4 days in Barcelona are enough to soak in its colorful and vibrant atmosphere.
That said, deciding what to see in Barcelona in four days can be complicated if you don’t know the Catalan capital well.
That’s where I come in with my 11 years of city experience – and eight years helping tourists just like you.
Here’s how I’d do a four day itinerary in Barcelona.
What to See in Barcelona in 4 Days: Day One
Plaça Catalunya (Catalonia Square)
Any four day Barcelona itinerary should start in the square from which much of Barcelona’s social life unfolds.
Plaça Catalunya is one of the largest and liveliest squares in Barcelona, and also a strategic meeting point for moving to other areas of the city.
⚠️ 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)
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You will not be able to book these tickets on site – lock in your tickets ASAP or you could miss out.
Since its construction in 1927, it has been a meeting place for locals and tourists.
Around Plaça Catalunya there are large department stores (including the emblematic El Corte Inglés), chain restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe, and fast food outlets.
Las Ramblas and Boqueria Market
South of Plaça Catalunya, towards the sea, stretches the famous La Rambla, one of the most emblematic streets of Barcelona.
This pedestrian street stretches for about 1.2 kilometres, from Plaça Catalunya to Port Vell, the old port.
It is an unmissable walk for those visiting Barcelona for the first time: street artists, mimes, and all sorts of eccentricities feature here, as well as historic flower and candy kiosks.
One of the most loved stops along the Rambla, and one that you can’t miss, is the marvellous Boqueria market.
This massive, covered food market will be your paradise if you love local eats: both for eating and photographing.
Check out its vibrant colours by sampling fruits, vegetables, sweets, and spices.
On the other hand, you can stop by one of the tapas restaurants for a nice breakfast or lunch.
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4 days in Barcelona Spain wouldn’t be complete without the narrow streets of the Barrio Gótico.
This was the first urban nucleus of Barcelona in Roman times, when the city was called Barcino.
Founded by the Romans in the 1st century BC, Barcino was an important strategic and commercial settlement.
The traces of this ancient city can still be found in today’s Barrio Gótico, such as the stretch of Roman wall surrounding Barcelona Cathedral.
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Today, the Gothic Quarter is a fascinating combination of history, delightful corners such as Plaça de Sant Felipe Neri or the mysterious Pont del Bisbe, and modern art and craft galleries.
Also include in your itinerary a visit to Plaça de Sant Jaume, now the seat of the City Council and the Generalitat of Barcelona, and the center of the most famous folkloric events in the city.
Lunch in El Gotico
After so much strolling through the stories and mysteries of the historic center of Barcelona, you’re probably feeling peckish.
Here’s some great lunch spots:
- Can Culleretes (Carrer d’en Quintana, 5),
- Bodega Vasconia (Carrer d’en Gignàs, 13)
- El Louro (Rambla dels Capuchins , 37)
Optional visit: Barrio del Raval and MACBA
If you prefer multicultural neighborhoods you can visit El Raval, a neighborhood a few steps from the Rambla.
The Raval is a neighborhood full of contradictions, where trendy streets alternate with a lively art scene, excellent restaurants with international cuisine.
In the past, it was considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Barcelona.
Despite its numerous problems to be solved, it’s an area where associations are actively engaged in the promotion of social and cultural inclusion.
Urban redevelopment projects and integration programs have contributed to improving the quality of life in the neighbourhood.
One of its most famous and visited cultural centers is the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona), which houses a rich collection of contemporary art works.
Again, when considering what to do in four days this is by no means a must – I’d say this is only for the most adventurous travellers.
This extraordinary modernist-style building is still under construction, which is why some call it “the infinite project”.
It began in 1882 and for the moment it is expected that it will be completed in 2026, on the occasion of the centenary of the architect’s death.
Despite this, it’s firmly at the top of my list of best things to do in Barcelona.
Admire its splendid facades carved with biblical episodes, the mystical lights of its interior generated by the stained glass windows, and the panoramic view from one of the two Sagrada Familia towers that can be visited.
When talking of the must sees in Barcelona in 4 days this is firmly at the top.
Naturally, Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited monuments in the world, so it is essential to book your ticket in advance.
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How to Spend 4 Days in Barcelona: Day Two
Start the day at Park Güell, a public park with beautiful mosaic terraces and buildings that look like the sugar houses from the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales.
Parc Güell offers a panoramic view of the city and an immersive experience into the mind of Gaudí, who designed the park in 1900 for entrepreneur Eusebi Güell.
Stroll through the park’s gardens and admire the many architectural details that Gaudí has scattered throughout the avenues and green areas.
Start, for example, from the colourful salamander resting slyly on the staircase at the entrance to the park.
Then, don’t miss the other monumental areas: the Plaza de la Naturaleza and it’s incredible mosaic benches, the hypostyle hall with the Doric columns that support it, and the curious Pórtico de la Lavandera.
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With the entrance ticket to Park Güell you can visit the Monumental Zone, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and stroll through the green and panoramic areas of the park.
Barrio de Gràcia and Casa Vicens
I love this bohemian neighborhood for its charming streets, sustainable clothing and handicraft shops – as well as a super underrated Barcelona nightlife scene.
Some of its picturesque squares never sleep (much to the delight of the neighbours!), such as Plaça del Sol and Plaça del Diamant: come here if you want to enjoy a coffee or beer in a scene from a movie.
But, Gràcia’s bars and shopping aren’t the only reason to visit: here there is also an architectural jewel called Casa Vicens, one of the first works of Gaudí.
This modernist-style house is a marvel of intricate detailing and nature-inspired floral motifs – its distinctive feature, which will make you recognize it from a distance, is its facade decorated with green and white ceramic tiles.
Also, one of the top things to do in four days is visit the interior of the house – to admire the art and craftsmanship that characterize it.
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Passeig de Gràcia, La Pedrera, Casa Batlló
After the elegant Casa Vicens, I’d move onto Passeig de Gràcia: Barcelona’s most elegant boulevard.
Here, you can continue your itinerary among the houses of Catalan nobility.
Some of the most elegant boutiques in the city were born on this street and, even today, this street welcomes tourists and business people in its luxury hotels.
It’s also one of the best places for shopping in Barcelona, especially if you’re looking for elite brands.
Casa Batllò is one of the architectural marvels by Antoni Gaudí that attracts millions of tourists every year.
You recognize it by its unique facade, decorated with colourful mosaics, and undulating balconies that look straight out of a fairy tale.
I strongly recommend visiting the Casa Batllo interior.
Even the roof of the building hides surprises, original sculptures, and a panoramic view over the whole city.
Also on Passeig de Gràcia, ten minutes from Casa Batllò, is La Pedrera (official name is Casa Milà), another masterpiece by Gaudí.
It has a sinuous shape and looms over the Passeig looking like a wave in building form – or even a block of jello.
Visit it and get up to the garden of warriors rooftop – one of the most spectacular perches in Europe.
What to Do in Barcelona in Four Days: Day Three
The El Born District
El Born is another of the areas of Barcelona which, like the Gothic Quarter, has been able to harmonize the memory of the past with the lively modernity of the present.
Among its cobbled streets and old buildings of the medieval merchants of Barcelona, you’ll find trendy boutiques, art and craft galleries, and endless Barcelona tapas restaurants.
One of its architectural jewels is the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, an imposing Gothic church dating back to the 14th century.
Its majestic Barcelona architecture and large windows create an evocative atmosphere, while its stark and bright interior inspires tranquillity and devotion.
If you are a fan of historical novels, perhaps you have already heard of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar thanks to the enormous success of Ildefonso Falcones’ book “The Cathedral of the Sea“.
This historical novel set in the fourteenth century tells the story of a young worker building the Basilica. The novel helped spread interest in this magnificent church, making it even more iconic in Barcelona culture and literature.
A few steps from the Basilica is the Picasso Museum (Carrer de Montcada, 15-23), an unmissable stop if you love art.
This museum houses the world’s largest collection of works by Pablo Picasso and offers a fascinating perspective on his artistic evolution and his talent.
Lunch in the Born District
Again, when thinking of places to visit in Barcelona in 4 days restaurants are always my top suggestions.
For a quality foodie foray (because beauty makes you hungry!) you can count on the main market of the neighborhood: the Santa Caterina Market (Avenida de Francesc Cambó, 16).
It’s one of the top markets in Barcelona.
With its distinctive modern structure and colorful undulating roofs, this market is renowned for its wide selection of fresh produce including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and local food products.
It’s a perfect place to immerse yourself in the culinary culture of Barcelona and to taste local delicacies.
If, on the other hand, you prefer a more classic sit down restaurant here’s my favourites:
- El Foro (Carrer Princesa 53): Argentinian steak restaurant
- Nou Celler (Carrer Princesa 16): Traditional Catalan cuisine
- Bormuth (Plaça Comercial 1) : Great classic Spanish tapas
After lunch, a nice place to relax is Ciutadella Park (Passeig de Picasso, 21), an oasis of calm just a few steps away from the crowds of the Born.
Here you can relax, take a snooze on the lawn, or take a ride on the lake by renting a rowboat.
With its 17 hectares, Ciutadella Park it is one of the largest + best parks in Barcelona with expansive lawns, ponds, fountains, flower gardens and picnic areas.
Built between 1875 and 1888, the park also has great historical importance because it was the site of the former military citadel, commissioned by Philip V to dominate the city after the War of the Spanish Succession.
Related: Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?
One of my favorite corners is undoubtedly the Ciutadella Lake which rises at the foot of the Monumental waterfall.
The Waterfall is a sculpture designed and engineered by Josep Fontseré with the help of a very young Antoni Gaudí.
The main motif of the sculpture, which rises in the center under four gilded horses, is the birth of venus – portrayed by the Catalan sculptor Venanci Vallmitjana.
Palau de la Música Catalana
After your relaxing break in the park, I’d kick off the afternoon with a visit to the Palau de la Música Catalana, a building of architectural excellence that hosts concerts and classical music performances.
Personally, as a first-time visitor to the city I’d take in one of Barcelona’s best flamenco shows there.
Designed by the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner between 1905 and 1908, the Palau soon became a symbol of Barcelona’s cultural identity.
It was inaugurated on February 9, 1908, and has been one of the leading theaters for music and the performing arts in the city ever since. Since 1997 it has been proclaimed a UNESCO heritage site.
This is one of my best things to do in Barcelona on a rainy day.
From an architectural point of view, the Palau is a modernist masterpiece and you can see it even if you admire it from the outside.
Its impressive exterior facade, which appears to light up the street, features an intricate design of brick and red stone pillars, mosaics, and stained glass windows.
The interior is wonderful: long rows of windows allow the concert hall to receive natural light while a stained glass dome shines in the center of the ceiling.
Old Port and Barceloneta
How to spend the rest of the third afternoon on your Barcelona 4 day itinerary?
My idea is to dedicate it to the most relaxing neighborhood in Barcelona: go down to the sea and discover the Port Vell and Barceloneta area.
The Port Vell is located in the lower part of the city, a few steps from the end of the Rambla and the monument to Christopher Columbus who, with his right arm extended, points his index finger towards the sea.
Port Vell is the old port of Barcelona: before the restoration that took place for the 1992 Summer Olympics, this was a port area of empty warehouses, marshalling yards and factories.
From the beautiful building of the Autoridad Portuaria, just in front of the Rambla de Mar bridge, you can walk along the marina, admire the moored boats, and walk over to Barceloneta.
Along the way you’ll see sculptures that now characterize the landscape of this area of Barcelona, such as La Gamba (The Shrimp) by Javier Mariscal and La Cara de Barcelona (The Face of Barcelona) by American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.
In Barceloneta, the seaside district famous for its sandy beaches and fresh fish restaurants, you can treat yourself to a few hours of relaxation to end the day.
Before the 1992 Olympics, this was still a traditional fishing district: its seafaring authenticity has not been completely lost and continues to emerge despite the great changes induced by tourism.
Start from its central square, the one where the neighborhood market is also located: Plaça del Poeta Boscá.
Here, you can still find small treasures of 19th-century building decoration and clear signs of pride on the part of its inhabitants, who often hang the barrio’s yellow-blue flag from their balconies.
One of the symbols of Barceloneta’s post-Olympics transformation can be found on the beach: the famous vertical sculpture known as The Cubes of Barceloneta.
In reality, its real name is Estel Ferit, which in Catalan means “wounded star”.
The four cubes that compose it immortalize the popular huts of the Barceloneta coast and which were eliminated before the Olympics.
Another iconic image of the neighborhood is the iconic Hotel W (Plaça Rosa Del Vents 1), also called Hotel Vela, at the end of the Barceloneta beach. Its sail-shaped profile lights up with different colors in the evening.
If you want to take a walk with the sound of ebbing waves, the Mirador Vela and the Mirador del Mediterránei open up behind the hotel, two long avenues from which it seems you can embrace the sea and all of Barcelona.
If the weather permits, the best way to enjoy Barceloneta is to sunbathe on one of Barcelona’s best beaches.
For an even more chill experience, sit at one of the many chiringuitos (beach bars) with a beer or mojito and watch the world go by.
Dinner in Barceloneta
Close day three of our four day Barcelona itinerary with a traditional seafood or tapas dinner.
In Barceloneta, as I mentioned, there are a ton of Barcelona’s top restaurants here, so you are spoiled for choice.
If you don’t want to miss epic seafood, go on the safe side with Can Maño (Carrer del Baluard, 12) or Barraca (Passeig. Marítim de la Barceloneta, 1).
Cova Fumada is another choice – it’s one of my Barcelona hidden gems.
4 Days in Barcelona Itinerary: Day Four
Camp Nou (Carrer d’Aristides Maillol, 12) is the legendary stadium of FC Barcelona, one of the most famous and successful football clubs in the world.
Inaugurated in 1957, Camp Nou has a capacity of 99,354 spectators: the optics are impressive, you’re getting the largest stadium in Spain and the third largest in Europe. It is currently under renovation.
This temple of football has hosted many epic matches and unforgettable moments over the years.
If football is your passion, you cannot miss a visit to the stadium.
The ticket includes the possibility to get onto the pitch and sit on the player’s bench, to visit the challenging team’s locker room, the press room and the VIP room.
You can also visit the Barcelona F.C. Museum, with all the trophies, memorabilia, and objects related to the history of the club and its most famous players like Messi.
If, on the other hand, football doesn’t interest you and you much prefer a morning walking in nature, enjoy the beauty of the parks and paths of Montjuïc.
Montjuïc Hill offers spectacular views of the city but also a unique combination of history, nature, and culture.
Its name derives from the Catalan words Mont dels Jueus, which means “Mountain of the Jews”: the name recalls the fact that in the Middle Ages the hill housed a Jewish cemetery.
Garden of Joan Brossa Montjuic
Historically, Montjuïc has played a significant role in the history of Barcelona.
It was the site of several fortifications, including Montjuic Castle, which can still be visited today and from whose terraces you can admire almost the entire city.
During the Spanish Civil War, Montjuïc was also the site of executions and political imprisonments.
Among the most visited attractions is the Poble Espanyol (Avenida de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13), a sort of miniature Spain rebuilt with narrow streets and squares representing different regions of the country.
Among the most interesting museums in this area, however, there are the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) and the Joan Miró Foundation, which houses a vast collection of the Catalan artist’s works.
Lunch at Montjuïc
In the Montjuïc area there aren’t many places to eat, apart from a few tourist-gouging bars.
Our advice, if you plan to be in these parts at a time when your stomach is rumbling, is to bring a packed lunch or something to nibble on.
If you pass by here on a Saturday or Sunday instead, we suggest you stop in a small open-air venue with a superb view of the commercial port of Barcelona: La Caseta del Migdia.
This is essentially a restaurant that BBQs quality food and serves it at picnic tables.
Any four day tour of Barcelona should include this, especially if you love eating meat and drinking cold beer outdoors.
Joan Miró Foundation
The Joan Miró Foundation is a museum dedicated to the famous Catalan artist Joan Miró.
It is located on the slopes of Montjuïc Hill and was inaugurated in 1975, shortly before the artist’s death.
It was born as a foundation by the will of the artist himself, who wanted to create an artistic space of international reference in Barcelona.
Subsequently, the Foundation has become a space to promote research and studies on Miró and contemporary art and to enhance his collection.
Nature is a key element of the foundation’s architectural project.
Joan Miró and Josep Lluís Sert – architect, close friend of the artist and project manager – chose Montjuïc as the site of the museum because they wanted a building integrated into nature.
In short, the vegetation becomes an integral part of the exhibition space here.
Plaza España and the Magic Fountain
End your four days in Barcelona in one of its busiest squares but which hides real jewels: Plaza España.
You recognize it for the iconic panorama dominated by the pair of Venetian towers.
Looking through the towers, at the end of the long avenue of Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina, the Palau Nacional de Montjuïc stands proudly, which today is also home to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC).
All these buildings date back to 1929, the year of the Barcelona International Exposition.
The MNAC houses a huge collection of Catalan artwork from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, including paintings, sculptures, frescoes and decorative art objects.
The collections include works by artists such as Rubens, Velázquez, Goya, Tiepolo and Tintoretto.
Among the most famous works are the best examples of Romanesque frescoes, unique in Europe, which represent an important artistic and historical heritage of the region.
If you want to admire the city from above (and free!), go up to the terrace of the Las Arenas shopping center, an imposing circular building that used to be an old bullfighting stadium.
To round off your 4 day stay in Barcelona, wait until the evening for the light show, water games and music of Magic Fountain Barcelona. The shows are free but times vary: check in advance.
Important: the Magic Fountain show is temporarily suspended due to a drought affecting Catalonia (July 2023).
Not into fountains? Check my list of other best things to do at night in Barcelona.
Four days in Barcelona not the right time? 🤯
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: double your pleasure with a two day break!
- 3️⃣ Barcelona in 3 Days: stay for a long weekend and lock in more attractions
- 7️⃣ Barcelona in 7 Days: spend a week in Europe’s best city
4 Days in Barcelona Spain FAQ
How to spend 4 days in Barcelona Spain?
To spend four days in Barcelona you should mix in the city’s top attractions like Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Batllo.
Beyond this, you’ll also want to head to Barceloneta Beach, take a walk around the Gothic Quarter and Montjuic Hill, watch a flamenco show, and eat traditional paella and tapas dishes.
Is 4 days enough in Barcelona?
Four days in Barcelona is definitely enough if you’re looking to get your hand on the pulse of the city. With four days you can easily check off the main attractions, see the city’s natural beauty, and sample a big portion of the city’s traditional food.
What are the must sees for Barcelona in four days?
Must sees for a four day Barcelona trip include Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, Las Ramblas, Boqueria Market, the Gothic Quarter, Montjuic Hill, and Barceloneta beach.
What to pack for 4 days in Barcelona?
Packing for four days in Barcelona depends completely on the season. In summer, it’s fine to bring only shorts/t-shirts and a light jacket – in spring and fall you’ll need sweaters and long pants. In Barcelona in winter, you’ll need a heavy coat and even gloves and a hat for evening.
Ready to See Barcelona in 4 Days?
It’s not only possible to visit Barcelona in 4 days, it’s actually probably the preferred amount of time.
I hope that my list of things to do in Barcelona in four days has been a help – but don’t be afraid to write me for custom itinerary stops should you feel the need!
Enjoy your four days in Barcelona 🤝