One Day in Barcelona Itinerary – Top things to do in Barcelona, Spain

As one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, the seaside city of Barcelona is the city you’re definitely going to fall in love with easily. Spending only one day in Barcelona, especially if visiting for the first time, surely won’t be enough to experience everything this pearl of the Mediterranean has to offer. On the other hand, if you maximize your time, even if spending just one day in Barcelona city, you can explore much, get the real vibe of the place and try some of the world’s best cuisines. And yes, you will definitely want to come back again.

one-day-in-barcelona-spain-itinerary

 

What’s the best time to visit Barcelona?

Anytime. There are events and activities to do and sights to see all year round. Still, due to the nice Mediterranean climate, it’s recommended to visit the city during off-peak season (March-May or September-November) so that you can avoid huge crowds and still enjoy some nice weather.

 

What’s good to know about Barcelona?

The capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain was founded as a Roman city. Today, this mesmerizing Mediterranean seaside city is bursting with culture, mind blowing cuisine and magnificent architecture that includes the unique and distinctive work of Antoni Gaudí.

Barcelona Promenade
Barcelona Waterfront

 

One Day in Barcelona Itinerary

Top things to do in Barcelona, Spain

Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Barcelona.

 

Spend a morning with Gaudí

Sagrada Familia

Start your day as early as possible and visit one of the most impressive, yet unfinished, architectural masterpieces – Sagrada Familia. It’s a work of Antoni Gaudí that has been undergoing extensive construction for more than a hundred years. If you want to visit the towers and the interior, book the tickets online to skip the huge lines.

Sagrada Familia Gaudi Barcelona
Sagrada Familia

 

Casa Milà and Casa Batlló

Your next stop is Passeig de Gràcia avenue. It’s known as one of the most important shopping and business areas, but most of all – it’s the avenue where both of the most famous Gaudí residential projects are located – Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.

Casa Mila
Casa Mila, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

Both of them are really impressive, even when just looking at the facade from the outside. If you’re really into visiting the interior of one of the houses – book your ticket online, otherwise you’re going to spend half of the day waiting in the line (and you don’t want that).

Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

 

Walk Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla

Just 10 minutes’ walking distance away from the last two sights are Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla street. La Rambla street, lined with cafes and souvenir stalls, is a bustling touristic place, but with the atmosphere you just don’t want to miss. If you’re into buying souvenirs – this street has it all.

Plaça de Catalunya
Plaça de Catalunya, Author: Fred Romero, Source: Flickr

 

Breakfast at Mercat de la Boqueria

Mercat de la Boqueria is the most famous Barcelona food market and the ultimate place for all food lovers. It has everything – from fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and smoked ham, pastries, sweets, and even some very delicious street food meals. You should ask for the prices before paying to avoid any kind of misunderstanding. Keep in mind it’s closed on Sundays.

La Boqueria Market Barcelona
La Boqueria Market, Author: Klearchos Kapoutsis, Source: Flickr

 

Grab a coffee at Plaça Reial

The coffee price would definitely go high at this place, but it’s one of the most beautiful Mediterranean squares due to the impressive architecture and loads of tall palm trees. It’s a great place to relax after a morning walk.

Placa Reial Barcelona
Placa Reial, Author: Emily Allen , Source: Flickr

 

Barri Gotic and the Cathedral

Barri Gotic or the Gothic Quarter know as the Old City dates back to Roman times, but most of the buildings date from Medieval times. The area is filled with tiny narrow streets and lovely squares and plazas. It’s a perfect place to wander and get lost, to check out some unique shops and art galleries and museums, as well as some cozy bars and restaurants. Check out the Cathedral for some impressive Gothic architecture (the entrance to the Cathedral is free at some hours).

Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

 

The afternoon on the beach

You surely don’t want to spend the whole day on the beach, especially if you have just one day in Barcelona, but still, a trip to Barcelona is incomplete without a visit to Barceloneta, a famous beach and the waterfront promenade. It’s also a great place to grab some snacks or to have some cocktails on the beach. If you decide to take a swim, don’t leave your belongings unattended.

Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach, Author: Fred Romero, Source: Flickr

 

Take a harbor Cable Car ride to the Montjuïc hill

The 1450-meter long cable car ride connects the Barceloneta beach and the Montjuïc hill. The ride starts near the beach and gives you a great panoramic view of the city and the hill from 78 meters up. The hill itself has a load of sights, museums and activities that can be seen and done, but even just a nice walk through the gardens down to the Plaça d’Espanya is a great thing to do if you want to move away from the crowds and noise and fill up your lungs with some fresh air.

Plaça d’Espanya from Montjuïc hill
Plaça d’Espanya from Montjuïc hill, Author: Fred Romero, Source: Flickr

 

Magic Fountain Show and Plaça d’Espanya

A Magic Fountain show is held few times a week at night, down the Montjuïc hill, very close to Plaça d’Espanya. Find your seat at the grand staircase down the hill and enjoy this impressive light, sound and water show in the magical atmosphere.

Magic Fountain Show Barcelona
Magic Fountain Show, Author: Peter Gørtz, Source: Flickr

 

Tapas dinner at the Gràcia quarter

You’re probably super hungry by now and the best way to end up your one day in Barcelona is to try some traditional cuisine. Luckily, the Spanish cuisine is all about serving a food in small portions, called tapas, so you can enjoy many different dishes and tastes at once. Choose some of the many nice Tapas bars in the Gràcia quarter, around Plaça de la Virreina. It’s also a nice place to enjoy some drinks (try sangria!) at night.

 

Where to stay in Barcelona?

Ayre Hotel Rosellón

Ayre Hotel Rosellón is a modern and stylish hotel very close to Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia. This designer hotel offers a rooftop terrace with a bar with panoramic views of Gaudí’s masterpiece and other incredible city views.

Book here
Ayre Hotel Rosellón
Ayre Hotel Rosellón
Ayre Hotel Rosellón
Ayre Hotel Rosellón

Petit Palace Boqueria Garden

The Petit Palace Boqueria Garden is a small 19th-century palace with a private courtyard and a garden with centenary trees – all listed as an architectural heritage of Barcelona. It’s located in the Gothic Quarter, next to famous La Rambla street and La Boqueria Market. It doesn’t get more central than that.

Book here
Petit Palace Boqueria Garden
Petit Palace Boqueria Garden
Petit Palace Boqueria Garden
Petit Palace Boqueria Garden

Hotel Brummell

Hotel Brummell is a Mediterranean boutique hotel located just next to the lush parks of the Montjuic hill. The hotel offers free yoga classes and features an outdoor pool and a sauna. The rooms boast modern furniture and artwork in the Nordic style.

Book here
Hotel Brummell
Hotel Brummell
Hotel Brummell
Hotel Brummell

Find the Best Hotel Deals in Barcelona

 

DAY TRIPS FROM BARCELONA

Want to get out of the city a bit? There are plenty of excellent choice when it comes to day trips from Barcelona, especially if you’re staying more than a day here. This part of Europe is truly breathtaking and provides a wide variety of ways to have fun, so choose wisely. Here’s what tourists enjoy the most.

 

Montserrat

A picturesque mountain only about 60 kilometers from Barcelona, Montserrat has plenty of things for you to do. Explore the abbey there which was built in the 11th century, taste phenomenal wine and enjoy the incredible scenery of the mountain. With only an hour’s ride by train, a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat is a great use of your time here.

Book a trip now!

 

Three countries in one day

Thanks to its unique position, Barcelona allows you to visit three countries in a single day – Spain, France and the tiny nation of Andorra. Head through the Pyrenees to discover this enchanting little country of less than 80,000 people. Then hop on over to France on the other side of the mountains for a genuine croissant and be back in Spain in time for dinner. Mont-Luis is the palace to go for that, but if you don’t mind a longer drive Perpignan can also be reached. Sounds like a great day, doesn’t it?

Book a trip now!

 

Girona & Costa Brava

Looking for a way to escape the large crowds of tourists in the city and really relax and enjoy? Then a trip to Girona or any other place on Costa Brava is in order! This colorful little town is full of history and culture, but it also boasts some great beaches. However, there is a hidden gem for foodies here because El Celler de Can Roca, one of the very best restaurants in the world is in Girona. You will have to reserve a table in advance, though. Way in advance. As you can see, this is vacation in its truest sense.

Book a trip now!

 

Figueres

The quaint little town of Figueres has a lot to offer. Not only does it contain some beautiful architecture, but it is also the home to the Dali Theatre. Yes, Salvador Dali – because this is his hometown. The great artist worked on turning this building into a museum himself, and the results are spectacular. Apart from that, loads of cafes, bars and restaurant make this place the perfect destination for a day trip from Barcelona if you want to get away from it all.

Book a trip now!

 

EXTRA TIPS FOR VISITING Barcelona

– Watch your wallet! Pickpocketing, especially around tourist attractions, is very common so you better keep your cash, credit cards, phone and other valuables concealed.

– Book all the tickets for the attractions you want to visit online. It’s the only way you can be time efficient and enjoy your day to the fullest.

 

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Barcelona Spain One day itineraryBarcelona Spain Top things to do

If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Barcelona Itinerary, feel free to share it in the comments below!

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MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2018.

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One comment

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the itenerary. I and my wife will take a 12 days trip to Europe end of this month.
    Kindly send me 3 days itenerary in Porto, Lisbon and Barcelona and 2 days itenerary in Rome as well

    Regards,
    Jaffar

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