The Best of Barcelona in 3 Days Complete Itinerary

The Best of Barcelona in 3 Days Complete Itinerary

Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Its success is due to many factors that we will discover in this article to help you plan a three-day itinerary in Barcelona. Among the main factors for choosing Barcelona for a 3-day weekend we find the incredible architecture that characterizes the city, the lively atmosphere, the many museums and the food and wine heritage is not to be underestimated.

In addition to these strong points there are other things that make Barcelona a truly fantastic city such as UNESCO heritage sites, markets and even a beautiful beach. As you can imagine, it is not difficult to fill your time when visiting Barcelona in 3 days.

What to do for 3 days in Barcelona

It takes several days to fully explore Barcelona, however, most travelers usually have 3 days which is enough for a significant preview of the city. This is why our guide is structured over three days.

We have organized the recommended places of interest following a logical order to optimize your itinerary: by following our suggestions you will be able to discover numerous points of interest efficiently while avoiding unnecessary travel. Barcelona attracts many travelers at any time of the year, especially in high season (from April to October) which is literally invaded by tourists. To make the most of the experience, we recommend that you book your visits and accommodation in advance.

There are 3 cards that we recommend that can make your holiday a lot easier, we are talking about the Go Barcelona Pass, the Barcelona City Pass and the Barcelona Card. These three cards offer free entrance to some attractions, can make you skip things and also offer other advantages so don't miss them.

Day 1 Historical Center and Gaudí's Architecture

The first day of our itinerary focuses on the historic center of Barcelona, the city center is easily accessible on foot and is undoubtedly the most particular part of the Catalan capital. In the center you will find some of Anton Gaudí's most famous works and many of the city's best-known streets.

Casa Batlló

One of the most beautiful Gaudí houses in Barcelona and for this reason it is one of the most visited, therefore we advise you to go there at the beginning of the day so as to avoid large queues. Casa Batllò is also fantastic from the outside, the famous balconies on the facade of the building are reminiscent of Venetian masks and in fact you will find many people who go there even just to take a photo from the outside. The interiors and rooms inside Casa Batlló are truly incredible and inside the building there is a very beautiful staircase that takes you to the terrace which has the shape of a dragon, this can only be seen from above Unfortunately.
Thanks to the Go Barcelona Pass you can visit Casa Batlló and also other houses designed by Gaudi. Alternatively, you can get discounted entry with a Barcelona Card if you purchase your ticket at the door.

Casa Mila

Also known as La Pedrera, this house was also designed by Gaudi and is located very close to Casa Batlló. The façade of this work is also highly appreciated and has a very particular wavy shape, this particular shape gave rise to its nickname La Pedrera. There are apartments inside Casa Milà that have been very well preserved and can be visited but the real attraction of this house is the roof terrace. From the terrace there is a fantastic view of the city, many of Gaudi's works are visible from the rooftop and you can even see the Sagrada Familia very well. Thanks to the Go Barcelona Pass you can skip the long queues that form daily outside this attraction. Also in this case, thanks to the Barcelona City Pass you can get discounted entry.

Where to have lunch?

  • El Nacional (Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis): a multifunctional restaurant with different areas dedicated to different types of Spanish cuisine, ideal after visiting Casa Batlló and La Pedrera.
  • Ciudad Condal (Rambla de Catalunya, 18): Known for its tapas and good service, this is a perfect stop for lunch while exploring the historic center

Las Ramblas

This is the most famous street in the city, there is a continuous coming and going of people from morning to evening but during the weekend after dinner time it reaches its peak of visitors. Along this street you will find many restaurants and refreshment points, as in every tourist city these places are not recommended as they are often tourist traps, with unauthentic food and very high prices so we do not recommend dining there, but for a drink they can also be Well.

La Boqueria

During your three days in Barcelona you will pass Las Ramblas several times and here you will find the Boqueria. In the heart of Las Ramblas you will find La Boqueria, the oldest and most famous market in the city. La Boqueria is by far the best known and most visited market in Barcelona, in this magnificent place you can find absolutely everything, from meat and fish to fruit, sweets and even food stalls. La Boqueria is a suitable place for any occasion, for a good and quick breakfast with freshly squeezed fruit juice, to have a snack or simply to admire the typical 19th century modernist style that characterized Barcelona.

Columbus Monument

Continuing to walk south of Las Ramblas, at the end of the street you will find a large column, on top of which there is a statue of Christopher Columbus, the famous Italian explorer credited with the discovery of the Americas. Christopher Columbus was supported by the Spanish monarchs at the time and this statue commemorates his first voyage to the Americas.

Barcelona Aquarium or History Museum of Catalonia

Very close to the Columbus monument you will find the Barcelona aquarium which is one of the largest and most appreciated in Europe and also the museum of the history of Catalonia. We suggest you visit these two places if you are traveling to Barcelona with your children, you will surely make them happy. It is possible to visit these two places at discounted rates thanks to the Barcelona Card and the Barcelona City pass. The History Museum of Catalonia will take you through the complete history of this region and its people. After visiting it you will understand why the Catalan people are so much looking for independence which however is difficult to achieve.

Where to have dinner?

  • Tapeo (Carrer de Montcada, 29): a tapas restaurant near the Picasso Museum perfect for experiencing Catalan cuisine in a welcoming environment.
  • 7 Portes (Passeig d’Isabel II, 14): a Barcelona classic open since 1836 offering traditional Catalan and Spanish dishes, ideal for dinner after a day of sightseeing.

Day 2 – Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell and surroundings

Our second day in Barcelona will make you explore the most north-eastern part of the city and visit some of the main places of interest in Barcelona.

Sacred Family

Without a doubt Gaudí's masterpiece, but he never had the opportunity to see it completed as he died during construction. Even today the Sagrada Familia is under construction to realize Gaudi's complete project. Construction began in 1882 and by 1926 when Gaudí died it was about a quarter complete despite. Entry is timed and tickets sell out well in advance, so you are obliged to purchase tickets well in advance. We would like to point out that starting from 2022, tickets that allow access in the first two hours of opening have become slightly more expensive. It is also possible to take guided tours inside the cathedral and in our opinion it is really worth it. Barcelona Card holders are entitled to a discount on tickets purchased on site but not online.

Modernist Fences Sant Pau

We have included this point in the 3-day itinerary in Barcelona because we consider it worthy of a visit. This place has been open to visitors for a few years. Despite this it has quickly gained great fame and is quickly becoming one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona. These buildings originally constructed with the purpose of becoming a hospital complex represent one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Europe. Precisely for this reason they have become a UNESCO world heritage site. You can explore this complex and go inside a number of buildings. This hospital complex is located just 15 – 20 minutes walk from the Sagrada Familia and is worth a visit.

Where to have lunch?

  1. La Paradeta (Passatge de Simó, 18): near the Sagrada Familia is a unique “weigh and pay” fish and seafood concept where you choose what you want to eat directly from the counter.
  2. Gaudí Bakery (Carrer de Sardenya, 306): For a quick lunch they offer delicious options of sandwiches, salads and desserts, near the Sagrada Familia.

Gaudí Experience 4D

The next itinerary is located halfway between the Recinte Modernista and Parc Güell. This interactive exhibition dedicated to Gaudí will take you through the life and works of the most influential architect in Barcelona and perhaps in all of Spain. Thanks to viewers you can visit the inside of some structures designed by Gaudì while standing still and there is also a 4D cinema inside this exhibition.

Park Güell

Located on the hills north of the city, Park Güell is another of Gaudí's works. This is a little different though, being a large area of the park with a number of installations to explore and visit. Originally designed with the aim of making it a kind of residence with houses for the wealthy. The original project included the construction of sixty houses. The project was not completed.

In fact, the park inside hosts only two houses which are of unprecedented beauty and respect many of the characteristics envisaged by Gaudí in the initial project. Like the main terrace which was completed as a long bench made up of mosaics. Inside the park there is also a house museum that can be visited and was Gaudí's home for the last twenty years of his life. Initially, entry to Park Güell was free, subsequently the park became one of the main attractions in Barcelona and a ticket was introduced. Barcelona City Pass holders can purchase their ticket in advance and select the time slot that is most convenient for them. We advise you to go there around sunset because the view from there is truly incredible.

Where to have dinner?

  • Petit Comitè (Passatge de la Concepció, 13): Offers a fine dining experience with modernized Catalan dishes a short distance from Parc Güell.
  • El Asador de Aranda (Avinguda del Tibidabo, 31): if you are craving meat this is the ideal place for dinner after a visit to Parc Güell, which specializes in roast lamb.

Day 3 – Gothic Quarter, Montjuïc and surroundings

The third day of our Barcelona itinerary takes us starting from the Gothic Quarter and then heading above the city to visit a castle and some of the most famous museums in Barcelona. To end with a spectacular light and sound show.

Chocolate Museum

What better way to start the day than with chocolate? By visiting the museum you will learn many things that you probably don't know today, such as that Barcelona was one of the main ports for chocolate to arrive in Europe and played a key role in the city's economy. Inside the museum there are numerous statues made of chocolate and we recommend you go there if you are with children, they will certainly be happy.

Gothic Quarter

You can get there from the Chocolate Museum to this beautiful neighborhood by walking along some very characteristic alleys. The Gothic Quarter represents the oldest part of the city, and is where some of Barcelona's highlights are hidden. I highly recommend having a paper map handy when you start exploring this barrio as the streets are really, really small.

In the Gothic Quarter, in addition to the chocolate museum, you will also find the museum dedicated to Picasso, in this museum you will find many works by Picasso and it is one of the many museums in Barcelona that you absolutely must visit. Continuing west in the Gothic Quarter, you will find the beautiful Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona, this cathedral you absolutely must visit and it is also free so it is worth stopping by.

Where to have lunch?

  • Bodega Biarritz (Carrer de Vidre, 8): in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, it is perfect for a tapas lunch before heading towards Montjuïc.
  • La Fonda (Escudellers, 10): offers Mediterranean cuisine in a welcoming environment ideal for relaxing after a visit to the Chocolate Museum.

Montjuïc hill

Now we head to Montjuïc hill, which has a number of attractions at the top. Depending on your interests and how much time you have available you can see some of them, this depends on what attracts you and your interests. Located on the top of the hill, Montjuïc Castle is an imposing fortress that has played a fundamental role in the history of Barcelona over the last hundred years.

This fortress, which was a historic place where the city of Barcelona was monitored, was also the place where in the past the most dangerous characters were imprisoned and even killed inside. Today the castle is open to visitors and from its top you can admire the beautiful view of the city. Here you need a ticket except on Sunday afternoon, where you can enter without any ticket for free.

The foundation of Joan Miro

Fans of Joan Miró will surely make a stop at his foundation which is located on Montjuïc hill. It was Miro himself who created this foundation with the aim of promoting young artists not yet in the spotlight, in fact, in this foundation works that Joan considered valid were exhibited. Within the Joan Miró foundation there is also an on-site library which houses Miró's book collection.

National Art Museum of Catalonia

An imposing building with spectacular views of the city, the National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC) is a must-visit in the city. Inside there is a vast collection of paintings that cover a truly large period of time. You can also go to the terrace where you can take incredible photos as you can see all of Barcelona at 360°.

Magic Fountain

The final entry on our final day of our three-day Barcelona itinerary is the Magic Fountain, which can be seen from the steps in front of the National Museum of Catalan Art. This fountain is truly special because thanks to LEDs and sounds it produces a truly unique show. This fountain was built in 1929 for the International Exhibition and was later restored for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The times of the shows vary according to the season so we advise you to check the official website of the municipality of Barcelona which constantly keeps the information updated travellers.

Where to have dinner?

  1. Xalet de Montjuïc (Avinguda Miramar, 31): for a dinner with a view this restaurant offers splendid views of Barcelona, perfect after a day in Montjuïc.
  2. Martínez (Carretera de Miramar, 38): perfect for a sunset dinner specializing in risottos and paellas with stunning views of the city.