Planning a trip to Barcelona? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
This day will be dedicated to exploring the city centre of Barcelona. Begin your journey in the old port, in front of the statue of Christopher Columbus. If you are a fan of sailing, the maritime museum is nearby. You are at the bottom of Las Ramblas, the famous avenue that symbolises Barcelona’s dynamic energy. Some have compared it to the Champs-Elysées in Paris. More typical and less ostentatious than its French counterpart, the street is lined with shops and restaurants. A cheerful ambiance reigns here, thanks to the constant presence of a colourful crowd of tourists and locals, street artists and sidewalk vendors.
Head up Las Ramblas, noticing the magnificent porch on your left, which marks the entrance to the covered market La Boqueria. Make your way through the crowd to reach this temple of Catalan food and cuisine. There you can find countless stands selling fruits and vegetables, but also local charcuterie and other specialities from all over Spain. Have a seat on a stool and order some tapas, pan con tomate (traditional Catalonian tomato on bread) and sangria at the counter, like a true Catalan!
Continue up Las Ramblas to visit Güell Palace, designed by Gaudi. Next, visit the Plaça Reial on your right, a superb square dotted with Phoenix Palm trees. It’s the most beautiful square in Barcelona! Heading towards Place de Catalogne, you will find the large Spanish store El Corte Inglés, an exclusive boutique selling all your favourite international brands.
Finish your day with a visit to the Barri Gòtic quarter. Barcelona’s medieval streets invite you to enjoy the small, typical taverns where you can sample delicious Spanish wines (in moderation, of course).
Lively by night, the Barri Gòtic is also home to many must-see sights to visit during the day! Visit the Barcelona Cathedral, with its remarkable Gothic architecture. Among the many museums to visit in the Gothic quarter, you can choose from the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC), the Museum of Catalan History, the Picasso Museum and the Palau de la Música Catalana. You have plenty of options!
Leave the heart of medieval Barcelona behind you and head to the Gràcia quarter passing by Avenue Diagonale and Passeig de Gràcia. This is a whole different neighbourhood: straight, wide avenues come one after another in a parade of urbanist elegance. Take advantage of your walk to visit more of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces: Casa Milà (or Pedrera) and Casa Batlló. Be warned, the queues to get in can get rather long! But you will be glad you waited; the works of this famous Catalan architect are unparalleled works of creativity. The old Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is another masterpiece of modernism, a UNESCO-listed heritage site and a stunning example of Art Nouveau architecture.
As you head back towards the Eixample district, you will come across yet another architectural masterpiece: the Sagrada Família Cathedral. After 150 years of construction, this building still isn’t finished. It is due to be completed in 2026, according to the estimates by the architects in charge of carrying out Gaudí’s dream. Finally, get some elevation by visiting Parc Güell and the neighbourhood of Gràcia. This park offers a panoramic view of the city and its seafront. Inspired by Gaudí, the artworks presented in this garden are incredibly original and have a truly avant-garde spirit.
This third day offers you the occasion to follow the coastline since, after all, you are at the seaside! Start by enjoying the charming neighbourhood of Barceloneta. This former fisherman's quarter has been renovated and is today home to large, beautiful beaches and lawns where you can participate in all sorts of athletic and recreational activities. If you like animals, stop by the Aquarium of Barcelona, found near the Maremagnum shopping centre. Next, make your way towards Parc de la Ciutadella, which was built for the 1888 Universal Exposition. Enjoy the fresh air on this walk, far from the crowds, and visit the zoological park inside.
Feel like getting a view of the sea from the hilltops? Take the Montjuïc cable car to visit the Poble Espanyol. This theme park offers a cultural walk displaying different styles of Spanish architecture. Artisans demonstrate their crafts before your very eyes, and you can even have a bite to eat on site, imagining yourself in Toledo or Madrid! Finally, visit Montjuïc Castle and the Joan Miró Foundation, home to numerous works by the artist-painter.
After your busy day, you deserve an evening of celebrating in the lively quarter of El Raval, because Barcelona is also famous for its activity at any time of the day or night! Thanks to the city’s exceptionally mild climate, you can enjoy a night out in any season! Do as the expat students do, enjoying the city’s naturally relaxed atmosphere and exuberant young people.