Barcelona has something to offer for every traveller that comes here. With a buzzing nightlife, rich history and astounding gastronomy, taking a solo trip to the Catalan capital will be a breeze as there is just so much to get up to.
Travelling alone means you can get to know Barcelona on a deeper level, discover exactly what you want to, without needing to bicker with the rest of a group about what the itinerary for the day is!
Although being alone in a major city can at first seem intimidating, there is no need to fear in our beautiful city as we share the best things to do while you’re here.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Barcelona without eating an abundance of tapas, so what better way to experience the culture than to join a tapas and wine tour? There are several companies here that offer different food and drink tours of the city, with the option to either join a big group if you’re wanting to make friends, or take a private tour if you’d prefer to experience it solo.
Some of the most popular options that travellers recommend are:
- The Tapas and Wine Experience Small-Group Walking Tour by Barcelona Local Experiences: this popular tour takes you to the small, secret streets of Barcelona for a three-hour Spanish gastronomy tour. Sample delicious tapas, authentic paella and mouth-watering sangria in the best neighbourhoods of Barcelona.
- Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Private Food Tour: this tour takes you round the often missed neighbourhoods by tourists, taking you to San Antoni, Poble Sec & Raval, where the guide introduces you to modern-day Barcelona culture and delicious food and drink.
2. See the sights
A trip to Barcelona would not be complete without making time for the stunning architecture and history of the city. Everyone knows the world-famous Gaudí hails from our city, and he truly has shaped the face of Barcelona.
Take the full Gaudí tour of the Sagrada Família, Casa Battló and La Pedrera, with the price including entrance fees also. Not to worry about having to walk around Barcelona for hours either, as the tour includes a private bus to move from one sight to the next.
The tour excludes the infamous Parc Güell with panoramic views of the city, which is definitely worth a separate visit (buy tickets online to avoid queues).
3. Relax in the Ciutadella Park
Head to the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella for a relaxing day sat soaking up the Mediterranean sun in one of Barcelona’s best parks. There’s no entrance fee here, so grab a coffee and some snacks and spend a day sat reading and sunbathing.
The Ciutadella fountain is another piece of architecture that’s also worth a visit in this park, erected by Josep Fontsére and also Antoni Gaudí in 1888 (who was largely unknown at this point!) and it was aimed to resemble the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
4. Enjoy a coffee in a café
Barcelona loves its cafes, and there’s a particularly big brunch culture here also, so head to one of the many cosy cafes and coffee shops that can be found across the city. Unlike other countries like the UK, Barcelona has many independent cafés rather than large chains, so there’s a different, unique ambience to each place.
Barcelona loves its coffee so much that there is even the ‘Independent Barcelona Coffee Festival’ held each year for professionals and lovers of speciality coffee, so if you’re visiting at the same time then this is a must visit!
Some of our favourite cafés include:
- Café Llúria
- Europa Café
- Cafés el Magnífico
- Nømad Coffee
5. Go for a swim!
Depending on the time of year of course (unless you like the adrenaline of an ice-cold swim in winter!), there’s a plethora of options for heading for a dip in the water.
If you enjoy the beach vibes, then Barcelona’s 4 kilometres of sandy beaches can provide. Starting at the renowned Barceloneta Beach and stretching up north to the Banys del Fòrum Beach, the city’s beaches are clean, accessible, and lined by many excellent bars and restaurants to grab a drink too. If you’re feeling sporty, then why not rent a paddleboard or take a windsurfing lesson?
If you’re someone that prefers the Pool to the open water, but aren’t staying somewhere that has its own pool included, there’s also many outdoor swimming pools available in Barcelona.
Some of our favourite outdoor pools are:
- Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc: opened in 1929 but renovated to host several water sport competitions, and notably to host the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. This pool costs only €6.80 entrance for the day and has stunning panoramic views of Barcelona.
- Parc del Fòrum: this unique pool uses sea water from the Mediterranean and has a wave machine to use to practice your surfing technique! This pool is also free and a stylish hassle-free alternative to the beach.
- Park Creueta del Coll: found in the Gràcia neighbourhood and opened in 1976, this outdoor pool is a great place to socialise with locals and make some new friends.
6. Learn about the football history of Barcelona
If you’re a football fan, then heading to the Camp Nou stadium tour is a must for your to-do list! The tour is 90-minutes long, an excellent choice to pass an afternoon, and it’s also a good choice for the rainier days in Barcelona as it’s indoors.
Get to see the panoramic view of the largest stadium in Europe and learn about the history of FC Barcelona, discover the dedicated area to club icon Leo Messi, and live the emotion of entering onto the pitch from the tunnel. A general ticket here is €25, so slightly on the pricier side, but well worth a visit at least once!
7. Shop until you drop!
For those days where the weather might not be the best, head to one of Barcelona’s many excellent shopping centres. Although not the most cultural visit that you can take in our city, sometimes some retail therapy is an essential!
There are many to choose between, but these are our best recommendations:
- Diagonal Mar: one of the biggest in Barcelona, tie in a visit here after a day at the Platja de Llevant beach, only a ten-minutes’ walk away.
- L’illa Diagonal: at the opposite end of the Avenida Diagonal, Barcelona’s oldest shopping mall offers a large variety of shops and an excellent food court area.
- Arenas: an old bullfighting ring, this shopping centre is spread over three levels and contains a cinema, gym, and even a circular terrace with a 360 degree panoramic view of the city.
- Glories: recently renovated, this shopping centre is overlooked by the Torre Agbar and is also full of many shops, attractions and restaurants.
- Maremagnum: located at the end of a wooden pier in Port Vell, Maremagnum is of easy access from the centre and full of high-street brands, and lined by restaurants with a beautiful view over the port.
8. Visit the beautiful kiss wall
The World Begins with Every Kiss (El Món Neix en Cada Besada in Catalan) is a beautiful mural designed by Joan Fontcuberta using images taken by local residents. The local newspaper El Periodico asked people to send in pictures that represent “a moment of freedom”, with which the mural was then created..
The kiss wall can be found in Plaça d’Isidre Nonell, and is the perfect instagrammable spot to make your friends jealous!
Pretty much most things in Barcelona are great to do as a solo traveller, it just can feel strange at first to take the plunge and learn to enjoy your own company. Whether you want to stick solo, or meet up with like minded travellers, Barcelona is a great place to travel alone thanks to the large international community and welcoming residents. If you are looking for somewhere to stay whilst visiting Barcelona, head to AB Apartment Barcelona’s website to find your perfect apartment in Barcelona, and contact us for any help you may need!