Barcelona residents protest on the beach against tourists

Barcelona residents have gathered on the beach to protest against mass tourism in the city.

One protester said: "I say it again, we aren't against tourists. Those tourists who come here to soak up our culture, book a hotel or a hostel are perfect.

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"Those who come and rent a tourist appartment and come here to annoy us, then they can turn back and go home because we don't want them.

"There is no tourism-phobia in this neighbourhood. That is a concept created by lobbies to criminalise us, the residents."

Many of the protesters wore tshirts emblazoned with the logo 'Barceloneta is not for sale'.

Tourism makes up 11% of Spain's gross domestic product and is on the rise.

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Top 15 things to do in Barcelona
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Top 15 things to do in Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church that was designed by the famous Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí. Less than a quarter of the church was complete when he died in 1926 and work continues on the building to this day. Plan ahead and buy tickets online (€15.00) before you arrive. The basilica is open daily between 09.00 and 20.00. 

Casa Batlló is another example of Antoni Gaudí's architectural masterpieces. The house is locally known as Casa dels Ossos (House of Bones) thanks to the outer, skeletal appearance. The house is open daily between 09.00 and 21.00.

Adults: €21.50. Concession: €18.50.

The Palau de la Música is an intricately designed concert hall in the center of the city. Important composers have performed and conducted their own works in the venue, including Strauss, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov. Go to palaumusica.cat to find out more about what you can expect to see during your visit. 

Camp Nou has been the home of Futbol Club Barcelona since 1957. A tour of the stadium will give you the chance to have a look around the commentary boxes, changing rooms, FCB Museum and much more. Adult: €23.00. Concession: €17.00.

The Basilica Santa Maria del Mar can be found in the Ribera district of Barcelona and is a prime example of the Catalan Gothic architectural style. Mass is every day at 19.30 and the temple remains open until 20.30 most days. 

Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is a former hospital and the world's largest Art Nouveau site. There is a host of stunning architecture, beautiful stained glass windows and fascinating sculptures on display in the area. Buy tickets online beforehand. 

Barcelona's science museum is full of interactive activities about a range of topics including the environment, nature, science, and space. CosmoCaixa also has a planetarium and a 'flooded forest' which replicates the environment of the Amazon rainforest. 

Palau Güell is a mansion that was designed by Gaudi for Spanish tycoon Eusebi Güell. The house is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site; 'Works of Antoni Gaudi'. General admission: €12.

MNAC is the national museum of Catalan visual arts and it is found in the Palau Nacional of Montjuïc. The museum houses the best collection of Romanesque mural paintings in the world as well as prominent works from Catalan artists and European Baroque and Renaissance artists. The museum is open daily between 10.00 - 18.00 (20.00 in summer). General admission: €12.

El Born is a popular neighbourhood in Barcelona with plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants for visitors to enjoy. The instantly recognisable Basilica Santa Maria del Mar can be found at the end of the Passeig del Born and the Picasso Museum is also situated in the neighbourhood. 

Found on Carmel Hill, Park Güell is a public park system which was designed by Antoni Gaudi for Eusebi Güell. The park was originally built as a housing site but the plan was unsuccesful and only two houses were built on the site. One of these became Gaudi's house until his death in 1926, it is now the site of the Gaudi House Museum. Adult: €7. Concession: €4.90

Ciutat Vella translates as 'Old City' which is appropriate as this is one of the most historic areas of Barcelona. Ciutat Vella sits on the Spanish coastline and is home to a wide variety of shops and restaurants. 
Montjuic is a hill in Barcelona which grants visitors a stunning view over the beautiful city and the Mediterranean Sea as well. Taking the Funicular de Montjuïc will give you the chance to get a scenic view of the area on your way to the top of the hill. 

Casa Milà is commonly known as La Pedrera (the stone quarry) and is a modernist building that was the last civic work completed by Antoni Gaudi before his death. The unusual structure is actually a combination of two buildings built around a courtyard. Adult: €20.50. Concession: €16.50.

Barcelona Cathedral is a stunning and historic Gothic building that was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. The cathedral is made up of five aisles and nine chapels which radiate from the east end of the building. Admission to the Cathedral floor and cloister is free.

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