I am living in Barcelona now for almost 3 years now and have probably seen all the famous tourist attractions here (more than once). But since travelers usually don’t have two years to explore the city, I decided to create you an Ultimate 3 Days Itinerary Barcelona. (So, you know what to do in Barcelona for 3 days + some Extra-attractions in case you stay longer – You could fill up to 5 days in Barcelona with this amazing Barcelona sightseeing spots).
Anyway, before taking you on our Ultimate Barcelona Itinerary to see Barcelona in 3 days, let’s check some basic facts about the sunny Catalan capital.
What to find out in this post
- 1 Barcelona Transport
- 2 Best time to visit Barcelona
- 3 The Ultimate 3 Days Itinerary Barcelona
- 4 Barcelona Attractions – Day 1
- 5 Plaça Catalunya
- 6 Las Ramblas
- 7 Mercat de la Boqueria
- 8 Plaça Reial
- 9 Columbus Statue
- 10 Harbor – Port Vell
- 11 El Gòtic (Barrio Gótico)
- 12 Option: Born
- 13 Barcelona 3 day itinerary – Day 2
- 14 Park Güell
- 15 Bunkers del Carmel
- 16 Sant Pau
- 17 The Sagrada Família
- 18 Casa Battló
- 19 La Pedrera – Casa Milà
- 20 Option: Gràcia
- 21 Attractions in Barcelona – Day 3
- 22 Arc de Triomf
- 23 Ciutadella Park
- 24 Barceloneta
- 25 Montjuïc
- 26 Plaça d’Espanya
- 27 The Magic Fountains
- 28 More Things to do in Barcelona
- 29 Day Trips from Barcelona
- 30 Accommodation in Barcelona
- 31 Where to next?
From the Airport (El Prat) to the City Center
There are several options in order to get from the airport in Barcelona to the city center.
The cheapest option is to go by train. The price for a single trip is 2,10€ and you can even get it cheaper by using the T-10-Ticket. The train usually leaves two times per hour.
The big drawback is that the train is only leaving from Terminal 2. There is a shuttle bus between Terminal 1 and 2, which you can use free of charge, but it might take around 15 – 20 minutes.
The fastest option is probably the bus. The Aerobus is operating between both terminals and the city center several times an hour. It takes about 35 minutes to get to the city. The price for one trip is 5,90€ (10,20 Roundtrip).
Another option is to go by Metro. You can take the Metro from both Terminals. A Billet Aeroport costs 4,60€ one-way. (Please note that you can’t use the T-10 ticket to go to or from the airport.
The last option is to go by taxi, which should cost you around 25 € going to the city center.
How to get around during your Barcelona 3 day itinerary
Depending on how long you are going to stay it might be worth it buying a T-10 Ticket (10 trips ticket) for 10,20€. (It’s already worth it starting from 6 trips!)
You can use it in the Metro, Busses and trains in Barcelona. You can buy the T-10 Ticket at the airport and in any train- or Metro Station.
There are also Day-Passes but since you can walk almost everywhere it’s most of the time not necessary. (Many visitors told me they regret having purchased this ticket). Anyway, if you don’t have much time or can’t walk long distances for any reason, a day-pass might be useful. You can purchase them online here.
Best time to visit Barcelona
June – August
Pros: Warm weather and sunny
Cons: crowded – many tourists
April – May; September – November
Pros: Fewer tourists, different kinds of festivals (Sant Jordi, Merce …)
Cons: Weather might not always be suitable for the beach
December – March
Pros: Way fewer tourists, cheaper accommodation prices
Cons: Colder weather, might be cloudy or rainy
The Ultimate 3 Days Itinerary Barcelona
Barcelona Attractions – Day 1
Plaça Catalunya is the center of Barcelona because it connects the old town with the new town (Eixample). Here, we will begin our tour through one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Plaça Catalunya is famous for its fountains and the big amount of pigeons that walk around here because many people feed them.
Surrounding Plaça Catalunya, you can find many opportunities for shopping or snacks.
Las Ramblas is also known as Les Rambles (Catalan) and La Rambla (Spanish). This ca. 1 ½ km long Promenade in the center of Barcelona connects Plaça Catalunya with the old harbor (Port Vell). Las Ramblas is known to be one of THE sightseeing hotspots in Barcelona and is always full of people. Besides many bars and restaurants (be careful: Tourist cams ahead!), you can find many souvenirs, ice cream, and flower stores. While walking through Las Ramblas, you can as well enjoy many street artists. But keep your eyes open, this street is also full of pickpockets.
Mercat de la Boqueria
Opening Times: 06.00 am – 08.00 pm (Mondays-Saturdays); Closed on Sundays
Entrance fee: free of charge
When you walk around Las Ramblas, you shouldn’t miss the Mercat de la Boqueria. This market is one of the oldest in Barcelona and it is known that they have sold food and other things here since the 13th century. Nowadays, you can find here many fresh products, such as fruits, fish, and meat. But the first things you see when entering is probably the huge range of candies and chocolates. My favorite product in the market is the freshly pressed juice for 1€ – 1,50€. Why don’t you try the flavors Mango-Strawberry or Pineapple-Coconut? In the back of the market, you can also find stalls with food for a little snack in between.
Opening Time: Public Place
Entrance Fee: free
How to get there: Liceu (L3) or Catalunya (L3) – La Rambla Exit
The Plaza Real (Catalan: Plaça Reial) is located directly next to Las Ramblas. When having a walk through the busy streets of Barcelona, this is the perfect place to relax a little. Moreover, Plaça Reial is one of the most beautiful squares in Barcelona.
Around this square, you can find different kinds of cafés, bars, and restaurants and especially on warm nights, you will often find live music.
Opening Times: 08.30 am – 08.30 pm
Entrance Fee: 8€
At the exit of Las Ramblas, you can find the Columbus statue in front of the old harbor. If you feel like, you can enter and go up to a viewpoint from which you have a great view over the harbor and the surrounding area while enjoying a nice glass of cava or wine.
But even if you don’t enter, the statue is impressive. The arm of Columbus points in the direction of Majorca. In this direction, Colombus once started his trip on which he found the “new world”. In the other hand, the bronze Colombus holds a sea map.
Harbor – Port Vell
Even Port Vell, Barcelona’s Harbor, offers another great walk opportunity.
To be exact, the harbor of Barcelona is divided into two parts. One on each side of the beach. One is the old part, Port Vell and the other one is called Port Olímpic.
Port Vell doesn’t only offer the Maremagnum Mall, but also different restaurants, the aquarium and as mentioned above the possibility to have a nice walk. And if you are lucky, you can see the bridge opening for boats to enter the harbor.
El Gòtic (Barrio Gótico)
How to get there: Metro Liceu (L3) or Bus V15 to Via Laietana – Correus
The Barrio Gótico (in Catalan also called Barri Gòtic or El Gòtic) is the oldest neighborhood in Barcelona.
With its narrow streets built in the gothic style, this area of Barcelona offers another perfect opportunity for a walk. There is much to explore and even locals find new things here all the time.
The probably most popular part of the Barrio Gótico is the cathedral (La Catedral). Often, you can find Opera Singers here showing their talent. And due to the echo of the stone walls, it gets even more powerful.
My personal highlight in El Gòtic is the Plaza de San Felipe Neri (Catalan: Plaça de Sant Felip Neri). Besides its dark history, this square is super quiet and peaceful and you can get some quick rest here.
By the way, in this square, they filmed many scenes of the video clip of My Immortal by Evanescence.
The neighborhood El Born is perfect to discover the nightlife of Barcelona. Moreover, you can find great Tapas-Restaurants where the locals go to. If you aren’t too tired, you should definitely have a look.
Just stroll along Passeig del Born which is full of local restaurants, bars, and little shops and ends at the Born Market. With its medieval vibe and modern bars it’s simply one of the best places to spend your night in the city.
Restaurant Tip in Born: Bar Celta Pulperia – Tapas
If you are looking for yummy traditional Spanish Tapas, this is your place.
Address: Carrer de Simó Oller, 3, 08002 Barcelona
Bus Station: Via Laietana – Correus (V15)
Barcelona 3 day itinerary – Day 2
Opening Times: 08.30 am – 06.30 pm & April – August: 08.00 am – 08.30 pm
Entrance Fee: 7.50 € Online & 8.50 € on-site; rest of the park: free of charge
Barcelona Top Tip: You should definitely buy your ticket online in advance to skip the lines and be sure to get a ticket before they are sold out. You can find tickets online e.g. here.
How to get there: Metro Lesseps (L3) or Bus 24 (Direction El Carmel) to Trav de Dalt
Besides the famous Sagrada Família, Park Güell (pronounced: Park Guh-ey) is probably the main attraction of Barcelona. Both of them have the same architect: Antoni Gaudí. He created Park Güell (Spanish: Parque Güell) between 1900 and 1914 after he got inspired by English Gardens he saw while traveling.
And he created this place with success. Besides the magnificent constructions that you can find in the park, the location is just chosen amazingly. From here, you have another great view of Barcelona.
Bunkers del Carmel
Opening Times: Public place, can be visited anytime
Entrance Fee: free
How to get there: Bus 119 to Marià Lavèrnia OR take a walk from Sant Pau
There is one spot in Barcelona where I take all of my visitors, whether it is Couchsufers, friends or family: Los Bunkers del Carmel. One of my absolute favorite spots in Barcelona. The Bunkers are located way above the roofs of Barcelona and therefore, you have a perfect 360-degree Panorama view of Barcelona from up there. But just have a look yourself in my video…
During the Spanish Civil War, an air-raid shelter has been built here in 1937. It was the perfect place, as from here you could see the attacker coming from every direction since you have a good view over the whole city.
Still today, you can have a look at this air-raid shelter free of charge.
Even though the Bunkers of Carmel are not that unknown anymore as they have been some years back, they are still not as crowded as other tourist attractions and viewpoints in Barcelona and therefore still kind of an insider-tip.
Opening Times: 09.30 am – 06.30 pm (November – March: 09.30 am – 04.30 pm) & Sundays: 09.00 am – 02.00 pm
Entrance Fee: ca. 14€
Free Entrance: 12.02., 23.04., 24.09. & first Sunday of the month
Tickets: You can find tickets and tours here.
How to get there: Metro Sant Pau I Dos de Maig (L5)
One always hopes not having to visit a hospital while on vacation. Sant Pau is the big exception here. People are standing in line to enter this hospital. Because St. Pau nowadays is not used as a hospital anymore but you can have a look at the beauty of this historical building. Sant Pau or Hospital de la Sant Creu i Sant Pau, is much more than just boring hospital hallways. It actually feels more like a community with a wonderful yard filled with trees and flowers in the middle which used to connect the almost 30 buildings of the hospital. The architecture of St. Pau is stunning and even though the entrance fee is a little bit pricey, it’s surely worth a visit.
The Sagrada Família
Opening Times: 09.00 am – 06.00/ 07.00/ 08.00 pm (depending on the month)
Entrance Fee: 15€ (Standard-ticket); 29€ (Ticket + Tower + Audioguide)
Barcelona Top Tip: You should definitely buy your ticket online in advance to skip the lines and be sure to get a ticket before they are sold out. You can find tickets online here.
Surely, you can’t call the famous Sagrada Família an insider tip. Probably everyone has already heard of it and every month thousands of visitors come here to see this famous basilica. Whether from the inside or the outside: The Sagrada Família (Holy Family) is simply impressive.
The constructions of this popular building have already started back in 1882 and still haven’t been finished up to present time. While the constructions have been rather slow until some years ago, you can tell that the building is being developed much faster now and it is hard to see the Sagrada Família without any cranes or construction workers. For the 100th anniversary of the death of Gaudí, the Sagrada Família is planned to be finally finished. That would be in the year 2026. We are highly curious whether this is actually happening.
Restaurant tip around Sagrada Família: El Felino – Italienisches Restaurant
The pizza here is simply amazing!
Address: Carrer de la Marina, 269, 08025 Barcelona
Metro Station: Sagrada Familia (L2)
Opening Times: 09.00 am – 09.00 pm
Entrance Fee: 24,50€
How to get here: Metro Passeig de Gràca (L2, L3 or L4)
Tickets: Check for tickets online here.
Even though this building has been constructed already in 1877, it has been rebuilt between 1904 and 1906 by Antoni Gaudí for Josep Battló i Casanovas in the modern style. Some modern sculptors of that time were included in the constructions as well. The building is supposed to represent the story of the patron saint of Catalonia: Saint George, or how they call him in Catalonia: Sant Jordi. Regarding the famous legend of Sant Jordi, the rooftop of this majestic building is formed like the back of a dragon. With a little bit of imagination, you can even recognize the lance of Sant Jordi. Too bad that it’s difficult to see this unique architectured rooftop from the street.
Since 2005, this building belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage.
La Pedrera – Casa Milà
Opening Times: March – November: 09.00 am -08.30 pm; 09.00 pm – 22.00 pm; November – March: 09.00 am – 06.30 pm; 07.00 pm – 09.00 pm
Entrance Fee (Daytime): 22€
Tickets: You can find tickets and tours here.
This building which has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1984, has been designed by the popular designer and architect Antoni Gaudí, as well. The assignment for this building was given by the Milà Family and the constructions had been taking place between 1906 and 1910. On the top floor of this unique building, you can find a museum dedicated to the works of Gaudí.
You can visit this unique building either during the daytime or at nighttime with life-music and a drink. Especially if you have read the newest novel by Dan Brown, (I’m a big fan!) Origin, you might want to visit this place even more.
Fun Fact: While today many travelers visit this important building in Barcelona, the actual clients, the couple Milà, was not quite so happy with the result of the construction. Thus, they even ended up in court, as they refused to pay the architect’s final bill. In the end, Gaudí was won the trial and the bill was settled.
How to get there: Metro Lesseps (L3) or Fontana (L3)
Gràcia is the trendy neighborhoods of Barcelona and is known to be one of the quietest and most modern neighborhoods in the city. Many artists and authors are living here trying to get inspired by Gràcia’s creative atmosphere.
Here are many peaceful cafés and restaurants, in which you can relax and have a coffee, beer or wine.
Gràcia seems to be a little different from the other neighborhoods of Barcelona, which can be caused by the fact that actually, Gràcia used to be another city. Until it became a part of Barcelona in the 19th Century.
A visit to Gràcia is especially worth it around August when the neighborhood festival of Gràcia takes place. Every part of this area builds its own decoration for a given topic. Afterward, visitors can vote for their favorite.
Attractions in Barcelona – Day 3
Arc de Triomf
How to get there: Metro Arc de Triomf (L1)
This triumphal arch of Barcelona is located in the China-Town-like area of the city, near the South Bus Station. This arch which is around 30 meters high has been used as the entrance to the world exhibition which took place in Barcelona in 1888. While this impressive Triumphal Arc has been equipped with the arms of Barcelona in the middle, it shows the arms of all the other Spanish provinces on its left and right site and is therefore seen as a tribute to all the nations and provinces that joined the world exhibition. It has been built in the Moorish architecture which was modern during that time throughout Spain which stands in contrast to the Gotic architecture which dominates the streets of Barcelona.
From here, you can easily walk to the Ciutadella-Park through the Promenade which is usually filled with street artists.
Opening Times: 10.00 am – Sunset
Entrance Fee: Park: Free of charge; Renting a boat: 6€ for 30min. for 2 people
How to get there: Metro Ciutadella I Vila Olímpica (L4)
With 30 hectares, Ciutadella is one of the most beautiful and popular parks in Barcelona. In summer, you can find activities taking place here in every corner, such as Yoga and Gymnastics. Many locals come here and enjoy the sun and use the green parts to just relax a little.
The most beautiful part of the park is arguably the fountain which you can see in the photo above. It’s called Cascada de Gaudí (Gaudi’s Waterfall) even though the famous Barcelona architect was only a helping hand in the design of this fountain while still being a student.
Accompanied by ducks and goose, you can rent a boat and drive around the lake.
Another popular spot, you can find in this park is the Zoo of Barcelona which is an important highlight for Barcelona’s children and families since September 1892.
Entrance Fee: free
How to get there: Metro Barceloneta (L4)
Before the Olympic Games in 1992, this part of Barcelona was mainly avoided by tourists due to their high crime rate. Today, this seems almost impossible.
The beach of Barceloneta is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Barceloneta simply offers a great opportunity to have a walk, relax in the sun or have a swim.
You can also find a bunch of great bars, restaurants and tapas places at and around the beach. But keep in mind that places with beach view might be a little bit pricier.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the sand that you can find at Barceloneta Beach was actually imported here from Egypt?
Barceloneta Top Tip: You will most likely find people walking along the beach selling self-made Mojitos and Sangrias. Even though I’ve never tried them myself, I’ve never seen anyone, that wasn’t already drunk, actually finishing them. So better stay away from them.
Opening Times: 01.11. – 31.03.: 10.00 am – 06.00 pm & 01.04. – 31.10.: 10.00 am – 08.00 pm
Entrance Fee: 3€ (for people under 30 years) and 5€ (Adults from 30 years)
Free Entrance: First Sunday of the months & Sundays after 03.00 pm
How to get there: Bus 150 to Castell or by cable car from the harbor
Tickets: Find your tickets for the cable car ride here.
The Montjuïc is one of 3 mountains in Barcelona. On the mountaintop, you can find an old castle that you can visit.
The entrance fee is worth it, as you have an amazing view from there over the city and the harbor of Barcelona.
The castle of Montjuïc was used to protect the harbor and is owned by the Catalan Government just since 2007.
Same as for the bunkers, the great view that you have from here is not caused by coincidence but has strategic reasons as you can see enemies arriving by boat already from far away.
For going up to the top of the hill, you can either walk, take the bus or by cable car from the harbor. Of course, the cable car might be the most pricey but also most fun option.
Opening Times: Public Square
Entrance Fee: Free of charge
Plaça d’Espanya is one of the most important squares in Barcelona. It was built for the International Exhibition which took place in the Montjüic district in 1929. From here, you have access to different museums and exhibitions. The most important (and impressive) of those museums is the Palau Nacional, the Museum of Catalan Art.
Here you can also find the former bull-fighting stadium, Las Arenas (the big round building that you can see on the right on the picture above). Luckily, bull-fighting is banned in Catalonia for several years (the last bull-fight took place in this stadium in 1977).
The Magic Fountains
Opening Times: Depending on the season. Check here for current Opening Hours.
Entrance Fee: free
How to get there: Metro Pl. Espanya (L1)
As one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona, the Magic Fountains mesmerize every week more than a hundred visitors.
This show is special as it combines the performance of water and light. This magical light show takes place near the Plaça Espanya, which is also an amazing place to visit in Barcelona.
If possible try to be there a little bit earlier as it usually gets pretty full. Especially if you want to take some pictures, it’s definitely better to get a spot near to the fountains.
Restaurant Tip near Plaça Espanya: Tapas of Poble Sec
Not far from Plaça Espanya, you can find some of the best Tapas in Barcelona. To be exact, it’s so-called Pinchos. That means you have different kinds of tapas for one person displayed and can take as many of them as you like. In the end, the waiter counts the sticks that come with the Pinchos to see how much you have to pay. Each color of the stick has its own fixed price.
You can choose any of the Tapas Restaurant in the street. So far, all of them served us amazing tapas.
More Things to do in Barcelona
Opening Times: Depending on the Season and matches. Get all the information on their official website.
Entrance Fee: 25€
Tickets: You can find tickets and tours here.
For all kind of soccer fans, this is the true highlight during their three days in Barcelona: The stadium of FC Barcelona, the biggest soccer stadium in the world. The name Camp Nou can be translated with New Field.
Camp Nou is located in the Les Corts area, a little bit outside of the city center, but anyway easy to reach. Especially if you have tickets for a Barca game, simply follow the people with the soccer shirts.
A Day at Tibidabo
Opening Times: Find the Opening Times for every day here.
Price: 28,50 € (Just Panorama Area 12,70€)
Tickets: Check for tickets online here.
How to get there: Bus T2A and T2B or Bus 196 and afterwards Cable Car (4,10€ per Person)
Tibidabo is not only a great option to see the city from above but also helps you to awake your inner child together. Even perfect for families traveling with children.
You can either visit the famous church Sagrat Cor, which looks like a fairytale castle from the foot of the mountain or spend the day in the Tibidabo Amusement Park.
There, you can find anything a child could ask for. A Ferris Wheel, a White-Water Ride, a hall of mirrors and many more attractions for young and old. It’s easy to spend a whole day at Tibidabo as there are many attractions. Simply make sure to get there early to avoid waiting in line in front of every attraction.
A Day Trip to Sitges
How to get there: R2S St. Vincec de Calders (From Barcelona Sants Station)
Duration: 34 Minutes
Sitges is a small dreamy town on the coast around half an hour train ride away from Barcelona.
It is a popular destination for tourists, locals, and expats coming from the Catalonian capital.
Sitges is perfect for a relaxed walk through the narrow streets of this little town. Afterwards, you can have a refreshing swim in the Mediterranian Sea.
Parque del Laberinto de Horta
Opening Times: 10.00 am – 07.00 pm
Entrance Fee: 2,17€
How to get there: Metro Mundet (L3)
Who has never secretly wanted to be in a Labyrinth and check whether you’d find the way out? That’s possible in the Parque de la Horta (Catalan name: Parc del Laberint d’Horta) in Barcelona.
You can try to find the way out and have a little break when reaching the middle of the maze while deciding which way to take from there.
By the way, a scene for Perfume: The story of a murderer was filmed in this park.
How about some non-touristy things to do in Barcelona?
Make sure to check our Ultimate Local Guide to the best unusual things to do in Barcelona.
Day Trips from Barcelona
Not only Barcelona but also its surrounding Catalan towns are well worth a visit. We collected the best 19 day trips from Barcelona recommended by locals and professional travelers.
Accommodation in Barcelona
In the following, we present you 3 popular accommodations in Barcelona for different Budgets. If you want to know which neighborhood is the best for you, make sure to check our comprehensive Barcelona Neighborhood and Accommodation Guide before booking.
Budget Accommodation in Barcelona
Mid-range Accommodation in Barcelona
Luxury Accommodation in Barcelona
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