So our time in Barcelona was a little goofy. We had three nights on the front end of the trip and one on the back end. The first three nights, we stayed at a lovely hotel right on Las Ramblas. The silly part was that my grandparents and I had to share one room with one bed and me sleeping on a pull-out chair. Not pull-out couch...but chair. So along with the jet lag forcing us to nap every day at about 4 pm, we were crammed into a pretty tiny living space.
Silliness aside, though, Barcelona retained much of the magic that I remembered from when I visited back in 2014. The kind of magic that makes you think, "I kinda want to live here someday." And you really feel like you could, because the city is so modern and cosmopolitan. Not to mention beautiful, with it's little oceanfront walkway and wrought iron terraces and blue skies and the like.
I wanted to put this post together so that others could not only know what exactly to do in Barcelona, but have the most blissful, stress-free, magical experience in one of my favorite cities in Europe. Read on for what to pack, where to stay, what to eat & drink, and the perfect Barcelona, Spain 3-day itinerary. Enjoy!
What to pack:
How to get there:
From San Francisco, I took a round-trip Lufthansa flight for just $500 and laid over in Frankfurt both ways.
What to eat:
- Breakfast// Brunch & Cake (Order: the matcha pancakes)
- Breakfast// Federal Cafe
- Lunch// Bo de B
- Lunch// La Boqueria
- Lunch// La Bombeta (Tip: Cash only, no wifi, very little English except on menu)
- Dinner// Cerveceria Catalan (Tip: Get a seat at the bar if it's busy. Waiter might not be friendly.)
- Dinner// Sensi Gourmet Tapas (Order: croquettes, chorizo, and truffel ravioli)
- Dinner// Arume (Order: the duck paella)
- Drinks// Bar Dow Jones
- Note: Yelp was actually a helpful tool in Barcelona, so I used that to collect food ideas and TripAdvisor for activity ideas!
What to do:
- Go on a Free Walking Tour
- Walk through the Christmas markets (Note: Fira de Santa Lucia is the biggest one)
- Shop on Passeig de Gracia
- Explore the following neighborhoods:
- La Barceloneta: gorgeous waterfront area with dining and shops
- El Gotic: oldest and most architecturally awesome
- El Raval: edgier part of the city
- Eixample: modern, up and coming
- Gracia: bohemian, boutique shops
- Catch a free show at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic
- Tip: Get there 20m early and bring your own tapas & cava!
- Tour Palau Guell and Park Guell
- Feast your eyes on the Sagrada Familia
- Tip: Tickets to go inside are about 15 euros, but order ahead online because they are for certain time slots.
Barcelona, Spain 3-day itinerary
- 9 am Breakfast at Brunch & Cake
- 11 am Free Walking Tours Barcelona
- 2:30 pm Lunch at La Boqueria
- Walk to Barceloneta, wander & shop here
- 5:30 pm Dinner at La Bombeta
- Ride the teleferico from La Barceloneta to Montjuice at sunset
- 8 pm Magic Fountain of Montjuic
- Drinks at Bar Dow Jones
- 9:30 am Breakfast at Federal Cafe (El Raval)
- 11 am Tour Palau Guell
- 1:30 pm Walk through Fira de Santa Lucia (Xmas Market)
- 3 pm Lunch at Bo de B
- 4 pm Taxi to La Sagrada Familia & Parc Guell
- 8 pm Dinner at Cerveceria Catalan
- 9:30 pm Churros con chocolate
- Breakfast at Ugot
- Explore Placa Catalunya & Las Ramblas, shop around
- Walk through Arc De Triumph Ciutadella Park
- Lunch at Arume
- [Built in time for you to check anything off your list! I always get more recommendations locals.]
- Dinner at Sensi Gourmet Tapas - MUST!
Why you'll love it:
- Do I even need to list reasons? It's inevitable. Barcelona is the 3rd most visited place in all of Europe. Everybody loves it!
- There's a great energy here. People seem to be happy, like they're really thriving. This might have something to do with bullet point #1 and Spain's booming economy.
- Very cosmopolitan and modern, but with a ton of beautiful architecture and history.