour. They may not be in your list but they are in mine. But anyway, La Sagrada Familia is too improtant not to see whenever you're in Barcelona.

    Address: Calle Mallorca 401, 08034 Barcelona
    Directions: It's north of the Gran via de les Corts Catalanes and can be reached via the Avinguda de Gaudi. Metro: Sagrada Familia (Blue Line, L5) and (Purple Line, L2).

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
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    La Sagrada Familia - Spiral staircases.

    by Jerelis Updated Mar 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When we arrived at La Sagrada Familia we were gladly surprised by the fact that it wasn't that busy at all. We past the blue tape on which you could see what the waiting time would be whenever you stood in line at that particular place. It started at a 2 hour waiting time, can you imagine that? We could rather fast buy our ticket - 10 minute waiting in line - and could freely move around. We entered the Nativity Facade, the most complete part of Gaudi's church, finished in 1904. It has doorways which represent Faith, Hope and Charity. Scenes of Nativity and Christ's childhood are embellished with symbolism, such as doves representing the congregation. But to be honest ... to have a good look at all those details is close to impossible!

    Of course we had our mind set on visting the towers. Steep stone steps - 400 in each - allowed us access to the towers and upper galeries. We can't recommend the climb for those with fear of heights or for people with claustrophobia! Besides that the temperature at the staircases felt like 5 degrees Celcius higher than outside the church! Maybe it's better to take the lift? But anyway, we were rewarded with trully majestic views over the city of Barcelona.

    Unique Suggestions: Note, though, that the term “tourist trap” is ambiguous. What I classify as tourist trap may even be the highlight of your tour. They may not be in your list but they are in mine. But anyway, La Sagrada Familia is too improtant not to see whenever you're in Barcelona.

    Address: Calle Mallorca 401, 08034 Barcelona
    Directions: It's north of the Gran via de les Corts Catalanes and can be reached via the Avinguda de Gaudi. Metro: Sagrada Familia (Blue Line, L5) and (Purple Line, L2).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
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    La Sagrada Familia - Just a summary.

    by Jerelis Updated Mar 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the travel guide we had we read that the "Temple Expiatoni de la Sagrada Familia is Europe's most unconventional church and is an emblem of a city that likes to think of itself as individualistic. Crammed with symbolism inspired by nature and striving for orginality. It is the greatest work of Gaudi." And not only this discription decided for us to have a look of our own, but of course it is a definately must see!

    In 1883, a year after work has begun on a Neo-Gothic church on the site, the task of completing it was given to Gaudi who changed everything, extemporizing as he went along. It became his life's work and he lived like a recluse on the site for 16 years. He is buried in the crypt. At his death only one tower on the Nativity Facade had been completed, but work resumed after the Civil War and several more have since been finished to his original plans. Work continues today, financed by public subscription.

    Unique Suggestions: Note, though, that the term “tourist trap” is ambiguous. What I classify as tourist trap may even be the highlight of your tour. They may not be in your list but they are in mine. But anyway, La Sagrada Familia is too improtant not to see whenever you're in Barcelona.

    Address: Calle Mallorca 401, 08034 Barcelona
    Directions: It's north of the Gran via de les Corts Catalanes and can be reached via the Avinguda de Gaudi. Metro: Sagrada Familia (Blue Line, L5) and (Purple Line, L2).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    Avoid going on tour

    by cinthya_in_victoria Written Dec 30, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had a great time during my tour to Europe, but sadly the only city I didn't visited enough was Barcelona... :'( :'( :'(

    If you are going to visit the city on tour, make sure and ask to your tour guide how much time you're going to spend there and what are you going to visit. If it is a panoramic tour by bus, ask if you'll have free time to explore the city by yourself; and the most important thing: ask where your hotel is located!!

    We were taken to Sabadell to spend the night, which is located about one hour from Barcelona. When I booked the tour, I thought Sabadell was just the name of the hotel but not that it was another city..! so I couldn't go back to Barcelona to explore more, bah... :'(

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  • pure1942's Profile Photo

    Restaurant Extras

    by pure1942 Written Feb 21, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like in some other european reastaurants the waiter will often bring little extras to your table without you ordering them. These extras such as bread, olives, sardines, bread sticks or coffee sweets are will be placed on your table when you order and during your meal. These are not free and will be added to your bill at the end. There is no problem if you don't want these extras, just tell the waiter or waitress and they will remove them.
    In most places the prices are resonable but some places will take advantage of tourists and will charge highly for these extras - even bread!
    Also watch out for the tax which is not always included in menu prices. (7%)

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  • PATOSO22's Profile Photo

    bus turistic

    by PATOSO22 Written Sep 3, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hi guys
    Strongly advice , Avoid to get on the bus turistic. Because It is so expensive.

    Fun Alternatives: Instead of do this you should ride on metro (You can get the main places such as SAGRADA FAMILIA, PARQUE GUELL, LA PEDRERA, LAS RAMBLAS, MUSEU PICASSO,etc)If you don´t know de right stop you must ask for this place to anyone. They are glad to help you

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • Bamby-Bambi's Profile Photo

    Restoarns

    by Bamby-Bambi Written Aug 22, 2007

    In some restos you can see that fact, that waiters bring you as tapas some plate of food/ or for dessert some cookies... but always ask if it's for free... otherwise, your bill in the end will be much more bigger than you expected!!!

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  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
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    Teleferic de Montjuic

    by karenincalifornia Updated Jul 24, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I hesitate to list this as a tourist trap - I'll tell you that straight out. It gets points for providing one of the best views of the city of Barcelona. But it loses points because it is so expensive. It cost us $30 Eurodollars for four of us to ride to the top. What the heck. It's a tourist trap. The cost cancels out the view.

    What is it? It's a gondola that goes up to the top of a hill in Barcelona called Montjuic. This hill is the location of a Military Museum (which we took a pass on) and some of the sites of the Olympic games.

    Unique Suggestions: If you have a Metro pass, or took the Metro to get to the base of the hill, it costs you nothing more to take the funicular partway up the hill from the L2 or L3 lines. Take the Metro to Paral.lel, and look for the signs to the funicular. Take the funicular until it stops. It is possible to walk the rest o the way up from the top of the funicular.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

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  • krissyM's Profile Photo

    Poble Espanyol - don't waste your time

    by krissyM Written Jun 22, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This place was the biggest toursit trap. It cost 7 euro's to enter and it is basically a large shopping mall disguised as a cultural village. Each characteristic building contains an overpriced shop containing unique and not so unique handicrafts. This place was so uninspiring I don't even have a single picture of it to post.

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