Barcelona is a beautiful city right on the Mediterranean Sea that’s known for its sandy beaches, stunning architecture, lively nightlife, colorful neighborhoods and tasty cuisine. It is a bucket list destination and has something for every type of traveler. While planning your Europe trip, make sure to budget at least 3 days in Barcelona to see the major sites and attractions!
To help plan your trip, we’ve put together an incredible 3 day Barcelona itinerary for your time in this stunning city. Of course these days can be rearranged to what works best for you. However, they are organized to help limit travel time each day.
We spent 1 month in Barcelona in 2021. For this 3 day Barcelona itinerary we put together our absolute favorite things in the city. However, if time allows, we recommend taking one of these easy day trips from Barcelona by train or an easy day trip to Montserrat!
Additionally, if you are looking for more things to do, keep reading as I’ve added some additional things to do at the bottom plus some important tips for your Barcelona itinerary.
If you are planning to travel around Spain here are some other blogs that might interest you!
Seville Things To Do
Things to do in Granada
Hiking in South Spain
Now, let’s get to it. Here is a perfect 3 days in Barcelona!
Day 1 – Barcelona Itinerary
Bunkers de Carmel
Located in the El Carmel neighborhood of Barcelona and near many of the most popular spots in the city, the Bunkers de Carmel is a great place to start your 3 days in Barcelona. The Bunkers de Carmel is situated high up and provides 360 degree views of the vast city below all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and therefore provides the perfect place to catch sunrise.
Of course, this location is also great for sunset, however it will be much busier later in the day. If you wish to avoid crowds, sunrise is always a better option.
Right near the Bunkers de Carmel is Parc Güell which makes this special place the perfect next stop on your 3 day Barcelona itinerary. Also coming here shortly after sunrise will minimize the crowds as you explore this beautiful World Heritage Site. Wander around experiencing Antoni Gaudi’s unique and colorful work.
Tips for your visit: General admission costs 10€ . Be sure to purchase ahead of time on the official Parc Güell website. There are also guided tours available for 22€ , if you’d like a more in depth experience. When purchasing tickets, you must request an entry time and you must enter the park within 30 minutes of your assigned entry time.
Sagrada Familia is an absolute must see on a trip to Barcelona. This basilica quickly became our new favorite in all of Europe the second we laid eyes on it. Designed by the brilliant architect Antoni Gaudi, construction broke ground in 1882 and is nearly complete 140 years later. The amount of thought and detail that went into every square inch of this place is truly amazing!
Tips for your visit: Tickets are required. A guided tour costs 27€ and is available in 4 different languages. We highly recommend the guided tour to get the most out of your visit (plus it’s 26€ just to visit and the guide is well worth the extra 1€). Once the tour is complete you can explore the Basilica on your own for as long as you’d like.
If there is one thing you must do during your 3 days in Barcelona it is La Sagrada Familia! Do not miss this stunning site!
Ayre Hotel Rosellon Terrace
Finish day 1 of your 3 day Barcelona itinerary at Ayre Hotel Rosellon’s rooftop. This is a beautiful place to enjoy a drink or dinner with a stunning view of la Sagrada Familia after just touring it.
The terrace is free to enter, however a table must be reserved well in advance and a mandatory drink per person is required for purchase while visiting. It’s the perfect way to end a busy first day in Barcelona!
Day 2 – Barcelona Itinerary
Arc de Triomf
The Arc de Triomf is one of Barcelona’s iconic landmarks that you must see during your 3 days in Barcelona. It was built in 1888 when Barcelona hosted the Universal Exhibition. The Arc de Triomf stood as the gateway to the fair!
Take some time to explore the surrounding grounds and view the Arc from afar and close up. Take a walk through the Arc and admire the details that went into the structure.
Fun fact: The original design for the landmark was actually the Eiffel Tower but the city rejected the design because they thought it was ugly.
After exploring the Arc de Triomf your next stop is Ciutadella Parc. This beautiful green oasis is the perfect place for a long walk and a picnic. While in the park, you can also take a rowboat out on the pond, visit the zoo and/or see the Catalan Parliament.
Playa de la Barceloneta (Barcelona Beach)
Time for some fun in the sun. Enjoy an afternoon at Barcelona’s beach where there is much more to do than sunbath. If laying in the sun isn’t your cup of tea, enjoy swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, playing beach volleyball or table tennis, working out, grabbing a drink or a tasty plate of the catch of the day at one of the many restaurants located on the boardwalk.
Additionally, this beach is famed for its fiesta atmosphere if you are looking to add a night out in your 3 day Barcelona itinerary.
The Gothic Quarter is a great place to end day 2 on your Barcelona itinerary. This district has narrow medieval streets and alleys that are filled with trendy bars, clubs, restaurants and shops. It’s the perfect place to grab dinner, listen to live music, get some shopping done or grab a gelato.
If your looking for an amazing place to eat dinner while wandering the Gothic Quarter check out El Xampanyet. This place has the best tapas in the entire city! It’s open from 7pm-11pm but it’s important to get there before it opens if you don’t want to wait a long time for a table (a true sign of an amazing restaurant!).
Day 3 – Barcelona Itinerary
There is so much to explore and see at Montjuic Park. Located on a shallow hill in the southwest corner of the city, you will get beautiful views of the city and harbor below. The park is filled with beautiful green gardens, architecture, castles, museums and fountains to explore.
Spend your morning wandering and getting completely lost in this park. You’re guaranteed to stumble upon many beautiful sites during your time in the park. It’s a great place to start your last full day of your 3 days in Barcelona.
If you’re looking for an easier way to the top, there is a funicular (cable car) that you can ride which offers spectacular views on the way up and down. For just over 10€ a ticket, it may be worth it.
If you really enjoyed La Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, budget some time to check out one of Gaudi’s houses. Palau Güell happens to be right near La Boqueria and Las Ramblas street so it’s easy and conveniently located to check this one out on day 3 of your trip, however he has other houses located throughout the city.
Tickets to enter are required but there are lots of free entry days that might just work out during your 3 days in Barcelona.
La Boqueria Market
Save your appetite for this stop. La Boqueria is a huge market right on Las Ramblas filled with vendors selling fresh produce, homemade sweets, juices and a wide variety of seafood fresh from the sea.
There are also a few restaurants and bars that serve food using the fresh ingredients from the market. It’s the perfect place to have a meal or pick up ingredients for a dish you plan to make at home.
Las Ramblas Street – Port Vell – Rambla de Mar
Las Ramblas is a long pedestrian street that runs through the heart of the city. The lively street is filled with restaurants, local artists and vendors, flowers, terraces and shops for 1.2 km and is a main tourist attraction. It’s a great street to wander down as you will find plenty to do!
The street ends at the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell but we suggest continuing down Rambla del Mar to finish your last day in Barcelona with incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea and the vast city behind you.
Have more than 3 days in Barcelona? Here’s more things to do!
Olympic Village: Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games therefore there are a ton of Olympic buildings and stadiums to see in the city.
Picasso Museum: Explore the Picasso museum, located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona and learn about Pablo Picasso’s formative years as an artist.
Tapas Street: Located in Barcelona’s up and coming Poble Sec neighborhood lies the long street Carrer de Blai which is filled with restaurant after restaurant and the perfect location to try Tapas!
Gaudi’s Houses: If you are looking for more Antoni Gaudi attractions there is definitely more to see! There are 7 buildings in total he contributed to that are located in Barcelona. The seven buildings are: Parque Güell, Palacio Güell, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens, Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, Crypt in Colonia Güell.
Giradabo: If you’d like more beautiful aerial views of the city, take a ride on Giradabo, Barcelona’s ferris wheel.
Camp Nou: Barcelona is known for its talented fútbol (soccer) team, FC Barcelona. If your trip lines up with a game day, what better way to experience the culture than attend a fútbol game!
Cathedral of Barcelona: A gorgeous European cathedral and place of worship. The charming architecture is a must see!
Take a day trip outside of the city: Public transportation is super easy and convenient. If you want to escape the city, there are plenty of day trip options by train.
Barcelona Travel Tips – Things You Should Know
Use the metro
Barcelona is a very spread out city. The metro is an easy and affordable way to get around the city! Simply use google maps to type in your destination and follow the directions.
Hold on to belongings
Unfortunately, Barcelona has a reputation of theft and pickpocketing. However, it’s easy to avoid as long as you’re smart with your belongings. With that being said, most locals are extremely friendly and welcoming and we always felt safe exploring the city.
Traveling with a baby
We recommend renting baby gear to minimize your packing list. While visiting Barcelona, we rented gear from StrollAround and had a great experience with their service. They delivered our equipment to our Airbnb so it was there before we arrived. All equipment was in great condition and very clean. They also picked it up at our Airbnb after we left. It was the easiest and most convenient thing ever!
There you have it, a well thought out 3 days in Barcelona itinerary with the best things to do in Barcelona. Plus our Barcelona travel tips! We hope you have a fantastic time in Barcelona, Spain.
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