Famous around the world for its delicious tapas, surreal architecture, and bustling party life, Barcelona needs no introductions. On the northeastern coast of the Iberian peninsula and bathed by the Mediterranean sea, Barça, as locals affectionately call it, is one of Europe’s most fascinating destinations and undoubtedly a city with character. From street art to picturesque cafes and majestic gothic churches, the Catalan capital has a bit of everything — or rather a lot of everything — to offer, and there are photo opportunities in every corner. 📸 Luckily we’ve got you covered with a list of the top ten places to take photos in Barcelona you shouldn’t miss when visiting this photogenic Spanish city. 💃
1. The Gothic Quarter
Perhaps the best place to get a good grasp of Catalunya’s ancient history is the Gothic Quarter, where you’ll find remains of the original Roman towers alongside examples of amazing Gothic architecture. Wander around and get lost in this labyrinthine beehive of narrow streets and alleyways, most of which are closed to car traffic. Look for the Carrer del Bisbe (or Pont del Bisbe, as it’s also called), a neo-gothic bridge that crosses over a narrow street. A stone’s throw away from this instagrammable spot is the Barcelona Cathedral with imposing bell towers and intricate lapidary work. Head to the bohemian Plaça Reial in the evening, which is very close to the bustling La Rambla. Sit in one of the many outdoor cafes and people-watch. During the summer months, they also have outdoor music concerts. The only way to top this splendid day in the Gothic Quarter is with a rooftop patio and a chilled glass of sangria in your hand. 🍷
2. El Born
Less touristy than the Gothic Quarter but equally as beautiful with its narrow streets and picturesque plaças is the neighbouring area of El Born. Filled with small art galleries, trendy boutiques, and some of Barcelona’s best restaurants, this is a great place to soak in Catalan creativity and feel the city’s authentic vibe.
Though he famously lived in Madrid and Paris, Pablo Picasso held Barcelona close to his heart as an adopted hometown. With a vast collection, the Picasso Museum is a must-see in El Born; it’s an homage to the artist and the only institution created to house his work while he was still alive.
In El Born, you’ll also find the spectacular Palau de la Música Catalana, a magnificent concert hall designed by the influential modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Its striking red brick facade is decorated with columns and sculptures by different Catalan artists, making it one of the best spots in the city. The interior doesn’t fall behind. So, why not book a seat for a wonderful evening of classical music? 🎻 Then, head for something a little more upbeat in one of the many bars and clubs in the area. Have we mentioned Barcelona has a musical soul?
Trend alert! 🚨 Right on the outskirts of El Born, don’t miss Carrer de La Allada-Vermell, a cute pedestrian street with cafes and eateries. Number 12 has a vertical garden with many flower pots hanging from the wall, and it’s probably Barcelona’s most photographed non-modernist building — or at least according to what we see on Instagram!
3. Parc de la Ciutadella
The Parc de la Ciutadella is a giant patch of greenery right in the middle of Barcelona and has some eye-catching architecture, too. Check the Castle of the Three Dragons, also by Domènech i Montaner, an unusual castle-like building with four towers built especially for Barcelona’s World’s Fair in 1888.
Not far, the Cascada Monumental has a display of water fountains and stone-carved statues amidst the greenery. Two symmetrical stairs will lead you to a podium right at the center with a magnificent statue of the birth of Venus. There’s an impressive golden statue of Aurora riding four horses on a carriage to crown the monument. 👑 Even though you won’t recognize Gaudí’s style, he assisted in the project while still a student. 👨🎓
There’s lots more to see in and do Parc de la Ciutadella, including a zoo and a giant Mammoth Statue that’s a big hit with the kiddos. Overall, it’s a great place to relax, enjoy the natural surroundings, have a picnic, or —why not? — jump on a row boat on the lake. How romantic!
4. The Sagrada Familia
It’s almost impossible to imagine a visit to Barcelona that doesn’t include The Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece and one of the world’s most iconic buildings. The design is so intricate that it’s still not completed, even after almost 140 years under construction. Of course, by now, this is all part of the allure.
The interior, however, is mostly done. It’s simply mesmerizing to see the light streaming in through the stained glass windows, creating different hues of red, orange, yellow, blue, and green. This spectacle varies according to the time of the day. You’ll also find all kinds of religious symbolism in abstract shapes and imposing columns that compose the central nave.
Outside, along with the 18 spires which represent a different religious figure, you’ll get to see the construction cranes carrying the last stone pieces. 🏗 A closer look will reveal Gaudí’s naturalistic inclinations in a myriad of details, such as flowers, leaves, and animals. This Unesco World Heritage Site is unique in every way possible. It has three different façades with distinct designs, meanings, and atmospheres that you could spend a lifetime taking in. Impossible to pick a favourite. 🤔
5. Parc Güell
Another iconic and positively surreal landmark sprawling on a Barcelona hillside is Park Güell — and it will make you feel you’re in fairy-tale land. 🧚♀️ A network of paths and bridges connect the beautiful gardens. Cross the entrance with the two pavilions of Catalan clay tile roofs onto the doubled stairway with the park’s illustrious guardian. Visit El Drac, a lizard sculpture with a multicoloured mosaic surface that is one of Barcelona’s favourite statues to pose with. 🦎 The heart of Parc Güell is Nature Square, a large open space in the middle boasting some of the best views of the city. It has a serpentine bench that acts as a balustrade. And guess what? Its surface is also entirely covered with eye-catching mosaics that will help compose and frame your stunning photos. Pro tip: Visit in the early morning before the swarms of tourists appear to take photos in Barcelona’s most popular park.
Another particularly Instagram-worthy spot is the Portico of the Washerwoman, an arcade gallery shaped like a wave and made of stones found in the park before its construction. There’s lots more to see in the park, but be aware that the most popular attractions are in the so-called Monumental Zone, and visiting hours apply, as well as an admission fee.
6. Bunkers del Carmel
Another place in Barcelona where you can breathe history is the now-abandoned Bunkers of Carmel, built during the Spanish Civil War to protect the city from bombing raids. Today, the site has turned into one of the city’s best viewpoints. You can take a 30-minute hike, a bus, or a taxi up there. When you reach the top, you’ll get the perfect bird’s-eye view of Barcelona, including some stunning vistas of La Sagrada Familia and the Mediterranean sea in the background. The atmosphere is often pretty easygoing, with several couples sitting on the edge, friends chatting and having drinks, and musicians playing their guitars. Still, it can get crowded sometimes, so you might have to wait for a while to get that perfect picture in some of the most popular spots. But trust us, it will be worth it: the sunset view is an absolute bombshell. 💣
Squeezed between the sea and the city, sitting very close to Plaça Espanya, Montjuïc is a massive hill in the heart of Barcelona. One of the first things you’ll see is the Magic Fountain which, at night, shows a mesmerizing dance of water and light combined with classical music. ⛲️ It’s absolutely stunning, but make sure to check the schedule in advance if it’s in operation. Next to the fountain lies the impressive Palau Nacional, built to be the leading site of the 1929 International Exhibition. It now houses the Catalonia National Art Museum, with an extensive collection of medieval, renaissance, and modernist art. 🖼
Further up the hill is the Montjuïc Castle, an old military fortress used by the Spanish army. Just like the Bunkers del Carmel, because of its strategic location, you’re guaranteed some breathtaking views. Near the castle is the Joan Miró Foundation, home to nearly fifteen thousand works by the Catalan artist, and the Poble Espanyol, an amusement park that recreates cultures from different parts of Spain. Do you still need more? Head to the Botanical Garden and admire its collection of plants coming from all over the world. That’s a lot to see on one single hill, huh? 😉 Take a ride on an air cable car for fantastic views and an alternative way to get back down the hill. It will take you in the vicinity of La Barceloneta Beach which is another photo spot detailed in #10, below.
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8. Laberint d’Horta Park
You’ll definitely feel the air of Catalan nobility at Laberint d’Horta Park, the oldest and one of the most beautiful parks in Barcelona. Landscape architects travelled from France to design this private oasis for the Marquis Desvall and his family in the late 18th century. ⚜️ Even though it’s been open to the public for quite some time, this garden remains relatively unknown, with an atmosphere of peace that’s sometimes hard to find elsewhere in Barcelona. It has several terraces with Greek sculptures, streams, and ponds. Still, the most notable feature of all is undoubtedly the maze with over 750 meters of manicured cypresses. Once you walk in, finding your way out is easier said than done, you’ll know you’ve reached its middle when you see the statue of Diana the Huntress. Are you up for the challenge? There’s more: the maze sits just behind the old family castle, making it even more idyllic. 🏰
9. Arc de Triomf
Despite the name, this triumphal arch is very different from its Parisian counterpart, featuring a mix of unique styles that represent the best of what Catalan architecture can offer. Built as a gateway to the Parc de la Ciutadella, where the Universal Exhibition happened in 1888, the arch welcomed the nations that took part in the fair. Today, it still serves as an entrance gate to the park, and it has become one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks. You can spend hours admiring the details in the rich stone-carved friezes and the sculptures that decorate every centimetre of this red-brick monument. 🧱 Try to notice the different influences, from neoclassical to Moorish, that reflect the history of the Iberian Peninsula. You will understand why this is an all-time favourite spot for tourists and locals alike.
10. La Barceloneta Beach
Once home to a community of fishermen, this beach, along with its traditional neighbouring district, benefitted from a major glow-up for Barcelona’s 1988 Olympic Games. It has since become one of the most renowned beaches in the world. Take a leisurely stroll through the cozy streets of the historical center and notice how the buildings here are more humble than elsewhere in the city but still full of charm and charisma. Even though the area was modernized, it keeps a traditional allure with its narrow streets and unique buildings of darkened fronts because of the effects of sea air.
Locals still sit and chat casually on the sidewalks and balconies. Adding to the laid-back vibe, they usually hang their clothes to dry in the sun, forming a colourful and picturesque display of the intimacy of everyday life in Barcelona. The beachfront has a more energetic feel, full of water-facing hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Feel the breeze coming from the sea as you stroll through the beautiful promenade under the palm trees towards Frank Gehry’s giant Golden Fish Sculpture, a symbol of the area. Is the Mediterranean sun out? 🌞 Dive in the sea and sunbathe under a parasol with a drink in one hand and a tapa in the other: La Barceloneta has all you need for a quintessential Barcelona moment and it’s great for pics.
Best Places to Take Photos in Barcelona
There’s so much to do in Barça that we could go on forever. Don’t forget to visit Passeig de Gràcia for some celebrated Art Nouveau masterpieces, other Gaudí marvels such as Casa Mila (La Pedrera), and La Boqueria for more delicious Spanish tapas. 😋 For more on the city, check these local tips from our customers. Wherever you go, our local Flytographers will help you make your trip even more memorable with a photoshoot capturing all the magic of visiting Barcelona.
“We LOVED our photoshoot with Martina! Not only was she super friendly and easy to work with, she’s insanely talented. Seriously — our mouths were hanging open as we scrolled through our gallery of 60+ pictures (only 30 were promised)! We couldn’t be more happy. Thank you for beautifully capturing our honeymoon in Barcelona!”
“I booked Ramon & Sonia for a family photo shoot. This was our first vacation with our 7 month old and I wanted to get actual family photos that weren’t selfies. Both Ramon and Sonia were so nice and helpful the entire hour we spent with them. I cannot say enough great things about the entire experience. Thank you so so much for capturing such a great memories for my family!”