Three days in Barcelona is actually a near-perfect time frame to explore the city, visit all of those must-see attractions and get a sense of what the city of Barcelona is like. But again if you want to experience the capital of Catalunya in detail and on a slower pace I would definitely advise you to spend at least 5 days in Barcelona.
So what is the ideal trip itinerary if you have only 3 days to spend in this extraordinary city but want to absorb as much fun and beauty as you can? Here’s what!
DAY ONE – Hola Barcelona!
#1 Placa Catalunya
If you have ever been to Rome and particularly at Termini station, you will easily get a sense of Placa Catalunya in the frame of Barcelona. This is the busiest spot in the city, center of the transportation web and for everything else. There are lots of shops and boutiques around the Placa, as well as the main shopping center “El Corte Ingles” and of course the “Apple Store”. Nice place to start your trip in Barcelona.
#2 Las Ramblas
From Placa Catalunya you will notice a crowded street with a wide sidewalk, which is actually in the middle of the street. That’s La Rambla or Las Ramblas (I never really figured out which is the right name). Considered one of the top attractions of Barcelona, Las Ramblas is indeed a very specific catalan experience to me. There are lots of shops and booths on the walking area and on the sides of the street, plenty of street performers, flower shops, Indians selling some chinese stuff, souvenirs all over the street which are overpriced as you may guess yourself. Rumors are there are lots of pickpockets on Las Ramblas, but if follow the minimum safety rules while travelling, you won’t be the one complaining about pickpockets, that’s for sure;)
#3 Mercat de Boqueria
Approximately in the middle of Las Ramblas there is a food market “La Boqueria”, which is also a very catalan type of experience. They say if you don’t find what you want in La Boqueria, you won’t find it anywhere. I personally haven’t checked that quote, but had lots of fun eating fresh watermelons and melons while walking through the market.
#4 Columbus Monument and Port Vell
At the end of Las Ramblas you will be pleasantly surprised by a cool breeze and a fantastic view of the magnificent Barcelona Port! But before you reach the port you can try climbing the top of Columbus Monument and enjoy beautiful city views from above. It will cost you € 4.
#5 Barri Gotico (Gothic Quarter)
A short walk from the Port will take you to the historical part of Barcelona – the Gothic quarter. Just walk around the place with no particular direction and enjoy the mostly empty narrow streets.
#6 Barcelona Cathedral
This Cathedral stands out from the most of European basilicas with its pure gothic architecture and corresponding elements, like vintage windows and bare walls. It is very beautiful both from inside and outside.
#7 Passeig de Gracia
After absorbing the beauty and uniqueness of Barcelona you can let yourself relax and have a nice evening walk along Passeig de Gracia, which is the main shopping area of the city. You will get a sense of the architecture of Barcelona and admire those little gothic-style balconies, which appear to be the architectural signature of the city.
I haven’t indicated fixed hours in this trip itinerary, because it is very specific for every traveller. But even if you start your wandering at noon you will go through this list by 8pm anyway.