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Barcelona Sites to Visit

Updated on October 2, 2011
Some of the most interesting attractions in Barcelona are just outside of Barcelona! Pictured here is an entrance gate to Montserrat Monastery.
Some of the most interesting attractions in Barcelona are just outside of Barcelona! Pictured here is an entrance gate to Montserrat Monastery.


Barcelona is well known for its rich art heritage, but there are other things to do in Barcelona than tour the museums of Spain's famed city. Take a step outside the galleries and drink in the beauty of Barcelona sites outside the city. These accompanying pictures of Barcelona sites will help give you an idea of what to expect on your visit.

Camping With Style

One fun thing to do in Barcelona is to escape the city itself and head for the shore. Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Camping Barcelona offers cozy wooden bungalow cabins and campsites for RVs and tents under shady trees. Campers may choose to simply sit back and enjoy the seaside view, but there are lots of attractions in Barcelona Camping for guests to take advantage of if they wish.

Camping Gear

Swiss Gear St. Alban Family Dome Tent (Sage/Light Grey/Orange)
Swiss Gear St. Alban Family Dome Tent (Sage/Light Grey/Orange)
Spacious family-sized tent, weatherproofed with SwissGuard fabric coating to keep moisture out. Top rated!
 
These Barcelona pictures spotlight Barcelona sites for camping, including tent sites, RV sites and cozy bungalows for a relaxing vacation stay.
These Barcelona pictures spotlight Barcelona sites for camping, including tent sites, RV sites and cozy bungalows for a relaxing vacation stay.

Splash around in the seaside swimming pool. The adjacent snack bar includes an internet café with computer terminals. You can also access the web via your mobile device using the snack area’s wifi service to check out local Barcelona sites or any website around the world.

Snag a snack or hop online at the outdoor internet caf. Computer terminals are available for vacationers without laptops or mobile devices.
Snag a snack or hop online at the outdoor internet caf. Computer terminals are available for vacationers without laptops or mobile devices.

Join in a rousing game of beach volleyball, and later, relax in one of the beach bars. Rent bikes or golf carts to explore the grounds, or rent a kayak to paddle out past the Mediterranean waters lapping the beach. Divers can explore the underwater Alguer del Berruguell algae reserve with Camping Barcelona’s Diving Club. A variety of activities are geared for kids, including a playground and bouncy houses.

Share a tandem bike ride along the strand with a friend and enjoy the climate and weather of the Barcelona coast.
Share a tandem bike ride along the strand with a friend and enjoy the climate and weather of the Barcelona coast.
Wash all your cares away in the Paradise Spa.
Wash all your cares away in the Paradise Spa. | Source

Two heated pools with hydro massage seating, plus Jacuzzis, saunas, steam baths, therapeutic jets of varying pressure settings, bithermic showers and more are available at the Paradise Spa. Melt away with a soothing massage while your children are watched over by caring staff. The sports area offers yoga, tai-chi, aerobic and step fitness classes, and a large selection of exercise equipment is available, including 70 cycles with music and lights, housed in the tri-level spinning amphitheater. After your workout, drop by the salon for pampering and a fresh, new look.

Dine indoors, or go al fresco at the resort’s restaurant and enjoy the beautiful climate and weather outdoors. Or, drop a blanket and enjoy a casual picnic on the sands. Fresh produce and everything necessary for your camping needs can be found in the camp’s market. There’s even a laundry facility at this Camping Barcelona site.

Looking for clubs in Barcelona that are casual, romantic, exciting and located right on a sandy beach? The Beach Club La Raspa is open all day with seaside dining, serving tapas, sandwiches, salads and main dishes. Enjoy tall, cool drinks in relaxing beach cabanas, or move your body to the beat with the live musical entertainment at night.

Few clubs in Barcelona come with a sandy beach floor!  Beach Club La Raspa combines a romantic setting with the all the action typically found in clubs in Barcelona city.
Few clubs in Barcelona come with a sandy beach floor! Beach Club La Raspa combines a romantic setting with the all the action typically found in clubs in Barcelona city.

The Camping Barcelona site is about half an hour from town, via the Autopista del Maresme highway. You can begin your vacation right away by using the resort’s free shuttle service for guests (slight fee in July and August) that whisks you from the city to the campsite.

This map of Barcelona shows the relative position of Camping Barcelona to the city's thriving hub:

Maps of Barcelona: Camping Barcelona Site

A
Costa de Barcelona, Maresme, Carretera Madrid-Francia, Mataró, Barcelona, ESPAÑA:
Carretera Madrid-Francia, 08301 Mataró, Spain

get directions

This Barcelona site for campers is located on the coast of the Balearic Sea, just off Route N-11 and immediately west of the Riera d'Argenton inlet.

Camping Barcelona photos courtesy of Camping Barcelona.

Soothe Your Spirit in Montserrat

Set aside a day to escape the bustle of the city. Step aboard a train headed northwest, and in about an hour, you'll be deposited in a land that seems to be from another time. And indeed, it is.

Majestic mountains uplift Montserrat Monastery, one of the Barcelona sites located just outside the city that's especially worth a visit.
Majestic mountains uplift Montserrat Monastery, one of the Barcelona sites located just outside the city that's especially worth a visit.

Tucked high up among craggy mountaintops, a peaceful monastery watches over all of Catalonia. This is Montserrat, a retreat of unique significance in a unique locale. Montserrat is no tourist trap that's been recently propped up; this spot has, after all, been a mecca for peace-seeking travelers since the 5th century. Founded as a monastery in 1025 by Benedictine monks, it is still in operation today. Fewer than one hundred monks call this their home, but legions of visitors travel from points all over the globe to experience the wonders of this holy place.

Books for Barcelona

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Barcelona & Catalonia
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Barcelona & Catalonia
Top-rated DK travel guide covers Montserrat and other Barcelona sites. A great reference to take along!
 
Tiny parking lot. Colossal view.
Tiny parking lot. Colossal view.

Serrated peaks of limestone form the fortress of this monastery. You could drive there, but monastery parking is at a premium. Instead, consider beginning your adventure with a breathtaking approach via a cable car ride up sheer cliffs, raising you heavenward to dazzling heights, as if the angels themselves were lifting you to another plane.

The view from here is so grand, you could potentially take in all of the Barcelona sites to see at a single glance!

The dramatic approach to Montserrat Monastery puts life into perspective!
The dramatic approach to Montserrat Monastery puts life into perspective!

Upon your arrival, listen for the monastery's bells to toll. Their deep tones reverberate across the mountaintops, as if the mountains themselves were singing to you.

The Path of Candles within Montserrat Monastery is itself a revered attraction in the retreat.
The Path of Candles within Montserrat Monastery is itself a revered attraction in the retreat.

Rivaling the clarity of the bells is the pure, clear sound of the famous Montserrat boys' choir, La Escolania de Montserrat. Daily, the Basilica is filled with their clear harmonies of religious choral music and Gregorian chants. Step into the ancient chamber and let the sound of their musical offerings wash over you, transporting you spiritually to a place of peace and wonder.

Their music reflects the very origins of this monastery, which began when shepherd children heard angels singing just as a bright light appeared in the skies above Montserrat. Filled with joy and wonder, the children ran and told their parents of the mystical event. The parents visited the mountain and experienced the very same phenomenon, as did a local vicar. An appearance of the Virgin Mary inside one of the mountain's caves sealed the deal and Montserrat became a noted holy place, revered by religious pilgrims. Today, a Holy Grotto stands at the site where these visions were first seen over 1200 years ago. And inside the monastery stands La Moreneta (the Black Virgin, Catalonia's patron saint), as depicted in a wooden statue of Mary with the baby Jesus, a work that dates back to the 12th Century.

La Moreneta (the Black Virgin), Catalonia's patron saint. Used under Creative Commons License by-sa/3.0/
La Moreneta (the Black Virgin), Catalonia's patron saint. Used under Creative Commons License by-sa/3.0/ | Source
The Grotto where, once upon a time, children witnessed a heavenly experience and heard the voices of angels.
The Grotto where, once upon a time, children witnessed a heavenly experience and heard the voices of angels.
Another section of the grotto where villagers hundreds of years ago heard and saw miracles. These events formed the basis of Montserrat's designation as a Holy Place.
Another section of the grotto where villagers hundreds of years ago heard and saw miracles. These events formed the basis of Montserrat's designation as a Holy Place.

Ready to Pack?

High Sierra AT3 Drop Bottom Upright Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag, Graphite/Titanium/Spring, 32-Inch
High Sierra AT3 Drop Bottom Upright Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag, Graphite/Titanium/Spring, 32-Inch
This 3-in-1 bag with smart organization features can be used as a wheeled upright, a duffel or a backpack!
 

Find your own place of peace on these mountaintops by venturing along its many paths and trail ways. A hike along these trails rewards visitors with majestic, panoramic views of the lovely Liobregat Valley below.

Explore the winding and meandering paths along the Montserrat mountaintops.
Explore the winding and meandering paths along the Montserrat mountaintops.

At the close of the day, you can make the trip back down the mountain and return to civilization. But if the call of the mountains is too much to resist, then, instead of staying in a hotel in Barcelona city, secure a room at the Hotel Abat Cisneros, located right on the square of Montserrat, right next to the cathedral. Originally constructed in 1563 as an inn to provide weary pilgrims lodging for the night, Abat Cisneros was converted into a hostel in the late 1950s and has since been renovated into a modern hotel with the usual amenities and conveniences valued by today's travelers.

Hotel Abat Cisneros (at right, with red awning). As close as you can get to staying at the monastery without becoming a monk.
Hotel Abat Cisneros (at right, with red awning). As close as you can get to staying at the monastery without becoming a monk.

Due to its popularity, this holy Barcelona site is buzzing on weekends. A more peaceful experience can be gained by touring the monastery grounds mid-week.

This map of Barcelona indicates the location of Montserrat Monastery:

Maps of Barcelona: Montserrat Monastery

A
Monestir de Pedralbes Calle Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain:
Monastery of Pedralbes, Calle Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

get directions

Rising up from the landscape and reaching skyward, Montserrat Monastery awaits pilgrims who flock to this Barcelona site, as it has for centuries.

Montserrat photos courtesy of Rich under a Creative Commons License, unless otherwise noted.

Memorable Barcelona Sites Not to be Missed

Whether you want to visit museums in the day and immerse yourself in vibrant city life at night, or get away from the buzzing city crowd for a relaxing break to pause and reflect, the variety of Barcelona sites available offers visitors many different options to create memories that will last a lifetime.

© M.S. Ross


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