10 things to do in Barcelona on a port day

A port day in Barcelona gives travellers the chance to experience this unique and colourful Spanish city which fuses medieval history and contemporary culture. 

Barcelona's history stretches back 2,000 years, to when it was an Iberian fishing village. Perfectly perched on the Mediterranean coast, the city grew through history into the second city of Spain.

Famous for its bewitching Gothic and fantastical modernist architecture, the city is a riot of colour and contrasting styles, this Mediterranean beach city has something for everyone. Culture and history buffs will love the museums and galleries, foodies can treat their taste buds in the tapas bars and chic restaurants. Shop-a-holics can head to the luxury stores or grab a bargain in the colourful markets, and the laid back cafe society and beach are perfect for visitors who just want to watch the world go by. With so much choice and only a day to explore you could easily get overwhelmed, so we've pulled together a list of ten things to do on your port day in Barcelona.

Getting around Barcelona

  • Barcelona’s Port Vell cruise port is one of the largest in the world, the closest terminals are around a mile and 20 minutes walk from the historic city centre.
  • It is easy to get around the city on foot and there is also a metro and bus service too. Here are our top ten things to do in Barcelona on a port day:

Walk up La Rambla

  • La Rambla is the pedestrian avenue that stretches for 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) from Port Vell to the Placa de Catalunya. It is the boundary between the Gothic Quarter in the east and El Ravel to the west.
  • This lively and historic shopping avenue is shaded by trees and filled with stalls, street performers and cafes and is the perfect place to start your day in Barcelona.

Have a passionate adventure at the Erotica Museum

  • The Erotic Museum of Barcelona is on La Rambla and offers visitors an exploration of the historical and cultural influence of eroticism. Permanent and temporary exhibits explore erotica and sex through the ages and across the world.

Treat your taste buds at La Boqueria Food Market

  • La Boqueria Food Market serves the freshest food in Barcelona, from juice stands to seafood, the market is a feast for the senses.
  • The little restaurants at the back of the market serve traditional Spanish tapas with market fresh ingredients.

Explore the Gothic Quarter

  • The Gothic Quarter is home to some of the oldest parts of Barcelona, including the remains of the Roman wall.
  • Medieval landmarks jostle with more modern 19th and 20th-century buildings, wander through the maze-like streets that open onto squares and plazas and get a feel for the history of the city.

Hang out in Place de Catalunya

  • Barcelona’s central square, Place de Catalunya is where many of the city’s main streets connect and is a hub for public transport.
  • An open plaza that is known for its fountains and sculptures, it’s a great place to stop for refreshments during the day and an ideal place for pictures.

Go shopping and architecture spotting at Passeig de Gracia

  • Passeig de Gracia is the boulevard that links the historic centre of the city to the bohemian Gracia quarter.
  • It is home to luxury shopping and some of the most famous architecture in Barcelona including the iconic and modernist townhouse Casa Battlo by Gaudi.

Let your imagination go wild at Park Guell

  • North of Gràcia is Park Güell, famously landscaped by the architect Antoni Gaudí.
  • Explore his wild imagination and the colourful mosaic sculptures and forms.
  • The park is free but the central area restricts the number of visitors and length of visit, book ahead online to save on the admission fee and to guarantee your visit.

Be awed by the La Sagradia Familia

  • La Sagrada Familia is a 90m high basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudí and possibly the most recognisable building in Barcelona.
  • It dates from 1882 and is built in Catalan modernist style.
  • Buy your tickets in advance to avoid the queue.

Relax at Barceloneta Beach

  • This artificial beach is easy to get to from Port Vell and you can spend your day sun-worshipping, swimming and enjoying local tapas.
  • There are outdoor gyms, beach volleyball, beach tennis and table tennis if you’re feeling sporty and plenty of sightseeing along the Passeig Marítim walk along side the beach.

Be inspired at Museu Picasso

  • Set in five medieval mansions, the Picasso museum is a breathtaking journey through the work of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
  • The collection houses over 4,000 of his work, mostly from the earlier period of his life.
  • Tickets can be booked online.

Barcelona is a city that has something to inspire everyone; architecture, history, art, food and shopping. This city has it all!

There is much more to discover in the city beyond our top ten Barcelona guide if you’ve got a favourite must-see place in Barcelona let us know on social media and we’ll share it with our sexy travellers.

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