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!
Table of Contents
A Little Bit About This 2-Day Barcelona Itinerary
This awesome 2-day Barcelona itinerary has been designed to help you maximise your time in this awesome city.
2 Day Barcelona Itinerary Overview
- Day 1 in Barcelona: Casa Batllo, Barcelona History Museum, Picasso Museum, Taperia Princesa, La Boqueria Market, La Sagrada Familia, Flamenco Dance Show
- Day 2 in Barcelona: Park Güell, Barcelona Cathedral, Palau de la Musica, Las Ramblas, Barceloneta Beach, Gothic Quarter
- More Places to See in Barcelona: City Sights Highlight Bike Tour, Montjuïc Cable Car, Paella Cooking Class & Boqueria Market Tour
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.
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
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!VIEW ON HOSTELWORLD
Best Airbnb in Barcelona: Double Bunk Bed Home for Location Obsessed Backpackers
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.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Best Budget Hotel in Barcelona – Hotel Pelayo
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!VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
- Free Wifi
- Fully equipped kitchen
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Temperatures||Chance of Rain||Crowds||Overall Grade|
|January||10°C / 50°F||Medium||Calm||🙂|
|February||10°C / 50°F||Medium||Calm||🙂|
|March||12°C / 54°F||Medium||Calm||🙂|
|April||13°C / 55°F||Medium||Medium||😀|
|May||16°C / 61°F||Medium||Medium||😀|
|June||20°C / 68°F||Low||Busy||🙂|
|July||23°C / 73°F||Low||Busy||😐|
|August||24°C / 75°F||Low||Busy||😐|
|September||22°C / 72°F||Low||Medium||😀|
|October||18°C / 64°F||Low||Medium||😀|
|November||13°C / 55°F||Medium||Calm||🙂|
|December||11°C / 52°F||Medium||Medium||🙂|
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!
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.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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.
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.