Things to do in Barcelona

Popular student areas in Barcelona

La Rambla

This is one of the most visited streets (in fact, probably the most visited and best known street) in Barcelona, though it’s generally called "Las Ramblas". Stroll down the long street towards the marina and you’ll encounter street artist performances, ice cream vendors and all sorts of whimsical and wonderful characters. It’s a great place for a wander, especially if you’ve got visitors over.

Carrer Blai

Blai Street in Barcelona is one of the few places charging less than €2 for a single tapa/pintxo, at only €1 each! It’s a little off the beaten track, and not particularly touristy - probably exactly the kind of place you want to discover on moving to Barcelona.

Passeig de Gracia

Shopping, shopping and more shopping! The building is very modern, and filled to the brim with classy and top quality brands as well as budget stores which might be better-suited to a student bank account.

Top 5 things to do in Barcelona

Watch Barça Play at Camp Nou

FC Barcelona are one of the most, dynamic, dangerous and attack-minded teams in the world, which makes them unquestionably the most entertaining team in Spain. Go join almost 100,000 fans making noise and enjoying the highest quality football Europe has to offer. You’re guaranteed to have a great time, even if the result (unusually) doesn't go their way!

La Boqueria

Its proper name is El Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, though the sensible Catalans generally shorten it to La Boqueria. It’s a huge public market which can be accessed from La Rambla, and is one of the city’s major tourist attractions, whilst also extremely popular among locals. You’ll find food and treats from all nations at La Boqueria, as well as drink vendors which appear sporadically. Definitely worth checking out.

The Bunkers at Carmel

Used as an anti-aircraft battery during the Civil War, this now-abandoned area offers a majestic view over the city, as well as placards detailing its morbid history. It’s a learning experience and a breathtaking vista rolled into one, and definitely merits a short trip outside of the city centre. If you have a romantic streak in you and have met a nice new lady, there’s no better place to watch the sunset.

A Seaside Trip to Barceloneta

The main attraction of this area is undoubtedly the splendid beaches which can be accessed so quickly from the city centre. The expanse of golden sand, clear water and (usually) bright blue sky offer the perfect solution to any stressful day. Or enjoyable day. Or any other day you can imagine. There are restaurants nearby where you can grab a bite to eat - it’s basically a paradise.

Montserrat

While we’re not expecting you to find the holy grail here, the rocky hills just outside the city centre are well-associated with the myth. You can get a cable car to the top if you don’t feel like climbing, and there are great views and walks along the top where you can easily spend half a day pottering around. Pick a sunny day and maybe take a picnic with you!

Top 5 events in Barcelona

Primavera Sound

Primavera Sound is a festival which takes place every year in Barcelona, and has brought joy to the hearts of millions since its inception in 2001. The blend of rock, pop and underground dance bring an eclectic and wild collection of sounds and is considered one of the world’s premiere urban festivals - if you’re going to be in Barcelona, this is unmissable.

Sónar

This is another music festival, though it’s a bit more niche than Primavera Sound - Sónar is a 3-day bombardment of electronic and advanced music. It draws tourists in their thousands (around 80,000 each year!) with music fans from all over the world making the long trip to Barcelona. The city comes alive every June, and if dance music is your thing, then Sónar is somewhere you want to be.

Mobile World Congress

This is a globally-known exhibition featuring representatives from the most advanced sectors of the mobile phone industry. It is a showcase of the latest technologies and hosts a bunch of high-level exhibitions to enrapture its audiences. Given it attracts so many visitors, you’ll feel a change in vibe across the city when it takes place in the spring.

La Mercè

The annual festival celebrating the city itself - La Mercè fills the streets of Barcelona with parades, the Catalan Wine Fair, road races and musical events throughout the city. It’s a time of sheer happiness and celebration for the local people, and you’ll be welcomed to it with open arms

El Clásico

An affectionate nickname for one of Europe’s most stunning football rivalries, El Clásico is a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, two giants of the game. At the Camp Nou, you can join over 99,000 other supporters cheering, chanting and singing the Catalan side to victory (hopefully). Grab yourself a jersey or other merchandise and try to get a ticket using an online store - they’ll go fast, so act faster!

5 must-see things in Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia

Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece is truly one of the grandest sites Barcelona - and the entire country - has to offer. It’s the biggest tourist attraction in the city, and if you go there, you’ll see why. Construction has been going for 135 years, and optimists think it could be ready by the year 2030-2035. It’s magnificent, and full of history about Gaudi and his work.

PS - buy your ticket online and you can skip the hour-long queue outside!

Magic Fountain Show

The fountain show at the Font Magica is one of the most breathtaking and visually stunning experiences you will ever encounter, and you cannot miss it if you’re there. There are Friday and Saturday shows throughout the winter, plus Thursday and Sunday ones in the summer - it’s free to go to, and honestly you’ll never tire watching the water shoot and swirl through the air, colored every shade of the rainbow.

Picasso Museum Barcelona

Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous Barcelonian ancestors of all time, and the museum erected in his honor is testament to how much the Catalan people adored the masterful artist. The museum does not house his most expensive and famous works, but boasts over 4,000 early pieces which are utterly unique, including sketches and canvases that were never sold or displayed.

Las Ramblas

La Rambla (affectionately known as Las Ramblas) is a street, and is also the beating heart of Barcelona. It’s not bedazzled and magnificent in the traditional sense, but walking down here you witness everything you love about the city. There are vendors, shops, bars and at the end of the walk sits the Port Vell marina - make visiting La Rambla your first priority on landing in Barcelona.

Camp Nou

Home to the almighty FC Barcelona, the Camp Nou houses almost 100,000 fans and is easily one of the biggest attractions the city has to offer. Even for those who aren’t big fans of football, the venue is too spectacular to ignore. You can grab some merchandise (though it’s expensive) and even if you only go once during your stay in Barcelona, you will never forget (or regret) the decision to do so!

5 best bars in Barcelona

L’Ovella Negra

Welcome to one of the noisiest and busiest bars in the city - L’Ovella Negra. Gather a group of mates and head into town for a night you’ll not soon forget - it’s a cavernous bar with everything you need for a good time inside. There are pool tables, and you can get popcorn with your beer - what more could you ask for? It’s insanely popular, so if you’re looking for a quiet drink, this may not be the place for you.

Lime House

Good food. Even better cocktails. Interested?

Unbelievably, it’s only €3.50 for a delicious (and very rum-y!) mojito. There’s pretty much no option of going for something else, unless you really don’t like sumptuous mint, lime and sugar combos… The food is also tasty, and the music is pretty varied - no wonder this is one of the best places to go out in Barcelona.

33/45

Like most quality bars in town, this one will be packed to the rafters on a Friday and Saturday night, so don’t expect to rock up at 11pm and get a seat! The music selection is a delight to the ears, and the cocktails just as friendly to the palate! Seriously though, very cool bar with a killer atmosphere.

Espit Chupitos

Everybody loves a shot bar! With over 200 options on the menu, you’ll need to make 2-3 visits before you can claim to have tried them all. ;) The barmen are pros, so even though it’s super busy inside, you’ll not be waiting long to get your hands on a beverage. This is the ideal "pre-drinks" bar, before heading on to one of Barcelona’s many nightclubs!

La Resistència

With over a dozen taps linked to fresh, craft beer kegs, there’s something (well, probably several things) here for every beer lover. The taps rotate every week or so as well, so it’s a great bar for experimenting and discovering new drinks. Craft beers are becoming more popular in Barcelona, and La Resistència is leading the charge! A huge space inside, it’s a great space to chill with a couple of mates.

5 best places to eat in Barcelona

Mercat Princesa

If you’re looking for an authentic experience, take you (and your family!) to the Mercat Princesa, located in the humble and quirky Bohemian quarter. Full of character and history, this tapas market consists of a few different bars, each with its own unique twist on traditional tapas.

El Xampanyet

Interested in a place that’s off the beaten track, full of character and delicious food without being overpriced? Well, you’re in luck! El Xampanyet is round the corner from the Picasso Museum, but is stowed away in a myriad of cobbled side-streets. It’s a really cool tapas bar where you can (and should) buy Cava by the bottle.

Blai 9

It’s a simple, quality restaurant. There’s cheap tapas and pintxos, good drinks and exceptionally friendly service. The atmosphere is pleasant, and calm, and it’s an all-round pretty place. The best part is that on sunny days, you can enjoy your meal outside on the terrace.

Makamaka

Already tired of tapas and quirky back-street eateries? Well, perhaps this beach-front burger-cocktail-joint is the one of you. The burger will be grilled to perfection, and a cocktail is its perfect complement. Great way to enjoy the sun, relax with company and fill up on tasty grub. Have a mojito on me!

Uma

Just a few streets away from La Sagrada Familia sits one of Spain’s finest restaurants, preparing and serving gorgeous sushi right at your table - Uma. There’s a set menu at around €50 per head, but they serve truly exquisite, unique dishes which you can’t help but appreciate. If you get your bursary early, or want to treat yourself to something truly special, choose Uma.


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