See the Most Beautiful Places in Barcelona – Things to do in 3 Days
- 1 See the Most Beautiful Places in Barcelona – Things to do in 3 Days
- 2 Things to Know Before Traveling to Barcelona
- 3 Barcelona – Best Things to do in 3 Days
Barcelona has it all. Great beaches, awesome bars, stunning architecture, and so many things to do and see. The city is a hive of beauty, activity, and action.
There is a reason why Barcelona has made it onto so many “favorite cities“ lists (including mine) – actually, there are many reasons. Here you´ll find out why Barcelona is so freaking awesome, which places to see, and what are the best things to do there in three days.
The weather is fantastically warm (okay, sometimes too hot for my taste), making it the perfect place for a getaway, to escape the grind. The paved streets and majestic buildings are ideal for getting lost and finding yourself.
However, arriving in a big city can be a bit daunting, so I have made a list of things to do soon after landing.
P.S. I did not visit Barcelona solo, but with my sister. So, this is not a solo-female guide to Barcelona, but I would feel comfortable doing all the mentioned Barcelona activities by myself.
Also, this is not the typical 3-day Barcelona itinerary because at the time of our visit, it was extremely hot. As is common in the summer months in Spain, we enjoyed the siesta, which meant we headed back to our hotel during lunchtime and slept. So, we did not walk around all day (as I normally do), and thus, we were less “efficient.“ On the other hand, we spent more than three days in the city, so I compiled a list of things that you can do in three days, even though it is not the typical Barcelona itinerary.
Things to Know Before Traveling to Barcelona
How to Get Around
Walking: We mostly walked. Staying in a central hotel made it easy to get around on foot most of the time. It is easy and safe to walk to many Barcelona sights, as they are close to one another.
Bike: We rented a bike for a couple of hours and Barcelona made it easy to explore the city this way.
We did not cycle around the busiest hot spots, like La Sagrada Family or La Ramblas though, but cycling is great for exploring the city.
Public Transportation: We did not use public transportation often, but several of the below mentioned places of interest in Barcelona are offsite, so using the metro/bus/tram is a good idea. They are cheap (around 2€ for a single ticket), fast, and run frequently.
Language / People
Nowdays, the political situation dominates the news. Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous region Catalonia, with its own culture and language.
While it is debated whether Catalonia will become independent or not, at the moment, it is part of Spain and the European Union (and has the € as currency).
Spanish and Catalan are the official languages, but since we did not speak either of these, we had to use English with the inhabitants. Many spoke some basic English, but longer conversations were rare.
I recommend downloading an offline translating app – just in case.
Though I did not visit Barcelona as a solo traveler, I would feel comfortable doing all of the mentioned recommendations by myself.
I am proud to say that I have never been pickpocketed (so far), and though Barcelona is known for pickpockets and theft, you can stay safe when you watch your purse closely and exercise common sense. Particularly at busy places like La Rambla or in the metro, you need to be super attentive and be more cautious than normal.
It is all About Gaudi
Barcelona is – almost – all about Gaudi. Gaudi was an important Catalan architect (1852-1926), playing a crucial role in Barcelona. Some of the top tourists attractions in Barcelona were designed by him. It doesn’t matter if you visit Barcelona for one day or one week, his work will always be present, so don’t be surprised to hear his name often in connection to the city.
Barcelona – Best Things to do in 3 Days
Admire La Sagrada Familia
Here we are, starting the first attraction with Gaudi.
THE most popular place in Barcelona for visitors is La Sagrada Familia. This is a Gaudi-designed Roman Catholic church, which is amazing – inside and out.
The work on the basilica started in 1882, but it is still not finished. This fact might make this building even more special, and once it is finished (probably in 2026), we will finally see how the construction turns out.
The nouveau, gothic art design is definitely something to marvel at – a typical Gaudi I would say (though I really don’t know that much about architecture and art).
If you want to visit the church, you need to buy tickets in advance to skip the crazy long lines (have I mentioned that this is the most popular tourist place in Barcelona, with more than three million annual visitors?).
During high season, it is even recommended to book tickets weeks in advance.
Stroll Las Ramblas
La Ramblas Street is downright fun.
The street is probably the busiest tourist area and is lined with bars and restaurants. La Ramblas is bustling, and there is plenty to see and do. The street performers are perhaps the weirdest and most eclectic in the world, with some of them going to great lengths to entertain the crowd. If you need a shopping fix, La Ramblas is the place to get it. But make sure you keep your purse safe. It has had a reputation in the past for pickpockets.
Visit FC Barcelona Museum & Camp Nou Stadium
Ok, I know what some of you might be thinking: Boring. A football stadium is the last place you want to go when visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
But visiting Camp Nou should be on your itinerary. I admit that we did not go inside (we are just too broke to spend money on a tour), but we made sure to visit at least and take a look at it from the outside.
The stadium is actually quite amazing, even if you’re not that big of a football fan (or even a Barca fan). You can also learn about its history in the museum and buy souvenirs ( I still have my little Barca pencil case, one of very few souvenirs I have ever bought).
Get Lost in Barrio Gotico
Barrio Gotico is the gothic quarter of Barcelona and is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods. You feel like you’re stepping back in time into some old movie.
The cobblestone alleyways and cute eateries really give the feeling that you’re in another era, where time has stopped and dreams can come true. There are plenty of photo ops while you visit, feeling inspired by your surroundings. Cafes, shops, and beautiful buildings make it a great place to get lost.
It is also home to the Barcelona Cathedral, which is another good place to see.
Explore Park Guell
Park Guell, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is another Gaudi-designed wonder and is used as a public park nowadays. While it looks unreal, it’s such a great place to spend a sunny day in Barcelona.
Its quirky architecture and vast array of gardens are perfect for rejuvenating your heart and soul. Laden with bridges and pathways that you can go over or under, it is a whimsical place to chill and read a book or have a picnic – and the great views of the city should not go unmentioned!
Visiting the park is free, but if you want to enter the Monumental Zone with more great pieces of Gaudi, like the Salamada Fountain, you need a ticket, which costs about 8€.
Again: Buy tickets in advance and come early (ideally at 8 am), as it is one of the most visited places in Barcelona and the crowds will not stay away.
Learn About the History at Montjuic Hill
Montjuic is one of the two prominent hills/mountains in Barcelona, and a great place to go.
Take the cable car to get to the top of the hill and the castle of Montjuic. These views are worth it! You could also take a regular bus (bus 150), but cable cars are so much more fun.
The Montjuic Castle is a good starting point for exploring the area. We did not see the pools, but there are two of them with a view, for those who would like to take a dip.
There is also an open-air museum, “Poble Espanyol,“ where you can find out about Spanish culture and history. There are worse ways to study history than here!
Admittedly, you might not be able to visit both of Barcelona´s mountains in three days. If you skip one attraction or another, you can manage it though. Of course, you will be rewarded with great panoramic views. There is also an amusement park on the mountain, but unless you are with kids or a sucker for amusement parks, I suggest not spending your valuable time there.
Rather, enjoy some great (and free) views from the church on the mountain and see Barcelona from above.
Do a Bike Tour
Barcelona bike tours are a good way to discover this gorgeous city With the heat, we were challenged, but it was one of the highlights of the Barcelona trip.
There are a few different options. An easy option is one where you glide around the city at a slow pace, taking in all the beautiful sights and sounds that Barcelona has to offer (we mostly calyces around the harbor area).
The more difficult option is to cycle around and up Montjuic Hill (which I definitely did not do).
Chill at Barcelonata
The beach is Barcelona is only a short bus ride from the town center. As far as I can remember, it was one of the very few times we used public transportation.
It’s great place to spend the day and get your tan on. The beaches have beautiful white sand and clear blue water. If you get hungry, there are plenty of places to eat and drink. It’s a great place for people-watching and resting after all those busy days in Barcelona.
Here is another masterpiece of Gaudi and another UNESCO World Heritage site: Casa Battlo. This weird, awkward-looking building is a must-see – and truly one of a kind.
Built at the end of the 19th century, it has become a tourist magnet. Marveling at it from outside is free. If you want to see more of Gaudi´s work and enter the house, and go up to the rooftop terrace, you need to book a ticket (and as you can guess, it is recommended to buy a ticket in advance, so you do not waste your precious time on line).
Do Siesta Time
Siesta happens between 1 pm and 4 pm each day. At this time, most shops shut down, so it is a great time to take a well-deserved nap. We visited in summer, so it was quite hot and we had to take breaks – just because sightseeing in the heat is more taxing. As a person who loves taking naps, this comes in handy, though it might be annoying when visiting a new destination.
But make the best of it and do as the locals do… take a siesta. After all, being a tourist and woman of leisure is hard work.
So, as you can see, Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and there are so many fun things to do – for couples, families, friends, and solo (female) travelers. There is never a dull moment. There are so many amazing places to get lost in and places to go out. I guess that’s why it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.