If this is your first time in Spain, you will love this 3 day Barcelona Itinerary. It covers the most popular sights, restaurants, and bars in the capital of Catalunya. I will do my best to make your life easier by doing it as detailed as possible.
Do not worry – 3 days in Barcelona are enough the get a good feel of the city. This is the exact itinerary I followed on my weekend trip back in 2020. I guarantee that if you follow it, you will have a blast.
Barcelona is a party city and this guide is taking that into consideration. The daily attractions are manageable even if you go crazy the night before. If you are not planning to party too much, you might be able to squeeze a little bit more. At the end of the article, you will find some bonuses to consider in case you have extra time.
I know that all the information below will be hard to remember. Do not get overwhelmed; you will be able to download the full itinerary and take it with you on your trip.
Without further ado, here is the ultimate 3 day Barcelona itinerary for first timers.
How to move around in Barcelona
Let’s start discussing how to move around in the city. If you are staying only 3 days in Barcelona, I do not recommend renting a car. That would just complicate things. Moving around in Barcelona without a rental car is easier than you think.
Below are the three most cost-effective transportation methods:
Barcelona Metro System (TMB)
Barcelona’s metro system is one of the most user-friendly I have ever seen. It’s very efficient and covers most of the city (including Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport). As of May 2020, the metro card costs €23.70 for 3 days. Click here for the most recent prices.
As in any major city, there are plenty of taxis in Barcelona. You probably will not need a taxi during the day if you purchase an unlimited 3-day metro travel card. However, these could come in handy after a night out.
Ride share app like Uber. This app is getting popular among locals throughout Spain. As with the other popular rideshare apps, it is usually cheaper and safer than taxis.
*As of May 2020, there is no Uber in the city.
Where to eat in Barcelona
It is hard to come up with recommendations in a city with as many options as Barcelona. There are just a lot of awesome restaurants. However, to make your life easier, I will include my favorites below. All the places have different vibes to give you guys some variety.
Mercado de la Boqueria (La Rambla)
The famous fresh food market in the city center. This is a great place to get a taste of the Spanish cuisine. Here you will find fresh food, tapas, smoothies, sweets, and much more.
Hours: MON-SAT 8:00AM-6:30PM
Address: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Website: Mercado de la Boqueria
FOC BCN (Barceloneta)
Cool restaurant in Barceloneta with a great variety of traditional Latin American dishes and drinks. The place has a lively and colorful vibe – it feels like Latin America.
Hours: SUN-THU 12:00PM-2:30AM, FRI-SAT 12:00PM-3:00AM
Address: Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 66, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Website: FOC BCN
A fancy bar with a great selection of delicious tapas and cocktails. This is the spot for a sophisticated night out.
Hours: SAT-SUN 4:00PM-3:00PM, MON 8:30AM-1:00AM, TUE-THU 8:30AM-2:00AM, FRI 8:30AM-3:00AM
Address: Carrer de Casp, 22, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Kubik Restaurant (La Rambla)
Open kitchen tapas restaurant in the center of the action. Great option for dinner if you are craving delicious tapas, wine, and/or beer.
Hours: Everyday 8:00AM-2:00AM
Address: Rambla dels Caputxins, 45, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Website: Kubik Restaurant
La Tasqueta de Blai (El Poble-Sec)
One of the most popular tapas bars in town. It is known for its great “pinchos” variety. The place is affordable – the pinchos start at €1. Excellent option for brunch.
Address: Carrer de Blai, 17, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Website: La Tasqueta de Blai
Where to stay in Barcelona
The best area to stay if you want to be in the center of the action. You will have easy access to most attractions, shops, restaurants, and bars. This neighborhood is more appropriate for a group of friends coming to have fun. Not the best area if you are coming with your family and want a quiet place.
El Gótic has a similar vibe to El Raval; just on the east side of La Rambla. It is the historic center of the city of Barcelona. Also, it is arguably the best area for nightlife. There is something going on at El Gótic every single night of the week.
The famous seaside neighborhood in Barcelona. An option to have in mind if you are visiting in the summer months. There are nice hotels, seafood restaurants, bars, and discos in this area.
A little bit cleaner and nicer than El Raval/El Gótic. It has a completely different vibe; it honestly feels like a separate town. This neighborhood is home to the luxurious Passeig de Gràcia, Park Güell, and Bunkers de Carmel. Gràcia is the perfect area to stay if you prefer a more local vibe and/or traveling with your family.
Metro from airport to city center
As said before, I recommend purchasing a 3-day metro card. It costs €23.70 for 72 hours, and you will have unlimited rides including transport from/to the airport. When you arrive in the city, follow the signs to Metro line L9 Sud (Orange).
There are stops in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. These stops are called Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2.
Click here to purchase the tickets ahead of time. You will also have the option to purchase the tickets at either of the airport metro stations.
The ride to the city center takes about 45 minutes. You will probably need to change metro lines to get to your accommodation. Pay close attention to this.
After you check in into your accommodation (and relax for a while), step out to explore the heart of the city: La Rambla. This is the popular boulevard full of shops, restaurants, and bars. It is arguably the most crowded place in town.
Always be aware of your surroundings, La Rambla is the ideal spot for pickpockets.
Nightlife at Eixample
Hopefully, you are not tired, because the night is not over yet. You need to make the first night count. If
Interested in going out, find below the two options that I recommend for your first night.
Mojito Club: Awesome Latin club located in the Eixample district. The place is not that big, so it can get crowded easily. The DJ usually plays Latin rhythms: Reggaeton, Bachata, and Salsa. People really come here to dance and have a good time.
Bling Bling: One of the most popular fancy nightclubs in Barcelona. The music will be mainly Reggaeton. This is the best option if you want to get out of the mainstream Port Olímpic area but still want to have a good time. Bling Bling will not disappoint.
Barcelona Itinerary Day 1: Park Guell & Bunkers de Carmel
Mercado de la Boqueria
Start your day having a good breakfast/brunch at Mercado de la Boqueria. Here you can find everything you will ever want. There are kiosks that sell coffee, smoothies, tapas, steaks, seafood, and much more. One of the best places for foodies in Barcelona.
There is no better way to start this exciting trip that at one of the most popular icons of this city, Park Güell. This is a public park designed by the famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. The construction of the park started in 1900 and was originally intended to be a residential park for sixty single family residences. The project was never completed and became city property in 1923.
It is Gaudí’s most colorful project.
This is an extremely popular spot and one you don’t want to miss. I recommend purchasing the tickets ahead of time. Click here to purchase the tickets.
TIP: The best time to visit is mid-afternoon.
Cost: General ticket €10
Address: 08024 Barcelona, Spain
Website: Park Güell
Bunkers de Carmel
If you were wondering why I recommended going to Park Güell in the afternoon, this is the reason! These old military bunkers are the best place to get a 360 view of the city. It is also the best place in town to watch the sunset.
They are located at the top of Turó de la Rovira, about a 10-minute walk from Park Güell.
Locals and tourists come here to do picnics, play music, drink beer, and socialize while enjoying the wonderful view. Feel free to bring your own drinks.
Nightlife at the Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is the best district for bar hopping in Barcelona. Everybody that has been here would agree that there is something for every taste in El Gótic. The best strategy is to start at the bars around Plaça Reial.
My favorite Spots:
Rei de Copes: Cool bar on Plaça Reial; an excellent place to start the night. Drink prices are reasonable. The setup is more suitable for socializing while getting a few drinks. However, there is also a small open-floor room where you can practice your dance moves.
Jamboree: One of the few nightclubs located around Plaça Reial. Do not be confused by the term Jazz Club. While it might be a Jazz Club some nights of the week, I’ve seen this place popping hip hop and reggaeton all night long. It has two floors, each with a different music genre.
El Bombón Salsa: Nice Latin bar with good Mojitos and Salsa music. It is a small place, but you can always find a spot to practice those Salsa steps. Some days of the week they will have 2×1 Mojitos.
Espit Chupitos: A great place for those killer shots in the middle of the night. This place has a mind-blowing selection of shots. In addition, the music is not bad at all. I can see this place turning into a small, low-key nightclub. It will be up to your group to turn it into that.
Barcelona Itinerary Day 2: Passeig de Gràcia and Sagrada Familia
On the second full day, we will be covering the main attraction in the city: La Sagrada Familia. The best thing is that you will be able to cover multiple attractions on your way there. We will start the journey by exploring the luxurious Passeig de Gràcia.
Passeig de Gràcia
Passeig de Gràcia is the most important boulevard in the city for shopping and business. It goes from Plaça de Catalunya all the way to the Gràcia neighborhood. In addition to having some of the best gastronomy, hotels, and stores it is also home to a few amazing modernist buildings.
Hours: Click here for the latest hours
Cost: Tickets start at €24 for adults. Click here for updated pricing.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Hours: Click here for the latest hours
Cost: Tickets start at €25 for adults. Click here for updated pricing.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Officially “La Basilica de la Sagrada Familia”, is a roman catholic basilica designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The construction of the temple started in 1866 and is still under construction. The basilica is expected to be completed in 2026.
Your Barcelona trip does not count until you see La Sagrada Familia. I encourage you to purchase tickets in advance.
Hours: Click here for the latest hours
Cost: €20 for the basic tickets. Go here for all the available packages.
Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Nightlife at Port Olímpic
It’s the third night and we need to step up our game. It’s about time to hit the clubs at Port Olímpic. The good thing about this area is that all of them are next to each other. If you don’t like the atmosphere at one, you can easily walk to the next one.
Here are my favorites:
Shoko: Mediterranean Restaurant by day and hardcore nightclub at night. The atmosphere is like any high-end nightclub in a big city. The type of music varies throughout the week, but it is mostly hip-hop, reggaeton, and electronic.
Opium: In general, it is a similar atmosphere to Shoko. The music is usually electronic, reggaeton, and hip hop. It will depend on the specific party they have that night.
Barcelona Itinerary Day 3: Montjuïc or Barceloneta
There are multiple exciting things you can do on your last day in Barcelona. It will depend on your own taste and how the weather looks like.
Go to Monjuïc and Camp Nou if you are more of a history, architecture, and/or soccer lover. This is also the best plan if visiting in the winter months.
If the weather is nice and you enjoy hanging out at the beach, the best way to spend your last day is at Barceloneta beach.
Monjuïc means Jewish Mountain in Catalan due to being home to the city’s Jewish community in the past. Many years ago, it played a huge role in the defense strategy of the city of Barcelona. Now, it is home to some of the city’s most popular attractions.
Top things to see and do at Montjuïc:
Montjuïc Cable Car
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
The biggest “futbol” Stadium in Europe and 3rd largest in the world. This stadium is the home of the popular FC Barcelona since 1957. Great option if you want to learn more about Spanish culture and their passion for this sport. Basic tour starts at 26€.
The famous seaside neighborhood of Barcelona. Many tourists come here to surf, hang out at the beach, or simply to taste the delicious seafood. It also has a very nice marina and a popular outdoor gym called Las Barras. If you are coming to town in the summer months, you must spend at least a day in Barceloneta.
Nightlife at Barceloneta
If you are like me and want to indulge in Barcelona’s nightlife one more night, I recommend the Barceloneta area. There are a few cool options in this area as well. My favorite bar in the area is Mr.Robinson. It is that fine line between a bar and a dance club. You should expect a healthy mix of locals and foreigners. Drinks are reasonably priced.
Bonuses: If Staying More than 3 days in Barcelona
Day Trip to Girona
A beautiful medieval city between Barcelona and Costa Brava. It is about a 1.5 train ride from Barcelona, which makes it a perfect day trip. This city has a more local vibe than the capital of Catalunya.
A hill overlooking the city of Barcelona. Come here for an amazing view of the city. It is also home to an amusement park and Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor.
One of the most popular museums in town. It has an extensive collection of Picasso’s works. If you are an art lover, this is a must do.
Parc de la Ciutadella
A beautiful park on the east side of the Gothic Quarter. It is probably the greenest area in town. The place is perfect for taking a break from the bustling city center. People come here for walks, kayak on the lake, and do picnics.
Barcelona is an amazing city for a weekend getaway. As with any city of this size, you will not be able to see all of it in 3 days. However, it will be enough time to see the most important attractions without sacrificing the party scene. If you follow this 3 day Barcelona itinerary, I guarantee you will have a great time.
The best way to follow it is if you take it with you on your trip.
Click below to download the full itinerary in PDF format.
If interested in learning more about this city, feel free to review our Barcelona Travel Guide.
Stay tuned for more awesome Spain content.
As always, stay safe.