World-renowned for its architecture, culture and amazing cuisine, Barcelona is truly one of the greatest international destinations. Located in the northeastern section of Spain along the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona also features many of the world's finest beaches in addition to fabulous shopping districts such as the fashionable La Rambla and the historic Barri Gotic. But visitors will also need time to visit some of the city's top attractions, including a famous church that is taking longer to build than the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Here are five must-see sites to enjoy in the fascinating city of Barcelona.
Passeig de Gracia, 43
08007 Barcelona, Spain
Prices: Adults - 21.50€ ($33.09), Juniors 7 to 18 -18.50€ ($28.47), Students with ID - 18.50€ ($28.47), Seniors - 18.50€ ($28.47), Children under 7 - free
Hours:: Daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Casa Batlló is widely considered the most beautiful creation by famed Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, the leading figure of Catalan Modernism. Located on one of Barcelona's most fashionable streets, the early 20th-century masterpiece is often called the "house of bones" in reference to features from its elaborate, multi-colored façade. Today, Casa Batlló houses a modernist museum on the main floor and the interior, particularly the hallway, staircase, the Planta Noble (noble floor), the attic and the rooftop are equally as stunning as the breathtaking exterior. Just 500 meters away is another, possibly more famous, work of art by Gaudí and a must-see attraction — Casa Milá, also known as La Pedrera (The Stone Quarry).
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FC Barcelona Museum
C. Aristides Maillol
08028 Barcelona, Spain
Prices: Adults - 23 € (35.40), Youths ages 6 to 13 - 17€ (26.17), Children under 5 - free
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. except on game days and the day before any Champions League matches
Drawing 1.5 million visitors, the FC Barcelona Museum is the most visited museum in Barcelona, even outpacing the Picasso Museum. The popular museum honors one of the world's most famous teams in professional soccer — FB Barcelona, whose current roster includes arguably the world's greatest player, Lionel Messi. The featured highlights of the museum are the trophy rooms showcasing the team's 23 Liga and five Champions League trophies. The museum is located at FC Barcelona's famous home field Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, and a stadium tour is included in the price of admission.
Parc de Mntjuïc
Prices: Adults - 12€ ($18.47), Students – 8.40€ ($12.93), Youths under 16 – free, Seniors over 65 – free
Hours: Oct. to April - Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays and public holidays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; May to Sept. - Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays and public holidays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Housed within the magnificent Palau Nacional is the national museum of art for Catalonia, the autonomous community of Spain of which Barcelona is the capital. Of the nearly 300,000 works of art of the permanent collections are paintings, sculptures and other art forms from a number of eras, including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Modernism. Major works of art include El Greco's "Saint Peter and Saint Paul" (1590-1600), Francisco de Goya's "Allegory of Love, Cupid and Psyche" (1798-1805) and Peter Paul Ruben's "The Virgin and Child with Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist" (1618). First opened in 1929, the Spanish-Renaissance-styled Palau Nacional was built as the primary center of activities for the International Exhibition held that same year.
La Familia Sagrada
Carrer de Mallorca, 401
08013 Barcelona, Spain
Prices: Adults and children - 15€ ($23.09), Sagrada Familia with guide - 19.50€ ($30.01), Sagrada Familia with audio guide - 19.50€ ($30.01)
Hours: April to Sept. - 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Oct. - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Nov. to Feb. - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; March - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Dec. 25, 26, & Jan. 1, 6 - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Although he was not able to witness its completion, this astounding Roman Catholic church is unquestionably Antoni Gaudí's magnum opus. Now, more than 140 years later, one of Spain's most visited attractions is not yet completed. Featuring Spanish Gothic, Catalan Modernism and Art Nouveau architecture, the massive structure will be the world's tallest church by its estimated completion date in 2026. The price of general admission, which will help with the remaining construction, includes entry to the spectacular nave, the museum and the school. A tour of eight of the proposed 18 towers from the Nativity and Passion facades is also available for a separate fee.
Carrer Montcada, 15-23
08003 Barcelona, Spain
Prices: Adults - 14€ ($21.55), Ages 18 to 25 - 7.50€ ($11.54), 65 and over - 7.50€ ($11.54)
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays until 9:30 p.m.
Located in the historic Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), Museu Picasso holds one of the world's largest collections of the art of Pablo Picasso. The museum encompasses five elegantly restored palaces and houses more than 4,200 sketches and paintings, including many from the Spanish master's formative years. Highlights from the permanent collection include "Science and Charity" (1897), "The Wait" (1901), "Woman with a Bonnet" (1901) and "Las Meninas" (1957). Museu Picasso hosts ongoing exhibitions showcasing Picasso's works of art from other museums, in addition to other famous artists such as El Greco and Diego Rivera. Other notable museums featuring prominent Spanish artists well worthy of a visit are Fundació Joan Miró and the Dali Theatre-Museum.
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