How to make the most of Barcelona in 3 days

Barcelona is big and with a breathtaking architecture. I had 3 days of an unplanned trip in this city, where I’ve allowed myself to get lost and walk A LOT (as usual). I was in Portugal and found really cheap tickets with Ryanair (less than 10 euros), so why not? Public transportation in Barcelona works pretty well. Everything is connected and you can buy a one-day integrated ticket for around 8 euros or you can just walk through this very pedestrian-friendly city. Here’s a guide of how you can enjoy Barcelona having only 3 days:

 

Day 1: Explore the Beaches

Blue and warm water, soft sand and lots of gravels, Barcelona beaches are usually crowded – however, I went on weekdays in September so it wasn’t crowded at all. Wandering through the Ronda Litoral, you can visit the Mar Bella Beach, Bogatell, Nova Icaria and finish at the famous Barceloneta Beach.

Monuments and modern architecture take over the view of Barceloneta, the most touristy sand area. I’ve found a great restaurant called Barcelona Surf House that also offer services like Paddle Surf and other exercises at the beach.

Nova Icaria Beach was clear, calm, warm and very nice for swimming. It is close to the Bogatell Beach and between each beach, you can find viewpoints.

You can easily arrive at the Ronda Litoral by public transportation at Barceloneta Station.

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Bogatell

Barceloneta

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Nova Icaria

 

 

Day 2: Get lost at the Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal Avenue

Passeig de Gràcia

A large avenue starting at Plaça de Catalunya and ending in the neighbourhood of Gràcia, a pleasant walk to be explored on foot. It is in the neighbourhood of Dreta de l’Eixample, where the richest families of the Catalan bourgeoisie began to build their houses, competing among themselves to see who had the most spectacular house. The most stunning highlight are the modernist houses as the two jewels of Antoni Gaudí, La Pedrera (Casa Milà) and Casa Batlló, the house of Puig i Cadafalch, Casa Amatller, and the house of Domènech i Montaner, Casa Lleó Morera. Passeig de Gràcia is easy to access by its train station, subway station or Pl. Catalunya.

 

Avenida Diagonal

The biggest and maybe the most important avenue in Barcelona, extending by 11 km and cutting diagonally the city – that’s the reason of the name. A pleasant walk while enjoying Barcelona’s architecture, with lots of cafes and restaurants. I’ve found a cute coffee place that will make you feel like you’ve entered a Harry Potter book: Pudding Coffee Shop is a “Eat + Play + Think” space, perfect for kids, book lovers and curious people.

 

Sagrada Familia

The cross streets have also a lot to offer and the Sagrada Familia church is close to the avenue as well. If you want to visit the inside, I highly recommend you to buy the entrance as soon as you buy the airplane tickets: extremely crowded and not an attraction for a last minute trip. You can buy tickets here.

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Casa Batlló, by Antoni Gaudí

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Casa Milà (La Pedrera), by Antoni Gaudí

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Pudding Coffee Shop

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Pudding Coffee Shop

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Sagrada Familia

 

Day 3: Enjoy the City Centre and Park Güell

El Gòtic

Also known as Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), is one of the four districts that forms the Ciutat Vella neighbourhood (Old City). Photogenic alleys and the large La Rambla walkway are a must see.

 

La Boqueria

In addition to the Gothic Quarter walk, you can visit the La Boqueria Market if you’re interested in seeing the local and most varied food, sweets, drinks, spices and also some popular culture gathered at one place. You can arrive at the “heart” of La Rambla by subway, at Liceu Station.

 

Plaça de Catalunya

Where everything connects and is full of restaurants, bars, cafes, stores and public events. Surrounded by imposing buildings, an easy way to go up and appreciate the view is at the La Plaça Gourmet Café, at the top of El Corte Inglés.

 

Park Güell

One of the most important of Gaudi’s works, Park Güell is a large urban park rich in architectural elements, located in the district of Gràcia and facing the Mediterranean Sea of Mount Carmel. It consists of 2 distinct areas: The Monumental Axis, which requires the purchase of an entrance, and the free access area that is open to all visitors. I recommend an early purchase of your ticket, so you can better plan your day. At the free part, you can enjoy the view at Mirador de Joan Sales, an amazing viewpoint to appreciate Barecelona’s beauty on a sunny day. You can buy your tickets here.

This Park was recognized as an artistic monument in 1969 and declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1984. Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudí to plan a house complex for a wealthy family in this area but with the absence of buyers, the works were abandoned in 1914. Only two of the 60 planned houses were built and the park became a large private garden, which Güell opened for public events. Güell died in his house at the Park in 1918 and his heirs offered the park to the City Council, who agreed to purchase it in 1922.

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Street at the Gothic Quarter

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Marzipan at the La Boqueria Market

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Pepper and sauces at the La Boqueria Market

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My favorite: chocolates. La Boqueria Market.

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View of the Catalunya Square from the top of El Corte Inglés

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One of the fountains at the Catalunya Square

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Güell Park entrance represents the Gates of Heaven

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Curved lines and Trencadís at he Güell Park (a mosaic decorative system that consists of coating surfaces with small pieces of broken ceramic, often coming from obsolete objects).

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Casa Gaudí – also a museum. You can buy tickets inside.

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Hall of Columns at the Güell Park

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Mirador de Joan Sales – Mirador del Virolai

 


Helping you to plan your trip:

  • Track flight prices here
  • Understand Barcelona’s public transportation here.

 

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26 Comments

  1. betaaragorn
    November 1, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    Fiquei curiosa e com vontade de entrar nas águas mornas da Nova Icaria Beach e conhecer de perto a culinária.

    • July
      Author
      November 3, 2018 / 3:42 pm

      Não tenho dúvidas de que você vai adorar!

  2. Iêda Jovino
    November 1, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    E um trabalho lindo rico de delahes,vc está de parabéns.

    • July
      Author
      November 3, 2018 / 3:42 pm

      Obrigada pelo carinho! Estou feliz que tenha gostado.

  3. katherinefenech2017
    November 14, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    We visited in January (almost a decade ago, eeep), so it was winter and we didn’t get to check out the beaches like this, we’ll obviously have to go back just for them!

    • July
      Author
      November 15, 2018 / 11:07 am

      Oh I’ve never been there during winter! How was your experience? The beaches are really a must go <3

  4. Emily Lush
    November 14, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    There are some great hidden gems in here! I love the look of the bookshop especially. Casa Batlló was covered in scaffold when I visited Barcelona—devastating! I’d love to go back one day and see it in its full glory, plus check out some of the spots we missed first time around.

    • July
      Author
      November 15, 2018 / 11:08 am

      Oh I hope you had a good experience there anyways! And I hope that you enjoy the fullest your next time <3

  5. November 14, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    Barcelona is one of ‘must see’ places on my Europe list. Can’t wait to visit, thanks for sharing your tips!

    • July
      Author
      November 15, 2018 / 11:09 am

      Indeed! Hope you have a lovely experience! 😀

  6. November 14, 2018 / 10:02 pm

    that water looks gorgeous and the architecture to die for! Also I love that image of the laneway- spot on!

    • July
      Author
      November 15, 2018 / 11:10 am

      Thank you! <3 (and that water was amazing hahah)

  7. November 14, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    I had no idea transportation to and around Spain could be so cheap. I might have to move it further up on my bucket list. 🙂 Also, your photos are incredible

    • July
      Author
      November 15, 2018 / 11:11 am

      Thanks, Carly! <3

  8. November 15, 2018 / 11:05 am

    This looks like an interesting and simple itenerary which covers almost all the important places. I am surely saving it for future when I visit

    • July
      Author
      November 15, 2018 / 11:11 am

      Thank you! enjoy <3

  9. aimeehorgan2
    November 15, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    I love Barcelona, there is so much to see and do and the weather is pretty much always great. I do think three days is enough as I would venture into other parts of Spain to explore. These are some great tips here.

    • July
      Author
      November 19, 2018 / 5:15 pm

      Thank you! I also think 3 days are enough to get to know well the city. I headed to the Balearic islands after that! <3

  10. atruthfultraveler
    November 15, 2018 / 9:49 pm

    I always love seeing pictures of the architecture in Barcelona- it is so unique and so beautiful. It looks like you had a fun filled few days in the city!

    • July
      Author
      November 19, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      Barcelona is indeed unique. And yes, had a great time there! I will surely visit it again <3

  11. Umiko
    November 15, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    I don’t know how far it is from Portugal to Barcelona, but 10 euros sounds a steal! Crazy if you didn’t take it. I find your 3 days trip amazing with lots of places to see. I really want to spend some time at Pudding Coffee Shop. It looks unique but cozy.

    • July
      Author
      November 19, 2018 / 5:13 pm

      It is around 2h flight! Couldn’t miss the chance hahah

  12. November 16, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    Thank you so much for this guide. I currently find myself here in beautiful Barcelona and this has given me some super ideas to explore over the next couple of days. So far all I’ve really done is walk and eat haha.

    • July
      Author
      November 19, 2018 / 5:11 pm

      Hahaha Thank you! I wish you an amazing time in Barcelona!

  13. November 17, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    Oh, my, GOSH!! This looks amazing! I really like that you provided enough details for someone to actually plan an entire trip if they wanted to, plus the photos were beautiful. New point on my bucket list, for sure! 😊👏

    • July
      Author
      November 19, 2018 / 5:10 pm

      Thank you! I’m happy you like it <3

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