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What to Do in Barcelona Before or After Your Cruise

by Barbara Rogers

Mar 8, 2024

© Roland Nagy | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

If your family is boarding a cruise ship in Barcelona, you’ll probably want to arrive in the city a day ahead to allow for any unexpected travel delays. Or, if you end your Mediterranean cruise there, you may want to extend your vacation by an extra day. Here are some suggestions on how to spend that bonus day.

 

If your cruise is scheduled to include a city tour before leaving Barcelona, the cruise will likely take you to (or at least past) all the iconic sights, including the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and the Gothic Quarter. If you’d like to spend more time visiting the interior of this architect’s most famous buildings, this is a good chance to do it.

 

A tour is less likely to take you to Gaudi’s charming and surrealist Parc Güell, situated high above the city. Especially if you’re traveling with children, this park is a highlight, with its bright, free-form ceramic tile mosaics; flowing shapes; fountains; hidden grottos; and winding stairways.

 

If you’re someone who thinks food is the most important reason for travel, head for the Mercat de la Boqueria, a bustling, noisy food market where the entire city seems to be shopping at once. It’s busiest in the morning, and you might pick up provisions for a picnic at Parc Güell, on the beach at Barceloneta or Bogatell. Kids will welcome a beach stop, located a 20-minute train ride from the center.

 

The market is off La Rambla, one of Europe’s most famous streets. This wide, tree-lined pedestrian street is the social center of the city, worth strolling and stopping at a café to watch the world go by.

 

Art lovers may want to spend some time at the Picasso Museum or the Fundació Joan Miró, which displays the work of another of Barcelona’s famous surrealist artists. Like Antonio Gaudi’s, Miró’s work has a bright, playful quality that appeals to children.

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