What to see in Barcelona in 3 days
Barcelona’s renowned reputation conditions visitor expectations and they tend to feel overwhelmed by the city’s many facets. If you have three days and create a solid plan, you can put together various itineraries by theme and by proximity, making it possible for you to enjoy Barcelona’s art, architecture, designer shops and creative restaurants. Above all, however, take your time to recreate, with every detail, a city that Modernism has filled with fantasy and colour. Be sure to visit the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, but don’t forget about the other spots that also form part of the modernist itinerary. Wander aimlessly through the Gothic Quarter and El Born, and step into the artisanal workshops you come across.
Make the most of your time in this Mediterranean city and go for a boat ride along the coast in the traditional Las Golondrinas, or take the funicular to Mount Tibidabo, where magnificent views await.
As you can see, in only three days, Barcelona can win you over with its many personalities.
Itinerary day 1
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
A stroll through the city’s oldest neighbourhood will reveal a lovely maze of narrow streets and some of locals’ favourite spots. Take your time to savour the cathedral along with the squares Plaça del Rei, Plaça de Sant Jaume and Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
La Pallaresa chocolate shop
It is said that Carrer de Petritxol is the sweetest street in Barcelona because it is home to some of the city’s best chocolate shops. It is customary to go in the morning or afternoon for some traditional melindro pastries and assorted treats.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Tapas at La Boquería Market
Dating back to 1840, this is the oldest market in Barcelona. It houses more than 300 stands that sell fruits, vegetables, meats and fish, in addition to areas where you can find good tapas. Be sure to grab a bite at La Tasca de Juanito.
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Passeig de Gràcia
The majestic Passeig de Gràcia is like an open-air museum lined with the city’s best modernist buildings. This avenue is also perfect for shopping since top international brands can be found here.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Made up of two residential buildings, this complex was Gaudí’s last project. The name is due to its similarity to a quarry. Some of its noteworthy spaces include the rooftop, which is a work of art; the 270 arches to support the roof terrace, a recreated home; and the courtyards.
5:10 PM - 6:00 PM
This former residence of the Batlló family was designed by Gaudí. It combines elements such as glass, iron, ceramic and stoneware. Take note of its rippled shapes and the fantasy that emanates from this building.
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
F.C. Barcelona stadium and museum
If you are a F.C. Barcelona fan, then this landmark is for you. Make your way to Camp Nou to visit the stadium (locker rooms, players’ tunnel, pitch, etc.) and the team’s museum, where its trophies are on display.
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Home to a famous amusement park, Mount Tibidabo is also the highest peak of the Sierra de Collserola, so it offers lovely views of Barcelona. You can take the funicular or the Blau tram—two historical modes of transportation—or the shuttle bus to the top.
9:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Dinner at Els 4 Gats
This historical restaurant was popular with artists searching for inspiration. Regulars included Hemingway, Picasso and Dalí. Aside from these famous customers, it also has an interesting menu. You will need to reserve in advance.
Itinerary day 2
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Take the cable car to the top of Montjuïc Mountain, where you can bask in the gardens, parks and even a castle. You can also visit one of its many cultural landmarks, such as the Joan Miró Foundation, the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, the National Museum of Catalan Art and the historical Olympic Ring.
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
We recommend that you spend some time here when visiting Montjuïc. Built for the 1929 Barcelona Universal Exposition, it reproduces the architecture from a number of regions throughout Spain. Kids will love it.
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
As one of the city’s Michelin-starred establishments, it guarantees a memorable meal. Chef Paco Pérez amazes diners with his creative, avant-garde cuisine. Be sure to make a reservation because this restaurant is very popular.
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
This city faces the sea, so take advantage of this feature and go for a pleasant walk on the beach. Before continuing with your itinerary, stop by the Mirador de Colón scenic overlook to view the port and the city from a height of 60 metres.
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
El Born district
Spend the afternoon exploring this medieval neighbourhood that is home to not only the famous Basilica of Santa María—the inspiration behind La catedral del mar by Falcones—but also quite a few palaces and the Picasso Museum.
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
After a long day, we recommend stopping by this historical park for a bit of relaxation. Featuring a waterfall, lake and several monumental buildings, this happens to be Barcelona’s first public park. Visitors can also enjoy the vast flora and hundred-year-old trees.
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
El Chigre 1769
Chef Fran Heras serves an interesting combination of Asturian and Catalan cuisine at this establishment facing the Basilica of Santa María del Mar. This warm and casual space was designed by the interior decorator Eva Arbonés. Slow food at affordable prices.
Itinerary day 3
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Barcelona’s emblem is its most popular monument. Visit this unfinished church for a chance to step into Gaudí’s world. Take note of the façades inspired by nature and be sure to stop by the museum in the lower ground floor.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site and Hospital Santa Creu
Be sure to visit this modernist site that served as a public hospital for a century and was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Hospital Santa Creu was moved to this location in the late nineteenth century.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
This project, one of Antoni Gaudí’s most important works, was named after the developer behind the initiative, Eusebi Güell, although it was never finished. The most photogenic spots are the dragon staircase and the Hall of 100 Columns.
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Come discover Chef Ramón Ribas’ succulent dishes and his play on shapes and textures. The restaurant also serves brain food, intended to boost and sharpen your brain.
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Shopping at Portal de l’Ángel
The top shopping district begins at Plaça de Catalunya and ends at the cathedral. Other popular areas for shopping are la Milla de Oro (between Plaça de Catalunya and Avinguda Diagonal), or for more alternative purchases, the streets in the Gràcia district and El Born.
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Boat ride in Las Golondrinas
The best way to see the city’s coastline is to take a ride on its most traditional boat, known as Las Golondrinas, which travels to and from Port Vell and Port Fòrum. There is live music between April and September.
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Dinner at dDivine
The "gastroshow", a mix of gastronomy and live entertainment, is a phenomenon that is increasingly seen in bars and restaurants. In Barcelona, one of its top representatives is dDivine Restaurant, a glamorous space located two blocks from Plaça de Catalunya.