Thinking of visit Barcelona?
If you’re planning a multi-day trip to Barcelona, you’re probably struggling with which of its many sites and attractions you want to cram in a relatively short timeframe. If that’s you, let this post help you get started! We’ve offered a quick itinerary so when you come you already know exactly what to do in Barcelona based on how much time you have to explore.
*Here are a few things to remember before your trip to Barcelona:
- Buy tickets in advanced
- Tours at Sagrada Familia typically begin after 10am in the summertime (except when it is raining). The tower stairs are closed when it’s raining. Don’t worry, it´s not a huge deal, you just have to go down via stairways.
- The Gothic Quarter always involves walking
- There is a dress code for Sagrada and the Cathedral
- Grab some ice cream in Gelaaati whenever you visit the Gothic area.
What to do in Barcelona in 1 Day!
Sightseeing in Barcelona, Spain
In order to better organize your stay, let’s divide the types of tourists that visit Barcelona City. For now, we’re going to focus on the city itself rather than its outdoor scene. To me, there are 2 ways of really making the most of your day.
- Visiting pretty much all of the main sites, but only seeing them along the way from the outside. You’ll be able to take pictures from all around the city, which (as you may already know), is very beautiful.
How can you do this in a single day? Easy answer: HOP ON AND OFF THE BUS. That’s right, you can take buses that regularly pick up and drop off visitors at various points of interest. Please note: there are two vendors offering this service. Follow the links below to check the schedule and the routes for each of them.
- Barcelona Bus Touristic: https://www.barcelonabusturistic.cat/es
- Barcelona City Tour: https://barcelona.city-tour.com/es
The price is pretty much the same, about 30€ per adult; seniors and children under 18 have discounts, and kids under 4 are free. The duration of the routes is about 4.5 hours after adding together every route from each vendor. The difference between the companies is only about 10-15 minutes.
- The other way is by choosing the attraction that just can’t leave Barcelona without seeing. Plan your visit around it, including time to explore inside and out. Most people recommend Sagrada Familia, but it’s ultimately up to you. Buy the ticket online as soon as you can. That way, you’ll have more time (at least 2 hours) to explore the site you chose. After, you can include at least two of the routes of the HOP ON HOP OFF BUS so you can enjoy a bit more of the city.
What to do in Barcelona in 2 days!
Let´s see other Barcelona Tourist Spots
Since time is limited, I definitely recommend spending 1 day in the Gothic Quarter. Grab lunch and dinner there, then enjoy a walking tour through Las Ramblas. You’ll find intricate gardens, souvenirs shops, and lifelike statues. Take time to visit the Cathedral, The Palau Güell, Palace of the Catalan Music and the Gothic’s tiny passageways.
For the second day, I recommend exploring Gaudi’s works. There are 4 buildings designed by Gaudi, which for me are impressive: Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà (check my article about The 4 Places You Can´T Miss In Barcelona! and then plan which ones you’ll prefer the most). He has many other works, but these have something in common; they are all close to each other and you can visit at least 2 per day without feeling like you’re dying. Casa Milà and Casa Batlló are just 3 blocks away from each other; Sagrada Familia is 10 blocks away from Casa Milà, and the Park Güell is just a 7 minute taxi ride from Sagrada Familia.
Another recommendation: Casa Milà has an amazing light and sound show at night and Casa batlló made a huge renowal of the house and also at night they have concerts in the rooftop. So if you are well-rested and still have the stamina, try to squeeze as many visits in the morning as you can, then spend your evening at Casa Milà or Casa Batllò and enjoy the Cava there.
For the 2 day experience, I highly recommend taxis and public transportation. Since you’re just leisurely walking through the Gothic area on the first day, there is no need for transportation. However, on the second day, depending on what you choose to do and where you’re staying, you’ll want to consider your transportation options.
In my “Barcelona Travel Tips – Top 10 Things You Must Know Before Visiting In 2021” guide, I explain about the T-Familiar, a card that offers up to 8 trips. It’s especially helpful if you’re traveling with others. This is a logistics issue, depending on the location of your Hotel/Airbnb and how many people you are you’ll choose one thing or the other. So, if you are four in your party and the four of you are splitting the costs, it’s cheaper to grab a cab.
What to do in Barcelona in 3 days!
More Places to visit in Barcelona
Following the first line of thinking, we’ll continue with the HOP ON HOP OFF BUS since it traverses nearly the entire city (at least the tourist areas). Also, they offer 2 day tickets! That way, you won’t miss the highlights of Barcelona, and (most importantly) you won’t get lost.
In order to take advantage of this bus offer, you can do 1 day of walking (and maybe dying), then rest for the other two by taking the bus. In the previous visit (2 days) I noted that the walking tour should include the Gothic Quarter, so we’ll keep that one, then schedule the other two days.
Now we can structure this itinerary a little more by choosing which of the main attractions we want to visit.
After finishing the Gothic area, we still have these attractions to visit:
- Sagrada Familia
- Recinte Modernista Sant Pau: It´s a good and practical idea to visit this one the same day as Sagrada Familia since they’re nearby.
- Park Güell: you can take amazing pictures of Barcelona and the ocean from there. Also, the gardens are amazing!
- Casa Milà: remember, better at night.
- Casa Batlló, also at night is better.
- Palau Güell
- Montjuic: Is not an attraction per se, but a district full of attractions: The Olympic Stadium with a beautiful tower next to it; the Nacional Museum of Contemporary Art, Miró Foundation, El Poble Espanyol and beautiful picturesque walking paths surrounded by nature. In my opinion, you need more than a day to enjoy everything it has to offer.
- Picasso Museum: Ideally, you’ll visit this one the same day you tour the Gothic. That way, you can enjoy pintxos next to it. Also, don’t forget coffee at ELS QUATRE GATS! The guide will offer more information about what this is and why it’s a big deal.
For the first five places, feel free to schedule them as you please. I’ve already explained the distances between each and how much transportation will cost, so the order is entirely up to you!
If you don’t have much time left after visiting the Gaudi Pack (my own term for the attractions above), I think Montjuic on the bus is a great option. That way, you’ll enjoy an amazing experience without expending much energy.
I chose the Picasso Museum as an alternative for Montjuic since it’s closer to the center. You might prefer to spend some time there, which is also a nice experience.
What to do in Barcelona in 4 days!
Another Barcelona Tourist Attraction
We keep the Gothic, but this time, we’ll combine it with the Born Neighborhood. This is still a walking tour, but you’ll feel amazed by all the things you’ll see and learn. The unique blend of urban and bohemian styles offer a look into the true vibe of Barcelona. This Itinerary takes two days and this time, you’ll be able to visit the beach! The Picasso Museum is also included, along with all the wonders hidden in its little stores, marvelous churches, and the delicious local cuisine.
Then, you can catch up on your rest (just like the previous 3 day tour) since the pace is up to you and you already know which attractions you’ll see and how can you manage to make the most of those two remaining days.
Now it’s becoming a little more exciting! It’s like the experience of touching the sand or earth and feeling as though you are connected to it…it’s the same here; you feel the connection with the ambiance.
What to do in Barcelona in 5+ days!
Barcelona Tourist Places and surroundings
Basically, what we’re going to do here is add stuff to do to the previous 4 day itinerary. These final experiences are also amazing and will make your visit to Barcelona one of the most incredible adventures you’ve experienced. I’ll leave the map in some of them so you find it easy to get there.
- Tibidabo: This is a small theme park on top of the highest mountain of the city! The views are beyond compare. You just have to experience it for yourself while taking the best pictures ever.
- If you visit in July/August or January (after 6)/February, you can go shopping during huge SALES EVENTS! It’s the perfect opportunity to buy unique souvenirs and memorabilia stuff at very, very low prices. What better way to enjoy authentic European fashion than getting it at a discount?
- Schedule your Montjuic itinerary so that you can visit every place and enjoy the sites; it’s really really nice, trust me. During summer, they host a variety of events, so try to enjoy those as well!
- Visit Gracia Neighborhood. If you´ve ever been to Madrid, it’s similar to Malasaña; an amazing place to have breakfast/lunch/dinner with an urban vibe. It also has tribal influences. I might sound old but is really cool there.
- Montserrat Monastery: This is one of the most popular destinations in Catalunya. It’s a Monastery located more than 60 km from Barcelona and 720 m over the sea. There is the sculpture of the Patroness of Catalunya: La Virgen de Montserrat, or better known as La Moreneta. This place will leave you breathless.
- La Costa Brava: These are basically beaches all over the Catalonian coast. It’s not as simple as it sounds: the region is beautiful and in the summer there are village fairies everywhere! It’s truly amazing. The water there is reminiscent of the Caribbean ( though a little bit cooler), there are a lot of coastal towns offering incredible attractions for visitors.
- Figueres: This is Dali’s hometown. The Museum is incredible. You can spend hours exploring its artifacts and still feel amazed by the things you´ll discover.
At this point, you are no longer a tourist in Barcelona, but a seasoned expert. You’re ready to lead a tour of your own for your friends if you’d like!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I made it with all my love and from my personal expertise of the city of Barcelona and its top attractions.
See you in my next post!