Barcelona Itinerary For 3 Days: With A Local
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Take this Barcelona itinerary for 3 days and start your sightseeing tour in one of the most exciting European cities today. I was happy to be living, studying, and working in Barcelona for 2 years. I can’t express enough how much the city offers and what atmosphere it has.
You have to experience it yourself. Barcelona has won my heart, and I enjoy coming back every single time. I’m sure this Barcelona itinerary for 3 days will help you fall in love with this city as many people do when visiting it.
Let’s head to Barcelona, the second biggest city in Spain.
Overview Of The Barcelona Itinerary For 3 Days
1. DAY: OLD CITY (GHOTIC QUARTER) & BARCELONETA BEACH
- La Rambla Street
- Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi
- Plaza de Sant Felip de Neri
- Plaza de Sant Jaume
- Plaza del Rei (Historical Museum of Barcelona & Barceló)
- Barcelona Cathedral
- Arc de Triomf
- Parc de la Ciutadella
- Port Olimpic
- Port Vell
2. DAY: SAGRADA FAMÍLIA & MONTJUïC HILL
- Sagrada Família
- La Boquería Market
- Plaza España
- Poble Español de Monjuïc
- National Palace & Olimpic Stadium
- Monjuïc Castle
- Magical Fountain Performance
3. DAY: GAUDÍ’S MONUMENTS & TIBIDABO
- Casa Battló
- Casa Mía (La Pedrera)
- Parc Güell
- Camp Nou + FC Barcelona
Barcelona Itinerary For 3 Days Designed By Local
Barcelona, not only is a huge city, but it has so much to offer. From history to culture, art, food, beautiful views, and a lot more. So be prepared; this walking/sightseeing tour is going to be pretty intense. But I guess you want to see it all in Barcelona, so you’re in the right place.
With my Barcelona itinerary, you’ll see it and experience it all.
This Barcelona itinerary for 3 days was designed by myself thanks to my life, work, and studies in the city. I learned many interesting facts from locals and explored all the places on my own.
After gathering all this information, I’ve put together this itinerary with all sightseeing points from my own experience and insights I gained as a local living in Barcelona for 2 years.
Interesting Facts About Barcelona
- Barcelona has 2 official languages – Spanish (Castellano) & Catalan
- The city didn’t have a single beach until the Olympics were held there in 1992
- Some claim the city was founded by Hercules, which would make Barcelona 400 years older than Rome
- It is the largest city on the Mediterranean Sea and the second largest in Spain (after Madrid)
- Picasso studied in Barcelona at the School of Fine Arts
- It has the busiest port in Europe (almost 3 million cruisers yearly)
- International day of books and its celebration originated in Barcelona
- Barcelona has the largest metropolitan park in the world – Parc de Collserola
- It is home to the busiest pedestrian streets in the world
- The city has the first beach ice bar in the world
I strongly recommend you buy skip-the-line tickets for some of these attractions you want to visit in Barcelona. The city is huge and gets thousands of visitors every day.
I think you don’t want to stand in a line waiting for tickets and waste your time. Skip-the-Line tickets will save you so much time. Book them in advance before doing this Barcelona itinerary.
Below each attraction, I will tell you whether you should buy a skip-the-line ticket for it. Or see the list of attractions for which you’ll need skip-the-line tickets at the end of this article.
Barcelona Itinerary 1. DAY: Old City & Barceloneta Beach
On the first day, we’ll explore the old town of Barcelona, its origin and history. Nothing will give you a better understanding at the beginning of our tour than its old town. In the afternoon, we’ll take it easy, chill in one of the most beautiful parks, and get some beach vibes in the evening.
Our starting point will be the main square: Plaza Catalunya.
Nearest Metro Stop: Plaza Catalunya
1.La Rambla Street
From Plaza Catalunya, walk down through La Rambla street. Turn left to see the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi.
2.Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi
We are now entering the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. The Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi was built between 1319 and 1391 in the Catalan Gothic style. It’s one of the largest Cathedrals in Catalonia. Before its construction, it’s believed that this part was all covered in a pine forest.
Location: Plaça del Pi, 7, 08002 Barcelona
3.Plaza de Sant Felip Neri
The square is named after the Basilica de Sant Felip Neri, which stands there. You’ll see buildings damaged by bombing during the Spanish Civil War.
Take a moment to sit down in silence and reflect. Imagine the time back in 1938, when fascist planes and their bombing raid bombarded the square, and 42 people lost their lives. Many of them were children hiding next to the basilica.
4.Plaza de Sant Jaume
Besides other things, this square is the political centre of Barcelona due to the 2 buildings standing on it: City Hall & Palau de la Generalitat.
Both institutions date back to medieval times and have been ever since governing and guiding people living in Barcelona and Catalunya. The square used to be the Roman Forum of the city.
5.Plaza del Rei
I’ve brought you here since you need to see the historical museum. I am not so much a museum fan, but from time to time, I visit some, and the historical museum in Barcelona with its archaeological site is really exciting.
You’ll learn a lot about the city’s history and origins. You’ll walk through the actual Roman ancient settlement of Barcelona: Barcino. See how it looked like in the past. Barcino (the ancient settlement) is the place from where Barcelona was built. It’s the largest Roman excavation outside of Rome. It is very impressive.
The official name of this Cathedral is The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. Saint Eulalia was persecuted, tortured, and murdered by Roman soldiers when Emperor Diocletian was fighting new colonies like Barcino. She didn’t want to renounce Christianity and was eventually murdered by Roman soldiers at 13. Nowadays, you can see her crypt inside the Cathedral.
What you also can’t miss is the garden of the Cathedral. You’ll spot 13 geese walking around. These actually live there and represent the martyrdom of Santa Eulalia. See the miracle of a dancing egg on the fountain Sant Jordi.
Try to find the Gargoyle at the exterior of the Cathedral (its wall). It’s a Gothic symbol and was built to protect the church from evil spirits and scare them off.
Location: Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona
Walking Tour of Ghotic Quarter
If you want, you can book one of these walking tours of the Old Town. This part of Barcelona is very interesting, and it’s a good idea to learn more about its history. These are the places from where Barcelona was evolved.
Afternoon Sightseeing In Barcelona
This is where our walking tour of the old town ends. Now I suggest you find a nice bar or a restaurant, where you’ll have lunch or take some tapas. After, get to your accommodation, and you can change for the rest of the day and for the evening.
Depending on where your accommodation is, you’ll have to get to Arc de Triomf, which is where we’ll continue our Barcelona itinerary for today.
7.Arc de Triomf
Like many other landmarks in Barcelona, this beautiful Arc was built for the World Exhibition back in 1888 and served as the entrance to the World’s Fair. It’s built in typical New Moorish style (red bricks), which you can experience a lot in Andalusia (southern part of Spain).
Enjoy the little promenade, which will take you to our next stop – stunning Parc de la Ciutadella.
Location: Passeig de Lluís Companys
Nearest Metro Stop: Arc de Triomf
7.Parc de la Ciutadella
I love this park with its beautiful gardens. Now, just take your time and walk through. If you feel like it, you can prepare yourself and buy some stuff for a picnic beforehand.
8.Port Olimpic (Many Restaurants)
Olimpic Marina is the place to have fun and experience the nightlife of Barcelona. With its casino, bars, restaurants, and discos, you’ll have endless options to do.
You’re also reaching the beach of Barcelona for the first time here, yay. I am so excited for you. You can also buy some food, head to the beach, and have a picnic there watching the sunset.
Or you can eat at one of the restaurants near the Port. I have to admit I am not fun of these touristy places and this is one of them so I would prefer the first option. But it’s completely up to you.
9.Barcelona Promenade To Barceloneta Beach
Once you have enough, you can enjoy the walk through the sea promenade. This was one of my favorite walk spots in Barcelona. Just enjoy the sea breeze and the atmosphere under the palms.
At the end of your walk, you’ll reach another great part of Barcelona, which is called Barceloneta. If you haven’t had dinner yet, Barceloneta has many restaurants as well. Or just sit down for a drink and enjoy the evening.
Nearest Metro Stop: Barceloneta.
Port Vell ⇒ Colombus Monument ⇒ La Rambla
Another option is to keep going. I highly recommend walking alongside the Port Vell until you reach Rambla de Mar. It’s close to the Aquarium of Barcelona with other options for evening drinks and cocktails.
After, you can walk towards the Colombus Monument, and you’ll reach La Rambla street, where we started our Barcelona itinerary today. Get to Drassens metro station and head back to your accommodation.
Nearest Metro Stop: Drassens
Barcelona Itinerary 2. DAY: Sagrada Família & Montjuïc Hill
Good morning to Barcelona. I hope you slept well and your legs don’t sore too much, because today, we have a lot to see again. We’ll start exploring more landmarks from Gaudí, the pride of Barcelona, and enjoy a beautiful performance in the evening.
Let’s have a great breakfast and then head straight back to the city.
Today, we’ll start with the most significant landmark of Barcelona: Sagrada Família.
This masterpiece designed by Autonio Gaudí is still not finished. In fact, its construction started back in 1882, and well, it’s still in progress. The estimated date of construction is 2026. In the past, it used to serve as a school.
Nowadays, it has 18 towers, and Autonio Gaudí is buried there. Explore more about its history and interesting facts during the tour inside. It’s worth seeing the interior. I’m curious what feelings you’ll get once you’re there.
Location: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
Nearest Metro Stop: Sagrada Família
Skip-the-Line Ticket for Sagrada Familía
I strongly recommend you buy skip-the-line ticket to visit Sagrada Familía. They normally not even let you in if you don’t have a ticket already booked in advance.
It happened to me, we wanted to go with my friends and the tickets were fully booked for the next 3 days, there was no chance to get in. You can either book a guided tour, or just get a fast-track ticket and explore it on your own:
After the tour, take a metro to Liceu. Once you are in Liceu metro station, walk up, and you’ll be back at La Rambla street. Walk towards the Boquería market.
2.La Boquería Market
Now, it’s time to get some fresh fruits or local specialties. Enjoy the special chaotic atmosphere of this market and see how Spanish people do their grocery shopping or even sit down and eat in the middle of the day.
I can’t stop admiring the Spanish tapas culture. This is one place where you can also experience it. You can have some quick lunch or just grab something nice before you continue your walking tour.
Location: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona
Nearest Metro Stop: Liceu
After, take a metro (Drassens station at La Rambla) to Plaza España. Walk further down La Rambla street until you reach Drassens metro station.
Welcome to Plaza España. The first thing you can do here is to go inside the shopping centre and up to the very top. Then, enjoy the views of Plaza España and the National Palace from the rooftop.
Interestingly, this shopping museum used to be a bull-fighting area until it was banned in Catalunya on 18th July 2010.
Nearest Metro Stop: Plaza España
After, walk towards the magical fountain. Before you go further up to the National Palace. Stop at Poble Español: Spanish Village.
4.Poble Español de Montjuïc
If you are only visiting Barcelona and won’t have the chance of seeing more from Spain, it’s time for you to visit this Spanish village (Poble Español). It’ll take you back in time, to many regions of Spain.
You’ll immerse yourself in each region’s architecture and culture and learn more about Spain and its attractions. Try some local products on the way or enjoy a café with churros in one of the cafeterias. Spanish village is very charming, and I highly recommend you visit it. It’ll give you a better understanding of Spain, in general.
Skip-the-Line Ticket for Poble Español:
5.National Palace & Olympic Stadium
After the Spanish village, take your time to walk towards the National Palace. Nowadays, it hosts the Catalan Museum of Archaeology. You’ll get stunning views of Plaza Espana from the top. Try to spot Sagrada Família as well. Then go further up to the Olympic Stadium.
Local authorities built the stadium for the Olympic Games held in Barcelona back in 1992. The stadium itself was originally constructed for the World Exhibition in 1929. Still, Parc de la Ciutadella, together with Arc de Triomf gained a lot more importance. Therefore, it was again reconstructed for the Olympic Games.
Nowadays, many concerts are held in the area. Walk through and enjoy its atmosphere.
After, walk up to the Montjuïc Castle. It is about 20 minutes walk, or you can also take the bus n.150.
Montjuïc Castle is an old military fortress. It translates from Catalan and Latin to English as Jewish mountain. The name was given to it mainly because of the Jewish cemetery standing on the side of the castle.
Montjuïc Castle used to serve as a fortress against foreign troops coming from the sea and prison during the Spanish Civil War. Later on, it became a military museum, and nowadays, it serves as a municipal facility.
Walk through its beautiful gardens and then have a drink at the La Caseta del Migdia outdoor bar. You can also walk slightly further to the Mirador del Migdia, a viewing platform to get nice views of the port and sea.
7.Plaza España & Magical Fountain Performance
Head back down to Plaza España once you have explored this military area (either on foot or with the bus n. 150).
Have a dinner around Plaza España. In the evening, enjoy the sounds of the magical fountain under the National Palace.
Performance Times of the Magical Fountain
- 1st November – 5th January: from 20:00 to 21:00 (Thurs-Sat)
- 6th January – 4th March: closed for maintenance.
- 5th March – 31st March: from 20:00 to 21:00 (Thurs-Sat)
- 1st April – 31st May: from 21:00 to 22:00 (Thurs-Sat)
- June – 30th September: from 21:30 to 22:30 (Wed-Sun)
- October: from 21:00 to 22:00 (Thurs-Sat)
The opening times of the Magical Fountain change, so check the updated opening times before going.
The performace of Magical fountain is free of charge :). You can just come, don’t have to book anything in advance.
After the performace, you can take metro back to your accommodation, again from the metro station Plaza España.
How To Get To Montjuïc Hill
If you don’t want to walk all the way up from Plaza España to Montjuïc Castle, you have other 2 options:
1. Montjuïc Funicular
When you take the metro at Drassens station, you will get off at Parar-lel station. There is a connecting funicular, which takes you to Montjuïc hill (close to the Olympic stadium).
So you’ll still have to walk those 20minutes from the Olympic stadium to Montjuïc Castle or take the bus n. 150. You don’t have to pay anything extra for the funicular, you can use your regular metro ticket for it.
2. Teleferic de Montjuïc
Is a cable car that will take you straight up to Montjuïc Castle. You’ll also get off at Parar-lel metro station, where the cable car station is located. However, this option is quite pricy and touristy.
I wouldn’t make the journey with this cable car, walking is more exciting, and I can see more things. But if you like such things and don’t mind paying extra, then go for it for sure.
Tickets for the cable car:
You can book tickets for the cable car below or also including a guided tour of the Montjuïc Castle. After, you can head down to see the Magical Fountain by yourself once the tour is finished.
Barcelona Itinerary 3. DAY: Gaudí’s Monuments & Tibidabo
For today, I’ve reserved some of the most famous landmarks and places to see during your Barcelona itinerary. Now you have explored the old town and learned a lot about the history of Barcelona, Barcino as the original settlement of the city, and saw important sites like the old fortress and monuments built for the World Exhibition.
Our last day will be full of adventure and extra must to see places in Barcelona. You honestly can’t leave the city without seeing them. So let’s head into our Barcelona itinerary, day 3.
Today is the day when you’re going to visit the most famous monuments, for which you definitely need the skip-the-line ticket and to buy them in advance. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to get in.
First of all, take metro to the metro station called: Passeig de Gracia
One of the most famous masterpieces of Gaudí, Casa Batlló, stands on the famous shopping street in Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia. It used to be a regular house, bought by Josep Batllo back in 1900. He asked Antonio Gaudí to reconstruct and redesign the entire building in 1904.
And Gaudí made it to another masterpiece, the building that stands there until today. Come and admire its beauty, including Gaudi’s own ventilation system, decoration of the house made from recycled material, aquatic experience, mystery balconies, and much more.
This house is also named ‘The House of the Dragon’ because the symbols on its roof symbolize Saint George and its legend, the saint patron of Catalonia.
Location: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona
Nearest Metro Stop: Plaza España
Skip-the-Line Tickets for Casa Batlló
2.Casa Mía = La Pedrera
Another building you shouldn’t miss while walking through Passeig de Gracia is Casa Mía. Gaudi didn’t really like straight lines. In fact, he always avoided them in his architectural style, which is perfectly reflected in Casa Mía.
It is mainly famous for its rooftop terrace and its exciting chimneys called ‘The Garden of Warriors.’
You might be wondering why it has two names? Well, because a family named Mía used to live inside the house in the past. The current name, however, is La Pedrera, which means stone quarry.
This name was given to it by locals, who simply disliked the design of this building. La Pedrera was the last building Gaudí constructed before he decided to focus only on Sagrada Família. It took him 4 years to complete, and its construction started in 1906.
Location: Passeig de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona
Skip-the-Line Tickets for Casa Mía
As with Casa Battló, you’ll need a pre-booked ticket for Casa Mía. It’s very busy so you can get the tickets here below:
What would our Barcelona itinerary look like without visiting Parc Güell, perhaps the most famous place in Barcelona (apart from Sagrada Família).
Parc Güell was actually supposed to be a modern housing estate. Gaudí’s plan was to have modern facilities such as laundry rooms, markets, church, etc. However, this plan changed after the construction of the first buildings since they didn’t attract investors. That’s why the authorities decided to open it as a public park back in 1926.
Antonio Gaudí lived in this park until he died. Interestingly, he lived in a house, which he didn’t design.
PRO TIP: I highly recommend you explore a lot more from Parc Güell than just the site with monuments and buildings. Walk further up and see native plants and trees, enjoy views of the entire Barcelona and feel that special atmosphere.
Nearest Metro Stop: Vallcarca (from there you’ll have to walk slightly up to reach the park)
Parc Güell Skip-the-Line Tickets
Here I also suggest you get skip-the-line tickets. They have time slots, and tickets are sold very quickly. So get them in advance so that you don’t have to wait and be disappointed.
You can either book a guided tour or just a single admission ticket below:
If you really want to get the best views of Barcelona, Tibidabo is a great place for it. This amusement park not only offers stunning views, but it has a fun park with many roller coasters.
However, the most important landmark standing on the opt of this hill is the Church of the Sacred Heart, where the statue of Jesus Christ looks at the city and the Mediterranean Sea with his open arms. As if he was welcoming every visitor of this place.
Tibidabo is part of the Collserola Parc, which, as I told you at the beginning of this itinerary, is the largest metropolitan park worldwide. Other things you might check out in this area are Barcelona’s Planetarium and Science Museum, Fabra Observatory, and the Collserola Tower.
Location: Ctra. de Vallvidrera al Tibidabo, 111, 08035 Barcelona
Nearest Metro Stop: Peu del Funicular
How To Get To Tibidabo (the easiest way, no extra cost)
First, get back to the Passeig de Gracia metro station. From there, you’ll have to change to the S-train (it’ll be either S1 train direction Terrassa, orange line, or S2 train direction Sabadell, green line).
Get off at the stop Peu del Funicular. From there, hop on the cable car. Once you get off the cable car, walk outside, and on your right, there’ll be a bus station. Take a bus going up to Tibidabo. All rides are included in your metro ticket.
You can visit Tibidabo and the Basilica free of charge. Only if you want to go to the amusement park with the roller coaster, you have to pay. Tickets are available to buy on the spot, no need to book anything in advance.
5. Camp Nou & FC Barcelona Museum
What would a visit to Barcelona be without experiencing Camp Nou stadium and seeing a museum of one of the most famous soccer teams in the world? So in the afternoon, as your last stop, check out the largest football stadium in Europe, Camp Nou.
Learn about its history, have a panoramic tour, and experience the routine of FC Barcelona players, their changing rooms, and everything behind the scenes.
Evening In Barcelona
Today in the evening, it’s your decision what you want to do. Now, you’ve really explored the most important parts and seen the famous landmarks of Barcelona.
You can go to the beach once again and swim for a while. Or go to your favorite area and have a nice dinner or check out some tapas bars. You might walk on the seaside promenade again towards Barceloneta and enjoy some cocktails there. Barcelona offers plenty of things to do.
PRO TIP: One more thing I highly recommend you do is to go up to the Carmen Bunkers. You’ll get breathtaking views of Barcelona, can even watch the sunset, and enjoy the moments in this beautiful city. Go to a supermarket, buy some food and drinks for a picnic and enjoy it up with those views. You’ll no regret it for sure.
This is my Barcelona itinerary for 3 days for you, covering the most beautiful landmarks, places, interesting history, and Spanish/Catalonia culture, and some insights I gained during my life in this city. I hope it’ll be useful for you.
You can take it as an itinerary for your long weekend in Barcelona. Or you can also make a 4-day Barcelona itinerary out of it and explore the city in a more relaxed way. Let me know what your favorite part of Barcelona was down in the comments.
How To Get Around Barcelona
Barcelona is a huge city, and the best way to get around is by metro. Sometimes, you might want to take a bus as well, but the metro is the best and fastest option. I was always using the metro in Barcelona.
You can buy a ticket with 10 rides, which will cost you slightly more than 10 EUR. But since you’re gonna see almost everything from Barcelona, it isn’t the best option.
The best thing you can do for your Barcelona itinerary for 3 days is to get Barcelona Public Transport Ticket. You’ll save so much money on transportation and can travel unlimitedly during 3 days in Barcelona. Check it out below. It’s the best value. Just choose the number of days and you’re good to go:
Where to stay in Barcelona: My Top Tips for Accommodation
If you want the best tips on where to stay in Barcelona, check out my 14-day Spain itinerary. I’ve written all suggestions for accommodation in Barcelona on the first day of this itinerary.
More Activities In Barcelona
Barcelona is huge, offering endless activities and things to do. For sure I haven’t included everything in this article (as you could be reading it 3 days). I covered the highlights and must to see places. But if you’re interested in doing more activities, check out Get Your Guide. They offer various activities in and around Barcelona. Their great guides will show you around or you can go by yourself and just book admissions. Check them out by clicking on the image below.
Road Trips From Barcelona & Spain Itinerary
If you want to spend a week in Barcelona, I highly recommend exploring other sites in Catalonia. Check out my article about the best road trips from Barcelona.
Top places included in the list of road trips from Barcelona:
- Figueres + Besalu
- Tossa de Mar
If you want to explore more places in Spain, I’ve designed a 14-day Spain itinerary for you. It’ll show you the highlights, and most beautiful corners of Spain, so check it out. The start of this itinerary is in Barcelona. If you can’t spend 2 weeks in Spain and do this itinerary, get inspiration for the most beautiful places in Spain with my Spain Travel Guide.
If you have more time in Spain, check out my southern Spain itinerary with which you can explore the highlights of Andalusia.
Explore more of Europe with my travel itineraries and get the most of your time here.
Order Food In Spanish
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Get Spanish dialogue in a restaurant, excercises, fun activities, and information about Spanish dishes inside: