Things to Do in Barcelona: Exploring the City’s Hidden Gems

Having long inspired artists and lovers alike, Barcelona is one great city. A celebration of the finer things in life, it’s an expression of spirit, romance, heritage and fun. Nearly 10 million people visited Barcelona in 2022, in search of the colorful fiestas, delectable cuisine, age-defining art, music, dance and sport for which the city is so famous.

No stranger to the Catalan capital, Steve McCurry’s eagle eyes were ready to seek out the depths of Barcelona — the spirit of the city as well as colorful depictions of the classic things to do in Barcelona. His goal? To observe — and capture — the rich tapestry of life.

The human spirit is what McCurry sought.

“I am fascinated with all kinds of human behavior. I’d love to do a book on people playing, people working, festivals, couples… The universal activities, you know?” he says. “I want to do things that inspire me, that I feel enrich my life, that take me on a journey that’s going to be satisfying.”

And satisfied is exactly what we are when seeing the superb images his trip produced, from the fiery street parades to the couples strolling hand-in-hand. The majestic “Castellers” are caught right in the moment — a mixture of pride and fear on their faces. The street performers, valiantly trying to make their living, or the lovers, locked in their bubble of togetherness; everything is there, elegantly told. Steve is a true master of his craft; his Barcelona is one of precision and panache — and won’t be easily forgotten. For anyone exploring the best things to do in Barcelona, his images offer a blueprint — not just for what to do in Barcelona, but how to experience it at its best.

Barcelona by Steve McCurry
Barcelona offers unique street performers./Steve McCurry

Capturing the authentic beauty of the world

Barcelona by Steve McCurry
Romance thrives in Barcelona, sometimes hidden in plain sight./Steve McCurry
Barcelona by Steve McCurry
McCurry has sought out the best things to do in Barcelona by way of its timeless traditions./Steve McCurry
Barcelona by Steve McCurry
Explore Barcelona and feel like a local./Steve McCurry
Barcelona by Steve McCurry
See how Barcelona’s past and present beautifully coexist./Steve McCurry

More about Steve

Steve McCurry — the greatest living photographer today — needs no introduction. His iconic “Afghan Girl” image has captured the hearts and minds of thousands. He is a born storyteller with the soul of an explorer. He has a unique ability to capture authentic beauty and truth in the world and express it with clarity and emotion. As a result, a McCurry image not only takes you on a journey, but it inspires you to travel the world. To learn more about the partnership between Steve McCurry and Silversea visit

Ready to explore the best things to do in Barcelona? Start by browsing Silversea’s Mediterranean cruises that include Barcelona. Then, see more of McCurry’s images from nearby destinations such as Greece and Sicily.