People who know me know that when I’m travelling it is always my goal to see as much of a city or place in the time that I have at my disposal. So for Barcelona, I tried to fit all the highlights that interested me within my three days and one evening.
The length of my trip ended up being the perfect amount of time for me. I didn’t feel rushed anywhere and was able to enjoy the sun and wander the streets of the city to my own liking.
And of course I’m happy to share my itinerary with you all.
Day 1 – Friday evening
To my biggest satisfaction my flight arrived in El-Prat Barcelona airport earlier than scheduled. This made it possible for me to catch the 3:37pm R2 train to the city center. Yay! I dropped off my luggage at my hostel – Factory House – and by 5pm I was already stepping off the metro at Barceloneta.
I walked along the beach and through the lovely streets of this area – with a stop at La Cova Fumada for one of their famous ‘Bomba’ tapas – before walking back along Las Ramblas. By then the sun had set and I had met up with my friend and her boyfriend – who lives in Barcelona – for dinner. Since they were still pretty full from a big, late lunch we postponed dinner for a while and he guided us through the Gothic Quarter and pointed out the old city walls and other interesting landmarks in the area.
Day 2 – Saturday
I started off my first full day in the city with a visit to Park Güell. I was visiting during low season so there was no need to book my tickets in advance. If you are travelling in Spring or Summer, I’d highly recommend booking in advance or you might not be able to enter the park anymore. I was there by 8:30am and spend well over an hour admiring the park.
And then it was time to get active. I was going to go to Tibidabo by public transport but since I couldn’t figure out how, I decided to walk to the top of the mountain. It was quite a steep walk up, but it was so worth it. By noon I was on top of Mount Tibidabo with a lovely view on the amusement park and the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Challenge completed!
To return to the city center, I walked to the Vallvidrera Inferior station and took the train to Gracia. I spent the early afternoon wandering the streets of this lovely neighborhood, enjoying the cafes and browsing the shops.
Since the afternoon was still young, I decided to test my endurance some more. I walked from Gracia all the way up to the Colina de la Rovira to the Carmel Bunkers. I spent over an hour admiring the view of te city from up there. Bliss!
After an hour, I was ready to get moving again so I decided to go check out one of Barcelona’s most famous sights: La Sagrada Familia. I was there right as the sun was setting which was absolutely perfect.
Day 3 – Sunday
On Sunday, the Montjuic area was on my to-do list. There are many highlights and must-sees in the area so you can definitely fill an entire day there if you’d like.
Close to the nearest subway stop of my hostel – Lesseps – you can find Casa Vicens. This is the first house Gaudi designed. So while I was there, I did the short detour to go check out its facade. I liked this one better than the more famous Casa Mila and Casa Battlo, so it’s definitely worth that detour.
From ‘Lesseps’ I then took the subway to ‘Plaça Espagna’, the closest stop to Montjuic. First on the planning was a visit to Poble Espagnol. It was already 10am by the time I stepped through the gates of this open-air museum but it was still pretty quiet. I wandered the quaint streets for about an hour and half.
Since there wasn’t that much ambiance at Poble Espagnol – due to a few shops being closed for the season – I decided to take the subway to ‘Diagonal’ to go check out the other two Gaudi houses over there; Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera) and Casa Battlo. I didn’t go inside to visit them though.
And then it was time to climb up again. Back to Montjuic, to the top of the hill to go visit the Montjuic Castle. After 3pm on Sundays you can visit this castle for free, so I made sure to be back there at 3pm on the dot. The view on the city is amazing but other than that the castle isn’t that big a deal.
By 4pm I was already on my way to thé view of Montjuic; the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. You can also visit this museum – of course! -, but that didn’t interest me enough to go inside and out of the lovely February sun. After that I met up with my friend on the lawn over at the Olympic Circle where we lied down for a while and enjoyed the late afternoon sun. Bliss!
As the sun was setting the most beautiful colors appeared in the sky, so my friend’s boyfriend took us to the roof terrace of the Barcelo Raval Hotel to witness the sunset the best way possible.
Day 4 – Monday
By 9am on Monday I was already waiting at the entrance of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau to visit this old hospital site. For well over an hour I admired these beautiful buildings.
Then I took the subway over at ‘Sant Pau|Dos de Maig’ to ‘Liceu’. Right outside that subway station you can find the famous covered outdoor market; La Boqueria. It was pretty damn hard to resist all the delicious food on display there so of course I had some croquettes. Consider that a pre-lunch!
Along Las Ramblas I then walked to Placa de Catalunia. And then it was time for my 1pm appointment with the Palau de la Musica Catalana. I took a guided visit of this place which took about an hour. Definitely worth it!
And then the rest of the afternoon I spent wandering through the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. I just went wherever my feet took me and – sometimes a bit with the help of Google Maps – checked off the following sights there: Cathedral de Barcelona, Plaça de Sant Philip Neri, Plaça Reial, Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar and the Columbus Monument.
Late afternoon I then went to the Parc de la Ciutadella to relax for a while and enjoy the sun and the view on the Arc de Triomf.
I ended my day with another stop at La Sagrada Familia to see this beauty by night. Yup, also pretty damn impressive!
Day 5 – Tuesday morning
Considering I had my flight at noon and wanted to be at the airport around 10am, I had planned to just sleep in that morning and enjoy breakfast at my hostel and then head to the airport.
But I was wide awake at 5am, so I got up earlier than intended, had a quick breakfast and then went for one last viewing of Barcelona’s masterpiece; La Sagrada Familia. This time right after sunset. Even the third time around it still didn’t fail to amaze me.
And then it was time to take the train back to the airport and say goodbye to Barcelona. It was with a heavy heart that I boarded my flight back home. It had been a perfect few days in this amazing city and for me the getaway that I had needed to clear my head. Another reaffirmation that it’s never a bad idea to travel!