Written by Ash

Barcelona in One Day: 24 Hours in Barcelona Itinerary


Thinking about doing Barcelona in one day?

If you’re on limited time, then I’ve got the perfect one-day Barcelona itinerary for you.

And in order to maximize your time, I’ll make sure there’s a balance of top attractions, epic local eats, and a couple of off-the-beaten-path options – so whether on a layover, a cruise-ship stop, or just too busy, here it is:

The perfect one-day Barcelona plan.

Barcelona in One Day Itinerary

travellers use the metro in barcelona spain

Getting Central

The clock is already ticking, so if you’re at the airport, the quickest way into town is to take a 20-minute Barcelona taxi for about €30.00.

Other Barcelona airport transport options include the airport train in Terminal 2 (€2.40, 25 minutes but limited departures) or the Aerobus (€5.90, 35 minutes, departing every 5 minutes).

If you’re at the Barcelona cruise ship terminal, grab the Autobus Azul shuttle to the famous La Rambla and get on the green line of the Barcelona metro at Drassanes, change at Diagonal (blue line L5) and head to La Sagrada Familia church.

⚠️  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:

You will not be able to book these tickets on site – lock in your tickets ASAP or you could miss out.

Arriving by train? From Sants Estacio, grab the blue line of the metro to Sagrada Familia.

Remember: the best way to see Barcelona in one day is by using the metro, so grab yourself a Barcelona map and get rolling.

If you need left luggage, check out the central Barcelona left luggage options that start from just €4.50 at Barcelona Turisme.

stained glass windows at the sagrada familia in barcelona spain

Stop #1 – the Sagrada Familia (2 hours)

Yeah yeah, every city in Europe has an enormous Roman Catholic church: but Sagrada Familia just hits differently.

This spiky UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by wonder-architect Antoni Gaudi is by far Barcelona’s most visited tourist destination. It’s so detailed that has been under construction for over 130 years.

With over three million annual visitors annually, the lines will stretch into the hours, especially during summer. So get there as early as possible.

Go for the English-guided tour of Sagrada Familia for the full experience.

Lock in your timeslot now!
upper facade of casa batllo with balconies in barcelona spain

Stop #2 – Passeig de Gracia (1.5 hours)

Take the metro back to Diagonal (blue line, L5) and exit at Passeig de Gracia – the city’s most stylish street, which is known for Barcelona’s best shopping and architecture.

Walk towards the sea, you’ll know because there’s a slight downward slope.

Stop in and visit any of the world’s top brands but remember, if you’re visiting Barcelona in one day, your time will likely be better spent visiting the area’s world-renowned architectural masterpieces.

Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and Casa Mila are both truly original art nouveau mansions that, at the very least, need to be appreciated from the outside. Look up and stand in awe.

🚲 Wanna see a ton of sights in little time? Consider taking one of the best bike tours in Barcelona.

el nacional multi restaurant culinary space barcelona

Stop #3 – Lunch at El Nacional (1 hour)

El Nacional is Barcelona’s newest sensation.

Here you can find several of Barcelona’s best bars: including a cocktail bar, a beer bar, a wine bar, and an oyster bar under one roof! There are also a number of Barcelona’s top restaurants, each specializing in meat, fish, and tapas, respectively.

Each establishment uses only traditional recipes from the Iberian Peninsula. And I’m telling you, eating top-quality Spanish cuisine is easily one of the top things to do in Barcelona in one day.

You’ll find it at 24 Passeig de Gracia.

🍷 Want the best local wines outside of El Nacional? Book one of Barcelona’s best wine tours from €30.00.

Stop #4 – Placa Catalunya (30 minutes)

At the bottom of Passeig de Gracia, you’ll find Barcelona’s biggest square, and a can’t-miss destination on any one-day tour. It’s the city’s true centre and a border of sorts between the old city and the new.

Spend a few minutes dodging the pigeons and contemplating life’s most intricate mysteries, or if you’ve still got the shopping bug, duck into the city’s largest department store: El Corte Ingles.

🧑‍🎨 Want more of Gaudi? Unlock his masterpieces with the top Gaudi tours in Barcelona.

tourists walking through restaurants on la rambla in barcelona spain

Stop #5 – La Rambla (1 hour)

Just south of Placa Catalunya, you’ll find the famous Las Ramblas.

This street that never sleeps is the door to the famous Gothic Quarter. Sure, there are tons of tourist traps to avoid here, but you have to see it once, and at least you’ll get one of Barcelona’s best markets.

I’d recommend ignoring the street salesmen, fast food restaurants, and overpriced souvenir shops until La Boqueria Market appears on your right-hand side. Sample some great Serrano ham and get yourself a fresh 1 euro fruit shake. You’ll need the energy for the rest of the walk.

At the bottom of La Rambla, take a left at the Columbus Statue and follow Passeig de Colom for 10-15 minutes.

🏙️ Wanna see a La Rambla + other top sites?: Consider booking one of the best Barcelona city tours.

the leaning homentage a la barceloneta monument at barcelona beach neighbourhood

Stop #6 – Fresh Air and a Drink in Barceloneta (2 hours)

Feel the sea breeze in Barcelona’s beach neighbourhood – now you’re officially on holiday! It may not be what I’d consider one of the best beaches in Barcelona. But if you’re doing Barcelona in one day, time is of the essence.

The people-watching here is amazing, and it’s another classic place for photographs.

If you’re looking for a drink, head to La Xampanyeria (Carrer de la Reina Cristina 7) for cheap bottles of rose wine or Bar Leo (34 Carrer Sant Carles) on a weekend afternoon – you’ll likely get a Spanish guitar performance.

Finish the night in the neighbourhood with a Spanish classic: Barcelona’s best paella. You can’t miss going to 7 Portes if it’s quality you’re after, and my favourite seafood restaurant in the area is Somorrostro.

Need more? Check out my post on what to do in Barcelona at night.

Stuck on a rainy day? Check out my list of Barcelona indoor activities.

One day in Barcelona not long enough? 🤯

Check out my other Barcelona itineraries to help you find that budget/time sweet spot:

Related: Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?

Related: Unique Things to Do in Barcelona

sagrada familia passion façade under construction sagrada familia passion façade under construction
Save up to €30 on your Barcelona holiday right from the couch.

Barcelona in One Day FAQs

  • Is it possible to visit Barcelona in one day?

    Absolutely! Although it’s a big city with a lot to see, you can still make the most of your time and get a good feel for the city in just one day. You’ll have plenty of time to visit Sagrada Familia, wander around La Rambla , check out the beach and enjoy the local Catalan cuisine.

  • What are some must-see attractions on a Barcelona one day itinerary?

    Some of the top attractions include the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, La Rambla, Casa Batlo, and the Gothic Quarter. If you’re in town in the summer, it’s also worth checking out the beaches if you have time.

  • How should I plan my itinerary for one day in Barcelona?

    First off, you’ll need to have your transport options sorted to maximize your time. Once you’re in town, it’s a good idea to start with the most important sights and work your way down – what exactly these are will depend on your interests.

    If you’re short on time, consider booking a tour such as the Bus Turistic, or using public transportation to save time. You can also plan your day based on particular interests, such as art, history, or food.

  • How can I make the most of my time in Barcelona?

    To make the most of your day, it’s important to prioritize and plan ahead. Don’t try to do too much or you’ll end up feeling rushed. After all, Spain is supposed to be relaxing!Take your time and enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavours of this beautiful city. And don’t forget to take lots of photos!

  • What is the quickest way to get into Barcelona’s city centre from the airport?

    If you have a layover in Barcelona and want to get into the city centre as quickly as possible, the best option is usually to take a taxi, which should take around 20-minutes. Alternatively, the Aerobus is a shuttle service that runs every 5-10 minutes from both terminals of the airport and goes directly to Plaça de Catalunya in the city centre.

    The journey takes around 35-minutes and costs around €5.90 for a one-way ticket or €10.20 for a round-trip ticket. You can purchase your tickets online in advance or at the airport.

Still Wondering How to Do Barcelona in 1 Day?

Was my Barcelona in one-day advice a little too flat for your tastes? Drop me a line below, and I’ll help you plan it out more thoroughly with some custom advice.

So there it is! An eight-hour shift in one of Europe’s best cities. Hopefully, you enjoyed Barcelona in one day so much that you’ll be back soon for a longer visit. After all, there is still so much to see.

Hasta la proxima😉

  • September 8, 2019 at 3:05 am
    Hi Ash! So I'm flying to Barcelona in early October with two teenagers and a husband. We'd like to see as much of the area and beyond as we can in a week. The plan is to rent a car and make a loop down the coast (Valencia), go east up to Bilbao and back to Barcelona. I know - ambitious! So as we arrive in Barcelona, I'm thinking we should rent a car from the airport and drive to our hotel. Still not sure where to stay - on the coast or in the city? We're not drinkers, but we are eaters and love to find those local favorites that are less expensive but still classic deliciousness and not as well known. Know of any? Do you have an opinion on where I should be looking for a hotel or if I should trust AirB&B? Should we plan on keeping our car at the hotel and take public transportation around to the sites you suggested (parking is hard to find/expensive)?
    • September 9, 2019 at 10:58 am
      Team Member
      Hi Kara, First off let me say that Barcelona is so well connected via public transit that it would hardly make any sense just renting a car and keeping it in a parkade for a few days. Not to mention the fact that parking is often expensive and can run you like €30.00 a day or more. I've lived here 9 years and maybe twice did I ever wish I had a car... and it was when I was going outside the city. It would make more sense to me to get the car the day you're ready to leave... or maybe get it if you're going up the coast, though I'm not sure what you mean by that. Do you mean staying in a neighbourhood along the water? Or up the coast in a small down? I've got an entire list of the best things to eat in Barcelona as well as the best restaurants. I try to keep them local and fairly reasonably priced... if you've had a look there and still haven't found what you're looking for please let me know. I have a post on the best areas to stay in Barcelona. You should take a look there first and determine the area, then click on the buttons to go to a list of hotels which you can search by amenity. Without knowing your budget and needs it's tough... though in general for families I would recommend El Born or Gracia as they're both a bit more relaxed and authentic. Cheers, Ash
  • August 31, 2019 at 2:08 am
    Kandra James
    Hi there, I appreciate your one day recommendations. Couple questions: I am hoping to squeeze in this one-day trip in late October. Is there a day of the week that you most recommend? Also, I will be with my mom, who is a little older (73). While she is active and mobile, I want to be certain that the walking is doable. If I had to subtract from this list, with her needs in mind, what would you take off? (Of course not THE SAGRADA FAMILIA! As an art history student, the art and architecture is the reason for the visit,lol) Thanks
    • August 31, 2019 at 2:02 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Kandra, Walking will be possible for 90% of your one day trip but keep in mind the initial trip up to Sagrada will require the metro from basically any 'landing point' in the city unless you're prepared to take a big walk of 45 minutes or more. The rest however... no worries! As for subtracting something from this list I would sub out the stop at El Nacional and opt for a quick on the fly lunch. If you're not beach people there is of course also the option of cutting the Barceloneta portion as it doesn't contain any major postcard type monuments and being October is not the optimal time to visit. Cheers, Ash
  • July 18, 2019 at 10:42 pm
    christine seabright
    Hi, we will be staying in Santa Susanna for a long weekend and plan to visit Barcelona on Sunday 8 September. The itinerary above looks great, however we are not shoppers, would prefer to see more sights. We aim to get into Barcelona for about 9.30 / 10.00 am. e would like to visit the Camp Nou. Would you suggest starting of at Camp Nou? We plan on staying until 6.30 pm and having a late lunch. Should we pre book tickets for main for la saqrada and nou camp before we come? We want a full day but not rushed, we have a fit 84 year old aunt. What would be your suggestions. Thanks
    • July 19, 2019 at 10:30 am
      Team Member
      Hi Christine, Provided you're getting in at 9:30 it should be totally doable... if you're not big shoppers you could easily just substitute Camp Nou for the La Rambla portion of my one day itinerary, or even for the Barceloneta bit a bit further on. That said, you could also just start the tour at Camp Nou since it'll be the furthest out attraction... then work your way back in doing Passeig de Gracia, Plaça Catalunya, La Rambla, Barceloneta, and finishing at Sagrada later on around 5. Just please make sure you book your tickets in advance online because I've been getting tons of people asking me for tickets at the last moment but I can't do anything for them because it's all sold out! Cheers, Ash
  • July 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm
    Hi, we are a dance group of 20 teenagers and adults. I really like your itinerary. We will visit Barcelona in October, we need advice on what to see in just one day. Maybe better ti skip the lines, museums. Just explore Barcelona from outside :) We would love to see Park Guell and Sagrada Familia, how much time do we need for that? Thank you very much :)
    • July 17, 2019 at 11:11 am
      Team Member
      Hi Martina, Thanks for the kind words :) Well... if you're looking to visit things from the outside it's certainly advisable for some of the 'lesser' attractions like the Gaudi mansions etc. That said, I strongly recommend visiting Park Guell and Sagrada from the inside. I would book tickets for both of these attractions over a span of about 4 hours. You would need about 1 hour to travel between the two comfortably with no rush, accounting for hiccups and coffee etc. If you have a better idea of the times involved please let me know and I'll suggest something more specific. Cheers, Ash
  • July 6, 2019 at 8:39 pm
    I am coming to Barcelona a day before my family. I am looking for ideas on what to do or tour(s) to take for the afternoon. My family will want to see La Sagrada. I am a 54 year old lady. Thanks!
    • July 7, 2019 at 11:25 am
      Team Member
      Hi Jodi, I would first turn your attention to my list of top things to do in Barcelona as I couldn't have worded it any better than there. Depending on your taste you may want to do 1, 2, or 17 of them ;) As for tours I would totally recommend taking one of the walking tours done by Runner Bean or one of the food tours like the Devour tapas tour or any of the ones with Wanderbeak. They're a great way to have fun and learn and maybe even eat :) Cheers,
  • June 23, 2019 at 5:09 pm
    Hi. We are thinking of Camp Nou tour for family of four. My boys (15 and 11 years old) want to do the plus tour (VR) while my husband and I would just like the ordinary tour. Is it possible to purchase different tickets for family and the boys can do the VR by themselves? Thanks!
    • June 24, 2019 at 2:28 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Kp, You're certainly free to get an ordinary tour and then get the VR headset for only one or more members of the group, not to worry! :) Ash
  • June 5, 2019 at 2:29 pm
    Sai Sabarish
    Hey, thanks for the well written article. Im arriving at Barcelona at 0050h in July. I have to reach Eixample for my hotel. Kindly guide on how to reach there at this hour. I might miss the Aerobus as it ends at 0100.
  • May 7, 2019 at 12:40 pm
    Myself and my wife would like to see the "not-to-miss in Barcelona " tourist spots on 22 and 23 June .. We prefer a sight seeing guided bus tours for each of the days . Can you suggest the most appropriate packages available. We would also be happy to have purchased online the tickets in advance in India iteslf not to lose precious time in Barcelona.
    • May 7, 2019 at 1:13 pm
      Team Member
      Hi Prahlada, As far as can't miss spots I would have to say they are Sagarada Familia and Park Guell as well as the Gaudi mansions (Casa Batllo and Casa Mila). The most convenient way to get these done in a package would be to buy the Barcelona City Pass which includes airport transport plus the sightseeing bus as well as the major attractions Sagrada and Park Guell. It also gives you a 20% discount on pretty much anything else you can buy. It also allows you to book everything in advance which is a huge convenience. Please take a look at the pass here: If you're looking for more ideas please consult my article on the top things to do in Barcelona. Please let me know if you have any more questions :) Ash
  • May 6, 2019 at 5:03 pm
    Lisa Moore
    Wow, great information. We have a group of 8 arriving from a cruise at 8am oct. 28, 2019. Our flight back to the states will be late in the afternoon. Can you suggest a place to leave luggage and the most awesome places we need to see in our quick venture in Barcelona. I saw that there were places at the airport, but that seems like a waste of our precious time. I would appreciate ant advise.
    • May 7, 2019 at 11:37 am
      Team Member
      Hola Lisa, For this type of situation I'd prefer you use a service like Nannybag because it's flexible and you can book by the hour, number of bags, and there are just a ton of options near the cruise port. Just look on the map and select. For people with a day or less showing up from the cruise port I always recommend the Bus Turistic as well as maybe taking in a sight or two from the inside (preferably Sagrada Familia or Park Guell)... the whole bus trajectory takes about two hours, gives you great education with the audio guide, and will cover the most ground possible given your limited time. In my Bus Turistic article I even have an itinerary for cruise ship passengers which you should take a look at. Please let me know if you have any more questions :) Cheers, Ash
  • April 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm
    Hello there! First of all, I have never enjoyed a travel website as much as I enjoy yours. Really well done. My husband and I along with our two teenage sons will be flying to Barcelona in June to stay with old friends in Valencia. We will have about 48 hours in Barcelona. We will take the Aerobús to Plaza Cataluña around midday, and our hotel is nearby. We expect to be sleep deprived that first day, but we would still like to see a few things. We hope to have a full day the next day, and pick up our rental car the day after, around 11am. Here's what we really want to do/see: Sagrada Familia (I'll get skip the line tickets on line before we go), Las Ramblas, la Boqueria, see the beach, see Gaudí buildings but not go in, lots of tapas, exploring Gótico (I'm a little obsessed lately with Carlos Ruiz Zafon books), Magic Fountain, and Barcelona Cathedral. Can you help me make sense of it all? I know your one day in Barcelona is a great start, but I need a bit of help with the rest. GRACIAS
    • April 28, 2019 at 10:29 am
      Team Member
      Hi Jessica, Thanks so much for the kind words :) I am trying to make sense of it all too! I mean, you’ve got a very doable itinerary here, it’s just a matter of not overloading day 1 and keeping the attractions in vicinity to one another. Since your schedule is a bit different from the typical 1 day itinerary (in fact it’s much more and includes a ‘late arrival’ in that the morning is a write off) I would go light on day one and schedule the Sagrada visits and the Magic Mountain (provided this is between Thursday and Sunday) only... and then one the second day group the Gaudi Mansions, Boqueria, Gothic Quarter (with Cathedral)the next morning... then spend a sunny afternoon at the beach afterward. You can mix lots of tapas in ;) Please let me know if you have any more specific questions, always here to help! Ash
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