10 Things That Barcelona Is Famous For

The façade of Casa Batlló which inspired Gilbert Shelton's drawings

With an estimated twelve million visitors each year, Barcelona is one of the best-known and most visited cities in Europe. But what is Barcelona famous for? Barcelona is famous for its outstanding football team, stunning architecture, lively nightlife, sandy beaches, and world-class cuisine. Not to mention a vibrant cultural heritage and colourful neighbourhood festivals that…

When’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Barcelona? (Month-by-Month Guide)

The Eixample district of Barcelona

For most visitors, the best time of year to visit Barcelona is from early April through to mid-October. Throughout this period the weather is generally warm and sunny. It’s also when most of the city’s many vibrant festivals take place. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit at other times of the year. In fact,…

Monument to General Prim

Statue of Joan Prim i Prats, Barcelona

Barcelona’s best-known park, El Parc de la Ciutadella, takes its name from the fortress which once occupied the site. Built immediately after the War of the Spanish Succession to dominate the fallen city, the citadel became a symbol of oppression that was hated by the people of Barcelona. In 1869 the government of General Joan…

Ripoll: What to See and Do

Ripoll

Ripoll is a small town in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountain range, one hundred kilometres from Barcelona. The town is best known for the monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll which was founded in the ninth century and is considered one of the most important Romanesque monuments in Spain. Ripoll also makes a good…

Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer

Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer

Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer is basically just a large and fairly busy roundabout in the l’Eixample district of Barcelona. The plaza would probably go unnoticed if it wasn’t for the twenty-metre high monument which stands in the middle and the giant neon owl that stares down from the roof of a nearby building. Monument…

Desolation by Josep Llimona

Desolation by Josep Llimona

Desolation (Catalan: Desconsol) is one of the best known and most evocative statues by Catalan sculptor Josep Llimona i Brugera. Born in Barcelona in 1863, Josep Llimona is widely considered to be the most influential sculptor of the Catalan Modernism artistic movement. His earliest commissions were mostly monuments and funerary statues. In fact, Desolation is…

Statue of Little Red Riding Hood

Statue of Little Red Riding Hood

Who isn’t familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood? The tale of a young girl and her grandmother who are saved from a fierce wolf by a burly woodcutter. The Little Red Riding Hood fountain in Barcelona portrays a smiling Red Riding Hood casually stroking a friendly-looking wolf. Presumably, inspired in the girl’s…

Homage to Picasso by Antoni Tàpies

Homage to Picasso by Antoni Tàpies

Homage to Picasso is a large abstract sculpture that was commissioned by Barcelona city council in 1981 to celebrate the centenary of the artist’s birth. Created by Antoni Tapies, the sculpture consists of a collection of Art Nouveau furniture traversed by iron beams and tied together by rope. One side of the pile of furniture…

Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol

Monument to Ángel Guimerá

Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol (St. Josep Oriol’s Square) is located next to the Santa Maria del Pi Basilica in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Built on the site of one of the Basilica’s three cemeteries, the square hosts a regular artists market which takes place every weekend. Artists Market One of the delights of exploring Barcelona’s…

Monument to Anselm Clavé

Monument Josep Anselm Clavé

Josep Anselm Clavé was a musician, composer, writer and political activist. A committed socialist and founder of choral societies aimed at working-class people, Clavé played an important role in the development of popular Catalan culture during the nineteenth century. Monument to Josep Anselm Clavé Inaugurated in 1888, the monument consists of a bronze statue by…

MALIP: Monument to Lost Dreams

Malip - Monument to lost illusions

The Monument to Lost Dreams (Catalan: El Monument a les Il·lusions Perdudes) is a sleek, abstract sculpture by cartoonist and multidisciplinary artist Toni Batllori. Installed in Poblenou in 2015, the pale granite statue was created as part of a fundraising drive for Clowns Without Frontiers (Payasos Sin Fronteras) a registered charity that sends clowns to…

Monument to Frederic Soler

Statue of Frederic Soler

Better known by his pen name Serafí Pitarra, Frederic Soler was a Catalan playwright who wrote over a hundred plays as well as several books of poetry. The white marble monument which was erected in his memory stands directly opposite Barcelona’s oldest theatre, Teatre Principal. Biography of Frederic Soler Frederic Soler i Hubert was born…

Carmela by Jaume Plensa

Carmela by Jaume Plensa

Carmela is one of four sculptures by Jaume Plensa which were exhibited at the Palau de la Musica Catalana in 2016. The statue was such a hit with the neighbours that they started a petition on change.org asking the organizers and Barcelona city council to keep it there indefinitely. Carmela Sculpture Carmela was created from…

Fountain of Diana

Statue of Diana the Huntress

Located on the intersection of Gran Via and Roger de Lluria, the Fountain of Diana is a six and a half metre tall marble fountain topped by a statue of the Roman goddess Diana the huntress. The Renaissance styled Fountain by Venancio Vallmitjana was commissioned by Barcelona city council in 1913. Apparently, the young goddess…

Monument to the Heroes of 1809

Monument to the Heroes of 1809

Commonly referred to as the Monument to the Martyrs of Independence, The Monument to the Heroes of 1809 is dedicated to eight people who were executed after a failed attempt to drive occupying French troops out of Barcelona. The Martyrs of Independence During the Peninsula War (1807 – 1814) Barcelona was occupied by Napoleon’s army…

Basilica of La Mercè

Bronze statue of Our Lady of Mercy

It may not be as well known as Barcelona’s other historic churches, but the Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy (Catalan: La Basílica de la Mare de Déu de la Mercè) is a worthy addition to your list of things to see in the Gothic Quarter. The basilica’s stunning interior consists of a nave flanked…

Myths and Legends of Barcelona

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

With over two thousand years of history, it’s no wonder that Barcelona has more than its fair share of myths, legends and superstitions. From the squares and alleyways of the Gothic Quarter to the peak of Mount Tibidabo, in this post, we uncover the best-known stories. The Vampire of Barcelona At the beginning of the…

Barcelona’s Oldest Fountain: El Font de Santa Ana

The Font de Santa Ana fountain was built in 1365

From the narrow streets and alleyways of the Gothic Quarter to the wide boulevards of l’Eixample district, wherever you go in Barcelona you’ll see fountains of all shapes and sizes. The earliest fountains were built during the middle ages to provide water for Barcelona’s inhabitants and livestock. Simple and functional, early fountains were sparsely decorated…

El Capricho de Gaudí, Comillas

El Capricho, Comillas

Born in Reus in 1852, Antoni Gaudí moved to Barcelona to study architecture when he was eighteen years old. After finishing his studies, he began working for some of the city’s wealthiest residents. In the years which followed, his ground-breaking and fanciful designs helped transform the city into what we see today. Despite the fact…

Monument to Santiago Rusiñol

Monument to Santiago Rusiñol

Santiago Rusiñol was a key figure in Catalan Modernism, an artistic movement encompassing art, architecture, design and literature. Born in Barcelona in 1861, he was the son of a wealthy family which owned a textile manufacturing company founded by his grandfather Jaume Rüsiñol. As a teenager, Rusiñol started sketching and painting in his free time…