What to Do in Barcelona as a Solo Traveler
If you’re wondering what to do in Barcelona on a solo trip, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ve provided a list of the top things to do in Barcelona for solo travelers so you can hit all the major attractions and get a better understanding of this unique city. Pack your best walking shoes, because you will need them to explore the big, bustling city of Barcelona!
10 Top Things and Major Attractions to Visit by Yourself
1. Attend a Football Game
Football, better known as soccer in the U.S., is Spain’s most cherished pastime. Across the country are famous football teams, such as Real Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. Futbol Club Barcelona is one of the top teams in the country, and La Liga is the top flight of Spanish football.
Attending a match at Camp Nou stadium is one of the top solo things to do in Barcelona. Here, you can cheer for your favorite team alongside nearly 100,000 fans and see first hand just how important team rivalry and fandom are in this city.
2. Visit La Sagrada Familia
If you’re wondering what to do on a Barcelona solo trip, visiting La Sagrada Familia is a must.
The Basilica de la Sagrada Família is an unfinished basilica in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, and has been under construction since 1882 when architect Antoni Gaudí made his designs. This UNESCO World Heritage Site blends elements of Art Nouveau, Catalan Modernism, and Spanish Late Gothic design to highlight the themes and symbols of Christianity. As one of Gaudí’s most famous pieces of work and a symbol of Barcelona, visiting La Sagrada Familia is a rite of passage when touring this city.
3. Relax at Barceloneta Beach
After a day of walking and exploring, Barceloneta Beach offers a space for you to relax and unwind as you listen to the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash along the shore. After sunbathing, you can walk along the prominent boardwalk and taste local cuisine, such as seafood from Barcelona’s famous seaside huts.
4. Explore Parc Güell
Parc Güell is a park system known for its gardens and architectural elements. Located on Carmel Hill, Parc Güell provides a great opportunity to explore Roman temples and architecture inspired by nature, such as columns that look like trees and mosaic animal figures. Park Güell was designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and is also home to the Gaudí House Museum, the late artist’s residence that features remnants of his personal life, such as furniture, history and more.
5. Learn About Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is another one of Gaudí’s most popular works. Casa Batlló is a building that was bought by Josep Batlló y Casanovas, who was a textile industrialist and businessman in the city. In 1904, he selected Gaudí to redesign the building, which is now known as one of Gaudí’s most famous works.
One of the most popular Barcelona solo travel activities is visiting Casa Batlló. You can view the facade of the building that looks as if it were constructed from skulls and bones and learn how Gaudi incorporated a wide range of elements, such as wrought iron, wood and stained glass, to bring his masterpiece to life.
6. Walk Through the Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter, also known as Barri Gòtic, is a section of Barcelona that’s known for its narrow streets with bars, clubs and restaurants. A popular solo thing to do in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is taste local Catalan cuisine and shop at local boutiques that showcase the remains of this Roman city. Here, you can find artisans that sell commodities like leather and jewelry, pick up a bouquet at one of the many flower stalls and wander through the weekly art market at the Plaça del Pi, a Gothic church in the area.
7. Discover Las Ramblas
There’s a reason visiting Las Ramblas is one of the top things to do in Barcelona for solo travelers. Las Ramblas is a thoroughfare and one of the city’s top tourist attractions, thanks to a pedestrian-friendly walkway that allows visitors to browse through souvenir stands, cheer on street performers, purchase local art and try street food from the many vendors along this strip.
8. Tour of Palau de la Música Catalana Concert Hall
Palau de la Música Catalana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Barcelona known for its beautiful architecture. This concert hall, which was built between 1905 and 1908 by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner in an Art Nouveau style, featuring an elaborate stained glass dome. We recommend taking a guided tour and attending a Flamenco concert.
9. Marvel at Arc de Triomf
Arc de Triomf is one of the most renowned architectural wonders in Barcelona. It was built as the passageway to the 1888 World’s Fair, which was held at the Parc de la Ciutadella. The monument is classical in shape and features sculptural and decorative finishes. After walking under the Arc, take a stroll through Parc de la Ciutadella, bring a picnic and watch a street performance.
10. Shop at the Markets
There are many markets in Barcelona, but the one that calls itself the “best market in the world” is La Boqueria. This market, with more than 200 vendors serving local and international gastronomic experiences, has been open since 1836.
For a less-crowded shopping experience, visit Santa Catarina market in the La Ribera neighborhood. Santa Caterina Market was built in 1845 on the former site of the Convent of Santa Caterina to provide the neighborhood with food. This market is spacious and modern, with an abundance of delicious local foods.
Where to Stay on a Barcelona Solo Trip
There are so many great neighborhoods in Barcelona to stay in while vacationing there. Ideally, you'll want to stay near the top attractions but not too far from local culture. For example, La Ribera, in the quarter of Sant Pere, is a great place to stay because it is close to all of the sites and is also an area where locals live.
Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Barcelona for a solo traveler to stay in:
- La Ribera is next to the Gothic Quarter and El Born and within walking distance to Casa Mila and Casa Batlló.
- La Rambla is Barcelona’s most famous pedestrian thoroughfare.
- Barri Gòtic has been inhabited since Roman times and is considered Barcelona’s historical and geographical center.
- Barceloneta is Barcelona’s liveliest beach.
- El Born is a neighborhood of medieval streets where you will find the Picasso Museum and the Chocolate Museum.
- Eixample is an upscale neighborhood with modernist buildings, including Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.
- Poble Sec has upscale restaurants and a lively night scene.
How Safe is Barcelona for Solo Female Travel?
Barcelona is generally a safe place for female travelers to visit. Keep in mind that Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain and a popular tourist destination, which naturally attracts local scam artists.
Be aware of your surroundings in Las Ramblas, especially at night. It is Barcelona’s main boulevard, a must see, but also a favorite spot for pickpockets. Always keep your bag on your lap when dining at a restaurant or cafe, and keep an eye on your phone and wallet at all times.
Solo Traveling With Road Scholar
At Road Scholar, we have a wide range of adventures for solo travelers to choose from, including our educational Spain tours. If you’re stuck trying to figure out what to do on your Barcelona solo travel adventure, Road Scholar can help. All of our programs are designed to open the world to all of our scholars. No matter the educational learning adventure you choose, you’ll share your experience with like-minded adventurers, ranging from families to couples, business people, retirees, intellectuals and solo travelers like yourself.
Each of our programs is led by local experts who will walk you through the history, culture, traditions and landscape of your destination. Our immersive experiences will allow you and members of your group to partake in spirited conversations to learn more about the world and return with lifelong friendships and memories.
Whether you’re looking for things to do in Barcelona for solo travelers or popular trips for seniors, Road Scholar has you covered. You can browse through our adventure travel programs and filter based on a wide range of criteria, such as desired activity level, destination, price, dates and interests. Ready to see what the world has to offer? Book your next trip with Road Scholar today!