La Sagrada Familia is the most popular attractions in Barcelona, attracting nearly 2.8 million visitors each year. Construction began in 1882 and continues through today, making it the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. Antoni Gaudi took over as architect the following year and worked on it until his death in 1926. It’s just over 70 percent finished now. Current architects are following Gaudi’s design, which is based on Gothic and Byzantine styles, with 18 towers of varying heights, each dedicated to a different biblical figure. Visitors will be captivated by the design elements and the religious symbolism built into all the spaces of the church. The church was consecrated in 2010, allowing services to be held onsite.
This is probably the city’s most famous street and is a bustling hive of activity. It is often called Las Ramblas, because it is actually a series of several different streets that all have a distinct feel. Located just off Plaza Catalunya and leading right down towards the port and beach, visitors will find street performers, lots of bars and restaurants and the fabulous Boquería Market, a true feast for the eyes.
Built between the years 1906 and 1910, Casa Milà (La Pedrera) was the last civil work designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. The colorful building is considered one of the artist’s most eccentric and enticing architectural creations with not one straight edge on the exterior. Tours of the interior and the incredible roof structures are available. It also hosts a large exposition of Gaudi works, covering Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlio, not only La Pedrera itself.
Out of Barcelona’s seven different beaches, stretching over 4.5 km (2.8 miles) of coastline, Barceloneta probably tops them all. It is one of the most popular and is closest to the city center. Along the 1,100 meter (3,600 feet) sandy beach runs a walkway popular with joggers and cyclist. Not surprisingly this place can get crowded, especially during the summer months when the beach bars open up and the beach quickly fills up with locals and tourist.