Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary for the Perfect Weekend in Barcelona
Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region in Spain, is a city filled with ancient Roman history, jaw-dropping architecture, and contagious positive energy. The Spanish city is a popular weekend getaway destination, so let me share the perfect Weekend in Barcelona – 3 Day itinerary with you with the best tips and things to do from a Barcelona local.
From exploring the nightlife near Barceloneta to roaming around the Gothic Quarter and eating copious amounts of tapas, I felt like I couldn’t get enough of this city’s vibrant energy in the several months I lived in Barcelona. There are so many things to do in Barcelona, that it is hard to fit it all in 3 days.
Since I’ve explored the ins and outs of the city for months on end, I want to share some things to do to so you can plan your ideal Barcelona itinerary. This list will help in checking out the hot spots, boosting your wellness while relaxing in the city (for the wellness-focused traveler) and enjoying some scrumptious food for the ultimate foodie experience. After all, Barcelona tapas are something you don’t want to miss!
Since you will be visiting quite a few of the top sights in Barcelona, the Barcelona Card might be worth it for you. If you time it right and visit the included sights in 1-2 days, you can safe quite a bit. The Barcelona Card also includes public transportation, which makes it very easy to explore the city. Book your Barcelona Card here>>
How Many Days in Barcelona
While Barcelona can be explored in three days, I definitely recommend taking five. It’s a ginormous city packed with beautiful museums, evergreen botanic gardens for a refreshing wellness escape, and food that will invoke all your senses starting with its entrancing presentation. If you take more time, you can also add some fun day trips from Barcelona to your itinerary.
And if you have more time consider visiting the gorgeous sunny Ibiza island, one of the Balearic islands located in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea for a real adventure of the sea. But for now, let’s get started with our 3 days in Barcelona itinerary. You have 72-hours in the big vibrant city of Barcelona, where do you start?
Best time to visit Barcelona
Since Barcelona is situated on the Mediterranean, any time of the year can be a good time to visit this famous tourist hotspot. Mild winters make for a lively winter escape, while spring brings fewer tourists to this favorite European travel destination.
The summer months bring hot weather, with copious amounts of creamy gelato (p.s. there are vegan gelato options in Barcelona, read my vegan dessert guide for Barcelona here) being served in almost all of Barcelona’s best dessert restaurants, but it’s also the high tourist season until early fall.
Day 1 – Barcelona Itinerary
Explore the Gothic Quarter
Your first day in Barcelona, you’ll want to discover the iconic Gothic Quarter, which dates back to the ancient Roman period. Here you can find grey cobblestone streets, small alleyways, and see the beautiful Barcelona Gothic Cathedral. The Barcelona Cathedral is open every day, but be sure to check the opening times as weekdays differ from Saturday and on Sunday. General admission is seven euros, but the cathedral is free to visit (for prayer) on the weekdays at 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 5:45 pm to 7:30 pm.
There’s also free walking tours in the Gothic Quarter to if you want to explore more of the history without visiting museums. I love walking tours because if you’re short on time, tours help you understand the heart of city right from the start.
On the other hand, if you love museums, the Gothic Quarter has several museums to explore. There’s the Picasso Museum dedicated to talented Pablo Picasso artwork. The Maritime Museum that hosts exhibits showcasing various shipbuilding methods as early as the thirteenth century.
After exploring the Gothic Quarter, head over to the famous street called La Rambla. Here you’ll witness restaurants with outdoor seating on a lively terrace-like street, beautiful buildings lining the wide walkway, and different modest stores to shops.
This area is jam-packed with tourists and street performers alike. You’ll find street vendors selling everything from light up toys flicked high amongst the clouds to the famous Spanish dessert called turron, a sweet and flaky roasted almond nougat bar.
Be mindful of your belongings in this area, as pick pocketing is very common in Barcelona due to the over tourism happening.
About three-quarters of the way up La Rambla, you’ll find giant gates leading to La Boqueria. La Boqueria is an outdoor public market with several artisanal restaurants, fresh fruit juices, mounds of candy, and seasoned nuts ranging from salty to sugary. I recommend getting there before the afternoon to avoid the rush hour, as it gets crowded right before and after lunch.
Another great way to explore La Boqueria is by taking a food tour through the market. A local foodie will show you the best stalls to try the best local delicacies. You can book your spot here>>
Explore the Borne Quarter
Once you’re done exploring the Gothic Quarter, head over to the Borne Quarter and grab lunch at one of the amazing eateries. As a traveler with food allergies, I found many enticing vegan and gluten-free restaurants in Barcelona. Some of my favorite restaurants I found were Theresa’s Stairway, a quick shop to find allergy-friendly foods, and La Xocolateria to experience some mouth-watering churros con chocolate. At this restaurant, you can choose your flavor of chocolate, ranging from a rich white chocolate to a creamy milk chocolate, or an intense dark cocoa flavor.
One thing I love about Barcelona is with a big city comes a BIG selection of food choices. If you’re short on time, one of the best ways to explore the food scene is to take a food tour. That way you can sample the infamous Spanish paella, croquettas, patatas bravas, and more.
In the Borne Quarter, you’ll also find small alleyways filled with small shops, charming side streets with eateries, and the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar. If you want to keep walking, you’ll also find Parc de Cuitadella. This eye-catching park is filled with vast green spaces to picnic, easy walking trails, and an aquamarine pond where you can rent kayaks. On the same path, you’ll also find the exquisite Arc de Triomf, a beautiful orangish arc that caters to the perfect ambiance for an early evening stroll.
Go to a Flamenco Show
What better way to begin your time in Barcelona than attending a Flamenco show. This inspiring dance filled with passion is one activity you won’t want to miss. Flamenco shows can be found throughout the city, and on very rare occasions you can even catch a street performer dancing Flamenco in the cobblestone streets.
However, you’re more more likely to witness traditional Catalan dances and break dancers. I suggest scheduling your show at least a week in advance and using GetYourGuide to find the best show that works for you. Book your Flamenco Show tickets here>>
Day 2 Barcelona Itinerary
Since yesterday was spent touring the southern part of Barcelona, I suggest using the second day to visit the Northern part of the city. Here you’ll visit some of the most popular neighborhoods called Gracia and Eixample.
Explore Gracía – Güell Park
Situated at the top of the city of Barcelona you’ll find the impressive public park called Park Guell. This detailed mosaic park was designed by Gaudi, a famous architect, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
With multicolored ceramics specifically placed throughout the park radiating the park’s high energy, to giant Roman-inspired columns, Park Guell contains a ravishing ambiance. The park is free for anyone to visit and is open every day Monday-Sunday from 8:30 am – 7:00 pm. However, its ten Euros if you want to visit the monumental zone, where you can observe more of Gaudi’s work up close. As this park is quite popular, I recommend you join a tour and buy skip the line tickets. Get your Park Guell Walking tour and Skip the Line tickets here>>
After exploring Park Guell, head to Sagrada Familia to observe another famous Gaudi masterpiece. While this place is a hot spot for tourists, I definitely recommend a visit at least once during your Barcelona trip. The multicolored stained-glass windows, dazzling stairways, and soaring peaks are a beautiful sight that fills one with awe and astonishment in one glance.
Tickets for Sagrada Familia can be bought at the ticket booth. I recommend purchasing your tickets online and at least two weeks in advance so you can choose the time slots you want. Due to demand, the ticket booth may have limited options and availability. It is often sold out, especially during high season. I also recommend you take a guided tour, so you can learn about the architecture and the history of the cathedral. Book your Sagrada Familia tickets here>>
Take the metro and get off at Passeig de Gracía. This wide street offers an abundance of delicious restaurants to grab a typical Spanish lunch.
After lunch, stroll down Passeig de Gracía to find more Gaudi masterpieces. You can admire/visit the Casa Batllo where Gaudi demonstrates his modernism work. Or you can take a guided tour of Casa Milà, also referred to as the “stone quarry” due to its unique facade.
After exploring Eixample, if you’re wanting to experience Barcelona’s energetic nightlife, head over to the Gothic Quarter. You can participate in a bar crawl and meet some fellow travelers. You will get a good feel of the different types of bars there are— whimsical, chill, upbeat.
Then, around 1:30 am, if you’re still awake, head over to Barceloneta. There you’ll find some of the city’s best night clubs. Pro Tip: I normally take a nap around 9 pm if I know I’m going dancing in the late-night hours or the primal hours of the morning
Day 3 Barcelona Itinerary
In a matter of 48 hours, you’ve seen a lot of Barcelona. Why not take the morning to relax at Barceloneta beach? Enjoy relaxing on the sandy shores with a long white beach towel. O how about a walk down the oceanfront, soaking up the lovely effervescent, yet chill vibes of the city.
At the beach, you can rent bikes for more active rest, or take a swim in the cool refreshing water. You can also enter into a beach volleyball competition with locals. There are also great places at or around the beach to grab drinks on the sand. Perfect for the optimal chill environment.
You can even head out on the water and go on a little sailing excursion. Definitely a very relaxing and beautiful way to start your 3rd day in Barcelona. Book your sailing trip here>>
Visit Montjuic Hill
Likewise, if you want to further experience more of Barcelona’s wellness paradise, consider visiting the green rolling rocky hillside, Montjuic Hill. It’s one of my favorite places to go in Barcelona. You can experience both the rich history and satiate your well-being amongst the lush Mediterranean greenery.
You can take the cable car up the side of the hill. Alternatively, you can wander up the hillside through stairways that wind and curve along the exterior ridges of the luscious green hill.
On top of the Montjuic Hill is the grayish towering historical castle, Castell de Montjuïc. This castle is now a beautiful museum that hosts a variety of exhibits and is open every day to the public.
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is also located on Montjuic Hill. If you prefer plants and greenery, visit the Jardín del Mirador and the Jardins de Joan Brossa. There you can witness sublime plants of various Mediterranean species and greeneries.
The Olympic Stadium
Further back on the hill sets the Olympic stadium of 1992. While it was built in 1929, the stadium wasn’t used until the Summer Olympics were held in Barcelona in 1992. The stadium is easily accessible by walking if you’re already at the top of Montjuic Hill. You can also take Bus 125 or 193, or a taxi. It’s free to walk around the stadium, with most of the spaces open for public use to enjoy the marvelous panoramic view of the city.
Another place to visit on the hilly slopes of this mountainside is the Montjuic Cemetery, dated back to 1833. This cemetery is one of the biggest in Barcelona. It offers a unique environment that caters to the fresh breeze of the sea and the green shrubbery of the hill. Visitors and locals wind their way through the graves paying homage to those who have passed.
This special park has a rich art and architectural history, following the style of neo-gothic with its eye-catching mausoleum, various magnificent sculptors, and perfectly designed statues. While the cemetery is famous for its beautiful artwork, it’s also the resting place for several important Catalan figures such as Joan Miró.
Self-guided tours of the cemetery are offered and can be scheduled at the Cemeteries of Barcelona. The cemetery is open daily.
Visit Font de Montjuïc
In the evening, the enormous fountain below Montjuïc Hill, called Font de Montjuïc, comes to life. This gigantic fountain displays a dazzling water show paired with electric lights and upbeat music. Showtimes depend on the season, as summer has later times than late fall. After the show, grab a bite to eat in the area, and rest up for your journey back home tomorrow.
A weekend in Barcelona will give you lots of happy memories that you will cherish for a long time. I hope this Barcelona 3 day itinerary will help you plan your trip.
This Weekend in Barcelona itinerary was written by Ciara:
Hi, I’m Ciara! I’m a wellness-focused traveler who has explored 29 countries (and counting) both solo and as newlyweds with my husband. I help others find meaningful travel experiences through a blend of health, wellness, and personal development tips.
When I’m not adventuring around the globe, you’ll find me eating ice cream, creating content or blogging at my wellness travel blog, Wellness Travel Diaries — sharing my personal wellness journey to inspire you to feel your happiest, best self yet. You can find my blog at Wellness Travel Diaries, on Pinterest @wellnesstraveldiaires, on Instagram @wellnesstraveldiaries, and on Twitter @wellnesstraveld.