There are plenty of things for expats to see and do in Barcelona. Residents and visitors can enjoy vast municipal parklands and sun-flooded beaches.
The views from the surrounding mountains take in the entire city, including the tree-lined Las Ramblas avenue that stretches from the city centre to Port Vella, Barcelona’s oldest harbour.
There is a wealth of ancient and modern architecture to explore, with many of the local buildings designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudi having been declared World Heritage Sites. There are also a number of museums and galleries in the city that are worth visiting.
Popular attractions in Barcelona
Dating back to the Roman era, the Gothic quarter, or Barri Gotic, is the oldest district in the city. The medieval streets are filled with trendy bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as many gothic buildings and cathedrals that are worth exploring.
FC Barcelona Museum and Stadium
Camp Nou is one of the world’s greatest football stadiums, and the largest in Europe. A collection of photographs, trophies, memorabilia and documents connected to the city’s beloved football team, FC Barcelona, can be seen here.
Joan Miro Foundation
The Joan Miro Foundation is a museum on Montjuic Hill that celebrates this surrealist sculptor and painter's life and works, with displays of sculptures, paintings, drawings and textiles.
A pedestrian avenue in Barcelona’s old city, Las Ramblas is one of the most famous streets in Europe and is home to numerous cafes, restaurants and boutiques for expats to enjoy.
La Sagrada Família
Known as the Church of the Holy Family, this is an unfinished but intriguing Modernista Basilica designed by Antoni Gaudi in the late 19th century. It has been under construction since 1882 and is expected to be finished in 2026.
Overlooking Barcelona’s city centre, Montjuic Hill is an excellent viewing point from where expats can see many of the local landmarks and stroll in the fountained parks.
Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art was designed to make the most of natural light and has a spacious interior filled with modern art by the likes of Basquiat, Klee, Fontana and Barcelo.
Discover the delightful designs of Gaudi in the fascinating gardens of Park Guell. Located on Carmel Hill, it is the city’s most popular recreational park.
Picasso Museum Barcelona
Five medieval palaces from the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries in one of Barcelona’s greatest Gothic areas have been converted into the Picasso Museum. This site houses an impressive collection of the great artist’s early work, consisting of over 4,200 pieces – a fantastic find for art-loving expats.
Tibidabo is another hill in Barcelona worth climbing and is linked to the city by funicular services. Those that make the effort to mount the summit often do so to visit the fantastic Parc d'Atraccions, Barcelona’s only remaining amusement park.
►What's On in Barcelona provides a list of the city's best annual events.
"There is a wealth of things to do every day and night of the week. A lively expat community made the move very easy. Of course there is the beautiful architecture and also the weather to enjoy. Something I have particularly loved is exploring Catalonia, there are so many great day trips you can make." Learn more about Dan, an American expat, and his move to Barcelona.
Are you an expat living in Barcelona?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Barcelona. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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