3 Days in Barcelona: Things to Do & See

10 Must See Places in Barcelona + places to see in Barcelona in 3 days for first-timers.

With almost a year to plan and do research, my extended weekend in Barcelona was one of the most off-the-beaten-path trips I’ve taken. I love looking at architecture when traveling; in Barcelona, Antoni Gaudi and architecture go hand in hand. Even though I visited during the winter, the weather was beautiful and I had a great time exploring the city.

From visiting the Gothic Quarter to strolling down Passeig de Gràcia, there were so many things to see in Barcelona, and views around the city were breathtaking. If you’re in the planning stages of your trip, here’s a 3-day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain including ten places to see in Barcelona.

Traveling to Barcelona from NYC

Finding a great flight deal for under $300, I booked my flight to Barcelona a few weeks after my solo trip to Cartagena. It was my first time flying via TAP Air Portugal and I had a pleasant experience with the food and entertainment options.

I didn’t know at the time, but a benefit of flying with TAP Air Portugal is getting a potential two-in-one trip. If your long-haul flight goes through Portugal, you can stay up to 5 days in Lisbon or Porto, Portugal at no extra cost to your flight ticket.

How to Get around Barcelona

A lot of the exploring during my 3 days in Barcelona was done via the metro and walking. Barcelona has convenient options for transportation including the Hola Barcelona Travel Card which includes unlimited travel for 48, 72, 96, or 120 hours.

After purchasing a two-day Hola Barcelona Travel Card, I took the metro and walked to each site I visited. To help me get around unknown streets, I had an offline version of Google maps. If needed, Barcelona also has free public WiFi available in the city center and high-traffic areas.

If you plan to see popular sites, I suggest purchasing the Barcelona Card which is a city pass that includes unlimited travel for 72, 96, or 120 hours, discounts to popular sites for adults and children ages 4-12, and more perks.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

Since I booked the trip so far in advance, I almost forgot to book a hotel for my trip. Luckily my extended weekend in Barcelona was off-season, so I booked a stay at Ofelias Hotel.

Ofelias Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel that was within walking distance of the metro station, bars, and restaurants. I absolutely fell in love with the lobby and “book nook” reading area.

3 Days in Barcelona: Ofelias hotel Book Nook
Ofelias hotel Book Nook
Reading Area at Ofelias Hotel
Reading Area at Ofelias Hotel

Best Places to Visit in Barcelona in 3 days

There are so many things to do in Barcelona and it is the perfect destination for any season. If you’re limited with time, but want to get the best out of your trip, here are ten popular places to visit in Barcelona in three days.

Most of these places have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. You can easily access these sites via bus, train, taking a hop-on-hop-off bus, or walking around the city.

Palau de la Música Catalana

Visiting Barcelona in 3 days - Palau De la Musica
Inside Palau De la Musica Catalana

Completed in 1908 to house the Orfeo Catala (Catalan Choral Society), Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall and UNESCO Site. More than half a million people visit to see performances that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó.

Location Carrer del Palau de la Musica, 4-6

Telephone: +34 932 95 7200

Nearest Metro: Urquinaona (Yellow Line, L4)

Bus: Via Laietana / Comtal: 45, V15, V17 or Plaça Urquinaona: 39, 42, 55, H16

The Palau de la Música Cost

  • Individual Rate: €20
  • Advance Purchase: €16
  • Senior Rate: €16 (box office only)
  • Catalonia Resident Rate: €10
  • Free: Children under 10 years inclusive, accompanied by a family
  • Students: €11

Hours of Operation

Tours run daily every 30 minutes from 10.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Easter and July: from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. August: from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Top Tips for visiting The Palau de la Música Catalana

Get there on time. Once the tour starts, you are not able to catch up. The Palau de la Música is still a current concert hall. On occasion, tourists are able to see a concert from the local choir.

Catedral de Barcelona – Barcelona Cathedral

Visiting Barcelona in 3 Days - Barcelona Cathedral
Outside of Catedral de Barcelona

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia is also known as Barcelona Cathedral. The cathedral was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century.

The site where the church stands were previously the location of a Roman temple, a mosque, and later a 1st-century church that was destroyed by the Moors.

Location Pla de la Seu s/n 08002 Barcelona

Telephone: +34 933.428.262

Nearest Metro: Jaume I (yellow line L4) or Liceu (Green Line, L3)

Bus: Via Laietana / Comtal: 45, V15, V17 or Plaça Urquinaona: 39, 42, 55, H16

Barcelona Cathedral Cost

  • Choir Entrance: €3
  • Cathedral Visit (includes the elevator to the roof): €7
  • Audio Guide: €11

Hours of Operation

  • Opening hours for worship and prayer: from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m
  • Cultural and tourist visit hours: from 12:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. (access will be closed at 7:15 p.m.)

Top Tips for visiting Barcelona Cathedral

Get the fast track ticket for a visit between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm. There are fewer crowds and you can get the audio guide for €7 less.

Casa Lleo i Morera

Location: Passeig de Gràcia, 35

Casa Lleo i Morera in Barcelona
Casa Lleo i Morera in Barcelona

The Magic Fountain – (Font màgica de Montjuïc)

Located on the former site of The Four Columns which were a symbol of Catalanism, the Magic Fountain was created as part of the attractions for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. 

It is the main feature of a complex of fountains, cascades, and pools on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, the street running from the Palau Nacional to Plaça d’Espanya in Montjuïc. Performances take place at half-hour intervals every weekend, with weekends extended during the summer season.

Location Pl. Carles Buïgas, 1, 28080 Barcelona, Spain Telephone: +34 934 02 70 00Nearest Metro: Plaça Espanya (Green Line, L3) and (Red Line, L1)

Magic Fountain Cost – FREE

Hours of Operation

  • November 1- Jan 6 – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 8-9 PM
  • CLOSED Jan 7 – Feb 28 for annual maintenance
  • March 1-31 – Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8-9 PM
  • April 1 to May 31 – Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9-10 PM
  • June 1  September 30 – Wednesday to Sunday – 9:30 – 10:30 PM
  • October 1 to 31 – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 8-9 PM

Top Tips for visiting the Magic Fountain

Get there at least a half-hour before the first performance.

Font màgica de Montjuïc in Barcelona Spain
Font màgica de Montjuïc in Barcelona

Gaudí’s Masterpieces

You can’t visit Barcelona and NOT see any of Antoni Gaudí’s work. Visit these sites on your own or book a walking tour with a guide.

Park Güell

Location: Carrer d’Olot+34 934 091 831

Parc Güell Barcelona
Parc Güell Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

Location: 401 Carrer de Mallorca+34 932 080 414

10 Must See Places in Barcelona in 3 days: Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Casa Amatller & Casa Batllo

Location: 41-43, Passeig de GràciaBarcelona, Spain 08008

Casa Amatller & Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain
Casa Amatller & Casa Batllo in Barcelona

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

Location: 92, Passeig de GràciaBarcelona, Spain 08008

Casa Milà La Pedrera in Barcelona, Spain
Casa Milà (La Pedrera) in Barcelona

Take a Day trip to Montserrat

On my last day, I took the train to Montserrat and even took a hike up to Sant Jeroni. If you’re into hiking, seeing beautiful countryside views, and learning a little more about the monastery, it’s a great experience.

Day Trip to Montserrat from Barcelona
Views from Montserrat

View highlights of my 3 days in Barcelona below

I had a great extended weekend in Barcelona, but there are more sights I would like to visit like the Picasso Museum. I hope this travel guide to visiting Barcelona in 3 days was helpful with your trip planning.

If you’re adding these sites to your Barcelona itinerary, make sure to pin this post for future reference or share it with your social community.

3 Days in Barcelona Things to Do and See 10 Must See places in Barcelona in 3 days
3 Days in Barcelona Things to Do and See in Barcelona in 3 days

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11 thoughts on “3 Days in Barcelona: Things to Do & See

  1. That New Girl says:

    I envy all my friends (and now, you lol lol jk!) who’ve gotten to go to Barcelona! I had started making plans to go with a uni friend last year but life got in the way. It’s one of my dream places though! Sigh! So stunning!

  2. Darrica Jackson says:

    I want to go to Spain so bad! Europe in general actually. I have to remember this for when I actually make it there! #BLMGirl

    • Joanna E says:

      I want to explore more of Europe especially the UK since I have family there and saw results from my ancestry DNA test. The architecture is so beautiful. You’ll love it.

    • Joanna E says:

      My aunt said she loved Barcelona so much and the flight was really good so I booked it. I didn’t realize that she loved it so much because she went to school for architecture. Very beautiful sites.

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