Visit Barcelona – tailor-made travel plan

Welcome to Barcelona – a dynamic and fascinating city full of culture, art, and beautiful landscapes! Do you desire to explore unique attractions, indulge in amazing cuisine, and experience the distinctive atmosphere of this place? Great, because Barcelona offers all that and more! Here is a 3-day “Visit Barcelona – tailor-made travel plan” that will allow you to discover the key highlights of this city.

Visit Barcelona Day 1: Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Montjuïc Hill, Port Vell

Casa Milà and Casa Batlló

Starting in the morning, visit the famous work of Gaudí – Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera. This incredible building is an example of unconventional architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit Barcelona, Casa Milà, La Pedrera
Casa Milà, La Pedrera Barcelona, UNESCO Spain

Next, head to Casa Batlló, another unique Gaudí masterpiece that mesmerizes with its colourful facades and extraordinary details.

Montjuïc Hill

In the afternoon, make your way to Montjuïc Hill. There, you will find many attractions such as gardens, museums, and the impressive Montjuïc Castle. Visit the Montjuïc Sports Complex, the botanical garden, and the castle fortifications. You can also explore the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) to immerse yourself in Catalan art and culture.

On the hill, you will also find the old cemetery, dating back to 1883. The cemetery is recognized as one of the most distinguished places of funerary art in Europe. Its prestigious reputation stems from several important factors. Among the others, are the extraordinary architecture of tombs, sculptures, rich tombstone decorations, mosaics, and glass, as well as creativity and innovation. This is the final resting place for many famous figures, including the artist Joan Miró and the writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

visit Barcelona, Montjuïc Hill Old Cemetary
Montjuïc Hill Old Cemetary
Port Vell

In the evening, you can take a stroll along the waterfront of Port Vell, where numerous restaurants and bars await you. It is a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing evening by the sea.

Getting around with the Hop-on Hop-off bus:

Barcelona City Tour Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour* offers a convenient way to get around the city. Here are the bus stops for the mentioned locations:

  • Casa Milà: Green Line (Stop 15) or Orange Line (Stop 18).
  • Casa Batlló: Green Line (Stop 16) or Orange Line (Stop 19). Of course, you can also walk this distance (approximately 6 minutes).
  • Montjuïc Hill: Orange Line (Stop 8).
  • Port Vell: You can either walk from the city centre or take the Green Line (Stop 3).

Visit Barcelona Day 2: Sagrada Familia, Park de la Ciutadella, Picasso Museum, Güell Palace, Plaça Reial

Sagrada Familia

Start your day by visiting the iconic Sagrada Familia (Carrer de Mallorca 401) – Gaudí’s unrealized masterpiece that is still under construction.

Visit Barcelona, Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Pay attention to the extraordinary details, colourful stained glass windows, and breathtaking heights. It’s an unforgettable experience that will allow you to appreciate Gaudí’s architectural genius.

Afterwards, take a stroll through the beautiful Park de la Ciutadella. This place has a rich history and features stunning gardens, fountains, and a lake. You can rent a boat and spend some time on the water or simply enjoy the tranquillity and greenery of the park.

Following your visit to the park, head to the nearby Picasso Museum, where you can admire unique works by this renowned artist. The museum showcases paintings, drawings, and ceramics that illustrate Picasso’s various creative stages and provide insights into his talent and imagination.

Güell Palace

In the afternoon, make your way to Güell Palace, one of the most significant works by architect Antoni Gaudí and an important element of Barcelona’s modernism movement.

Its unique architecture, a wealth of details, and innovative design solutions attract many visitors. Güell Palace is a true masterpiece of art that allows you to immerse yourself in Gaudí’s creative genius and discover the unique world of Catalan modernism.

Plaça Reial

In the evening, head to Plaça Reial, where you will find numerous restaurants and cafes. Enjoy a delicious dinner while soaking up the atmosphere of this picturesque square. Plaça Reial is one of the most charming and famous places in Barcelona, full of restaurants, cafes, and bars. As you walk through Plaça Reial, you will feel the pulse of the city and have the opportunity to admire the beauty of this historic square.

All the attractions mentioned for Day 2 are within a few minutes’ walking distance from each other. You can comfortably explore them on foot without the need for public transportation or tourist buses.

Getting around with the Hop-on Hop-off bus:

Barcelona City Tour Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour* offers a convenient way to get around the city. Here are the bus stops for the mentioned locations:

  • Sagrada Familia: Green Line (Stop 11)
  • Park de la Ciutadella and Picasso Museum: Orange Line (Stop 3)
  • Güell Palace: Orange Line (Stop 4)

Visit Barcelona Day 3: Boqueria Market, Park Güell, Tibidabo, Las Ramblas

Boqueria Market

Start your day with a visit to Boqueria Market (La Rambla 91). Boqueria is a famous food market in Barcelona and one of the largest and most renowned fresh produce markets in Europe. The market has a long history dating back to the 13th century and is part of the local tradition and culture. You can discover authentic Spanish flavours and immerse yourself in the spirit of Barcelona by exploring this place.

La Boqueria, Barcelona
Boqueria Market Barcelona

The market is open most days of the week. However, the best days to visit are from Tuesday to Saturday in the morning when the market is in full swing, and a wider range of products is available. It’s worth coming early in the morning to avoid crowds and have a greater selection of fresh produce. Many stalls offer freshly prepared snacks, juices, and dishes that you can enjoy on the spot. It is the perfect place to try authentic Catalan flavours.

Park Güell

After a delicious breakfast, head to Park Güell, another masterpiece by Gaudí. Take a walk among the colourful mosaics, palm trees, and beautiful gardens.

Take your time and plan a few hours to explore this place.

Pay attention to the incredible city panorama that can be admired from Three Crosses Hill.

Barcelona Park Guell
Barcelona Park Guell

Discover unique architectural forms and sculptures inspired by nature. This place will transport you to Gaudí’s magical world.

Tibidabo

In the afternoon, you can visit Tibidabo Hill, where one of the oldest amusement parks in Spain is located, offering stunning views of Barcelona. Try out exciting rides and enjoy the magical atmosphere of this place.

Do not forget to visit the impressive church at the top of the hill. Known as the Church on Tibidabo, it is famous for its extraordinary architecture and unique location. It’s one of Barcelona’s symbols, offering magnificent views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. Its distinctive tower catches the eye and adds magic to this place. This unique combination of sacredness and beauty makes it an extraordinary place to visit.

Church on Tibidabo
Church on Tibidabo
Plaça Reial, LAS RAMBLAS, PORT VELL

In the evening, return to the Plaça Reial area and take a walk along Las Ramblas, the atmospheric streets of the Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico), or visit the colourful shops and bars near Port Vell. As you head towards the port, take note of the Columbus Monument, located at the end of La Rambla, near Port Vell. It is a column commemorating the explorer Christopher Columbus, who arrived in Barcelona after his first voyage to America.

Getting around with the Hop-on Hop-off bus:

Barcelona City Tour Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour* offers a convenient way to get around the city. Here are the bus stops for the mentioned locations:

  • Boqueria Market: Walking distance from Plaça Catalunya (Orange Line and Green Line, Stop 1)
  • Park Güell: Green Line (Stop 13)
  • Tibidabo: Green Line (Stop 14)

What else is worth seeing in Barcelona?

Montserrat

If you have an extra day in Barcelona, take a trip to nearby Montserrat, a picturesque mountain that is also home to the Benedictine monastery. Enjoy the magnificent views and visit the famous statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, which is a pilgrimage site and place of worship.

How to get there: Check the post below for a detailed description of how to get to Montserrat.

Camp Nou – FC Barcelona

If you’re a football fan, you must visit the famous Camp Nou stadium while in Barcelona. It is the home stadium of one of the most renowned football clubs in the world – FC Barcelona. Camp Nou can accommodate over 99,000 spectators and is the largest stadium in Europe. On-site, you can tour the stadium, visit the FC Barcelona museum, see the club’s trophies, and discover the history of one of the most successful clubs in the world.

Camp Nou - FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona

How to get there: Barcelona City Tour Bus: Orange Line (stop number 14)

Pedralbes

Pedralbes is a charming neighbourhood in Barcelona, known primarily for its impressive Pedralbes Royal Palace. This beautiful castle, surrounded by gardens, was once a royal summer residence and now houses the Ceramic Museum. In addition to the palace, Pedralbes offers tranquil streets, exclusive residences, and beautiful gardens that invite relaxation. It is an ideal place for a stroll and to explore the charm of this historic district.

How to get there: Tourist bus Hop-on-Hop-off: Orange Line (stop number 15)

La Barceloneta Beach Barcelona

If you dream of relaxing on the sand and swimming in the sea, be sure to visit La Barceloneta Beach – one of the most popular beaches in Barcelona. It is part of the city’s coastline, offering beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. La Barceloneta Beach is known for its wide and sandy shore, attracting both locals and tourists. It’s the perfect place for sunbathing, relaxation, and taking a dip in the sea. The beach is well-maintained and offers numerous amenities such as showers, toilets, beach chairs and umbrella rentals.

Additionally, along the beach, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can taste fresh seafood and other local specialities. It’s also a popular spot for water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing.

La Barceloneta Beach has a convenient location near the city centre, making it easily accessible for visitors. If you want to experience the atmosphere of beach relaxation and enjoy the beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, La Barceloneta Beach is the perfect place to visit in Barcelona.

How to get there: Tourist bus Hop-on-Hop-off: Green Line (stop number 5)

Other practical information. What else is worth knowing?

Entrance tickets to the main tourist attractions in the city

It is advisable to buy entrance tickets online before arriving in Barcelona for several reasons:

  • Guarantee of availability: some popular attractions in Barcelona, such as the Sagrada Familia or Park Güell, are often crowded, and the number of spots is limited. By booking tickets online, you can be sure that you will have a place to visit on your chosen date. You will avoid long queues and the risk of unavailability.
  • Time savings: booking tickets online saves valuable time during your trip. You do not have to stand in long queues on-site; just show your electronic or printed tickets at the online reservation window. This is especially important if you have limited time and want to see as much as possible.
  • Convenience and planning: by booking tickets online before your arrival, you can plan your visit and schedule precisely. You can choose convenient visiting hours and optimize your time, considering other attractions and sightseeing plans.

In summary, booking entrance tickets online before arriving in Barcelona allows you to save time, avoid crowds, and guarantee access to popular attractions. It is a convenient and reliable solution that will allow you to better enjoy your trip.

Where to buy entrance tickets online

City bus tours Barcelona

Taking a sightseeing tour of Barcelona by bus is a popular way to explore the city and its main attractions. When I visited the more distant places from the city centre, I used such a bus. It allowed me to forget about the stress of finding my way around using public transportation.

  • Tourist buses: Tourist buses usually have several routes that cover the major attractions and neighbourhoods in Barcelona. The routes are carefully planned and take you through popular places.
  • Hop-on Hop-off: The main advantage of tourist buses is the ability to hop on and off at any point along the route. This means you can spend more time at the places that interest you and continue your journey when you’re ready. Typically, you have the option to purchase a ticket for 1 or 2 days, allowing unlimited use of the bus during that time.
  • Barcelona City Tour offers the West Route (Orange) and the East Route (Green). In summer, buses operate between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. In summer, a full loop on each bus takes approximately 2.5 hours, and in winter, it takes about 2 hours. You can purchase tickets here: Barcelona Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour*
Barcelona City Tour Bus map
Barcelona City Tour Bus map
  • Information and guides: During the bus tour, you will have access to recorded commentary in multiple languages, describing the attractions and places you pass by. Headphones are provided so you can freely listen to information and interesting facts about Barcelona.

Exploring Barcelona by bus is a great way to discover the city, especially if you have limited time and want to see as many attractions as possible. It also offers flexibility and freedom in planning your route and exploring the city at your own pace.

Public transportation in Barcelona, getting around the city

Barcelona has a well-developed public transportation network, which makes it easy to get around the city. When visiting Barcelona, the choice of tickets and transportation fares can be confusing. Various types of tickets are available, but for travelling within the city itself, a ticket for 1 zone is sufficient. The same 1-zone ticket is also used for travelling from El-Prat Airport to the city centre.

Barcelona has an integrated ticketing system that allows you to travel on the metro, bus, tram, and train with a single ticket, including transfers (except for single-use tickets).

Tickets can be purchased at vending machines or TMB service points, and cash and card payments are accepted. On the TMB Barcelona website, you can find a wealth of information. For example, on how to get from point A to point B, fare tariffs, available ticket packages, and timetables.

Here are a few ways you can get around Barcelona:

Metro

The metro in Barcelona is a convenient and efficient way to travel. The metro network is extensive and connects the most important locations in the city. It is also a quick way to reach more distant attractions such as Park Güell or Camp Nou. Tickets can be purchased at metro stations.

Buses

Barcelona has an extensive bus network that covers both the city centre and the outskirts. Buses are a good mode of transportation, especially if you want to reach smaller places not served by the metro. Timetables and route information can be found at bus stops.

Trams

Barcelona also has trams that operate in certain neighbourhoods. Trams are easy to use and offer pleasant views during the journey. You can take a tram to reach places like Barceloneta beaches.

Bicycles

Barcelona is a bike-friendly city that offers a bike-sharing system and numerous bike lanes. You can rent a bike at a Bicing Barcelona station or use the services of private bike rental companies.

Walking

Many attractions in Barcelona are easily accessible on foot. Especially in the city centre. La Rambla, the Gothic Cathedral, Passeig de Gracia, or the Barri Gòtic district, you can easily get around on foot. Take a stroll and enjoy the beauty of the architecture and the city’s atmosphere.

It is important to remember to validate your public transportation tickets and ensure you have a valid ticket before boarding. Many tickets are reusable and can be used both on the metro and on buses.

Getting around Barcelona is relatively easy, and the variety of transportation options allows you to choose the most convenient option for you.

Public transportation to/from Barcelona – trains

While in Barcelona, it’s easy to travel quickly between cities. The most popular route, Barcelona to Madrid, can be covered by express train in just two and a half hours. However, during the high tourist season, securing tickets for your preferred train or day can be challenging. Therefore, it’s advisable to plan your trip. Tickets can be ordered and purchased directly through the Trainline app.

Trainline is Europe’s leading mobile app for train and bus travel. The app offers attractive travel discounts and direct seat booking through the websites of local carriers.

You can find train ticket prices for the Barcelona to Madrid route at thetrainline.com/en/train-times/barcelona-to-madrid.

Visit Barcelona, when is the best time for sightseeing

Barcelona is a beautiful city with a mild climate so you can visit it most of the year. However, certain periods can be considered particularly favourable to enjoying sightseeing and exploring the city.

The best time for sightseeing in Barcelona is usually during spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). During those months temperatures are mild and tourist crowds are not as large as during the peak summer season. During these times of the year, you can avoid the heat and crowds while still enjoying pleasant weather and long daylight hours.

The summer season (June-August) brings high temperatures and increased tourist activity. It is a popular period when many tourists come to take advantage of the beaches and summer attractions. However, keep in mind that it can be crowded and hot, especially in July and August.

During winter (December-February), Barcelona still offers plenty of attractions, but it is slightly cooler and rainier. However, if you prefer smaller crowds and lower prices, winter can be a convenient time for sightseeing.

It is also worth checking the calendar of events and festivals in Barcelona, such as the La Mercè Festival in September or Saint George’s Day in April. These festivals add extra colour and energy to the city.

In summary, the most favourable seasons for visiting Barcelona are spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant, and tourist crowds are not as numerous. However, regardless of the season, Barcelona always has a lot to offer and will provide unforgettable experiences.

Visit Barcelona, how to get to the main attractions in the city

How to get to Montjuïc Hill

Getting to Montjuïc Hill from the centre of Barcelona is easy and can be done in several ways.

  • Metro: The easiest way is to take the metro. You can board the metro at stations in the city centre (such as Plaça Espanya, Paral·lel, or Drassanes) and take either the L2 or L3 line, which will take you to the Paral·lel station. From there, you can transfer to the Montjuïc funicular (Funicular de Montjuïc), which will take you to the top of the hill.
  • Cable Car: Another option is to take the cable car to Montjuïc Hill. You can board the cable car at the Paral·lel station (right next to the metro station) and enjoy a scenic ride to the top of the hill.
  • Bus: Some buses run to Montjuïc Hill. You can check the bus schedules and routes that reach various points on the hill. For example, bus number 150 runs from Plaça Espanya to Montjuïc.
  • Barcelona City Tour Bus: Orange Line (bus stop no.8)

Once you arrive at Montjuïc Hill, you’ll have the opportunity to explore numerous attractions. Among the others, the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium, Magic Fountain (Font Màgica), Castle of Montjuïc, Montjuïc Sports Complex, and many more. The hill also offers beautiful views of the city, making it a perfect place for strolling and photography.

How to get to Park Güell

To get to Park Güell from the centre of Barcelona, you can use one of the following methods:

  • Bus: You can take a bus to reach Park Güell. Bus lines 24 and 92 run directly to the park. You can board these buses at various stops in the city centre, such as Plaça Catalunya, Plaça de la Universitat, or Passeig de Gràcia. Check the bus schedules and routes to choose the appropriate line and stop.
  • Metro + Walk: You can also take the metro to Park Güell and then take a walk. The nearest metro station is Lesseps on the L3 line (green line). After exiting the metro, you will need to walk for about 15-20 minutes. Follow the signs, to reach the main entrance of the park. This walk will also allow you to admire the beauty of the surroundings.
  • Barcelona City Tour Bus: Green Line (bus stop no. 13)

Please note that Park Güell is an extremely popular place, especially during peak tourist seasons. To avoid long queues and crowds, I recommend pre-booking tickets online, which will allow you to bypass the waiting time.

Visiting Park Güell is an extraordinary experience. You can admire there Gaudí’s extraordinary architecture, colourful mosaics, terraces, and fantastic views of the city. Make sure to allocate enough time to explore this magical place.

How to get to Port Vell in Barcelona

To get to Port Vell in the city centre, you have several transportation options. Here are a few ways you can get there:

  • Metro: The nearest metro station to Port Vell in Barcelona is Drassanes, which is on the L3 line (green line). You can take the metro to the station and then take a short walk towards the port. Drassanes is just a few minutes walk from the main waterfront.
  • Bus: Several bus lines reach Port Vell in Barcelona. Bus stops near the port include Portal de la Pau or Drassanes. You can take city buses such as lines D20, V13, 59, 64, 120, and H14 to reach the port. Check the bus schedules and routes to choose the appropriate line and stop.
  • Walk: If you are in the city centre, walking to Port Vell in Barcelona can be an attractive option. The port is located near the famous street La Rambla. You can take a pleasant walk along the waterfront to reach the port, while also enjoying charming places like Plaça Reial and the Columbus statue at the end of La Rambla.
  • Barcelona City Tour Bus: Green Line (bus stop no. 3)

Depending on exactly where you want to be in the port, make sure to check the map and directions first to reach the appropriate place. Port Vell in Barcelona is a beautiful place with sea views, promenades, restaurants, and recreational opportunities. It is also a popular departure point for cruise ships and ferries to other destinations.

How to get to Montserrat

To get to Montserrat from the centre of Barcelona, there are several transportation options. Montserrat is a mountain complex and sanctuary located about 50 kilometres northwest of Barcelona. Here are a few ways you can get there:

  • Train + Cable Car: You can take a train from the Plaça d’Espanya train station in Barcelona towards Montserrat. The trains stop at the Montserrat-Aeri station, where you can transfer to the cable car (Aeri de Montserrat). The cable car will take you to the top of the mountain, where the sanctuary and other attractions are located. This mode of travel also offers scenic views of the surrounding area.
  • Train + Rack Railway: Alternatively, from the Plaça d’Espanya train station, you can take a train towards Monistrol de Montserrat. Upon arriving at Monistrol de Montserrat, you will need to transfer to the rack railway (Cremallera de Montserrat), which will take you up the mountain. The Rack Railway also offers fantastic views of the mountains and the surrounding nature.
  • Car: If you have access to a car or are renting one, you can drive to Montserrat. The route from the centre of Barcelona is well signposted, and the journey takes about an hour. There are several parking areas near Montserrat.  You can leave your car there and continue exploring on foot or using the transportation available within the complex.

Montserrat is a unique place with spectacular landscapes, a monastery, a sanctuary, and wonderful hiking trails. It’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and those who want to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and discover the mountain landscape’s beauty.

How to get to Tibidabo

  • Autobus: From the city centre, such as Plaça de Catalunya, you can take bus line 196, which goes to the Tibidabo mountain station. This is the final bus stop. There, you can board the funicular or use other means of transportation to reach the top of Tibidabo.
  • Tramvia Blau: Tramvia Blau is a tram that operates in the upper part of Barcelona. It is primarily used as a means of reaching the Tibidabo mountain. Its route runs from Plaza John F. Kennedy in the Sant Gervasi district, the last stop on metro line 7 to the funicular railway that leads to the top of Tibidabo (Funicular del Tibidabo).
Tramvia Blau, Tibidabo, Barcelona
Tramvia Blau, Tibidabo, Barcelona
  • Funicular: After arriving at the Tibidabo mountain station by bus, you can take the funicular railway, known as Tibidabo Funicular. The funicular will take you to the top of the hill. You’ll find there an amusement park and the Sagrat Cor church.
Tibidabo Funicular, Barcelona
Tibidabo Funicular
  • Barcelona City Tour Bus – Green Line (bus stop no. 14)

Visit Barcelona – tailor-made travel plan

In November 2022, the Barcelona City Council implemented new regulations regarding the number of tourists visiting the city. According to these regulations, the maximum group size for guided tours of the Old Town is set at 20 people.

Additionally, restrictions on the number of guided tour groups have been imposed in several parts of the city, such as Plaça Sant Jaume, Plaça del Pi, Plaça Reial, and Plaça del Rei. Furthermore, tour guides are not allowed to use loudspeakers in residential areas of Barcelona. These regulations aim to control and limit the impact of tourism on certain areas of the city while ensuring a better quality of life for residents. They also seek to preserve the authentic character of these places and minimize disruptions caused by excessive tourism.

Visit Barcelona Face
Barcelona Face

Barcelona remains an attractive city to explore. All these regulations aim to balance tourism with the local environment while preserving the heritage and well-being of the town.

This city will undoubtedly surprise you with its cultural, artistic, and natural wealth. The 3-day itinerary “Visit Barcelona – tailor-made travel plan” prepared by me, is quite intensive. However, if you want to see the key places/attractions during a 3-day visit, this plan is designed for you.

Come to Barcelona and experience its unique charm today!

Spain, my other posts

I encourage you as well to read my other posts about Spain:

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