A 3 day Barcelona itinerary is enough for a solid getaway, but you gotta come in with a plan.
That’s why I’m here to help you plan three days in Barcelona, in the most time-efficient way possible.
I’m not only gonna tell you what to do in Barcelona in 3 days, but help you live like a local while you’re doing it.
How I Planned This Barcelona 3 Day Itinerary
Unlike other blogs out there, I’ve actually lived in Barcelona for over a decade – so find myself in a unique position to help you craft itineraries from scratch.
That said, this is only how I’d plan 3 perfect days in Barcelona, according to my needs.
If you need any custom advice just write me below.
What I’ve done here is try to optimize your three days avoiding unnecessary metro rides and city backtracking.
I’ve also tried to line you up to live the city the way locals do: late lunches, afternoon siestas, and evening sightseeing paired with late dinners.
All while slotting in the best things to do in Barcelona.
3 Days in Barcelona: Day 1
Forget three days in Barcelona: if you had just a single hour in Barcelona, the world-famous Sagrada Familia would be the only stop.
This art nouveau basilica is called ‘the most extraordinary interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages’. The UNESCO World Heritage Site receives 4.5 million annual visitors.
The way Catalan wonder architect Antoni Gaudi depicts the energy of new life on the Nativity Façade and the cruelty of death on the Passion Façade is great pause for reflection.
The best Sagrada Familia guided tours are a great place to start
On Barcelona’s second most famous street (Passeig de Gracia) we get into the heart of the Ruta del Modernisme.
The showcase piece is the beautifully eccentric mansion by Antoni Gaudi called Casa Batllo, and it’s another must for 3 days in Barcelona.
Stand outside and appreciate the building’s visceral, skeletal qualities. The colourful mosaic facade was crafted using broken tea cups from local factories.
Inside we get a great insight into the mind of a genius. Gaudi designed the ergonomic house inch by inch right down to the doorknobs.
Admission includes an augmented reality tour, the Gaudi Cube, and a visit to the dragon’s back roof terrace.
Lunch Near Casa Batllo
Honestly, we’re in tourist trap hell here so we’re going to have to dodge some bullets.
Right up the street from Casa Batllo though is El Nacional. This multi-zone culinary space serves traditional recipes from nearly every region in Spain. It’s also got a wine bar, cocktail bar, and oyster bar.
Fish lovers also can’t go wrong at Chao Pescao. Here chefs cook fresh fish that you’ve selected yourself from a Barcelona market counter. I never go solo here – get some local Blanc Pescador white wine.
🥘 Looking for food + history + wine + fun? Take one of Barcelona’s best food tours.
La Pedrera (aka Casa Milà)
You’ll barely even have started to digest lunch before my Barcelona itinerary offers another jewel of the city’s architectural crown.
La Pedrera is another Gaudi work (surprise, surprise) and it is arguably his best. It’s just a short five minute walk from Casa Batllo.
⚠️ Warning ⚠️: Barcelona’s top two attractions must now be booked in advance.
You can book fast track tickets to both individually or get them as part of a discount pass:
- ⛪ Buy now: Sagrada Familia Fast Track Admission (skip the lines)
- 🏞️ Buy now: Park Guell Fast Track Admission (skip the lines)
- 🎟️ Buy now: Best of Barcelona Bundle (Sagrada + Park Guell + 10% discount code for all else)
You will not be able to book these tickets on site – lock in your tickets ASAP or you could miss out.
This wobbling limestone apartment block is best known for its ‘Garden of Warriors’ rooftop. Getting a photo of yourself and the haunting chimneys standing on guard is another must do.
The Casa Mila apartment itself is a great way to see how upper class families lived in central Barcelona at the turn of last century.
This summer chalet mansion with its lush garden is more fairy tale than home and at less than half the price of its contemporaries it offers a tremendous amount of value for both Gaudi fanatics and budget travelers.
If you’re not planning on visiting Casa Batllo or La Pedrera then this would be the best way to experience Gaudi’s home architecture expertise up close.
Grab a Paella Dinner
You’ve only got 3 days in Barcelona so make your dinner choices wisely.
Of course, if you’re visiting Barcelona let me know where you’re staying and I’ll recommend you some of the best restaurants in Barcelona near your hotel.
In general, there are tons of options but a great Spanish introduction to the city is via a paella tasting menu at Bodega Joan. Other great restaurants near our Barcelona attractions for day one include Lasarte and Can Boneta.
What to See in Barcelona in 3 Days – Day 2
Barcelona’s Best Breakfast
If it’s summer we’re heading to the even more historic La Boqueria Market for fruit smoothies and tostadas.
If you’re looking for something a bit more savory then Boqueria Market’s Bar Pinotxo has a classic breakfast here with blood sausage and garbanzo beans.
🚲 Wanna see more in less time? Consider taking one of the best bike tours in Barcelona.
When speaking of Las Ramblas, the famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said “it’s the only street I wish would never end”.
Of course, Las Ramblas may have lost the shine of yesteryear (mass tourism has added its share of Dunkin’ Donuts) but it’s still Barcelona’s most famous street.
In particular, we should be looking at the street performers at the bottom the street. La Boqueria Market is also a must, and it’s a great place to pop in some some classic Iberian ham or a cheap fruit smoothie.
🏙️ Wanna see a lot more of the city? Consider booking one of the best Barcelona city tours.
The Secrets of the Old City: Gothic Quarter Tour
I also suggest immersing yourself in Barcelona’s rich history, current political landscape, and future prospects with a 2.5-hour tour of the Gothic Quarter led by expert guides.
These walking tours are conducted by top-notch professionals who masterfully blend education and entertainment, revealing the secrets of La Rambla, Boqueria Market, Barcelona Cathedral, Plaça Sant Felipe Neri, Augustus Temple, the Jewish Quarter (El Call), and beyond.
Along the way, you’ll discover a favorite spot of Picasso, indulge in one of Barcelona’s most delightful snack locations, and marvel at abundant street art.
🧑🎨 Want more of Gaudi? Unlock his masterpieces with the top Gaudi tours in Barcelona.
Traditional Spanish Lunch
The walking tour ends in the heart of the Ciutat Vella (Old City) so we’ve got some options: if you wanna be quick it’s the bite-sized toothpick tapas at El Pintxo del Petrixol.
According to a Catalan friend it’s ‘the only restaurant near La Rambla that doesn’t serve garbage’.
Another option for more of an elaborate Spanish meal is La Fonda which is a great place to get some of the best paella in Barcelona at outskirts prices.
When asked what to do in Barcelona for 3 days I’d put Park Guell in must-see territory. It’s the city’s most beautiful park.
We take bus 24 from Passeig de Gracia and 30-40 minutes later we’re left at the gates. We could also take the yellow Barcelona metro line to Alfons X and walk 15 minutes.
Our reward at the end is Antoni Gaudi’s utopian park vision, which its gingerbread-like porter’s house and famous mosaic salamander. It’s here that you’ll get a fantastic panoramic view of the city
It’ll take 90-120 minutes depending on how much of the Free Zone we care to see.
Barcelona’s Most Famous Aperitivo
For any tourist doing Barcelona in 3 days this is that when in Rome moment.
In particular your travel tipple should involve either a vermut (vermouth, a fortified and spiced wine) or una caña (a small, refreshing glass of beer).
This is best done in nearby Gracia’s charming squares: especially Plaça del Sol.
Casa Lopez is another great option if you’d like to fit in some homemade tapas.
Both are just a 15-20 minute downhill walk from the park.
🍷 Want to sample the best local wines? Book one of Barcelona’s best wine tours from €30.00.
Modern Spanish for Dinner
You’re likely staying central and will have to ninja your way around a ton of tourist traps – but luckily I’ve found the only authentic restaurant on La Rambla: El Louro.
Spanish tapas classics are given a modern twist here and mains like the Galician beef filet and crunchy octopus are to die for. The kicker? They make some of the best original cocktails in the city.
A Night Out for Drinks
Barcelona’s best bars offer a little bit of everything, though if you visit Barcelona you’ll probably want something unique.
As for clubbing? Of course I’m going to suggest you read my post on the best clubs in Barcelona.
My first choice would be Razzmatazz, a massive five room club. Each room plays a different type of urban music: hip hop, house, dancehall, R&B, reggaeton, and even some rock
The second choice is Sala Apolo, a former theater that’s been transformed into one of Barcelona’s most famous clubs.
What to Do in Barcelona Spain for 3 Days – Day 3
Part of us came on holiday to relax, am I right? So here’s where you can chill on your 3 days in Barcelona.
Let’s roll out of bed at 10:00 am.
On day three of our itinerary we’re grabbing a quick breakfast like a Barcelona local: heading downstairs, finding the closest cafe, and getting a croissant and cortado (a coffee with a splash of milk).
Slow and steady will be the game today.
Shopping or Camp Nou?
We’ve got two choices now and I’ll leave it up to you, my distinguished guests.
There’s tons of world-class shopping in Barcelona city center. The largest shopping areas are Passeig de Gracia, Plaça de Catalunya, Las Ramblas and Portal del Angel. Here you can great some of the best Barcelona souvenirs too.
If we’re allergic to shopping (I really am!) we really have to ask ourselves what Barcelona itinerary wouldn’t include a tour of historic Camp Nou stadium – home of that little squad called FC Barcelona.
From Plaça Catalunya we get there in 15 minutes with the green metro line getting off at Les Corts.
Beach at La Barceloneta
Barceloneta is a great neighborhood to explore inner alleyways where elderly residents sit outside playing cards while young people gather to socialize in kitschy bars.
It’s one of the best beaches in Barcelona. For the early afternoon (like locals) you’ll want to work on that tan – the cleanest waters for a summertime dipa re in the corner near the W Hotel (the sail shaped-one).
After, we can’t stop by without saying hello to Mrs. Leo, a little spark-plug of a woman in her 70’s who owns a bar where on weekend afternoons Andalusian Barcelona flamenco and live Spanish guitar is the name of the game!
Bar Leo is at 34 Carrer Sant Carles.
We’re getting really local now by having a late lunch (around 3:00 pm) and for this I’d recommend going for quality tapas at Bitacora – at the back of the restaurant there’s a cool little terrace.
There’s also the ridiculously cheap wine bar La Champagneria. We also can’t miss the minuscule fried fish restaurant Can Maño.
All places are fifteen minutes or less walking from the beach.
Looking for something closer to home? One of Barcelona’s best burgers is just what the doctor ordered. Kiosko Burger is a great place to start and it’s no tourist sin! Get the one with traditional manchego cheese.
At the top of Barcelona’s tallest hill we find the Montjuic Castle with its majestic view of the harbour, the Miro Foundation, the ’92 Olympic Stadiums and the botanical garden.
The Magic Fountain
This beautiful fountain of towering water sprays to the rhythm of contemporary music – the view of Plaça Espanya is really something!
We find the fountain a short fifteen minute walk away at the foot of Montjuic. Make sure to check the Barcelona Magic Fountain show schedule first.
We’re looking to keep it local for the third night so we hit up Can Margarit for some authentic Catalan fare. Here it’s all about rustic charm, cask wines, rabbit, squid, and cod.
For 3 days in Barcelona, you should be able to spoil yourself a bit: try Mano Rota, an inventive Peruvian-Japanese fusion spot that’s earned a Michelin star.
Looking for something a little cheaper?
In the Gotico area we’ll head to Manu Chao’s bar. This incredibly eclectic French singer who sings in 7 languages sometimes shows up to play guitar.
The bar is called Mariachi. Of course, I’ve been a little pushy with my ideas haven’t I? We’d actually be good going to any of Barcelona’s best bars.
That’s 3 perfect days in Barcelona down!
Related: Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?
3 Day Barcelona Itinerary – Honourable Mentions
Tibidabo Mountain (I will give you in Latin) is a 3 in 1: a basilica with a gigantic statue of Christ, the highest panoramic view of the city, and a 25-ride retro theme park. The latter is truly unique for the antique rides like the airplane one from 1928.
This is a must for Barcelona travelers with kids.
You can get there in 45 minutes from the Estacio del Nord with bus T2A.
If you don’t feel like the long bus ride we can just as easily spend a few hours in centrally-located Ciutadella Park. Parc de la Ciutadella is the city’s largest green space, has a zoo, and is famous for a lake where you can rent rowboats.
Despite its history of medieval jousting, the Born District is an area full of unique bars and boutique shops.
You can’t walk through without seeing Barcelona’s second Gothic behemoth: La Santa Maria del Mar. What I like about the Santa Maria del Mar is that it’s one of the best free things to do in Barcelona.
We could also check out the more than 4000 pieces at the Picasso Museum.
Tapas Lunch in a Square
When you get hungry fill yourself up at one of my favourite El Born tapas spots: Bormuth.
I mentioned it before, but if you’re up for a drink you should be drinking vermouth on your itinerary.
This a red or white aromatized wine is a massive part of Barcelona’s drinking culture. They pair perfectly at Bormuth with patatas bravas (pictured), a type of potato wedge tapa with spicy sauce.
Even better? Out here you get your first experience of true Barcelona square culture. Watching the world go by in Plaça Comercial is another Barcelona past time to check off on your list.
For those a little more rough and ready I suggest we go for a 20 minute walk to get to the ‘gentrified gem’ El Raval.
There are tons of good value bars and ethnically diverse eateries here – if you’ve skipped my tapas advice above there’s no shame getting a €5.00 curry lunch on the fly at Bismillah (Carrer Joaquin Costa 22).
Another can’t miss in this area is the enormous bronze cat sculpture (El Gat) by renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
We round out the evening taking in a show of not only one of the most popular art forms in Spain, but the entire world.
The Barcelona flamenco shows at the Patio Andaluz have been known to bring guests to tears, and you’ll find out if you’re one of them watching the intricate dances, passionate yelps, and spirited guitar rhythms.
Shows run daily at 7:45, 9:45, and 10:10 and can include drinks and dinner.
Looking for a plan b? If you book your flamenco show at Tablao Carmen it includes free entrance to Poble Espanyol: Barcelona’s open air architecture museum.
Not feeling three days in Barcelona anymore? 🤯
Check out my other Barcelona itineraries to help you find that budget/time sweet spot:
- 1️⃣ Barcelona in One Day: great layover and short in/out trip that wastes no time
- 2️⃣ Barcelona in a Weekend: dust off the city’s best sights in a pair of days
- 4️⃣ Barcelona in 4 Days: business trips or real Barcelona lovers!
- 7️⃣ Barcelona in 7 Days: spending a week in Europe’s best city
Barcelona Three Day Itinerary Map
A good part of any Barcelona 72 hour itinerary is a map with all the attractions.
Here you’ll see how I’ve bunched them all together for your Barcelona public transport convenience and to make sure you don’t go more than a small time without some good food and a drink.
What to Visit in Barcelona in 3 Days FAQ
Is 3 days in Barcelona enough?
Three days in Barcelona is more than enough time to see the city’s major attractions. You can also see secondary attractions, go to the beach, and sample the city’s best food.
What to see in Barcelona in 3 days?
In three days in Barcelona, visit the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, stroll along Las Ramblas, and explore the Gothic Quarter for a well-rounded experience.
How much spending money for 3 days in Barcelona?
For three days in Barcelona, budget around €150-€200 for meals, attractions, and transport. This varies with dining choices, shopping, and selected experiences.
Best way to see Barcelona in 3 days?
To best see Barcelona in three days, use the hop-on-hop-off bus tour for quick access to major sites, and consider guided tours for deeper insights.
What is the must see in Barcelona in 3 days?
Must-sees in Barcelona in three days include the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, the Picasso Museum, and a walk through the Gothic Quarter and along the city’s beaches.
Planning a Barcelona Spain 3 Day Itinerary?
That’s Barcelona in 3 days – with an extra bonus day for your troubles.
That said, if you’re missing that special something that would really tie all of this together please get a hold of me in the comments below for custom advice.
Also, don’t be afraid to join the 3 days in Barcelona itinerary discussion by joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with almost 10,000 Barcelona travelers.