April 06, 2022

21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 Soultravelers3 Sagrada Família
 Barcelona is one of our favorite places in Europe, so we fly off in early May to do van life in Europe, summer European travel and a long term Europe stay, thus we'll start in Barcelona and Costa Brava after Paris where we will pick up our E U Digital COVID Certificate! We did lots of family travel to Barcelona over the years and a teen mother-daughter trip, so have lots of tips and our singer/songwriter daughter Heavenly Reyna may join us in July for a visit. Here is a photo of her on the same bench in Barcelona at 6 and at 16 as this city in Spain has always been one of our homes and it is fantastic at any age! 

21  OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 soultravelers3 heavenly reyna

Spring & Summer Travel 2022

It's spring or Easter break season, and airports are  packed again as the number of people flying is almost back to pre-pandemic levels as we are all so ready for post pandemic travel, maybe GenZ &  boomers more than anyone. As the surge of COVID  subsided and more European destinations dropped COVID-related travel restrictions, bookings for international travel increased sharply, especially in areas like Spain, Italy and Portugal which are far from the Ukraine invasion.

“I have no concerns about safety. Ukraine is as far from Western Europe as Guatemala is from Florida. I just got off the phone with one of our guides and tour groups enjoying their first night dinner in Palermo in Sicily and they are having a marvelous time. As for the ethics of traveling during an on-going tragedy, travel is a vital force for peace. When we travel thoughtfully, we get to know each other, and we take home the very best souvenir: an empathy for the other 96% of humanity.” Rick Steves

Despite being in Barcelona so many times, we just realized that we never shared our list of the best things to do in Barcelona, so we decided this is the perfect time and 2022 the perfect year. 

 Attractions In Barcelona

1. Hit the Beach

21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 soultravelers3 costa brava beach

After a long flight, hitting the amazing beaches in Barcelona will be our first relaxing agenda. One of the things that makes Barcelona special among the other key European cities is the beaches and there are so many wonderful ones nearby and also in close by Costa Brava.The cities most famous beach is Playa Barceloneta, but there are tons and each one is special. Our first agenda will be completing our camper van restoration, ( that we have been doing most from a distance), but that will still leave us plenty of time to hang out at the pool and beaches. 

2. La Rambla

21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 soultravelers3 ramblas

The next stop in Barcelona should be the beautiful pedestrian walk way, La Ramblas which is always lively and  will give you a real feel for this city, trees, ambiance, food and architecture. La Rambla is one of the top attractions in Barcelona and the main tourist street and is a 1.2 km walkway from the water to many of the tourist sites. 


3. Sagrada Família

21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 Soultravelers3  Sagrada Família


Barcelona and Gaudi are synonymous because his amazing Art Nouveau style and architecture gives this city it's unique look. Gaudí’s famous  Sagrada Família  is usually one of the first places to visit on most people's list! It is so massive yet intricate, that it is hard to capture in photos, so a must to see in person!

Casa Batlló

21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 soultravelers3  Gaudi Heavenly reyna

More Gaudi wonders! Don't miss Casa Batllo, as you see in this photo, our daughter Heavenly is loving it even more at 16 than when she first saw it at 5 & adored it! Gaudi delights everyone from babies to boomers. Curves, colors, sculpture, mosaics and light help shape the magic and mystical genius of Gaudi. His work embodies the creative energy of Barcelona and nowhere is it more obvious than on a street called Passeig de Gracia in the beautiful L’Eixample area! 

5. Casa Mila (la Pedrera)

Casa Mila (la Pedrera) soultravelers3 21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022

The next must-see Gaudi art is Casa Mila, popularly known as La Pedrera, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even on the  roof of La Pedrera,  each chimney is an exotic masterpiece,  but what really brought it all home for me was seeing the victorian furniture in Casa Mila showing just how far ahead of his time and "out there" Gaudi was. His ideas are still very futuristic today!

6. Park Güell

21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 soultravelers3 Park Güell

Guell park’s famous mosaic lizard, El Drac, was a joy to climb and the dragon like park benches where we watched them do traditional Catalan dances at sunset delighted us with their Gaudi ambiance.  Park Guell is huge, 19 hectares that are split into two zones, so leave plenty of time to explore as it is all beautiful and enchanting. 

7. Mercato Boqueria

Mercato Boqueria soultravelers3 21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022
Hungry? Don't miss La Boqueria as you wonder around Barcelona as it is filled with yummy food of every variety and beautifully displayed so a treat for your eyes too. Food is very much part of the culture in Spain and Barcelona.

8 Port Vell – Barcelona Harbor

Port Vell – Barcelona Harbor 21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022 soultravelers3

The waterfront and old harbor of Barcelona is lovely to just walk around and look at the ships and yachts. We often have used it to take cargo cruise ships to Rome or Athens etc. but it is also a huge entertainment complex including the aquarium, shopping and restaurants. 

9 Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar  soultravelers3 Barcelona

Located in the Ribera district of Barcelona, Santa Maria del Mar is the only surviving church in pure Catalan Gothic style. Built in the 14th century, no Barcelona trip would be complete without appreciating this church inside and out. 



I am not into football or soccer or any sports, but it's hard to come to Barcelona and not pay homage to this sport and the largest stadium in Europe as their team has won the world championships many times ( once we were in Barcelona when they won!). Camp Nou has an extraordinary seating capacity of 100, 000 and on our tour we also visited Arenas De Barcelona which is an old bull ring turned into an entertainment center. As a kid, Heavenly had to have that winners shirt as all the kids wore them in Barcelona!

11. Barcelona Placa de Catalunya

Barcelona Placa de Catalunya soultravelers3 21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022

Many consider Plaça de Catalunya as the heart of Barcelona as it is a vibrant, large, centrally located plaza with beautiful fountains, gardens and sculptures  and is surrounded by creative architecture. You will likely come here often.

12. Barcelona Cava Cave

Barcelona Cava Cave soultravelers3 Catalan cooking
Don't miss the amazing Catalan food and delicious cava which is sparkling wine like champagne and invented in Penedez region near Barcelona. We are very blessed to have friends in this area and they took us to one of the best Catalan Restaurants in Barcelona named  Ca N'Ayxela. It is a very popular spot with locals and the tradition here is to start first down in the ancient wine cellar for some cava and typical Catalan Cuisine like several different kinds of homemade sausages and  olives.

13. Columbus Monument

Columbus Monument 21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022  soultravelers3
As you walk towards the sea and Port Vell, we will find the impressive, tall Columbus monument. It was built in 1881 to celebrate his first voyage to the new world that was paid for by Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V.

14. Outside Cafe 

Tenorio restaurant is classic in Barcelona. soultravelers3
As you enjoy yourself walking around Barcelona touring or shopping, don't miss the wonderful experience of enjoying a sweet lunch at one of the many great outdoor cafes and restaurants. Here is Heavenly at Tenorio which is a classic in Barcelona, located in the center at Passeig de Gracia ( shopping street equal to 5th Avenue in NYC) and the so called "block of Discord" ( Illa de la Discòrdia). It is called that because this block is noted for having buildings by four of Barcelona's most important Modernista architects in close proximity (which much of the local press greatly satirized the new architectural styles during that time). We found it and the food divine!

15 Montserrat Day Trip

Montserrat Day Trip Barcelona soultravelers3

There is so much to explore in Barcelona and the Costa Brava, but don't miss Montserrat which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been a sacred spot since the 9th century. Montserrat literally means "jagged rocks" and the landscape as well as the  mountains are uniquely gorgeous. You will enjoy the picturesque Catalan countryside on this easy day trip from Barcelona which is close ( about an hours drive by car or train) but feels like another world. 

16.Gothic Barcelona Cathedral

Gothic Barcelona Cathedral soultravelers3 21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022

Also known as The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, it is one of the most spectacular monuments to see in this amazing Catalan city and It dates back to the 4th century! It is a is a must visit in the Barrio Gótico ( Gothic Quarter). 

17. Dali Musee 

Dali Museum Dali Musee Barcelona soultravelers3 21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022

We really love the unique and visionary talents of Spains artists & architects, so loved going to the Dali Museum which is only about a 1.5 hours drive from Barcelona in a small town called Figueres ( by car or train). We heard that the Dali Museum was a "must see", so we made a quick dash into Figueres and were thrilled to see this gorgeous art museum! Besides Dali's amazing museum) we also visited nearby Gala Dali House Museum that was also superb! 

18. Gothic Quarter Ciutat Vella

Gothic Quarter Ciutat Vella Barcelona soultravelers3 1 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA IN 2022

This quarter is one of the oldest and most famous parts of Barcelona and walking the narrow, twisting, medieval streets one absorbs how it used to be this Roman village first and thus has some remnants of its illustrious past. Ciutat Vella means “old city” in Catalan. Although beautiful, energetically, it feels quite dark to me, so not my favorite area, although it is for many. 

19. Passeig de Gràcia

Passeig de Gràcia barcelona spain  soultravelers3
This area is one of my favorites and feels so healing, enriching and elegant to walk around this wide pedestrian sidewalk, taking in the architecture, trees and ambiance  and it is a major premier shopping street in Barcelona, so often compared to 5th Avenue with all it's high end designer stores. It also  contains many of Gaudi’s great works and buildings that add to the magic as well as great restaurants. 

20. Costa Brava 

Aiguablava costa brava barcelona soultravelers3

Spectacular Costa Brava is  only an hour to an hour and half away from Barcelona, so it is shame so many miss it when they come to Barcelona as it is so gorgeous, natural and diverse with incredible beaches, medieval towns, and more. The best way to experience the beauty of "the wild coast" just north of Barcelona is to skip the package tour hell and high rise resorts, and get on the tiny roads that lead to places hard to build on due to nature's stunning cliffs. Even in high season, we knew most of these secret hideaways would not be crowded and didn't book anything ahead. There are still wonderful, hidden delights, beaches & pretty postcard perfect villages to be found on all of these coasts. One just has to look and have a desire to find the authentic beauty that is far from the crowds.

21. Barcelona Luxury Camping Resorts 

Barcelona luxury camping resorts soultravelers3

Want luxury resort amenities on budget prices and meet locals and other Europeans while enjoying nature, kids clubs, pools, hot tubs, saunas, restaurants to relax on days you are not touring in the city center? Camping is very, very different in Europe. We find slow travel "vanlife" as the best way to experience Barcelona and Europe and the prices are low outside of high season August. Plus, even more bargain prices if one stays longer and there are even lovely cottages available for those who do not have a van, camper or tent. Like every city in Europe, there are tons of great campsites near Barcelona and we love the lifestyle and meeting our friends there and doing things like cooking Paella with the locals! 

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Very nice post on Barcelona. I haven't been there in years and loved the Costa Brava so much. Thanks for reminding us!



Aw, thanks so much Rick! Barcelona is such a special, unique city and Costa Brava is such a wonderful and completely different bonus so close by that we never get tired of returning there to see things we love and keep discovering new things.

It was fun to write and look again at all the photos we took over the years. I hope you come back soon!!

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