Barcelona Tourist Activities
The city of Barcelona in Spain’s Catalonia region is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations for city breaks. Boasting some of the continent’s most spectacular architecture, excellent food and drink, fabulous flamenco shows, nightclubs and tapas bars, Barcelona also has some wonderful parks, fountains, world-class art collections and museums, an amazing zoo and numerous cultural attractions to offer.
With some 2 million visitors per year, Sagrada Familia located at Calle Mallorca 401 and designed by Antonio Gaudi, ranks as number one among the top five Barcelona tourist attractions. During April to September the opening hours are from 09.00 am to 08.00 pm and the admission fee is EUR 13.00 per person, but with a Barcelona Card it is possible to save some 16%. From October to March the building’s opening hours are from 09.00 am to 06.00 pm daily.
The gigantic temple has really been under construction since 1882 and it is envisaged to take another 30 to 80 years, before Antonio’s plans are finally realised and the temple is complete. While the Sagrada may not be to everyone’s taste in its exuberance of design and different cultural influences, it is nevertheless an amazing achievement and worth seeing. Public transport is provided via the metro lines L5 (blue line) and L2 (purple line).
Barcelona tourist attractions rarely leave visitors disappointed and at number 2 the aquarium ranks as one of the all time favourites. Located at Moll d’Espanya del Port Vell, the aquarium can be visited for a reduced admission fee of 20% with a Barcelona Card. Home to a plethora of sea creatures, the aquarium offers children and young people fun activities like scuba diving with sharks and rays, underwater observation in the Oceanarium with thousands of fish and moray eels as well as various other activities for kids and teenagers, not to mention adults, who’ll be busy taking pictures of their little divers.
The aquarium opens from 09.30 am to 09.00 pm on weekdays and from 09.30 am to 09.30 pm on weekends. Adults pay EUR 18.00 per person and children aged 3 to 12 pay EUR 13.00. Senior citizens over 60 pay just EUR 15.00. There are some 11,000 marine animals on display in a series of 35 tanks. The underwater tunnel is stunning at 80 metres length. There are more than 450 different species swimming in some 6 million litres of water, making Barcelona aquarium one of the largest in the world. The Barcelona aquarium is certainly the most important and also the largest of its kind dealing with the Mediterranean Sea and its inhabtiants. Public transport: metro L3, the green line.
Another of the Barcelona tourist attractions that regularly draws visitor numbers over 1.3 million per year is the Spanish village, the Poble Espanyol de Montjuȉc in Avda. Marques de Comillas, which can be reached by metro lines L1 (red) and L3 (green) with an additional 15 minute walk from the metro station.
The creators of this artificial village have lovingly reproduced several different styles of traditional architecture that can be found across Spain. As well as some wonderful arts and craft shops selling traditional Spanish goods, there is also the famous flamenco show at tablao de Carmen, which draws in the visitors. Kids will love the shops were glass blowers show their art and various other workshops also allow young visitors to see how traditional arts and crafts are produced today.
The open air museum was created in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition and right from the start it was conceived as a “real village”. There are some 117 buildings lining streets and squares that could be found in most Spanish regions. Special attention is paid to young visitors, who are invited to the Children’s Village on a journey of discovery into Spain’s heritage.
Another Antonio Gaudi building and another favourite among Barcelona tourist attractions is the elegant La Padrera building at Calle Provenca 261 to 265, which can be reached via L3 (green) and L5 (blue) metro trains. The characteristic wavy brick work with its pretty balconies full of flower displays is a highlight on many visitors’ itinerary.
Soccer fans will want to visit the Barcelona FC Museum at Aristides Maillor, which can be reached via metro L5, the blue line. The admission fee is a little pricey at EUR 22.00 for adults and EUR 16.50 for children, but football enthusiasts the world over have visited the museum and not regretted a single cent of their admission fee.
Finally, Barcelona Zoo is a must for nature and animal lovers. Located in Ciutadella Park, the zoo has not just many different species of animals: there are also a restaurant and picnic area, electric cars and ponies, a mini-train and a shop to keep visitors busy and entertained. Created in 1892 and grown into a major tourist attraction, the zoo displays animals in various different habitats in 3 sections and also has its own museum dealing with conservation issues. The yellow metro line L4 to Ciutadella applies with an additional 10 minute walk to reach the zoo and park.
Ciutadella Park is a great place on a hot summer’s day, as several water features and ponds provide respite and there are many tranquil areas for a siesta, too!