Sagrada Familia

Perfect 3-Day Barcelona Itinerary

Barcelona is a truly magical city. There is so much to do, see and eat. 3 days here will be jam packed but you’ll have moments to take it all in. So let’s dive in and explore all that Barcelona has to offer!

Barcelona Skyline
View from Montjuic

Barcelona Map

I’ve built this map with the itinerary for you based on the places we went and what would be the easiest for you to squeeze into a day based on walking distances.

Keep in mind restaurants don’t open up until around 8pm so it is normal to have a late start to your day and enjoy your nights later than usual. If you’re an early riser then you can beat the crowds at the tourist spots but be sure to have a siesta mid-afternoon if you don’t want to be completely burnt out by the end of your vacation.

Day One:

The blue pins on the map are the places you’ll visit on Day One. Here’s a short list:

Sagrada Familia
Ayre Hotel Rosellon Rooftop
Arc de Triomf & Ciutedalla Park
Palau de la Musica
La Rambla
Mercat de la Boqueria
Gothic Quarter
Arume Restaurant

Breakfast

Cafe Con Leche and Croissant

Start off your day with a pastry and cafe con leche from your nearest cafe. We tried so many different cafes to see which one was the best and to be honest, we didn’t experience a cafe con leche that we didn’t love.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia from Pond
Little Pond next to Sagrada Familia

Then head over to Sagrada Familia to start your day!

Tip: Be sure to buy your tickets in advance. Sign up for the audio tour if you can. We found it very informative to know more about the details in the architecture!

Ayre Hotel Rosellón Rooftop

Ayre Hotel Rooftop
Ayre Hotel Rooftop

If that’s too crowded, head over to Ayre Hotel Rosellon Rooftop for some epic views along with some wine and tapas!

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe
Photo Credit: Venkata Goli

Walk those tapas off and head over to Arc de Triomphe. Walk through the arc and you’ll find yourself at your next destination.

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park
From our trip in 2017

Head over to the fountain in the middle of the park for another iconic photo!

Palau de la Musica

Gaudi wasn’t the only brilliant architect in Barcelona. Walk over to Palau de la Musica and check out the Catalanian concert hall. It was built by Lluis Domenech i Montaner in 1908. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. You can enter the foyer area for free but need to purchase a tour to visit the concert hall. Buy your tickets here. You can do a self-guided tour for 15€

La Rambla

Mercat de la Boqueria
Always super crowded!

Reflect on all the gorgeous architecture you saw already by taking a walk down La Rambla. This is a busy street so be sure to hold your belongings close. Take in all the beautiful buildings and make your way over to the Market.

Mercat de la Boqueria

Boqueria Market
So many Juice options!

Get ready to bump elbows with lots of tourists and locals at Mercat de la Boqueria. You’ll find many stalls selling lots of different delicacies. Start off with a refreshing fruit juice for 1€. My favorite are the ones with a coconut base. It adds a creamy richness which is super delicious. Grab some ham & cheese for about 4€. Don’t fill up on too much because we’re about to go get some tapas!

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter
Famous bridge: Pont del Bibe

Gothic Quarter is a little neighborhood full of tiny streets and tons of wine and tapas all around. Go ahead, walk around. Get lost. Pop into whichever little bar looks like a fun time. But don’t get too full because you’re about to get some Paella!

Arume Restaurant

Duck Paella
Duck Paella

You don’t want to miss out on Arume. I’ve had a ton of Paella in my life and my favorite was at Arume restaurant. You’ll want to make a reservation as they can get a bit busy. Come for the duck paella, but stay for the absolutely divine olive oil. Yes, the free little olive oil vile that you get with some bread will be the best olive oil you’ve ever tasted. Good thing is, you can buy a 500ml bottle here for 20€!

Phew! That was a fun day. Get some rest because tomorrow is going to be a long one!

Day Two:

Day two are the red pins on the interactive map [above]. Here is the short list of the places you’ll go:

Bunkers del Carmel
Tibidabo Amusement Park
Park Güell
Casa Milà
Casa Batlló
El Nacional
Catedral de Barcelona
Xurreria Manuel San Román
Placa Reial
Sensi Bistro Restaurant
Paradiso Speakeasy
Pacha Barcelona
W Barcelona

Wake up well-rested because it’s going to be a busy day! Grab a hearty breakfast para llevar [to-go] and get ready for a hike!

Bunkers del Carmel

Photo Credit: Frederic Bartl

Use google maps to find the easiest way to Bunkers del Carmel. Hike up for the best views of Barcelona. Enjoy your picnic and take in the views. You’re about to explore all that this beautiful city has to offer.

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Tibidabo
View from Tibidabo Amusement Park

Now that you’re full, head over to the Tibidabo Amusement Park. There are two types of tickets you can get. The amusement park ticket for 28.50€, which lets you go on all the rides, or the panoramic ticket for 12.50€ that gives you access to Giradabo, the big wheel. The other rides aren’t that special, so I highly recommend the panoramic ticket. Giradabo is the highest point of the mountain so you’ll have incredible views of the city and the sea.

Park Güell

After enjoying those views, head down to Park Güell

Tip: Be sure to pre-book your tickets if you want access to the whole park but keep in mind there are parts of it under construction.

Park Güell is an iconic park in Barcelona. Gaudi unleashed many of his artistic creations here and you’ll see his style everywhere. He wanted this to be a housing site, starting with his own home here. You can visit the Gaudi House Museum here. Walk around, get familiar with the architecture because you’re about to see a bunch of more Gaudi’s creations.

Casa Milà & Casa Batlló

After getting a sense of Gaudi’s work, you’ll be able to point it out more. Walk over to Passeig de Gracia where you’ll find Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. These are two private residences created by Gaudi. They are both also UNESCO World Heritage Sites so I recommend at the very least, walk by both and enjoy the architecture from the outside.

Casa Mila
Casa Milà

If you want to go inside, Casa Milà has a better rooftop, while Casa Batlló is like a colorful jewelry box. You’ll pay a fee to go inside both so it is totally up to you and your budget. There is an extra fee to buy in person so I highly recommend to pre-book if you do decide to go inside. Casa Milà entrance fee is 22€ and Casa Batlló entrance fee is 25€.

Casa Batllo
Casa Batlló

El Nacional

El Nacional
Gastronomical Restaurant

I’m sure you’re starting to get pretty hungry. So head over to El Nacional for lunch. If you’re familiar with NYC, its like Eataly. El Nacional is a gastronomic restaurant that brings you 4 different restaurants for you to experience the cuisine of the Iberian Peninsula. Take your pick and enjoy your meal!

Catedral de Barcelona

Cathedral de Barcelona
Cathedral De Barcelona

Let’s go explore some more architecture. Head over to Catedral de Barcelona and take in the Gothic architecture. Walk around, take it in and maybe light an electronic candle.

Xurreria Manuel San Román

Churros con chocolat
Churros con Chocolat

Right nearby, you won’t want to miss the best churros ever. At Xurreria Manual San Roman, you’ll get fresh churros con chocolat. They’ll be perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. The chocolat will be rich, just the way it should be. Enjoy and savour every bite, because you’ll definitely be thinking about these in the future.

Placa Reial

Placa Rieal
Placa Reial

Walk off those delicious churros at Placa Reial. It’s a truly regal square and you’ll see why once you’re there. Take in the palm trees and enjoy people watching. Occasionally you’ll see some street performers too. Remember to tip them because they’re so talented and they deserve it!

Sensi Bistro

Photo Credit: Deliciouschip.com

It should be around 8:30/9pm by now so let’s head over Gothic Quarter for dinner. If you want the best tapas in Barcelona, go to Sensi Bistro. They usually have a wait so a reservation is highly recommended. I recommend to order a bunch of different tapas and enjoy them all. Trust me, everything will be delicious.

Paradiso Speakeasy

Paradiso
Paradiso Exterior

Now that food is out of the way, let’s enjoy some cocktails. Paradiso is a speakeasy hidden behind a pastrami shop. Once you walk through the door, you’ll be captivated by the gorgeous wooden ceiling and the decor. Grab a seat at the bar for a true cocktail experience. The way these bartenders make a drink is a show all on its own.

Pacha Nightclub

Pacha
Pacha Nightclub

Tipsy yet? Good. Now let’s go dancing! Barcelona is known for its nightlife on the beach. Start the fun at Pacha and dance the night away. If you want to dance along some gorgeous views of the city, head over to W Barcelona. The walk will be long but throw on some music on your phone and have your own little party during your walk along the beach.

W Barcelona

Pictures get blurrier as the night goes on

Tipsy yet? Good. Now let’s go dancing! Barcelona is known for its nightlife on the beach. Start the fun at Pacha and dance the night away. If you want to dance along some gorgeous views of the city, head over to W Barcelona. The walk will be long but throw on some music on your phone and have your own little party during your walk along the beach.

Too drunk? Grab some late night grub from the samosa stands along the beach before heading back to your hotel.

Day 3:

Day 3 places are the Yellow pins on the map. Here is the short list:

Barceloneta Beach
Carrer de Blai
Montjuic Castle
Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Magic Fountain
Martinez Restaurant

Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach

Are you hungover from a crazy night out? Let’s take it easy today and head over to Barceloneta Beach. Grab some brunch at one of the restaurants along the beach then find a spot to lay out your towel. Try to take in the beauty of the man-made beach or just throw on some shades, put on some music and take a nap while listening to the waves crashing.

Carrer de Blai

Pinchos
Pinchos, Wine & Sangria

After a few hours of laziness and curing your hangover, it’s time to head over to the famous Carrer de Blai for some pinchos. It’s a street full of tons of pincho bars. Pinchos are a smaller version of tapas on a stick. There is a ton of variety, from baos to croquettes and even dessert. Take your plate to the food, pick what you want, grab a seat and save your toothpicks. The waiter will count your toothpicks at the end and give you your bill. The best part? Everything is between a euro or two so you can get full for cheap!

Montjuic Castle

Montjuic Castle
Montjuic Castle

Let’s take in the city views one last time. Take the Funicular to the Montjuic Cable Car, Telefèric de Montjuïc. The Cable Car is a great way to take in the panoramic views of the city.

Buy a one-way ticket and take the cable car to Castell de Montjuic. Walk around the castle and enjoy the architecture. It’s 5€ to walk inside, but the walk around it is gorgeous too if you want to get amazing sea views.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Museo Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Afterwards, hop on the 150 bus to Museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya aka MNAC. If you’re into art, you’ll be amazed by the thousands of years of art throughout the museum. Even if you’re not into art, you’ll be mesmerized by the architecture of the museum.

Magic Fountain

Magic Fountain
Magic Fountain Light Show

Walk over to the Magic Fountain and take in the beauty. If you plan properly, you can enjoy a music and light show. Check out the showtimes here.

Phew, that was a lot of architecture and walking around. I bet you’re getting hungry again! Take the bus to Martinez Restaurant. You’ll enjoy some delicious paella with a gorgeous view of the city. It’s the perfect way to appreciate the gorgeous city you’ve spent the past 3 days exploring.

Hope you got to take it all in!

If you have an extra day…

Paella Cooking Class
Such a fun Paella Cooking Class!

I highly recommend to take a Paella Cooking Class. We took the one on Airbnb Experiences with Helina. She took us to Boqueria market and explained how to pick the best, freshest seafood. Then took us to her home, which was set up with a large table for 14 people to cook and eat together. We had wine, sangria, tomato con pan, and everyone took turns cooking the seafood paella together in the kitchen. Truly a unique and memorable experience. Here’s the link!

Know Before You Go

In this section, you’ll find out some more of the boring information you need to know before visiting Barcelona. Here’s the list of what we’ll cover

Where to Stay
Getting Around
Currency
Best Time to Visit

Where to Stay

Barcelona is a big city with many neighborhoods, just like most metropolitan cities. The most tourist areas are El Born and Gothic Quarter. Due to their popularity and location of being in city center, these areas will be the most expensive.

Budget travelers: I recommend to stay in Poble Sec. You’ll still be close enough to everything so you can walk to the major tourist areas. If you don’t like walking too much, you’ll also just be a subway stop away. Plus you’ll find restaurants are cheaper in this area since it’s outside of the touristy spots.

Here is the Airbnb we stayed in and we absolutely loved it! It was right off Carrer de Blai and less than a 5 minute walk to the subway. It was also adjacent to Montjuic so we enjoyed many lovely late night walks with Pepper.

Airbnb is very reasonable here. If you use this link, you can get $40 USD off your first home booking or $15 USDoff your first Airbnb experience. Here is the link!

Getting Around

Barcelona is a very walkable city. If you get tired, the subway system is great! We bought a 10-journey pass and shared it between the two of us for 10 euros. Super cheap and it saved our feet from getting too tired!

Currency

Spain uses the Euro and luckily for us, the exchange rate was very favorable. The current exchange rate to USD is 1 euro = $1.12.

Be aware of pick-pocketers especially on Las Ramblas and other touristy areas. You won’t get carded unless you look like you’re under 18 so leave your license and passports at home. Grab a bit of cash and a credit card and you’re good to go. Make sure to keep it in your front pockets or keep your purse in front of you.

Best time to Visit

We’ve been there in September and in April. The weather was way better in September. We had a few rainy and cold days in April.

I would recommend to go during May-September.

There is a La Merce festival that we got to enjoy last time we were there. Usually happens at the end of September. The dates for 2019 haven’t been announced yet but keep an eye out for them here

Barcelona is great all year since the coldest it gets is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you want to enjoy the beach and get the most out of the city, I would recommend the summer months.


Overall, there is a ton to do in Barcelona. The vibe was laid back and we fell in love with the lifestyle. If you’re a nomad like us, or like to take longer vacations, you can easily live in Barcelona for a long time and have lots to see and explore.

If you’ve been to Barcelona, I’d love to hear your favorite spots and restaurants! Leave your comments below!

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13 Comments

  • Elizabeth

    Awesome picture at the top! This brought back lots of happy memories of when I visited Barcelona years ago. One of my favorite places in Barcelona was Park Güell. I didn’t make it to Catalanian concert hall, which looks pretty impressive!

    • Life of Nomads

      Thank you! Park Güell really is something extraordinary! Hope you can make it to Catalonian concert hall during your next visit!

  • Follow My Anchor

    I love Barcelona and I’ve been to this beautiful city countless times. I agree with you, this is a perfect 3-Day Itinerary and you definitely included the highlights of the city. I bet it was hard for you to choose the top ones as each single corner of Barcelona is beautiful. My favorite places are Park Guell and the cute Gaudi Houses. I also enjoyed having pic-nic at Ciutadella Park. Which one is your favorite? Thank you for bringing me back to this magical city with your great post and beautiful pictures!

    • Life of Nomads

      It definitely wasn’t easy to pick my top picks for this post. It’s hard to squeeze a big city like Barcelona into 3 days! I would have loved to add a picnic at Ciutadella Park! My favorite has to be Sagrada Familia. Even though it’s so touristy, I just get mesmerized every time I see it. The details are absolutely beautiful <3

  • Daniel

    I visited Barcelona on multiple occasions and it’s one of my most favorite cities in Europe and the world. I have to say, I’m impressed how much you covered in just three days. I always recommend spending more time in this city but if I had 72 hours, there aren’t a lot of things I would do differently. You did a great job of covering the city’s highlights.

    • Life of Nomads

      I agree! Personally, we were there for 2 weeks so we got to see all these things nice and slowly. But so many people come to Barcelona for 3 days and go visit other cities in Spain for even shorter so I knew I had to make it possible and mission accomplished! Thanks for the compliment, Daniel!

  • Nicole Hunter

    What a fantastic itinerary. I have been to Barcelona a couple of times and you have really nailed a great itinerary with beautiful and interesting sights and amazing food. I love the photos of the the food too! Ugh I so want a croissant now! I love the look of the Palace of Music. I’ve never been there before.

  • Candy

    I’m hoping to visit Barcelona one day. My sister visited last year and went to some of the places you listed on your 3-day adventure. I’m not a big fan of crowds so the Ayre Hotel Rosellon Rooftop sounds like a great spot to relax and enjoy the views of Barcelona.

  • Alisa Infanti

    Best itinerary ever! I so want to go this year now and am going to use this post to help me plan. We are fine with walking in fact prefer to walk everywhere so thanks for the suggestions on where to stay for a little less!

  • Lisa

    This is a great and detailed guide to Barcelona. I fell in love with it the first time I went, and reading this still brings back good memories for me! I love Tibidado and the Gothic quarter too. You really did a lot in 3 days, it makes me want to return right now!

  • Amrita

    Barcelona is one dream city that I want to visit. Thank you so much for taking the pains to prepare the map. The itinerary looks perfect for spending 3 beautiful days at Barcelona. And yes, I would love to take a paella cooking class. The container in which it was cooked is so enormous. Did you actually cook it there?

  • Suman Doogar

    Including a map in the itinerary is always a good idea. Thank you for doing that. Along with architecture and great space, Barcelona looks like has a pretty good food options too. I love exploring local cuisine and Barcelona seems like a place that has got everything.

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