Sagrada Família - Tickets, Visiting tips & History
Spectacular modernist gothic art nouveau major basilica, Gaudí's Barcelona cathedral. UNESCO World Heritage site. Info and image gallery
Barcelona is a city probably best know for its beaches and nightlife. However it is a popular tourist destination with a wealth of culture to discover. On this page I list the most beautiful churches, monasteries and cathedrals in Catalonia's capital which are not to be missed.
Note: Barcelona is a city that can be considered to have three cathedrals or grand churches. The most famous is La Sagrada Familia which although not technically a cathedral is a major basilica and worth of cathedral status because of its grandeur and size. Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic quarter is the oldest cathedral in the city dating from the 13th century and is built within the footprint of the old Roman walls of the city. Santa Maria del Mar in La Ribera/El Born neighbourhood is technically classified as a major basilica but is a cathedral in its size and splendour.
Another noteworthy basilica is Santa Maria del Pi in the Gothic Quarter dating from the 14th century. Sant Pere de Puelles church in El Born is another very old religious building dating from the 10th century. In the Port area of Barcelona is the Our lady of mercy basilica which survived the ransacking and looting of the civil war and is very lavishly decorated.
For a Day trip, I Recommend visiting Tibidabo summit in the Collserola natural park To visit the Sacred Heart of Jesus Temple perched on top of the highest hill surrounding the city.
On the edge of the city at the base of the Collserola hills is the Royal Monastery of Pedralbes founded by King James II of Aragon for his wife Elisenda de Montcada in 1326. The monastery is today a museum with Gothic church and picturesque gardens.
All of the above mentioned religious sites are very tourist friendly, offering guided tours, roof and bell tower visits and museum spaces within.
Outside of Barcelona, the most religious site in Catalonia is Montserrat with a grand basilica that can be visited as well as some great hiking trails and hermitages in the mountains.
Day or weekend trips to the towns and cities outside of Barcelona will yield great religious buildings such as Tarragona cathedral, Vic Cathedral and Figueres Sant Pere Basilica. All of which offer tourist visits and should be included in any itinary to visit these towns.
Click on any of the photos below to find out more about these religious sites.