The Mediterranean bliss that is Barcelona, nestled on the northeastern coastline of sunny Spain, is one of the country’s most lively and thriving destinations. 

Its trendiness and non-stop lifestyle mean the city is teeming with activities, sights, and scenes that keep its visitors enthralled and entertained at all times of the year. From its towering Sagrada Familia, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, to the vibrant gardens of Parque Guell, and the stretching sandy shorelines of Barcelonetta Beach. 

Barcelona is one of the most varied European breaks, offering its visitors sand, greenery, a high-rise cityscape, and everything in between, which is why it holds a special place in our hearts and is highly recommended by our experts here at Unforgettable Travel, for all those tempted by the call of Spain’s unique culture and rich history. 

This is why we’ve highlighted the top things to do in Barcelona in 3 days, an ideal amount of time for visitors to have a taste of the breadth of beauty that the city beholds. Whether you’re an avid foodie, culture vulture, or a beach-bound traveler, there’s something for everyone in this 3-day itinerary.

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Day 1

As you awaken to take on the sights and scenes of the city during the first day of your trip to Barcelona, you’ll no doubt be gripped by the bustling streets, lively eateries, and friendly locals at every turn, but today, you’ll turn your attention to some of the city’s most iconic sights instead.

Meander Along Las Ramblas 

One of the top must-see sights in the city is undoubtedly Las Ramblas. A hive of activity in the city center, this unsuspecting street is an integral part of Barcelona’s landscape. As you explore Barcelona, you’ll find that this 1.2km stretch of paved, tree-lined walkway is within convenient and easy reach of some of the city’s other iconic landmarks. 

The street is one of the most visited areas of the city and is famous for its street performers, so it’s no surprise that as you meander down its wide thoroughfare you’ll encounter human statues of every variety, alongside artists dotted along its edges, and eateries that are perfect to perch for a bite to eat and a drink to quench your thirst. 

Grab a Bite to Eat at La Boqueria Market

Speaking of bites to eat, just off of Las Ramblas, you’ll no doubt come across one of the city’s most thriving marketplaces – La Boqueria. 

This city landmark is the perfect stop-off point during a day in Barcelona to experience one of the most historic cultural highlights. The market can be traced back to the 12th century and is still a center of commerce in the city. Its sellers stock everything from fresh juices to fruits, vegetables, meats, and other artisanal goods, ranging from being sourced locally to internationally.

You’ll rub shoulders with locals and tourists alike in this buzzing marketplace, where you can soak in the aromas of ripe fruits, see the seas of colors in its fresh produce, and listen to the drone of voices haggling and chatting in this bustling center- an experience like no other, to say the least!

The market is open from 8 am until 8:30 pm every day other than Sundays. 

Watch the Sun Set at Barceloneta Beach 

Around half an hour’s walk away from the La Boqueria market, you’ll find Barceloneta beach. Here, Barcelona’s city-dwellers gather to revel in the golden shorelines and basque beneath the warm Mediterranean sunshine (during the warmer times of year!) and to make the most of Barcelona’s beautiful vantage point across the Mediterranean Sea. 

You have over 422 meters of sand to explore here, curving along the end of the city, with palm-lined walkways, alongside local eateries and shops, hugging its sands.

When considering what to see in Barcelona in 3 days, you can’t miss viewing the sunset here at Barceloneta. Watch as an orange and pink haze engulfs the city and the sun disappears behind the horizon, with a glass in hand either perched at a local eatery, or with your toes dipped in the lapping waves for the perfect end to any evening on your 3 days in Barcelona.

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Day 2

Day two can commence with a visit to, arguably, Barcelona’s most famed sight, which will have you mesmerized for the rest of the day. We’ve suggested pairing this with another of the city’s most fascinating and hypnotic sights during day 2 of your 3 days in Barcelona, making for the perfect duo of sights to see!

Marvel at La Sagrada Familia 

One of spectacular architect Antoni Gaudí’s finest works, the Sagrada Familia is a towering Basilica located in the center of Barcelona and dominating the city’s skyline. The sheer size and complexity of Gaudí’s artistic vision for this building meant he never got to see it before its completion, as he died in 1926. 

Most parts of it were built during Gaudí’s lifetime, however, the expiatory temple began construction in 1882 and is still in the works today! The sections of this architectural marvel that were constructed by Gaudí were officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, and when you see this structure in person, you won’t be surprised as to why!

The site is open from 9 am until 6 pm 7 days a week. Be sure to book tickets in advance before you visit, particularly at peak times, if you’re looking to go into the building, as these can sell out fast. 

Roam Parque Güell 

Located on a brilliant vantage point atop Carmen Hill, Park Güell, another one of Gaudí’s unrivaled masterpieces, is a vibrant parkland composed of a maze of gardens, complex structures, and historic buildings. It is brought to life by spectrums of color in its mosaic tiles, motifs, and verdant wildlife embedded throughout its area.

The park was built over 14 years, from 1900 to 1914, and was opened to the public officially in 1926 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. 

Now, visitors from across the globe roam its interiors snapping pictures of some of its most iconic sights. These include its vibrant lizard statue, white central staircase, and colorful tiled seating area which overlooks the main entrance of the park, and the city skyline out towards the Mediterranean Sea. 

Here, you can also visit the Gaudí house museum, located right next to the park. The house itself was not built by Gaudí, but instead was his family home that he moved into in 1906, alongside his father, where they lived for 20 years. Now, it houses a collection of his furniture, and belongings, and showcases a history of Gaudí’s life and accomplishments.

The park is open from 9:30 am until 7:30 pm 7 days a week, and the park is free to enter other than its monumental zone, which offers the iconic view of the tiled colourful seats over the front of the park. The house museum is also open from 9:30 am until 6 pm every day of the week, and tickets can be purchased on the official website

Without question, you have to spend one of your days in Barcelona having a visit to this parkland paradise.

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Day 3

And just like that, it’s the final day of activities on our 3 days in Barcelona itinerary. Your last day continues with the trend of exploring some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and hotspots, which, no matter which way round you see them, make for an easy and tranquil day of sightseeing on your Barcelona trip. 

Explore The Gothic Quarter

One of the most historic sections of the city,  and therefore one of the most captivating, the Gothic Quarter is a charming center that transports its visitors back in time to the likes of around 2,000 years ago thanks to its iconic architecture.

The area spans from Las Ramblas to Via Laietana and from Ronda de Sant Pere across to the seafront. It’s a constantly moving landscape, offering a vibrant and vivacious nightlife scene in the evenings to charming squares, tranquil alleys, and lovely streets illuminated by the Mediterranean sunshine during the day. 

There are plenty of cocktail lounges, clubs, and bars across the area, alongside a host of eateries and shop fronts to explore at your leisure. You could easily spend a whole day weaving through its streets, but more sights on your second day in Barcelona call!

Peek Inside Santa Maria del Pi

Your next stop is the most iconic landmark in the gothic quarter, the Santa Maria del Pi. This 15th-century gothic church is situated in the middle of the area and is composed of a crypt, treasury, garden, bell tower, and main church, which visitors can roam through from Mondays to Saturdays from 11 am until 6 pm. 

The church also has a permanent exhibit in its museum and galleries, which showcases a collection of gold and silverware and funerary coats that are symbolic of Catalonia’s unique religious history and traditions.

If you happen to explore Barcelona on a weekend, the Plaça del Pi, named after the church itself, hosts its own weekend art market. It’s open from the late morning until early evening and is the perfect place to browse local artwork in this iconic Gothic Quarter meeting point. 

See the Palau de la Música

Finish your final day on your Barcelona trip with a visit to the Palau de la Música, Catalana. This is Barcelona’s concert hall and is the only concert hall to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. 

It was built by the architect Lluís Doménech in the Catalan modernista style and can host over 2,000 people for its shows and musical events. 

Marvel at its ornate interiors, with a dazzling ceiling featuring beautiful motifs and perfectly stained-glass windows. Guided tours are available in the venue and it is still a fully functioning concert hall that hosts musical performances across its artistic calendar year-round. 

Entry to the concert hall costs €15 and is open from 9 am until 8 pm 7 days a week.

Barcelona is a whimsical city brimming with culture, architectural marvels, and an exceptional history that has led it to be one of the most coveted and popular European cities to date. Whether you’re only planning on having a 3 day trip to Barcelona, like our above itinerary details, or are hoping to stay for longer, the opportunities here are truly endless, and we hope we’ve highlighted some of the best things to do in Barcelona in 3 days to suit all tastes and preferences. 

Should a trip to Spain be firmly on your agenda for the future and you’re considering what to do and where to go whilst here, our Gourmet Journey of Spain tour allows you to experience some of the country’s most exceptional northern highlights and its thriving gastronomic scene!

Should you want some expert insight and advice in planning your trip to Barcelona, our experts here at Unforgettable Travel would be happy to help you plan your dream trip here. 

You can call Ally, our Europe specialist, at +44 208 004 2345 to organize your next trip to Spain now.

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