11 of the Most Instagrammable Places in Barcelona
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On the northeast coast of Catalonia stands one of our favorite Spanish cities: Barcelona. The colors, designs, tastes and textures of Barcelona are unparalleled; it’s a perfect place to vicariously take your Instagram followers. Whether you’re in town for great eats and drinks (like fideuà, which is similar to paella, but with noodles instead of rice), or there to find a great party (at Sala Razzmatazz or La Terrrazza) or to take some time to relax and explore, Barcelona has something that can cater to every itinerary. Here are a few of our favorite Barcelona spots that are also perfect for pics.
1. Happy Pills
Created as a candy shop for adults, this “pharmacy” can fix anything that’s ailing you, except maybe a toothache. Choose from a variety of “pill bottles” which are available in multiple shapes and sizes, then fill them to the brim with your favorite candies. You can mix and match and Happy Pills features candies from all over Europe. Happy Pills is known for its vibrance, simplicity and variety; it’s perfect for an Instagram shot and a fun pit stop.
2. Da Greco
Yes, this place is an Italian restaurant and Barcelona is obviously in Spain, but for foodies and carboholics alike, this place is a must-visit. It’s usually best to start with a Caprese and end with a cannoli, but whatever you choose for your main in between is up to you. From the creamy Parmesan risotto to plump, buttery prawns, Da Greco is the prime place in Barcelona for mouth-watering dishes. Don’t forget to snap some photos before you devour your dish — you’ll make your followers hungry.
3. Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
Basilica de La Sagrada Familia, nestled comfortably inside of Barcelona’s central grid, is not your everyday cathedral experience. Antoni Gaudí spent more than 40 years designing the temple and construction still continues today; however, the unfinished facade is stunning and features several towers and intricate details. While the outside is picture-worthy itself, the inside is adorned with intentional light and color schemes meant to invoke joyful memories. You could ultimately spend hours inside, so if you have the time, take it to explore the mosaics, stained glass windows and eye-catching geometry of Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.
4. Park Güell
Designed by the same architect as Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Park Güell is full of artistic pieces that play to Gaudí’s love for nature and color. This park is a fantastical playground of statues, mosaics and temples, but only a certain amount of people are allowed to enter the park every half hour. Because of this, and in combination with the park’s popularity, it is best to book in advance online. For an additional €7 on top of the €7.50 admission price, you can take advantage of a one-hour walking tour — learn about the inspiration for each piece while finding the best angle for your photo.
5. La Ribera
For travelers who are looking for a chic, artistic vibe, definitely check out the La Ribera district. This storied region used to host Barcelona’s artisans including mirror makers, hatters and silversmiths, but today the area plays host to studios and galleries. Check out the Museu Picasso and the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar, then grab some tapas at Mercat Princesa or relax at Ziryab Cocktail & Shisha Lounge. Whatever you decide to do, prepare for an easygoing and historically charged detour through the city.
6. Playa de la Barceloneta
For sunny days in Barcelona, head to the beach. Playa de la Barceloneta is located in between the W Hotel, Aquarium de Barcelona and Casino Barcelona; you may also stumble across some art installations on the beach, including the sculpture “Homenatge a la Barceloneta.” This is the oldest beach in Barcelona, and it includes umbrellas and sun beds for rent, volleyball courts and the opportunity to catch some Mediterranean rays while relaxing or enjoying water sports. As if the sand and sea weren’t enough for a great pic, the W Hotel and surrounding skyline make this a perfect spot for a sunset shot.
With overreaching arches and eye-pleasing symmetry, the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Barcelona is a beautiful building to visit and a great way to experiment with different angles and frames. The cathedral plays host to an enormous pipe organ that dates back to the 1500s, but its restoration was completed in 1994. Monthly organ concerts have been given since 1990, so check to see whether your trip aligns with this or any of the cathedral’s treasured traditions. Note that tourist visiting hours are in the afternoon and the cathedral closes to visitors at 7:15pm, so plan to visit during those hours.
8. La Boqueria
Built on the site of the St. Joseph Monastery, this market is an ideal place to experience sensory overload in Barcelona. Filled with vibrant colors and decadent smells, you will be able to find almost anything to satisfy your appetite. While La Boqueria is filled with confectionary sweets and raw meats and produce, there are also several places to eat; if you’re willing, you can try some Catalonian classics such as esqueixada (salted, dried cod with tomatoes and onions) or xuixos (fried, creme-filled pastries.) Don’t forget to snap a shot of the traditional dishes that you try, or the colorful candies you find.
Perfect for music-lovers and folks who enjoy attending concerts in grand halls, Palau de la Música Catalana is highly regarded as a major cultural center in Barcelona. With its mission to promote musical prowess — choral performance in particular — visitors have the opportunity to catch one (or more) of the shows on their extensive program. While photography may not be permitted during the concerts, you may arrive early to catch your shot or take advantage of a guided tour. The wide, jeweled arena-style hall was designed to look and serve as a whimsical music box crowned by a spectacular chandelier — perfectly captured in a wide-angle shot.
10. Camp Nou
One of the most obvious things to do while in Barcelona is to catch a football game. It’s generally wise to book your FC Barcelona match tickets before you arrive, but you may also book tickets to take a guided tour of the stadium. For fans, it’s well worth it to do both; seeing the empty stadium and learning about its history is a great way to warm up before a match. Don’t forget your camera or your FCB gear.
11. Casa Vicens
If you haven’t had enough of Gaudí, head to the newly restored Casa Vicens. The house was Gaudí’s first major commissioned project and it paved the way to the rest of his great works, as seen in Park Güell or Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. Originally, the house served as the summer home for a wealthy stockbroker; however, today it serves as a restored museum and community center. Before you visit, check out the current program of exhibitions and activities so that you can make the most out of your trip to this colorful paradise; the hues, mixed media and patterns are obvious signatures of Gaudí, and are ideal for a few great snaps.
Featured photo of Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by MasterLu/Getty Images)
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