If you are looking for a destination for a long weekend, where the food is amazing, the architecture unique and the nightlife unforgettable, then Barcelona is the answer. In this article, I will explain why, after my 3-day trip, Barcelona became my favorite spanish city. I will also share some useful tips to help you plan a trip that you’ll love.
BARCELONA AT A GLANCE
Why visit Barcelona for 3 days? Let’s point out some interesting facts about the sunny capital of Catalonia.
- Barcelona is a very cool, hipster city with a robust street culture. Do not wait to meet the stylish, fancy, chic atmosphere that you will see in Milan.
- But that does not mean that it is not a clean city. I found Barcelona to be a very clean and green city.
- Barcelona is also a pet-friendly destination. There are plenty of off-leash dog parks where you can have fun with your four-legged friend and many pet-friendly hotels.
- Be prepared for a lot of sunshine, beaches, and all the good stuff that every Meditteranean city has to offer. Do not forget that Barcelona is a party destination and they are many clubs where you can party until dawn. Also, the city hosts the famous Sonar Festival for whoever loves electro music.
- Even if you are not a party animal, you can still enjoy the city. You can admire all the Gaudi artworks and the unique architecture of the city, take a cooking class, do shopping and many many more things.
BEST THINGS TO SEE IN BARCELONA IN 3 DAYS
#1. GAUDI’S SAGRADA FAMILIA
If you do not have enough time to do a lot of sightseeing, then go only to Sagrada Familia. It is not only Barcelona’s most famous attraction, but this eccentric church is one of the world’s Top 10 most visited touristic attractions.
It is Gaudi’s most famous masterpiece and Barcelona’s most popular tourist attraction. Gaudi has been working on it for 43 years and he actually…never finished. It still a work in progress without of course losing its originality: the architect Jordi Fauli and his team are aiming to complete the works at 2026.
When we are talking about one of the most visited attractions in the world, one thing is for sure: the huge crowds. It is a huge mistake to visit this iconic monument without buying before the pricy-but-worthy-it-ticket.
It is super EASY to book online your visit to this bizarre attraction. You choose the day and the time, you download the ticket to your mobile (or you print it) and you show up 5 minutes before in the entrance. No waiting in line, no long queues, no wasted time.
I can’t yet understand why people are making their lives difficult and ruining their vacations. If you have only 3 days to spend in Barcelona and you are planning to visit the Sagrada Familia why you just don’t buy the ticket and save 2h of your precious time in the city?
These are the prices of the tickets:
- 17,00 €: includes only the entrance to the attraction
- 25,00 €: includes the entrance to Sagrada Familia plus audioguide
- 26,00 €: includes the entrance plus a guided tour
- 32,00 €: entrance, audioguide, and admission to one of the 2 towers!
I strongly believe that is better to pay a bit more and get up to one of the two towers because you can have one of Barcelona’s best views. Unfortunately, when I went it was raining and the towers were closed. There was no problem though, after a couple of weeks I got a refund.
You can buy the tickets online from the official page of the attraction or you can buy them using Paypal from here. It is a bit more expensive because they include a tour guide with a smaller group and the possibility to cancel for free up to 24h before the activity starts.
And here are some other options:
#2. BARRI GOTIC, the Gothic Quarter
The Gothic neighborhood is not only the most beautiful but also the oldest part of the city. You can get lost in the narrow alleys or dedicate some time to visit Barcelona’s Cathedral.
Barcelona’s Gothic Cathedral has nothing to do with Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. It is has been here since the 13-14th century, and it is worth taking take some minutes to admire this fantastic gothic structure.
#3. SHOPPING IN RAMBLA
What is La Rambla? La Rambla is the busiest street in Barcelona, has the most famous brands and in the middle is pedestrian, while the cars are passing from the left and the right. It was a bit strange, I admit. It wasn’t the best attraction of the city but is indeed a very famous boulevard considering the terrorist attack that happened here in August of 2017.
You can start walking from Plaça de Catalunya square, play with the pigeons if you like and walk until the end of the boulevard. La Rambla ends up in the port with a huge monument of Colombus.
What can you do? If you don’t like shopping, there are many cafes and restaurants where you can sit, take a break and drink some sangria. Kiosks, news-stands with various souvenirs and street artists are making La Rambla the most vibrant part of the city.
♦ EXTRA TIP: If you reach the sea, you will see an awe-inspiring bridge. Cross that bridge, and you will reach La Rambla del Mar (The Sea Rambla). There, you can find many beautiful cafes by the sea and a shopping mall. I liked that one more than the busy Rambla; it was less crowded, and I could finally buy a couple of things.
#4. LA BOQUERIA, THE MOST FAMOUS MARKET
While you are exploring La Rambla, take a look to the right, and you will find the market “Mercat de La Boqueria.” There you can buy fresh fruit, fish, sandwiches or enjoy the vibe. It is a well-known tourist attraction so prepared to be very crowded. You will not need more than 10/15 minutes to explore the market, and you can even buy Jamón (the traditional Spanish ham) at an excellent price.
♦ EXTRA TIP: There are many other markets, less touristic that are worth visiting. Even though many travel blogs recommend having breakfast at La Boqueria, if you want a more authentic experience, try to go to Mercat de l’Abaceria. It is a less known market, where locals have breakfast and do their shopping.
#5. CASA MILA
If you love Gaudi’s architecture, there are many more buildings to explore. Casa Mila, in Passeig de Gracia, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building is also known as La Pedrera. You can take a picture or spend a little more time and go inside. The ticket to La Pedrera costs 22 €, a bit pricey, I know! If you have only 3 days probably, you will not have the time to explore this stunning masterpiece, but as far as I heard, it is worth it. Not only you can understand better Gaudi’s architecture, but you get some fresh shots from the roof!
#6. THE STUNNING CASA BATTLO
Walk 5 minutes more, and you will find another famous landmark signed by Gaudi, Casa Batllo. I didn’t have time to enter this attraction too, but I took some moments to admire the architecture. It is a bizarre, stunning, hallucinogenic building dated back to 1904!
Be aware that also to this attraction, the entrance is a bit expensive…23€!
♦ EXTRA TIP: even though these are Gaudi’s most famous artworks, there are not the only one! You can walk around Barcelona, and you can find hidden gems, like this building inspired by Gaudi!
#7. BARCELONA’S NIGHTLIFE
If you like to party, then you are in the right place. Barcelona has many bars and clubs and the capital of Catalonia never sleeps. One bar that I enjoy is FAROLA .Don’t forget to drink “Cava,” a typical sparkling wine. Sangria is also a must!
IS BARCELONA EXPENSIVE?
Barcelona is the 5th most expensive city in Europe. So, yes, it is expensive. Not like London or Paris but be prepared to spend some euros – especially if you want to enter the most famous tourist attractions-.
The many metro lines help a lot for moving around quickly and fast, and you can consider finding a hotel or an Airbnb a bit outside of the city center. When it comes to food, it is not so expensive. You can save a lot eating Tapas, but as always it depends on the restaurant!
WHERE TO STAY IN BARCELONA;
Hotels are very costly in Barcelona. Avoid the peak season and visit the city early in the sprint or during the fall. I chose that time to stay in an Airbnb very close to Sagrada Familia, and I didn’t regret it. The neighborhood is lovely, and I could walk to almost everything.
With this coupon, if you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can have a discount. Otherwise, take a look at these fantastic Booking.com last-moment deals!
One of the most famous attractions that I didn’t have time to see due to the heavy rain and my bad organization is the colourful Park Guell. 3 days are not a lot if you want to see Barcelona, especially if you like to chill and not run like crazy from one spot to another. After all, I think Barcelona is a destination where you go to chill and relax no? 🙂
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