Where To Take Great Instagram Photographs In Barcelona

When deciding what to see during a holiday in Barcelona planning the sites based on Instagrammable options might seem a little ridiculous, but why not? If you love instagram you are probably a fan of beautiful things so visiting locations that are a feast for the eyes seems as good an approach as any for planning a holiday. Whether you are looking for amazing backdrops to pose in front of or you want to let the view do the talking there are some great places to visit. Our latest visit to Barcelona in the Catalan region of Spain was only 2 full days so we crammed in as much as possible. Although there is so much to see these locations are a great start.  


the ornate glass roof of palau de la musica catalana in Barcelona Spain
Made from glass this window in the roof lets the sun shine in to the Palau De La Musica Catalana

A Side Note (Photo Tips)

If you want to get really amazing pictures on your holiday in Barcelona with you in the frame I would suggest a few things that I failed to do: 

  • learn to pose naturally
  • plan your outfits carefully so they don’t clash with the sights (and maybe have a few changes of clothes in a bag)
  • teach your partner how to compose a good photograph without you needing to set them up for them
  • and on a more serious note consider the time of day you are at key locations. The bright sun creates harsh shadows so early morning and later in the day may be the best time for photographs, with mornings having the benefit of less tourists.  
  • If you need extra help working out poses or angles then looking at the photographs tagged with the locations in Instagram and you will get loads of ideas.
I had an amazing holiday and while I want photo memories I also want to enjoy the moment and feel comfortable too.  

Where entry prices are given they are full price advanced online entry, discounts may be available.


Where To Get Great Instagram Worthy Photographs In Barcelona


Basilica De La Sagrada Família  

This Basilica (or church) designed by Gaudi is still being built and will be unlike any you have ever seen. If you want an image with the whole building in then skip the crowds next to the building and head to the far side of the lake in the Plaça de Gaudi. For a square image get your photographer to crouch low while you sit on the wall. It was busy enough that we had to wait our turn for the shot, but people were respectful.

You can get some amazing photographs inside La Sagrada Família too, full price entry starts at 26€ so we skipped this. If you want to go inside remember it is a Catholic church and has a dress code (no see through clothes, shoulders covered and skirts/ shorts to "at least mid thigh"). It also says that professional photography equipment is not allowed inside so if they think you are aiming to take professional or commercial photos you may be refused entry.

view of Basilica De La Sagrada Família taken from Plaça de Gaudi
Basilica De La Sagrada Família taken from Plaça de Gaudi


Park Güell

If you are a lover of Gaudi's style then your next stop should be Park Güell. While it is free for Barcelona residents they restrict entry number so for tourists visiting hours are 9.30am until 7.30pm and entrance costs 10€. Like the Sagrada Família the park was designed by the Catalan architect Gaudi and he even lived here for a while. Great photo spots include: next to the Serpentine Bench on the terrace, with "El Drac" a mosaic salamander and the Laundry Room Portico. 


The laundry portico in Park Güell showing cascading walls. Stock Image from Canva pro
There are many interesting photo locations in Park Güell


Casa Batlló

The third place not to be missed for Gaudi lovers is Casa Batlló. Photographs on the roof terrace are a beautiful capture especially when they sky is bright blue again the orange walls, but there are also some good photo spots inside. I have visited in the past, but it is another location we skipped on this visit due to the cost which starts at 29€ per person.  While not quite the same you could always just pose outside if you wanted to (lots of examples of this on Instagram).

Part of the wall on the roof terrace of Casa Batlló against blue sky makes for great photographs for Instagram
The Gaudi designed Casa Batlló makes for many interesting photographs

Barcelona Cathedral/ Catedral de Barcelona

You can get a great shot at the front of the Cathedral by standing centrally at the top of the steps, but for something stunning and special head to the roof and get a photo on the bridge looking towards the tower (we had to skip this due to my partners fear of heights). Get the photographer to be far enough away for a full body shot and to crouch for the best angle. While some guides recommend heading to the cathedral in the mornings when entry is free and then just paying the top up price to enter the roof, entry is free at these times to allow for worship so going in to take photographs is a little poor taste. Entry for tourists is a minimum donation of 9€ which includes rooftop access.

The front of Barcelona Cathedral
Capture the Cathedral from the ground or up on it's roof for an interesting shot and beautiful views across Barcelona


Exploring The Surrounding Area in the Barri Gòtic

While in the Barri Gòtic area it is worth exploring a bit further to capture the narrow lanes, street art, the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi and El Call, the old Jewish Quarter. The bold lines of Plaça Del Rei are also worth a visit in the morning when it’s quiet and lit by the sun. 


Posing for Instagram in  Plaça Del Rei Barcelona
 Plaça Del Rei looks golden in the morning light

Parrot street art on  Carrer Arc De Sant Ramon Del Call in Barcelona
Amongst all the grafitti Barcelona has some beautiful street art like this on Carrer Arc De Sant Ramon Del Call


Plaça Reial

Claimed to be one of the prettiest squares in Barcelona, Plaça Reial is a large square with palm trees and a fountain in the middle. It’s just off Las Ramblas and near the Cathedral so easy to fit in a visit, but like much of Barcelona there is a fair amount of graffiti and rubbish so the photograph quality will very much be dependent on the skill of photographer.

Plaça Reial just off La Rambla in Barcelona Barri Gotic
Plaça Reial


Palau de la Musica Catalana

This building is stunning and there are beautiful details which ever direction you look. From the mosaic columns to the stained glass roof there are so many aspects you can capture. I’m not sure how anyone could concentrate on the music in such a stunning venue. For photographs I recommend getting a self guided audio tour; you will need to bring your own headphones, but you can access the Wi-Fi for free when you are there. The self guided tour costs 15€ which is slightly less than the guided tours and you can go at your own pace (and change the order of what you visit if you want), which ultimately allows you more freedom to pose for photographs. You also get more choice about the time you visit. If the columns on the balcony are particularly busy then go for a close up and for a more unusual angle on the auditorium you could head round the side of the balcony.

The terrace balcony with mosaic pillars at Palau de la Musica Catalana
The Palau de la Musica Catalana is a must for Instagrammable images of Barcelona

The auditorium at Palau de la Musica Catalana
The concert venue is intricate and detailed with a stunning stained glass roof


Arc De Triomf

An attractive red brick arch which was the entrance to the World Fair in 1888. The pedestrian area around it makes it less dangerous for photographs than the Parisian version so you can choose your angle based on the crowds. Most people seem to take photographs from Passeig de Lluís Companys away from the road, but the Av de Vilanova side is often a little quieter and has pretty lamp posts.


Arc De Triomf Instagram photo site
The red brick Arc De Triomf, look for the bats!


Jardines de Mossèn Costa i Llobera

Have you had enough of mosaics, sculpture and buildings? Barcelona has plenty of green space to explore, most of which are on Montjuic, the hill immediately to the Southwest of the city. The cactuses at Jardines de Mossèn Costa i Llobera definitely made for more unusual photographs. Some plants are sectioned off to protect them and while I can see from Instagram images people have sneaked in to these areas there is no need because there are plenty of other parts to explore. You can enter the green space from the sea end of Passeig de Monjuic and follow the pedestrian path round to Passatge de les Bateries before climbing the stairs until you reach the entrance to these free gardens on your left.

From one end of the cactus garden you can head to Placa de L’Armada to take photographs with a view across the city before taking the harder option of exploring the rest of the hill (Montjuic) or if you don’t have a fear of heights take a cable car, Teleferic del Port-Estacion Miramar, across the water to the Barceloneta area (this is a separate experience to the Monjuic cable car on the other side of the hill).

There are some interesting sites to explore on Montjuic, but if you are only in Barcelona for a few days you might prefer to head back to the more urban area to see more sights. If you want to stay in greenery and fancy more of a hike then there are some pretty water features in Jardins de Mossen Cinto Verdaguer (although they weren’t on when we visited), get nice views and unusual plants in the Botanic Gardens (payable entry) and some interesting bits to explore in the Joan Maragall formal gardens (open weekends only) and Jardins Laribal, although this later garden felt rather neglected and large areas were closed when we visited. 


In front of a range of cactus plants in Barcelona's Jardines de Mossèn Costa i Llobera
For an unusual backdrop consider Jardines de Mossèn Costa i Llobera

cactus and instagram poses at Jardines de Mossèn Costa i Llobera Barcelona
Just don't get so close you get prickled!


Magic Fountains/ Font Magica de Montjuic

On the far side of Monjuic you can find Font Magica, a large water fountain. Choose the wrong time of day and there is pretty much nothing to see, so check the timings for the time of year you are visiting. Currently the water is on between 11am and 1pm and 4pm and 6pm, Tuesday to Saturdays and between 11am and 3pm on Sundays, but the real show is the nightly performances filled with colour and music. These take place Wednesday to Sunday from June to September at 9.30pm to 10.30pm. 


Barceloneta And The Waterfront Area

The coast runs along one edge of Barcelona and what was once industrial ports has been partially transformed. Near Montjuic ad the airport there is still a shipping industry and you can see large cruise ships but if you walk along to Barceloneta you will see interesting sculpture and art as well as much smaller boats. There is plenty of beach for sunbathing on if that is your thing too, some of these are manmade, but that won't affect your enjoyment. 

A large gambas prawn near the waterfront in Barcelona
A happy prawn near the waterfront in Barcelona

View inland towards some of the modern Barceloneta beach area in Barcelona
Barceloneta beach area

Information provided in good faith and is as accurate as far as I can tell at time of publishing. Check opening hours and entrance costs before visiting. Be wary that there are a huge number of sites trying to get you to purchase tickets through them for a commission some of which are a bit sneaky. I'm all for supporting sites through affiliate schemes, but check the official sites to ensure you aren't paying extra.

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