How to spend 3 days in Barcelona
Barcelona was the first stop of our trip to Spain. We had heard so much about the capital of Catalonia with its unique architecture. We had planned to stay for 3 days in Barcelona. Maybe they were not enough but we tried to see as much as we could to get a complete picture before sharing our experience here. So let’s see what to do in Barcelona in three days!
Aiming to see Barcelona, we planned a route with all the beautiful places we could walk before we got there. So we started from Plaça Catalunya, which is considered the center of the city of Barcelona. It’s a place you definitely don’t expect to see without a lot of people. Fountains and statues make up this square of 50,000 square meters, but also countless pigeons which are an integral part of it. Around there are many shops, shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, theaters and hotels, while the famous pedestrian street La Rambla starts from the square.
La Rambla is famous for its street artists. Somewhere in the middle of the sidewalk you will see a mosaic floor of the famous Miro. If you look carefully at a tile you will also see his signature. We would suggest a walk there before it gets to busy and crowded, but that means early in the morning. In La Rambla we would not recommend to have lunch as the prices are high and it is not value for money. However, this is where the famous La Boqueria market is located. It is an outdoor market where you can find a lot of food and local products. Get an exotic fruit juice from the stalls you will see at the entrance and take a walk through the market. The best time to visit the market depends on what you want to do there. If you are looking for fresh products or less people you have to go there early in the morning. If you wish to enjoy a lunch and a more crowded moment, best time is 1 pm. At last, if you just want to visit the market , have a quick walk and do nothing else, you have to go at around 6 pm.
La Boqueria Opening hours
Open from Monday to Saturday : from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m
Closed: Sundays, January 1, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1, Easter Monday Granada or second Easter, June 24, August 15, September 11 and 24, November 1, December 25 and December 26
Twelve minutes of walking and you will reach the Gothic Quarter, also known as Barri Gotic or El Gotic in Catalan. It is the oldest neighborhood in the city and there you will find many worth-seeing sights. The Barcelona Cathedral or Cathedral of Santa Eulalia is the first one. As you can understand from its name it is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona.
Visit Duration: It will take around 1-2 hours to fully explore the Barcelona Cathedral.
Ticket price: 9€
Cathedral Opening hours
For Worship and Prayer:
Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm / 5:45 pm – 7:30 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm / 5:15 pm to 8 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am – 1:45 pm / 5:15 pm to 8 pm
For Cultural and Tourist visits:
Monday – Friday: 10:30 am – 6:30 pm (access will be closed at 6 pm)
Saturdays: 10:30 am – 5 pm (access will be closed at 4:30 pm)
Sunday: The Barcelona Cathedral is closed on Sundays for cultural and tourist visits.
In addition Plaça Sant Jaume, Plaça Reial and Plaça del Rei. We were thrilled with the second square as it consists of palm trees, lampposts designed by Gaudi and a beautiful central fountain. You can return here in the evening as it becomes a centre of the city’s nightlife.
Something that you should not miss before reaching the beach, is the monument to Columbus (Mirador de Colom), which is located at the lower end of La Rambla. It is a 60 meter high monument that was built in honor of Christopher Columbus for his journey to America.
18 minutes walk and you will reach the famous Playa de la Barceloneta. It has been voted by Discovery Channel the best urban square in the world. Next to the beach you will see people on skates, bicycles and many tourists walking around. The environment gives you a carefree feeling. If it’s summer, don’t hesitate to swim or drink a frozen mojito with a view of the famous hotel W Barcelona. You can end your day there as the area is very lively in the evening as well.
The second day was dedicated to Gaudi’s architectural wonders. Casa Vicens, Casa Batlo, Casa Mila, Park Güell and the famous Sagrada Familia.
Casa Vicens is one of the early important works of Antoni Gaudi. It marks his artistic career and is recognized by UNESCO as the “Works of Antoni Gaudi”. The building is located in the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona and is covered with green and white tiles. It is also considered as one of the first masterpieces of Monternism. Casa Vicens opens as a House Museum and the visit includes a permanent exhibition and a tour through the rooms.
General Price: 18€
Casa Vicens Opening hours
From April to October
Every day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
From November to March
Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
From Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Special opening days
December 31, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Casa Batlló or House of Bones is one of the most highly rated cultural and tourist attractions with 1 million visitors every year. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building consists of facades that are shaped like natural corals and the chimney pots are colored with colorful tiles. In this building Gaudí wanted to represent the slaying of the dragon by Saint George. The roof of the building depicts the backbone of the dragon and the balconies the bones of its victims.
Ticket price: from 35€ for adults
Casa Batlló Opening hours
1 hour 15 minutes
First entry: 9:00. last entry: 19:15
Casa Mila was designed as a fashionable home for the wealthy Milà family. It is also known as La Pedrera because of its stone like appearance. Today it is a cultural center, a workplace, a tourist attraction, a museum dedicated to Gaudí but also has private residences. Art exhibitions and cultural events are organized there throughout the year. On the top floor there is an exhibition with furniture from the previous century and works by Gaudí.
Casa Mila Opening hours
From Monday to Sunday, and holidays: 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Sessions night tour: 09:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Park Güell consists of carved figures on rocks, beautiful buildings, a large terrace at the top of the park with a great view of the city. There you can find marble mosaic seats and enjoy Barcelona from above! In 1984, it was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The park is following Catalan Modernism, the architectural style which made Gaudi famous. In the park there is also a small house where Gaudí lived for a short time, which is now a museum. There visitors can see furniture made by Gaudí himself. This Park is so famous not only because you can admire all these creations born straight out of Gaudi, but also because it is one of the largest green spaces in Barcelona.
Park Güell Opening hours
From 9:30 – to 19:30. Last hour of access differs for some months ( It is 17:30 from November to January, 18:00 from February to March)
Ticket price and what included
The non-refundable price is 13€ while the one with free cancellation is 14.95€.
Both tickets include:
– Admission to the monumental zone of Park Güell
– Free admission to the Casa del Guarda (due to limited space it is not sure if you will be able to enter)
– Free audio guide app on your smartphone
– Booking fee
The Basilica of La Sagrada Familia is among the most complex and time-consuming architectural projects in the world. We currently count 138 years of construction and it is not finished yet. The idea for the building began in 1882 from a small group of Catholic followers of Saint Joseph. When Gaudi took over, his vision for the church was so complex and detailed from the start and by the time he died only about 10-15% of the project had been built. Fortunately for the team that continued his work, Gaudí left behind rolls of sketches, photographs and a large collection of plasterboards, that would guide their construction efforts for the next decade. Α series of events followed which contributed to it still being under construction. Even today, the partially finished Sagrada Familia is impressive and is definitely the symbol of Barcelona.
Sagrada Familia hours
November through February: Monday through Saturday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Sundays 10:30 am – 6:00 pm.
March and October: Monday through Saturday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. Sundays 10:30 am – 7:00 pm.
April through September: Monday through Saturday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm. Sundays 10:30 am – 8:00 pm.
On 25 and 26 December, 1 and 6 January, opening hours will be from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
On the third day and after we had seen all these beautiful sights, there were still some that we cannot list in must-see. But it was definitely worth going. There is one place we are not sure how well known it is and how many other travel blogs recommend it. This is the hospital Sant Pau.
Today it is also called “city within the city” and it is one of the most important and most beautiful complexes of modernism. In 1997 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its architectural uniqueness and artistic beauty.
The second place we would recommend is the Picasso Museum. It houses an extensive collection of artworks with highlight two of Picasso’s first major works. “The First Communion” (1896) and “Science and Charity” (1897).
The general price is 12€ while the reduced is 7€. On Thursday afternoons from 17:00 to 20:00, it is free of charge. The same for the first Sunday of each month and the 12th, 13th of February, 18th of May, and 24th of September.
On the days when the opening times are free-of-charge, it is necessary to access with a ticket with an assigned access time.
Spanish village or Poble Espanyol offers visitors the chance to stroll through a complex of 117 buildings from various regions of the country. A standard visit including a walk around the entire village, stops into a few artisan workshops, and a visit to the Fran Daurel Museum should take between 90 minutes and two hours.
In winter from 10am to 6pm. In summer from 10am to 8pm. In autumn and spring from 10am to 7pm.
Price for adults is 12.60€, and children up to 12 pay 6.30€.
Built for the 1929 Universal Exposition, Palau National is one of the most spectacular buildings one will find in Plaça Espanya. We would recommend to combine your visit there with the light and water show of the Magic Fountain which is placed there. It is something that you will not forget. The show normally begins early in the evening.
Additional Information and where to stay
During your visit in Barcelona never miss a chance to eat tapas. Some of the best tapas bar are Bar de Pla , Bodega Biarritz 1881 , Quimet & Quimet.
In addition, seeing a Flamenco show is also a must.
If you have an extra day at Barcelona, plan a day-trip in Montserrat which is one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona.
Best months to visit Barcelona are from May to June or September to November. However if you are searching for the cheapest months, you have to go somewhen between December to March.
Before you go, try to learn some basic words in Spanish.
Purchase tickets to major attractions in advance.
Always have cash on you.
Avoid eating along las Ramblas.
Be wary of pickpockets, especially in La Rambla.
Wear comfortable shoes and explore on feet.
Sangria is not the only thing you can drink. Locals tend to order Cava (a type of sparkling wine) or Vermouth.
Many restaurants open later than you might be used to, since dinner is usually eaten late.
Don’t exhaust yourself trying to see it all at once. Either way, you will love the city so much that you will want to go again.
We will suggest only one neighborhood to book your stay and this in Gracia. Do not make the mistake and book on La Rambla because it is the most famous boulevard in the centre. It is better to stay somewhere where there are more locals than tourists. It gives you the impression of living in a beautiful village since there are many streets only for pedestrians. Gothic Quarter is a 30 minute walk and Gaudi’s sites are also too close. However if you are not interested in walking, you can also use the metro to go wherever you want. The restaurants are affordable and there is plenty of options (vegetarian , vegan , etc. ).