Barcelona is definitely one of the best city break destinations in Europe. The diversity of the activities you can explore around the city is making it an amazing destination for everybody. One of the most alluring metropolises on the European continent, with beautiful beaches, romantic streets, vibrant lifestyle, and art. So much art! Read my Barcelona 3 day itinerary for some guidance on planning your trip!
Following the 3-day Barcelona itinerary, you’ll also find some additional tips for getting around, places to stay, when to visit, and more. So what to do in Barcelona? Let’s see!
The perfect Barcelona 3-day Itinerary
Day 1 – Downtown and beaches of Barcelona
To get a little bit used to the city, the first day of the Barcelona Itinerary doesn’t include anything that would be too far out from downtown.
We’ll be starting the day on La Rambla, visiting the La Boqueria market. This will be followed by the seaside at Rambla del Mar, the enchanting Gothic Quarter, and the beaches of Barcelona further up. The walking distances are really short on this day, so you won’t need any public transport if you’re fine to walk.
Alternatively, you can rent bikes, electric scooters as well, to stroll around the city, and down the seaside in the sunset.
Stop 1: La Rambla and La Boqueria market
La Rambla is a long boulevard running through the heart of Barcelona. It’s featuring on both sides numerous fashion, decor, delicatessen shops, restaurants, and of course, you’ll see plenty of street artists as well along the way.
La Rambla is running along the side of the Gothic Quarter, leading out to the Mirador de Colom (Columbus Monument) at the seaside. Our second stop will take us to that!
Explore La Boqueria Market
The market can be found on the east side of La Rambla. La Boqueria has been the city’s best market ever! You’ll find fresh fruit, meat, veggies, seafood in there, as well as sweets, tons of crafted chocolate, and fresh juices. I’m really obsessed with those fresh juices! If you’re already there, don’t miss trying some churros in Barcelona!
Also, you can try some nice street food or sip at a stall a glass of wine, gin tonic, whatever you fancy. If anybody’s asking me, La Boqueria is something you must add to your Barcelona itinerary!
stop 2: Rambla del Mar
As you’re walking towards the seaside on La Rambla, you’ll soon arrive at the famous monument of Mirador del Colom. Otherwise called the Columbus monument. The Rambla del Mar is on the sea/seaside, steps away from the statue. You’ll just need to cross the street and follow the above visible dock.
Ramble del Mar is giving an exquisite view on Montjuïc, and the lower section of the Gothic Quarter. It’s basically a wooden walkway, that’s leading out to this small peninsula in the harbor.
You’ll find a shopping mall, with restaurants and cafes on both sides with outdoor seating space. Also, you can see from there the famous W Hotel, and the other side of the harbor, leading to the beaches of Barcelona.
Stop 3: Gothique Quarter
Leaving the La Rambla behind, the best way to start wandering in Barrio Gotico, is to head back the way you came from La Rambla.
The Gothic Quarter starts on the right-hand side, with Plaça Reial being the closest you must see!
There are three reasons to visit this square. First being, that it’s really beautiful, with big palm trees covering the plaça. You’ll see restaurants with an outside table around the square, where you can sit to enjoy the view and vibes.
In the middle of the square, there’s the “Fountain of Three Graces“, which refers to the sculptures of the three women (see above picture). As the last, but not least, have a close look at the lamps around the square! These were designed by Antoni Gaudi.
While you’re in the Gothic Quarter, I really suggest putting your phone/maps away and just wander around on the mysterious, colorful alleyways in the neighborhood. It has many hidden gems, and you know, you need to get lost to find what you’re looking for.
If there’s something I wouldn’t ever skip in the Gothic Quarter, that’s the Barcelona Cathedral on Plaça Seu. The magnificent gothic cathedral, with a beautiful facade, is a real treasure of Barcelona.
If you have time for it, I really suggest visiting the inside as well. The entrance fee is €7.00. Read more details in my checklist of 16 things to do in Barcelona!
Pont del Bisbe
Pont del Bisbe is the other most important piece that has to be in your Barcelona Itinerary!
The bridge is hidden in the Gothic Quarter on C. del Bisbe. It’s a really new monument, despite its gothic style, it’s been designed for the Barcelona World Exhibition of 1929.
Pont del Bisbe is linking Palau de la Generalitat to La Casa dels Canonges. If you’re facing the Barcelona Cathedral on Plaça de Seu, taking the alleyway on the right-hand side of the cathedral, you’ll see the bridge shortly in front of you.
stop 4: Barcelona beach
Closing the day at the beach, depending on what’s your schedule, and how much time you spend during the day, there are plenty of things to do on the beaches of Barcelona.
Going on a walk under palm trees is always a good idea. But you can always rent a bike, or an electric scooter to stroll around on the boardwalk along the sandy beaches of Barcelona.
You can even go to the beach if you’re cutting short everything before. There are plenty of restaurants, tapas bars, cocktail bars, and even open-air discos along the beaches of La Barceloneta and Icària Beach.
The nightlife in Barcelona is legendary, so if you’re up for it, get into it!
Day 2 – Following Gaudí and beautiful panoramas in Barcelona
The second day involves some more traveling, and you’ll more likely need to use public transport this time. Fortunately, public transport in Barcelona is pretty great! On our second day of the Barcelona itinerary, we’ll be starting in the fascinating Güell park, which is followed by the Tibidabo Hill. After some beautiful panoramic views, we’ll be heading to Barcelona’s famous cathedral, the Sagrada Familia. As the last two stops, we’ll be visiting the Arc de Triomf and the Park de la Ciutadella.
The last stops are really close to the beach, and the Gothic Quarter, so you can head to any of these for the night. In the Gothic Quarter, there are many cute restaurantst on the squares, with outdoor space. Another perk is, that there are plenty of events and performances in the area to explore, such as Flamenco shows.
Stop 1: Park Güell, Barcelona
Park Güelle is at the edge of Gràcia neighborhood. If you’re staying in the neighborhood it’s easier to get to the park. Otherwise, you’ll need public transport, uber, taxi, bike, whichever you’d like.
The park is Antoni Gaudí’s one of the most famous works. It is located on El Carmel hill. The park system composed of gardens and architectural elements opened to the public in 1924. And it’s visited continuously.
When you enter the parks, between the two stairways, you’ll see Gaudí’s beyond magical dragon sculpture, that’s also covered in colorful tiling. As you arrive at the top of the park, from the terrace, you’ll get to see a beautiful panorama above the city of Barcelona. All I can say is that this site is really worth visiting!
Entrance fees for adults are €10.00, and you can get your tickets for the Guell Park online, to not be stuck in lines.
Stop 2: Tibidabo Hill
I’m adding the Tibidabo as an option for those interested. I’m saying like this because I know many people are willingly leaving it out from their Barcelona Itinerary.
From Park Güell, there are more buses going that way, such as the 24 and 111. The Tibidabo hill is surrounded by the hills of Barcelona, with the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor on the very top. It’s a stunning church that was built in the 20th century, completed in 1962.
Tibidabo offers an incredible panoramic view above Barcelona. You can get up there with a funicular (cablecars) which you need to pay €7.50. If you do include the Tibidabo Amusement Park in the schedule, the funicular ticket is just €4.00.
For the theme park with a breathtaking panorama, you can get your tickets online right here!
Stop 3: Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
If you’d rather skip the Tibidabo hill, from Park Güell you can take the L3 metro, the bus 24 or V19 and it those will take you to the cathedral. From Tibidabo, you can take the S1 train, and change to L5 metro at Provença station.
La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous churches in the world, and Gaudí’s one of the greatest works. The church is under construction since 1882. When Gaudí overtook the project, he transformed it combining the Gothic and Art Nouveau (Modern Art) styles in his design. He spent the last 12 years of his life dedicated just to this one project. Beside Gaudí’s work, you’ll meet the Catalan Modernism architecture style as well.
You are allowed to visit the inside, and I really do recommend doing so! Those columns, arches, and sealing is something unforgettable! You can also visit the Museum to see more than 140 years of history of the construction.
Stop 4: Arc de Triomf & Park de la Ciutadella
The triumphal arch is located on Passeig de Lluís Companys. You can walk from the Sagrada Familia (28 minutes), or you can always use public transport to get there. The Arc de Triomf is really close to the Gothic Quarter, as well as to the sea.
The monument was built in 1888 for the Barcelona Universal Exhibition. It’s Neo-Mudéjar brickwork, which simply means that everything is about the details!
The Arc de Triomf is leading to Park de la Ciutadella, which is somewhat like the Hyde Park in London, the Villa Borghese in Rome. It’s the greenest oasis in the city, with big spaces for walks, picnics, and just spending time outside. There’s also a lake you can rent a rowing boat on.
Besides the above-mentioned activities, there are plenty of things to discover in the park! You can find here the zoo of Barcelona, the Catalan Parliament, the Zoological Museum, the Museu d’Art Modern, and the Geologia Museum. Also, the fountain called Cascada Monumental, designed by Antoni Gaudí.
Day 3 – Gaudí, viewpoints and stunning landmarks in Barcelona
On the third day of our Barcelona itinerary, we’ll be digging into Gaudí’s masterpieces a little bit more, by visiting the Casa Batlló & Casa Milà.
After these two, we’ll be heading to Barcelona’s most famous square, the Plaça d’Espanya. This is a little bit out of the way, so public transport/Uber/taxi/bike is needed. After Plaça d’Espanya, there’s a beautiful viewpoint called Bunkers of El Carmel, that’s worth visiting!
As the last stop, we’ll be heading back to Gràcia neighborhood to wander around, get some great tapas and get into Barcelona’s nightlife!
Stop 1: Casa Batlló & Casa Milà
Location: Passeig de Gràcia 92, Barcelona.
As I have mentioned, Casa Milà is one of Gaudí’s famous designs. It’s also his last residential project before he took over the work at Sagrada Familia.
Casa Milà is known as La Pedrera or “The stone quarry”, a reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance. It was designed and built in a combination of Art Nouveau and Modernist style. between 1906-1912.
The building is now visitable, and it’s hosting various exhibitions. If you’re looking to visit from the inside, check here for tickets!
Casa Batlló is located on Passeig de Gràcia, 43, which is just a few steps away from Casa Milà. This residential piece of Gaudí’s works is the most famous one. With a stunning facade, and unbelievable indoors!
Casa Batlló is my personal favorite piece of Gaudí’s works across Barcelona.
The house was remodeled and redesigned in 1904. Gaudí had three other architects assisting for this project, and they have created something really unique!
Casa Batlló is open 360 days a year, and you can always book your ticket online.
Stop 2: Plaça d’Espanya, Barcelona
Plaça d’Espanya is one of Barcelona’s most important squares. And also probably the most beautiful one! It was built on the occasion of the previously mentioned 1929 International Exhibition, held at the foot of Montjuïc, in the Sants-Montjuïc district.
The fastest and easiest way to get here is the L3 train from Casa Batlló.
Plaça d’Espanya is leading to the Palau Nacional, which houses one of Catalonia’s finest museums, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. While you’re heading there/ you’ll see the two enormous Venezian Towers on the two sides of the road.
The famous Magic Fountain is in the middle of the square. The show starts in the evenings at 8 pm in the summer, but it’s best to check it out online, depending on what time of the year you’re visiting!
You can also visit here Parc de Joan Miró, and the Arena de Barcelona bullring. This second was built at the beginning of the 20th century, in Moorish revival style. Today it’s functioning as a large shopping center.
Stop 3: Bunkers of El Carmel
The easiest way to get to the Bunkers of El Carmel, if you take again the L3 metro, and change at Lesseps to the bus 22 at Gran de Gràcia – Lesseps.
If you’re looking at Google Maps for Mirador de Les bateries, Bunkers of El Carmel, or MUHBA Turó de la Rovira, it’s all leading to the same place.
This is a viewpoint at the top of Turó de la Rovira, from where you can see the whole city of Barcelona.
The bunkers were built during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Today, it’s the best place to watch a sunset in Barcelona. While the last rays of the sun color the city and the skyline, seeing those symmetrical, straight streets of Barcelona, running all the way to the sea, is just fabulous!
stop 4: Gràcia neighborhood
And we just arrived at our last stop of the Barcelona Itinerary! Gràcia is a stylish, beautiful, and safe neighborhood in the heart of Barcelona.
The Guell Park, the El Carmel, and many other’s like Gaudí House Museum is also located in this neighborhood. Roaming around those cozy streets, walking under orange trees, and seeing those beautiful Catalan buildings, is a must-do in Barcelona!
When you’re in Gràcia, definitely add to your list the Plaça de la Virreina. Best to approach from Carrer de Torrijos. The view is just stunning, as the street is framed with threes, giving a charming overlook to the square.
To get some delicious tapas, I recommend visiting Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia in the evening! In Gràcia you’ll find plenty of restaurants for any taste. It’s really one of the best neighborhoods when it comes to social life.
Each street has numerous bars, restaurants, many places with live music, gems, or free dance classes. If you like Latin-American dances and vibes, definitely check the El Sabor. It’s a Cuban cocktail bar, with free salsa and bachata classes during the evening.
Tips for your trip to Barcelona
Possibly one of the top 3 things I loved Barcelona, that it’s rare to bump into people not speaking other than Spanish. Language barrier issues are less common in this area. If you’re traveling around the South of Spain, to destinations as Seville, you can face this much more often.
If you’re looking for a shorter stay, here’s a 24 hour guide to Barcelona!
When to visit Barcelona?
The sun is almost always shining in Barcelona. I mean, in January there were days when you could go out just in a shirt and a simple jacket.
Usually speaking the temperature isn’t falling under 8°C even in the winter. While, in the summer the highest average temperature is 29°C, so this time of the year might not work for many! To wander in a big city. I recommend choosing the Autumn or the Spring if you’re looking for a city break with sightseeing.
From the airport
To get to the city center of Barcelona, you can either get the train or the bus. The Train is basically the subway. There are direct buses from the airport to Plaça Catalunya in the city center of Barcelona, so you won’t need to chase for shuttle buses.
How to get around in Barcelona?
While most of the important landmarks are relatively close to each other in the city center, some of them, such as the Guell Park, are a bit out of the way.
The public transport in Barcelona is really simple and great! Just make sure you’re getting this ticket that can be used 10 times. It’s much cheaper than buying tickets one by one! Also, you can find machines at each metro or train station.
Uber and taxis are also common ways to get around in Barcelona. Alternatively, you can rent a bike, or an electric scooter to get around in the city easily and more carbon-free.
Where to stay in Barcelona?
There are three main areas that are great to stay in, while you’re in Barcelona. The Gràcia neighborhood, the Gothic Quarter, and along the beaches. There are some amazing hotels with rooftop pools, and also great hostels downtown. You can find anything from the cutest Airbnb to luxury hotels, such as the W Hotel or the Hotel Arts.
Read my birthday story in Barcelona during the outbreak of the pandemic.
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