Barcelona Through the Lens: Must-Visits for Avid Photographers

May 20, 2016

Barcelona has many picturesque places to visit and take photographs. From Montserrat to Park Guell, we round up some of the best photo-friendly places this vibrant city has to offer.

Named one of the most vibrant and exciting historical cities in Europe, and with so much to offer, Barcelona remains one of the most popular destinations for a short city break. Here’s a lowdown of where avid photographers must go to capture Barcelona’s ultimate eye candy, through the lens of a camera.

1. Las Ramblas

La Ramblas Shopping Street in Barcelona

Buzzing with stalls ranging from local produce like ice creams and nougats, to caricature artists and street performers, Las Ramblas has it all. Around 1.2 km long, there are plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops to explore, making sure you are never short of things to do. There’s an abundance of local specialities such as sangria and tapas and many eateries have special offers available. Just be careful when you pick a café that sits you next to the market - they're known to charge you a little extra for the privilege. 

When walking down the middle of the Ramblas, the energy is palpable. The best way to take it all in is to grab a pew and watch the world go by. It’s the perfect place to buy souvenirs for your friends too and then treat yourself to a caricature by one of the many artists waiting to draw you. Prices range from €15 and the drawing takes around 15-20 minutes to complete.

A visit to Las Ramblas isn’t complete without getting your photo taken with the many street performers near the end of the market. You’ll get treated to a fantastic show too, for a small fee. As in any busy part of a major city, just remember to keep an eye on your pockets... and your camera.

2. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in front of Palau Nacional in Barcelona

One of Barcelona’s top attractions, the Magic Fountain, was created and designed in 1929 by the engineer Carles Buigas. Situated at the front of the Palau Nacional, the main exhibition centre on the Montjuïc in Barcelona Centre, it has become a major tourist attraction.

The fountain features a sensational display of light, colour and sound with shows ranging from Disney films to classical musicals. Admission to the fountains is free and you can watch from any standpoint as there is no restricted access points, so snap away until your heart’s content.

3. Barcelona Zoo

Flamingos at Barcelona Zoo

Barcelona’s zoo was built in 1882 in the city’s park and is one of Spain’s biggest zoos. Slap bang in central Barcelona, the zoo can be easily reached by all modes of public transport and is easily accessible by two entrances, via Citadella and Carrer Wellington.

With a plethora of animals ranging from Hippopotamus to the Iberian wolf, it’ll be easy to spend all day here in the midst of creatures great and small. The zoo used to house the world’s only Albino Gorilla but sadly he passed away in 2003. They’ve now set up a conservation programme for endangered gorillas, making visitors aware of their plight in the wild.

4. Park Güell

Gaudi's Park Güell in Barcelona

Originally planned as a private housing estate by Antonio Gaudi, Barcelona’s most famous Art Nouveau architect, Park Güell, became Barcelona’s extraordinary urban park.

Started as a project in 1900, the park was opened to the public in 1922, comprising of two striking dwellings, brightly tiled walls, ornamental pathways and a plethora of recreational areas to enjoy the surroundings. You'll enjoy epic views back across the city so remember to bring another memory card as there will ample photo opportunities. From the large decorative lizards to the vast Hall of Columns, it’s a photographer’s mecca.

5. Montserrat

Montserrat National Park Near Barcelona

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Barcelona is easy. Take the chance to snap some great photos at Montserrat, a breath taking national park with plenty of walks and trails on offer. You can travel to Montserrat from Barcelona either by train or metro and once you arrive, you can choose between the Funicular Railway or the cable car to take you to the top of the mountain. Grab yourself a map available at a number of park entrances and set off.

Surrounded by all this beauty, it’s hard to know where to begin. A recommended trail is to Santa Cova, an important pilgrimage site, where an image of the Virgin Mary is believed to have been seen. A visit would not be complete without visiting the Montserrat monastery with amazing views all over Catalonia and the Llobregat valley, stretching out towards Barcelona. On clear days, you can sometimes spot Majorca in the distance.

Don’t go back down without sampling Montserrat’s home-made liquor which can be bought in the local shops. A word of warning: make sure to take some good walking shoes and a packed lunch - you’ll be up there for a while. Oh, and don’t forget your camera… obviously.

Have anywhere else to add to the list? Tweet us @travioor or post a comment on Facebook.

Sarah Bell A student of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management, Sarah spends her free time exploring the globe and writing about her experiences. Sarah's favourite destination to date is Salou in France, and India is rising high on her bucket list.