Hi! Luck you - Barcelona is such a beautiful city! I've been there twice, and in order of the best things to see...
The Sagrada Familia. It will be crowded, you will have to wait for ages in line, it is far from the centre and will take a significant chunk out of your day, and it will be worth it. It is AMAZING!! Take the metro there, and arrive as early as possible. I would also recommend hiring one of the audio guides as they fill in some really interesting details that add to the whole experience.
Ditto for Parc Guell. Spend the afternoon here if you can, as it's the best time to take in some sun ('tomar el sol' as they say there)
Wander up Passeig de Gracia to see the best architectural sights, including a couple of stunning buildings by Gaudi (obviously I'm a huge Gaudi fan! But truly, his work is the best and most unique thing to see in Barcelone)
The best place to wander in the city is La Rambla, the main street. About halfway along, you will find a marketplace, called La Boqueria. It's GORGEOUS! So many bright, bountiful, luscious food displayed artistically along the stalls. It's just stunning.
The Cathedral in the Gothic quarter is another highlight - best to go here at night and then have some tapas and drinks in the area. The streets are very picturesque - all twisty and winding and cobbled.
As for places to stay - it really depends on your budget. I stayed in hostels, and of course the ratings on hostelworld or hostelbookers are always the best way to judge these. For areas... along or near Passeig de Gracia is a popular and respectable area. Down near the ocean front things get a little seedier, so if you were feeling particularly cautious I'd avoid that general district. If you stay in the north-ish reaches of the main city, you'll be closer to La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, which could be a bonus if you only have a couple of days and will be travelling up there.
If you're interested in shopping, the central area has heaps of nice, quirky little shops. A couple of unique Spanish brands are Custo Barcelona and Desigual, both of which have several outlets in the city centre and surrounds.
Have a great trip!! about 6 years ago
Laura nailed it on the head! I have one thing to add regarding accommodation: apartment rentals are really popular in Barcelona and are a very trusted business. Check out sample prices here: http://sweethomeabroad.com/barcelona/ Can be a very good option, if you are travelling with friends. about 6 years ago
Apartments are they way to go for accommodations; often cheaper than hotels with more space and a sense of "living" there. Two recommendations: http://www.passeigdegracia115.com/
Key places: the Museum of the History of Cataluna at the Palau de Mar; one of the best in the world and you'll understand more of Barcelona from pre-historic times to today. Plus, it's right by the marina and in the Barcelonetta area near the beach and great restaurants.
Sagrada Familia is a must see, as is Tibidabo with the church and amusement park. Placa Espanya will give you entree to the National Museum, the Miro Foundacion, the artesan village of Poble Espanya and the sights of Montjuic. As to La Rambla, it's OK if you like Times Square in NYC, otherwise it's a tourist mob scene and haven for pickpockets. La Boqueria is interesting, but I'd visit Palau de la Musica instead. about 6 years ago
I would recommend Apartments Sixtyfour for a place to stay in Barcelona. This is in a great location for exploring the city and the rooms are really nice. http://search.costeffectivetravel.com/Hotel/Apartments_Sixtyfour.htm about 6 years agoAnswered by Tim via Travellr.com