When I visited Barcelona for the first time, I went to see many of the tourist attractions. Although there is so much more. Here is the perfect blend for your first visit.
This city has it all: history, shops, delicious restaurants, nature, and the beach! Nothing beats arriving on a sunny afternoon, hanging around in beach bars, ordering a glass of sparkling wine while leaving al the buzz behind.
When you're adventurous, you can hire a paddleboard in one of the surf clubs near the beach. It's tougher than it looks and so much fun!
Yes, you read it right. Barcelona is the mecca for shopaholics! The shops are open till 9 pm. Isn't that lovely? Good to know, Spanish stores like Zara, Mango, ... are cheaper in BCN than in Belgium!
If you're looking for a real bargain, go to the Mango outlet shop (Carrer de Girona, 37). You'll find clothes there of every collection from 5 years ago till now. For some reason, they didn't sell well or they got tiny errors. You can get them "almost" for free! YAY!
If you can't get enough of these outlet stores, don't fear, there's more! The Bershka outlet for example (Heron City, Avinguda Rio de Janeiro, 42) or Lefties (Carrer de Pelai, 2). Here you can find clothes from Zara, Bershka and Pull and Bear.
Tip: inspect all the clothes you want to buy. Some of them are a little damaged!
> Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe. It seems like it's under construction forever but in 2026 it will be finished. YAY! Order your tickets online and try to avoid the weekends and the holidays. Around noon is the best time to go there for it gets relatively quiet then.
> Parc de Ciutadella is the biggest parc in Barcelona and really loved by the locals. You'll find them there with a small picknick and a bottle of wine. Very cozy if you ask me. There' also a petite lake where you can hire a boat. I guarantee you when the sun is out and you're floating on the water you'll feel totally relaxed!
- Parq Güell is probably one of the most famous sights in BCN. The park consists of stunning stone structures, lovely tiling, and fascinating buildings. When you're traveling by metro, keep in mind that it will be at least a 20 minutes walk from the nearest stop. The last part of the walk is up a steep hill. If you're not into an 'exhausting' hike, just take a cap or the bus!
If this is your first time you should definitely visit the classic favorites of almost every single person who visits BCN.
> Brunch & cake: This spot is extremely popular. Because of their popularity, they opened more places in the area. To be honest, everything is delicious. When you're terribly hungry and have some time, I suggest ordering everything. (:
> Flax & Kale: Thank god they started opening more shops! This is all about being healthy. Think, smoothie bowls and cold-pressed juices, yummy!
> Chök: Salted chips with chocolate, delicious kronuts and donuts with crazy flavors like Crème brûlée. You'll find it here! I always take some back home for my loved ones(and of course some for me too). Instant flashbacks!
My favorite food market is without a doubt 'Palo Alto'. Unfortunately, it's only open on the first weekend of the month (11 am - 9 pm). Prepare yourself, don't eat too much before entering food truck heaven! Tickets online will cost around 3 euros. If you buy them there, it'll cost a little more.
Don't worry, there are other options if you're not traveling on the first weekend of the month. 'Mercat de la Boqueria' situated in the middle of the famous street 'La Rambla'. Fresh fruits, juices, fish, tacos, ... they have literally everything.