Four Quick Things to Do in Barcelona Before Boarding Your Cruise

Barcelona is one of the most popular departure ports for Mediterranean cruises. But with many travellers eager to get on board and start enjoying the luxury of cruising as soon as they can, it’s easy to overlook the cosmopolitan wonder that is Barcelona and head straight for the cruise port as soon as your plane touches the runway.

Most cruise liners don’t depart from Barcelona until the early evening, giving you plenty of time to fit in a few popular sites before you set sail. If you want to make the most of your time in the city, here are some quick things to do in Barcelona which won’t take up much time but will leave you with great memories.

Quick things to do in Barcelona: Outside the Sagrada Familia
Outside the Sagrada Familia: Flickr, Sabin Iacob / CC 2.0

4 Quick Things to Do in Barcelona Before Cruising

Admire the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most iconic landmark and it’s only a quick and cheap taxi ride away from the cruise port. If you’re really short for time, don’t bother buying a ticket to go inside – you can admire Anton Gaudi’s impressive architecture easily from the outside and snap as many pictures as you like without wasting time queuing up.

Quick Things to Do in Barcelona: Hansel and Gretel-style houses in Parc Guell
Hansel and Gretel-style houses in Parc Guell: Flickr, Karl Villanueva / CC 2.0

Explore Parc Guell

To see more of Gaudi’s genius creations, hop on the metro and explore Parc Guell. This stunning park is bursting with stone structures, fascinating buildings and mosaic decorations which will have you snapping pictures non-stop. Some of the most popular pieces include the Hansel and Gretel-style houses at the entrance, the nearby steps guarded by a mosaic dragon/lizard and the spired house where Gaudi lived for more than 20 years.

Quick things to do in Barcelona: Street theatre artist in Las Ramblas
Street theatre artist in Las Ramblas: Flickr, SpirosK / CC 2.0

Stroll along Las Ramblas

If you’re up for a walk, head to Las Ramblas – arguably the most famous street in Barcelona. This boulevard stretches on for 1.2km through the heart of the city, from Port Vell (close to the cruise port) in the south up to Plaça Catalunya in the north, and is packed with all sorts of fascinating sights, sounds and characters. From the big name high street stores and tempting tapas restaurants to stunning architecture and street theatre artists – there’s so much going on that you’ll never get bored in this street.

Quick things to do in Barcelona: Gambas al ajillo / garlic prawns
Gambas al Ajillo / Garlic Prawns: Flickr, Larry / CC 2.0

Share light bites in a tapas restaurant

One of the best ways to get to know a culture is by trying the local cuisine, so call into a Spanish tapas bar for lunch during your day in Barcelona. Whether you wing it and pop into the first tapas bar which catches your eye or do your research beforehand and go for one which has great reviews, make sure you try garlic prawns (gambas al ajillo), potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce (papas bravas), spicy meatballs (albondigas) and croquettes (croquettes) – they’re heavenly!

Mediterranean cruises aren’t seasonal – they depart from Barcelona regularly throughout the year – making them a great pick whichever month you want to holiday. If you want to make the most out of your short stay in Barcelona, consider flying into the city a day early and spending the night in a Barcelona hotel, so you’ll be able to fit in a whole day of sightseeing before boarding your cruise.

About Nicola Quinn


Nicola is a travel and food writer living in the Canary Islands who loves exploring far-off places, pushing herself to the limit and trying local eats wherever she goes.

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