12 of The Best Things To Do in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain is an extremely popular tourist destination and for many good reasons. Whether you are on a quick weekend getaway or long holiday, you will find no shortage of things to do in Barcelona.

Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region in Spain, is a stunning city full of fascinating architecture and natural beauty. The adventurous traveller will find an almost endless list of activities whether you want to learn new skills, physically challenge yourself, or relive ancient history.

Favourite tourist spots tend to be favourites for a reason, but sometimes you want to shake things up with unique experiences. Here is our guide to the 12 best things to do in Barcelona.

Learn to cook Spanish Tapas

Two students and instructor during a Spanish Tapas cooking class in Barcelona.

Tapas are an assortment of small appetizers served on a platter. They are important in Spanish cuisine because of the social nature and connection of sharing food. We know you won’t leave Barcelona without having some at least once, but have you considered bringing the cultural favourite home to share with your friends?

A tapas cooking class is a great way to leave your trip with a new skill that will WOW your friends and family. You’ll gain a better understanding of what goes into making tapas and why they are so important in Spain.

Hike at Montserrat

A hiking tour in the scenic mountain ranges near Montserrat.

The Santa Maria de Montserrat is an 11th century monastery located on a mountain 48km from Barcelona. The monastery and abbey hold hundreds of years of fascinating history that you’ll learn about during your tour.

For those who love exploring the outdoors on foot, you can hike the mountain around the abbey on an exciting guided hiking tour.

See Catalonia from a hot air balloon

Hot air balloon ride in Catalonia, Spain

If you’re someone who thinks standing in an open basket 3000 feet in the air sounds fun, then this is one of the best things to do in Barcelona for you.

A hot air balloon ride will give you sweeping views of stunning Catalonia while you experience the freedom of floating about the ground for 1-1.5 hours. This hot air balloon ride near Barcelona includes a Champagne brunch after your flight.

Explore Game of Thrones shooting locations

Two tourists reenacting a scene from Game of Thrones on the shooting location in Spain.

Game of Thrones is an Emmy-award winning TV show that became one of the most popular shows in the world. Among the many things that made the show so famous is the breathtaking locations where the show was filmed. Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland, and Spain all contributed to the fantasy medieval world of the Game of Thrones.

Girona, a Spanish city 60 minutes from Barcelona, served as a major shooting location for season 6. Enjoy a Game of Thrones tour in the historical city where a guide will take you around to the different locations, following in the footsteps of your favourite GoT characters.

Just…maybe don’t speak of the final season.

Tour a park on horseback

Two people on horses during a horseback riding tour near Barcelona.

The Catalan countryside offers stunning scenery of rolling hills, thick forests, farmland, and stunning views over the city. Taking some time away from bustling Barcelona to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside will show you a whole other side to Spain.

Explore the natural park in style by taking a horseback riding tour for roughly two hours. You’ll get to the stable by air conditioned bus and enjoy a Spanish omelet lunch before heading back to Barcelona.

Get some new Instagram pics on a photo shoot tour

Photo of a couple during a photowalk tour of Barcelona

Selfies are great and all, but sometimes you just want some good quality pictures to remember your trip by.

A photowalk tour around Barcelona will take you to a variety of scenic, fascinating, and fun locations. A professional photographer will take photos of you in all the instagrammable spots…no selfie stick required!

Kayak in the stunning waters of Costa Brava

Kayaking along the coast of Costa Brava is one of the best things to do in Barcelona.

Barcelona is on the Iberian Peninsula coast, which means some of the best things to do in Barcelona happen on the crystal clear waters. The coast of Costa Brava is a natural wonder that’s best seen by going on an adventure.

A trekking and kayak tour will take you on a 1 hour coastal walk before you set off in sea kayaks to explore the cliffs from the water. Learn about the marine ecosystem from your experienced guide and take a dip in the tempting blue waters.

Experience the Pyrenees Mountains and medieval towns

Pyrenees mountains in Spain.

The Pyrenees Mountains is a 400+km mountain range that forms a barrier between Spain and France.

About an hour away from Barcelona is an area of the mountains dotted with charming mountain villages. If breathtaking mountains and medieval towns interest you, then you’ll love the guided bus tour from Barcelona. Throughout the day, you’ll be given the option to go on hikes or horseback riding. Don’t worry if you’d rather keep it chill, the bus is always available.

Go rock climbing

Rocking climbing is one of the best things to do in Barcelona if you're looking for a unique activity.

If you’re looking for fun ways to take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding Barcelona, then rock climbing should be top of your list.

You’ll be taken to crags and cliffs by a qualified climbing guide who will assess your abilities and customize the day to suit you. If the weather is warm, you can go for an optional swim after climbing to help you cool down before heading back to the city.

Go on an oil tasting tour (no, really!)

Sample foods during an olive oil tasting tour near Barcelona.

Olive oil is a staple in almost everyone’s cooking, yet how much do you actually know about it?

Take an olive oil tasting tour from Barcelona where you’ll learn all about its history, how it’s made, and the properties that make each type unique. You’ll gain knowledge that will improve your cooking while enjoying the stunning countryside. Plus, you’ll get to snack on a lot of delicious food.

Fly over the sea on a parasailing adventure

Parasailing adventure in Barcelona, Spain.

For those who like a big dose of adrenaline during their vacations, why not get airborne? Go on a parasailing adventure to fly over the sea and get unbeatable views of Barcelona as you’re pulled behind a boat for 15 minutes.

This particular tour also includes a 2 hour boat tour if you’re looking to spend more time on the water.

Take a hidden gems tour

Woman on rooftop patio in Barcelona.

Guidebooks and websites will point you all to the same handful of sights and activities in Barcelona (except GoAdventure, of course). They are favourites for a reason; they are usually really fascinating or absolutely stunning. However, they definitely aren’t all that Barcelona has to offer.

Let a local lead you to all the hidden gems around Barcelona for a truly unique experience.