Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain (Kyle Haney |

1. La Sagrada Família

Considered by some to be the most famous church in Spain, La Sagrada Família is one stop you can’t afford to miss. However, if you simply look at photos of the outside, and think “ew…”, you’re in good company, don’t sweat it. I’ll go ahead and say it: the outside of La Sagrada Família is likely one of the most hideous facades I’ve seen in terms of aesthetics.

“It’s the separate, intricate details in the façade that will capture your imagination and set your soul on fire upon closer examination.”

Every inch of La Sagrada Família’s facades have specific designs that represent the life of Jesus.

On the Birth Facade, you’ll encounter intricate plant, human, and animal figures; on the Passion Facade, you’ll be forced to pass by skeletal columns designed to represent bones.

As you make your way inside, all sensory overload is dissipated by the blissful floor plan.

The size- and material-differing columns are orchestrated so elegantly that light passes through in a filtered manner, giving rise to the illusion of a peaceful forest.

In the mornings, as the sun rises in the east, light pours into the cathedral in cool shades of blue and green thanks to the stained-glass windows.

Then, as the sun makes its way towards the western horizon, the windows on the opposite side direct the light in bursts of energetic reds and oranges, just like the sunset itself.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain (Kyle Haney |

Want more details? Check out The best guide for a long weekend in Barcelona.

2. Carmel Bunkers

Located at the top of Turó de la Rovira in the Carmel neighborhood (north of the city) lie a peculiar set of ruins that one might walk right past if exploring the surrounding neighborhoods or parks.

However, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t hang here until sunset at least once during your visit to Barcelona.

“This location offers the best view of Barcelona, for free!”

These Spanish Civil War relics, now covered in graffiti and influencers looking for the perfect photo, were once a strategic defense point for anti-aircraft batteries whose job was to shoot down enemy aircraft.

After the war, these fortifications were inhabited by the homeless and served as a shanty town for almost 60 years. As preparations took place leading up to the 1990 Olympics, the shanty town was erased, along with any trace of culture pertaining to the inhabiting Los Cañones peoples.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain (Kyle Haney |

3. The Gothic Quarter

I researched multiple neighborhoods to stay in during my visit to Barcelona. The winner was the Gothic Quarter for a few main reasons.

First, it’s central to everything worth doing in Barcelona. The metro system has plenty of lines that move through the area and the main attractions are all within walking distance.

From hundred-year-old churches to picturesque alleyways, the Gothic Quarter easily captivated my attention from sunrise to sunset. So much so that I looked forward to getting lost on my way to the main attractions like the La Sagrada Família or the Cathedral of Barcelona.

While those might be the top three attractions in Barcelona, don’t limit yourself to only seeing them! Like with any trip, it’s what you make of it, right?

“ The best part of Barcelona is the wide array of things to do for, literally, anyone! For foodies, it’s heaven. For history buffs, look no further! Need a city break? This is the place to do it. ”

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain (Kyle Haney |

Kyle Haney is the creator of

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