BARCELONA IN 3 DAYS: ITINERARY AND TIPS ON WHAT TO SEE IN BARCELONA

Planning to visit Barcelona for 3 days? An itinerary and a guide to the best things to see in Barcelona in 3 days, including a clear map, will help you plan.

Updated 2. 9. 2022

Article content:

Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain after Madrid. It’s also easier to get to than Madrid for many tourists, as it’s close to the French border. It is a beautiful cosmopolitan city that is one of the most visited cities in Europe. Its greatest development was the hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games, from which Barcelona began to experience more and more tourism. This is currently so excessive that the number of visitors has to be limited in some places and it is important to book tickets in advance.

Barcelona’s history dates back to the 3rd. century BC. Thanks to its long history, Barcelona is diverse. You will see Roman remains from antiquity and modernist buildings z 19. and 20th century.

You’ll feel great in Barcelona. And it’s not just the sea breeze and sandy beaches that are to blame. The people here are friendly and the atmosphere is neighbourly and lively. You will especially feel the warmth of the locals when visiting Barcelona with children, as they take their children everywhere.

Can you visit Barcelona in 3 days?

Barcelona is a sprawling and cosmopolitan city that takes at least 3 full days to explore. I would recommend spending a week here if you want to take a trip to the area or spend some time on the beach. But 3 days will be enough to visit the most beautiful places in Barcelona . You’ll see what millions of visitors come here for every year – the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, Barcelona Cathedral and the Gothic Quarter, and the promenade. You’ll enjoy beautiful views, taste Gaudí’s work and sample delicious tapas. And much more. The detailed itinerary will guide you through the places to see in Barcelona in 3 days.

Barcelona in 3 days / Montjüic
view from Montjüic

How to enjoy Barcelona in 3 days?

Go on foot

The routes for each day are planned so that they can be largely walked. That way you don’t spend more time on the metro than you have to. Plus, you’ll get to know the local culture better as you walk around the city. You’ll see how different the neighbourhoods are and how diverse Barcelona is. These are exactly the reasons why we always try to walk as much as possible in cities and literally explore every corner.

Stay strategically

Barcelona is vast and if you only have 3 days to visit, you don’t want to spend an hour on the road to the centre. Plus, every neighborhood is different. Some are quieter and more family-friendly, while the centre around La Rambla is noisier and lively until dawn. For tips on accommodation in Barcelona, see the end of this guide.

Motel One is one of the best hotels in Barcelona – great value for money, strategically located by the Arc de Triomphe, close to the sights and the beach, and at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a beachfront hotel, a great choice is Hotel Acta Voraport . As far as cheap accommodation in the centre is concerned, the river hotel you get good service at a low price.

Save on entrance fees and transport

Barcelona offers several ways to save on admission to sights and museums or on transport:

  • Barcelona Card – Barcelona’s official card, which gives you unlimited travel around Barcelona, free visits to museums and discounts to most sights. You can choose the length of validity (3, 4 or 5 days).
  • Barcelona Pass – A tourist card that gives you unlimited access to more than 35 sites in Barcelona. You choose the number of days or the number of attractions.
  • Hola BCN – A card that allows you to travel unlimitedly for a pre-selected number of days. Unlike the T-Casual, it also applies to the metro from the airport. The price of the card varies according to its validity – 48 hours for €16.40, 72 hours for €23.80, 96 hours for €31 and 120 hours for €38.20.
  • T-Casual ticket for 10 journeys from €7.95 (price depending on the number of zones) – 1 journey is valid for 75 minutes and a maximum of 3 transfers (none can be return). Valid for public transport in Barcelona except for the metro to the airport (line L9S). You can buy your ticket from the red ticket machine in the metro or at the entrance to the station at the airport.
Ticket machines

Book your tickets in advance

Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe. The queues here are really long and there is also limited capacity in a few places. If you can, book your tickets in advance. On the spot, just scan the ticket on your mobile phone or show the email with the ticket (or you can print it out if you prefer). In addition, sometimes tickets are cheaper when ordered in advance. If necessary, they can usually be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance free of charge.

Skip-the-line tickets: Park Guëll Sagrada Familia Casa Battló

What to Visit and See in Barcelona in 3 Days?

The itinerary for Barcelona is designed to have a little bit of everything on every day. Sights, museums, parks and wandering the streets of Barcelona. The locations are close to each other so you don’t have to use Barcelona’s metro or buses more than you need to. A map showing the routes for each day will help you plan. You can download the map to your PC or mobile phone and customize it to your liking. At the end of the article you will find a general map of Barcelona with all the places you can find descriptions for in the article, things to see in Barcelona .

Map of the route, things to see in Barcelona in 3 days

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of the route in Barcelona. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the guide to the city of Barcelona in 3 days. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

Barcelona in 3 days: the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell

Itinerary for 1. a day in barcelona

  • Sagrada Familia Basilica
  • Hospital Sant Pau
  • Park Güell
  • Arc de Triomphe and Parc de la Ciutadella
  • El Born and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar

Sagrada Familia

Right from the start, we begin with an icon of Barcelona. Sagrada Familia It is the most famous work of Catalan artist Antoni Gaudí. It has been under construction for almost 150 years and will continue to be for a few more years. The reason for this is the financing of the construction, which is done solely from the entrance fees to the Sagrada Familia and contributions from the public. Your entrance fee will contribute to the completion of the building, which is currently set for 2026 to 100. the anniversary of Gaudí’s death. If something takes too long in Catalonia, the locals say it’s like the Sagrada Familia.

Barcelona in 3 days: the Sagrada Familia

Set aside 2 hours to visit the basilica. There are so many details to explore. Salvador Dali called it a terrifying and edible beauty. Before you step inside, you must see the exterior. The Sagrada Familia has 3 different facades, each thematically dedicated to a different chapter of Christ’s life. Once you step inside, you’ll feel like you’re in the woods. And this is exactly what Gaudí intended when he designed the building. The Sagrada Familia was meant to be an escape to the countryside. 36 columns of different heights and widths represent trees with branches and leaves, and stained glass windows filter light across the entire colour spectrum.

Barcelona in 3 days - Itinerary : Sagrada Familia
How to skip the queues for the Sagrada Familia?

The Sagrada Familia is beautiful. If you were to visit just one Sights in Barcelona it has to be the Sagrada Familia. What’s not so nice anymore are the queues. Especially in high season (from April to autumn) the queues can get quite long. Before visiting I recommend book tickets in advance (if necessary, you can cancel your ticket up to 24 hours in advance). This will save you a lot of time in the queue at the entrance to the basilica. You can choose between a basic ticket or a ticket with access to the tower. The ticket is for a specific time, which must be kept at the Sagrada Familia (you can arrive up to a maximum of a quarter of an hour after the chosen time, then the ticket will be forfeited).

Entrance to the Sagrada Familia is also included Barcelona Pass as part of the guided tour. During the tour, you will learn more interesting facts and discover details you might not have noticed otherwise (there is so much to see).

When entering, also keep in mind that this is a religious building and you should keep your shoulders and knees covered. The Sagrada Familia opens to the public at 9am.

Tip, book your tickets for early morning. There are fewer tourists and you can enjoy the interior much better. Plus, you can take an iconic photo of the basilica in front of the pond without the crowds around you.

  • Admission to the Sagrada Familia: adults €32.50, children 11-17 and students €31.20, seniors over 65 €27.30, children under 11 free; long queues – advance online booking recommended; BUY TICKETS (with skip the line)
  • Opening hours of the Sagrada Familia: November-February 9:00-18:00, March and October 9:00-19:00, April-September 9:00-20:00, on Sundays throughout the year opening hours until 10:30

Hospital Sant Pau

Hospital Sant Pau (Recinte Modernista Sant Pau) is a former public hospital housed in an extravagant Art Nouveau complex with lots of ironwork, mosaics, stained glass and statues. The complex consists of 27 pavilions topped with iconic golden domes.

Where to go in Barcelona / Barcelona

The Sant Pau Hospital opened to the public only a few years ago (it was still operating as a health facility until 2009). Its popularity grows every year. And no wonder. The Recinte Modernista Sant Pau is a masterpiece of both Lluís Domènech and Montaner and became one of the first UNESCO monuments in Barcelona. You can walk around and just admire probably the most spectacular hospital complex in the world.

Sant Pau Hospital can be reached from the Sagrada Familia along the pedestrianised Avinguda de Gaudí in about 10 minutes. The street is lined with historic houses, shops and restaurants. Is it time to eat? Grab tapas or another Spanish delicacy at Sagradas Tapas, which opens at 11am. A short walk from Sant Pau Hospital, the BelleBuòn restaurant (open at 1pm) serves excellent Italian cuisine.

  • Admission to Sant Pau Hospital: adults 30-64 years old 16€, young people 12-29 years old and seniors over 65 years old 11,20€, children under 11 years old free; BUY TICKETS (with skip the line)
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:30

Park Güell

Park Güell is located on the northern outskirts of Barcelona. It’s a bit out of the way from the main attractions of the city, but it’s relatively close to Sant Pau Hospital. You can walk here in less than half an hour. Along the way, you’ll pass through the less touristy areas of Barcelona so you can better soak up the local atmosphere.

Park Güell Barcelona / Barcelona in 3 Days / What to See in Barcelona in 3 Days

The park is located in the Gràcia district on a hill, so you won’t miss the slight climb (also, if you take the bus or metro, you’ll have to walk the last 10-15 minutes uphill; check Google maps for the nearest connections). Once you’re near Park Güell, it’s easy to find your way around the other visitors heading to the park.

Park Güell was built as a home for the Guell family and several other wealthy families. But it was never fully completed and ended in failure because Barcelona’s elite did not want to move out of the city centre. In 1922, Park Güell was opened to the public. For decades you could come here for free, but in recent years it has been so well attended that it has had to limit visitor capacity and introduce an admission fee to discourage crowds.

The park is divided into two zones – the monumental zone, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains Gaudí’s work, and the public zone, which is wooded and is more of a classical park.

Right at the entrance there is a statue of a lizard and a cottage, which look like a fairy tale about a gingerbread house with candy coating on the roof. The park then hides other beautiful places, such as a huge hall of columns reminiscent of a petrified forest or a terrace with benches covered with colourful mosaics and a view of the city. In the middle of the park is the pink house where Gaudí once lived.

Park Güell Barcelona / Barcelona in 3 Days / What to See in Barcelona in 3 Days
How to skip the queues for Park Güell?

Park Güell is one of the places in Barcelona where you will definitely book your ticket in advance. The queues to get here are long and due to limited capacity, the venue cannot accommodate all visitors. It is common for people to walk away because all the tickets are sold out for several times or even days in advance. When booking, you choose a specific time with a time window of half an hour, i.e. if you choose 2pm, you must arrive between 2pm-2:30pm.

  • Admission to Park Güell: adults €13, children aged 7-12 and seniors over 65 €9.50, children under 6 free; long queues and limited number of visitors at the venue; tickets sell out days in advance; BUY TICKETS with skip the line
  • Park Güell opening hours: 9 :30-19:30

Tip: Planning to visit more paid sights, museums and attractions? Get Barcelona Pass . This is a tourist card that gives you free entry to over 35 sites in Barcelona including the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera or Camp Nou. In the itinerary below, I’ve noted for each place whether it’s part of the Barcelona Pass to make it easier to see what’s included. About Barcelona Pass read more in a separate article.

Arc de Triomphe

Park Güell is outside the city centre, so we take local transport from here to the Arc de Triomf. One way to get to the Arc de Triomf is to walk down from Parc Güell to the metro stop (lines L3 or L4 to Plaça de Catalunya and from there about 10 minutes on foot) or take the bus (V19 directly to the Arc de Triomf). The journey takes about half an hour in both cases.

Arc de Triomphe Barcelona / Barcelona in 3 Days / What to See in Barcelona in 3 Days

The Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona is different from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris or in other cities. It’s made of red bricks. Take a closer look and you will see reliefs about agriculture, art and trade. The Arc de Triomf stands on Passeig de San Joan and is the gateway to the more modern parts of Barcelona.

Parc de la Ciutadella

The Arc de Triomphe forms the entrance to Barcelona’s largest park , Parc de la Ciutadella. You can stroll around, watch street artists or admire the beautiful buildings, including the Catalan Parliament.

Barcelona in 3 days / What to see in Barcelona in 3 days / Parc de la Ciutadella
Barcelona in 3 days / What to see in Barcelona in 3 days / Parc de la Ciutadella

As you enter the park, you will see the beautiful Castell dels Tres Dragons building on your right. Turn left and after a few minutes you will reach the famous Baroque fountain designed by Josep Fontseré and Mestrès with the young Gaudi.

  • Admission: free
  • Opening hours: 10:00-22:30

El Born district

Picasso Museum / Barcelona in 3 Days / What to See in Barcelona in 3 Days
Picasso Museum

El Born is a lively neighbourhood with medieval streets, great restaurants, designer boutiques and just the right atmosphere. You’ll also find some of the best museums in Barcelona. The best ever is Picasso Museum with the largest collection of Picasso in the world (the artist himself donated some 800 of his works; in total there are over 3,000 works). The museum is housed in medieval stone buildings and is open until 8pm if you still want to see more art at the end of the day.

  • Admission to the Picasso Museum: adults 12 €, youth 18-25 years and seniors over 65 years 7 €; free 1. Sunday of the month and every Thursday after 5 pm; limited capacity – advance booking is recommended, even on free days; BUY TICKETS
  • Opening hours: closed MON, TU-SUN 10:00-20:00

Do you prefer contemporary street art? Go to Moco Museum. Its only other branch in Europe is in Amsterdam and both cities are definitely worth visiting. It’s again something completely different than you may be used to. If you like Banksy, you’ll love it here.

  • Admission to the Moco Museum: adults 17,50 €, children 10-17 years and students 12,50 €, children under 9 years free; BUY TICKETS
  • Opening hours: mon-thurs 9:00-19:00, fri-sun 9:00-20:00

Church of Santa Maria del Mar

The Church of Santa Maria del Mar is the icing on the cake of El Born and a perfect example of Catalan Gothic architecture. It is impressive and has wonderful details. Unlike other religious buildings, the church of Santa Maria del Mar was built by the local people.

Church of Santa Maria del Mar Barcelona

Just behind the church, the pedestrianised Passeig del Born, where medieval jousting used to take place. That is why today the whole neighbourhood is called El Born. Passeig del Born is lined with trees and historic buildings. There are several great tapas bars and Catalan restaurants nearby. Just watch the opening hours, as some restaurants are closed for the evening and only open between 6-8pm (like elsewhere in Barcelona).

  • Admission to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar: €5 , €10 including entrance to the towers and terrace
  • Opening hours: mon-sat 9:00-13:00 and 17:00-20:30, sun 10:00-14:00 and 17:00-20:00

Barcelona in 3 days: the Passeig de Gràcia and the Gothic Quarter

Itinerary for 2. a day in barcelona

  • Casa Milà – La Pedrera
  • Casa Batlló
  • Catalan Square
  • Gothic Quarter
  • La Rambla

Casa Milà – La Pedrera

Barcelona has two most famous avenues – La Rambla and Passeig de Gràcia. Passeig de Gràcia is particularly important for Catalans, as it is the city’s main commercial artery. And this is where we start today, because the avenue is lined with beautiful modernist buildings. The first one is Casa Milà – La Pedrera which is one of the most famous buildings in Barcelona and another work of Gaudí.

Casa MIla La Pedrera / Barcelona in 3 days / what to see in Barcelona in 3 days

At first glance, you will be attracted by the undulating facade, which mimics the nearby Mount Montserrat. The balconies are decorated with abundantly wrapped metal and unconventional chimneys peek out from the roof. Inside Casa Milà, you can admire the interior and climb up to the rooftop for a great view of the city. La Pedrera was Gaudí’s last work before the Sagrada Familia.

Casa MIla La Pedrera / Barcelona in 3 days / what to see in Barcelona in 3 days
  • Admission to Casa Milà: on site – adults €27, children 7-12 years €15, students and seniors over 65 €21.5; online – adults €25, children 7-12 years €12.50, students and seniors over 65 €19; BUY TICKETS (skipping the queue)
  • Casa Milà opening hours: off-season 9:00-18:30 (last entry half an hour before closing time), night tour 20:40-22:00, in season 9:00-20:30, night tour 20:30-23:00

We continue down the avenue towards Plaza Catalunya and in a few minutes we come to another famous building – Casa Batlló.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló catches the eye from afar with its colours and stained glass windows. In the past, it was a boring apartment building that Gaudí was given the task of reviving. At first glance you will see that he had a completely free hand in his work.

Casa batlló Barcelona Admission / Things to see in Barcelona

The undulating facade with mosaic glass, ceramic panels and stone columns is just a small taste of what awaits you inside. An underwater world with undulating walls, ceiling patterns resembling shells and a roof with kaleidoscopic patterns of broken ceramic tiles and glass that represent the spine of a slain dragon. Tickets aren’t the cheapest, but if you like Gaudí’s work, you’ll love the interior of Casa Batlló and the overall 10D experience.

Tip. book tickets in advance because there can be queues in high season.

  • Admission to Casa Batlló: adults €35, children 12-17 and students €29, seniors over 65 €32, children under 11 free; BUY TICKETS (with skip the line)
  • Casa Batlló opening hours: low season 9:00-18:30, high season 9:00-20:15

Casa Amatller

To the left of Casa Batlló is Casa Amatller . Unlike Casa Batlló, far fewer tourists come here. Casa Amatller is the work of architect Josef Puig and is known for its beautiful façade. It is made up of medieval towers and branches of the almond tree – Amatller, which means almond tree in Catalan.

Where to go in Barcelona / Barcelona

The Amatller family was in the 18th century. century known for chocolate production. On the ground floor of the houses there is a Faborit chocolate shop where you can have Amatller hot chocolate with churros and melindros (and other snacks). The shop preserves the building’s original kitchen as a decorative element and sells chocolate products wrapped in the original Art Nouveau packaging that made the brand famous. If you want to bring back something good from Barcelona, go here.

  • Admission to Casa Amatller: full admission over 8 years €24 – now on sale for €12; book in advance for a specific time with an audio guide; BUY TICKETS
  • Opening hours: ST-SUN 10:30,11:30, 12:30

Continuing down the avenue, we pass several other beautiful buildings, such as Casa Mulleras and, a little further down, Casa Malagrida (both on the right).

Catalan Square

Plaça de Catalunya is the centre of Barcelona, separating the old part of the city from the elegant Eixample district. The 2 most famous streets in Barcelona converge here – La Rambla and Passeig de Gràcia There are several shopping centres, shops and cafés. You can just sit on a bench and watch the people chatter. Around the square are 6 sculptures representing the 4 Catalan capitals, wisdom and work.

Barcelona in 3 days / what to see in Barcelona in 3 days / placa de catalunya

Gothic Quarter

It’s around noon and high time to head to the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic), where we will spend the rest of the day. The Barri Gotic was formerly surrounded by city walls and was the heart of the city during Roman rule and later in the Middle Ages. Even though it is 2000 years old and thus the oldest neighbourhood in Barcelona, many of the buildings here date back to z 19. and 20th century. The Gothic Quarter is characterised by its narrow cobbled streets and many historic corners that take you back in time. You can just walk around and enjoy. Our tips on what to see in the Barri Gotic (places in succession from Plaza Catalunya):

Wall painting Kiss of Freedom

The Kiss of Freedom mural was created in 2014 for the 300th anniversary of the Kiss of Freedom. anniversary of the Catalan surrender in the Spanish War of Succession. At first glance you see a kiss, but be sure to come closer to the painting. It is made up of lots of little squares sent by local people. The challenge was to portray what freedom means to Catalans.

Barcelona in 3 Days / What to See in Barcelona in 3 Days / Kiss Barcelona

The painting is a bit tucked away, but you can get here easily. From Barcelona Cathedral, walk slightly left across the square to the cement building on which Picasso’s drawings are displayed. You will certainly recognize it among other historical houses at first sight. You walk past the building (the building is on your left) through the alley to the painting, which is behind the restaurant’s garden.

Barcelona Cathedral

The Gothic Quarter is dominated by Barcelona Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop, from which the cathedral takes its name. It is the only cathedral in Barcelona. Its official name is St. cross and St. Eulalie and locals call it Le Seu (translated as The Seat).

Barcelona Cathedral

Construction of Barcelona Cathedral began in the 4th century. century and continued intermittently until the 13th century. century. As a result, it mixes several styles, ranging from paleo-Christian foundations, Romanesque elements and Gothic facade to modernist and Renaissance stained glass.

  • Admission to Barcelona Cathedral: €9 over 12 years; free admission at some times
  • Opening hours: weekdays 9:30-18:30, SO 9:30-17:30, SUN 14:00-17:00 (last entry always 45 minutes before)

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri is a small square that will hit you. To get here, take the narrow alley from the cathedral – walk along the right side of the cathedral and turn right until you reach a small square with a baroque church. On the walls you will see the remains of the Civil War bombs that killed dozens of people (mostly children who sought refuge here).

Plaça del Rei

A narrow alley leads behind the cathedral, where you turn left towards Plaça del Rei. On the square is the MUHBA, or Barcelona History Museum, where you can go underground as part of your tour. Here lies the ancient Roman town of Barcina, which once stood on the site of Barcelona.

Plaça del Rei Barcelona

El Pond del Bisbe

From Plaça del Rei, go back behind the cathedral and follow the narrow streets to El Pont del Bisbe bridge, which connects the 2 buildings on Carrer del Bisbe. The alley leads to the open-air Plaça de Sant Jaume, home to the Catalan government and Barcelona City Hall.

El Pond del Bisbe Barcelona

Plaça Reial

Plaça Reial is another beautiful square in the Barri Gotic, which translates to Royal Square. It is famous for its neoclassical columns and arches and, in the centre, the fountain of the Three Graces with 2 lanterns designed by Gaudí.

Plaça Reial Barcelona

La Rambla

La Rambla is a 1.2km-long pedestrian avenue that lines the Gothic Quarter and separates it from El Raval. It’s a short walk, so you can run here from the Gothic Quarter to La Boqueria Market when you’re hungry. It’s a bit tucked away between the houses (from Plaza Catalunya on the right, about halfway down La Rambla), but you won’t miss it. It’s crazy touristy, but you can still shop and eat well here. In summer, you can refresh yourself with fruit juices and smoothies. I wouldn’t recommend any other place to eat on La Rambla (one restaurant on La Rambla even “won” the title of worst restaurant in Spain). A better choice would definitely be the Gothic Quarter, where there are plenty of more authentic restaurants.

La Rambla Barcelona
Attractions on La Rambla

If you’re a football fan (and not a Real Madrid fan 🙂 ), don’t miss the Canaletes fountain right at the beginning of La Rambla. There is a nice tradition attached to the place. The fountain used to be the home of the El Sol newspaper, and during FC Barcelona matches, fans would gather here as the newspaper announced the scores earlier. Whenever Barça wins a big prize, the fans come here to celebrate.

Other attractions on La Rambla include the historic Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house and the mosaic on the ground by artist Joan Miró in his signature colours (black, white, red, yellow, blue). You can walk past the Christopher Columbus monument (you can go up to the viewpoint for a fee) to Port Vell (Old Port), where you can walk along the Rambla de Mar waterfront walkway. It’s nicely lit in the evening.

La Rambla Barcelona

Barcelona in 3 Days: La Barcelonata and Montjüic

Itinerary for 3. a day in barcelona

  • Palau de la Musica Catalana / Casa Vicens
  • La Barcelonata / Montjüic hill
  • Magic Fountain
  • El Raval

As it is customary, we will keep the third day a bit open. In the morning you can visit places we missed the previous days. My suggestions for the next best places in Barcelona:

Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona

Palau de la Música Catalana is a modernist building by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which still functions as a concert hall. It is the only concert hall in the world to be listed by UNESCO. The building will captivate you from the outside, but once you step inside, the real show begins. The Palau de la Música Catalana is opulent, ornate and perhaps even kitsch.

It has beautiful stained glass windows and a teardrop-shaped main auditorium skylight that uses all the colours of the rainbow to let in daylight. These are just some of the magnets that make the Palau de la Música a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to attending the performances, you can take an unguided tour or a guided tour that will point out the most beautiful details.

  • Admission to Palau de la Música Catalana: full over 10 years €15, children under 10 free; with audio guide – you need your own headphones; BUY TICKETS
  • Opening hours: you choose the time when booking your ticket.

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens probably doesn’t come to mind for most visitors when they think of Gaudí’s works, but that’s a shame. Casa Vicens is Gaudí’s first work, it is lively, playful and has a strong Moorish influence. It has mosaic floors, colourful tiles and stained glass windows. It only became available to the public in 2019 and has been growing in popularity ever since. The green L3 metro line (Fontana station) stops a short walk from Casa Vicens.

Tip: I recommend booking tickets in advance – you save 2 €. Then just show your ticket in your mobile email or print it out if you prefer to hold something in your hand.

  • Admission to Casa Vicens: adults €18, students over 12 and seniors over 65 €16, children 11 and under free; €2 more at the door; advance booking recommended; BUY TICKETS (skip the queue)
  • Opening hours of Casa Vicens: April-October daily 10:00-20:00, November-March Mon 10:00-15:00, Tue-Sun 10:00-19:00

Camp Nou

Camp Nou Barcelona

Are you a football fan? Then you might want to make your way to the largest football stadium in Europe, which can seat up to 100,000 people – Camp Nou stadium . You can visit the stadium not only during a football match , but also during daytime tours. You get to see where the TV and radio stations sit, check out the backstage area including the locker rooms, press room, players’ tunnels, etc. It includes multimedia and interactive exhibitions.

  • Admission to the Camp Nou tour: on-site adults €31.5; online: adults €28, children aged 4-10 and seniors over 71 €21; better to book in advance – cheaper tickets; BUY TICKETS (skipping the queue)
  • Opening hours: 2 .5.-16.10. 9:30-19:00, 1.11-19.12. 10:00-18:00 (SUN 10:00-15:00), 20.12.-9.1. 10:00-19:00, 10.1.-1.5. 10:00-18:00 (SUN 10:00-15:00)

La Barcelonata

Few cities in Europe have as good access to the sea as Barcelona. It would be a great shame not to visit Barcelona and walk the famous promenade around La Barcelonata beach. At any time of the year. La Barcelonata is an artificial beach created for the 1992 Olympic Games. It used to be a small fishing village, but after the Olympics it changed beyond recognition. Palm trees, views of skyscrapers and locals and tourists relaxing. You can spend an afternoon here or just take a stroll.

LA BArcelonata Barcelona

Monjüic Hill

A second option to spend the afternoon of your third day in Barcelona is the Monjüic hill. It hides many interesting places and is the ideal place to walk, see the city and soak up the art. Our tips on what to see in Monjüic:

Spanish Square

I recommend getting off at Plaça d ‘Esp anya, a large and busy square that is the second most important in Barcelona. Here you will find a former bullring that has been converted into a shopping mall. You can walk up to the top (or take the elevator for a small fee) and admire the surroundings. From Plaça d’Espanya, you’ll head to the imposing Venetian towers of Torres Venecianes, which form the imaginary entrance to Monjüic Hill.

Plaça d'Espanya Barcelona
Venetian towers and behind them Monjüic and the MNAC museum – view from the bullring
National Museum of Catalan Art

The first one in sight National Museum of Catalan Art (Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya), abbreviated MNAC. This must be on the list of anyone who wants to learn more about Catalan history and admire one of the largest Romanesque collections in the world.

MNAC Barcelona
  • Admission to MNAC: basic including terrace 12 €, only access to the palace and terrace without the museum 2 €, under 16 and over 65 free; BUY TICKETS
  • Opening hours: may-September Tue-Sat 10:00-20:00, Sun and holidays 10:00-15:00, October-April Tue-Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun and holidays 10:00-15:00
Magic Fountain

Directly below is the Magic Fountain, where a sound and light show takes place in the evening. Specific times the fountain plays vary by season – click for current times. I recommend arriving a little early as it gets really crowded, so make sure you get a good view.

Magic Fountain Barcelona
Fundació Joan Miró

A short walk from the National Museum of Catalan Art is another popular museum – Fundació Joan Miró where the best collection of Catalan abstract artist Joan Miró awaits you. It is housed in a white modernist building and, in addition to its colourful collection, offers great views of Barcelona. Don’t miss the Tapis de la Fundacio tapestry, which measures 7.5m2 and weighs a ton.

  • Admission to Fundació Joan Miró: adults over 15 years old €13, children under 14 free; BUY TICKETS (with skipping the queue)
  • Opening hours: closed Mon, Tue-Sat 10:00-20:00, Sun 10:00-18:00
Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol is another place you will find on Montjüic. It is an architectural museum and open-air museum that represents a typical Spanish village. In one place you can see all the different areas of Spain. The site was created for the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929, but it became so popular that it was preserved.

sights in Barcelona / things to see in Barcelona / Poble Espanyol
sights in Barcelona / things to see in Barcelona / Poble Espanyol

In the evenings it comes alive with restaurants and bars. During the day you can visit craft workshops, small shops and enjoy the view of the city. Poble Espanyol can be reached from the Magic Fountain under the MNAC Museum, where you turn right and continue along the road. After a few minutes you will reach the entrance.

  • Admission: full over 13 years 11,20 €, children 4-12 years 9 €; discount for advance booking; BUY TICKETS (with skip the line)
  • Opening hours: mon 10:00 – 20:00, Tue-Sun 10:00 – 00:00
Montjüic Fortress

The Montjüic Fortress and Castle is located at the top of the hill, offering a spectacular view of Barcelona. The fortress was built in 17. century, when a small fortress and a watchtower were built here for the defence of the town. Centuries later, after the War of Succession, it was rebuilt into the stronger fortress it is today. Later it also served as a military prison. Today it houses a military museum and hosts a number of events throughout the year.

Montjüic Castle and Fortress

There is a steeper climb up to the castle or you can take the Telefèric de Montjuïc cable car. The cable car starts at Parc Montjuïc station and takes you to the fortress. It doesn’t stop upwards, but you can get off at 2 more stops on the way down. A one-way ticket costs €9.40 (€7.50 for children aged 4-12) and a return ticket costs €14.20 (€10.20 for children aged 4-12). You can buy tickets buy at this link .

  • Admission to the Montjüic Fortress: full admission €5, reduced admission €3, free under 16, first Sunday of the month and every Sunday after 3pm. hour
  • Opening hours: 10:00-20:00

El Raval

Do you want to go have fun with the locals? Head to the El Raval neighbourhood. Unless you’re afraid. El Raval has a reputation for being a rougher neighbourhood, where you’ll find prostitutes or dealers in the evening. Still, this is not a dangerous neighborhood. On the other hand, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, alternative and design shops. Delicious tapas will be prepared in tapas bar Palosanto Rambla del Raval, famous for the huge cat statue in the park. Or try the paella at popular restaurant Güell Tapas .

El Raval Barcelona

Barcelona in 3 days: where to stay?

  • Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella – one of the best hotels in Barcelona and at a good price; strategic location near the Arc de Triomphe and Ciutadella Park
    Residencia Universitaria Campus del Mar – apartments including a kitchenette a short walk from La Barcelonata beach
    Hotel River – cheap hotel a short walk from La Rambla
    Hotel Ronda House – cosy and modern hotel with good quality service and just 10 minutes from La Rambla
  • Hotel Medicis – cosy hotel next to the Art Nouveau Sant Pau Hospital and 5 minutes from the Sagrada Familia
  • Hotel ibis Styles great value for money; ideal accommodation for couples and families with children (family rooms and children’s play area)
    Hotel Acta Voraport – modern and newly furnished hotel a short walk from Bogatell beach
  • Hotel Arya Stadium – Clean and modern hotel with an outdoor pool a short walk from Camp Nou Stadium

Detailed information about accommodation in Barcelona can be found in a separate article – tips for the best neighbourhoods and value-for-money hotels. The article also includes a map with the sights in Barcelona marked for easy itinerary planning and holidays in Barcelona.

Motel One is one of the best hotels in Barcelona and at a good price

How to Save in Barcelona on Entrance Fees to the Sights?

One way to save money in most major cities is with a tourist card. Even Barcelona has them. The first one is Barcelona Pass which gives you free entry to more than 35 venues in Barcelona. These include the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, the aquarium, the zoo, a boat cruise, a sightseeing bus and more. You can buy a Barcelona Pass for a selected number of days or according to the number of attractions. It depends on what you plan to visit, but in our experience and feedback, the Barcelona Pass can help you save significantly.

Another tourist card is the Barcelona Card which you can use with older children. The Barcelona Card includes free entry to over 25 museums in the city, discounts to other places in Barcelona and unlimited free transport.

For more about the Barcelona Pass and the Barcelona Card, see a separate article including other tips, how to save in Barcelona .

Map of Barcelona

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of the route in Barcelona. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the guide to the city of Barcelona in 3 days. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

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