4 Days in Barcelona (Itinerary + Must See Gaudi Sites)

A complete itinerary for 4 days in Barcelona (+ map with all must-see places and how to skip the lines at Sagrada Família, Park Güell and Casa Batlló).

Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain, is one of Europe’s most popular destinations. Lying on the coastline of the Catalonia region, the city attracts visitors with incredible architecture, historic sites, vibrant nightlife and delicious tapas! Barcelona truly offers something for every traveller to experience.

Starting as a Roman city, Barcelona went on to become the capital of Catalonia and was the most important city in the Crown of Aragon. Today, Barcelona is an important cultural and economic centre with a rich historical heritage.

Perfect 4-day Barcelona itinerary

Planning to spend 4 days in Barcelona and not sure where to start? It’s a big city with plenty to see and do – from the world-famous works of Gaudí through historic sites and museums to tasty tapas and sangria! But don’t worry, my 4-day Barcelona itinerary will give you all the information you need to plan the perfect trip.

This itinerary includes the city’s biggest attractions, some hidden gems and the best places for tapas, sangria and gelato. You’ll also find a few ideas for day trips from Barcelona, in case you’re planning a longer stay in Spain.

4 days in Barcelona Itinerary (for first-timers)

  • Day 2: Casa Batlló, Casa Amatller, Casa Milá, Casa Vicens, Cocktail Master Class with Tapas
  • Day 1: Sagrada Família, Hospital Sant Pau, Flamenco Show at City Hall Theater
  • Day 3: Park Güell, Paella Cooking Experience, Boqueria Market Tour
  • Day 4: Palace of Catalan Music, Gothic Quarter, Barceloneta Beach

I think that 3 or 4 days in Barcelona is the ideal duration to explore the city. This gives you enough time to see all the main sights without rushing. Moreover, you need to book time slots in advance for many attractions. This will not only limit your itinerary’s flexibility but also make it challenging to plan more than 2 attractions in a day. Still, if you’re tight on time, I’ve got suggestions for seeing Barcelona in 2 or 3 days after the 4-day itinerary.

Tips on your 4-day Barcelona itinerary

Accommodation – already have a hotel booked? Then check the location of your hotel to ensure it is in a favourable area (see my guide on where to stay in Barcelona).

My favourite place to stay in Barcelona: Yurbban Passage Hotel & Spa
Why: perfect location, just a short walk from a metro station and Plaça de Catalunya
What I like: excellent Spa, nice rooftop bar and swimming pool

Restaurants – there are plenty of excellent places to dine, but if you want to go to a particular restaurant, it is definitely best to book. Moreover, some restaurants open after 7 PM, so it’s not possible to go for an early dinner before the usual dining hours. Also, the good brunch places are always packed (and most of them don’t accept reservations), so prepare to wait between 30min and an hour for lunch.

Sightseeing – book skip-the-line tickets for the most popular attractions well in advance. The city is very popular with visitors, and especially in the summer months, the entry tickets are sold out days in advance.

Always book tours or skip the lines tickets with GetYourGuide (you get a mobile ticket + free cancellation). Tickets from the attractions’ official websites are mostly non-refundable.

Mapfind here a map of this 4-day itinerary for Barcelona (with all attractions and restaurants’ websites).

4 Days in Barcelona itinerary – Day 1

Morning

Breakfast at Turris Sagrada Família

08:50 AM – 09:20 AM

Start your first day of this Barcelona itinerary with breakfast at Turris Sagrada Família. They offer excellent quality pastries and cakes.

Sagrada Família

09:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Sagrada Família (Basilica of the Holy Family) is the most iconic symbol of Barcelona. It is also the most famous work of the Catalan Art Nouveau master Antoni Gaudí.

The construction of the basilica started in 1882 and it still continues to this day! It is expected to be finished in 2026. Initially, the church was designed in a neo-Gothic style. However, when Gaudí took over as chief architect, he redesigned it entirely.

Gaudí devoted almost his entire life to Sagrada Família. However, when he passed away in 1926, only the first bell tower of the Nativity façade was completed. The architecture is truly impressive – it does feature Gothic elements, but most of it is inspired by nature. The pillars are designed in the shape of tree trunks and the stained glass windows bring colour and light to this stone forest.

Sagrada Família barcelona itinerary
Sagrada Família is a must-see during your 4 days in Barcelona
Sagrada Família interior
Inside the Sagrada Família

Sagrada Família is the most popular attraction in Barcelona and it gets very crowded. Thus, make it the first stop for the day. Tickets are timed-entry and in the high season could be sold out days in advance. Lines can stretch on for hours and you have to go through a security check, too. Book tickets well in advance, so you can pick a time slot that suits you.

The best place for a photo is from the square across Sagrada Família, Plaça de Gaudí. It is always busy with tourists, and you’ll need to wait a little for your turn to take a photo.

It is possible to go up to the top of the towers at the Passion Façade for panoramic views of Barcelona. Note that although you can use the elevator to go up the tower, the only way down is via a narrow series of winding stairs.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Sagrada Família (free cancellation up to 24 hours)
Best guided tour: Sagrada Família Highlights Guided Tour – see the Nativity and Passion Façades, the stunning interior of the basilica and its museum

I believe Sagrada Família is one of the most stunning cathedrals in Europe. Make sure to include a visit to it in your Barcelona itinerary.

Sagrada Família stained glass
The breathtaking stained glass windows of Sagrada Família

Lunch at Paisano Bistró

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

You’ll have 4 days to indulge in the delicious Spanish cuisine, so for this lunch head to Paisano Bistró. This small bistro is one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve visited outside of Italy. Order some pasta (they also have fresh homemade pasta) and wine and don’t miss the desserts!

Paisano Bistró pasta
Paisano Bistró – the best Italian restaurant in Barcelona
Paisano Bistró dessert
Pistachio mousse at Paisano Bistró

Afternoon

Hospital Sant Pau

02:00 PM – 04:00 PM

Hospital Sant Pau (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau) is one of the finest examples of Catalan Art Nouveau architecture in Barcelona. It was built at the beginning of the twentieth century by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. In my opinion, Hospital Sant Pau is one of the most beautiful places in Barcelona.

The hospital consists of more than 10 pavilions connected by underground passageways. You can visit the buildings, where you’ll find exhibitions about the hospital’s history. The complex, with its red brick buildings and an idyllic courtyard with orange trees, is far from an average hospital. It’s a true oasis in the heart of the city!

If you’re visiting in the high season, book your Hospital Sant Pau Entry Ticket in advance.

Hospital Sant Pau
Hospital Sant Pau is a hidden gem in Barcelona

Gelato at Obrador DelaCrem

Before dinner stop for some gelato at Obrador DelaCrem (one of my favourite ice cream shops in Barcelona).

Obrador DelaCrem
Obrador DelaCrem – the best gelato in Barcelona

Dinner at Sagradas Tapas

Finish your day with delicious tapas at Sagradas Tapas. The cheese croquettes and eggplant chips were fabulous. Don’t forget to order some Sangría as well!

Sagradas Tapas
Sagradas Tapas
Sagradas Tapas sangria
Sangría at Sagradas Tapas

Flamenco Show at City Hall Theater

To experience the passion of flamenco music, book this Flamenco Show at City Hall Theater. It’s a great show to get a taste of Catalan flamenco – excellent dancers, a live guitarist and singers!

More ideas for 4 days in Barcelona – Day 1

Helicopter, Walking, and Sailing 360º City Tour

This Helicopter, Walking, and Sailing 360º City Tour is a great option to get a first impression of Barcelona. You’ll discover the best of the city from different perspectives on a tour by land, sea, and air. It includes a walking tour of the most famous attractions, a panoramic helicopter flight and a coastal cruise.

4 Days in Barcelona itinerary – Day 2

Morning

Breakfast at Crois Croissant Gourmet

08:00 AM – 08:40 AM

Start your second day of this 4 days in Barcelona itinerary with breakfast at Crois Croissant Gourmet. They offer delicious croissants with a variety of flavours (I loved the pistachio ones) and tasty sandwiches.

Crois Croissant Gourmet
Pistachio croissants at Crois Croissant Gourmet

Casa Batlló

09:00 AM – 10:20 AM

Casa Batlló is one of the most famous Gaudí houses in Barcelona. It was commissioned in 1903 by Josep Batlló i Casanovas, a Spanish businessman. Josep Batlló gave Gaudí full freedom in the design and Gaudí transformed the house into an architectural masterpiece.

Casa Batlló is also known as Casa Dels Ossos (House of Bones) because of its bone-like façade. The architecture is inspired by the legend of the dragon and St. George (the patron saint of Catalonia). This is depicted in the roof terrace, which is shaped to represent the back of a dragon. Inside, you’ll be captured by spine-like staircases, arched hallways, mosaic tiles and organic forms, all with a nautical theme.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Casa Batlló (free cancellation up to 24 hours)

During the summer, you can attend a concert on the rooftop (see here the summer program).

If you can only visit one of the Gaudí houses, I recommend Casa Batlló. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful one.

Casa Batlló barcelona itinerary
Casa Batlló – a must for your 4-day Barcelona itinerary
Casa Batlló interior
Inside Casa Batlló

Casa Amatller

10:30 AM – 11:40 AM

Right next to the famous Casa Batlló, you’ll find the beautiful Casa Amatller. Although not one of Gaudí’s works, it’s one of the most important buildings in Passeig de Gràcia. The house is part of the so-called Manzana de la Discordia, the Block of Discord. This block represents masterpieces of the most famous architects of Catalan modernism: Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch.

Casa Amatller was designed by architect Josep Puig I Cadafalch between 1898 and 1900 for the wealthy chocolatier Antoni Amatller. Puig I Cadafalch drew inspiration from medieval mansions, which he combined with elements from Catalan modernism.

You can visit the house on your own with an audio guide or as a part of a guided tour. Be sure to arrive a little in advance (tickets are timed-entry), because even on the self-guided tour, you’ll be accompanied by a guide, who will take you through the house.

Don’t miss the lovely chocolate shop, where you can buy and taste Amatller chocolates!

If you’re visiting in the high season, I’d recommend you book in advance your Casa Amatller Entry Ticket. It is not as popular as Casa Batlló, but it is open for visitors only in the morning and late afternoon.

Casa Amatller
Casa Amatller

Lunch at EatMyTrip

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

For lunch head to EatMyTrip, one of the best places for brunch in Barcelona. I’d recommend ordering the Pavlova pancakes and the Alps brunch.

It’s a popular place for brunch and they don’t take reservations, so prepare to wait for at least half an hour. Yet, it’s totally worth it!

EatMyTrip pancakes
Pavlova pancakes at EatMyTrip
EatMyTrip
EatMyTrip – the best brunch place in Barcelona

Afternoon

Casa Milá

02:00 PM – 03:00 PM

Just a short walk away from Casa Batlló, you’ll find another Gaudí masterpiece – Casa Milá. It is also known as La Pedrera (which means stone quarry in Catalan), because of its stony façade, made of undulating limestone. The house was built between 1906 and 1912, commissioned by Family Milà.

The most intriguing part of the building is its rooftop, where Gaudí transformed the chimneys into stone warriors. The iconic rooftop also offers great views of Barcelona.

In the evenings, you can watch the multimedia show La Pedrera Night Experience, which takes place on the roof terrace. The stairwells and the terrace are illuminated with multiple projections. Enjoy the show with a complimentary glass of Cava that comes with your ticket.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Casa Milà (free cancellation up to 24 hours)

Casa Milá barcelona itinerary
Casa Milá is one of the most famous works of Gaudí

Casa Vicens

03:30 PM – 04:30 PM

Considered a hidden gem, Casa Vicens is the first building of Antoni Gaudí. This summer house was constructed between 1883 and 1888 in the Neo-Mudéjar style. Exotic, lavishly decorated with marigold tiles and oriental motifs, it’s a real masterpiece and a must-see.

If you’re visiting in the high season, I’d recommend you book in advance your Casa Vicens Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket.

Casa Vicens
Casa Vicens is the first building of Antoni Gaudí

Gelato at Paral·lelo

Before dinner stop for some tasty gelato at Paral·lelo.

Paral·lelo gelato

Dinner at Con Gracia

For a unique gastronomic experience head to Con Gracia. This little lovely restaurant is located in the heart of the emblematic neighbourhood of Gracia. You can choose between a Tradition Menu and an Experience menu (which includes 9 dishes chosen by the chef, taking into account your tastes).

Cocktail Master Class with Tapas

To enjoy a great evening of cocktails and traditional Spanish Tapas, book this Cocktail Master Class with Tapas. You’ll learn the secrets behind four classic cocktails while tasting delicious traditional tapas.

4 Days in Barcelona itinerary – Day 3

Morning

The first site for the day is Park Güell, located a little bit far from the main tourist area, in the residential district of Gràcia. You won’t find plenty of options for breakfast around, so I’d recommend you to have breakfast at your hotel.

How to get to Park Güell
Situated in the north part of the city, Park Güell is not easy to reach and all options require a little bit of walking. The closest metro stations are – Lesseps (green metro line L3) and Alonso X (yellow metro line L4). From both metro stations, it’s about a 15min walk to the entrance of the park.

To get back to the city centre, take the yellow metro line L4 (direction La Pau) from Alonso X and get off at Verdaguer.

Park Güell

09:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Park Güell is one of the most popular attractions in Barcelona and a must-see work of Antoni Gaudí. It was originally planned as an upper-class residential complex with gardens, commissioned by Eusebi Güell in 1900.

However, after a few years, the project was abandoned, with only two houses actually completed. Gaudí lived in one of them for 20 years and today it houses a museum dedicated to his life and works. Note, that this museum has a separate entry fee.

Although the buildings weren’t completed, most parts of the public spaces and the gardens were done. Some of the park’s highlights include the Dragon Stairway, Porter’s Lodge Pavilion, Hypostyle Room, Laundry Portico and the Greek Theatre. From the latter, you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views of Barcelona.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Park Güell (free cancellation up to 24 hours)
Best guided tour: Park Güell Highlights Guided Tour – see all Gaudí masterpieces (+ the Dragon Stairway) and enjoy panoramic views of the city

barcelona itinerary Park Güell
Park Güell is a must when visiting Barcelona

If waiting lines are too long, skip Casa del Guarda (part of Porter’s Lodge Pavilion, located inside the park). There is almost nothing to see inside, except for some documentary movies.

Note that Park Güell no longer has a free area (unless you’re a resident), so you’ll need a paid ticket to enter. 

Lunch at Billy Brunch & Garden

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

Billy Brunch & Garden is another popular place for brunch in Barcelona. They have a lovely garden, so if you’re visiting in summer, it’s a must. The Eggs Benedict was excellent!

Note that they work on a first come first served basis (as most of the brunch places in the city). So, prepare to wait in line for at least 30min.

Billy Brunch & Garden
Billy Brunch & Garden

Afternoon

01:30 PM – 04:00 PM

Visit an attraction according to your interests. See my recommendation below for sites worth visiting and fun activities.

Wine Tasting

To embark on a journey through the different wine regions of Spain with an expert sommelier, book this Wine Tasting: Catalan and Spanish Wines. You’ll learn about different types of grapes while tasting local wines paired with delicious tapas.

Paella Cooking Experience & Boqueria Market Tour

Book this Paella Cooking Experience to learn how to cook a traditional Spanish seafood paella. First, you’ll visit La Boqueria (Barcelona’s oldest food market) with the chef to buy ingredients. Then you’ll learn the secrets of an authentic paella de marisco while savouring traditional tapas and Sangria.

Palau Güell

Palau Güell is a great option to experience more of Gaudí. It was built between 1886 and 1888 for the industrialist Eusebi Güell. Some of the palace’s highlights include a 17-meter-high salon decorated with mural paintings and the Gaudí typical chimneys on the rooftop.

National Museum of Catalunya Art

Housed in the impressive Palau Nacional on Mount Montjuïc, the National Museum of Catalunya Art is a must-see for every art lover. The museum is notable for its outstanding collection of Romanesque church paintings and Catalan art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

You can enjoy spectacular views of Barcelona from the top floors of the museum. If you’re visiting in the high season, I’d recommend you book in advance your National Museum of Catalunya Art Entrance Ticket.

National Museum of Catalunya Art
National Museum of Catalunya Art

Camp Nou and FC Barcelona Museum

Fan of football? Then add Camp Nou to your bucket list! Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe and the home stadium of FC Barcelona.

You’ll have the chance to visit key Barça areas, including the visitors’ changing room and the tunnel onto the pitch. And of course, the FC Barcelona Museum, which traces the history of FC Barcelona.

If you’re visiting in the high season, I’d recommend you book in advance your Camp Nou Entry Ticket.

Sunset Catamaran Cruise with Live Music

The best way to watch the sun set over Barcelona is by taking a cruise. This Sunset Catamaran Cruise is the most popular one (more than 700+ excellent reviews). You’ll cruise along the Barcelona coast while enjoying live music and stunning views of the city’s skyline.

Dinner at Tosca del Carme

To finish your day the right way, head to Tosca del Carme for some tapas. Try the patatas bravas (one of the best in Barcelona in my opinion) and the mixed platter.

Tosca del Carme
For the best patatas bravas in Barcelona, head to Tosca del Carme

The Magic Fountain

After dinner head to the Magic Fountain, located in front of the National Museum of Catalan Art. The fountain runs a spectacular sound and light show in the evenings (see the current schedule here). The show lasts about 30min, during which the fountain sprays more than 700 gallons of water a second through 3620 jets!

4 Days in Barcelona itinerary – Day 4

Morning

Breakfast at Villa Bakery

09:00 AM – 09:40 AM

Start your last day in Barcelona with breakfast at Villa Bakery. It’s an excellent small bakery, where you’ll find delicious croissants and sandwiches.

Villa Bakery
Villa Bakery

Palace of Catalan Music

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

The Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Música Catalana) is one of the most impressive concert halls in the world. This masterpiece of Catalan art nouveau was designed in 1905 by Lluis Domenech i Montaner. The magnificent interior features mosaic pillars, glass and iron chandeliers and beautiful stained glass windows.

You can visit the palace on your own with an audio guide or as a part of a guided tour. If you’re fortunate, you can attend a rehearsal and enjoy a free concert during your visit. I was lucky enough to do so, and the performance was truly magical!

If you’re visiting in the high season, I’d recommend you book in advance your Palace of Catalan Music Entry Ticket. The guided tour of Palau de la Músic (almost the same price) will give access to areas usually off-limits. Another option to see the magnificent interior is to attend a concert (see all concerts here).

Palace of Catalan Music
Add the stunning Palace of Catalan to your Barcelona itinerary

Explore the Gothic Quarter

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic) is the oldest part of the city. In fact, this is where Barcelona began as a small Roman fishing town. The Gothic Quarter is a maze of narrow streets full of small hidden squares, quaint buildings and charming artisan boutiques. The area doesn’t lack historic attractions as well.

The best way to explore the area is by strolling around and discovering its hidden gems. Join this Walking Tour with Local Tapas and Wine to sample authentic local tapas and wine (including cava and vermouth).

Be sure to stop at Barcelona Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia). This impressive building was constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries. However, the extraordinary façade of the cathedral was not finished till the 19th century.

If you have enough time, I’d recommend you to visit the cathedral and take the elevator to the rooftop. From there you can enjoy unique views of the city and the cathedral’s spires. For the best view of the cathedral itself, go to the rooftop terrace bar of Hotel Colón, located opposite the church.

Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter

Lunch at Cremat 11

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

For lunch stop at Cremat 11. It’s a lovely brunch café, located on a quiet square. The Steak ‘n Eggs and the vegan breakfast were delicious! Also, don’t miss the cocktails (especially the white sangria).

Cremat 11
Try the white sangria at Cremat 11

Afternoon

Barceloneta Beach

Barcelona is a coastal city, located on the Mediterranean Sea. Thus, don’t miss spending some time at the beach! Whether for a walk and to feel the sand between your toes or for a drink, it’s a nice way to finish your 4 days in Barcelona.

Barceloneta Beach is the most popular beach and it’s accessible by metro and buses from the city centre. In fact, it’s just a short walk from the Gothic Quarter.

Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach

Dinner at Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar

Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar is a charming little fusion tapas restaurant. The tapas are all made fresh and in-house, combining traditional recipes with Mediterranean flavours. They also offer great tasting menus! Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar was one of the best restaurants I visited in Barcelona and I thoroughly enjoyed both the atmosphere and the food.

I’d recommend ordering the patatas bravas, kibbe basil spiced meatballs and stuffed croquetas. Finish the meal with the Pistachio Crema Catalana and the almond cake.

Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar
Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar – the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona
Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar dessert
Pistachio Crema Catalana at Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar

More ideas for 4 days in Barcelona – Day 4

Arc de Triomf

You’ll find Arc de Triomf (Arco de Triunfo) just a short distance away from the Gothic Quarter. This impressive, 30m high arch, was built as the main entrance for the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition.

Made of red brick in Neo-Mudéjar style, the arch depicts the Barcelona Coat of Arms and all the other Spanish provinces. The stone bats, featured on the columns, are the emblem of King Jaume I, who ruled the Crown of Aragon in the 13th century.

Arc de Triomf
Arc de Triomf

El Pont del Bisbe

El Pont del Bisbe (Bishop’s Bridge) is a charming little stone bridge in the Gothic Quarter. Constructed in 1928 by Joan Rubió i Bellver, the bridge connects Palau de la Generalitat with Casa dels Canonges.

Under it, you can see skull-and-crossbones, which were added by the architect when his plans for other buildings in the Barri Gòtic were turned down.

El Pont del Bisbe
El Pont del Bisbe is a hidden gem in the Gothic Quarter

Poblenou Cemetery

Poblenou Cemetery is a small peaceful cemetery filled with gorgeous sculptures and Gothic tombs. The most famous statue is the so-called Kiss of Death, which represents a winged skeleton, taking a young person’s life by kissing him.

Poblenou Cemetery was the first cemetery outside the city walls of medieval Barcelona. Destroyed by Napoleon’s troops in 1775, it was rebuilt in 1819 in a Neoclassical style with Gothic elements.

Poblenou Cemetery

Take a sweet walking tour

In this self-guided sweet walking tour, you’ll taste the best cakes, cookies and gelato in and around the El Born district.

OGGI Gelato Barcelona
Your first stop is OGGI Gelato Barcelona. Excellent homemade gelato with many flavours to choose from. I would recommend the pistachio and the white chocolate.

Jon Cake
Continue to Jon Cake, hands down the best cheesecake I’ve eaten in my whole life! You can choose from several flavours – classic, chocolate, brie, goat cheese and others, all delicious and creamy. The cheesecake is sold by weight, so you’ll have to let them know how large of a slice you want.

OGGI Gelato
OGGI Gelato
Jon Cake
Jon Cake

El Desván Bakery
For the best cookies in Barcelona, head to El Desván Bakery. They have plenty of flavours to choose from. Among my favourite ones are white chocolate with coconut and red velvet.

Demasié
And the last stop is Demasié, a must-visit for every cinnamon roll lover. They offer a wide array of flavours ranging from classic to Nutella, toffee, white chocolate, pistachio and others. The pistachio roll was to die for!

El Desván Bakery
El Desván Bakery
Demasié
Demasié

Must buy tickets in advance

Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Thus, I’d recommend buying skip-the-line tickets in advance, especially for the most popular attractions.

Sagrada Família – 13,000 visitors per day, lines can stretch on for hours, so book your Sagrada Família Entry Ticket here.

Park Güell – 25,000 visitors per day (just imagine the lines), book your Park Güell Admission Ticket here.

Casa Batlló and Casa Milà – two of the most popular Gaudí houses. Tickets are timed-entry, so book early to choose your preferred time slot. You can book your Casa Batlló Entry Ticket here and Casa Milà Entry Ticket here.

2-day Barcelona itinerary

If you’re spending just 2 days in Barcelona, I highly recommend planning ahead by choosing the attractions you want to see and reserving skip-the-line tickets. Especially in the summer, queues can become quite long. It’s best to plan 2 or a maximum of 3 attractions each day so you don’t have to rush through everything.

Visit Sagrada Família and Park Güell in the mornings if possible, as they tend to get busier in the afternoons. Also, you’ll likely only have enough time to visit one of the two famous Gaudí houses – Casa Batlló or Casa Milá.

2 days in Barcelona

  • Day 1: Sagrada Família, Hospital Sant Pau
  • Day 2: Park Güell, Casa Batlló (or Casa Milá), Gothic Quarter

3-day Barcelona itinerary

For a 3-day stay in Barcelona (and if you book skip-the-line tickets), you’ll be able to cover all the major attractions. You can follow the 2-day itinerary mentioned earlier, but save the Gothic Quarter for the third day. On the third day explore the Gothic Quarter and visit the Palace of Catalan Music as well.

3 days in Barcelona

  • Day 1: Sagrada Família, Hospital Sant Pau
  • Day 2: Park Güell, Casa Batlló, Casa Milá
  • Day 3: Gothic Quarter, Palace of Catalan Music

Best pass for your 4-day Barcelona itinerary

Barcelona is a big city, and some of the attractions are located outside of the city centre. Thus, even if you stay right in the city centre, you’ll have to use public transport daily.

To save money, I’d recommend you buy the Hola Barcelona Travel Card. The card gives you free, unlimited access to the transportation networks in the city and its suburbs.

Where to stay in Barcelona, Spain

It is not possible to walk everywhere even if you stay in the central parts. Thus, it’s important to choose a convenient location near a metro station.

In my opinion, the best place to stay in Barcelona is around Plaça de Catalunya. Several metro lines cross here, and the shuttle bus to the airport stops here as well. You’ll be able to easily reach every part of the city.

Here are my favourite hotels near Plaça de Catalunya.


Yurbban Passage Hotel & Spa – Best mid-range

Guest rating: 9.1 | 1,280+ reviews

Great location, just a short walk from a metro station and Plaça de Catalunya, with lots of trendy bars and restaurants on the doorstep. Spacious, modern rooms with good amenities.

Why book – excellent Spa, nice rooftop bar and swimming pool, wonderful breakfast


Hotel El Palace Barcelona – Best luxury

Guest rating: 9.4 | 1,580+ reviews

Perfectly placed between the Gothic quarter and the main Gaudí monuments, near a metro station and Plaça de Catalunya. Spacious, nicely decorated, quiet rooms.

Why book – Mayan luxury spa, rooftop bar and swimming pool, excellent concierge service

barcelona palm trees

Getting around in Barcelona

Barcelona has an extensive metro and bus network. I’d advise you to use the metro, it is the quickest and easiest way to get around the city. Don’t buy individual tickets, it’s best to use the T-casual ticket. It’s an individual travel card valid for 10 journeys and it’s much cheaper than buying individual tickets.

Another option to save money is to buy the Hola Barcelona Travel Card. It is available for durations from 48 hours to 120 hours.

Another way to get around the city is the hop-on-hop-off bus. It has convenient stops in front of all major attractions, including Park Güell, which is not easy to get to.

How to get to Barcelona

By train

Barcelona-Sants is the main railway station of the city. It provides connections to other major cities in Spain, such as Madrid and Valencia. To get to the city centre just take the blue metro line L5. Check timetables and book train tickets online at Renfe official site.

By air

Barcelona El-Prat (BCN), the only airport in the city, is located about 15km away. The easiest ways to get from the airport to the city centre are:

  • booking a private transfer directly to your hotel (more than 210+ great reviews)
  • taking the shuttle bus Aerobus, which runs between the airport and Plaça Catalunya. The bus runs daily, every 10-20 minutes and the journey takes about 30-40 minutes. From Plaça Catalunya you can easily take the metro to other parts of the city.

A cheaper alternative is the metro, but you have to change lines to get to the city centre and the journey takes longer.

Day trips from Barcelona

Hot Air Balloon Flight

The best way to see the beautiful landscapes of Catalonia is by taking a hot air balloon flight. You’ll float across the sky, driven solely by the wind while enjoying incredible views of mountains, forests and green fields. After landing, you’ll celebrate the flight with a Cava toast.

A unique experience that will make your trip to Barcelona unforgettable!

Montserrat

Located 50km northwest of the city, Montserrat is the most popular day trip from Barcelona. In fact, this mountain with its turrets of rock is Catalonia’s most famous mountain range. Nestled in the rock, you’ll find the Montserrat Abbey, an important pilgrimage site. This Benedictine monastery is famous for La Moreneta, a 12th-century Romanesque wooden sculpture of Mary with the baby Jesus.

How to get to Montserrat Abbey

  • the easiest way is to book a guided tour. This Montserrat Monastery Tour is the most popular one (with more than 1750+ great reviews). An expert guide will take you through the rich history of the abbey and show you its hidden gems
  • by train – take FGC train (R5 line) from Pl. Espanya to Aeri de Montserrat (1-hour journey) and then take the cable car to the monastery (5min journey)

Girona

The medieval city of Girona is situated in northern Catalonia, on the banks of the Onyar River. It is known for its pretty Old Town and the 13th-century Jewish Quarter. Among the city’s highlights are the Catedral de Girona, the Roman city walls, the Church of Sant Feliu and the Arab Baths.

How to get to Girona

  • guided tour: this Girona and Costa Brava Tour will take you through the medieval city of Girona to the dramatic landscapes of Costa Brava. You’ll also visit the ancient fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell
  • by train – take the Avant high-speed train from Barcelona-Sants to Girona train station (40min journey). From there it’s about a 10min walk to the Old Town

What to see next

If you plan on visiting Spain during the summer, think about adding a few extra days to your trip to explore the beautiful island of Mallorca. It’s one of the most popular summer destinations in Europe. For more information take a look at my Mallorca itinerary.

How many days in Barcelona

Is 4 days in Barcelona enough

4 days in Barcelona is just the right amount of time to see the city’s major attractions without feeling rushed. Keep in mind that for most of the attractions you have to book time slots in advance. This will not only make your itinerary less flexible, but it will be difficult to plan more than 2 attractions a day.

Less than 4 days in Barcelona

If you have less than 4 days in Barcelona, skip the beach and explore the Gothic Quarter after visiting Park Güell. Also, if you’re not a big fan of Gaudí you can visit only Casa Batlló, which is the most famous of his houses and see the rest from the outside.

3 or 4 days in Barcelona

It is possible to visit Barcelona in 3 days, but you’ll have to skip some of the attractions from this itinerary. I’d recommend dedicating 4 days to Barcelona not to feel rushed.

Moreover, if you’re done with sightseeing in less than 4 days, you can always spend the last day on the beach or take a day trip to Girona or Montserrat.

Best time to visit Barcelona

Since Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, it’s important to choose the right time to visit. Avoid the high season (June, July and August), when the weather is hot and humid and the city is jam-packed with tourists. Winters are never too cold (unlike northern Europe) and crowds are fewer, so it’s a great time to see the city.

Spring (late April, May) and autumn (September, early October) are the best time to visit Barcelona. The weather is nice and warm, perfect for sightseeing and even for the beach. Plus, the crowds are not as intense as during summer.

Faqs about visiting Barcelona

How many days is ideal for Barcelona?

4 days is the ideal amount of time to spend in Barcelona. This allows for leisurely exploring of the city, visiting the most popular spots and even spending a few hours at the beach.

What is the best month to visit Barcelona?

The best time to visit Barcelona is the months of April, May, September and October. The weather is nice and sunny (perfect for sunbathing) and the crowds are fewer.

How much do you tip in Barcelona?

Tipping is optional. In general, it’s common to leave a tip of about 7% to 10% of the total bill at restaurants to show gratitude for good service.

Can you drink tap water in Barcelona?

Yes, the city’s tap water is completely safe for drinking.

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4 day Barcelona itinerary
4 days in Barcelona

About the author

Avatar Milena Yordanova
I am a full-time traveller and I have visited over 20 countries across 2 continents. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places, cultures and food. I’m an expert in travel planning and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.

8 Comments

  1. This is the most thorough itinerary I’ve seen. We are planning a trip in September 2023. 4 days in Barcelona, so this itinerary is perfect. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you so much for all this information.

        • Hi Egor,

          I’ve listed many awesome places to visit in my Barcelona itinerary, you just have to choose according to your and your travel companions’ interests. You can also find recommendations (right after the 4-day itinerary) on what to skip and what is a must-see if you have 2 or 3 days in Barcelona. About Madrid – I haven’t been there yet, so I am sorry but I can’t help you.

          If you have any specific questions about Barcelona I will be happy to help!

  2. Thank you so much for this itinerary. We will be in Barcelona for a week and will do most of the things you recommended. So thorough & I greatly appreciate the details.

      • Milena, on Day 1 of your 4 day itinerary for Barcelona, you site ” Sagrada Familia Highlights Tour “, which, according to the tour description includes Casa Batllo. Casa Mila, Casa Vicens, Park Guell, and, Sagrada Familia. Then, on other days of your itinerary, you site those places also. I’m confused.

        • Hi Louanne,

          I am sorry, but I can’t find the tour you mentioned. The Sagrada Familia Highlights Tour, which I recommend doesn’t include Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens and Park Guell. To be precise the exact name of the tour is Sagrada Familia: Fast-Track Access Guided Tour and it only covers Sagrada Familia. If you click on the link, a list with many tours will open, but the recommended tour should be on the top. Could you please check again?

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