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How to spend 3 days in Barcelona

Planning on spending 3 days in Barcelona? Sunny Barcelona is one of Europe’s top destinations for its architecture, cultural vibes, and culinary scene. Whether you’re visiting for the soft sand beaches by the Mediterranean or world-renowned architectural creations, follow our tips for the best 3-day itinerary in Barcelona.

Day 1: Follow in the footsteps of Gaudi


Start your trip (and your day) in Barcelona with a tour of Parc Guëll. Designed by Barcelona-born Gaudi, it’s one of the artist’s most famous creations. In addition to gorgeous views of the city and a walk among colorful tiled statues, here you can also visit Gaudi’s house (now a museum).

The Parc opens at 8:00 AM and it’s one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona. To avoid crowds, arrive as early as possible or buy a skip-the-line ticket.


Break for lunch near the first Gaudi attraction of your afternoon: Casa Batlló. Then head to Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), less than 10 minutes away on foot. Finish your sightseeing day at the La Sagrada Familia and don’t skip the view from the top.


If you still have room for one more of Gaudi’s works, head to Palau Guëll at Las Ramblas. It’s one of his earlier works and the former residence of his patron. If you’re not ready to call it a night yet, you have plenty of options for food and drinks in the area.

Day 2: Explore the old quarters


Ciutat Vella (Old Town) splits into four quarters. In the morning, we suggest you start with El Raval and El Gòtic. Just walk down Las Ramblas from Plaça de Catalunya and decide where to go first. El Raval is on your right and El Gòtic is on your left.

The real attractions are the neighborhoods themselves. We suggest lunch at the iconic Mercat de La Boqueria where your eyes will let you know you're hungry long before your stomach realizes. Or take a guided food tour if you prefer a more hands-on experience.


Leave the afternoon to exploring La Barceloneta, the smallest of the old quarters located steps away from the Mediterranean Sea. A former fishermen’s neighborhood, this is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona. Take in the views at the busy but entertaining La Barceloneta beach. Traveling with kids or not a fan of the beach? Walk up to Parc de la Ciutadella to visit the Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata).


End the day with dinner at a typical Catalan restaurant, preferably paired with a glass of the local sparkling wine Cava. Skip the paella and order a true Catalan rice dish instead. The stew "escudella d'olla" is perfect for the winters, but if you're visiting in the summer, opt for "esqueixada" (also known as Catalan ceviche). Not done with the city yet? Explore Barcelona’s nightlife at the bars in Port Olympic.

Day 3: Relax at the park and the beach


Don’t leave Barcelona without catching some rays by the Mediterranean Sea, if the weather is just right. Close to the city, the Bogatell, Mar Bella, and Nova Icària beaches are easy to reach and easy to leave when you're ready for more sightseeing.


Hop on the cable car and head up to Parc Montjuïc. Top attractions here include the Montjuïc Castle, Fundació Miró, the MNAC (Catalunya National Museum of Art), and the view over Barcelona.


Don't leave the park just yet. In the summer, Font Màgica puts on a spectacular light and water show five days a week that brings the fountain to life. If you don't feel like waiting, you can walk down to Plaça d’Espanya, the commercial center of the city, and do some shopping.

How to get around in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a walkable city, but you’ll also find plenty of bikes to rent in case you want to cycle. The city has more than 150 km (93 miles) of bike lanes.

Taking the subway is also a fast and convenient way to travel between sites, especially when you’re on a tight schedule. You’ll find metro stops near top attractions like La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Camp Nou (soccer team Barça’s stadium).

If you’re looking for the easiest way to reach the center from the airport, take the Barcelona Airport Bus. The last stop is at Plaça Catalunya.

Good tips to know when visiting Barcelona

Spain has five official languages. In addition to Castellano, the main official language spoken country-wide, Barcelona locals also speak Catalan. You'll see signs and street names written in both. Locals prefer to speak Catalan over Castellano, so learn some basic conversational expressions. While some are similar to Castellano (like "hola" for hello or "gràcies" for thanks), others need more practice. Use "si us plau" for please, "de res" for you're welcome, and "adéu" for goodbye.

  • If you plan to explore on foot or bike, pack comfortable shoes and clothes. In the summer, temperatures rise to over 80 degrees during the day. Pack your reusable water bottle and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Heading to the beach? Mind the dress code on your way back to the city. Although beaches are reasonably close, leave the beach attire for the beach.
  • Tipping is not mandatory nor expected. Use a "keep the change" attitude or round up the bill if you want to reward excellent service.

Other Sightseeing Options in Barcelona

Want to discover all there is to do in Barcelona? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Barcelona

We had a great day and nice conversations about Barcelona and travelling in genereal with our top Guide Tim. He made sure that we enjoyed our Kajak and snorkeling tour by giving us all the important informations and tips we needed. I really recommand his tour to get out of those (nice) city vibes in Barcelona and spending a hole day near these natural cliffs and beautiful water. Greetings from Team Luxembourg!

amazing place of worship! well worth a visit. the towers were also great - long, very narrow spiral staircase on the way down but there's a hand rail you can hold on to. lupe, our guide was awesome - shared latest info and general opinion along with the history of familia sagrada. spent about 3 hours here even though tour's just 2.

It was even better than expected. Even if you don’t know to swim, you have the lifejacket and you are safe. Clear waters, amazing views. Tim is a great guide, he had lot of patience with us. Time you spend kayaking is more than enough. Totally recommend it. Great adventure for this price!

This is by far one of the best activities I did in Barcelona. The guide was really cool and opened to questions. He paid attention to everything we needed and I even had the biscuits to leave with

Our guide Lupe was excellent. She was very friendly and informative. Our group did not have to wait in any lines. The whole experience was exceptional!