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Barcelona is one of the most beloved cities in all of Europe. Barcelona is special geographically, since it is located close to both the mountains and sea, and the fantasy-like buildings are unlike the architecture in other European cities.
Actually, Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the entire world. I went in with low expectations and left completely enamored. True story: if I could move to Barcelona tomorrow and live comfortably, I would book a ticket in a heartbeat. It’s amazing.
In particular, solo travel in Barcelona is an absolute joy. I personally loved exploring all the different neighborhoods, relaxing in a variety of tapas bars, admiring art in museums, taking photography of the colorful architecture, and so much more!
Ultimately Barcelona is such a dream come true for a solo traveler. So, if you’re planning to travel alone in Spain, I recommend adding Barcelona to your itinerary if it fits into your plans.
However, as a major cosmopolitan city, the sheer number of activities in Barcelona may feel overwhelming, particularly during the trip planning process. What should you do? What should you spend money and time on? What activities are most accommodating for single travelers?
These are all important questions.
11 Fantastic Things to Do in Barcelona Alone
In this post, I want to talk about some of my favorite things to do in Barcelona alone. These activities are diverse, and range from historical sites, guided tours, culinary experiences, and more.
Of course, this guide about all the fun things to do in Barcelona alone is meant to jumpstart your research. It’s important to do more reading on your own, and write an itinerary that caters to your specific needs.
Appreciate La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is a Barcelona icon that you don’t want to miss. It’s one of the best things to do in Barcelona alone, because especially as a single person who has zero distractions, soaking in the holy atmosphere is an incredibly moving experience, even if you’re not religious.
As a solo traveler, take all the time in the world to admire the soft colorful light spilling in from the stained glass windows. There is absolutely no rush either. Stay awhile.
As a side note, it’s very important to book tickets ahead of time to La Sagrada Familia to avoid disappointment. If you want to learn some history, then invest in a group tour that will also permit you to bypass the long lines. Trust me, it’s well worth visiting even when you are alone.
Drink Some of the World’s Coolest Cocktails
Barcelona has some incredible bars that solo travelers will feel safe and welcome visiting on their own. In my opinion, one of the best known cocktail bars is Paradiso. Cocktail aficionados adore this place.
After all, Paradiso is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 bars in the world, and was even considered among the top three.
Please don’t worry if you’re concerned about reservations and standing out as a single person. You don’t need to know a secret password or have reservations months in advance to enjoy Paradiso.
No stress at all. Simply wait in line for your turn, and then enjoy a seat at the bar. You won’t stand out as a solo traveler. Plenty of people will make conversation with you, and the bartenders are quite friendly too!
Eat Plenty of Tapas
Are you nervous about eating at restaurants all alone? You don’t need to stress about solo dining here. Nope. Barcelona is an absolute dream come true for food lovers.
Without a doubt, eating tons and tons of tapas is one of the best things to do in Barcelona alone. You can read about the best tapas bars in your neighborhood and plan your own “food crawl” through the streets.
For optimal conversation, sit at the bar and chat with other travelers and locals. Trust me, you’re bound to have a conversation with someone.
On the flip side, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time researching tapas, a wonderful small group tapas and wine tour could perfectly fit into your itinerary. Plus you’d have an instant circle of friends.
Experience Barcelona’s Natural Beauty
Barcelona has so much gorgeous scenery that sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re exploring a large city. I know as a solo traveler, I need moments of quiet and relaxation, and feel that calm mostly when I’m in the middle of vibrant nature.
Of course, you’ll want to visit the beaches and Parc Guell (more on those later), but Barcelona has plenty of other options for anyone who loves the outdoors.
For example, it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon at Montjuic which is Barcelona’s most famous hill. Lush greenery is everywhere, and while it’s easy to take a leisurely walk, you can also experience some great views of the city in the cablecars.
Barcelona’s outdoors add to the beauty of this majestic city.
Explore Barcelona’s Best Museums
In my opinion, museums are best experienced alone. I love to take my time in art museums, but then leave when my feet are sore and my stomach grumbles for food. The exhibits are even better when I don’t have to worry about another person’s comfort, haha.
As a solo traveler, Barcelona has endless museums available for you.
On my trip, I had a wonderful time visiting the Picasso Museum (I recommend booking in advance in high season) and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. And, hey, if you don’t like art, Barcelona has plenty of other options to choose from.
Just don’t miss out on Barcelona’s museums on a solo trip. Pick one or two, and have fun!
Feel Inspired at Parc Guell
Parc Guell is one of the most popular attractions in all of Barcelona. I’m obsessed with this unique park. To be honest, it reminds me of Alice in Wonderland with its fantastical homes and blossoming planets. I could easily explore Parc Guell for hours.
Parc Guell is one of the best things to do in Barcelona alone, because, again, you’re able to experience it at your own pace and truly appreciate Gaudi’s vision. Be sure to book tickets ahead.
Again, for all you history buffs and tour fans, you’re free to book yourself on a guided tour of Parc Guell which allows you to skip the line. Win/win.
Make Friends on a Free Walking Tour
Like other big European cities, Barcelona has plenty of walking tours for visitors. As a solo traveler, free walking tours are among the best ways to meet other people while learning about your new destination at the same time.
For instance, Sandemans is a highly rated tour company that offers a free walking tour of Barcelona with a local guide. This two and a half hour tour takes you to throughout Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and teaches you about some of the city’s most famous residents.
Free Walking Tours are gentle on your budget. However, make sure to have enough money to tip at the end of your tour!
Learn About Architecture at the Gaudi Houses
Barcelona is super popular, and it’s normal for travelers to wonder if Barcelona is worth visiting in comparison to other cities in Spain. As I’ve said, Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world and part of that is due to Gaudi’s architecture.
In addition to La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, you will also want to tour some of Gaudi’s spectacular houses on your own. These museums welcome solo travelers with open arms.
The three Gaudi houses of Barcelona include the following gems: Casa Batlló, Casa Mila and Casa Vicens. To save money, read about the homes in advance and pick which ones you want to visit. And, of course, they are all free to view from the outside.
Take Some Easy Day Trips
As a solo traveler, sometimes planning day trips feels overwhelming, but Barcelona has several great options in close proximity to the city.
Art lovers ought to do a Figueres day trip from Barcelona to go to the Dali Museum.
Game of Thrones fans will love nearby Girona. Girona is very easy to reach by train, and is packed with historical churches and cool neighborhoods to explore. You will find plenty of things to see and do in a single day.
On the other hand, for a unique and truly spiritual experience, travel to Montserrat Monastery. I personally think it’s easiest to book a tour to the Monastery. This trip is well worth the effort. Seeing the Black Madonna statue moved me to tears.
Don’t feel scared taking day trips alone near Barcelona.
Relax on the Beach
Okay, so you can’t talk about Barcelona without discussing the beach. Barceloneta Beach offers lots of fun in the sun for solo travelers looking to unwind and relax.
If you travel in the summer and want to do a beach day, go for it! However, just keep an extra close eye on your belongings, especially if you want to go for a swim.
Don’t miss out on the beach when considering the best things to do in Barcelona alone.
Gracia is one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of Barcelona. I could seriously move here. No questions asked.
Did you know that Gracia was originally its own village separate from Barcelona? Even today, wandering Gracia’s gorgeous pedestrian lanes offers an entirely different vibe compared to the rest of the city.
Gracia is the perfect place to enjoy local tapas, often for a lower price than the more touristy areas of the city, as well as shop for friends and families. I adored all the funky indie boutiques in this neighborhood. It was a joy to support local businesses!
All in all, getting lost in Gracia is one of the best things to do in Barcelona alone. You truly feel as if you’re part of the city’s community rather than a person who is just passing through on their travels.
Tips for Visiting Barcelona Alone
Are you ready to actually plan your trip now that you’ve read all about the best things to do in Barcelona alone? To conclude this post, I’ve written a little bit about the best things to pack for Barcelona, as well as the best places to stay in this amazing city.
Have fun! I promise you’ll fall madly in love with Barcelona as a solo traveler!
What to Bring to Barcelona
When you travel alone to Barcelona, you can find anything you desperately need in the city. Barcelona is a huge metropolitan area, so I promise you won’t suffer too much if you forget shampoo or something. However, I recommend not leaving the following items at home!
For even more packing information, I wrote an entire guide about the most important solo travel essentials that should help you.
- Barcelona Guidebook: Barcelona is a massive city, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything to see and do here. My advice is to buy a great guidebook ahead of time. Lonely Planet produces my favorite guidebooks — and they have a guidebook dedicated to Barcelona!
- EU Adapter Plug: If you’re coming from the US, Canada, or UK, then you need the appropriate plug if you want your devices to work in Barcelona. An EU adapter plug is super important to bring with you. Sure, some hotels and hostels have USB plugs available, but this is far from guaranteed.
- Pacsafe Bag: Like I said, pickpockets are a huge pain in Barcelona. If you want extra protection, then invest in a Pacsafe backpack or crossbody bag. You’ll have the extra peace of mind.
- Portable Cellphone Charger: God, trust me when I say that you’ll take fifty million photos and videos as you explore Barcelona’s colorful streets. Your devices will die unless you have a portable charger with you.
- Spanish Phrasebook: As a FYI, people speak Catalan in Barcelona. If you truly want to make some friends, learn a couple of Catalan phrases before you go to Barcelona. However, if you’re taking a longer trip to Spain, most people in Barcelona also speak Spanish, so a Spanish phrasebook would definitely help you on your trip too!
- Travel Insurance: Never, ever, ever leave home without proper travel insurance. I love World Nomads Travel Insurance, because the policies are reasonable and cover everything. I use them on all my solo trips and never had an issue!
Where to Stay in Barcelona
Barcelona has plenty of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and hostels that are perfect for solo travelers! Actually, so much accommodation is available in this city that it’s super easy to feel overwhelmed. I’ve listed a few ideas below to help you!
- Casa Gracia: This delightful and modern hostel is located at the top of the famous and beautiful Passeig de Gràcia. You couldn’t ask for a swankier address for your stay in Barcelona! See prices on Expedia.com | TripAdvisor.com | Booking.com.
- Yeah Barcelona Hostel: If you want to make new friends in Barcelona, then you ought to go to this trendy hostel, which offers plenty of activities such as pub crawls to connect you with other people. See prices on Expedia.com | TripAdvisor.com | Booking.com.
- Zero Barcelona: This brand new hostel is located only six minutes from the beach! Prepare to catch some sun rays! See prices on Expedia.com | TripAdvisor.com | Booking.com.
As you can see, there are many things to do in Barcelona alone. You won’t feel bored as a solo traveler, and I hope you fall in love with this magical city just as much as I have.