What to do in Barcelona, Spain, in 2, 3, 4 days | TOP 15 must-see places

How to visit Barcelona in 2, 3, or 4 days? What to do in Barcelona? Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, known for its amazing architecture and unique atmosphere! So, let’s discover together the must-see places to visit during a trip to Barcelona, as well as good places to eat and the best neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona for a 100% successful stay with family, as a couple, or with friends. Let’s go!

  1. TOP 15 must-sees in Barcelona ?
  2. City Pass to visit Barcelona ?
  3. Good places to eat in Barcelona ?
  4. Best neighborhoods in Barcelona ?
  5. Getting from the airport to the city center ?
  6. Itineraries to visit Barcelona in 2, 3, or 4 days ?

1. TOP 15 Barcelona must-sees

Here are our TOP 15 must-visit places and things to do in Barcelona:

  1. Visit the Sagrada Familia
  2. Stroll through the alleys of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Barrio Gotico
  3. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Barcelona
  4. Discover the famous avenue La Rambla
  5. Visit Park Güell
  6. Admire the Casa Batlló
  7. See a light and sound show at Casa Milà
  8. Visit the Palau de la Música Catalana
  9. Take the Montjuïc funicular and discover this neighborhood of Barcelona
  10. Go to Barcelona’s beach
  11. See a Flamenco show
  12. Climb up to Tibidabo and visit the Sagrat Cor
  13. Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona
  14. Take a tour of the Boqueria market
  15. Visit Montserrat mountain from Barcelona

Good to know! Some places are accessible for free, and others require entrance tickets. If you plan to visit Barcelona, it’s good to know that during the busy tourist season, it can be difficult to find tickets at the last minute, and even a few days in advance – hence the benefit of getting a City Pass (+time-saving). Discover more detailed information about each location.

1.1 Visit the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is a unique monument in the world! Gaudi’s most famous work, the cathedral—or more precisely, its towers — is still under construction. However, the interior of the Sagrada Familia is ready for visitors. It is an absolute must-do if you are visiting Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s highlights.

Good to know. If you don’t buy the Sagrada Familia entry tickets in advance, be prepared to wait. To save time, consider skip-the-line tickets, which are very effective for avoiding queues in such touristy places: book tickets in advance.

Last-minute tip! Even if you plan a few days ahead, it may happen that there are no tickets left. If you are already on location and can’t find any tickets, consider the Barcelona City Pass, which includes the main attractions in Barcelona (with fast access to the Sagrada Familia as well). There is also the GoCity Barcelona CityPass, where you can combine all the visits you plan.

Find all our tips for visiting the Sagrada Familia in our dedicated article: Tips for discovering the Sagrada Familia (Coming Soon).

1.2 Stroll through the alleys of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona

Barrio Gotico is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Barcelona. Do not hesitate to walk through the alleys of this area, which is very different from the other neighborhoods in Barcelona, built according to a rather square urban plan. This is the Cerda Plan of 1860, according to which the expansion of the city of Barcelona was carried out.

1.3 Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Barcelona

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross is located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. Built on top of a former Visigothic-era church, it was constructed between the 8th and 15th centuries. The cathedral’s spire rises up to 80 meters. It’s interesting to explore the cathedral’s cloister garden and rooftops. However, visits to the cathedral, its cloister, and rooftops require a fee.

1.4 Discover Barcelona’s famous avenue La Rambla

La Rambla is a tree-lined avenue in Barcelona. Fairly touristy, It may not be the most pleasant place in Barcelona. However, It is one of the city’s central avenues, flanking the Gothic Quarter.

1.5 Visit Park Güell in Barcelona

What to do in Barcelona? Discover the works of Antoni Gaudí, of course! And among them, there is the famous Park Güell in Barcelona. Since 1984, it has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Park Güell is a somewhat magical place: buildings, sculptures, and colorful columns that blend with nature. You can also visit the Gaudí House in the park, but it’s not necessarily the most interesting monument to visit during a trip to Barcelona if you are here for 2, 3, or 4 days.

Good to know. Park Güell is located on Carrer d’Olot in Barcelona. Entry to the monument zone of the park is paid (including the best-known part, the mosaic terrace). Moreover, the entries are limited. In the high tourist season, especially in the summer, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises once there, it is better to book the Park Güell visit in advance.

1.6 Admire Casa Batlló from the inside

Among the TOP must-sees in Barcelona, there is of course Casa Batlló! Its architecture is incredible, day or night, when the whole facade lights up. Casa Batlló is one of the most beautiful examples of Gaudí’s architecture in downtown Barcelona.

Experience to live! Visiting the inside of Casa Batlló in Barcelona is worth it. There are day tours and night ones (in the evening). Find photos and practical details for the visit here: Visiting Casa Batlló. As with the other major monuments of the city, to avoid waiting or not having tickets on the day, it is possible to book the entrance tickets in advance.

1.7 Watch a sound and light show at Casa Milà

Among the superb moments to experience during a trip to Barcelona is the sound and light show at Casa Milà. It’s a very nice activity to do, whether you are visiting Barcelona with family, as a couple, or with friends. The show takes place on the roof! Find photos and other practical information here: Casa Milà Night Experience (several possible time slots from 20:40 to 22:00).

1.8 Visit the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona

Do not miss the Palau de la Música Catalana, one of the top must-dos and must-sees in Barcelona. This magnificent concert hall is one of the most beautiful in the world. You can discover the place by taking a ticket for a show or by booking a self-guided tour without a concert. Plan a little hour to visit the Palau de la Música Catalana.

1.9 Take the Montjuïc funicular

Montjuïc Hill is perfect for a walking tour. The Montjuïc area was marked by two major events: the 1929 Universal Exposition and the 1992 Olympics. You can take a funicular to go up.

What to see at Montjuïc? The National Palace, where the Museum of Contemporary Art of Catalonia is located, the Castle of Montjuïc, a botanical garden with 2000 species and plants, a magnificent fountain, and the Joan Miró Foundation, where you can discover Miró’s works! The Montjuïc district is one of the essential areas of the city of Barcelona to visit during your trip. Plan at least a good half-day, if not more.

1.10 Go to the beach in Barcelona

The temperatures in Barcelona are rather mild, even in autumn, winter, or the beginning of spring. So you can enjoy the beach almost all year round. If you come to Barcelona, walking along the beach is one of the things you should do. On the other hand, swimming is not guaranteed in winter; it’s still a bit cool, but it’s entirely possible in summer. In summary, remember to take your swimsuits.

Catamaran cruise. If you are going on a trip to Barcelona with friends, you can do a small group activity by discovering Barcelona from the sea. During this cruise, you can also swim. Discover more information here: a catamaran outing in Barcelona.

1.11 See a Flamenco show

If you want to visit Barcelona, you can treat yourself to a Flamenco show. Even if Flamenco is an Andalusian dance, a trip to Barcelona can be an excellent opportunity to discover this dance known all over the world during an evening. Several places offer it in Barcelona, including Los Tarantos. The Flamenco show at Los Tarantos is relatively short (40 minutes) and perfect for an initial discovery of Flamenco: find out more about this show.

1.12 Ascend to the top of Tibidabo and visit the Sagrat Cor in Barcelona

The summit of Tibidabo is situated at 512 meters above sea level. It’s the highest hill in Barcelona! From the top of Tibidabo, one can discover a magnificent panorama of the city extending to the sea! In addition to a beautiful view, here one can visit a very pretty cathedral, and a small amusement park.

1.13 Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona

Built between 1329 and 1383, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is a lovely monument to visit in Barcelona. A beautiful example of Catalan Gothic style, it is located in the La Rivera district, in the historical heart of Barcelona. Visitors can visit the inside of the basilica, as well as its museum and crypt. Entrance fees apply.

1.14 Take a walk through the Boqueria Market

What to do in Barcelona? Sample local specialties at the Boqueria Market, of course! Whether you come to Barcelona with your family, as a couple or with friends, it’s also an excellent opportunity to discover local cuisine.

1.15 Visit Montserrat Mountain from Barcelona (50km)

Located 50km from Barcelona, Montserrat Mountain is the most important and mysterious mountain in Catalonia. If you enjoy hiking and wish to discover spectacular views of the Catalan mountains, Montserrat is a perfect place to visit from Barcelona. Montserrat is a retreat for Benedictine Monks; it is a religious place known worldwide. Find more information here.

Our article, Tips for visiting Montserrat (how to get there, funicular, tickets) (Coming Soon), provides all the practical information for this visit.

2. Passes for visiting Barcelona

The City Pass can be a good idea for visiting Barcelona, especially since access to certain places is sometimes limited. The City Pass includes skip-the-line tickets for the Sagrada Familia and tickets for Park Güell, guides to discover these two sites, and access to the Barcelona tourist buses. If you can no longer find tickets for the Sagrada Familia or Park Güell, consider getting a City Pass.

Depending on how many visits you plan to make, you can choose from several city passes in Barcelona. For example, this first City Pass with Sagrada Familia and Park Guell or this other City Pass with all activities à la carte.

3. Tasty places to eat in Barcelona

Here are some delicious places to eat in Barcelona (click the link to open it in Google Maps):

Brugarol Barcelona (C/ de Salomó ben Adret, 10): an excellent place to eat in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona! The restaurant is small and offers a tasting menu with 9 courses.

Milk Bar & Bistro (Carrer d’en Gignàs, 21): Located in the heart of Barcelona’s historic center, hidden in an alleyway, Milk Bar & Bistro is a good place to eat for lunch or brunch.

Berbena (Carrer de Minerva, 6) is a good restaurant where one can savor original and inventive cuisine. The atmosphere is warm and intimate. The restaurant is located next to the subway station Diagonal, in the neighborhood of Gracia.

Tosca del Carme (Carrer del Carme, 40): a very good tapas bar close to Las Ramblas, great for dining in Barcelona!

El Bosc de Les Fades (Passatge de la Banca, 7): a unique bar with special decor. The atmosphere is nice. Perfect for a drink with tapas in Barcelona!

4. Best Neighborhoods of Barcelona

Which neighborhoods to stay in Barcelona? Although the Gothic quarter of Barcelona is one of the must-see areas, there are better areas to stay in Barcelona. As the streets are small, there is not much light generally, and sound insulation could be better, but it depends a lot on the hotel and the street. Barceloneta, the seaside district of Barcelona, is also not the most interesting to stay in Barcelona, but rather for outings. Among the neighborhoods where to stay in Barcelona during a trip, there is the Eixample district, the Gracìa district, or El Born. Find out more information in this blog post: Where to stay in Barcelona?

Catalonia Portal de l’Angel: Located between the square of Catalonia and the Gothic quarter of Barcelona in a traditional XIXth-century building, this hotel offers spacious double rooms, some with a city view. The entrance overlooks a pedestrian street, which is quiet (without cars).

Catalonia Catedral: a very beautiful hotel where to stay in Barcelona! The decor and atmosphere of the hotel are pleasant and remarkable.

Praktik Èssens: located in the Eixample district, the Praktik Èssens hotel is perfect for visiting Barcelona. Some rooms have a private terrace with an outdoor bathtub: ideal for enjoying the sun of Barcelona as a couple! ?

5. How to get from the airport to downtown Barcelona?

The airport of Barcelona is located only 14 km from Barcelona. Generally, getting from Barcelona airport to downtown doesn’t take much time. Several options are available. You can take a transport card to get around Barcelona more easily (see the rates for the Barcelona transport card for 1, 2, or 3 days).

Book a taxi from the airport to your accommodation: the most convenient, no hassle with luggage.

Take the shuttle, the Aerobus, which leaves from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and goes to Plaza Catalunya: the journey will take 35 minutes (6 euros for a one-way ticket, and 11 euros for a round trip), but you will also have to add the time between the square and your accommodation. Departures are every 10 minutes.

Take the train: the most economical, a 30-minute journey, departures are every 30 minutes, 2 euros per person, two stops in downtown Barcelona (Estació Sants and Passeig de Gràcia)

6. Itineraries for visiting Barcelona in 2, 3, or 4 days

Here are some itinerary ideas for Barcelona in 2, 3, or 4 days.

2-day trip to Barcelona

If you’re going to visit Barcelona in 2 days, here’s what you can do:

  • Visit the Sagrada Familia
  • Explore the Gothic quarter of Barcelona and visit the Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Barcelona
  • Admire the architecture of Casa Milà or Casa Battlò
  • Go to Barcelona beach

How to visit Barcelona in 3 days?

For a 3-day trip to Barcelona, you can add to the list above:

  • Visit the Palace of Catalan Music
  • Visit Park Güell

What to see and do in Barcelona in 4 days?

For a 4-day trip to Barcelona, here are other places to visit:

  • Take the cable car to Montjuïc
  • Take a tour of the Barcelona market

Barcelona is a city that families, couples, or groups of friends can easily visit. It has many cultural places to visit, a romantic vibe, and a vibrant nightlife. So, a very beautiful trip awaits you!

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