How to make the most of Barcelona in 3 days

Barcelona is big and with an eye-popping 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. You can buy a one-day integrated ticket for around 8 euros and easily explore the city, or you can just walk through this very pedestrian-friendly city. Here’s a guide of how you can enjoy this city having just a few days:


Day 1: Explore the Beaches

I started with the beaches. Blue and warm water, soft sand and lots of gravels, Barcelona beaches are usually crowded – but I went on weekdays in September and it wasn’t crowded at all.

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Wandering through the Ronda Litoral, you can visit the Mar Bella Beach, Bogatell, Nova Icaria and finish at the famous Barceloneta Beach.

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Barceloneta is the most touristy sand area. Monuments and modern architecture take over the view. I’ve found a great restaurant that happens to also offer services like Paddle Surf and other exercises at the beach. The restaurant is Barcelona Surf House and you can find them here.

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Nova Icaria Beach was calm and nice for swimming. Clear, warm and calm water to enjoy. 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.


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

The Passeig de Gràcia is a large avenue that starts at Plaça de Catalunya and ends 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. With a special brilliance are 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 has easy access by its train station, subway station or Pl. Catalunya.

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Casa Batlló, by Antoni Gaudí
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Casa Milà (La Pedrera), by Antoni Gaudí

The Avenida Diagonal is 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 nice and long 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.

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You can find the coffee place address here.

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.

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The church is located at Carrer de Mallorca, 401; and you can buy tickets here.


Day 3: Enjoy everything the City Centre and Park Güell has to offer

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El Gòtic, also known as Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter see on map), is one of the four districts that forms the Ciutat Vella neighbourhood (Old City). The “Gothic” name refers to its architecture. Photogenic alleys and the large La Rambla walkway are a must see, and if you’re interested in seeing the local and most varied food, sweets, drinks, spices and also some popular culture gathered at one place, go see the La Boqueria Markt (see address). You can arrive at the “heart” of La Rambla by subway, at Liceu Station.

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Marzipan
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Pepper and sauces
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My favorite: chocolates

Plaça de Catalunya is basically the lungs of Barcelona: everything connects here and its a place 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.

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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

Park Güell was recognized as an artistic monument in 1969 and was declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1984. One of the most important of Gaudi’s works, this large urban park is rich in architectural elements, located in the district of Gràcia and facing the Mediterranean Sea of Mount Carmel.

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The entrance to the park represents the Gates of Heaven
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Curved lines and Trencadís (a mosaic decorative system that consists of coating surfaces with small pieces of broken ceramic, often coming from obsolete objects).

Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudí to plan a house complex for a wealthy family in this area. In the absence of buyers, the works were abandoned in 1914. Only two of the 60 planned houses had been built. 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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Casa Gaudí – also a museum. You can buy tickets inside.
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Hall of Columns

The Park 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 highly 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.

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Mirador de Joan Sales – Mirador del Virolai

The Park is located here and you can buy your tickets here.


Helping you to plan your trip:

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

 

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Travel and lifestyle blogger, color chaser and doggo lover. Living in Hamburg, exploring the world.

21 thoughts on “How to make the most of Barcelona in 3 days

  1. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 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.

    Like

  4. 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!

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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! 😊👏

    Like

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