24 Hours in Barcelona

24 Hours in Barcelona

Be it a layover or just a day trip to Barcelona, you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed at the thought of trying to finish seeing all that there is to see in this beautiful city within the short time frame given. With so much to do, but so little time, what is truly worth visiting and cannot be missed in just one short day? Though it may seem daunting, but exploring the city in a day can certainly be done. Here is our list of what you must do during your 24 hours in Barcelona.




Park Güell

Going to Barcelona without seeing one of Antoni Gaudi’s work would be the equivalent of going to New York City without seeing Times Square. It would almost be a crime not to. Park Güell is just one of the many marvels that was designed by native architect, Antoni Gaudi. Initially destined to be housing site and later converted into a municipal garden, Park Güell was made in the 20th century and is one of the most highly visited landmarks in Barcelona. In the park, you can find not just trees, but also art and you can even get an amazing view of Barcelona!


Mercat la Boqueria

When in Barcelona, you should certainly pop by one of Europe’s largest and most well known food markets. Stimulate your senses as you take in all the sights, sounds and tastes that this market has to offer! The variety of food available in the La Boqueria is truly endless and you can spend hours upon hours just walking through every aisle, in awe of the sheer amount of treasures that you can find. Grab a quick bite from the multiple different bars and restaurants that line the aisles, including the famous “Bar Pinotxo”, that serves up what some people swear by as the best Tapas in Barcelona. Travelers should note that the market only opens from Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Sagrada Familia

Of course, no trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to the world famous “unfinished church”. After 144 years, this beautiful church is still not complete, with it only set to be done in the year 2030. Designed by none other than the iconic Antoni Gaudi, this complex work of architecture is certainly a sight to behold in person. The Sagrada Familia was consecrated in November 2010 as a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI and still remains as one of the biggest tourist attractions in Barcelona. For a small ticket fee, you can enter the church and even visit the top of the eight towers that have been completed. Plus, each ticket purchased will contribute to the funding of building the rest of the church, a cause completely worth supporting in our opinion.


Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Just minutes away from the Espanya metro station, The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is a stunning musical display of colored lights and water acrobatics. Illuminated by over 50 hues of coloured lights, this spectacular fountain is a captivating sight to behold. Whether you are 5 or 82, you are definitely in for a treat as this visual spectacle is also another one of the most visited attractions in all of Barcelona. It should be noted that the fountain only operates on Thursdays to Sundays from 9.30-11.00pm during certain times of the year.


La Pedrera

Also known as Casa Milà, this is another piece of architecture that was designed by Antoni Gaudi. Constructed between 1906 and 1912, the La pedrera has become one of the most iconic buildings that decorates the streets of Barcelona. Due to its unique design and heritage value, it has been recognised and inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in the year 1984. The building now houses the headquarters of Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation and a cultural centre. There are also different spaces that are used for art exhibitions that is open to the public, with guided tours included. If museums aren’t really your thing, you can opt to just visit the stunning facade and admire the intricate details that Gaudi put into the building for free.


La Rambla

A beautiful 1.2 km walkway that cuts through the heart of Barcelona, La Rambla is yet another must visit attraction. The picturesque avenue is lined with various stalls, restaurants and street performers that never fail to entertain the thousands of people who walk through the La Rambla daily. From the cheesy souvenirs to the intriguing human statues, there is definitely something for everyone in La Rambla. This famous street also serves as a cultural hub with theatres, magnificent architecture and art (including the Pla de l'Os mosaic by Joan Miró) dotted along this central boulevard.


Plaça Reial

Also known as Plaza Real, this is definitely a place to visit to truly experience the vibrancy of Barcelona’s nightlife. Just off La Rambla in the Barri Gotic, this square that was built in the 19th century, is certainly one of the most visited areas in Barcelona. It is also no surprise why. Filled with a myriad of restaurants and bars, this square attracts thousands upon thousands of tourists daily. The Plaça Reial is also home to some of Antoni Gaudi’s earliest work. Try looking out for a set of lamps that Gaudi was commissioned to design for the Barcelona council. Even though every lamp includes a plaque on the floor with his name, it is often overlooked. So do try to find it when you visit the most beautiful square in Barcelona.


Dine with a local

There is no better way to end your trip off than having a meal with a local. Gain deeper insights into the history and origins of all the landmarks you have visited, while simultaneously treating yourself to authentic Catalan or Spanish food. The best part? Have all your questions about Barcelona answered, and get advice on what other hidden gems there is to see for your next trip to Barcelona, straight from a local. Try dining with our host Teresa, a native Spaniard, serving up a delicious Tapas dinner with her own home-made Sangria – certainly a unique experience like no other. Winding down with amazing authentic food, people you love and new friends? We cannot think of a better way to end your short 24 hours in Barcelona with.

24 hours is definitely not enough to explore this beautiful city thoroughly, with hundreds upon hundreds of other things to see, do and eat. However, 24 hours is certainly enough to make you fall in love with the charm that Barcelona has to offer, and get you started on planning your next trip back to this bustling city. Do you think we missed out on any crucial attractions that one must go to during their short stay here? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Arts Scene in Barcelona

The Arts Scene in Barcelona

When you think about the art scene in Barcelona, most people would only think of Antoni Gaudi and his great architectural feats, or Picasso and his iconic art. While Gaudi’s work did play a major role in shaping Barcelona’s ever-evolving art scene, and Picasso is an art icon in his own right, there is definitely more to Barcelona’s art scene than these two great artists. Here are some of the best art pieces to look for if you are on the hunt for some iconic art in Barcelona, aside from Gaudi’s buildings and the Picasso museum.


Fernando Botero’s The Fat Cat Sculpture

Built by famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero, the “El Gato del Raval” or “El Gato de Botero”, is certainly a sculpture that cannot be missed. The iconic oversized cat located in Barcelona’s La Rambla del Raval has been seen around Barcelona since 1987. Initially calling other areas in Barcelona, like the Parc de la Ciutadella its home, the sculpture finally moved to its current location in 2003. Thousands of tourists visit this beautiful masterpiece daily to take pictures or to even climb onto its back!



Rebecca Horn’s L’estel Ferit

Also known as “Homenatge a la Barceloneta” or “The Wounded Star”, this masterpiece was created in 1992 by German visual artist Rebecca Horn. Located on the Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, a 1.25km promenade from La Barceloneta to Port Olímpic, the 10-meter high sculpture reflects the past developments of the Barceloneta district. From a run down outlier to a bustling metropolitan area, the four steel boxes stacked on top of each other, aids in showcasing just how far the Barceloneta district has come.


Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Matches

Known locally as “Els mistos”, this oversized sculpture is one of the most iconic pieces of art that decorates the streets of Barcelona. Designed and produced in 1992 by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, a Scandinavian couple, this 22-meter high sculpture was part of the large-scale redevelopment efforts that took the streets of Barcelona, in preparation for the Summer Olympics that was held that year. This sculpture is now located at the former Olympic site of the Vall d'Hebrón, a mere 30 minutes away from the city center.


Frank Gehry’s “Fish” Sculpture

This 52m long sculpture is one of the most unique landmarks located on Barcelona’s seafront. Also known as “El Peix”, Gehry’s masterpiece is one of the best known and most striking landmarks on Barcelona’s seafront. The gold facade of the sculpture certainly makes a statement, as the sun catches perfectly on its surface, allowing it to glisten and shine during the day. This was another sculpture that was part of the redevelopment efforts in Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Both beautiful and functional, the “Fish” sculpture also serves as a canopy that links the renowned Hotel Arts to the seafront.


Agbar Tower

A stark contrast from the traditional stonework that Barcelona houses, this 38 storey polished aluminum skyscraper is located at the entrance to Barcelona’s new technological and business district, 22@. Said to be shaped after a geyser and the hills of Montserrat, the “Torre Agbar” also reflects the architectural legacy left behind by Gaudi, with references made to the bell towers his unfinished church, the Sagrada Familia. The 142-meter building lights up every night, according to a certain schedule (that can found on their official website) with special light shows made available on certain holidays like New Year’s Eve. Aside from being a spectacular piece of architecture in Barcelona, the Agbar Tower is also extremely eco-friendly, with it receiving the green building award from the European Council in 2011.

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Street Performers

Art in Barcelona definitely transcends physical and visual art, with its streets being constantly filled with performers from all walks of life. From human statues to singers, and even dancers, talented individuals can be easily found on every corner of the city. Street performers are especially prominent in La Rambla, a famous walking avenue in the heart of Barcelona. However, with new restrictions put into place, the avenue can only host a maximum of 15 performers at a time.

Art can be easily found in all sorts of shapes and forms in Barcelona. From architecture dating back to the last century, to new modern masterpieces, art is certainly something Barcelona is not short of. As this is just a brief excerpt of what Barcelona has to offer, do check out our other posts to learn more about this beautiful city and how to have the best vacation during your stay there.

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Top 10 Things to Do in Barcelona

Top 10 Things to Do in Barcelona

1.Tapas Bar Hopping


Definitely not one to be missed, Tapas sits on the top of our list as what any traveler must try during their stay in Barcelona. There is strong "Tapas culture" in Barcelona, where friends chat while eating Tapas and having a drink or two. Avoid flocking to the tourist traps at La Rambla– just ask a local and they will be more than happy to direct you to their favourite tapas bar.  If you want a break from bar crawls and would rather learn the art of tapas, join our BonAppetour Host, Nani, and learn how to make your very own Tapas!


2. Enjoy an enchanted evening


Just minutes away from the Espanya metro station, The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is a stunning musical display of colored lights and water acrobatics. Illuminated by over 50 hues of coloured lights, this spectacular fountain is a captivating sight to behold. Whether you are 8 or 82, you are definitely in for a treat as this visual spectacle is one of the most visited attractions in all of Barcelona. It should be noted that the fountain only operates on Thursdays to Sundays from 9.30-11.00pm during the summer

3. Hit the beach


Longing to get that summer glow? It’s time to bask under the Mediterranean Sun at Barceloneta, Barcelona’s most popular beach. Backed with a promenade of seafood restaurants and a string of clubs, it is no wonder that this seafront neighborhood is packed with partygoers every weekend. If the raucous nightlife is not your cup of tea, another beach worth the visit is Sitges, a coastal town that is 20 minutes away from Barcelona. Other than the cerulean waters, this coastal town boasts a rich artistic history, it is home to multiple museums dedicated to the works of Catalan artists.

4. Trek up Mount. Tibidabo


Overlooking Barcelona, Mount. Tibidabo is a great spot to capture panoramic views of the city. Prepare your favourite snacks, get your playlist ready and put on your trusty pair of sneakers to embark on a 15km trek up the mountain. Pay a visit to Temple de Sagrat Cor, a charming cathedral designed in a modernisme and neo-Gothic styles and for just €2.50, ride an elevator that takes up to a viewing platform just below the Sacred Heart of Jesus sculpture. If you’re travelling with children, The Tibidabo Amusement Park is a must go, With 25 rides like classic roller coasters and great street theatre performances, the Tibidabo Amusement Park promises a fun-filled time for family members of all ages. Do check out the park’s Skywalk area for the Giradabo, a Ferris wheel gives you a bird’s eye view of Barcelona. Before you leave, make a pit stop at the foot of the mountain and wander into Casa Figueres, a hidden tower constructed by Gaudí.

5. Admire Gaudí’s works of art


With a name synonymous with Barcelona’s urban landscape, it is hard to miss any of Gaudi’s masterpieces while you’re out on the streets. Other than his magnus opus, La Sagrada Família, go on a trail to discover the rest of Gaudí’s work throughout the city. Begin your trail at Güell Palace, a mansion built for the Güell family and then head over to Casa Calvet, one of Gaudí’s most conventional buildings. Once a residential project for textile manufacturers, this beauty now houses a popular restaurant under the same name. We could go on about the other must-see places by Gaudí but it would be slightly ambitious to complete the entire trail in a day. Gaudí’s architecture is full of surprises and unusual elements and it is without a doubt that he left an indelible mark on Barcelona.

6. Watch the sunset at El Carmel Bunker


The El Carmel Bunker is another great spot to capture the best panoramic views of the city. An important slice of history, the place is the ruins of an old air raid bunker used during the Spanish Civil War.  Located at the peak of Turo de la Rovira, many locals flock here to watch the sunset and have a picnic with their loved ones, particularly during the summer season. Although situated in a rather remote area, the bunker is accessible by metro and public buses that run from the city centre. If you are into photography, this is the place to take breathtaking photos of Barcelona!

7. Uncover hidden treasures at local markets


Although widely perceived to be ‘tourist traps’, spending the afternoon at a local market is a great way for you to purchase local favourites at an affordable price. These markets are a one-stop shop for everything gastronomical.Push through the tour groups that usually crowd the entrances of the market and venture deeper where you would find the part of the market that locals love- from seafood and specialty meat cuts to pickled delights. Just a word of caution, don’t get carried away by the hubbub of the market’s crowd always keep an eye on your valuables at all times.

8. Dine with a local home chef


If you are here in Barcelona for a special occasion, why not take up a cooking class for an unforgettable experience? This is a great way for you to learn more about the city, have a wonderful time with your loved ones, straight from a local's kitchen. Cook like a local, dine like a local and live like a local- get a taste of home away from home and perhaps learn a recipe or two! Check out our BonAppetour hosts, like Teresa, who will teach how to make your own paella from scratch!

9. Pop by a quirky museum


Barcelona is renowned for having one of the most vibrant and established art scenes in Europe. But beyond Picasso and Da, there are many weird and wonderful museums to stop by for a fun-filled afternoon. Museu de Perfum tops the list as a museum so unusual that it remains the only perfume museum in Spain. Step into a time capsule and sniff your way through times dating back to Mesopotamia, Roman and Egyptian times. Another museum that showcases something stranger is the Museum of Funeral Carriages, aptly located inside Montjuïc Cemetery. Renowned for displaying some of the most exquisite antique funeral carriages and hearses in the world, the exhibits here are key in learning how the deceased were moved to burial sites in the past. If you have a morbid fascination and are travelling on a budget, do check out this museum as entry is completely free of charge!

10. Be part of a summer festival


One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Catalan culture is to participate in the neighbourhood festivals. Barcelona’s niche festival, La Mercè takes place during late summer and it is a boisterous celebration that honours the city’s patron saint, the Virgin of La Mercè. La Mercè is a time of gaiety that brings locals and tourists together through the flurry of events and attractions-heart-thumping live music festivals, castells(acrobatic locals building their own human towers), processions of gegants(giant papier-mâché figures) and street parties!


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A Guide to Off the Beaten Path Experiences in Barcelona

A Guide to Off the Beaten Path Experiences in Barcelona

When in Barcelona, few travellers would pass over the iconic Las Ramblas, which is a lively street brimming with shops and restaurants. It is also no surprise that in a city famed for Gaudi architecture, sites such as Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and La Padrera are popular attractions.

But there is more to Barcelona beyond the typical 'must-see' attractions! Here are some places to consider visiting should you decide to take a break from the beaten, or rather, touristy path. 

1. Parque del Laberinto de Horta

Go back in time to 18th and 19th century Barcelona by visiting the city's oldest garden. This tranquil green space, located in the estate of Joan Desvall, the Marquis of Llupia and Alfarras, was first built in the late 18th century and expanded in the 19th century. In 1967, ownership of this park was transferred from the Desvall family to the city council, which opened it to the public four years later. It is now comprised of a labyrinth and three gardens, namely the Domestic Garden, Boxwood Garden and Romantic Garden. Ideal for nature lovers, families and those seeking to be away from the bustling areas. 


2. Mercat del Encants

Looking to snag a good bargain or perhaps find something a little unusual? Forget Las Ramblas and visit the Encants Vells Market, the biggest and oldest flea market in Barcelona, instead. Here, you will find a great variety of vintage items, be it books, clothing or furniture, as well as various knick knacks. Do pop down early if you wish to visit this flea market as most stalls begin closing by midday. If you wish to avoid the crowds, visit on a weekday.

3. Rambla de Catalunya

Not to be confused with the more well-known and touristy Las Ramblas located nearby. Like the bustling Las Ramblas, Rambla de Catalunya is also a street with plenty of shopping and dining spots but offers a far more quiet and relaxed atmosphere with its tree-lined paths. Here, you will find small local and independent boutiques alongside several international high street and luxury brands. Ideal for those who want retail therapy in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere.

4. El Carmel Bunker

To capture panoramic views of Barcelona, head to El Carmel bunker. Located at the peak of Turo de la Rovira, the bunker is a remnant of the Spanish Civil War. Locals enjoy coming here to watch the sunset and have a picnic, particularly during the warmer months of the year. Given its fairly remote location, the El Carmel Bunker is less well-known among tourists but is accessible by public buses. You will need to climb up a hill after the last stop but with breathtaking views of Barcelona awaiting, this hidden gem is definitely worth a visit!

5. Sarria

Sarria was one of the last independent villages to become part of the city of Barcelona and has retained much of its old village character and charm. It is also one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in the city. Shops dating back the to 19th century as well as a blend of traditional and modernist architecture can be found in this neighbourhood. You can also find a host of eateries and a food market here, where residents do their weekly grocery run. With Sarria's close proximity to green spaces, it offers a quiet and relaxed atmosphere not only to residents but also visitors in the vicinity.

6. Tibidabo Mountain

The Tibidabo Mountain overlooks Barcelona and its peak is another spot where you can capture panoramic views of the city. You will also find the Temple de Sagrat Cor, a Catholic church designed neo-Gothic style, and the Tibidabo amusement park, which is one of the first amusement parks in the world. With spectacular views, beautiful architecture and the prospect of rides awaiting at the peak, a visit to Tibidabo is ideal for families. You may also have a picnic or simply spend the day exploring the mountain. 


Don't forget to take a look at our authentic local dining experiences in Barcelona!


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