3 Days in Barcelona Itinerary: The Perfect Guide for Your First Visit

Barcelona – just the name evokes feelings of wanderlust, longing, and good vibes in many. The Spanish metropolis on the Mediterranean is one of the world’s most beloved cities, and for good reason: Barcelona has it all – beaches, sunshine, exquisite cuisine, impressive architecture, and that unique vibe

In this article, we will present a travel guide for your 3 day Barcelona itinerary. We’ll take you on a tour of Barcelona’s most important attractions, the most beautiful neighborhoods, the best tapas restaurants, and hidden gems far from the hustle and bustle of the city. And to make sure you have everything you need, at the end of the article we also tell you where to find the best places to stay in Barcelona. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started. 

Panoramic view of Barcelona with the Sagrada familia in the center.

Day 1: City Sightseeing Bus - La Sagrada Familia - Passeig de Gracia - Sunset from the sea  

Today, you have a busy schedule ahead as you embark on an exciting exploration of Barcelona. Your day begins with an awe-inspiring bird’s-eye view of the city, followed by a visit to the iconic and world-renowned Sagrada Familia. From there, you’ll stroll down the prestigious Passeig de Gracia and conclude your day by immersing yourself in Barcelona’s maritime ambiance at the harbor.

A Hop-on-Hop-off Bus passing infront of Casa Batlló in Barcelona.

Hop-on-Hop-off City Tour

Start your 3 day Barcelona itinerary with a hop-on hop-off city tour. The red City Sightseeing buses give you a first impression of the different neighborhoods of Barcelona. Each district has its own unique charm and architecture. Hop on and off wherever you like, your Citysightseeing ticket is valid for 24 hours from the first use. 

La Sagrada Família

Sagrada Familia with blue sky on a sunny day.

For your Barcelona trip book in advance your ticket for the city’s main attraction: the majestic Sagrada Familia. A must-see for every visitor to Barcelona. The work of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, the Sagrada Familia is not only Barcelona’s landmark, but also the city’s most visited attraction. Although the construction is still unfinished, it attracts over 3 million visitors every year and is undoubtedly one of the most legendary buildings of all time.

The Sagrada Familia is less crowded in the early hours of the morning, making for a more pleasant visit. However, in the late afternoon, the sun illuminates the stained glass windows on the west side of the church, bathing the interior in a particularly spectacular light. The blue-green windows also shine in a beautiful light in the early morning. 


Book your Sagarda Familia Ticket in advance and explore Barcelona the smart way with the Barcelona City Pass!

View from the mosaics of Parc Güell to the sea of Barcelona.

Park Güell

If you have the time and desire, be sure to visit the Park Güell.

Park Guell in Barcelona is a captivating masterpiece of art and architecture that beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. Also designed by Gaudí, this park is a true testament to his visionary genius. It’s a place where imagination knows no bounds, where nature and art come together in a symphony of color and form.

As you step into this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll be greeted by the iconic multicolored mosaic dragon, affectionately known as “El Drac”. Its vibrant tiles and whimsical design set the tone for the wonder that awaits you within. Wander through meandering pathways, and you’ll discover an enchanting world of mosaicked benches, surreal structures, and intricate details that seem straight out of a fairy tale.


Croq & Roll Croqueteria, Travessera de Gràcia, 233

Lunchtime: delicious homemade croquetas

Visiting Barcelona means eating tapas. For lunch, we recommend the Croq and Roll. Here you will find a mix of creative tapas and traditional dishes. Just a short walk away from Sagrada Familia in one of the winding streets of Gracia, this small but charming restaurant offers a wide and tasty selection of tapas. How does fried eggplant with provolone cheese and honey sound? Or chicken parmesan croquettes? Delicious, right? Enjoy the taste.

Exterior facade of Casa Battló on a sunny day.

2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in one street: Casa Batlló and Casa Mila

To digest your lunch, you can now walk from here towards Plaça de Catalunya (Central Barcelona) and stroll along the famous street Passeig de Gracia to admire its elegant stores, luxurious boutiques and modernist buildings. A walk along the popular Passeig de Gràcia is a real highlight for all architecture enthusiasts.

This avenue is home to a multitude of buildings that are part of Barcelona’s cultural heritage due to their uniqueness, beauty and historical significance. But that’s not all – Passeig de Gràcia is practically unique in the world: in the same street there are two buildings recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, both designed by Antoni Gaudi. We are talking about Casa Batlló and Casa Milà

Seize the moment and visit the unique, nature-inspired Casa Batlló and experience the genius of Gaudi.

2 persons making music on a catamaran in Barcelona.

Let's end the day with a drink and some relaxing music

Walking distance away is El Nacional. A restaurant that used to be a theater, a factory and a parking garage is now a flagship of the peninsula’s gastronomy with its 4 restaurants and 4 bars under the same modernist roof. Treat yourself to a vermut and a delicious patatas bravas.  

To round off your first day in Barcelona, head to the harbor and enjoy a catamaran sunset tour with relaxed live music and an unforgettable panorama of the Barcelona skyline. 

Famous La Rambla Street in barcelona with a stand selling souvenirs.

Day 2: The Gothic Quarter – Las Ramblas – Moco Museum 

Today’s itinerary takes you on a journey through some of Barcelona’s most captivating and culturally rich areas, starting with the Gothic Quarter, then exploring the vibrant Las Ramblas, and finally visiting the Moco Museum for a dose of contemporary art.

Guided Tour in the historical Gothic Quarter

Inner courtyard with lots of green plants and a passageway with three round arches.

The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of the city and its historic center. The architecture, the myriad of narrow winding alleys, and the hidden squares adorned with numerous tapas restaurants lend a distinctive charm to the Gothic Quarter. During a guided tour of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, you will gain insights into Barcelona’s history, spanning from the Roman era to the Middle Ages, while visiting historically significant sites within this historic district. In the Gotico you will also find Barcelona Cathedral, the Barcelona City Hall and the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Mar. The 500-year-old Gothic cathedral with its beautiful stained glass windows is one of the most famous and largest churches in Catalonia.

Insider tip: A small oasis in the middle of hustle and bustle

One particularly unique place, tucked away in a side street near the cathedral, is Sant Felip Neri. During the Spanish Civil War, a bomb fell here, claiming many lives and leaving several bullet holes on the façade of the church in the square. Despite this tragic event, Sant Felip Neri Square remains a peaceful and tranquil oasis amidst the Gothic Quarter. 

Fruits and smoothies in the Boqueria Market in Barcelona.

Famous Landmarks: La Rambla and famous market Boqueria

A trip to Barcelona would be incomplete without a visit to the famous street Las Ramblas and the renowned La Boqueria Market.

La Rambla is a tree-lined pedestrian promenade that stretches for 1.2 kilometers from Placa de Catalunya to the sea. 

La Boqueria is the most visited market in Barcelona. Here, you can delight your taste buds with Spanish delicacies, such as the delectable “Jamón Ibérico” ham, fresh fruits and smoothies, exquisite tapas, as well as premium chocolates and desserts. 

Arc de Triumf in barcelona from a bird's eye view

Contemporary art and get to know the everyday life of the locals

In the afternoon, we recommend a visit to the Moco Museum. Moco stands for “Modern and Contemporary” and showcases artworks presented in a highly contemporary expression. The Moco Museum is distinguished by its remarkable creativity and its commitment to not only exhibiting art but also making transparent the messages behind the works of artists. Highly recommended! 

Just around the corner from the Born neighborhood, you’ll find El Bar de l’Antic Teatro, a charming establishment that holds a special place in the hearts of artists, neighbors, and locals. Here, they gather for a delightful beer, a relaxing coffee, or a tasty sandwich. It’s a truly wonderful spot to immerse yourself in the local ambiance and perhaps strike up a conversation with fellow patrons.


Antic Teatre, C. de Verdaguer i Callís, 12

Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for some peaceful relaxation, consider heading up to Parc de la Ciutadella. Often referred to as Barcelona’s “Central Park” this lush green oasis offers a serene escape from the bustling city. You can unwind amidst the greenery, take a leisurely stroll by the lake, or have a picnic in this beautiful urban park. It’s the perfect place to enjoy some tranquility before finishing your day in Barcelona.

The Barceloneta Beach walk with blue sky on a sunny day.

Day 3: Montjuïc – Barceloneta Beach – Special Sunset Spot

This Day 3 itinerary offers a blend of cultural exploration, relaxation by the beach, and a magical sunset experience. Montjuïc’s attractions, Barceloneta Beach’s coastal charm, and the special sunset spot will create a memorable conclusion to your Barcelona adventure. Enjoy every moment!

Let's start the day with a little hike and a secret spot in nature

Gondola of the cable car in Barcelona with a view of the sea and the harbor

On the final day of our itinerary, we will take a cable car ride up to Montjuïc Mountain. From this vantage point, you will be treated to a breathtaking view of the city and the sea. Montjuïc also offers a wealth of museums, including Poble Espanyol, the Botanical Garden, and the Miro Museum

Incidentally, Fc Barcelona are currently training at the Montjuic stadium because the Camp Nou is closed for renovation work. So with a bit of luck you can still snag an autograph from your favorite player.


La Caseta del Migdia, Mirador del Migdia

As a hidden gem, we recommend embarking on a hiking trail that starts directly behind the castle. After approximately 30 minutes of walking, you will arrive at a small, secluded bar called “La Caseta del Migdia” nestled amidst nature, offering a spectacular view of the surroundings. 

Two cocktail glasses filled with a red drink with the sunset on a beach in the background.

Barceloneta: Barcelona's local beach

Following this, make your way to Barceloneta. Once a quaint fishing neighborhood, it has now evolved into one of Barcelona’s most popular areas. Barceloneta Beach welcomes you with trendy beach bars, excellent seafood restaurants, and paellas, as well as a wide range of water sports activities such as paddle surfing, kiteboarding, and windsurfing. The beach district of Barcelona caters to individuals of all ages and tastes. 

The crowning glory of your 3 days in Barcelona itinerary

For the grand finale of your Barcelona trip, we recommend the 1881 Restaurant at the harbor. Situated on the fourth floor of the Museum of Catalan History, it offers both drinks and excellent cuisine. The 1881 Restaurant has an exclusive direct procurement agreement with the Barcelona Fishermen’s Association and proudly holds the “Local Sale – Short Circuit” certification. Traditional Mediterranean dishes are served on the spacious outdoor terrace, boasting a splendid and unique view of Barcelona’s skyline and providing one of the finest sunset spots in the entire city. 


1881 per Sagardi, Plaça de Pau Vila, 3

A young man smiling and making a selfie infront of the Sagrada Familia.

How to Save Money on Your Barcelona Sightseeing

Saving money on your sightseeing in Barcelona is a smart way to make the most of your trip without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Barcelona City Pass

Consider purchasing a Barcelona City Pass. This provides discounted or free access to major attractions, as well as unlimited public transportation, saving you money on both entrance fees and transportation costs.

Free Museums

Take advantage of the free museum days that many museums in Barcelona offer. For example, the Picasso Museum offers free admission on Thursday afternoons and the first Sunday of each month.

Walking Tours

Join a free walking tour of the city. These tours usually run on a tip-based system, so you can decide how much to contribute based on your budget.

Tapas and Menu del Día

Look for restaurants that offer a “Menu del Día” (menu of the day) during lunch hours. This often includes a multi-course meal at a reasonable fixed price.

Local Markets

Shop for snacks and fresh produce at local markets like La Boqueria instead of dining out for every meal.

Public Transport

Opt for public transportation, like buses and the Barcelona metro, instead of taxis or private transfers. A transportation pass or card can save you money if you plan to use public transit frequently. Also from Barcelona airport departs a bus and a metro.

Free Attractions

Explore free attractions like the Montjuïc, the beach, and the picturesque neighborhoods of El Raval and El Born.

Travel Off-Peak

If possible, visit Barcelona during the low seasons (spring and fall) when accommodation and flights are often cheaper, and the city is less crowded.

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