Jam-packed outdoor markets, restaurants, museums, and churches, the Spanish-Catalan city of Barcelona is a special travel destination!

Come to Barca to visit Gaudi’s vibrant masterpieces and enjoy the Catalonian and Spanish traditions! These include a long-standing love for good chocolate, chorizo and the seductive art of Flamenco.

There’s so much to see and do in the beautiful, busy city of Barcelona so we’ve put together a Barcelona itinerary  in 3 days of all the very best to help you out! So if you’re spending 2 days in Barcelona, or much longer, here’s all the things you should be sure to tick off the list. As well as tips on how and when to do it!

The best way to experience the city is by staying at one of the affordable hostels in Barcelona. That way you can spend your money on some really cool attractions!

A Little Bit About This 3-Day Barcelona Itinerary

This awesome 2-day Barcelona itinerary has been designed to help you maximise your time in this awesome city.

3 Day Barcelona Itinerary Overview

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Barcelona, like most modern cities in Europe, has a great variety of neighborhoods. Choosing where to stay in Barcelona is a question of working out what you want. From bohemian to ancient, and even super-chic, you can find an environment that suits you perfectly, or get totally out of your comfort zone.

Stay in the charming Gothic Quarter, with narrow medieval streets filled with food-and-flower vendors, unusual bars, clubs, and exciting restaurants. The neighborhood’s Gothic church is really impressive and hosts a weekend art market. There’s so much to see in this old-town area, you’ll always enjoy the walk back to your hostel every evening.

where to stay in Barcelona
These are the best places to stay in Barcelona City!

For something a little different, look for Barcelona hostels in the neighborhood of Gràcia on Carrer de les Carolines. The first house designed by Antoni Gaudi, Casa Vicens Gaudí, can be found here. It is a great example of Art Nouveau, which Barcelona embraced, and is super cool! There are lots of trees and old buildings in the neighborhood – a beautiful combination.

There are also loads to top-quality Airbnbs in Barcelona in case you fancy living like a local.

Best Hostel in Barcelona – Garden House Hostel

Barcelona Itinerary
Garden House Hostel is our pick for the best hostel in Barcelona!

This is a lovely place to stay and get to know the locals! The staff are experienced and multilingual and love to chat. It’s a perfect place for chilled-out travelers, with a great atmosphere. It’s a bit out of the way, but the dorm room rates are some of the lowest prices you can find, and it’s well worth the easy trip!

Best Airbnb in Barcelona: Double Bunk Bed Home for Location Obsessed Backpackers

Double Bunk Bed Home for location obsessed backpackers, Barcelona
Double Bunk Bed Home for location obsessed backpackers is our pick for the best Airbnb in Barcelona!

This is one of the best places to stay in Barcelona for backpackers. Perfectly situated for exploration—so much so that you won’t need to spend much time inside. This charming 30m2 loft is located in the heart of Borne and gives you easy, walkable access to most of Barcelona’s major sites. With a double bunk bed and modern amenities, it’s perfect for two to four guests. 

Best Budget Hotel in Barcelona – Hotel Pelayo

Barcelona Itinerary
Hotel Pelayo is our pick for the best budget hotel in Barcelona!

Just a two-minute walk from the famous La Rambla, this value-for-money hotel is a great stay! It’s vibrant and clean. The rooms have great views, and there’s a snack bar! It’s right in the middle of everything. With clean, comfortable rooms, you’ll find you have everything you need!

Barcelona Itinerary Day 1

Barcelona Day 1 Map
1. Casa Batllo 2. Museum of the History of Barcelona 3. Picasso Museum 4. Taperia Princesa 5. La Boqueria Market 6. La Sagrada Família 7. Flamenco Dance Show at City Hall Theatre

9:00 AM – Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo
Casa Batllo, Barcelona City

This brightly colored fairytale building is an absolute must-see for your first time in Barcelona. A modernist masterpiece by the UNESCO respected Antoni Gaudi, you’ll find no straight lines here. Multicolored mosaics and organic shapes make it really unique and super vibrant.

Marvel at the details and the building’s utter rejection of traditional architecture. This house is more of a sculpture than a building. The morning sun does wonders with the colorful glass.

Inside, you can go on an augmented reality tour. It brings the experience to life in weird and wonderful ways and is a really exciting innovation in tourism. Totally different to anything else you’ll see, you will be really glad you didn’t miss it, trust us.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – $28, $44 for an early tour or $42 for a theatrical tour
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? – 50 minutes
  • Getting There – It’s centrally located. Walk or take the bus from your base.

10:00 AM – Museum of the History of Barcelona

Museum of the History of Barcelona
Museum of the History of Barcelona, Barcelona City

This is one of the best Barcelona city highlights. This medieval museum conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the historical heritage of the city of Barcelona. From the city’s origins in Roman times until the present day, it has everything!

The coolest part of the museum tour is the excavations of the Roman ruins beneath the museum. Here you can see that there is a whole city beneath the streets of modern Barcelona.

It is the best opportunity to really see the way Barcelona has developed over the millennia. You’ll see an ancient launderette, factory, dyers, and winery!

The audio tour is excellent, and allows you to go through the museum at your own pace, with all the information you need to understand and appreciate what you’re seeing.

Also, go check out the close-by Montjuic that has an amazing mirador overlooking the sea and the city. Check the Magic Fountain lighting times to watch the amazing light show that happens a few times a week.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – $10
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? – 60 minutes
  • Getting There – It’s a 3 minute walk from the History Museum

11:30 AM – Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum
Picasso Museum, Barcelona CIty | source: gary718 (Shutterstock)

This incredible museum houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. 

Before he died the artist himself began the project, and now a massive 4,251 works are exhibited here. The fact that one artist could have painted so many pieces blows our minds, never mind the fact that most of these are his early works.

If you’re interested in art, the museum is a key reference for understanding the artist’s formative years. Picasso spent his apprenticeship as an artist in Barcelona and returned to live here later.

The museum is well set out and highly informative. A lovely touch is that the story of Picasso’s life is overlaid with the paintings  – the way you can see the important transitions in his style reflected in key life events is fascinating! No matter how well you know the artist and his work, you’ll come away knowing more about him than before.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – $15
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? – 90 minutes
  • Getting There – It’s a 12 minute walk from Casa Batllo

1:00 PM – Lunch at Taperia Princesa

By this point you may well be feeling a bit hungry. This delightful Taperia is located a mere 1 minute walk from the Picasso museum and despite its being near a major tourist attraction, it actually serves good quality food! They do good quality tapas and Catalan food served with great wine.

  • Cost – $15 per person will be enough
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? – 60 minutes
  • Getting There – Walk from Picasso museum

2.00 PM – La Boqueria Market

La Boqueria Market
La Boqueria Market, Barcelona City

This huge public market has been around since the 13th century. It’s amazing to stroll through it and think about everything that must have changed, and everything that has stayed the same!

Locals sell fresh produce and haggle at all the stalls. You can find fresh fruits, fish, vegetables, and seafood, among other things. We recommend you try the fruit smoothies, they are seriously phenomenal.

Full of different colors and odors, the market is a sensory cornucopia. There’s so much to experience, you will want to dedicate at least 2 hours to it. The stall-holders and merchants are very fast and friendly.

You can really find a lot of interesting products. Buy some local handmade chocolates for the folks back home, and some exotic fruits to eat while you walk. It’s a foodie’s heaven – and those chocolates are famously good… Actually… Forget the folks back home, buy a bunch for yourself!

If you’re spending less than 2 days in Barcelona be sure to tick this one off. It’s an integral part of the city.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – Whatever you buy
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? – 60 minutes
  • Getting There – It’s a 10 minute walk from the Taperia

3:30 PM – La Sagrada Família

Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona City

Closing off your daytime adventures with a stop at another Antoni Gaudi masterpiece, we have the Sagrada Familia! The church like no other. Combining several architectural styles and ignoring the rules of all of them, this massive eclectic church is something to see!

It is still under construction, 140 years on. But that doesn’t stop it from dominating its surroundings and changing your mind about what a church should look for like. Of all the many things to do in Barcelona, this one tops most lists.

So beautiful and complex, the late afternoon sun shining through the colored-glass windows will leave you in awe. It also shows Gaudi’s love for organic shapes and animals!

  • Cost – $20
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  2 hours including the museum
  • Getting There – Take the L4 metro from Jaume 1 to Verdaguer.

5.30 PM – Refresh Time

By now, you’re probably gonna be in need of a sit down and a shower. Hopefully, your accommodation offers both. I suggest you go back to your digs for a power nap and a shower before tonights Flamenco show!

7.30 PM – Flamenco Dance Show at the City Hall Theatre

Flamenco Dance Show
Flamenco Dance Show, Barcelona City

This traditional Flamenco show is a must-see. Appreciate the artistry of the talented performers and experience the vibrant spirit of this authentic form of Spanish dance and expression. Flamenco includes music, singing and dancing arranged together in a beautifully seductive atmosphere.

Some of the most talented artists in Spain perform at the City Hall Theatre. Watching the show, you can participate in the Jaleo, the hand-clapping, foot stomping, and shouts of encouragement of traditional Flamenco. It is a lot of fun. You’ll also enjoy the lovely traditional features of the City Hall.

  • Cost – $20
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  2 hours including the museum
  • Getting There – Take the L4 metro from Jaume 1 to Verdaguer

9.30 PM – Dinner

The Spanish are a truly debauched bunch and eat pretty late compared to most wholesome, righteous, God fearing people. By 9.30 pm, the squares and tapas joints will be rammed with locals and tourists alike. Find a place you like the look of, dive in, and bon apetit!

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Barcelona Itinerary Day 2

Barcelona Day 2 Map
1. Park Guell 2. Cathedral of Barcelona 3. Palau de la Musica Catalana 4. Las Ramblas 5. Barceloneta Beach 6. Gothic Quarter

10:00 AM – Park Güell

Park Guell
Park Guell, Barcelona City

This huge public park system is composed of gardens and architectural elements designed by Gaudi. It’s a playful urban park, with plenty of winding paths and peaceful greens, as well as Gaudi’s many sculptures and mosaics. It gets really busy because of the park’s status as a primary landmark, so it’s good to get there early.

Enjoy the tranquility of the early morning. You could even have a picnic in the park, with stunning views of Gaudi’s creations while you snack. The exceptional park is a beautiful mix of nature and art.

Since you don’t want to be one of the tourists waiting in line to get their tickets (which can be up to 1200 at a time and takes up hours of your day), you can make everything a lot easier by booking ahead of time. Click here and you can skip the line and get an expert guide for a tour around the park.

The staff ensures that the park does not get over-crowded by limiting the number of people in at one time – another reason to go early! With more than 17 hectares, it is one of the largest green spaces in Barcelona.

Gaudi’s structures and unique, colorful fantasy are present throughout the park. The highest point in the park also gives you a great view over much of the Barcelona sights.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – $12
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  60 – 90 minutes
  • Getting There – Take the L4 metro to Urquinaona.

12:00 PM – Cathedral of Barcelona

Cathedral of Barcelona
Cathedral of Barcelona, Barcelona City

This Gothic cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The cathedral was constructed from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, and has been one of the most important structures in Barcelona since then!

The views from the exterior are amazing as you stand on the street in the sunshine. It’s easy to appreciate the magnitude of the architecture from any angle. The interior is equally beautiful and very gothic.

Throughout there are beautiful religiously themed paintings and sculptures. You can spend a long time wandering through the cathedral and admiring all it has to offer.

A small drawback is that the candles are electric rather than real. This means the atmosphere is not quite the same as it was historically. But this measure ensures nothing important burns down!

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – $8
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  60 – 90 minutes
  • Getting There – Take the L4 metro to Jaume 1

2:00 PM – Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Musica Catalana
Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona City

The concert hall itself is really something to see. If you’re lucky, you can even enjoy a performance here. The musical offerings range from symphonic orchestras and opera to jazz and Cançó, traditional Cantonese song.

Built in 1908, the architectural style has been described as a ‘riot of ornament’. You will immediately see why, with the vibrant colors and patterns, and the decorative flourishes. Still, function is prized over form here. Every seat in the house has a perfect view of the stage, and the sound is exquisite. It’s quite an experience just to see how function and beauty work together so beautifully.

If you plan ahead you can catch a show here in the evenings. However, for our Barcelona itinerary in 3 days we are only coming for a tour of the buildings as there are no concerts on during the day. 

  • Cost – $12 for a self guided tour
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  60
  • Getting There – Its a 6 minute walk from the Cathedral

3.00 PM – Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas, Barcelona City

Las Ramblas is just a street. But it’s one of Barcelona’s top tourist destinations for a reason. This tree-shaded boulevard runs through the heart of the city and is really gorgeous.

Take in the beautiful buildings on either side. Enjoy the street performances and artists, tossing a coin into their hats. Some really great performers can be found here, and many go on to perform at live venues.

Stop for quality ice-cream or pastries at one of the lovely little delis. Strolling down the street with a snack is extra amazing. This is also a great place to people watch, and just soak in the sunshine.

After all the architectural awe – and getting ready for some more – it’s just what the doctor ordered. You will also enjoy the diversity of cultures and languages gathered here. But you’re not all rushing to see the same thing. You’re just strolling through the city.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost –It’s free
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  60 – 90 minutes to take it in
  • Getting There – Walk here from the concert hall. Takes 13 minutes

5:00 PM – Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona City

Continuing the relaxing portion of your day, take a trip to Barcelona’s best beach. The white-sand beach stretches far. If you’re inclined, you can walk the length of it and enjoy watching locals and tourists enjoying the sun, sand, and sea. Otherwise, join them!

You can rent a beach lounger, or lay a towel on the sand and catch a late-afternoon tan. Wash off the sweat of the day in the calm blue ocean. Barcelona is a Mediterranean city, and its beach attests to that.

The water is reasonably warm, and it’s really lovely to swim in Summer. If you’re visiting Barcelona for the first time in Winter, you may not want to swim but the beach is still worth a visit. All-year round you’ll see happy sun-tanners and sunny skies. It just depends on the day!

The beach can get quite crowded in Barceloneta, but this should be late enough in the day that it’s emptied out nicely. Either way, you’re sure to find a spot to lay down your towel and to swim. The brightly colored towels and happy people only add to the scene.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – $12 for a self guided tour
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  60
  • Getting There – Take the 59 bus from La Ramblas until Pg Marítim – Pepe Rubianes

8:00 PM – Gothic Quarter by Night

Barcelona Gothic Quarter by Night
Barcelona Gothic Quarter, Barcelona City

The day doesn’t end when the sun goes down! Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter changes at night. By day, it’s one of the best tourist areas because of its beauty and old architecture. At night, it’s popular for very different reasons.

The bars scattered among the labyrinthine alleys are hip and fun. Filled with locals and foreigners, you’re sure to meet some interesting people. If you’re looking to make friends, just buy a group drinks and get chatting. Most people here are super friendly, and always happy to meet a backpacker.

There’s a large number of British and Irish pubs catering mostly to tourists, with good beer and reasonable prices. You can also find great cocktails at the obscure and interesting Polaroid Club!

For live music and a great vibe check out Harlem Jazz Club. The entry fee is always reasonable and everyone’s having fun. It’s also really cool to see some of Catalan’s talent! Once you’ve had a few drinks and met a few cool people, move onto one of the neighborhood’s dance clubs.  If you’re vegetarian/vegan, we highly recommend Bun Bo restaurante for amazing Vietnamese food.

Want to Know More?
  • Cost – Pay for what you drink or eat
  • How Long Should I Stay Here? –  However long you damn well feel!
  • Getting There – The 59 bus from Barcelonetta to Moll de la Fusta

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    What To Do in 3 or More Days in Barcelona

    Looking at what to do in Barcelona for 3 days? There’s so much. Take your pick of these exciting classes, activities, and tours. They really round out the Barcelona experience!

    City Sights Highlight Bike Tour

    Go on a City Sights Highlight Bike Tour
    Yes, bike tours are fun. | source: GetYourGuide

    Get your day started right with this awesome bike tour. You join a fun and knowledgeable local guide and ride around the streets of Barcelona on a 3-hour tour. Explore the unique era of Spanish Art Nouveau amidst the modern city.

    You will be able to see so much on this activity. That’s why we love cycle tours. It’s faster than by foot, but so much more engaged than by car.

    On the tour, you’ll see ancient aqueducts, Barcelona’s first World Fair, parks, memorials, and plazas. 17th-century factories which epitomize the Industrial Revolution and a lovely ride along the beach promenade are two highlights of the tour.

    It’s a brilliant combination of historic and contemporary Spain. And you’ll hear interesting facts and details about all of it.

    This is a great tour for groups of friends or families. But if you’re alone, don’t worry! You’ll meet others in the group. The tours are conducted in English, French, and German. Local guides will show you the hidden corners of this exciting city and tell you their secrets.

    The tour starts at 10:30 am and ends at the same place it starts. There are only two tours daily and it’s a popular one, so we suggest you book your ticket early. You can also request a private tour for something a little more intimate or personalised.

    Want to Know More?

    Catch the Montjuïc Cable Car 

    Montjuic Cable Car 
    Montjuic Cable Car, Barcelona City

    This hill above the city is one of the most beautiful places in Barcelona. Surrounded by woodlands, the historic castle is a sight to see. The original fortress dates back to 1640! Some of this structure remains, but it’s been bombed and resurrected multiple times since.

    From the cable car the castle is just a short walk up the slope. It’s steep, so pack some water and prepare to lean against a wall and breath heavily. It’s a classic pose in tourism, and must be accomplished at least once on a trip. Here’s your chance.

    The gardens are beautiful and exotic, carefully curated by the castle groundskeepers. You’ll be able to see all the other stops on your itinerary up here. Get some photos pointing to a few of your favorites. The views over the port and city are unbeatable.

    For centuries the hill overlooking the harbor played a strategic role in Barcelona’s defense. The castle served as a political prison for some time and was a bit of a sinister symbol all-round. Now, however, it’s positive associations override the negative.

    It’s a popular place to visit both for locals and tourists. You can learn its long history and appreciate the artefacts collected here on a self-guided tour.

    The cable car was recently upgraded and refurbished. Now the 8-man cabins are super cozy, and the best way to get up to the castle! You can also take the bus – a handy option for those who are staying in Barcelona for a longer period and have a bus pass!

    If you’re spending 3 days in Barcelona, this is a really worthwhile activity.

    Want to Know More?

    Paella Cooking Class & Boqueria Market Tour

    Paella is Spain's most famous dish
    Paella is one of Spain’s most famous dish!

    You must have had a few great paellas in Barcelona by now. Here’s your chance to learn to make it yourself. Bring home a bit of Barcelona with you! There’s nothing that reminds us of a great trip like cooking the traditional food. And eating it.

    This is a really great experience for those of you looking for an authentic Spanish activity. Explore the world-famous La Boqueria market, which dates back to the 13th century. You’ll have strolled through it on Day 1, but this is a totally different way to experience the market.

    Here you’ll find fresh seafood, herbs, and vegetables for your paella, guided by the chef. You also tour the beautiful old town on your way from the market.

    book-iconDon’t forget to pack a good book! Rick Steves Pocket Barcelona: is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.

    Best Time to Visit Barcelona

    when to visit Barcelona
    These are the best times to visit Barcelona!

    Barcelona gets very hot in summer and mild in winter. There’s no bad time to visit, it just really only depends on your preferences.

     Average TemperaturesChance of RainCrowdsOverall Grade
    January10°C / 50°FMediumCalm🙂
    February10°C / 50°FMediumCalm🙂
    March12°C / 54°FMediumCalm🙂
    April13°C / 55°FMediumMedium😀
    May16°C / 61°FMediumMedium😀
    June20°C / 68°FLowBusy🙂
    July23°C / 73°FLowBusy😐
    August24°C / 75°FLowBusy😐
    September22°C / 72°FLowMedium😀
    October18°C / 64°FLowMedium😀
    November13°C / 55°FMediumCalm🙂
    December11°C / 52°FMediumMedium🙂
    Show more

    Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighborhood in Barcelona:

    BEST AREA IN BARCELONA

    Barrio Gotico

    Barrio Gotico is the heart and soul of Barcelona. The oldest neighborhood in the city, it’s filled with charming narrow streets, picturesque boroughs, and quaint terraces and plazas, making it the best area to stay in Barcelona for first-time visitors.

    Places to visit:
    • Wander along Las Ramblas, a pedestrian street packed with shops, restaurants, entertainment, and stunning historic attractions.
    • Explore the Palça del Rei, a Gothic style city square where royal receptions were held.
    • Browse the stalls off fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and sweets at Mercat de la Boqueria on Las Ramblas.

    How To Get Around Barcelona

    There are rather a lot of places to visit in Barcelona but thankfully, it is super easy to get around with all the public transport options available. The trains and trams are completely safe and well-priced. You can even get a public transport ticket.

    The great thing about Barcelona is that almost everything is in walking distance. If you’re a healthy walker, you won’t even need public transport.

    If you’re feeling a little daring, rent a scooter for the day. So many locals get around with scooters, you’ll see them everywhere. They are lots of fun, and a great way to see the city. This is, of course, only for those with licenses. Often, rental places will accept a non-Spanish license, but they won’t let you drive if you have none at all.

    However you’re getting around, this city is a great place to explore. Pack your walking shoes and sunscreen, this is going to be memorable.

    Now let’s get into what to do in Barcelona for 3 days and more!

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    What To Prepare Before Visiting Barcelona

    As with all cities, there are some valuable safety precautions in Barcelona. This will ensure that you leave the city with as much or more than you came with!

    Violent crime is really uncommon in Barcelona. It’s considered safe to walk around and take public transport during the day and night! Still, we suggest never walking around alone at night, particularly for women. Walk in groups and stick to the well-lit areas and apply common sense.

    There are pickpockets in the busier areas, so keep your bag closed and close to you. It’s always better to stay alert and aware. So don’t walk while looking at your phone. That makes it clear you’re a tourist and not a very aware one at that.

    Criminals choose easy victims – so if you make it clear you’re not going to be taken unawares, you’ll be just fine.

    A popular scam in Barcelona is the distraction/theft scam. So if anyone asks you for directions or assistance in a public place, and you feel a little suspicious, trust your gut! It’s usually right.

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    Final Thoughts

    Now you know all the best things to do in and around Barcelona. It’s a really magical city, with so much to offer.

    So whether you’re doing Barcelona in 3 days or more, this is the best way to see Barcelona. Barcelona has lots of exciting stops and a good range of things to do.

    If you’re working with a shoe-string budget, don’t worry! Budget travel is more possible than ever. So save up, book your tickets and get pumped! To explore Barcelona will be one of the best trips of your life.

    Also, whatever you end up doing in Barcelona, make sure to take travel insurance! 🙂 Better be safe than sorry.


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