Catalonia stands as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Spain. Located on the Mediterranean coast in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, it has some of the best beaches in the country and a picturesque mountainous landscape.
With its beaches and ski resorts, a pleasant Mediterranean climate and excellent urban infrastructure, Catalonia is not only perfect for traveling but also for permanent residence and investment in property in spain. The region is home to a wealth of cultural, historical and natural attractions that attract people from all over the world. Let’s delve into the 10 most captivating places you should visit in Catalonia.
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, attracts tourists with its rich architecture and stunning sandy beaches. Among the most popular tourist spots in Barcelona are:
- The Gothic Quarter is home to ancient churches, palaces and museums. The narrow, winding streets, many of which are exclusively pedestrian, are lined with old buildings, most of which date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the main Catholic church in Barcelona. The district also houses the city’s town hall.
- Eixample is located in the heart of Barcelona, next to the Gothic Quarter. This district displays the genius of renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. Here you will find the iconic Sagrada Familia Cathedral, which began construction in 1882 and continues to this day. One of the reasons for its prolonged construction is its financing solely through donations. Additionally, the intricate masonry, where each block is individually crafted, adds to the timeline.
- Casa Milà is another Gaudí masterpiece, this unique apartment building features undulating facades. Its design is said to be inspired by the sacred mountain of Montserrat. Today it houses a museum.
- Montjuïc is a hill that overlooks the port of Barcelona. It features a well-preserved ancient fortress that now serves as a military history museum. The hill features a vast landscaped park with cascading fountains that host light and music shows. The Montjuïc viewpoints offer impressive views of the sea, Barcelona’s coastal neighborhoods and the port. Visitors can enjoy Spanish cuisine at local restaurants and cafes. The northwest part of Montjuïc is home to a 14-hectare botanical garden. The most beautiful building on the hill is the National Palace, a baroque masterpiece, which houses the Museum of Catalan Art.
Figueres is a picturesque Catalan town located in the province of Girona. It is best known as the birthplace of renowned artist Salvador Dalí. The town has the Dalí Museum and the Sant Ferran Castle. This fortress, built in the 18th century to defend the southern borders of Spain from the French, is the largest defensive structure in Europe. Not far from Figueres is Cap de Creus, the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, which offers a fantastic viewpoint.
PortAventura is one of the most popular amusement parks in Europe, located near the town of Salou, just an hour’s drive from Barcelona. Opened in 1995, the park is divided into 5 zones, each dedicated to different geographic regions: China, Polynesia, the Mediterranean coast, the Wild West and Mexico. There is also a separate Sesame zone designed especially for children.
Each area offers various themed attractions, gardens and facilities. The park hosts shows, musical performances, contests and contests. Visitors can also enjoy cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops within the park.
Tarragona, one of the oldest cities in Spain, is located on the coast of the Costa Dorada. It is home to a major seaport, but its main tourist attraction is the Roman amphitheater, built in the 2nd century, when Tarragona was the capital of a Roman province. The amphitheater has capacity for 12,000 spectators and measures 130×102 m. In the center of the city is the Tarragona Cathedral, built in the 12th century, with a museum of religious art nearby. Tarragona’s excellent sandy beaches make it a popular destination for tourists.
Located just 5 km from Tarragona, the Ferreres Aqueduct is a notable example of ancient Roman architecture. This imposing arched bridge once served as a water conduit. While its exact date of construction remains uncertain, historians believe it was built during the reign of Emperor Augustus. It originally had an extension of 25 km, but today only a section 217 meters long and 27 meters high remains intact.
Cardona is a picturesque Catalan city full of rich history. Among its most notable monuments are the Cardona Castle, in Romanesque style, and the Hermitage of Sant Vicenç. Perched atop a hill, the castle complex comprises defensive bastions and a ducal palace. Today, Cardona Castle houses a hotel, a cafe and a restaurant offering stunning views of the valley.
In the heart of the city is a medieval square, home to annual fairs and cultural events. Just a kilometer away, visitors can explore a salt cave as part of a guided tour.
Near the small town of La Pobla de Lillet, about 130 km from Barcelona, are the Artigas Gardens. This impressive landscape project was designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí. Located in the middle of a mountainous forest and next to the Llobregat River, the gardens exhibit unique architectural elements. One such feature is an artificial cave with internal ponds rich in magnesium oxide. A stone arched bridge adorns the center of the park and a viewing platform at its highest point offers panoramic views of the garden.
Tossa de Mar is a tourist city located on the Costa Brava, 40 km from Girona. Surrounded by spruce-covered cliffs, the town enjoys a mild climate and gentle breeze, making it perfect for relaxing on the beach.
Local historical attractions include a hilltop medieval fortress and an old town with traditional squares and narrow streets. A favorite spot among tourists is the 10-meter-high Tossa lighthouse, the highest point in the city.
Girona, one of the main cities of Catalonia, is crossed by the Onyar River. The left bank features modern buildings and infrastructure, while the right bank is home to historic neighborhoods filled with preserved medieval structures.
The jewel in the city’s crown is the Girona Cathedral, built between the 11th and 18th centuries. Although its design is predominantly Gothic, its western façade displays Catalan baroque architecture. Other popular places in Girona include Plaza de la Independencia, Puerta de San Cristófol, the iron pedestrian bridge over the Onyar River and the 40-hectare Devesa Park.
The mountain of Montserrat and the monastery of the same name offer a splendid introduction to the rocky landscapes of Catalonia. Located 49 km from Barcelona, the monastery houses a library with an extensive collection of ancient books, including several manuscripts. It also has a museum that displays religious relics, archaeological artifacts and paintings. The mountainous and wooded area surrounding the monastery is a Catalan national park. The highest peak of this mountain range is located 1,230 meters above sea level. Numerous hiking trails traverse Montserrat, offering picturesque views of valleys and hillsides and a closer encounter with the region’s natural beauty.
Enchanting Catalonia perfectly combines pristine Mediterranean beaches, majestic mountains, magnificent Gothic castles and cathedrals and, of course, modern cities designed for comfortable living. It is no surprise that many foreigners choose Catalonia when considering moving to Spain or buying property.
Today, Catalonia offers real estate for every taste, from compact apartments in bustling central districts to luxurious mansions nestled in the middle of mountains or by the sea. Our website catalog features home listings and apartments in spain of real estate agencies and developers. With our easy-to-use search and filtering system, it’s easy to find and shortlist properties to view and potentially purchase.