Beautiful Barcelona! I had such an incredible time in the city – the perfect way to start my trip in Spain! I spent 3 full days in the city, and based on my experiences I have crafted together this 3 day Barcelona itinerary. It’s a little different from what I did, based on things that I learned along the way/wished I had done differently.
A quick tip: should you plan on using taxis in Barcelona, make sure you download the myTaxi app. This way you can order taxis on demand (and pay via the app if you wish), rather than waiting for one to drive by or having to call the company.
Barcelona Day 1
Wondering where all those pictures were taken? It’s at the top of Park Guell (pronounced like “gwuh-ay”). You can find a whole lotta Gaudi here in the Monument Zone – as such, it’s a super popular spot in Barcelona. Because of it’s popularity, I recommend 1. buying your ticket online in advance, and 2. booking your entry time earlier in the day.
The Zone opens at 8am. Each ticket has a valid entry time of 30 minutes, but you can stay as long as you like. For example, with my ticket I could enter between 8:30am and 9am, but once I was in I could’ve stayed past 9.
While many people come here to get “that” photo, there’s way more to see in the Zone – so make sure you stay for more than the cool picture! As well as Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces, there’s also beautiful gardens here that I loved having a wander around.
AM: La Sagrada Familia
From Park Guell: 35 minute walk / 30 minutes via public transport / 10 minute car ride
One of the most recognisable (and most-visited) places in Barcelona is the Sagrada Familia. The stunning building is another work of Gaudi’s, and there’s not much else to say except that it’ll blow you away. While I didn’t go inside, it’s recommended that you buy tickets online in advance here as well.
AM: Casa Mila & Casa Batllo
From La Sagrada Familia: 20 minute walk / 15 minutes via public transport / 10 minute car ride
My first day in Barcelona was very much Gaudi-focused, with my next stops Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. Casa Batllo is, to me, the more impressive of the two, but they’re only a 5 minute walk from each other so Casa Mila is worth a visit as well.
AM: La Rambla & Mercado de la Boqueria
From Casa Batllo: 10 minute walk / 10 minutes via public transport / 5-10 minute car ride
La Rambla is the most well-known street in Barcelona, spanning 1.2 km and being right in the centre of all the action. On one side you have El Raval, and on the other you have the Gothic Quarter. While in my opinion La Rambla isn’t all that impressive in and of itself, it provides a good starting point and can help you get your bearings.
My favourite stop on La Rambla, and one of my favourite places in all of Barcelona, is the Mercado de la Boqueria. Home to stalls upon stalls of fruit, vegetables, smoothies, sweets, ice creams, nuts and a whole lot more, it’s the perfect place to escape the sun and enjoy the atmosphere. My favourite stalls in the market are those selling fruit smoothies (and there’s literally so many of them, so if one’s super crowded just walk a few metres and you’ll find another) and one that I found selling macaron ice cream sandwiches.
PM: Classic Walking Tour
From Mercado de la Boqueria: 10 minute walk / 10 minutes via public transport / 3 minute car ride
The Classic Walking Tour run by Original Barcelona Tours meets at 2:30pm in Placa de Catalunya. While it’s advertised as a free tour, you are expected to tip your guides at the end of the tour – how much you tip is up to you. They do this so you pay only how much you think the tour was worth, rather than paying up front and then feeling like you’ve wasted your cash on a shit tour.
This tour lasts around 2 and a half hours, taking you to places such as the Arc de Triomf (yep, Barcelona has one of those too!), the Olympic Village, the haunted metro station and way more. The guides are very knowledgable, and talk you through Barcelona’s history as you go. Personally, however, I prefer their Alternative Walking Tour, which I have listed for the Day 2 itinerary.
PM: Barceloneta Beach
From Placa de Catalunya: 35 minute walk / 20 minutes via public transport / 15 minute car ride
The most famous beach in the city is a great place to chill out at the end of the day. Barceloneta is also a great part of Barcelona, with plenty of restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re wanting to sunbathe, read a book or cool off in the water, Barceloneta Beach is a great spot to go.
Barcelona Day 2
AM: Barcelona Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross & Saint Eulalia, or simply the Barcelona Cathedral, is a stunning piece of Gothic architecture. Dating back 500 years, the Cathedral is stunning with its stained glass windows and incredible design details.
AM: Pont del Bisbe
From Barcelona Cathedral: 2 minute walk
A beautiful neo-Gothic bridge, the Pont del Bisbe (or Bishop’s Bridge) is literally round the corner from the Barcelona Cathedral and great to have a little gander at as you pass.
AM: Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi
From Pont del Bisbe: 3 minute walk
This is a 14th-century Gothic church located in Plaza del Pi. The church is often quiet, meaning it’s very easy to just wander around and take in the stunning Gothic design. The surrounding Plaza is also a great place to sit and relax for a while – you’re in Spain now, you don’t need to rush!
AM: Mercado de la Boqueria
From the Basilica: 5 minute walk
Yep, you should definitely come back! The Boqueria Market is by far one of my favourite places in Barcelona (when I don’t accidentally walk into the seafood zone!).
PM: Alternative Walking Tour
From Mercado de la Boqueria: 10 minute walk / 10 minutes via public transport / 3 minute car ride
Also by Original Barcelona Tours, the Alternative Walking Tour is just that – an alternative look at Barcelona. It’s run by the same principle – “free” but tips are expected based on how much you enjoyed the tour (as they say, love doesn’t pay the bills!). You also meet at 2:30pm in Placa de Catalunya, and this tour also runs for about 2.5 hours. The tours by this company can be done in English or Spanish – they have two guides that meet the group, and then split off based on language and which tours people want to do.
This tour focuses on El Raval – it’s history and where it is today. On this tour you’ll look at the amazing street art of the Raval, as well as learning about the drugs, bars and prostitution of the area. You’ll also learn about how the Industrial Revolution affected people in this area – my favourite part of the tour. Because of its more alternative nature, I wouldn’t recommend this tour for kids (if you didn’t already gather that from the drugs and prostitutes).
PM: Museo de Historia de Catalunya
From Placa de Catalunya: 25 minute walk / 15 minutes via public transport / 10 minute car ride
Back in Barceloneta to end the day, the Museo de Historia de Catalunya (Catalonian History Museum) is a great spot to check out in Barcelona. The city is the capital of Catalonia, and Catalans are generally a very proud people (so much so that there is a movement to separate from Spain). The museum is very interesting, with the permanent exhibition beginning in the Neolithic period. There’s also a rooftop with a bar and viewing area, which gives a great view over all the yachts in the harbour.
Barcelona Day 3
AM: Placa de Catalunya
Start your day in Placa de Catalunya – take in the fountains, the statues, the people and the surrounding buildings. As you’ll see there’s plenty of cafes in the area around here, so you can have a very chilled out morning. I chose to stop in at Chök – a small cafe focusing on all kinds of chocolatey goodness, particularly with donuts & cronuts. You can read more about where I ate in Barcelona here.
AM: Palau Guell
From Placa de Cataluna: 15 minute walk / 12 minutes via public transport / 12 minute car ride
Walking down La Rambla, you’ll come to Palau Guell – another one of Gaudi’s works in Barcelona. Palau Guell is a mansion built between 1886 and 1888, for the same Eusebi Guell that commissioned Park Guell. While much of the house is more dark and “sophisticated”, for lack of a better word, than much of Gaudi’s other work, the bright and colourful rooftop is very clearly Gaudi.
AM: Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar
From Palau Guell: 15 minute walk / 15 minutes via public transport / 15 minute car ride
In the style of Catalan Gothic, this Basilica was built in the 14th century. Another beautiful church to stop in and look at while you’re in the Gothic Quarter, the building has several stained glass windows and stone columns in its interior.
PM: Picasso Museum
From the Basilica: 2 minute walk
The Picasso Museum was one of my favourite places to visit in Barcelona. Located just around the corner from the Basilica, it’s a very easy walk between them. The Museum details Picasso’s life, and has a large collection of work from the time he was around 12 years old. Seriously, if the paintings weren’t dated you’d have no idea he was just a kid when he was painting some of these incredible works!
PM: Parc de la Ciutadella & Cascada Monumental
From the Picasso Museum: 5 minute walk
The Ciutadella Park is the perfect place to just chill out, read a book and soak up the Barcelona sunshine. The Park itself is beautiful to walk around, however the Cascada Monumental is by far my favourite place in the park. A massive fountain, the golden statues at the very top are just the icing on the cake. The Park also has a lake where you can hire out boats to row yourself around on.
PM: Montjuic Castle & Cable Car
From the Cascada Monumental: 1 hour walk / 45 minutes via public transport / 20 minute car ride
The Montjuic Castle is the perfect place to end the day in Barcelona. An old military fortress dating back to the 17th century, the Castle sits on Montjuic Hill. It can be accessed via a cable car, which takes around 5 minutes, or alternatively you can walk up. The cable car closes at 7pm, so just bear that in mind if you buy a return ticket.
Don’t forget to check out my guide on eating vegetarian & vegan in Barcelona! Whether you’re vego or not, you’ll find some incredible places to eat!