Although Barcelona attracts many of its visitors with its warm weather, famous sandy beaches, and wonderful shopping areas, there is something to be said about the city’s iconic array of classical art and architecture that brings its charming history back to life. Take some time out of your day to tour a few of Barcelona’s quintessential works that captivate the elegant spirit of the past.
Gran Teatre del Liceu
Barcelona's opera house, located on the world-famous La Rambla, opened in 1847. A tour lasts 45 minutes, so can be enjoyed without taking up a huge chunk of your day. Visitors see the Renaissance-style Lobby, the 2,300-seater auditorium and the Mirror Hall, once a favourite spot for Catalonia’s upper classes to socialise. The performance programme includes operas, concerts, recitals and dance performances – visit the website to buy tickets.
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Palau de la Musica
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this modernist palace was built by legendary Catalan architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner from 1905-1908 and its visual delights rival Gaudi’s greatest creations. The guided tour is a must for any visitor, the expert guides bringing the building’s incredible story to life in engaging detail, while classical music buffs should check out the concert programme.
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The creations of architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) dot Barcelona and have helped forge the city’s global reputation. Seven of his buildings, including the Sagrada Familia and Palau Güell, are UNESCO World Heritage sites but our pick is Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia. Its façade evokes nature and fantasy, while inside Gaudi has used wrought iron, wood, stained glass, ceramics and stone to create both a functional living space and a work of art.
Considered the greatest artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was also among the most prolific, producing 50,000 artworks in a career spanning eight decades. He arrived in Barcelona aged 14 in 1895 and he lived there until 1904, returning to his adopted city multiple times thereafter. The museum in the Gothic Quarter was created at Picasso’s behest and is home to a stunning array of his paintings.
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Museu Nacional D’art de Catalunya
Located in Parc de Montjuïc, the Palau Nacional offers incredible views of Barcelona, and inside there’s ten centuries of art to explore. This includes the best collection of Romanesque art worldwide, while the modern art galleries span Neoclassicism to the Avant Garde. The photography library spans over 40,000 images.
For more ideas on Do, Dine and Spend in Barcelona, visit our Destinations page.