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Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary

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Salamander Staircase in Park Guell | Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary, European Travel
Salamander Staircase in Park Guell

Visit Barcelona Spain to discover its rich culture, innovative architecture, and relaxing beach vibe. Whether exploring La Sagrada Familia or the Barcelona Gothic Quarter, the city’s walkable tree-lined avenues and warm climate make touring a treat. Our Barcelona 3 day itinerary will introduce you to a fusion of Spanish and Catalan music, food, design, and dance that make this city unlike any other.

Colorful Houses & Catalan Balconies, Barcelona Spain
Colorful Houses & Catalan Balconies

Follow this Barcelona itinerary to immerse in the nature-inspired works of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. It includes four amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites designed by the builder. The itinerary also takes in some of the city’s best-loved addresses including Las Ramblas, La Boqueria Market, the Gothic Quarter, El Born, and the waterfront.

Plaça del Rei – Gothic Quarter | Barcelona Itinerary and guide, Barcelona Spain
Plaça del Rei – Gothic Quarter

Barcelona is a large, diverse city with many neighborhoods. Our Barcelona 3 day itinerary combines the places we consider to be “must-see” in a fun, well-paced itinerary. Refer to our Barcelona Guide to learn about the city’s neighborhoods, hotels, and restaurants. See our article Best Things to Do in Barcelona for descriptions of attractions.

Butcher's Stall - La Boqueria Market | Best Things to do in Barcelona Spain
Butcher's Stall - La Boqueria Market
Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary At A Glance | Barcelona Spain | European Travel

For more information on Barcelona travel read our travel blog articles on:

Barcelona Cathedral | Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary | Barcelona Travel Guide
Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary

Barcelona Itinerary - Day 1: Discovering Gaudi

On day 1 of our Barcelona travel itinerary get to know the whimsical works of Spanish-Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Each of the four sites to be visited today are UNESCO World Heritage sites designed by Gaudi. The itinerary also takes you to one of Barcelona's most beautiful avenues, the Passeig de Garcia.

Nature Square - Carmel Hill | Barcelona Itinerary and Unesco World Heritage Sites
Nature Square - Carmel Hill

Begin your day on the Passeig de Gracia by touring Casa Batllo. When finished, move on to Gaudi’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. Next, stroll the sprawling and imaginative hilltop sanctuary, Park Guell. After a relaxing dinner, end your day of Gaudi discovery with a nighttime tour of Casa Mila where you will view the spectacular Warrior Rooftop.

Port Vell Customs Building | Barcelona Things to do | European Travel
Port Vell Customs Building

Buy tickets and make timed-reservations ahead of your trip to each of the sites. Plan for about 45 minutes at Casa Battlo; and 1.5 hours at La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Mila. This day can be completed by walking, using city buses, taxis, or the hop on hop off bus (our choice). Or, book a tour company that includes these Gaudi destinations.

Nave - La Sagrada Familia | Barcelona Itinerary | Barcelona Spain Travel Blog
Nave - La Sagrada Familia
Passeig de Gracia

In the 1900s, Passeig de Gracia was the most important avenue in Barcelona. It was home to a group of wealthy industrialists who competed to build the most noteworthy homes. Today, the avenue is celebrated for its stylized modernist houses, trendy restaurants, and high-end shopping. Walking the street, look for intricate ironwork on the boulevard’s lamppost benches (designed by Gaudi). Also, enjoy the sophisticated tile work at the entries of buildings and along sidewalks.

Strolling Passeig de Gracia | Barcelona Travel Itinerary | European Travel
Strolling Passeig de Gracia
Casa Batllo

In 1905, Josep Batllo commissioned Antoni Gaudi to do a remodel his building. The result was a livable work of modern art. Casa Batllo has a marine inspired façade and a light filled interior full of stained glass, iron, wood, ceramic tiles, and stone.

Casa Batllo | Barcelona Itinerary, Barcelona Spain
Casa Batllo
La Sagrada Familia

The soaring (still under-construction) basilica was Gaudi’s last major project, and his crowning achievement. The basilica has three stone towers and a gorgeous light filled interior. Both outside and inside are adorned with a menagerie of animals and other religious iconography. Do not rush your visit. Walk slowly, and try to take it all in. We recommend including an elevator trip to the top of one of the towers as part of your tour.

Towers of La Sagrada Familia | best things to do in Barcelona | European Travel
Towers of La Sagrada Familia
Park Guell

Park Guell was an attempt by Antoni Gaudi and his patron, Eusebi Guell, to build an English-style public garden in Barcelona. The 19-hectare park is set on Carmel Hill with fantastic views of the city. The park is split in the Forest Zone and the Monument Zone. To visit the Monument Zone there is an admission charge and timed reservation system. This must-see attraction is full of fanciful nature-based creatures fashioned out of ceramics and tile. Look for the salamander staircase and serpentine bench.

Serpentine Bench in Park Guell | Best things to do in Barcelona | European Travel Blog
Serpentine Bench
Evening Plan

From Park Guell, head back to the Passeig de Gracia. It should be late afternoon or early evening by now. Locate a rooftop bar near your final stop of the day, Casa Mila. Have drinks, watch the sun go down, and order dinner. Try the Terraza Verbena Rooftop (Monument Hotel) where Mediterranean cuisine is served. Or, Terrat (Mandarin Oriental Hotel) where there is alfresco dining and 360-degree views of the city.

Tapas Bar | Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary | La Boqueria Market
Tapas Bar
La Pedrera Nighttime Experience (9-11pm)

After Gaudi finished Casa Batllo, he built Casa Mila down the street. When construction of apartment building was complete, the property was (unkindly) nicknamed “La Pedrera” for its grey stone exterior which was thought to resemble a quarry. The La Pedrera Nighttime Experience includes touring the Flower Courtyard, Whale Attic, and the Warrior Rooftop with the lights of Barcelona as a backdrop.

Casa Mila - La Pedrera on Passeig de Gracia | Barcelona Itinerary, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Barcelona Spain
Casa Mila - La Pedrera

Barcelona Itinerary Day 2: Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter

Sleep in, and begin your day of touring between 9-10am when the city is coming to life. Launch your exploration in the heart of Barcelona at Placa de Catalunya. From there, walk to the following locations and attractions:

Placa de Catalunya | Barcelona Guide, Barcelona travel
Placa de Catalunya
Las Ramblas

The .8-mile (1.3km) boulevard linking Placa de Catalunya with the waterfront is a major Barcelona tourist destination. La Rambla’s wide pedestrian walkway is lined with outdoor tapas bars, souvenir shops, flower kiosks, and street performers. As you meander, enjoy the sites and hold onto your valuables – the area is known to be plagued by pick-pocketers. When you get to the Christopher Columbus monument double back until you reach La Boqueria Market.

Las Ramblas | Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary, European Travel Blog
Las Ramblas
La Boqueria Market

It’s lunch time! Sant Josep Market, also known as La Boqueria, was once a patio of Sant Josep Church. The space was converted into an indoor market that became famous for its large selection of quality foods. This bustling, chaotic shopping space has rows of meat, fish, wines, vinegars, produce, fruits, bakery goods, spices, and so much more. Sample. Eat. Repeat. After you fill up, shop for gifts.

Display at La Boqueria Market on Las Ramblas, Barcelona Itinerary
Display - La Boqueria Market
Gothic Quarter (Barre Gotic)

Exiting La Boqueria onto Las Ramblas, cross the street to enter the Gothic Quarter. This neighborhood is Barcelona’s Old City (Cuitat Vella). The district is so ancient that many of the narrow, winding streets are pedestrian. Here, you will find a mix of Roman and medieval architecture. As you wander, be on the lookout for Barcelona Cathedral, Placa Reial, Museum of History of Barcelona, Roman walls and defensive towers, Church of Santa Maria del Pi, and Placa Sant Jaume.

Palm Trees in Placa Reial | Gothic Quarter | Barcelona Itinerary
Palm Trees in Placa Reial
El Born

Just to the south of the Gothic Quarter is the neighborhood of El Born. The building and blocks look similar to the Old City, but in El Born there are more boutiques and restaurants than statues and museums. Shop for a memento of your trip. You will find many quality artisan, jewelry, and textile shops in the area.

Store Front in El Born | Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary
Store Front in El Born
Evening Plan: Flamenco

This evening purchase tickets to see a Flamenco dance in the city. Flamenco is an artform native to Spain that has taken root in the Barcelona cultural scene. The Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) Flamenco Show is well-reviewed as well as the Tablao del Carmen on Las Ramblas.

Tablao de Carmen Flamenco Dance | Barcelona Itinerary
Tablao de Carmen

Barcelona Itinerary Day 3: Montserrat Abbey and Barcelona Beaches

Monserrat Monastery

Book a morning excursion to Montserrat Monastery. The historic Benedictine abbey sits high in the mountains about 45 minutes outside of Barcelona. Consider a tour that include a train trip up the steep hills leading to the abbey. In the mountaintop village explore Santa Maria de Montserrat Basilica and the abbey’s sacred “Black Virgin.”

Monserrat Abbey | UNESCO World Heritage Site | Barcelona Itinerary
Monserrat Abbey
Barcelona Beaches

Devote the afternoon to the beaches of Barcelona. Three Barcelona beaches (Barceloneta, Bogatell, and Mar Bella) have boardwalks lined with restaurants, bars, and beach shops bordering Mediterranean Sea. If you are not a sunbather, head to Port Vell where there are marinas, restaurants, an aquarium, and the Maremagnum Mall with IMAX theatres.

Port Vell Marina | Best Things to Do in Barcelona | Barcelona Beaches
Port Vell Marina
Evening Plan: Barcelona Gothic Quarter

Spend your last evening in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter at Placa Reial (Royal Square). The elegant square is lined with porticoed outdoor restaurants and upscale bars. At twilight, lights begin to twinkle on and music wafts into the square. Enjoy an apertif and dinner as you watch people passing by and the palm trees swaying.

Dining in the Gothic Quarter | Barcelona Travel Itinerary, European Travel
Dining in the Gothic Quarter

Viatges Segurs (Safe Travels), Laura and Randy

For more information on Barcelona travel read our travel blog articles on:


Rooftop of Barcelona Cathedral | Gothic Quarter, Barcelona Itinerary
Rooftop of Barcelona Cathedral


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