It would be easy to an eternity discovering the cultural, artistic, and culinary wonders of Barcelona. Most people, though, don’t have that kind of time—but that’s okay! We’ve culled the city’s extensive sightseeing opportunities to a manageable handful of suggestions. Here are some ways you could spend your three days in Barcelona:
Even if you spend part of today flying in and transferring to your hotel, you don’t have to waste the entire day on travel! Get situated and set out exploring. After all, you don’t have much time to enjoy this exciting city! You might want to start this day by walking near your hotel and seeing local shops, restaurants and attractions.
Option 1: Discover Local Flavors on an Evening Tour
Since you’ll be ready to see the area and not overwhelmed by doing tourist activities all day, this first evening is the perfect opportunity to take a tapas walking tour. You’ll learn all about the Barcelona food scene and sample and tapas, or bar snacks, at a number of famous tapas bars. Along the way, you walk the streets of the city and get immersed in beautiful architecture and culture. This tour starts at 5 pm and lasts for about three hours (not available on Sundays). Be sure to reserve your spot in advance.
Option 2: Meander Through the Gothic Quarter
You may want to skip a tour on this first afternoon or evening and enjoy some unscheduled time in the city instead. If this is your choice, the Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gotic, is an ideal place to visit. This area is part of the city’s Old Town and illuminates Barcelona’s rich history. The streets themselves are gorgeous, as are sites like La Seu Cathedral, the Placa del Pi, and the City History Museum.
Today is your only full day in Barcelona, so make the most of it! Be sure to see the sights that interest you the most, because you may not have another chance.
Option 1: See the Best the City Has to Offer
Take some time to visit Barcelona’s best-known tourist spots. La Sagrada Familia is definitely worth a stop. This Roman Catholic church was designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi and features amazing architecture and history. While it is known the world over, the building was never finished despite the construction being started in 1882.
It’s also essential to visit Park Guell during your visit to Barcelona. Like La Sagrada Familia, this spot was created by architect Antoni Gaudi and named after Eusebi Guell—the entrepreneur who commissioned it. This site is a wonderful combination of nature exploration and unique modernist art. Park Guell sits at the top of the city, so you’ll be treated to magnificent views when you get there.
For a quick lunch near Park Guell, try Guelly Sandwichpark. It’s an affordable spot with light, fresh food and great views. If you’d rather have a place to sit down and relax, Bar Restaurant Delicias is a great option. It features old-world charm and offers great local cuisine with reasonable prices. This is the place the locals go, so you know it’s the real deal.
Another great option for seeing the best sites in this city is to take the Barcelona City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Tour. This helps you see all the major attractions in a single day. You’re able to choose from three tour routes to see the attractions that interest you the most. Rather than a tour guide rushing you from one place to the next, you can stay in one spot as long as you’d like and skip the stops that don’t speak to you. This open-top double-decker bus has more than 44 stops along the three lines, including the Gothic Quarter, La Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum, Port Olimpic from the 1992 Olympic Games, the beach, and many more.
Option 2: Take a Food, Wine and Sights Tour
If it’s more your style to relax and enjoy good food, the Montserrat Food & Wine Full Day Tour is a prime option. This tour focuses on the food and wine of the area, while also treating you to a bit of sightseeing. You get to see Montserrat’s Basilica, Montserrat’s National Park, and the Oller del Mas Castle. At the castle’s winery, you’ll enjoy a three-course lunch featuring Catalan cuisine and a wine and cheese tasting. This tour leaves at 8:45 am and lasts around 10 hours, so it will fill up your entire second day. You need to book in advance and check the dates because this tour doesn’t run on certain days of the year.
Since you might not have the full day to spend here, try to wake up early and get started right away. This is a good day to skip the tours and stick to a small number of sightseeing venues.
You might want to head to Las Ramblas, where you’ll be in the thick of the city and its culture. This is a key boulevard that goes through the Barcelona city center. There is a lot to take in along this promenade, including the excitement of human statue art and live performances. You can visit the Christopher Columbus monument, a tile mosaic in the street, the Liceu Theatre and many other attractions. You’ll have the opportunity to shop, eat, or have a caricature drawn by a street artist. You could head to the Arc de Triumph or even relax along the Mediterranean Sea on one of Barcelona’s beaches.
Be sure to check that the activities you’ve chosen are open on the dates of your visit. Also, it’s not a bad idea to have some backup venues in mind just in case. Despite having a short stay, you can still have an amazing time during 3 days in Barcelona, especially if you plan your activities in advance.
Ready to start planning your Barcelona adventure? Let’s go!