What To Do In Barcelona For 3 Days
Three days to explore Barcelona is not much. Nevertheless, maximize your experience, our carefully crafted three-day itinerary guides you through the best of Barcelona, ensuring a memorable trip.
Barcelona, a top destination in Europe, gets busy and expensive during its peak season from June to September. That’s why if it’s possible - skip traveling there during the mentioned period. If you can’t do it - we have some tips. To avoid long lines and make the most of your visit, it's wise to book attraction tickets ahead of time, and you'll find helpful links throughout this itinerary for easy booking.
This itinerary is designed with efficiency in mind, grouping attractions by location to minimize travel time and prevent unnecessary back-and-forth across the city. This approach helps you spend less time on public transport and more on exploring.
Dining in Barcelona is an experience in itself, sometimes even surpassing the allure of famous sites like Casa Batlló or the Sagrada Familia. Meal times in Barcelona are typically later than in other European cities. Breakfast often runs until 12:30 pm, with lunch between 1 and 3 pm (similarly to French). Many restaurants don't start serving dinner until 7 pm, and dining out at 10 pm is a common local practice.
DAY 1: Gaudí, Las Ramblas, and the Gothic Quarter
Start the morning by exploring the architectural wonders of Antoni Gaudí on Passeig de Gracia, and then enjoy a walk down Las Ramblas, followed by a day in the Gothic Quarter.
Casa Batlló-the vibrant building, one of Gaudí's most renowned works, is a highlight on Passeig de Gracia. Budget travelers can admire its exterior for free. For those keen on Gaudí's architecture, it's worth the entrance fee, but expect long lines. Booking tickets in advance is advisable. But it’s no surprise based on my experience in late spring traveling in Portugal.
Insider Tip: To avoid crowds at Casa Batlló, consider the early access option. The site opens at 9 am, but tickets are available for entry at 8:30 am for €45 per person. Standard tickets are €29, and it's cheaper to buy online. Early entry tickets cost €45.
Then, move to Casa Milà, known as La Pedrera. It is a few blocks north of Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia. This building, the last civil project designed by Antoni Gaudí, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an iconic part of Barcelona, though it tends to be less crowded than Casa Batlló.
Visitors have the option to admire Casa Milà from the outside for free or pay for a tour inside. A typical tour of Casa Milà lasts between 1 to 1.5 hours, offering a deeper look into Gaudí's architectural genius. The most important part is to check out the opening hours and if there are any tickets. And…after that - have a lunch break.
After lunch, walk along Las Ramblas. This bustling pedestrian street stretches from Plaça de Catalunya to the Christopher Columbus monument. Despite being crowded and touristy, it's worth exploring a part of it. However, many find that wandering through the Gothic Quarter and along Rambla de Catalunya offers a more enriching experience.
La Boqueria, a large market situated on La Rambla, is a fantastic spot for shopping for various foods like fish, fruits, and fresh juices. It also houses small tapas restaurants, with Bar Pinotxo and El Quim de la Boqueria being highly recommended for a bite. Just keep your handbags or wallets close and don’t get scammed or pickpocketed.
Dedicate some time to explore the Gothic Quarter, a standout area during our stay in Barcelona. As the historical heart of the city, its maze of narrow, cobblestone streets transports you to a different era. Small boutiques offer unique shopping experiences, and the quaint restaurants are perfect for sampling tapas or cava (sparkling spanish wine). The Gothic Quarter encapsulates the old-world charm of Barcelona and is a must-visit for its historical and cultural richness.
During your visit, make sure to see two stunning churches. The Barcelona Cathedral, located just north of the Gothic Quarter, is an architectural marvel dating back to the 13th century. Another must-visit is Santa Maria del Mar, a historic cathedral known for
As you stroll through the Gothic Quarter, you'll find numerous restaurants to choose from. A popular spot to relax with a drink before dinner is Plaça Reial. For dining, consider Bodega Biarritz, a small but popular eatery known for its meat and cheese tapas. Otherwise, just ask some recommendations for locals or search for a trip advisor.
Day 2 - La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Tibidabo
The Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, is an extraordinary architectural gem by Antoni Gaudí. Despite being under construction, it has earned its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This church is a must-visit in Barcelona, offering a unique experience that divides opinion - some adore its distinctiveness, while others find it unattractive.
The Sagrada Familia stands out as one of the most unusual churches ever visited. Its exterior resembles a melting sandcastle, while the interior is strikingly beautiful, colorful, and modern, characteristic of Gaudí's style. There are various visiting options, with the basic ticket (€26) allowing entrance to the church. Additional offerings include an audio guide, guided tours, a visit to the Gaudí House Museum, and the option to climb one of its two towers - the Passion Façade for Mediterranean views, or the Nativity Façade for city views. However, views from the towers can be obstructed by scaffolding due to ongoing construction.
I’ll skip mentioning visiting details cause you can find it on the official site.
Next stop - Park Güell. It's another creation of Antoni Gaudí, stands out as one of Barcelona's most vibrant attractions. It features whimsical structures reminiscent of gingerbread houses and an iconic, serpent-shaped tiled bench. While it's a popular tourist spot, some find it to be overrated, mainly due to the large crowds that can detract from the experience. Despite this, many still consider it worth visiting for its unique design and colorful ambiance.
To ensure a smooth visit to Park Güell, it's crucial to book tickets in advance. The park regulates entry, allowing only 400 visitors every half hour. This limit may seem generous, but tickets often sell out quickly, especially during peak hours. Advance booking will help you avoid long queues and guarantee entry at your preferred time. And after visiting park Guell, it's time for lunch:)
After lunch, consider heading to Tibidabo and the Sagrat Cor for an afternoon. Tibidabo is a charming amusement park nestled on a hillside with sweeping views of Barcelona. It's an ideal spot for families, offering a break from the more traditional sightseeing activities. Visitors can choose between purchasing an all-day ticket or paying for individual rides.
Right beside the amusement park stands the Sagrat Cor, or the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a majestic Roman Catholic Church located on Mount Tibidabo. This church, visible from many areas in Barcelona, provides some of the city's best vistas. Climbing the towers of Sagrat Cor is highly recommended for a breathtaking panoramic view of Barcelona.
These two attractions, conveniently located next to each other, make for a perfect post-lunch destination, combining fun, culture, and stunning scenery.
How to reach Sagrat Cor. After visiting Park Güell, it's just a 20-minute walk to the Tramvia Blau – Tibidabo stop. From there, you can take the iconic Blue Tram (Tramvia Blau) to reach the Tibidabo Funicular station. Then, hop on the funicular for a scenic ride up to Tibidabo. As an alternative, you have the option to take a taxi directly from Park Güell or Sol Soler to the funicular station, which is a convenient way to reach Tibidabo if you prefer not to walk.
Day 3: The Choice is Yours
For your final day in Barcelona, if you followed our guidance for the 2 days, you have the flexibility to choose how you'd like to spend your time the third day. Instead of a fixed itinerary, I've outlined four activities that each take about half a day. You can select two that appeal to you the most, dedicating one to the morning and the other to the afternoon, allowing you to tailor your day to your interests.
First option would be to explore the Gothic Quarter. The Gothic Quarter's charming narrow streets and hidden corners are worth revisiting. Nearby attractions include the stunning Palau de la Musica Catalana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering tours and musical performances. The lush Parc de la Ciutadella is perfect for a relaxing stroll, complete with tropical vegetation and the historic Arc de Triomf. For Gaudí enthusiasts, Palau Güell offers a unique rooftop view near the Gothic Quarter.
Second option - spend your time basking on Barcelona's beaches, perfect for a morning, afternoon, or a full day of relaxation. Try activities like windsurfing or kitesurfing. With plenty of beachside restaurants, food and drinks are easily accessible.
Third option - Montjuic Hill. Allocate 4 to 5 hours to explore Montjuic Hill, a haven for art and museum enthusiasts. Visit museums like the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), showcasing 19th and 20th-century Catalan art, and the Joan Miró Foundation, featuring works by the Barcelona-born modernist artist. Montjuic Castle, once a fortress and prison, now offers panoramic city views and can be accessed via a scenic cable car ride. End your visit with the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, presenting a spectacular show of color, water, and music on select evenings.
Lastly, soccer fans shouldn't miss visiting Camp Nou, Europe's largest stadium and the third largest football stadium globally, home to FC Barcelona. Tour the stadium or catch a live game for an unforgettable experience.
These options offer a mix of cultural, historical, and leisure activities, perfect for your last day in Barcelona. Naturally, just do whatever you wish to do or feel like doing.